Shab e-Meraj is a holiday which is observed on the 27th day of the month of Rajab – which is the seventh month of the Islamic calendar or between April and May on the Gregorian calendar. It is the day, which is also known as Isra and Mi’raj or Al-Isra’ Wal Miraj, that marks the night that Allah took Mohammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and eventually, to heaven. It is celebrated by Muslims all over the world including the mid-east, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, The United Kingdom and the United States.
History of Shab e-Meraj
The origins of Shab e-Miraj can be traced back to the Quran. That is where the events of Istra & Mi’raj are referenced. However, it is only briefly referenced in the Quran. It isn’t discussed in greater detail until Hadith literature supplemented this writing. According to Islamic tradition, Shab-e-Miraj is the “Night of Ascent.” This is when the Prophet Mohammad is believed to have transcended his spiritual form to become close to Allah and achieve a spiritual state that we humans could never fully understand. While the exact year of Muhammad’s journey is unknown, it is believed to have taken place on February 26th of 621 on the Julian calendar.
This ascent, which took place on the 27th day of Rajab, confirmed the status of the Prophet in heaven – a status which cannot be attained by mere mortal men or women. It is a stage of heaven where not even the angels or allowed to tread, as confirmed by Gabriel the Angel remarking that he cannot go with the Prophet on his glorious ascent. It is believed that he continued his journey all the way to the “Throne of Allah.” There, he drank from the fountain of knowledge and would later come back to earth to impart some of this knowledge on his followers.
Shab e-Meraj Customs & Traditions
The traditions & customs of Shab e-Miraj varies from one Islamic community to the next. Some people spend the day visiting the mosque or reading the story of Isra and Mi’raj at home. Some people choose to celebrate the occasion by decorating their houses with candles and electric lights and serve food. Elders may spend the day with their children and grandchildren to explain Mohammad’s life story to them.