Every year, Shab-e-Barat (Eve of Barat) is celebrated on the previous evening of 15th Shaban by Muslims across the world. The night when God forgives sinners, Shab-e-Barat is known as the night of forgiveness, or Day of Atonement.
The month of Shaban, eight in the Islamic calendar, is considered to be the month of Prophet Muhammad by the Muslims. Fasting and other acts of worship are highly recommended in this month which leads up to holy month of Ramadan.
For the Shiite Muslims, a sect which adheres to the values and traditions set by Prophet Mohammed and his immediate family, it is also a month of celebration as many important personalities have been recorded to have been born in this month. From Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad to Imam Mahdi, the awaited saviour, the holy month of Shaban is considered to be one of joy and religiosity.
The eve of the 15th of this month, considered to be one of the most auspicious nights in Islam is revered by both sects of Islam, holds a special significance for the Shiite Muslims as they hold the belief that the awaited saviour, the promised Mahdi was born on this night. His longevity is a matter proved by the Qur'an and thus his birth is celebrated with glorious celebrations, acts of charity and worship throughout the Shiite world.
The Shiite Muslims hold the belief that the Mahdi is alive and walks amongst us and when Allah wills, this awaited saviour will return to fill the earth with justice and equity. You will often see the Shiites quoting the verse of the Qur'an believed to be inscribed on the hand of Imam Mahdi, "Truth has come and falsehood has vanished, surely falsehood is bound to vanish."