In Islam, the Isra wal Miraj is celebrated to commemorate the miraculous nighttime journey undertaken by the Prophet Muhammad, first from Mecca to Jerusalem, then his ascension from Jerusalem to the heavens – often referred to as both a physical and a spiritual journey. Throughout the same, Muhammad was believed to be guided by Allah.

To put context into the story, the Arabic word Isra means travelling at night or walking at night, while another Arabic word, the Miraj, means rising and going up. These basically are two things that the Prophet Muhammad experienced in his journey.

But how does such a journey become miraculous, if one may ask? The distance between Mecca (Saudi Arabia) and Jerusalem (Israel) according to Google Maps is 1,482 km. That would normally take 17 hours of travel by car, and 23 days by foot. Muhammad’s journey however, through the guidance of Allah, was completed in one night.

According to the story, Muhammad meets Prophet Adam, John the Baptist (Prophet Yahya), Jesus (Prophet Isa), Joseph (Prophet Yusuf), Prophet Idris, Aaron (Prophet Harun), Moses (Prophet Musa) and Abraham (Prophet Ibrahim), before he ascends and meets Allah. The latter gives the compulsory salah, telling Muhammad that his people must pray 50 times a day.

Upon his descent, Muhammad meets Moses who advises him to plead for fewer prayers as 50 seems too many. Muhammad goes between Allah and Moses nine times until the number of prayers were reduced to 5 daily prayers.

The Isra wal Miraj is celebrated mostly by gathering at the local mosque for prayers, some also celebrate at home by narrating the journey undertaken by Muhammad to younger generations along with prayers and meals. It remains to be the greatest miraculous event in the Holy Quran, a story of wonder and hope for Muslims.

The Isra wal Miraj is celebrated on the 27th days of the 7th month of the Muslim calendar, and falls on sundown of February 17, 2023 and ends on February 18, 2023.