By Ethan Clawson
Within Islam, Isra and Mi ‘raj, celebrated on the 27th day of the 7th month of the Muslim calendar, refers to a miraculous nighttime journey taken by the Prophet Muhammad. The First part of the journey was from Mecca to Jerusalem and then from Jerusalem to the heavens. This journey was believed to not only be a physical journey but also a spiritual journey.
Adherents to the Muslim faith agree that Muhammed’s journey was truly a miracle, because to travel by normal methods between Mecca and Jerusalem, it would take more than a month, not the single night of Isra and Mi ‘raj. Although there are different accounts of what occurred during the Mi ‘raj, most Islamic narratives have the same elements. Allah ascended the Prophet Muhammad from the Dome of the Rock through the skies or heaven, with the Angel Jibreel or Gabriel. Muhammad not only saw many miraculous sights and numerous angels, but he also met a different prophet at each of the seven levels of heaven. First Adam, then John the Baptist and Jesus, then Joseph, then Idris, then Aaron, then Moses, and lastly Abraham. While in the heavens Muhammad talks to Allah and is told that his people must pray 50 times a day, but as Muhammad descends back to Earth, he meets Moses who tells Muhammad to go back to Allah and ask for fewer prayers because 50 is too many. Muhammad goes between Moses and Allah nine times until the prayers are reduced to the five daily prayers, which Allah will reward tenfold. To this day nobody really knows what happened that night, we only know as much as we have been told by Muhammad. Nobody could prove he really went to heaven and talked to all the great people of the past, present, and future. It was a miracle that he was able to go so far in one night which would take anyone of us a month to complete. Everyone celebrates Isra and Mi ‘raj differently, some Muslims gather at their local mosque for prayers, while others celebrate at home by telling the story of Muhammad’s journey to children and reciting prayers at night. After prayers, food is served.
There are no pictures of the prophet Muhammad, only this symbol; Khatim symbol (Black Star) is known as the seal of the Prophet Muhammad. The term is interpreted to affirm the status of the Prophet Muhammad as the last real prophet of Islam and that there will be no other true prophet after him.