Many Muslims in Canada observe Isra and Mi’raj (Al Isra’ wal Miraj, Lailat al Mi’raj, or Laylat al Miraj). This event commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascent into heaven. It is observed on the 27th day of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar.
Are Isra and Mi’raj a Public Holiday?
Isra and Mi’raj is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.
What Do People Do?
Many Muslims in Canada make special prayers in the evening or attend prayer services and sermons at Islamic centers or mosques. Others observe Isra and Mi’raj quietly at home. Some Muslims celebrate the event over two days. Other activities associated with Isra and Mi’raj include fasting during the day, as well as reciting the Qu’ran (Koran) and using the tasbih (commonly made of various stones or wooden beads and used for prayer) in the night.
Some people make sweets to share with others or give donations to charity around this time of the year. This event gives Muslims the chance to reflect on the importance of prayer. It is a time for people, particularly students, to learn more about Isra and Mi’raj, what it means in the Islamic faith, and how it is applied in practice. Some students learn about Isra and Mi’raj by listening to scholars on CD or audiotape while others read material obtained from bookstores, libraries and other resource centers.
Isra and Mi’raj is not a public holiday in Canada. There may be some local congestion on roads around major mosques on the evening of the event.
Isra and Mi’raj is a two-fold event that commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascent into heaven, according to Islamic belief. One night during the 10th year of Muhammad’s prophecy, the angel Gabriel woke him and travelled with him to Jerusalem. Muhammad prayed at the site of the Temple of Solomon with the prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others.
The Prophet Muhammad then rose to heaven (carried by Gabriel) from the rock of the temple mount, where many people believe that the Dome of the Rock sanctuary now stands. Allah instructed Muhammad about the five daily prayers that all Muslims must observe. This day is also known as the Night Journey.