Shab-e-Baraat, the night of reverence and fervour would be observed today across the Muslim world with great religious enthusiasm. On this holy night, Muslims across the world illuminate mosques and houses. This is the auspicious Night, known variously as the Night of Salvation, as the Night of Privilege, and Night of Accountability, for seeking the forgiveness of the Almighty. Lailat-ul-Baraat, popularly known as Shab-e-Baraat is certainly a glorious and important occasion in the life of every God-fearing Muslim. Lailat-ul-Baraat comes every year on the 15th of Shaban. It is the night as tradition goes, when the Almighty opens the door of His boundless mercy to bestow on those who supplicate to Him in true spirit of heart and soul. He is ready to give those that ask for His Mercy and blessing.
On this night Muslims pray Allah Almighty to remove worries. Muslims stay awake on the night of Shab-e-Baraat and ask for forgiveness for the past year mistakes and pray for good fortune the entire night. Some Muslims fast during the day. According to the religious teachings, “It is night of accountability for all the Muslims and their performance of last one year in the light of the teachings of Holy Quran and Sunnah is reviewed”. The prayers throughout this night carry great importance and value for the Muslims to renew their pledge to lead lives in accordance with the Holy teachings of Quran and Sunnah.
According to religious scholars, there are some nights in Islam, which are significant and “Lailat-ul-Baraat” is one of these. Though, in the Islamic perspective every night and day has its own importance but some nights have supplementary importance like Shab-e-Baraat, Lailat-ul-Qadar, Shab-e-Miraj, Ashura and the two nights of Eids have extraordinary significance. According to Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa (RA) this night “Allah Almighty opens the doors of mercy and grace for the mankind, the door remains open throughout the night till the Fajr prayers in which He exonerates those seeking forgiveness.”
Night of Shaban 15:
Shaban 15 is also the birth anniversary of the promised one and the only real savior of all mankind, the Hazrat Mahdi (AS), whose followers look forward to his reappearance. The majority of the world’s religions, irrespective of their being divine or earthly, believe in the advent of a savior. The spiritual leaders of different religions have discussed and debated this subject. Savior is described as deliverer of mankind, who will appear at the ultimate stage with justice and equity after it has been filed with tyranny and oppression, eradicate deviation, ignorance and atheism and disseminate moral and spiritual guidance and monotheism.
At this occasion let’s not talk about the present depressed Age and the confused, unhappy, alienated man, but let’s talk about the bright future of peace and happiness at the time of the reappearance of Hazrat Mahdi (AS). The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Glad tidings be to you about Mahdi (AS).” Thereafter he said: “The inhabitants of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth are happy with Him. He shall distribute the wealth equally, free Muhammad’s (SAW) Ummah from need or want and comfort them with his righteousness.”
The Islamic scholars, based on the infallible sayings, are of the opinion that the sign of Mahdi (AS) is that he shall be harsh with rulers, generous with people in distributing wealth, and gentle with the helpless in easing their pain.
Hazrat Ali (AS) says about Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) characteristics: “At the time when they (people) shall suit the guidance to follow the desires, Mahdi (AS) shall alter the desires to follow the guidance. At the time when they shall interpret the Holy Quran to follow their (own) prudence Mahdi (AS) shall realize (their) prudence to follow the Quran. Hazrat Mahdi (AS) shall demonstrate to you justice. Mahdi (AS) shall enliven the commandments of the Quran and Sunna which were until then dead and lifeless. Mahdi (AS) shall fill the earth with equity and justice after it has been filled with cruelty end oppression.”
The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “There shall emerge a person from my progeny who will speak only my Sunna. Allah will send rain for him from heavens and the earth shall throw out its bounties for him. He shall fill the earth with equity and justice just as it had been filled with cruelty and oppression.”
Furthermore, the Holy Prophet (SAW) while mentioning the injustice and seditiousness of despotic rulers, said: “If there remains not more than one day for the earth, Allah will prolong the day until a person from my progeny comes and rules. Then great events shall take place through his hands and Islam shall manifest itself.”
The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever dies without recognizing the Imam of His Time dies the death of ignorance.” It clearly indicates that cognition of Hazrat Mahdi (AS) is compulsory for each and every one.