Always, around this time of year, the 27th Rajab, I am inundated with requests for materials and activities relating to Al-Israa w’al Miraaj ~ The Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascension to the Heavens.
Why do many Muslims insist on wanting to teach this beautiful and miraculous story on or around the 27th Rajab? From those whom I have spoken to regarding this issue, it is clear that most believe the 27th night to be a blessed night in which this miraculous journey took place; and that belief is taught and passed onto their children and students.
But in reality, the proofs and evidences from the ahadeeth indicate that there is nothing to support this annual celebration of 27th Rajab, nor its link to Al-Israa w’al Miraaj. In fact, the scholars of past and present, of all different madhhabs have all disagreed on which month the Israa and Miraaj actually took place. And what is even more ironic is the fact that amongst all the opinions, the weakest of the narrations single out the 27th of Rajab!
So let’s look into this matter further inshaa’Allah so that we can educate ourselves and pass on the correct information to our children …
Some Points of Contention for The One Who Celebrates The Remembrance of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi’raaj To Be Aware Of : Shaykh ‘Abdul Qaadir al-Junayd
The First Point:
No authentic proof has been related affirming the specific date of al-Israa’ wal-Mi’raaj.
Al-Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah stated, as in “Zaad al Ma’ad,” 58/1: “No known proof has been established. Neither concerning its month, which part of the month it was in nor its specific date. Rather, what has been narrated related to all of this has been narrated with conflicting narrations and with discontinuous chains of narrations and thus none of them can be affirmed with surety.
● Ash-Shareef Ibn al-Ameer as-San’aanee said in “At-Tanweer”, 7710: “It is a specific night yet nothing from the authentic Sunnah has been narrated specifying when exactly it is.”
The Second Point:
The scholars have differed concerning the time of its occurance and there are numerous opinions regarding this.
It is said that it is in Rajab. It is said that it is in Rabee al-Awwal, just as it is said it is in Rabee ath-Thaani.
It is also said that it is in Ramadhaan and it is said that it is in Shawwal. Also, it is said that it is in Dhil Qa’dah.
Some of them say it was in the begining of the month, others say the middle and others say the later part of the month.
Many of the scholars have pointed out these conflicting views:
- From the Hanafis: al-Mulla ‘Ali Qaaree and Abu al-Fadhl al-Aloosee
- From the Maalikis: Ibn ‘Abdil Barr and Abu ‘Abdillah al-Qurtubee
- From the Shaafi’ees: an-Nawawee, Ibn Katheer and Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee
- From the Hanbalis: Ibn al-Jawzee and al-’Uthaymeen.
The Third Point:
The weakest position with regards to specifying (when it took place) is the position which posits that it was in the month of Rajab.
Abu al-Khattaab Ibn Dahiyah al-Maaliki stated in “Adaa mal Wajab min Bayyan Wadh’i al Waadh’iyoon fi Rajab,” pg. 110: “Some of the storytellers mention that al-Israa’ was in Rajab and according to the people of Praise and Criticism (Scholars of Hadeeth) this is without a doubt a lie.”
Also, Ibn al-’Attar ash-Shaafi’ee mentioned in “Hukm Sawm Rajab wa Sha’baan wa Maa Ahdatha Feehima”, pg.34: “From those who considered the hadeeth of al-Israa’ and al-Mi’raaj happening on the 27th to be weak include:
- From the Maalikis: Abu al-Khattaab al-Kalbee
- From the Shaafi’ees: Ibn al-’Attar, Ibn Katheer and Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee
- From the Hanbalis: Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Rajab, Ibn Baaz and al-’Uthaymeen.
The Fourth Point:
Celebrating the rememberance of al-Israa’ and al-Mi’raaj has not been narrated from the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, nor his Companions, nor the Taabi’een, nor the Taabi’ at-Taabi’een, nor was it an action of the Imaams of the well known madhaahib: Abu Haneefah, Maalik, ash-Shaafi’ee or Ahmad.
The previously mentioned individuals are the example for the individual who does not celebrate al-Israa’ wal-Mi’raaj.
However, concerning the one who celebrates it, who is his example in doing such?
Without a doubt, his example is the Raafidhah Shi’a and those who follow them from the extremist Sufis!
The Fifth Point:
Whoever has the zeal and vigor to do good deeds and to increase in doing such, then let him ask himself:
“How many actions of obedience have clearly come in the Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah and I do not do them, nor do I exert myself in trying to do so?
Verily, it is shameful that I fall short and am lazy in those acts of worship which have come in the Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah, yet I exert myself in that which has neither come in the Qur’aan or authentic Sunnah, nor did the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم or his Companions who came after him do so!”
Summarized from the book “At-Tadhkeer al-Baahith bi Annhu Laa Yasihu fi Tahdeed Taareekh Haaditha al-Israa’ wal-Mi’raaj Athar wa Laa Hadeeth” by Shaykh ‘Abdul Qaadir al-Junayd. Translated by Abu Afnaan Muhammad ‘Abdullah
THE ISLAMIC LEGAL VIEWPOINT OF CELEBRATING THE ANNIVERSARY NIGHT OF ISRA’ AND MI’RAJ by Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah)
The night wherein the event of Isra’ and Mi’raj occurred had not been particularized in the authentic Hadith. All that was in this concern, according to the scholars of Hadith, has not been asserted as valid by the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Such is the extensive judiciousness of the Almighty Allaah that He made people forget it. Even if its particularization had been asserted, Muslims should have not favoured it with any devotional services whatsoever.
They are not permitted to celebrate its anniversary, since the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and his companions –May Allaah be pleased with them- never did it. Neither did they favour it with certain acts of devotion. Should such celebration of the Night be a licit matter, the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), would have expounded it to the nation, either by word or by deed. And if such a thing had occurred, it would have been known and become common, and the companions-may Allaah be pleased with them- would have transmitted it to us. They, in fact, passed on from their Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), everything Muslims are in need of. Never were they remiss with regard to religion, nay, they were outstrippers to every good. Should celebration of this anniversary Night were licit, they would have been the first to do it. The Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), is most sincere in guiding people. He most truly fulfilled his mission, and performed his noble duty.
If the glorification and celebration of that Night had something to do with Islam, the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), would have never neglected it. Neither would he have concealed it. And since nothing of such a matter have ever occurred, it has become known that glorification and celebration of that Night has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, because the Almighty Allaah has perfected for this nation its religion, completed His favour upon it, and rebuked the innovators who introduce in religion that which Allaah had not allowed.
The Almighty-glory be to Him- says in the Quranic Chapter Al-Ma’ida: (This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion).[5:3]. Allaah –may He be exalted- also says in Chapter Al-Shura: (What! Have they partners [godhead], who have established for them some religion without the permission of Allaah? Had it not been for the Decree of Judgement, the matter would have been decided between them [at once]. But verily the wrongdoers will have a grievous Penalty). Warning against heresies, and declaring that they are errors by way of reminding the nation of their gruesome peril, and estranging people from committing them, have been established as valid in the authentic Hadith of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It has been asserted as valid, among other traditions, in both Sahih Muslim and Sahih Al-Bukhari, on the authority of A’isha –may Allah be pleased with her- that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), said: (If anyone introduces into this affair of ours anything which does not belong to it, it is rejected). In another version by Muslim, the Prophet said: (Whoever performs a deed inconsistent with our principles, it will be rejected). Muslim transmitted in his Sahih, on the authority of Jabir -may Allaah be pleased with him- that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), was always used to saying in his speech on Fridays: (and now to our topic; the best speech is that of the Quran, and the best guidance is that of Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and the most wicked matter is that of heretic innovations and each heresy is an error). It is reported in the Sunan (precepts) on the authority of Al-‘irbad ibn Sariah-may Allaah be pleased with him-who said: the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), gave us an eloquent exhortation that scared the hearts, and shed tears from the eyes. We said: O Messenger of Allah, it looks as if it were a farewell exhortation. Admonish us. He then said: “I enjoin you to fear Allah, and to hear and obey your commander even if he were a slave; for those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must therefore follow my Sunnah and that of the rightly guided Caliphs. Hold to it, and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties; for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error. The traditions to that effect are numerous.
Caution and intimidation against heresies have been established as a matter of fact, on the authority of the companions of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and the pious ancestors thereafter. Such was the case only for its being an unnecessary addition to religion, a prescription of something novel without the permission of Allaah, and an imitation of the adversaries of Allaah, as did the Jews and the Christians with regard to making additions to their religion, and inventing what was beyond the permission of Allaah, since that act of theirs was attended by their being prejudicial to Islamic religion, and accusing it of lack of perfection. This matter is quite known to be rife with a great deal of gross corruption, ignominious file actions, contradiction with the saying of the Almighty Allaah: (This day I have perfected your religion for you….), and an obvious contrast to the traditions of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), that caution against, and estrange from heresies.
I hope that the aforementioned evidences are quite enough for the truth-seeker to reject this heresy, namely, that of celebrating the anniversary Night of ‘Isra’ and Mi’raj, and to caution against it, considering that it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam. In view of the fact that Allaah has enjoined the duty to give Muslims sincere advice, to elucidate the divine prescription for them, and to proscribe concealing of knowledge to them, I decided to call the attention of my Muslim brethren to this heresy which became so rife in a lot of countries that some people deemed it pertaining to religion
About Shaykh Ibn Baaz
He held the position of Grand Muftee of Saudi Arabia, the Presidency of many Islaamic Committees and Councils, the prominent among these being: Senior Scholars Committee of the Kingdom, Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, the Founding Committee of Muslim World League, World Supreme Council for Mosques, Islaamic Jurisprudence Assembly Makkah; and the member of the Supreme Council of the Islaamic University at al-Madeenah, and the Supreme Committee for Islaamic Propagation, until he passed away on Thursday 27 Muharram 1420 A.H./May 13 1999 C.E. May Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) have Mercy upon his soul, aameen.