Isra and Mi’raj is one of the most significant events in Islamic calendar. It is two parts of a night journey that Muhammad, the Islamic Prophet, took during a single night. Isra and Mi’raj is observed on the 27th day of the month of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar. This year, Isra and Mi’raj will be observed on 14 April. In some Islamic countries, Isra and Mi’raj is a national holiday.
Isra is the part of the journey of Muhammad from the Great Mosque in Mecca to the “Farthest Mosque” in Jerusalem, which is al-Aqsa mosque. For the journey, Muhammad used Buraq, the traditional heavenly steed of the prophets brought to him by the Archangel Jibril. Mi’raj is the part of the journey of Muhammad from al-Aqsa mosque to the heavens. There, Muhammad visited all the seven stages of heavens and spoke with earlier Islamic prophets such as Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), and Isa (Jesus). Afterwards he met God where God instructed Muhammad that Muslims must pray fifty times a day. Later on, Prophet Musa told Muhammad that it was very difficult to be done by Muslims people and urged Muhammad to ask for a reduction. So Muhammad went between Musa and God for nine times until the instruction was reduced to five prayers a day. After that, Muhammad went back to Mecca and the whole journey was done only in a single night.
Muslims celebrate Isra and Mi’raj by gathering into mosques and performing prayer and supplication. After the prayer, food and treats are served. In some Muslim countries, cities are also illuminated with electric lights and candles. Isra and Mi’raj is also the event to remind Muslims on the power of God who could transport Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem, and afterwards to the heavens and back, only in a single night. It is also the time to remind Muslims to perform the five daily prayers correctly and on time, as a symbol of gratitude for God’s kindness on lightening up the previously difficult instruction.
If you do not celebrate Isra and Mi’raj, you could still share the spirit by contemplating the power of God and be thankful of God’s blessings in life. Or simply by lightening up someone else’s burdens or difficulties. After all, if God could be so kind as to ease up God’s instruction to God’s people, we should be kind to others too!
How about you? Tell us your favorite Isra and Mi’raj activity, or share your most memorable Isra and Mi’raj celebration!