• Laylat Al-Isra wal Mi’raj

    Isra and Miʿrāj constitute the miraculous journey that our Prophet (s.a.w.) took one night, first from Masjid Al-Haram to Masjid Al-Aqsa and from there to the goal of observing the infinite might of Lord Almighty. Containing many divine causes and plentitude, the journey is mentioned in the Holy Book as follows: “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Al-Isra, 17/1)

    Miʿrāj is the most sublime witnessing of the Prophet of Grace (s.a.w.) upon His eternity, supremacy, and never-ending might. Our Lord demonstrated in the person of our Prophet to the humankind once again in this witnessing that supremacy only belongs to Him. He also taught him ways of purification, elevation, and reaching the peak as a believer. As the Lord of the Worlds rewarded the Blessed Prophet –the symbol of devotion, obedience, morals, righteousness, and honesty- with Miʿrāj, he also sent messages to us, His servants. Accordingly, those who have their lifetime decorated by said values will always rise on the stairs of servitude. They will be exalted at eternal ranks, honored by the everlasting blessings of Paradise.

    Miʿrāj is meeting with the Lord in one way, and abandoning what is forbidden by Him in another. It is good news for us believers. Our Lord heralded on this holy night that major sins of those who are not idolaters will be forgiven.

    Miʿrāj is a gift for us. Salat, the closest moment between us and our Lord, was made obligatory five times a day on this very night.(Muslim, İman, 279) As the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) went up step by step on the stairs of the spiritual world, we rise in the presence of Allah. By uttering the words “Allahu Akbar,” we get away from the tumult of the world and deeply comprehend the wisdom and meaning in our creation and existence. With qiyam, we stand in the presence of Allah, symbolizing straightforward attitude. With qira’at, we praise and supplicate Him in the sincerest way. With ruku, we demonstrate we only bow before our Lord. With sajdah, we enjoy the delight of being the closest to Him and reaching the peak of servitude. with tahiyyat, we are exalted as we glorify our Lord. With salam, we remember freedom and salvation. We make the most of Miʿrāj in all its spirit as we pray five times a day.

    The verses that start with “Amanar Rasul” which we recite every isha time are gifts from the Miʿrāj. In these verses, we say we “believe in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers”b> and renew our commitment of servitude that we have made to our Lord. We state our devotion with the verse “We hear and we obey. We seek your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the final destination.” We freshen our awareness of obligations by saying “Every soul receives whatever it gains and is liable for whatever it does.” In addition, we acknowledge the afterlife and that everything we do on this earth will be settled for. And ultimately, we seek refuge in our Lord with the sincerest cries in the following prayers: “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

    Values of Miʿrāj are holy values that open great and meaningful horizons for us. With these values, we are saved from getting thrown away into asfal al-safilin, the lowest of the low. We reach ahsani takwimin, the best of stature. Values of Miʿrāj bring us to the peak of Sidrat al-Muntaha. These sublime values take us to Paradise where we will live in peace eternally. All that we have to do is firmly embrace them and be determined in reflecting them into our lives. All that we have to do is to have our buraq, our faith, our refref, our prayers, our good deeds, and our good morals. When this is the case, every moment of our lives will be Miʿrāj for us.

    On the occasion of Lailat al-Miʿrāj, I would like to remind everyone the responsibilities we have towards ourselves and our neighborhood. Let us not forget that we believers are not supposed to interpret the Miʿrāj as a memory of our Prophet (s.a.w) or as a historical event. What we are supposed to do is to have an attitude of obedience and devotion like Abu Bakr in the face of Allah’s commands and bans. Those who are unable to demonstrate that stance will miss out the meaning, spirit, and gains of Miʿrāj.

    On that note, I wish a blessed Lailat al-Miʿrāj to you once again. I wish from Allah Almighty that the prayers and supplications sent to Him on this holy night will be a means to bringing unity, peace, and solidarity to the whole world of Islam, to humanity being on the true path, and to ensuring peace and justice in the world.

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