Question # 56: In our country, fasting, prayers and such other acts of worship are performed on 27th Rajab i.e., on the night of the Isra’ and Mi’raj. Are these practices Islamic?
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: Celebrating and venerating the night of the Isra’ and Mi’raaj is not part of Islam at all. Singling out the night of al-Isra’ wa’l-Mi‘raj for worship is not prescribed; rather it is considered an innovation. “The worst of matters are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation is a going astray and every going astray will be in the Fire.” (Muslim)
Long Answer: There is no doubt that the Isra’ and Mi’raj (the Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascent into heaven) are two great signs of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) which point to the truthfulness of the His Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and the greatness of his status before Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). These are also signs of the great power of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and of His exalted position above His creation. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says: “Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him] Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al‑Masjid Al‑Haraam (at Makkah) to Al‑Masjid Al‑Aqsa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayaat. Verily, He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer” (Soorah al-Isra’ 17:1)
However, with regard to this night on which the Isra’ and Mi’raj took place, there is nothing in the sahih ahaadith to indicate that it is in Rajab or in any other month. Everything that has been narrated concerning a specific date for these events cannot be proven to have come from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) according to the scholars of hadith. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has wise reasons for causing the people to forget it. Even if the date were proven, it would not be permissible for the Muslims to single it out for particular acts of worship, and it is not permissible for them to celebrate it, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his companions (رضي الله عنه) did not celebrate it and they did not single it out in any way. If celebrating it was something that is prescribed in Islam, the Messenger would have told his ummah about that, either in word or in deed. If any such thing had happened, it would have been well known, and his companions would have transmitted the information to us. They narrated from their Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) everything that his ummah needs to know, and they did not neglect any aspect of the religion, rather they were the first ones to do anything good… Since no such thing happened, it is known that celebrating it and venerating it is not part of Islam at all.
… In Sahih Muslim it is narrated that Jaabir (رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to say in his khutbah on Friday: “The best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The worst of matters are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation is a going astray.” Al-Nasaa’i added with a jayyid isnad: “and every going astray will be in the Fire.”… (Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz – abridged)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.