Millions Seek Goodwill, Good Fortune On Shab-e-Barat
Friday, 07 August 2009
Millions of Bangladeshis were observing Shab-e-Barat on Thursday, the night that brings annual hopes of forgiveness and good fortune amid traditional festivities.
Muslims traditionally believe that God reviews all people's past deeds on the night, one of the most sacred of the Islamic calendar.
It is believed too that the fortune of each human being for the coming year is determined on Shab-e-Barat.
Muslims throughout the country were thronging to mosques from sunset, or preparing in their homes, to pray for forgiveness through 'the night of fortune'.
Devotees offer nafal prayers, recite from the Holy Quran and perform doa throughout the night to seek God's mercy, blessing and goodwill.
It has also become a long-standing social event for Muslims in the Indian subcontinent, Bangladesh in particular, who observe the occasion with great festivity.
People were prepare special foods such as breads, a variety of sweetmeats and halua. They distribute these to relatives and neighbours through the day in what has become a recent tradition. The festive foods are also distributed among the poor irrespective of religion and caste.
President Zillur Rahman and prime minister Sheikh Hasina gave special messages on the occasion.
"The auspicious night of Shab-e-Barat brings a special opportunity for mankind to receive blessings and mercy from Allah," said the president.
Saying Islam was a religion of peace, he called upon all to pray to almighty Allah during the holy night to grant national prosperity and progress, and unity of the Muslim Ummah.
Hasina in her message said: "Allah forgives those who seek mercy from Him and grants prayers of His creation on the night called the night of fortune."
She urged all to work sincerely for the welfare of mankind and to build the country imbued with teachings of this night.
Also known as Lailatul Barat, the special night falls on the 15th of the month of Sha'ban, of the Arabic Hijri calendar, ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.