Muslims in South Africa will observe Lailatul Mi’raj on Wednesday evening, which means we are just a month away from the sacred month of Ramadan. Lailatul Mi’raj is generally observed on the 27th day in Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar. VOC will broadcast live from the Hidayatul Islam mosque in Kensington after Maghrib.
Also known as the Isra’, Mi’raj marks the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) night-time journey from Makkah to al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from where he ascended into heaven. The Night Journey carries great significance as the Prophet experienced several miracles along the way.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) after being prepared for his meeting with Allah by angels Jibreel and Mika-eel, travelled on a winged steed called “Buraq” first to al-Aqsa Mosque — where he led other prophets in prayer. He then went to heaven and later to the Sidraṫ al-Munṫaha, the boundary marking the end of the seventh heaven, where he met and conversed with Allah (swt).
He was then instructed by Allah (swt) that Muslims must perform salah several times a day. He was initially told they must pray 50 times a day but after asking for this to be reduced, it eventually ended up at the five daily prayers, which is the pillar of Islam.
The Prophet (pbuh) returned from Lailatul-Mi’raj with three gifts to his ummah — one of them is five daily prayers, which he described as “the light of my eye.”
Another gift is the last two verses of Surah al-Baqarah. The last gift of al-Mi’raj is the herald that sins of the ones among the Ummah of Muhammad (saw) shall be forgiven if they do not associate any partners to Allah and will finally be rewarded with Jannah.
Mir’aj comes a month before Ramadan so it is part of greater awareness and preparation for that upcoming month of daily fasting.
Muslims in South Africa will observe Mi’raj by offering prayers during this night while other countries, they commemorate the night by lighting up cities with candles and electric lights. Believers congregate into mosques and perform supplication and prayer. Others also decide to honour this day by passing down their knowledge about ‘the journey’ explaining how Jibareel purified the Nabi’s (pbuh) heart in preparation for his spiritual journey to the seventh heaven. After the spiritual, physical and mental worship, they are served with foods and treats.