Isra Miraj: The Night Journey Of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Isra Miraj is one of the most notable events in the religious history of Islam, in which Isra and Miraj are two chapters of the night journey taken by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) around the year 621. Certain events that took place during Isra and Miraj are explained in brief in the Quran.

The Story of Isra and Miraj

In Isra – the first part of the night, Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) journey began when he was in the Great Mosque in Makkah where angel Jibreel and angel Mikal came to him and brought Buraq (a creature in Islamic tradition said to be a transport for certain prophets). The Prophet travelled to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Buraq within a second. Anas Ibn Malik narrates that angel Jibreel offered Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) a glass of milk and a glass of wine, setting eyes on what he would choose. The Prophet drank milk which resulted in passing the special test as he chose the drink that was healthy and pure for him rather than the one that is prohibited on earth.

What is Sidrat-Al-Muntaha?

It is a huge Sidr tree as well as the end of the seventh heaven. According to Islamic beliefs, this is the boundary no one ever passed except Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) along with angel Jibreel. This is where Allah told Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that Muslim believers were to enrol in prayers 50 times a day. The Prophet accepted the offer but as he was going back to the earth, he met Prophet Moses who advised that 50 prayers were too much for a day. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) went back to Allah and requested to reduce 50 prayers as it was too much. Allah reduced 5 prayers and made it 45 prayers a day. But according to Prophet Moses, it was still too much. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took nine trips between Moses and Almighty Allah and after that, it was finally reduced to 5 times prayers a day. Prophet Moses continued to ask for the reduction in numbers, but Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that he was too guilt-ridden. Moreover, he is grateful for 5 prayers a day.

What is Mehraj-Ul-Alam?

Celebrated on the 27th of Rajab, Mehraj-Ul-Alam is a Muslim holiday in the event of Isra and Miraj. It is also known by the name Lailat-Al-Miraj. It is recognised as the day when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ascended to all the seven stages of heaven. It is believed that this was the day when an angel visited and Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) chest was opened and it was purified with Zamzam water. Later his heart was filled with sagacity and belief. The day is celebrated differently by various Muslim countries. Muslims do not fast on this day since the exact day is not known. Some choose to offer prayers during the night while some light up electric lights and candles. Food and treats are served after Salah (prayers performed by the Muslims).

Isra Miraj Hadith

Anas ibn Malik reported: Fifty prayers were obligated upon the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when he was taken on his night journey. Then, it was reduced until it was set at five and an announcement was made, “O Muhammad, My word is never changed, so these five prayers will be counted as fifty.” Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 213

Ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I met Abraham on the night of my Ascension and he said: O Muhammad, greet your nation with peace from me. Tell them Paradise has pure soil and delicious water, that it is a level plain and its plants grow with declarations of the glory of Allah, the praise of Allah, the oneness of Allah, and the greatness of Allah.” Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3462

Abu Huraira reported: On the night of the Ascension, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was presented with two vessels, one full of wine and the other full of milk. The Prophet looked at them both and he chose the vessel full of milk. The Angel Gabriel, upon him be peace, said, “All praise is due to Allah who has guided you to that which is natural, for had you selected the wine your nation would have been led astray.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 4432, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 168

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I passed by Moses during my night journey near the red mound; he was praying in his grave.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2375

Malik ibn Sa’sa’ah reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, told them about his Night Journey, saying, “We ascended until we reached the second heaven where Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened, but it was said: Who is it? Gabriel said: I am Gabriel. It was said: Who is with you? Gabriel said: It is Muhammad. It was said: Has he been called? Gabriel said yes. When we reached beyond the second heaven, I saw John and Jesus who are cousins. Gabriel said: These are John and Jesus, so greet them with peace. I greeted them with peace and they returned my greeting, saying: Welcome, O righteous brother and prophet.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 3247, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 164

Isra Miraj is one of the key events in the religious history of Islam. Lailat-Al-Miraj is an important day for Muslims and is observed differently. And the fact that it is explained in such detail in the hadiths makes it an important day for Muslims around the world.

Isra Miraj FAQs

What is the meaning of the word Isra?
The word Isra is an indirect Quranic name for girls which means Night Journey. In the history of Islam, it refers to the journey of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from the Great Mosque in Makkah to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalen within a second.

What is the meaning of the word Miraj?
The word is from Arabic, which means Ladder. Its religious significance comes from the holy journey of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to the seven stages of heaven along with the angel Jibreel.

When is Lailat-Al-Miraj celebrated?
Lailat-Al-Miraj or Mehraj-Ul-Alam is celebrated on the 27th of Rajab in the Islamic calendar each year. It is an important event that marks the day when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ascended through all the seven stages of heaven to reach Sidrat Al Muntaha.

From where did the Night Journey start?
The Prophet’s night journey of Isra started from Mecca - the holiest city in Islam.


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