Shab-E-Baraat 2023: All You Need To Know About This Lesser-Known Muslim Holiday

by Tooba Shaikh
Shab-E-Baraat 2023: All You Need To Know About This Lesser-Known Muslim Holiday

We all know and love to participate in Eid, probably the most popular Muslim holiday. However, not many of us know about Shab-e-Baraat. Despite its significance, this is one of the lesser-known Muslim holidays. People who observe this holiday usually keep a fast for two days and hold a nightlong vigil. So, here is the breakdown of what exactly the holiday is, where it is celebrated and what significance it holds for Muslims.

Shab-E-Baraat: History, Beliefs, Name

shab e baraat
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The term Shab-e-Baraat, etymologically speaking, means the night of forgiveness or salvation. ‘Shab’ means night and ‘baraat’ means forgiveness or salvation. This is, therefore, one of the holiest nights for Muslims.

This holiday is popularly observed in South Asia and Southeast Asia. There are many beliefs surrounding the significance of this night. One of the biggest is that it is the night of forgiveness and believers can be absolved of all their sins if they repent earnestly.

It is also believed that Allah, descends to the lowest of the seven levels of Heaven in order to better observe and listen to His devotees. Another important belief about this night is also that the destinies of all the people are revealed to the angels so that they can carry out their tasks for the following year.

For instance, all the deaths, births, and details about livelihood (whether they will prosper or be tested financially), is revealed on this night to the angels that are responsible for carrying out such tasks.

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Practices & Observances For This Day

shab e baraat
Credits: Canva Images

Since it is such an auspicious day, it is obvious that there might be some special practices and observances that people do to commemorate it. One of the major practices is to fast the day before as well as on the day of Shab-E-Baraat.

Since it is the evening that is the main focus of this holiday, many believers hold vigils or nightlong prayers. Basically, they stay up all night praying to god so that they can be blessed. Many Muslims also do Niyaz or Fatiha on some food items to get them blessed.

One of the most important practices of this day is commemorating the dead. Since it is the eve for forgiveness, many believe that the sins committed by the people who are dead can also be forgiven by the prayers of those who are alive. Many Muslims also visit the graves of their loved ones and offer prayers on their behalf.

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Do you observe this fascinating holiday? Is there anything we missed to specify in this article? Let us know in the comments below how you observe Shab-E-Baraat and what special traditions your family has for the holiday.

Cover Image Credits: Needapix