In India, Shab-e-Miraj will begin on the evening of February 14, 2023. In the Islamic faith, Shab-e-Miraj is known as The Night Journey by Muslims all over the world. Every year in the month of Rajab 27, the Islamic date of Shab-e-Miraj is observed. In Arabic, Shab-e-Meraj is also known as Lailat al Miraj. Shab e–Miraj, also known as the Night of Miraj, Al-Isra Wal-Miraj, and the Night of Ascension or Ascension, describes how Allah bestowed his blessings on Prophet Muhammad and took him on an extraordinary voyage from Mecca to Jerusalem, allowing him to climb into Heaven.
Is Shab-e-Miraj a Public Holiday in India?
According to Holidays 2023, Shab-e-Miraj is a public holiday for the general public in particular regions. This means that on this day, offices, colleges, schools, universities, and a variety of other academic institutions will be closed.
Historical Significance of Shab-e-Miraj
The ’Shab-e-Meraj’ is an important event in Islamic history that commemorates Prophet Muhammad’s trip from Mecca’s Grand Mosque to Jerusalem’s Masjid Al-Aqsa and then to the sky. During his journey, the Prophet rode the "Buraq" (Swift Horse) to heaven, where the Almighty gave him some instructions to pass on to the faithful regarding prayer details. The name Me’raj (Ascension of Prophet Muhammad) comes from the Arabic word Urooj, which meaning ’height’ or ’ascension.’ It is found in Hadith. The incident is referred to in the Qur’an as ’Israa,’ which means ’travel.’
It is believed that Gabriel, the angel who was escorting the Prophet, said to him, ’I am forced to stop here. I am unable to continue but you O Messenger of Peace and Friend of the Master of the Worlds should continue your glorious ascension.”
The Prophet came down to share his knowledge to mankind after achieving the ultimate closeness to God Almighty’s Throne and drinking from the Divine fountain of spiritual knowledge.
Some groups consider Muhammad’s nightly ascension – the Isra and Mi’raj – to have been an out-of-body experience that occurred in non-physical worlds. Even though his corpse remained where it was, they claim he was transferred to Jerusalem and ultimately to the Seven Heavens. Other Quranic interpretations emphasise Mi’raj spiritual importance, claiming that it depicts the soul’s journey and our ability to climb above the material comforts of life via prayer, discipline, and piety.
How is Shab-e-Miraj Celebrated in India?
The ’Shab-e-Meraj’ is a key event in Islamic history, and mosques arrange special congregations to celebrate the occasion in India.Islamic priests highlight the significance of the ’Shab-e-Meraj’ and the Prophet’s teachings. Mosques hold special prayers to seek Allah’s forgiveness. Muslims say special prayers to Allah in mosques and at home.
Electric lights and candles are used by Muslims to adorn towns and mosques. Worshippers congregate in mosques to offer prayers, with some passing on their knowledge by informing others about how the archangel Gabriel cleaned Muhammad’s heart and gave him the knowledge and faith he needed to enter the seven levels of heaven.
The rituals Muslims follow are:-
- In the evenings, believers gather in mosques to laud the Lord and sing hymns in praise of Him and the Holy Prophet.
- Public gatherings are also organised in larger mosques following Isha Prayer, where speakers shed light on the spiritual position of the Holy Prophet and many parts of his life.
- The story of the spiritual ascension of the Prophet is narrated by heart.
- After the meetings, sweets are served to all attendees.
- Able Muslims donate money to charity and distribute meals to the poor. The devout devotees spend the entire night remembering God.
Shab e-Meraj Observances
|2019||Wed||3 April||Shab e-Meraj||Optional Holiday|
|2020||Mon||23 March||Shab e-Meraj||Optional Holiday|
|2021||Thu||11 March||Shab e-Meraj||Optional Holiday|
|2022||Mon||28 February||Shab e-Meraj||Optional Holiday|
|2023||Tue||14 February||Shab e-Meraj||Optional Holiday|
|2024||Fri||2 February||Shab e-Meraj||Optional Holiday|
|2025||Mon||20 January||Shab e-Meraj||Optional Holiday|
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