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Shab e Miraj: The Miraculous journey of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Shab e Miraj: The Miraculous journey of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)


Shab e Miraj or Lailat al Miraj celebrates the night when the Prophet (PBUH) ascended to the Heavens.


Shab e Miraj literally translates to the Night of Ascent. It refers to the incident of Isra and Mairaj when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was taken to the Heavens from the Masjid Al Haram in Mecca.


“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.” (Surah Isra: 1)

Shab e Miraj or the Night of Journey carries great significance in Islam. It was the night when the Prophet (PBUH) was carried to the Heavens and experienced several miracles along the way.


The night started off with Angel Jibrael appearing before the Prophet (PBUH). One night as the Muhammad (PBUH) was asleep in the Kabah, Angel Jibrael appeared and cleaned his heart and stomach out with Zam Zam. Subsequently he took Muhammad (PBUH) from the Masjid al Haram in Makkah to the Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem. The mode of transportation used for this commute in the middle of the night was Burraq, a white mule like animal. On reaching Masjid al Aqsa, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) realized that all the other Prophets, who came before him, were already present there. Over here Muhammad (PBUH) led all of the Prophets in prayer.


Subsequently, Angel Jibrael took him to the Heavens. On each level, he met Prophets and greeted them. On the top most level, he came across Prophet Ibrahim (AS) who was leaning against a Lote Tree.
Learn about Shab e Meraj in Quran.


“While he was in the higher [part of the] horizon. Then he approached and descended. And was at a distance of two bow lengths or nearer. And he revealed to His Servant what he revealed. The heart did not lie [about] what it saw. So will you dispute with him over what he saw? And he certainly saw him in another descent. At the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary - Near it is the Garden of Refuge - When there covered the Lote Tree that which covered [it]. The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit]. He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.” (Surah Najm: 7-18)

The Lote Tree refers to Sidrat al-Muntaha which is a lote tree in Jannah that marks the end of the seventh heaven. No being can cross this point. Muhammad (PBUH) was the only one allowed. Even Angel Jibrael did not accompany him past this point.


Allah (SWT) revealed to Muhammad (PBUH) that all Muslims were to pray 50 times a day. As Muhammad (PBUH) was going back, Musa (AS) told him that 50 prayers were too many so Muhammad (PBUH) requested Allah (SWT) to reduce the number of prayers. Allah (SWT) reduced the mandatory prayers to 45 but Musa (AS) still thought they were too many so eventually on Muhammad’s (PBUH) request, Allah (SWT) reduced the number of prayers to 5.


It was during this Ascent that the 5 daily prayers were made obligatory on all Muslims.


When Muhammad (PBUH) returned from the Miraj and told the whole incident to the people, a lot of them mocked him saying that he was lying. So he described the Masjid al Aqsa to the people, his story was corroborated by that of the travelers who had been to the city of Jerusalem. Thus proving that Muhammad (PBUH) was speaking the truth, as always.


Although this journey has religious significance in Islam, the Prophet PBUH never celebrated it nor did he ever instruct his Ummah to celebrate it.


To Learn More About this Miraculous Journey, read our article on Shab e Mairaj.



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