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Lailat al-Isra wal Miraj July 20, 2006 5:14 AM

"On the 27th of Rajab every year, Muslims celebrate Al-Isra Wal Miraj event, in which Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) traveled from Makkah to Jerusalem and from there to the seventh heaven where he met with Almighty God."  [ send green star]
 
Israa’ and Mi`raj - A Miraculous Journey July 20, 2006 5:15 AM


By Magda Azzam
    
(Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Nearer, the Seer.) (Al-Israa’ 17:1)

On 27 Rajab Muslims remember Israa’ and Mi‘raj, the miraculous Night Journey and Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The exact date of the event is uncertain, but the majority of scholars place it at 12 to 16 months before the Hijrah, the Prophet’s migration to Madinah.

One night Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was sleeping near the Ka`bah in Makkah, when the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) came to him, woke him up and, taking him by the arm, led him to Al-Buraq, a beast resembling a horse with two huge wings springing from its back. From Makkah, Al-Buraq took off toward Jerusalem. There, the Prophet was met by all the other prophets. He (peace and blessings be upon him) dismounted, tethered Al-Buraq to a ring in the gate of Jerusalem, and led them in Prayers.

Two vessels were then brought to him, one containing milk, the other wine. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) drank the milk. Jibreel said, “O Muhammad, you enjoy what is pure. Surely you will guide your people to the right path.” This journey demonstrates God’s might and ability to make possible the impossible. The concepts of time and space as we understand them do not apply, and what applies cannot be perceived by our limited faculties.

Led by the Angel Jibreel, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) began his ascent through the seven heavens, where he saw the other prophets till he reached Sadrat Al-Muntaha, the remotest lote tree, symbolizing the end of worldly knowledge. He was then taken before the Divine Presence. Allah enjoined the Muslims to perform salah (ritual Prayers) 50 times a day. After his audience with Allah and on his way down, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) met Musa (Moses—peace and blessings be upon him), who asked him how many Prayers were laid upon his followers. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied 50, Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) told him that the congregational Prayer is heavy and your people are weak. He advised him to go back and ask Allah to reduce them. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) made several trips back and forth, and each time The Merciful reduced the number, till finally He reduced it to 5 Prayers a day and if they are performed properly the worshipper will be given credit for 50.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) continued his descent till he arrived back in Makkah. When he told the people what had happened to him, Muslims who were weak in faith doubted the Prophet’s report. Yet when his friend and long supporter Abu Bakr was asked to take a stand on the issue, he replied, “If Muhammad said it happened, then it must have happened. I believed him when he first talked about his divine revelation, why should I doubt him now?” Thus on this occasion he earned the title of As-Siddiq (the Veracious).

(…and We appointed the vision which We showed thee as an ordeal for mankind…) (Israa’ 17:60)

This miracle was the first serious trial for the Companions’ faith when they were confronted with an issue that cannot be measured empirically. For the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), after seeing Allah’s signs, his faith was established on certainty.

The trip from Makkah to Jerusalem was not chosen haphazardly. This area is known as the cradle of all religions and Muhammad’s message encompasses all the preceding ones.

This miraculous journey establishes several facts. First, the status of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), as he was chosen to lead all the prophets in prayer, and to go where no one else, not even Jibreel, was allowed. 

The journey also establishes the sanctity of Jerusalem, because it is the point where the earth and sky meet and from there the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ascended to heaven. Therefore, the whole of Jerusalem and not only the mosque is considered in the eyes of Muslims a sacred place to behold and cherish after Makkah and Madinah.

As in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), Muslims now are facing all sorts of trials and their faith is being constantly tested. Brothers and sisters, on this blessed occasion let us recall that our faith is the only real thing; it is our life-saver in this sea of turmoil surrounding us. I am convinced that we are invincible as long as our belief in Allah and in the Message of His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is intact. 
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Lailat al Miraj July 20, 2006 5:16 AM

Lailat al Miraj, also known as Shab-e-Miraj or Miraç Kandili in Turkish, is the Muslim festival celebrating the Isra and Mi'raj of the Prophet Muhammad, when it is believed he went from Mecca to Al-Haram As-Sharif (Also known as the Temple Mount) and was then raised to Jannah (Heaven), met with the Prophets and eventually with Allah (God). It is celebrated on the 27th day of the month Rajab in the Islamic calendar. From this journey, Muslims believe, the command for five daily prayers (Salat) was given.

Celebrations

The celebrations around this day tend to focus on Children and the young. Children are gathered into the Mosque and are told the story of the Isra and Mi'raj. The story usually focuses on how his heart was purified by two archangels and filled him with knowledge and faith in preparation to enter the seven levels of heaven. The Night Journey and Acension to heaven Isra and Mi'raj was a spectacular journey. It started with the prophet being taken on a winged horse (accompanied by Gabriel) from Mecca to Jeruslaem and then to heaven (where he met former prophets) then back to Mecca, all during the same night. After prayer Salat (Where the children can pray with the adults if they wish) food and treats are served.

Unlike the eids, which centre more around the family, Lailat al Miraj is more about the community as a whole and events tend to be more about bringing the community together.

-- Wikipedia
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When is Lailat al Miraj? July 20, 2006 5:18 AM

Lailat al Miraj in 2006 is on Tuesday, the 22nd of August.  [ send green star]
 
Lailat-ul-Miraj July 20, 2006 5:20 AM


Significance

Lailat-ul-Miraj means the night of Ascent. It marks the night when Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) attained a very high spiritual level and was spiritually transported to heaven. The Ascent took place on the 27th day of Rajab (seventh month of the Hijra or Muslim lunar calendar).

This festival is also known as Lailatul-Miraj, Isra Miraj, Miraj al-Nabi, Isra, Me'raj and Laylat al-Mi'raj.


History

The Ascent was not with a physical body, but was a vision of the highest level. During the Ascent, Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) met Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and some other Prophets. The purpose of the Ascent was to confirm the high status of the Prophet of Islam. It is related that even Angel Gabriel, accompanying the Holy Prophet, remarked at one stage, "I cannot go any further, but you, O Messenger of peace and friend of the Master of the worlds, continue your glorious ascent.”

Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) continued the Ascent until He reached Moksha, that is, very close to the Throne of God and attained the utmost nearness to Him. He then came down to impart spiritual Knowledge to mankind. It was in this Ascent that five daily prayers (salat) were made obligatory for Muslims.

Method of celebration

To mark the day of the Ascent (Miraj), mosques and houses are decorated during the day with colorful pennants and buntings, and during the night, with oil-lamps, candles, electric lights, etc. As evening approaches, devotees assemble in mosques and engage themselves in glorifying The Lord (Allah) and the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) through devotional hymns.

Public spiritual meetings (satsangs) are held after Isha prayer (a prayer usually said before going to bed at night) in larger mosques, where the details about the Ascent are discussed. These satsangs conclude with everyone partaking of the sweets (holy sacrament/prasad), distributed at the end.

This night is an opportunity for the devotees to engage in good/meritorious deeds, such as donating money to charity, distributing food among the poor, etc. Devotees also have an opportunity to spend the entire night in the remembrance of God.
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10-11 of August, 2007 July 02, 2007 8:42 AM

just dating...  [ send green star]
 
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