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Observing Shab-e-Meraj

Some misunderstandings and their remedies

  • Muhammad Ansarullah Hasan
  • 20 March, 2020 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Observing Shab-e-Meraj

The month of Rajab is the seventh month of Arabic or Lunar calendar. It is one of four sacred months of Islam. Allah said about this in the Holy Qur’an:  Surely, the number of months according to Allah is twelve. He has created the heavens and the Earth, of which there are four sacred months. That is the right faith. [Al-Quran 9:36]

In the next sentence of this verse, Allah said:  [So, do not wrong yourselves therein]  means: 'Do not become unjust to your own selves either by acting against the compliance-worthy injunctions pertaining to these months, or by not observing proper respect to them, or by falling short in devoting yourselves to 'Ibadah’ (worship) therein.

Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas has said in his ‘‘Ahkam al-Quran’’: The hint given here is that these blessed months have an exclusive characteristic of their own. Whoever devotes to 'Ibadah’ (worship) during these is awarded with the ability and encouragement to engage in it during the rest of the months. Similarly, a person who makes necessary efforts to stay safe from sins and other bad deeds during these months finds that remaining safe from evil deeds during the rest of the year has become easier to him. Therefore, not making the best out of these months is a terrible loss.

No authentic proof available for the virtue of the night of Meraj

On the 27th of this month (Rajab) every year, the Muslims observe Shab-e-Meraj, the night when Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) embarked on a special journey to meet Allah.

But there exists many misunderstandings among people about the month of Rajab and observing the night of Meraj. So it is necessary to know the facts.

It has been widely circulated about the night of the 27th Rajab is that it is the night of Meraj which should be passed like night of power (Lailatul Qadar). They believe that the virtues of the night of Meraj are more or less like those of the Night of Power or Lailatul Qadar.

For this night people have invented certain forms of prayers to be offered with specific recitation and styles. For example: such times of prayers with recitation such like of the Sura must be performed in this night.

It should be well understood that no authentic proof is available for observing the night of Meraj and  all these are baseless practices having no place in Islam.

Allah's Messenger (sallallahu'alaihiwasallam) said, "If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected. Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith : 2697. The narration in Sahih al-Muslim says: If anybody introduces a practice which is not authenticated by me, it is to be rejected. Hadith : 1718 (18)

What is the exact date of the night of Meraj ?

There is difference of opinions about the exact date of the night of Meraj. First of all it is not certain that the 27th of Rajab is the night in which the holy Prophet (sallallahu'alaihiwasallam) performed the celestial ascension. Because, there is one narrative about this, but it is not correct or not proved by authentic evidences. Also there are various narrations on this point.  According to some of these the holy Prophet (sallallahu'alaihiwasallam) performed Meraj in the month of Rabiul Awwal and according to some others in the month of Rajab. Still some other narrations mention other months. So there is no certainty about the exact date of the night of Meraj. But it was one year and six months before the Emigration (Hijrat) to the holy Medina as a true and right reference or narration. There is no evidence about the exact date and month by any true hadith or opinion of company of Prophet (sallallahu'alaihiwasallam).

So, it becomes clear that if the night of Meraj had been a special night with special injunctions about it like the night of power or the night of salvation, the month and date of its occurrence must have been preserved. As this was not done, it is not right to specify with any certainty the 27th of Rajab as the night of Meraj.

Of great importance, the event of Meraj took place in the fifth year of his prophethood. This means that after this unique event the holy Prophet (sallallahu'alaihiwasallam) lived in this world for 18 years. During this long period of 18 years there is no evidence that he ever issued any special injunctions about the night of Meraj or made arrangements for its celebration or advised the Muslims to keep vigil in this night in devotion carries more reward. There is no evidence of any such injunction of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu'alaihiwasallam) nor did he himself do anything to celebrate this night nor did he even ask the Noble Companions to do so, nor did the Companions arrange in this night any celebration on his own account.

It is a Bid’ah (New Invention) to devote to special form of worship on this night.

It is therefore, Bid’ah (New Invention) to arrange special forms of worship in this night. Fasting on the 27th Rajab is not proved. It is also a Bid’ah. Some people fast on the 27th of Rajab and believe that fasting on this day has the same virtues of as the fasting on the days of A’ashoorah (the 10th day of Muharram) and the A’arafah (the 8th day of Zilahaj). As a matter of fact, there is no true and correct narration about this. There are one or two weak narratives, but none is proved by authentic evidences. The second Khalipha of Islam, Omar Farook ( R ) said: Almighty Allah did not prescribe fasting and special forms of worship on this date and the real vice lies in self-invented practices. It is not the teaching of Islam. Allah save us from these incorrect practices.

 

The writer is a Senior Teacher of Al-jamiatul

Islamia Darul Uloom Dighaldi,

Araihazar, Narayanganj.