By Asma bint Shameem (ILoveAllaah.com Exclusive Writer)
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ
Glorified (and Exalted) is He (Allâh) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him]. Who took His slave (Muhammad SAW) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid-al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad SAW) of Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. [al-Isra’:1]
and there is no denying that fact.
However, the big question to ask is…….
What did the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) do when the same day arrived the next year? Or the year after that? Or the year after that?
Did he EVER celebrate the night of al-Israa’ wal Mi’raaj, or fast the next day???
And what did he instruct the Sahaabah to do about his Night Journey?
Did he tell them to celebrate that night as a ‘special night’ for worshipping Allaah?
Did he tell them to specifically fast the next day because it was ‘the day after the Journey’?
And what were the actions of the Sahaabah themselves?
Did THEY do any of the above??
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wa sallam) said, “There is nothing that brings you closer to Jannah except that I have informed you about it and there is nothing that brings you closer to the fire of Hell except that I have warned you against it.” [at-Tabaraani--Saheeh]
Then why do we not have ANY Saheeh reports of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wa sallam) or the Sahaabah worshipping Allaah especially on this night and fasting the next day?
BECAUSE THAT WAS NOT THE PRACTICE OF RASUL ALLAAH (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wa sallam) OR HIS SAHAABAH!
If celebrating this event was something that is prescribed in Islam, the Messenger (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wa sallam) would certainly have told his ummah about it, 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 the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wa sallam) everything that we need to know, and they did not neglect any aspect of the religion, rather they were the first ones to do anything good. If celebrating this night had been prescribed in Islam, they would have been the first people to do so.
And if it wasn’t the practice of our Beloved Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wa sallam) or his Sahaabah, then, why, O Muslim, do YOU insist on doing it???
Isn’t the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wa sallam) the best example to be followed?
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ قَالُواْ بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ
“When it is said to them: 'Follow what Allah has sent down,' they reply: 'We will follow that which we found our fathers upon,' even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided.” [Surah al-Baqarah: 170)
Is good intention enough??
I'm sure, that in celebrating this night, your intention is good. But dear brother/sister, in order for our worship to be accepted, it also has to be prescribed in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. If it is not so, it will be rejected.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wa sallam) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” [Bukhaari, Muslim]
Exact date unknown???
Also, do you know that even though the incidence of al-Israa’ wal Mi’raaj is an undeniable fact in history, yet the exact date or even the exact month in which this took place is not certain?
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz said:
“With regard to this night on which the Isra’ and Mi’raaj took place, there is nothing in the saheeh ahaadeeth 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 (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wa sallam) according to the scholars of hadeeth….” [Islam-qa.com]
But, what’s the harm in it???
Now, some of you will say, “What’s the harm in it? I am just worshipping Allah!”
But, the answer to that, O noble reader, is…..
وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءتْ
"And whosoever opposes the Messenger (Muhammad Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wa sallam) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination!" [Surah an-Nisaa:115]
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen says: “Fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer is a bid’ah (innovation), and every bid’ah is a going astray.” (Majmoo’ Fataawa , 20/440)
So, remember, my dear brothers and sisters in Islaam, DO NOT single out the 27th for your worship because it was NOT the practice of the Prophet OR his Sahaabah.
If however, you pray every single night and it is part of your routine to stay up for worship, then there is no harm. Similarly, if you are in the habit of fasting Mondays and Thursdays, or during Ayyaam Beed (the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every Islaamic month), and the 27th of Rajab falls on one of those days, then it is OK to do so.
The problem arises when one thinks that this night is special and singles out this night or day for worship, thinking they are getting extra reward for their worship. But this is contrary to the Sunnah.
And Allaah knows best.