New Zealand Muslims Celebrate Mid Sha`ban

NEW ZEALAND – Mosques across New Zealand opened their doors to worshippers to observe holy Shab-e-Barat, the auspicious night of blessings and forgiveness, on Tuesday night (May 1) with due solemnity and religious fervor.

“People praying on Shab-e-baraat often end up crying all night while making dua asking forgiveness for their sins,” a visitor at the Masjid told The Indian Weekender Thursday, May 3.

“This day holds a special place in the lives of Muslims, and it is a reminder that Ramadan is just two weeks away,” he added.

On Mid Sha`ban night, in which deeds are raised to Allah, Muslims attempt to stay awake in prayer as much as possible. It is also the night when the Qibla [direction to prayer] changed from Al-Quds to Makkah.

During the day, Muslims seek divine blessings for peace and happiness for themselves and also for the mankind.

One of the mosques, Masjid-e-Umar on Stoddard Road, hosted an event after evening prayer, with a sermon by Sheikh Mohammad Amir, Chairman of the Religious Advisory Board of the Federation of Islamic Association of New Zealand (FIANZ) and Chairman of the Hilal Committee of New Zealand.

New Zealand Muslims Celebrate Mid Sha`ban - About Islam

“We had about 11 people who came to the Masjid late after the evening Isha prayers to pray, the imam led a bayaan [sermon] on Shab-e-baraat, and we made special Salat [prayer] with congressional dua session,” says Shaan Ali, a local resident, and businessman in the town.

“We also arranged some snacks, beverages, and food so that people who may not have had the chance to have their dinner can have food here and continue with their prayers,” Shaan Ali told The Indian Weekender.

Ramadan is the holiest month in Islamic calendar. It is expected to start this year on Wednesday, May 16.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to become closer to Allah through prayer, self-restraint, and good deeds.