Subdued observance of Shab-i-Barat amid fear of coronavirus spread

KARACHI: “This Shab-i-Barat is the most significant Shab-i-Barat of our lives. This night has come to us in the most difficult and trying of times, and it calls to us to do differently what we have been doing on Shab-i-Barat all these years. Not only are we going to ask Allah Almighty for His forgiveness, we are going to pray for all those affected by Covid-19. May Allah grant us all health and the strength to get over this pandemic. May He forgive us all,” one overheard an elderly woman tell someone while waiting in line outside a superstore on Wednesday.

The distance between them made her speak louder and audible to many other people too

She was talking about the Sindh government’s decision to close all graveyards ahead of Shab-i-Barat. The person she was talking to was a young fellow obviously not very happy about the decision. He also looked a bit out of sorts and confused. “What can the dead do to us? They are gone and buried. They can’t spread the virus, can they?” he said.

But the woman spoke to him patiently while convincing him not to confront the authorities on the matter.

According to the notification no one will be permitted to go to the graveyards and people are being asked to pray at home this year. A ban has also been placed on the congregations of Shab-i-Barat in mosques.

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