Lailat al Bara’ah: Muslims observe Shab-e-Barat, Night of Records, with prayer

String of lights close-up

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SUNSET TUESDAY, JUNE 2: It’s Barat Night, Lailat al Bara’ah or the Night of Records for many Muslims, as the faithful spend a night in prayer and worship. (In India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and other countries, this is shab-e-barat.) Lailat al Bara’ah brings daytime sweets and treats, works of charity and nighttime prayer. Many Muslims believe that on this night, God writes the destiny of each man or woman for the following year, and thus prayer and worship are necessary for forgiveness and mercy. (Wikipedia has details.) In some regions of the world, Muslim communities are illuminated with strings of electric lights, candles and fireworks on Lailat al Bara’ah.

Each year, Barat Night takes place on the 15th day of the month of Sha’ban. (Last month, the National Moon-Sighting Committee announced announced the date of Shab-e-Barat for Bangladesh.) Shia Muslims also recall the birth date of Imam al Mahdi on this date.