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News Code: 617


Muslims Celebrate Israa' and Mi`raj

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Thousands of Muslims from across Fiji islands have celebrated the Israa' and Mi`raj, which refers to the journey of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) to Al-Aqsa Mosque and his ascension to heaven, as Muslims in Britain are preparing to mark the ceremony.

“This day is when Prophet Muhammad travelled from Masjid Ul Haram to Masid Ul Aqsa then through the sky and met the Almighty Allah Tala,” Mohammed Naseem, the event coordinator at the Saweni Mosque, told The Fiji Times on Monday, June 3.

The ascension of Prophet Muhammad to heaven from earth is a well-known and important event for Muslims.

Isra and Mi’raj refer to the two-part journey undertaken by the Prophet which began with him travelling on the steed Buraq.

He travelled to Al-Aqsa mosque in Al-Quds (Occupied Jerusalem), where he leads the other prophets in prayer.

After this he ascended to heaven, going through the “seven skies”.

Here he spoke to Allah, who gave Prophet Muhammad instructions to take back to the faithful; namely five prayers a day.

"This celebration also propagates to our Muslims brothers the essence of prayers in their daily lives,” Naseem said.

“He ascended physically and received a gift of prayers from the almighty during the night journey.”

Organized by the Siraj Ul Islam Association of Fiji, the event was the first of its kind to be celebrated at national level.

Inviting Muslims from around the country, Naseem said the day was special to the Muslim community.

The celebration was also attended by delegations from New Zealand and Great Britain.

Muslims in Fiji comprise approximately 7% of the population (62,534).

For Mankind

Thousands of miles away from Fiji, British Muslims in Illford, Essex, were preparing themselves to celebrate the Isra and Mi’raj on Wednesday.

“All the prophets will be spiritually here,” Bashir Chaudhary, chairman of Ilford Community Centre, Eton Road, Ilford, told Ilford Recorder.

“The holy prophet was for the whole of mankind. He was a great person on this planet, raised human dignity and fought for equal rights.”

Recalling the events of the mighty night, the imam said it would teach listeners about “mercy and forgiveness.”

Hafiz Abdullah Muhammad, leader of the Qur’an Study Group the Eman Foundation, based in Goodmayes, said the event also teaches Muslims about the “importance of prayer”.

The event would also send a message of peace, highlighting the importance of Al-Quds to all faiths.

“We all have a common heritage, and the Night Journey shows how Jews, Christians and Muslims have common historical roots,” he said.

“Jerusalem is a city where people of different faiths live together peacefully.

“It gives us a message of hope.”

Al-Quds is home to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which includes Islam's third holiest shrine Al-Aqsa Mosque, and represents the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Israel occupied the holy city in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community or UN resolutions.