When will Muslims in the UK observe Shab e Barat 2023?
Shab-e-barat is celebrated by some Muslims and involves an all-night vigil with prayers.
The event is considered among the holiest in Islam and overlaps with Shia Mid-Sha’ban, and the two are often confused although there are different rituals for both events.
Barat is observed by Muslims in south Asia and south-east Asia – and the name translates as “the bright night”. It is an occasion when deceased ancestors are commemorated and worshippers ask Allah for forgiveness for their wrongdoings.
It could be considered to be an Islamic equivalent of Halloween, when traditionally Christians prayed for the souls of the dead but has more recently become a commercialised testament to all things gothic and horror.
Some Muslims also believe the night can reward them with fortune for the whole year and cleanse them of their sins. It is said that it is a night when Allah is most forgiving.
Shab-e-Barat is marked by the sighting of the moon, which means that the date changes according to western calendars. In 2023 it will be held in the UK from the evening of Tuesday March 7 until Wednesday March 8 – when there is a full moon. It marks the 1444th Islamic year.
Mosques are often decorated for the occasion and will be throughout the day before the night’s events. Following dusk on March 7, worshippers will begin with a special prayer. There will be a pre-dawn meal and many will then fast throughout the day.
It will probably be held on February 25 next year and then February 14 the year after.
In March, the full moon is known as the worm moon as it is the season when earthworms begin to come out from the soil as temperatures warm up.