How Do Muslims in United States Observe Isra and Mi’raj?
Many Muslims in the United States observe Isra and Mi’raj (Al Isra’ wal Miraj, Lailat al Mi’raj, or Laylat al Miraj). This event commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascent into heaven. It is observed on the 27th day of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar.
Customs and traditions that center on Isra and Mi’raj vary in the United States. Many Muslims make special prayers in the evening. Some people attend prayer services and sermons at Islamic centers or mosques while others observe Isra and Mi’raj quietly at home. Some Muslims celebrate the event over two days.
Conferences about Isra and Mi’raj were held in some parts of the United States in recent times. It has also been reported (in various media) that thousands Muslims in California, Wisconsin and other states celebrate this observance each year. This event gives people the chance to reflect on the importance of prayer. It is a time for people, particularly students, to learn more about Isra and Mi’raj, what it means in Islamic faith, and how it is applied in practice.
Isra and Mi’raj is a two-fold event that commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascent into heaven, according to Islamic belief. One night during the 10th year of Muhammad’s prophecy, the angel Gabriel woke him and traveled with him to Jerusalem. Muhammad prayed at the site of the Temple of Solomon with the prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others.
The Prophet Muhammad then rose to heaven (carried by Gabriel) from the rock of the temple mount, where many people believe that the Dome of the Rock sanctuary now stands. Allah instructed Muhammad about the five daily prayers that all Muslims must observe. This day is also known as the Night Journey.