chapter  XXI
2 Pages

THE SHAE-I-BARĀT FESTIVAL

THE Shab-i-barat or bara'at, or Lailatu-1-barat (barat, or bara'at meaning' a writing conferring immunity'), is so called because on this night it is supposed that the lives and fortunes of mortals for the coming year are registered in Heaven. It is frequently confounded with the Lailatu-1-qadr, 'the Night of Power', or Shab-i-qadr, that mysterious night in the month Ramazan, the actual date of which is said to have been known only to the Prophet and a few of tbe Companions, when the whole animal and vegetable world bows down in adoration to the Almighty. But there is no connexion between the two festivals. In Egypt the Shab-i-barat is called Lailatu-1-nisf min Sha'ban, because it is held about the middle of the month Sha'ban, the eighth month of the Musalman year. 1 In. the Khazana-jawahir-jalaliya of Maulana Fazlu-llah, son of Ziyau1-'Abbasi, it is stated that God has in the Koran given four names to this month: Barat, 'Night of Record', Lailatu-1mu barak, ' the Blessed Night ', Rahmat, ' Night of Mercy ', Faraiqa, ' Night of Discernment '.