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Shab e Miraj - All You Need to Know

Shab-e-Miraj, also known as Isra and Miraj, is an important event in Islamic history that commemorates the miraculous night journey undertaken by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This celestial voyage, as described in Islamic tradition, holds immense significance in the spiritual realm of Islam. Here’s a comprehensive guide to Shab-e-Miraj:

What is Shab-e-Miraj?

Shab-e-Miraj, a revered event in Islamic tradition, commemorates the miraculous journey undertaken by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It symbolizes a spiritual voyage from Makkah to Jerusalem and ascension through the heavens. This extraordinary night journey holds immense significance in the hearts of Muslims globally.

When does Shab-e-Miraj occur?

Shab-e-Miraj is observed on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab, according to the Islamic lunar calendar. This auspicious night marks the date when Prophet Muhammad embarked on his celestial expedition.

What is meant by Al-Isra & Al-Miraj?

Al-Isra – Night Journey to Jerusalem:

The first part of Shab-e-Miraj, Al-Isra, signifies Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous night journey from the Kaaba in Makkah to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Riding the celestial steed Buraq, the Prophet traversed this distance accompanied by the angel Gabriel.

Al-Miraj – Ascension to the Heavens:

Al-Miraj represents the ascent of Prophet Muhammad through the heavens after he arrived in Jerusalem. Passing through the realms of the celestial spheres, the Prophet encountered various celestial beings and met with previous prophets, culminating in his audience with Allah.

Events that occurred on the night of Shab e Miraj

The night of Shab-e-Miraj (the Night of Ascension) is a momentous event in Islamic tradition, encompassing various significant occurrences that unfolded during Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous journey. Here are the key events of that divine night:

Al-Isra – The Night Journey to Jerusalem:

  • The Journey Begins: Prophet Muhammad embarked on a miraculous journey from the Kaaba in Makkah to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on the celestial steed, Buraq.
  • Prayer with Prophets: Upon arrival at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Prophet Muhammad led a congregation of previous prophets in prayer, symbolizing unity in prophethood.

Al-Miraj – The Ascension to the Heavens:

  • Ascension Through the Celestial Spheres: The Prophet commenced his celestial ascent, guided by the archangel Gabriel, traversing through the heavens.
  • Encounters with Prophets: Along the journey, Prophet Muhammad encountered various prophets, including Adam, Moses, Jesus, and others, exchanging greetings and affirming his prophetic mission.
  • The Lote Tree and the Utmost Boundary: The Prophet reached a point called the Lote Tree (Sidrat al-Muntaha), beyond which only he proceeded, symbolizing the limit of human understanding and the closeness to Allah.
  • Direct Meeting with Allah: The pinnacle of the journey culminated in a direct audience between Prophet Muhammad and Allah, where essential messages and revelations were imparted to him.
  • The Prescription of Salah (Prayer): During this celestial encounter, the obligation of the five daily prayers (Salah) was ordained upon Muslims, signifying their importance as a fundamental pillar of Islam.

Return to Earth:

  • Completion of the Journey: After the celestial encounters and receiving divine revelations, Prophet Muhammad returned from the heavens to Al-Aqsa Mosque and then to Makkah.

Prophet’s Ascension to Heavens on Shab-e-Miraj

In Isra and Miraj, Jibrael was given the gift of prophecy and the ability to take someone else to the heavens. Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) stopped by the seven layers of heaven. 

  1. He met Harat Adam in the first heaven. 
  2. He met Hazrat Isa (A.S) and Hazrat Yahya (A.S) in the second heaven. 
  3. He met Hazrat Yusuf (A.S) in the third heaven. 
  4. He met Hazrat Idris (A.S) in the fourth heaven. 
  5. He met Hazrat Haroon (A.S) in the fifth heaven. 
  6. He met Hazrat Musa (A.S) in the sixth heaven.
  7. He met with Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) on the seventh Heaven.

Gifts of Shab e Miraj

Shab-e-Miraj, the Night of Ascension, brought several significant gifts and blessings to the Islamic community. Among the notable gifts bestowed upon Prophet Muhammad during this miraculous journey were:

1. The Gift of Salah (Prayer):

One of the most significant gifts of Shab-e-Miraj was the prescription of the five daily prayers (Salah) as an obligatory act of worship for Muslims. Allah ordained the method and times for performing these prayers, emphasizing their centrality in Islam.

2. Divine Revelations and Guidance:

During the celestial encounter with Allah, Prophet Muhammad received divine revelations and guidance that enriched the Islamic teachings. These revelations became an integral part of the Quran, providing guidance for the Muslim community.

3. Confirmation of Prophethood:

Shab-e-Miraj served as a confirmation of Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood and his esteemed position as the final messenger of Allah. The miraculous journey affirmed his unique and honored status among all prophets.

4. Spiritual Enlightenment and Blessings:

The night of Shab-e-Miraj brought spiritual enlightenment and blessings to Prophet Muhammad and, by extension, to the entire Muslim community. It symbolized a celestial connection between the earthly realm and the divine presence.

5. Establishment of Prayer as a Pillar of Islam:

The obligation of the five daily prayers was established as one of the Five Pillars of Islam during Shab-e-Miraj. These prayers became an integral part of a Muslim’s daily life, fostering spiritual growth and connection with Allah.

6. Validation of Prophet Muhammad’s Mission:

The miraculous journey validated Prophet Muhammad’s mission and provided divine authentication of his role as the final messenger sent by Allah to guide humanity.

The gifts of Shab-e-Miraj hold immense spiritual and practical significance for Muslims, emphasizing the importance of prayer, guidance, and the confirmation of Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood as foundational aspects of Islamic faith and practice.

Jannah and Jahannum

During this journey of Miraj, the Prophet (SAW) was also taken to Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannum (Hell) by Angel Jibrail (AS). During this visit, the Prophet (SAW) saw the blessing that the residents of paradise would receive and saw the tortures and torments inflicted on the people who would enter hell. 

Back to Makkah

Finally, the Prophet (saw) was brought back down to the Jerusalem Masjid Al-Aqsa and returned to Makah on the Buraq.

As he was transported home, he saw different caravans leading towards Makah, which He would later describe to the Quraish as proof that he had made this miraculous journey. Allah even stated Bait al-Maqdis to the Prophet (SAW), while the Quraish were cross-examining him in the Hijr of the Kaaba [Bukhari]. The entire journey had taken place in a small portion of a night, and many would imitate the Prophet (SAW) for making such a claim.

Significance of Shab-e-Miraj

The significance of Shab-e-Miraj, the Night of Ascension, in Islam, is profound, representing various aspects of spiritual, religious, and divine importance. Here’s an elaboration on its significance:

  1. Prophetic Confirmation:
    • Shab-e-Miraj serves as a pivotal event confirming Prophet Muhammad’s status as the final messenger of Allah.
    • Validates his prophetic mission and unique connection with the divine.
  2. Spiritual Ascension:
    • Marks Prophet Muhammad’s celestial journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and his ascension through the heavens.
    • Illustrates the connection between the earthly realm and the celestial world, emphasizing the transcendental nature of the Prophet’s mission.
  3. Gift of Salah (Prayer):
    • The night of Shab-e-Miraj brought the obligation of the five daily prayers (Salah) as an essential pillar of Islamic worship.
    • Prayer became a means for Muslims to connect with Allah and strengthen their faith.
  4. Divine Revelation and Guidance:
    • Prophet Muhammad received divine revelations and guidance from Allah during this miraculous journey.
    • These revelations became an integral part of the Quran, providing spiritual and moral guidance for Muslims.
  5. Unity of Prophethood:
    • Symbolizes the unity of prophethood by Prophet Muhammad leading a congregation of previous prophets in prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
    • Emphasizes the common message of monotheism shared by all prophets throughout history.
  6. Spiritual Enlightenment and Blessings:
    • Offers spiritual enlightenment and blessings, fostering a deeper connection between believers and Allah.
    • Encourages reflection, gratitude, and increased devotion among Muslims.
  7. Encouragement for Devotion and Connection:
    • Inspires believers to strengthen their devotion, increase their spirituality, and establish a closer relationship with Allah through prayer and remembrance.

Shab-e-Miraj remains a significant event in Islamic history, symbolizing the spiritual journey of Prophet Muhammad, the divine revelations received, and the establishment of prayer as a fundamental aspect of Islamic faith and practice. It serves as a source of inspiration, fostering increased spirituality, and devotion among Muslims worldwide.

What should Muslims do on Shab-e-Miraj?

On Shab-e-Miraj, Muslims engage in various acts of devotion, remembrance, and reflection to commemorate this auspicious night. Here’s what Muslims often do:

  1. Special Prayers (Salat al-Miraj):
    • Many Muslims perform special prayers called Salat al-Miraj, which involves extra voluntary prayers during the night. These prayers signify devotion and gratitude for the blessings of Shab-e-Miraj.
  2. Recitation of the Quran:
    • Muslims often engage in the recitation of the Quran, particularly chapters or verses related to Prophet Muhammad’s journey and divine encounters.
  3. Offering Supplications and Duas:
    • It’s a time for believers to engage in heartfelt supplications (duas), seeking forgiveness, blessings, and guidance from Allah. Muslims offer prayers for themselves, their families, and the entire Muslim community.
  4. Reflection and Spiritual Contemplation:
    • Shab-e-Miraj is an opportunity for introspection and reflection on the miraculous journey of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims contemplate the significance of this event in their lives, seeking spiritual enlightenment and growth.
  5. Attending Religious Gatherings and Lectures:
    • Many mosques and Islamic centers organize gatherings, lectures, and discussions focused on the significance of Shab-e-Miraj. Religious scholars often deliver sermons, providing insights into the spiritual and historical aspects of the event.
  6. Charitable Acts and Good Deeds:
    • It’s a time for increased acts of charity and kindness. Muslims engage in giving to the needy, feeding the hungry, and performing other charitable deeds, embodying the spirit of compassion and generosity.
  7. Seeking Forgiveness and Repentance:
    • Shab-e-Miraj is an occasion for seeking forgiveness for past mistakes and repentance. Muslims strive to purify their hearts and seek Allah’s mercy and forgiveness.
  8. Staying Awake in Worship and Devotion:
    • Some devotees spend the night awake in prayer and remembrance of Allah, seeking to gain spiritual blessings and closeness to the divine.

Overall, Shab-e-Miraj is a night for increased devotion, prayer, remembrance of Allah, seeking forgiveness, and reflecting on the spiritual significance of Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous journey. Muslims seek to draw closer to Allah and benefit from the blessings and opportunities this auspicious night offers.

Conclusion

One of the most important events in the lives of Muslims across the world is the festival of Shab-e-Meraj.

Shab-e-Miraj remains a spiritually significant event in Islam, symbolizing Prophet Muhammad’s celestial journey, the conferment of divine blessings, and the establishment of key aspects of Islamic practice, particularly the importance of prayer and spiritual reflection.

We may celebrate this great event by offering our prayers and doing good deeds. We should also ask Allah to help the needy and we should continue to do good deeds.

FAQs

1. Why is Shab-e-Miraj significant in Islam?

Shab-e-Miraj signifies Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and his subsequent ascension through the heavens. It reaffirms his status as the final messenger and establishes the obligation of daily prayers.

2. Are there specific prayers or rituals recommended on Shab-e-Miraj?

While there are no obligatory rituals, Muslims often perform extra prayers (Salat al-Miraj), engage in Quran recitation, offer supplications, and attend religious gatherings to commemorate the night.

3. What was the spiritual purpose of Prophet Muhammad’s journey during Shab-e-Miraj?

The journey held multiple spiritual purposes, including the validation of Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood, the conferment of divine blessings, and receiving guidance and revelations from Allah.

4. What significance does Shab-e-Miraj hold for Muslims in their daily lives?

Shab-e-Miraj emphasizes the importance of prayer (Salah) in the lives of Muslims, strengthening their faith, fostering spiritual reflection, and encouraging increased devotion and gratitude towards Allah.

5. Are there any specific teachings or lessons derived from Shab-e-Miraj?

The night underscores the unity of prophethood, the interconnectedness of divine messages, and the importance of spiritual growth, reflection, and seeking closeness to Allah through prayer and supplication.

6. How is Shab-e-Miraj celebrated or observed by Muslims worldwide?

Observances include attending mosques for special prayers and gatherings, engaging in acts of charity and kindness, reciting the Quran, offering supplications, and reflecting on the spiritual significance of the event.

7. Is Shab-e-Miraj a public holiday in Islamic countries?

While it’s not a universally recognized public holiday, in some predominantly Muslim countries, there might be special events, lectures, or shortened work hours as a mark of its significance.

8. Is there a specific way to observe Shab-e-Miraj at home?

Muslims can observe the night with additional prayers, recitation of the Quran, offering supplications, seeking forgiveness, engaging in acts of charity, and spending time in spiritual reflection and remembrance of Allah.

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