Islamic centres and mosques across New Zealand observed the auspicious night of Shab-e-baraat on Tuesday, May 1 by hosting special prayers for the community.

Shab-e-baraat falls on the 15th night Sha’ban, eighth month of the Islamic calendar and the Muslims across the globe observe this particular night by making special prayers, reciting Quran and asking for forgiveness.

Jamia Masjid Al-Mustafa on Mangere Road in Otahuhu witnessed a packed hall with more than 400 men and children clad in traditional kurta and skull cap praying together in the masjid.

The Shab-e-baraat programme organised by the Otahuhu Masjid under South Auckland Muslim Association (SAMA) charted small sessions of Quran recitation, Nafil Salat and dua from late afternoon until late evening.

The programme started after the As’r Salat with a Milad (lecture about the significance of this night) followed by Maghrib Salat and three sessions of special Nafil Salat, Surah Ya’seen recitation and making dua for the whole community for protection from calamities, an increment of their subsistence, a speech explaining about the auspicious night.

Community-making Du'a at Jamia Masjid Al-Mustafa in Otahuhu on the occasion of Shab-e-baraat

The grand hall of the masjid echoed with 400 devotees’ voices repeating Surah Ya’seen after the Imam and Ameen at the dua. The essence of the evening was the community coming together under one roof praying for the prosperity of the entire communities across the globe.

“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.

“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.

Masjid-e-Umar on Stoddard Road in Mt Roskill also hosted a bayaan session at the Masjid hall after the Maghrib prayers delivered 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.

Chairman of the Hilal Committee of New Zealand Sheikh Mohammad Amir delivering a speech at Masjid-e-Umar in Mt Roskill on the virtues of Shab-e-baraat (Picture: Masjid-e-Umar Facebook)

The masjid in Te Kuiti, a small town in North Island with about 30-35 Muslims living in the town too hosted this event inside the masjid with a separate arrangement made for the women.

“We had about 11 people who came to the Masjid late after the evening I’sha prayers to pray, the imam led a bayaan on Shab-e-baraat, and we made special Salat with congressional dua session,” says Shaan Ali, a local resident and businessman in the town who with the held of the extended Muslim and non-Muslim community made the masjid for the community members and travellers.

“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 will start on Thursday, 17 May in New Zealand where for 30 days the community will fast from dawn to dusk and open their fast at the call of Adhaan during sunset. At the end of Ramadan, the community will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival of the Muslim community.

The Indian Weekender will be speaking with prominent leaders and members of the Muslim community as a part of coverage of Ramadan and Eid. If you have a story to share, please email at  editor@indianweekender.co.nz or call us on 09 217 3623/021-952-246.