Rawalpindi-Shab-e-Baraat, the night of blessings and worship, the 15th night of Sha’ban, 8th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, was observed on Saturday night amid tight security arrangements.

Muslims typically celebrate Shab-e-Baraat on the 15th of Sha’ban, usually around 15 days before the month of Ramazan begins. This year, Shab-e-Barat was celebrated on April 20 (Saturday).

The Shab-e-Barat, also known as the night of blessings and glory, was observed with religious zeal and spirit. A large number of people gathered at especially decorated mosques, making special prayers for security and solidarity of the country and Muslim Ummah.

The mosques were decorated with lighting and buntings to celebrate the occasion while arrangements for refreshments and food were also made to facilitate the worshippers. The security was tightened to protect the worshippers as the number of police guards deployed outside mosques was increased by the administration.

Besides, a large number of believers including women and children visited graveyards to pray for the departed souls of their near and dear ones. They lighted candles and incense sticks on graves and sought Allah’s blessings for the souls of their departed relatives. Some traditions say the souls of the dead wait for their kin at their graves to pray for their forgiveness and raising of their status in heaven.

Ulema and prayer leaders appealed to the masses to make diligent and whole hearted supplications on the blessed night for themselves and especially for the security and solidarity of our country and entire ummah and Muslim brethren facing atrocities by the enemies.

Sweet dishes were prepared and distributed among the relatives and neighbors apart from the poor and destitute. In addition, ‘langar’ was also distributed among the orphans and the destitute. Majority of believers also observed fast on the day which is said to be the best complement of the night’s prayers.

Rawalpindi Police on the directives of City Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi Ahsan Abbas had devised a comprehensive security plan for Shab-e-Baraat and tight security arrangements were made while 1,600 police personnel were deployed to protect mosques and imam bargahs and religious congregations during the sacred night.

Special teams of police commandos, Elite Force and Muhafiz Force had been constituted. Barricades had been established at several points and police teams were deputed to monitor the whole situation.

Under the security plan, special teams were patrolling in their respective areas under the supervision of SHOs. The superintendents of police were monitoring the patrolling and the security situation. On the directive of the CPO, special arrangements were made to ensure law and order situation and to avoid any untoward incident on Shab-e-Baraat. During the whole night, police in plain dress and uniform and lady police were also performing their duties. Traffic police wardens were also deputed for the smooth flow of traffic in the city. The routine checking was tightened further at entry and exit points of the city.

According to a police spokesman, the prime responsibility of the police is protection of the lives and property of the citizens and Rawalpindi District Police had finalized tight security arrangements for Shab-e-Baraat. He said that the CPO had directed the police to utilize all available resources to safeguard the citizens.