"No holiday ahh..?"
Some were wondering whether Israk Mikraj that falls on this Monday is a public holiday. No, it's not. Well, not in the state of Penang anyway. [By the way, why are people so concerned about a holiday each time a Muslim 'festival' falls on a working day? It's not as if you'd attend religious functions at the mosque from dawn till dusk, right]
When I was a schoolgirl, I didn't bother to know what all these Muslim festivals are. I was just happy to know that I wouldn't have to go to school for a few days a year, hehehe. Besides, how was I to know what they're actually for? Nobody bothered to explain to me, and I suppose even my Muslim friends weren't able to explain well.
However, as a Muslim now, I took time to really learn the significance and the history behind the festivals. If I were to ask a Muslim on the street what Israk and Mikraj means, would they be able to answer correctly?
Unlike Aidilfitri and Hajj, not many information is readily available about Israk Mikraj. The nonMuslims will tell you that Aidilfitri is celebrated after a month of fasting, and Hajj is performed by all Muslims who can afford. "They slaughter the cows as sacrifice," they might even add, as the media would show.
What about Israk & Mikraj? Ask a non-Muslim and they might tell you that they do not know. Isn't it sad, when this special event is so important for Muslims?
Israk & Mikraj is not a tall story; Muslims believe it to be true.
Israk is when Prophet Muhammad [(pbuh) was first taken from Masjidil Haram to Masjid Aqsa. Mikraj was when he was taken up to heaven to meet the Creator, Allah swt. Revelations were given to him about the future, and he saw the conditions in hell. He met the other prophets. And he returned to Makkah. The event happened in one night.
And it's revealed in the al-Quran
"Glory to Allah Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque(Masjid al-Aqsa) whose precincts We did bless- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs; for He is the One Who hears and sees all things."
[surah al Isra' 17:1]
and surah an-Najm chapter 13:13-18
What is the significance of Israk Mikraj?
1. Muslims are instructed to pray 5 times a day. Prophet Muhammad saw received this command directly from Allah swt, unlike the command to fast and pay zakat which was revealed through Jibril.
And alhamdulillah we should be thankful that it's only 5 times a day, and not 50 times a day. In His Mercy, Allah swt agreed to reduce the number of prayers we mortals have to perform from 50 to 5. 5 times of solat a day is equal to the pahala of 50 times of solat, and yet many are reluctant to perform that five.. to0 bad, isn't it?
And why is the command for solat given directly from Allah swt?
Solat is a special communion between we Muslims and Allah swt, and He wishes it to be known so. Which is why we would be asked about our solat first before everything else.
Solat too, is a way of communication between us and Allah swt. Just as prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who was consoled through Israk & Mikraj, so would we when we continue to communicate with Him through solat and other ibadah.
2. To have faith in the words and revelations of prophet Muhammad(pbuh).
How many would believe that prophet Muhammad (pbuh) actually travelled to heaven and back in one night? Would you, if you had lived during his time? The unbelievers called him a sorcerer, when they realized that the events he had witnessed had proved to be true. Yet, Abu Bakar al-siddiq believed in him, and so did all the Muslims in Makkah.
We? As Muslims, we believe in Israk & Mikraj, and just because we did not witness it, that doesn't mean that it didn't happen. That's why prophet Muhammad (pbuh) called Muslims after his generation as ikhwan [brothers], because we believe in him and his words although we have never met him or hear those words from his mouth.
3. Strive to be good Muslim and Muslimah. Muslimah during prophet's time were brave and faithful to Islam. They didn't hesitate to live as instructed by Allah and His prophet. We Muslimah today? Is our faith as strong as Masyitah's, Asiah's or Aisyah's?
4. Always refer to 2 sources as our daily guide. Guard our hearts, lips and hands. Remember that most hell dwellers are women, due to carelessness and ill-feelings. And yes brothers... do not think that you're safe because every man is responsible to educate and lead his wife(s), and children to be good Muslim. And yes, you're answerable to Him about the conduct of your wives and daughters.
Indeed, there is a lot of significance in the event of Israk Mikraj for Muslims.
It's not a day for rest, nor a public holiday for shopping or watching teevee.
Instead, 27 Rejab should be a day of thanksgiving, a day of self-reflection in our duties as Muslims [whether we have 100% live as good Muslims] and a day we strengthen our ukhwah.
It's also a time for us to realise that we still have a lot to do to spread the teachings of Islam [dakwah] to our Muslim brothers and sisters, as well as providing the correct information about Islam to the nonMuslims.
Why not start today?
You may want to explain what Israk Mikraj means to your nonMuslim friends.
for translations in BM, please refer here