Shab-e-Barat Muslim religious rite observed at the night of 15 Shaban of the Hegira calendar. The Persian compound word, construed with shab, night, and barat, commission, means 'the night of commission or assignment', and is known in Arabic as Lailatul bara'at, meaning the night of emancipation. In the subcontinent, Shab-e-barat is observed as the night of good fortune.
The observance of Shab-e-barat has a special significance. Muslims believe that man's fate for the coming year is determined in this night. If someone prays to Allah throughout the night and asks for His forgiveness, he can expect that all his sins will be forgiven.
Although incoherent according to the Islamic norms, houses and streets are illuminated by candles or electric lights on the occasion. People prepare breads and various kinds of sweetmeats, and distribute them to neighbours and the poor. Devout Muslims go to mosques for saying prayers and meditation. Many observe fasting during the day and perform nafal (optional) namaz at night. It is said in the hadith that at night on 15 Shaban, the Prophet (Sm) paid a visit to the Jannatul Bak'i Graveyard to pray for the salvation of the souls of the departed and he told Ummul Mumenin Ayesha (R) to pray to Allah on this night. It is optional for Muslims to observe fasting on the day. There is, however, no mention of Shab-e-barat in the quran. But Sura Dukhan mentions about Laila Mubaraka, which, according to the opinion of some among the persons who developed expertise in interpreting the Quran and the Hadith, is Shab-e-barat. [Muhammad Asadullah Al-Ghalib]