City of Brass

City of Brass

Laylatul Me’raj – The Night of Ascent

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the holy month of Rajab al Asab in the Islamic calendar,a month that holds a great deal of meaning for muslims. In particular, the 27th of Rajab is significant because this is when, according to muslim lore, the Prophet Mohammed SAW ascended to Heaven for one night – Laylatul Me’raj:

On the 27th night of Rajab, Allah bestowed upon His servant, Mohammed Rasulullah (SAW), the sharaf of isra and me’raj. Isra is the name of the night journey from Masjid al-Haraam (Kaaba) to Masjid al-Aqsa, in Jerusalem. There, 124,000 anbiyya (prophets) awaited his presence and he led these, the best of creation in prayers to the Creator of the Worlds.

Then, the Prophet ascended to the heavens, a journey that is called me’raj, and witnessed what there was in each heaven, including a firishta in the form of Amirul Mumineen, Ali (SA). Jibrail, his companion, was asked to halt at Sidratan Muntaha, beyond the 7th Heaven, whilst Rasulullah went further still to be in the presence of Allah. It is said metaphorically, that Rasulullah was made so close to Allah that it was as if he was within the pupil of Allah’s eyes.

Rasulullah descended to Masjid al-Aqsa again, having seen what was beyond the experience of ordinary mortals and returned with many gifts, one of which was the number of prayers believers would recite per day.

The story about the number of prayers that believers recite is a fun one – in a nutshell, Mohammed SAW was instructed to tell the muslims there would be 50 prayers a day. The Prophet Moses met Mohammed afterwards, and strongly advised him to intercede with Allah to reduce that number as it was too high. Mohammed SAW went back to Allah and got it reduced by 5. Moses told him this wasn’t acceptable, that the believers were not going to sit around all day and pray 45 times. Mohammed SAW dutifully went back and got the number reduced by 5 more, and Moses again objected. This went on until there were only 5 prayers left, at which point oses still urged Mohammed SAW to reduce the number. Mohammed refused out of some embarrassment at having asked so many times, so 5 it remained. Thank you , Moses. I mean it. THANK YOU.

Here is a photo of the interior of the Dome of the Rock, in Jerusalem from where the Prophet alighted:


(click for larger version)

Original article The fazilat of Rajab al-Asab reprinted with permission from Archive, under Creative Commons License.

  • Hanfi

    Masjid alAqsa and Dome of the Rock are two different mosques. Aren’t they?

  • Taha Raja

    Masjid Al-Aqsa is the grand masjid that sits atop the wailing wall in Jerusalem. Dome of the Rock which is the famous Jersualem landmark with the golden dome is Masjid-Al-Saqara – shown in the picture above in the post.
    Al-Aqsa has a green/gray dome barely seen in famous pictures.

  • Ustad Saleem

    @Hanfi: At the time of Me’raaj, the Dome of the Rock Masjid (Qubbatus Sakhra) did not exist, only the rock, below which is a cavern.
    Masjid Al Aqsa was constructed by Sayyidina Sulaymaan alayhis salaam, and was the original qiblah. After migration to Madeenah Munawwarah, Nabee sallallahu alaihi wasallam wastold to change direction and face the Ka’bah in Makkah. In Madeenah there is a masjid known as Masjide Qiblatain (Masjid of two Qiblah) which has two mehraab (Imam’s niche).
    Apologies if you already knew all this.

Previous Posts

Video: (muslim) Mehdi Hasan interviews (atheist) Richard Dawkins at the Oxford Union
This is an excellent debate between the most emphatic atheist of our time, Richard Dawkins, and political journalist Mehdi Hasan. Hasan is brilliantly prepared for the debate and treats Dawkins with utmost respect, but methodically defends belief and religion as a force for good.

posted 11:46:28am Apr. 08, 2014 | read full post »

Two Bohras come to aid of Frenchwoman attacked in Mumbai
In the past two months I've traveled to India three times, to attend the funeral and other events after the passing of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (ra). This quite shocking story happened in the Fort area of Mumbai, which is quite close to where I spent much of my time and is considered one of the b

posted 6:20:59pm Mar. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Amidst the grief, solace in the succession of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin
This is a guest post by Durriya Badani The forty day period of mourning has now elapsed, but the profound sadness at the loss of the beloved head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a spiritual mo

posted 9:48:33am Mar. 16, 2014 | read full post »

NYPD's illegal spying on Muslims was legal, says legal system
This is profoundly disappointing but not entirely unexpected: In a decision filed Thursday in federal court in Newark, U.S. District Judge William Martini dismisse

posted 12:44:10pm Feb. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Valentine's Day and Islam - the virtues of mohabbat (love)
Happy Valentine's Day! I am biased towards appreciating Valentine's Day not just for it's Gujarati origins but also because it's my birthday. However, not all Muslims share my appreciation. Here's a typical example: In its official Friday sermon text distributed to mosques in the Muslim-major

posted 6:04:27am Feb. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.