All Sufi celebrations for the middle of Shabaan Islamic month have been cancelled in Egypt due to the coronavirus.
“Before lockdown regulations, we use to gather either at the mosque or at Al-Saha Al-Rodwania [the Radwani courtyard in Luxor], pray the maghreb [sunset] prayers, then all of us would read the Yassin Sura of the Quran, then we read the doaa prayers…followed by short speeches of Islamic scholars who would explain the importance of the night, then we close with praise chants for Prophet Mohammed,” explained Mohamed Elwan Al-Radwani, secretary-general of the Radwani Sufi order and ex-sharia researcher at the Fatwa Council of Egypt.
Al-Radwani explained to Ahram Online that on Tuesday the celebrations will be more of an individual celebration.
“Each household will gather and read together the Quranic verse and then pray, then praise Prophet Mohammed and pray all night long and praise God. Some of them will fast the following morning.”
The night of the middle day of the lunar month of Shaaban can be understood from its various names: the night of being released from hell, the night of mercy, forgiveness, answered prayers, innocence, long kneeling and fortune, explained Al-Radawni, adding that according to a hadith told by Aisha and Ali Ibn Abi Taleb, Prophet Mohammed spent all of the night praying and kneeling.
It is said that on that night God goes down to earth from the night until the sunset of the following day, to forgive people if they ask for forgiveness.
It also marks the night that God changed the qibla from the Aqsa Mosque to the Kaaba in Mecca, he noted.
This night is celebrated in Mecca by prayer and reading the Quran in mosques.