What You Need To Know About Isra’ Mi’raj
I still remember in my mind when I was little how I would always celebrate Isra’ Mi’raj in school every year; which coincided with the 27th of Rajab. We all gathered in the school auditorium to listen to the teacher lecture about the history of Isra’ Mi’raj and the origin of the command to pray five times a day.
Since I now live in Saudi, I have another perspective about the events of Ascension and my question becomes: should we celebrate Isra’ Mi’raj every year? Did the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) advise us to commemorate this great event? Because during our stay in Arabia, never once did we commemorate celebrations such as the Prophet’s Birthday, Nuzulul Quran, or Isra’ Mi’raj which are major and historic events.
There are pros and cons to whether we need to celebrate it and to today, a debate exists. Those who do not agree with any celebration, whether the Prophet’s Birthday, Nuzulul Quran, or the Ascension, say that if the Prophet (SAW) never did such things during his life or after his death (by his companions), it is haraam and heresy (bid’ah). However, most of those who allow this say that it is not heretical because it does not add to or change one’s ritual worship. Such as not increasing the number raka’ah in prayer, not adding to the prayer movement, not increasing or decreasing the invocation of prayer, and so on.
The exact date of Isra’ Mi’raj is not mentioned so is it true that it occurred on 27th Rajab? Quoting from eramuslim, Ibn Ishaq al-Harbiy found Isra’ and Mi’raj occurred on the 27th of Rabi al-Akhir, a year before the Pilgrimage of the Prophet to Medina. So is it the tenth year of prophecy or afterward? According to a history of Ibn Sa’ad in his Thabaqat, these events occurred eighteen months before the Hijrah. There are many opinions about when the incident of Isra ‘Mi’raj happened, due to the difference in time of the passing of Rasullah’s (SAW) first wife, Siti Khadijah. Meanwhile, according to Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Qasim al-Zahabiy, the Ascension event occurred eighteen months after the prophetic event. And according to al-Qaradawi, there is no one authentic hadith explaining that the Isra’ Mi’raj occurred on the 27th of Rajab.
Therefore, there is no provision that Isra’ Mi’raj took place on that date and certainly Allah (SWT) deliberately did not tell His servant which can imply that Allah (SWT) did not consider the time of the event important. Surely the lessons from the events of Isra’ Mi’raj are more important than the time of its occurrence.
We explore how the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) traveled at night from the Grand Mosque of Mecca to Baitul Maqdis, Jerusalem (Isra’) and then from Jerusalem up to the highest heavens to Sidratul Muntaha (Mi’raj). How the Prophet received the command to pray 50 times reduced to 5 times with the alternating process of facing Allah (SWT) so that his people obtain relief in conducting worship through prayer. How the Prophet met with Prophet Adam (AS) in the first sky, then the Prophet Yahya (AS) and Isa (AS) in the second sky, the Prophet Joseph (AS) in the third sky, the Prophet Idris (AS) in the fourth sky, the Prophet Aaron (AS) in the fifth sky, the prophet Moses (AS) in the sixth sky, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) in the seventh sky, and the top is Sidratul Muntaha. How when the Prophet came down from the higher sky, Moses always asked the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) what Allah’s (SWT) commands were. Moses also repeatedly asked the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to re-negotiate with Allah (SWT) about how many times to offer prayers per day because Moses had a long period of hardship with his people to obey and to worship Allah (SWT). Moses (AS) indicated how difficult it would be for the Prophet Muhammad’s people to offer prayer 50 times a day, and even 10 times a day.
Then the Prophet was shown the state of heaven and hell where there were more women than men.
I looked in Paradise and I found that the majority of its people were the poor, and I looked in Hellfire and I saw that the majority of its people were women.
Source: Sahih Bukhari 3069, Grade: Sahih
This is mentioned because of the percentage of women in the world numbering more than men.
Women and men will increase and men will decrease until a single man must care for fifty women.
Source: Sahih Bukhari 81, Grade: Sahih
We should learn much more about what the message behind the supreme event is so that we become His servants who would meet Him in the Hereafter later. Aamin.