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What is Lailat ul bara’h?
What is Lailat ul bara’h?
What is Lailat ul bara’h?
The phrase ‘Lailat ul Bara’h’ comes from Arabic, where layltun means night and baraat means forgiveness. It is known as Shabbe Baraat in Persian and Urdu.
Lailat ul Bara’h, also known as the Night of Forgiveness is an Islamic holy day that occurs on the 15th night of Shabaan, two weeks before Ramadan. From a traditional standpoint, it is a time when Muslims seek forgiveness for their sins. It is also believed that one’s fate is sealed for the coming year on this night.
It is common for Muslims pray and ask God for forgiveness in the evening either at the mosque or at home. It is also customary for Muslims to visit relatives’ graves, and engage in charitable giving. Although it is not a religious requirement, some parts of the world hold firework displays to commemorate this night.
Interestingly it is a common connection between Islam and other religions like Buddhism and Judaism which also discuss the religious concept of forgiveness and atonement.
Read more articles on the Ancient Ways to live a modern life. Spreading awareness of all religions celebrations and connecting with the ways of the Ancients and ancestors is very close to my heart.
What Are the Origins of Lailat ul bara’h?
Laylat al-Bara’ah is a religious holiday in Islam, one of the world’s largest religions. According to some estimates, there are over one billion Muslims worldwide, with the majority of them concentrated in the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Islam is the second largest religious group in Europe and the United States, with approximately seven million adherents in the United States. During the early years of Islam, the faith spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula, into what are now Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. Muslims, contrary to popular belief, are not simply Arabs. Muslims—followers of Islam—can be found in a wide range of ethnic groups around the world. In fact, Arabs make up less than 20% of Muslims.
What is Islam?
Islam is derived from the Arabic word for “surrender to God.” Peace, safety, and health are some of its other meanings. The central focus of Islam is personal devotion to Allah, the Arabic word for God. Allah is a universal and eternal concept in Islam and is the same in every religion and throughout human history. A Muslim is someone who adheres to Islam and thus surrenders or submits to Allah’s will.
However, Islam is more than just a belief system; it is a way of life. The Five Pillars of Islam require followers to perform five specific acts. They are as follows: 1) Shahadah-faith confession; 2) Salat-prayer/worship; 3) Zakat-charity; 4) Sawm-fasting; and 5) Hajj-pilgrimage.
Muhammad (570-632 C. E.), considered an Allah’s prophet, brought the message of Islam. The Qur’an is Islam’s holy book (also sometimes spelled Koran or Alcoran). According to Islamic belief, Allah revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad via Angelic revelations over a twenty-three-year period. The Qur’an is attributed to Allah rather than Muhammad; Muhammad merely received it. Muslims believe that the Qur’an is infallible because it came from Allah.
The Different Sects of Islam and Lailat ul bara’h
Within Islam, there are two major sects: Sunni and Shi’ite.
The majority of Muslims are Sunni (estimated at about eighty percent). They recognise the authority of the first four Caliphs, including Ali, and believe that the Sunna (the Prophet Muhammad’s example) is interpreted through community consensus.
Shi’ite Muslims look to special teachers known as imams for guidance. The imams are Muhammad’s direct descendants through Fatimah and Ali. These people are said to be inspired and to have secret knowledge. Shi’ites, on the other hand, do not recognise the same line of Islamic leaders that Sunnis do. Shi’ites follow a doctrine that recognises only leaders descended from Muhammad via his daughter Fatimah and her husband Ali. Many Shi’ite sects believe that true imams are sinless and without error. They are instructed by these leaders rather than relying on community consensus.
How Did Laylat al-Bara’ah Begin?
Laylat al-Bara’ah can be traced back to the beginnings of Islam. According to the Prophet Muhammad’s contemporaries, he taught his followers that the fifteenth of Shaban was a holy day. Muhammad stated to them, “When Shaban’s middle night arrives, spend the night in prayer and fast during the day, because God most high descends at sunset to the lowest heaven and says, ‘Is there no one who asks forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there no one sick so that I can help him?” The belief that God is especially merciful on this night gave rise to the name “Laylat al-Bara’ah,” which translates as “Night of Forgiveness” in Arabic.
Other Beliefs Associated with Laylat al-Bara’ah
Other beliefs associated with Laylat al-Bara’ah include the belief that God determines one’s fate for the coming year on this day. On Laylat al-Bara’ah, God is said to complete the list of those who will be born, die, complete the Hajj pilgrimage, and experience other significant milestones in the coming year. The holiday is known as “Shab-i-Barat” in South Asia, which means “Night of Destiny” or “Night of Fate.” This name reflects the belief that one’s destiny is shaped by God on this day.
On the fifteenth of Shaban, Shia Muslims commemorate the birth of the Twelfth Imam. An imam is a prayer leader in Sunni Islam. Shia Muslims use the term to describe one of the early Muslim religious leaders, who were also direct descendants of the Prophet. Muhammad, the twelfth and final Imam, was born in 869. He vanished when he was four years old, and no one knows what happened to him. Shias believe he will reappear on Earth at the end of time, when he will be known as the Mahdi, or “Guided One.”
Ways to Celebrate and Observe Lailat ul bara’h
There are many ways to celebrate Lailat ul bara’h, as the following outlines.
Muslims are strongly encouraged by Islam to give to those who are less fortunate than themselves. The Qur’an repeatedly assures Muslims that this merciful act will be rewarded by God. Some Muslims pay tribute to Laylat al-Bara’ah by donating to charity. They hope that God will bless them in the coming year for such an honourable deed.
Muslims fast in order to be reminded of the plight of the poor and to develop spiritual strength. During the month of Shaban, Muhammad himself recommended fasting. He believed that fasting during the month in which God took account of one’s deeds on earth honoured God and boded well. Because RAMADAN, the month of fasting, is only two weeks after Laylat al-Bara’ah, Muhammad never fasted beyond the fifteenth of Shaban. Even today, many devout Muslims observe the Laylat al-Bara’ah fast during the daylight hours. Al-Bara’ah Laylat.
Laylat al-Bara’ah is particularly significant for Muslims in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. This region’s towns celebrate the holiday with fireworks displays. Children frequently create their own spectacular displays by setting off firecrackers.
The majority of the customs associated with this holiday occur at night. On this evening, many Muslims gather in mosques for religious gatherings. Lectures and other educational events are also held in some mosques. It is customary to stay up late at night listening to Qur’anic recitations and praying. The most devout stay up all night, praying for forgiveness of sins and blessings for the coming year.
Reading from the Qur’an
The Qur’an is the Islamic holy book. Islamic tradition associates Laylat al-Bara’ah with Chapter 36 of the Qur’an. This chapter, titled “Ya Sin,” deals with the themes of death and judgement. God warns humans in it that they will be held responsible for their actions and attitudes. By reading this chapter, many Muslims pay homage to Laylat al-Bara’ah. God warns humanity in verses eleven and twelve that a record of everyone’s deeds is kept, but that the heavens are merciful to those who follow the way of life taught by God (the Compassionate One) and passed down to humanity through the Prophet Muhammad:
On the evening of the fifteenth of Shaban, many Muslims enjoy special sweets made even more delicious by the knowledge that the month of fasting is just around the corner. Carrot halvah is a popular dish associated with the holiday in India and Pakistan. This dessert is made by simmering shredded carrots, milk, and cream together. Sugar, cardamom, ground almonds, and butter are added after the liquid has boiled down. The mixture is cooked a little longer before being cooled and served.
The Tree of Life
On the fifteenth of Shaban, God shakes the Tree of Life, according to Sunni Muslim folklore. It is said that this mythological tree exists in heaven. It has many counterparts in other religions and mythologies, and is sometimes referred to as the World Tree. Each leaf on this tree, according to Muslim folklore, represents a living human being. When God shakes the tree, the leaves that fall from it represent those who will die in the coming year. According to legend, Israfil, the angel of death, collects the fallen leaves and transports these souls to the afterlife in the coming year.
The Du’a of Lailat ul bara’h
Allahumma ya dha-l manni wa la yamunnu ‘alayhi ahadun ya dha-l jalali wa-l ikrami, ya dha-l tawli wa-l in’am, la ilaha illa anta dhahru-l laji ̊eena wa jaru-l mustajireena wa amaanu-l kha ̊ifeena. Allahumma in kunta katabtani ‘indaka ;i ummi-l kitaabi shaqiyyan aw mahruuman aw matruudan aw muqattaran ‘alayya mina-r rizqi, famhu Allahumma bifadlika shaqaawati wa hirmaani wa tardi wa iqtara rizqi, wa athbitni ‘indaka ;i ummi-l kitaabi sa’iidan marzuuqan muwaffaqan lil-khayraati, fa innaka qulta wa qawluka-l haqqu ;i kitaabika-l munzali ‘ala lisaani nabiyyika-l mursali : Yamhu-l lahu ma yashaa ̊u wa yuthbitu wa ‘indahu ummu-l kitaabi (s.13, a.39). ilaahi bittajalli-l a’dhami ;i laylati-l nis;i min shahri sha’baani-l mu’adh-dhami-l mukarrami-l lati yufraqu ;iiha kullu amrin hakiimin wa yubramu, an takshifa ‘anna mina-l balaa ̊i ma na’lamu wa ma la na’lamu wa ma anta bihi a’lamu, innaka anta-l a’azzu-l akramu. Wa salla-l-lahu ‘ala sayyidina Muhammadin wa ‘ala aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallim.
What should be done on Lailat ul bara’h?
On the Holy Night of the 15th Shaban, after Maghrib or Isha prayer, it is customary to read Surah Yasin three times, followed by a special du’a with the following intentions:
The first niyyat (intention) reading should be for Long Life.
The niyyat (intention) for the second reading should be Protection from Calamities.
In the third reading, the niyyat (intention) should be to not be dependent on anyone other than Allah.
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