Isra and Mi'raj, Prophet Muhammad's Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem

  • Sunday, April 23, 2017
  • By Ion Gonzaga
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Isra and Mi'raj is observed on the 27th day of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar.

We have a holiday today because tomorrow, our Muslim brothers and sisters are commemorating Isra and Mi'raj, also known as "The Prophet's Ascension to Heaven" or the "Night Journey." It marks Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and ascent into heaven, sometime around the year 621, according to Islamic belief.

It's good to understand what the holidays meant, more than just being off from work. Today, Muslims remember the appearance of angel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his encounter with "other prophets" like Moses, Abraham and Jesus.

Here's the rest of what this holiday is all about:

The Night Journey starts with the appearance of the angel Gabriel who takes the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to Jerusalem on a winged horse.

In Jerusalem, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) met and prayed with many prophets including Moses, Abraham and Jesus. This part of the journey is known as 'Isra'.

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was then carried by Gabriel to heaven, ascending through the seven heavenly realms until he reached paradise where he spoke to god.

God told the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) about the importance of prayers. On the return journey to Mecca, Moses asked Muhammad (PBUH) how many prayers God had commanded to be said daily. Muhammad (PBUH) said fifty. Moses said this was a very high obligation and told him to go back and ask for the number to be reduced. Initially this was reduced to forty. Muhammad (PBUH) went back to God several times, with the number of daily prayers eventually settling at five, which remains the duty of a Muslim today.

This second part of the journey is know as the Mi'raj, which means ladder in arabic.

Celebration of Isra and Mi'raj include prayers during the night and many Muslim cities will keep their lights on all night.


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Reference: Office Holidays
Photo from Google image search

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