One of the most praiseworthy characteristics of the blessed month of Rajab, is the miraculous night journey which is believed to have occurred on the 27th day of the month. It is known in arabic as “Al-Isra wal Miraj” and is referenced in both the Quran and Hadith of the Messenger (SAW).
Many Islamic countries still offer a public holiday to mark the occasion, which was seen as a turning point in the Seerah of our beloved Messenger (SAW).
The night journey is understood to have been a gift to our Messenger (SAW) in what is known as the ‘Year of Sadness,’ following the death of both Abu Talib and Khadija (RA) in the same period of time. This loss was a source of grief to the Prophet (SAW) and so the miraculous night journey and ascension to the Heavens, became a comfort to him during this time.
The journey began during the night- time. The Qur’an states in Surah Al Isra:
“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.” [The Holy Qu’ran 17:1]
In the first part of the night, the Angel Jibreel (AS) came to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and then he rode on the Buraq, a heavenly creature, from Makkah (Masjid al-Haram) to Al-Aqsa Mosque in just a few seconds. There he led the Prophets before him, in prayer, cementing his place as the seal of all Prophets.
In the second part of the night, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) travelled to the seventh heaven, meeting different Prophets as he ascended. After seeing the Baitul Mamur, which is a structure built replicating the Ka’bah in the Heavens; he reached the Sidratul Muntaha – a special heavenly tree known as the Lote tree. It was here that he and the believers, were gifted the blessing of the five daily prayers which were initially ordered at fifty. Each time the Messenger prepared to meet his people with the order; Musa (AS) advised him to return and ask for less, as they would be a hardship for the Ummah. Upon hearing five, Rasulullah (SAW) was shy to ask for any more reductions and it was said by Allah (SWT) that they will be five, but the reward will be of fifty. What a blessing this is for us, if only we were to appreciate its splendour!
A wonderful way to show appreciation to Allah (SWT) for the month of Rajab and the miraculous night journey, is to increase in good deeds such as fasting, giving in sadaqah, or of course increasing in the nafl prayers.
May Allah wish you all a blessed Rajab!