‘Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship the neighbourhood whereof We have Blessed , that We might show him of Our tokens ! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer.’ (Bani Israel)
“Glorified be He (Allah), who took His slave ( Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) for a journey by night from Masjidul Haram (in Makkah) to the farthest Masjid (in Jerusalem – Masjid ul Aqsa), the precincts whereof we have blessed: in order that we might show him (Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) of our signs. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (17:1)
On the twenty seventh of Rajab the Masjids will be full. People will gather to listen to talks being delivered regarding the great incident of Me'raj. After the talks are over, by and large we return home with the miracle of Me'raj and its message forgotten until the following year. Unlike us, the Sahabah (RA) and Tabi'een (those who came after the Sahaaba) never set aside any particular day for the discussion of the incident of Me'raj. Hence even the Fuqaha (jurists) of the first century differed with regard to the actual date when Me'raj occurred (see Fathul Bari-vol.7, pg.203 and Ruhul Ma'ani-vol.15, pg.6). The Sahabah (RA) and the Tabi'een (RA) had no need to set aside any particular day for this discussion. They regularly and frequently discussed the Ahadith with regard to all aspects of the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). They lived the message of Me'raj every day of their lives.
Belief in the Unseen represents a major and essential part of Islam. When we review the key principles of Islam such as belief in Allah, the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell, angels and jinn, past prophets and books, we find that all these issues are ghayb (unseen) and need unshakable conviction in Rasulullah SAW's truthfulness. The Night Journey and Ascension (Al-Israa' wa Al-Me'raj) posed a crucial test for early Muslims to assess their belief in the Unseen. This journey brought to light the unshakeable, firmly rooted faith of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and the weak faith of some other people who rejected Islam totally once they heard the story.
There are momentous times in the history of all peoples. Momentous days, weeks and months. The Muslims are no exception. To the contrary, Islamic history overflows with events and occurrences worthy of the mention, and indeed worthy of remembrance. Such comes with no surprise given the fact that the Islamic civilisation brought a new dawn to the world of the 7th century, as it established itself in the Middle East before moving forth to conquer land after land, bringing with it knowledge, civilisation and real progress.
By Mufti Taqi Usmani
Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months (Al-Ashhur-al-hurum) in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. It is also a prelude to the month of Ramadan, because Ramadan follows it after the intervening month of Sha'ban. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words:
On this Mubarak Day of Jummah, during this wonderful month of Rajab let us raise our hands and express our gratitude and appreciation to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala for all our blessings. Today we cry to the heavens and earth that we are rededicating our lives as true Muslims in faith and action. We announce to the world that the Muslim Ummah seeks peace and mutual respect and that we will never remain idle in the face of injustice, racism, Fithnah, oppression and repression. This Ummah today is under siege and as Muslims we should make it known that we are not an inward looking people, we are not isolationists by our nature, but we are totally committed to our Din. And we wish to remain so.