Celebrations of Sha'ban 15th with illuminations and decorations of streets are the biggest Shiite celebrations that are held at the occasion of Imam al-Mahdi (a)'s birthday in Shiite areas. In Iran, many people gather in the Jamkaran Mosque, and in Iraq, people go to Karbala and visit Holy Shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a). Sha'ban 15th is an official holiday in Iran and is called the "World Day of the Impoverished". The night is also known as the night of Barat, Kandili Barat (in Turkish) and Laylat al-Sikk (in Arabic).
There are hadiths from the Prophet (s) and Shiite Imams (a) emphasizing the importance of vigilance and worship the night before Sha'ban 15th. According to a hadith, the Prophet (s) was awakened by Gabriel the night before Sha'ban 15th and he recommended the Prophet (s) to say prayers, recite the Quran and supplications, and istighfar at this night. According to another hadith, one of the Prophet (s)'s wives reported that he especially worshipped and had long sajdas during the night before Sha'ban 15th. According to hadiths from Imam 'Ali (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a), there are certain worships and practices that are recommended at this night.
There are other hadiths that emphasize the importance of Sha'ban 15th because of Imam al-Mahdi's (a) birthday.
- Jami' al-Azhar (al-Azhar University) were built in the time of Fatimids in order to teach Isma'ili teachings?
- ...the Prophet (s) shrouded Fatima bt. Asad (a) in his dress and before her burial, he lay down in her grave to pray for her?
- ... Muhammad Taqi al-Shirazi issued a fatwa in support of Iraqi independence in 1337/1918 to the effect that no Muslim has the right to elect a non-Muslim as ruler.
- ... according to some reports, the Wa In Yakad Verse is useful to prevent evil eyes of envious people?
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