Dates and Origins of Lailat al Miraj
Lailat al Miraj Dates in 2018, 2019 and 2020
Lailat al Miraj is celebrated at the following dates:
- Friday, April 13th 2018
- Wednesday, April 3rd 2019
- Sunday, March 22nd 2020
Lailat al Miraj is a Muslim holiday celebrated on the 27th of Rajab in the Islamic calendar each year1. It celebrates Isra and Miraj, or the Prophet Mohammed's miraculous two-part journey taken in one night2. The story is important because it is said that in this one evening, Muhammed learned of both Heaven and Hell, and was granted Salah, or the obligatory prayers3
Isra and Miraj began when the Prophet Muhammed was visited by an arc angle while in Mecca at a kabaa4. The angel Gabriel bestowed upon him a mythical winged horse called Buraq to commence his travels4. Equipped with this steed and accompanied by the angel, Muhammed flew to Jerusalem in the first part of his journey, called Isra5. Here, he met his predecessors, including Moses and Abraham, and led them in a prayer5. Once completed, Gabriel took Muhammed once again and raised him to the heavens5.
This ascent through the seven levels of Heaven and Paradise began the second half of the journey, called Miraj6. On their way, the Prophet was shown the greatest pleasures of Earth, as well as the darkest pitfalls of humanity7. When he finally reached the Lotus of the Utmost Boundary, or Paradise, he was given five daily prayers (Salah) and the verse that establishes Al-Aqidah, or the Muslim creed7. He then returned with Gabriel to Mecca on the back of the Buraq8. Muhammed told his people of the journey the following day, and although some did not believe him, many listened with open ears to the wonders he was presented with9.
Because it is written in the Quran, it is generally accepted that the two journies did, in fact, happen10. However, details of Isra and Miraj are hotly contested to this day11. Some believe that the two journeys were spiritual and occurred while Muhammed was asleep, while others believe that it was completely physical11.
Lailat al Miraj is considered to be one of the most important holidays in the Islamic practice and is thus celebrated by Muslims worldwide12. Although traditions may vary between different communities, Isra and Miraj is commemorated by reciting the story of the Night Journey and Ascension, and by attending services at a mosque13. Muslims will often decorate their homes with candles or lights and share meals with friends and family13. Lailat al Miraj is a public holiday in several Islamic states, including the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Kuwait14.