Shab E Barat is considered by majority of Muslims as special because they consider that reward on this night is increased. They make dua and prayers from Allah which dates back to hundreds of years in Islamic history
According to Islamic calendar Shab-e-barat is the 15th night of Shabaan which is practiced among many Muslims with special devotion. People pray many rakats of nawafil on this night. Muslims around the world pay special attention to worship during this night through dua and namaz.
Fasting on Shab-e-Barat:
People also fast on the next day which is 15th Shabaan expecting to seek the pleasure of Allah and to seek forgiveness. The reason why this night gets special attention is the narrations of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). Such as this narration from Jami Tirmidhi :
‘On the middle night of Shaban (that is, Shab-e-Barat), Allah most high descends to the lowest heaven and remits more sins than the hair of the goats of Banu Kalb.’”
Shab-E-Barat In Quran:
The narration of Prophet (PBUH) indicates why it is important for us to pay special attention to this night in seeking forgiveness from Allah (swt). In Islamic history many renowned scholars treated this night as special.
Such as Imam Qurtabi and Imam Jalal-udin Sayuti who considered that this is the night when Quran was revealed. They used the verse of Quran to support their view:
“Surely, We have sent it (the Holy Qur’an) down in a blessed night. Surely, We are the Warner. In this (night) judgment is given on all matters of wisdom (separately) by Our Command.” (Sura ad-Dukhan, 44:3-5)
These scholars called this night nisf Shaban because it falls in mid of Shaban, in Arab word people still use the same term.
Duas For Shab-e-Barat:
You can make any dua you wish but scholars prefer to make the same dua which are revealed by Allah in quran or which are narrated from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Though it is allowed to make dua in Urdu or any other language but we should try to memorize these beautiful duas in Arabic.
Umm Salamah (wife of Prophet Muhammad ?) said: ‘The supplication he said most frequently was: “O Changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion’ (Authentic Hadith in Sunan At-Tirmithi. Hadith #3522)
(Our Lord! we have indeed believed: forgive us, then, our sins, and save us from the agony of the Fire)
[surah Ali’ Imran; 3:16]
(There is no God but You; Glory be to You, Truly I have been one of the wrongdoers)
[Surah al-Anbiyah, 21: 87]
(O Allah! Forgive me all my sins, great and small, the first and the last, those that are apparent and those that are hidden) [Sahih Muslim 1:350]
What to Pray on Shab E Barat?
The nawafil should be prayed in the same way as we pray on any other day. With a collection of 2+2 rakats of nawafil we should seek forgiveness from the Lord of Heavens & Earth.
Date of shab-e-Barat:
It is expected that the 15th SHABAN will fall on 1st & 2nd May, 2018 but this may vary according to moon, as Islamic calendar is based on lunar observation. In 2019 it is expected that the blessed night will be on 21st April 2019, but it is also based on expectation and may vary according to the observation of moon.
So the blessed night will be on 1st May, 2018 while for 2019 it will be on 20th April.
Many people ask what should be our intention (niyat) for worship on this night, they should know that our intention should always be seeking pleasure and forgiveness of Allah.
Many people use fake images and pictures on social media and claim changes in the sky, we should avoid such things because this night is blessed not because of any physical attribute rather it is because of the blessing of Allah.
Many weak quotes and narrations are used on this day, such as that souls of dead relatives visit houses on these days, etc. we should also avoid such things and stick to the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).