Al Isra’ wal Mi’raj – The night journey and ascension (27th Rajab)

The 27th of Rajab is believed to be the night in which the beloved Prophet (SAW) embarked on the famous night journey and ascension (Al Isra’ wal Mi’raj) that took him (SAW) to the realms of Heaven. 

The historical period when the night journey and ascension took place, was a period in which the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was facing intense hardship and grief after the consecutive deaths of some of his dearest family members and supporters, whilst also facing the cruel rejection of the people of Ta’if. It is thought to have taken place one year before the Hijrah (migration) from Makkah to Madinah.

Allah (SWT) blessed the Prophet (SAW) with this miracle that significantly impacted the Prophet’s (SAW) life and Islam as we know it. 

In the Qur’an, Allah (SWT) says: 

“Exalted is He who took His Servant (Prophet Muhammad (SAW)) by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. [Qur’an, 17:1]

 

What is the night journey and ascension (Al Isra’ wal Mi’raj) ?

The 27th of Rajab is believed to mark the night journey and ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) which was a miraculous occurrence during which, he travelled from Makkah to Jerusalem in Palestine before ascending to heaven, all in one night.

 

What is the significance of Al Isra’ wal Mi’raj (27th Rajab)?

The night journey (Al Isra’ wal Mi’raj) has many lessons and virtues for us to reflect on, especially in the lead up to the holy month of Ramadan.

The context in which it took place is crucial, as the Prophet (SAW) was experiencing a period of great hardship and suffering.

His (SAW) beloved wife and the first Muslim, Khadijah (RA), passed away due to the harsh sanctions imposed by the Quraysh.

His (SAW) uncle Abu Talib, who was one of his greatest supporters against the Quraysh also passed away during that period in what became known as the Year of Sorrow which was 10 years after the Prophet (SAW) began to preach his message. He was also, cruelly rejected by the people of Ta’if around this time, who he had hoped to spread the message of Islam to.

 

The Isra and Mi’raj

The Isra and Mi’raj was when the Prophet (SAW) travelled to Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and then with the Angel Jibreel (AS) up to the heavens. It was when he was first given the five prescribed daily prayers. He also led the other Prophets in prayer and met some of them. Many extraordinary sights were witnessed by the Prophet (SAW) on this journey.

It was also a test of faith for the Believers at the time and an opportunity for the true Believers to shine.

As an example, Aisha (RA) reported:

“After the Prophet (SAW) was miraculously taken by night to the furthest mosque in Jerusalem, the people began to talk about it. Some of them renounced their faith and belief in him. They looked for Abu Bakr and they said, “Have you heard that your friend imagined he was taken by night to the sacred house?”

Abu Bakr said, “Did he say that?”

They said “Yes.”

Abu Bakr said, “If he said it, then it is the truth.”

They said, “Do you believe he went by night to the sacred house and returned before morning?”

Abu Bakr said, “Yes. Verily, I believe something even more astonishing than that. I believe he has received revelations from heaven for everything he does.” For this reason, Abu Bakr was named the Truthful, al-Siddiq.”

[From Dalā’il al-Nubuwwah of Bayhaqī 2/361]

 

What is the date of 27th Rajab?

The Gregorian date that coincides with 27th of Rajab this year is 28th February 2022.

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