Isra’ Mikraj is celebrated yearly on the 27th day on the month of Rejab. This year, it falls on the 14th of April and the people of Brunei could not wait to celebrate. While we would know Isra’ Mikraj as a public holiday, it is actually a very important event in Islamic history. On this day, special themed Islamic lectures are often held in nearby mosques or surau. This time, we at Sutera dug deep into the history books to bring to you the story behind this day.
The Isra’ and Miraj refers to the two parts of a miraculous night journey that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ took from Mecca to Jerusalem and later, ascending up to the heavens.
“Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing”.
This verse the from the Quran briefly explained Isra’, which tells the story of Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ journey from Mecca to Jerusalem – to the Al-Aqsa mosque more specifically. According to the Hadith, it was reported that it was the Archangel Gabriel or Jibril who lead the Prophet ﷺ as he rode a Buraq, the name of the heavenly steed on which the Prophet ﷺ rode on his Isra’ Mikraj journey. On reaching Jerusalem, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ led the rest of the previous Prophets before him to a night time prayer.
According to Annas bin Malik, Jibril offered Prophet Muhammad ﷺ a choice of a vessel of wine, a vessel of water or a vessel of milk. The prophet had chosen the milk which Jibril said he had chosen it on his the Fitrah (Natural instinct).
Next was Mikraj, which was Prophet Muhammad ﷺ ascension to heaven with the Archangel Jibril. They have met and greeted different prophets at each stage of the seven heavens. First, it was Adam (AS), then Isa (AS) and Yahya (AS), Yusuf (AS), Idris (AS), Haroon (AS), Musa (AS), and lastly, Ibrahim (AS). Upon concluding his meeting with Ibrahim (AS), he moved on to meet the Almighty Allah S.A.W alone at Sidrat Al-Muntaha, a Lote tree at the end of the 7th heaven. It is said to be the boundary that no one has ever crossed except by our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
There, Allah told Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that his people must pray 50 times a day before excusing him. As Prophet Muhammad ﷺ descends back to Earth, he met Prophet Musa (AS) who suggested him to return and ask for fewer prayers. He kept returning and asked for fewer prayer times each time which was eventually reduced to 5 daily prayers. After that, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ confessed to Prophet Musa (AS) that he was too shy to ask for anything less.
That is the story of Isra’ and Mikraj, the story of how we got the second pillar of Islam which is the daily five prayers. Upon hearing the story, we must realize on the hard work and persuasion that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had done for reducing our obligation of the daily prayers. Hence, why we must always remember, and try our best to fulfill our daily Islamic obligation.