Al Isra’a Wal Mi’raj (a Night Journey and Ascension) is one of the most important Islamic holidays. It’s celebrated annually on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab. In 2019, the holiday falls on April 3.
In 621 (according to other data — in 619 or 621, the exact date is unknown), one very significant incident occurred in the month of Rajab — the journey of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from Makkah (Mecca) to Jerusalem, and his ascension to the Heaven, where he met with Allah. This journey is one of the most important events in the Islamic calendar.
On that significant night, the Archangel Jibrail came down to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who was sleeping not far from the mosque in Makkah. This archangel woke the Prophet (PBUH) up and suggested him to go on a journey to Jerusalem to visit “The farthest mosque” (it’s believed that this is the Al-Aqsa Mosque). The Prophet (PBUH) traveled on the animal Al Buraq — an extraterrestrial creature, which is usually depicted as a horse with a human head and wings of a bird.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) entered the mosque, where he was already awaited. Here, together with the prophets Ibrahim, Musa, and Isa, he performed a long prayer. After this, Jibrail presented two glasses to the prophet (PBUH) — with red wine and milk. The Prophet (PBUH) chose a cup of milk, which confirmed the correctness of his values and principles. Since then, people in Islamic countries are forbidden to drink alcohol.
After that, accompanied by Jibrail, the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made his ascent to Heaven. That night, the Prophet (PBUH) saw 7 heavens in which he met previous prophets, saw Eden and Hell. Then he met with Allah. And Allah instructed Muhammad (PBUH) that Muslims must pray five times per day. All this long journey took quite a bit of time — when Muhammad (PBUH) returned, his bed was not even cold.
When the Prophet (PBUH) returned to Makkah and told what had happened, many people didn’t believe him. They turned to Abu Bakr and he said that this is all true and he fully believes the words of Muhammad (PBUH). In addition, Muhammad (PBUH) accurately described Jerusalem, in which he had never been before, and listed the caravans going from Jerusalem to Hejaz. Eyewitnesses confirmed his words. These events are considered the greatest of the wonders of the Prophet (PBUH), perfected by the will of Allah.
The most important lesson and testament is the obligatory fivefold prayer for all Muslims. After all, salah (namaz) is not just words and movements, but God’s connection with his creatures, a reminder of the greatness of Allah, and gratitude for all his mercies. Salah is a pledge of integrity and all other human actions.
There are no special celebrations in Dubai on this holiday. On this night, believers do not sleep, read the Quran, pray a lot and retell each other the miracle that happened to the great Prophet (PBUH). The next morning, everyone is obliged to visit the mosque, pray and listen to the Imam’s sermon, in which he tells in detail about the events of that great night. And it is important to remember that the burden of sins per month of Rajab becomes even greater, and the value of good deeds grows. A person who believes in Allah must speak kind words to people, be patient in difficulties and thankful in prosperity.