When is Shab e Barat 2022? Date of Islamic festival, fasting rules, and why it’s celebrated

Millions of Muslims around the globe celebrate the festival of Shab e Barat every year

Shab e Barat takes place every year and is observed by Muslims across the world.

But what is the Islamic festival, what dates does it land on this year and what are the rules around fasting?

Here’s what you need to know.

What is Shab e Barat?

Millions of Muslims in the UK and around the globe celebrate the festival of Shab e Barat every year.

This festival is part of the Islamic calendar and comes as part of the run-up to the start of Ramadan.

It’s called various terms in different countries, such as Laylat al-Bara’at - the night of deliverance or salvation - in the Arab world, and in Turkey it’s called Berat Kandili.

The religious observance is a night when Muslims believe the fortunes of men are decided for the year ahead, and when Allah descends to earth and offers mercy and forgiveness to sinners.

Prayers are held through the night so that worshippers can ask for forgiveness, both for themselves and for dead ancestors.

When does it take place this year?

This year, the month of Shaban - the eighth month of the Islamic calendar - started on 4 March so Shab e Barat takes place on the night of Friday 18 March 2022.

Islamic days run from sunset to sunset so this religious festival will begin on Friday and end on the evening of Saturday 19 March.

Islamic months and events move forward by 10 or 11 days a year due to being based on the lunar calendar so the date changes each year.

Do people take part in fasting?

Fasting is encouraged on the 13th, 14th and 15th days of every Islam month, which include the time when Shab e Barat takes place.

However, although it’s been stated that Muhammad took part in fasting through most of the month of Shaban, scholars have said fasting is not a requirement of Shab e Barat.

Fasting is voluntary, not compulsory, and food is usually given out as part of celebrations during this festival.

How is it celebrated?

The festival is celebrated in numerous countries, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.

People go to mosques and offer prayers to Allah, and also pray on the behalf of their loved ones by visiting their graves.

Those taking part in the religious observance also give money and food to the poor.