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Lailat al Miraj: The Prophet’s Night Journey

29 June 2011 Huffington Post 11 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Muslim worshippers walk in front of the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem during celebrations marking the Muslim holiday 'Israa and Miraj', the day on which, according to tradition, the prophet Mohammed left Mecca for Jerusalem, from where he ascended to heaven, on July 30, 2008. AFP PHOTO/AHED IZHIMAN (Photo credit should read AHED IZHIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Lailat al Miraj is a Muslim holiday that commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey from Mecca to the ‘Farthest Mosque’ in Jerusalem where he ascended to heaven, was purified, and given the instruction for Muslims to pray five times daily.

On the Islamic calendar, Lailat al Miraj (also known as Isra and Mi’raj, Al Isra’wal Miraj or Laylat al Miraj) is generally observed on the 27th day of the month of Rajab. Lailat al Miraj 2011 falls on June 29, although the observance begins at sundown on June 28.

The story of Lailat al Miraj consists of two major parts. The first part of the story begins with the Prophet Muhammad at the Kabaa in Mecca. He is visited by two archangels who provide him with a mythical winged steed called Buraq. Buraq carries the Prophet to the ‘Farthest Mosque,’ believed by Muslims to be the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, where Muhammad joins past prophets in prayer.

The Prophet then ascends to heaven where he is told by God of the duty for Muslims to pray five times daily (Salat). This second part of the journey is commonly referred to as the Miraj, an Arabic word meaning “ladder.”

The events of Lailat al Miraj are described briefly in chapter 17 of the Quran, which is named “Sura Al-Isra” after the Prophet’s ascension to heaven. Many of the details of the story are filled in byhadith, supplemental writings about the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

Today Lailat al Miraj is observed by Muslims as one of the most important events in the history of Islam. Muslims may attend special prayer services at a mosque, or they may commemorate the holiday privately at home by telling the story to children or reciting special nighttime prayers.

Original post: Lailat al Miraj: The Prophet’s Night Journey


  1. so do modern muslims actually believe this?

  2. Well, modern Christians tend to believe the “walking on water,” “turning water into wine,” and “cursing the fig tree” stories, so…

  3. i know, christians are scary, my mother included. so is that a yes? couldn’t they come up with something original. they had to resurrect pegasus? it’s lightning outside, keep your head down i think zeus is pissed. and the hindus appearently believe in a 30 headed god. well if a horse can have wings and fly, why can’t a god have 30 heads? is heaven really above us? isn’t it another dimenson? so how do we know that the angel muhammad spoke with wasn’t a jinn? are ya’ll sure that joseph smith wasn’t the one true prophet? he spoke to an angel who delivered the book of mormon. gold tablets too. why is god obsessed with gold?

    [18.31] These it is for whom are gardens of perpetuity beneath which rivers flow, ornaments shall be given to them therein of bracelets of gold, and they shall wear green robes of fine silk and thick silk brocade interwoven with gold, reclining therein on raised couches; excellent the recompense and goodly the resting place.

    [22.23] Surely Allah will make those who believe and do good deeds enter gardens beneath which rivers flow; they shall be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and (with) pearls, and their garments therein shall be of silk.

  4. The story isn’t quite what the article portrays. While still in Mecca and facing persecution, Muhammed experienced a terrible year. His wife of 20 years died, his uncle who offered him protection died, his tribe were starving and boycotted, and he hadn’t received any revelation for months. It was at this time that he was awoken in the middle of the night led to “Buraq”.

    Artists embellish with their imaginations, but the word just means “lightning”, and it took him to “The farthest mosque”, the temple of solomon, to worship with the other Prophets. That’s the significance of that spot, that it was where prophets before him had taught monotheism and prayed.

    And from there, to Heaven, to assure him that he was not abandoned, and to show him what he had been preaching about.

    When he returned, it is said the gate that he had let swing shut had not yet swung shut. So it apparently took place in a few moments.

    There is no reason for a believer in God and miracles to lose faith in a story about a spiritual journey.

  5. Immediately following this event, Surah ad-duha was revealed, assuring him that he had not been abandoned, that what is coming is better than what came before.

    Soon after a delegation from Medinah came, asking him to be their arbiter and essentially become their leader. The community moved to a safer place, established the firs Muslim city, and from there came everything else.

  6. to sir quaranic “sholar” mike?
    “how do we khow that the angel muhammad spoke with wasn’t djinn”
    you must be delusional or blinded by the darkness of islamphobia.Do you ever think before you type anything, because i don’t think you do.Ask your very narrow mind ,frist how come a man like MUHAMMAD who prostraded
    himself with so mutch humility in prayer(salat)five time a day everyday intil he died, and educated his followers to do so intil the end can speak to a devil(djinn).second wich other men in history do we now of that incorporated to his follower to be God(Allah)conscience at all moment of the day(24HRS),I mean you must know that muslims always say BISMILLAH(in the name of God),ALHAMDULLILA(praise be to God)ect…….
    So ask your self before you type or speak,how come a men like muhammad who had prayed 5time,fast30day,payd charity, kept on his tongue and conscience Allah(God)24hrs can speak to a rejected source like the(djinn).
    Perhaps your the one who invited (djinn)into your heart by spewing such nonsence, it is official for you mike the disease of islamaphobia has overtaken you.But why dont’you use the quran you always quoting from a little bit of wisdom and sagess, it can heal you from the disease of hate

  7. my comment is for brother mike.. do modern day muslims believe … in Quran or what. You cannot be half pregnant in Islam. Either you believe that it is true or false and thats what the Quran challenges non-believers to do … find mistakes.

    remenber it is the final book revealed by Allah for guidance of all human beings with a promise that the contents in the book would be protected by Allah & hence even after 1400 years the book is still intact and shall be till the end of the world.

    dont you see this as a sign fom the Almighty??

    Quran was revealed to the Prophet(PBUH) over a period of 20 years and the prophet could not even read or write..another sign that the Quran is indeed Allah’s word.

    We also believe in the fact that Jesus (PBUH) was one of the prophet of Allah and was born miraculously i.e. without any male intervention.

    Please read Quran to see how Allah has revealed many scientific, embryological, geological facts which are only established today. How could any man speak/know all this unless it was from the Almighty?

  8. mike
    u should talk about a religion that u have very little knowledge of
    so it is best that u keep ur thoughts nd opinions to urself

  9. we need to respect all religions as we are a world with many different believers…..

    some shall follow ,some shall go astray…it says that in the quran

    allah is the greatest (god is the greatest)

    there are many words used in the bible and tohra and allah speaks about these books he has revealed in the quraan and thus he has sent the last book THE QURAN…. agen i will narate some shall follow some shall go astray…islam is nt a religion its a way of life.

    May Allah guide all of us..

  10. Mike, we as muslims believe in what has happened in the past because if it was not for the past and for our prophet Muhammed (saw) than we would not be here today and if it was not for our Muhammed than we would not be heaven while you burn in the fires of hell on the day of judgement! Learn to respect other peoples religions your very own bible teaches you to do unto others as you have done unto yourself, so if you want respect than surely u would have to give it, if you question our and doubt our religion phase those questions and statements in a polite manor! And before you go around making ridiculos statements because you simply assumeeit was a horse that took thr prophet on his journey please make use of google to gain a few facts or better yet read a book since more likely to give you proper facts

  11. My question is this. Why can’t the world just respect each others beliefs and talk intelligently without feeling threatened if they ask a question? I believe that everyone, throughout the world has a RIGHT to speak and have the FREEDOM of religious choice and everyone needs to respect eachothers beliefs. EVEN if they don’t agree with the other persons faith. We can still discuss things as human beings I am sure this is what Allah would expect and want or God as in my faith it is also Jesus.

    So lets just keep it kind and Godly….that would be refreshing for a change on this earth, now wouldn’t it?

    My question is does djinn mean Satan? IF so I HATE YOU DJINN!!! Satan has done so many distructive things in so many people’s lives….GOD should of just cast him to HELL with NO PRIVELEGES on this earth or with Man at all!! Amen…

    God Bless everyone!

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