Shab-e-barat

Shab-e-Barat
Official name Persian: برات, romanized: the bright night
Observed by Muslims
Type Islamic
Observances Commemoration of the recently deceased Forgiveness
Date Night between 14 & 15 of Sha’ban, which is known as Mid-Sha’ban
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Shab-e-Barat, Barat Night, Cheragh e Barat, Berat Kandili, or Nisfu Syaaban (in Southeastern Asian Muslims) Shab-e-Barat is one of the major festivals for the Muslim community celebrated on the 15th night (the night between the 14th and 15th) of the month of Sha’ban, the eighth month of the Islamic calendar.This blessed night starts at sunset on the 14th of Shaban and ends at dawn on the 15th of Shaban. Different countries have different ways of celebrating this day and each has a different name for it. Shab-e-Barat is observed simultaneously with the Shia Mid-Sha’ban Mahdi birthday festival, but Barat has different origins. Shab-e-Barat has its roots in the Persian festival of Mehregan seven month of Persian. Barat also is known as Cheragh (lamp), where tributes were offered to the recently deceased and 3days evening ceremony dedicated to remembering the dead.[1]

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Some people mistake Shab-e-Barat festival and Shia Mid-Sha’ban ceremony as they take place at the same time, but Shab-e-Barat’s rituals and styles differ from region to region, while Mid-Sha’ban is celebrated the same everywhere. The observance of Barat involves a festive nightlong vigil with prayers. In most regions, it is a night when one’s deceased ancestors are commemorated. Shab-e-Barat is considered a major event in the Islamic calendar, where Muslims collectively worship and ask for forgiveness of their wrongdoings. It is believed to reward them with fortune for the whole year and cleanse them of their sins. In many regions, it is also a night when prayers are offered to forgive one’s deceased ancestors.[2] Additionally, Twelver Shia Muslims commemorate the birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdi.[3][4]Salafi adherents oppose the recognition of Mid-Sha’ban as exceptional for prayer.[5]

According to a study by Eiichi Imoto and Mohammad Ajam, Shab-e-Barat is rooted in pre-Islamic religions in the Middle East and Persia. Eastern Iranians traditionally preserve the Barat like the Bon Festival in Buddhism and Pitri Paksha in Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. the main goal of the ceremony is praying for the happiness of the souls of the dead. in this case it is also very similar with main proposes in doing Halloween ceremony by Christian. The study states that the Persian word brat (bright) is different from the Arabic word bara’at. The Khorasan people call the Barat the Cheragh (light) Brat, meaning bright or light festival.[6]Al-Biruni (973 – after 1050) had written about “a festival from 12 to 15 of the lunar month that in Arabic is Al Baiz meaning bright, and Barat also is called al Ceqe meaning Cheque.” In some Iranian cities, people celebrate this festival by gathering in the cemeteries, lighting Peganum harmala (wild rue)—a holy plant in old Persia—placing the fire in a corner of the tombs, and pouring some salt on the fire while reading a poem saying: “The Peganum harmala is bitter and salt is salty so the jealous eye of the enemy be blind.”[1]

Shab-e-Barat is also known as the Night of Forgiveness or Day of Atonement.[7] Muslims observe Mid-Sha’ban as a night of worship and salvation. Scholars like Imam Shafii, Imam Nawawi, Imam Ghazzali, and Imam Suyuti have declared praying acceptable on the night of mid-Shaban.[8] In his Majmu’[definition needed], Imam Nawawi quoted Imam al-Shafi’i’s Kitab al-Umm that there are five nights when dua (prayer) is answered, one of them being the night of the 15th of Sha`ban.

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