The event is considered among the holiest in Islam, and is observed mostly by by Muslims in South Asia and South East Asia, although is celebrated all around the world.
Here’s exactly when the festival takes place, and everything else you need to know about it.
When is Shab-e-Barat 2023?
Shab-e-Barat is celebrated on the 15th night – the night between the 14th and 15th – of the month of Sha’ban, which is the eighth month of the Islamic calendar. It starts at sunset and ends at dawn.
Since the Islamic calendar follows the Moon, the date of the festival changes each year.
In 2023 in the UK it will be held from the evening of Tuesday 7 March until Wednesday 8 March.
What is the meaning of Shab-e-Barat?
Shab-e-Barat is considered a night of atonement. Its name name translates as “the bright night”.
On the 15th of Sha’ban, Muhammad al Mahdi, the 12th Imam of Shia Muslims, was born.
It is also thought that the Prophet Muhammad prayed for his family members in the graveyard of Jannat al Baqi – a cemetery in Medina and the first ever Islamic burial ground – on this day.
It is believed that on this night, Allah writes the destinies for everyone for the coming year. He does this by taking into account their actions of the past.
It is a day when Allah offers mercy and forgiveness to sinners.
One of the most common prayers offered on the night is Salatul Tasbih, or the prayer for people seeking mercy.
Some say the spirits of the dead descend to Earth to visit their living descendants.
Others say there is a tree in heaven with everyone’s names on its leaves. If any leaves drop on this night, those people will die in the coming year.
Islamic Relief says: “Sha’ban is a precious month for several reasons, namely because the Prophet used to spend much of it fasting, and it is the month in which Allah raises the deeds of his servants. The Prophet indicated that he liked for his deeds to be lifted up when he was fasting.”
How is Shab-e-Barat celebrated?
Celebrations vary by country and even by region.
Often prayers are held through the night, and Muslims will reflect upon themselves and their actions.
Fasting is not compulsory, but many chose to do so in preparation for Ramadan.
Lamps are also lit outside mosques, and the buildings are also decorated.
Muhammed Ashfaq Alam Qadri, the Imam of the Minhajil Mosque in Alum Rock, told Birmingham Live: “This is a time where Muslims will reflect on themselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally. It is one of the special nights that are really blessed for us.
“It’s a night where many Muslims stay awake to pray and ask for forgiveness in preparation for Ramadan. Many come to the house to recite the Quran all night.”