Kanpur/Lucknow/Moradabad/Mumbai, 14 June-2014 (ANI): Muslims across India observed Shab-e-Barat, a holy festival, where they seek the blessings of Allah, pray for the departed souls of their ancestors and seek forgiveness for their sins.
During the day, Muslims clean the graveyard and decorate it with lights and candles for reading and performing rituals during the night.
Muslims stayed awake the whole of Friday night to perform Fateh (holy Muslim ritual) for the departed souls of their ancestors and seek their blessings. The festival, which is observed throughout the night, sees a lot of activity in the Muslim graveyards and later, at mosques.
A devotee in Kanpur city of northern Uttar Pradesh,Ibraham Shah, said the night is very precious and unique for the Muslim community.
“Shab-e-Barat is a very precious night for us. On this night, we stay up all night. Along with reading the Quran (Holy book of Muslims), we ask forgiveness for our sins, we wish for a better future and pray that our ancestors are at peace. We also read a lot of other holy prayers and thus spend the night,” said Shah.
To maintain the sanctity of the occasion, cemeteries and graveyards are cleaned up and decorated throughout the day for the prayers to be offered at night.
“On Shab-e-Barat, all of us Muslim brothers and sisters come to the graveyard to pray for our ancestors. So during the morning, we clean up the graveyard. We perform Fateh (Muslim prayers) as well. In the night, we come to offer our prayers to Allah and ask for forgiveness for all sins committed by us, knowingly or unknowingly,” said Firaz Hussain, a Muslim devotee in Moradabad.
Leaving nothing to chance, immense security was deployed in Mumbai to curb any drunken driving or related menace.
“On this day, there are not many cases of drunken driving, though rash driving is common. So to make them understand, we check their documents. There is a huge possibility of accidents because the roads are filled with water due to rains, and skidding of bikes is possible.So we request them to ride/ drive at a slower pace and they listen, too,” said a police official in Mumbai,Suresh Lakshman.
Reportedly, community leaders have issued pamphlets, posters and messages from the priests at mosques, ridiculing the practice of stunt biking.
Islam has about 177 million adherents in India, which makes it second-largest religion in the country. (ANI)