The Yearly Celebration of the Night of Isrāʾ and Miʿraj

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  Imām ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz (raḥimahullāh)

A profound answer from the Muftī of the Ummah, Shaykh al-Islām ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz (d. AH 1420), concerning the falsehood of celebrating al-Isrāʾ wa-al-Miʿrāj, which occurs during the Islamic month of Rajab.

bismallah

  

  A profound answer from the Muftī of the Ummah, Shaykh al-Islām ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz (d. AH 1420), concerning the falsehood of celebrating al-Isrāʾ wa-al-Miʿrāj, which occurs during the Islamic month of Rajab.


All praise is for Allāh; and may prayers and peace upon the Messenger of Allāh, his followers and his companions.

There is no doubt that the incident of Israa‘ and Mi’raaj is from amongst the great signs of Allāh, indicates the truthfulness of His Messenger, Muḥammad, and the greatness of his position with Allāh. It is also among the evidences showing the ability of Allāh the Exalted and it is proof that Allāh is above His creation. Allāh the Exalted said:

"Glorified be He Who took His slave (Muḥammad) for a Journey by night from al-Masjidul-Haram (at Makkah) to the Farthest Mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muḥammad) of Our Āyāt (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.) Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer." [Sūrah al-Isrāʾ,‘ 17:1]

It has been narrated from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) that Allāh the Exalted ascended him to the heavens through the seventh heaven. Therein His Lord spoke to him what He intended and obligated upon him from the five prayers. Allāh initially obligated fifty prayers, however our Prophet did not cease to demand and ask ease from Him, until Allāh made it five. Hence there are five prayers obligated, but fifty in reward; for every good action is equivalent to ten of its like. For Allāh is all praise and thanks for all His blessings.

This date on Israa‘ and Mi’raaj occurred was not established in the authentic narrations [of the Prophet Muḥammad], neither during the month of Rajab nor in any other month. All that has been mentioned concerning the date of occurence of al-Isrāʾ‘ wal-Mi’raaj is deemed among the scholars of ḥadīth to be unauthentic. Belonging to Allāh is a great Wisdom in causing the people to forget the date of its occurrence. However, even if its date was confirmed, it would nonetheless be impermissible for the Muslims to distinguish that night from other nights by doing anything from among the acts of worship. Neither it would be permissible for them to celebrate it, as the Prophet and his companions neither celebrated it nor did they distinguish it with any special acts of worship.

Should such a celebration of that Night be lawful, the Messenger would have clarified it to the people either by word or deed. And had such a thing occurred, it would have become known and common, and the companions would have transmitted it to us. The companions passed on from their Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) everything which Muslims are in need of. Never were they remiss or negligent with regard to the Religion. Indeed, they were the first to lead the way to every good. If the celebration of this night had been lawful, they would have been first to do it. The Prophet also is the most sincere in guiding people. He most truly fulfilled his mission, and performed his noble duty. If the glorification and celebration of that night had something to do with Islām, the Prophet would never have neglected it nor concealed it. Since nothing about this was narrated from the Messenger and his companions, therefore glorification and celebration of that night was absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Islām, as Allāh has perfected for this nation its religion, completed His favor upon it and rebuked and refuted the innovators who introduce into the religion that which Allāh has not allowed.

And Allāh the Exalted said: 

"This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islām as your religion. " [Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:3]

And Allāh the Exalted has also said: 

''Or have they partners with Allāh who have made laws for them in religion that which Allāh allowed not? And had it not been for a decisive word (gone forth already), the matter would have been judged between them. And verily for wrongdoers is a painful torment. [Sūrahh-Shooraa 42:21]

The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said:

"He who innovates something in this matter of ours that is not of it will have it rejected." [1]

In another wording reported by Muslim:

"He who does an act which our matter is not (in agreement) with will have it rejected." [2]

It is reported in the Sunan of Abū Dāwūd and at-Tirmidthī that al-Irbaad Ibn Saariyah said: "The Messenger of Allāh gave us a sermon by which our hearts were filled with fear and tears came to our eyes. We said:"O Messenger of Allāh, it is as though this is a farewell sermon, so counsel us." He said: "I counsel you to fear Allāh and to give absolute obedience even if a slave becomes your leader. Verily, he among you who lives (long) will see great controversy, so you must keep to my Sunnah and that of the rightly guided (in beliefs and actions) Caliphs after me; cling to them stubbornly. Beware of newly invented matters, for every invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is going astray and every going astray is in the Hell-Fire." [3]

The narrations of such meaning are numerous. And indeed it has been confirmed that the Companions of the Messenger as well as the early generations of pious Scholars who followed, cautioned and warned against heresies and innovations. These warnings were not mentioned by them except for the fact that innovations are unnecessary additions to the religion. Innovations are something new to Islām which Allāh has not given permission for. Also in performing these affairs, a resemblance of the enemies of Allāh (from the Jews and Christians) occurs; in that, they added and innovated in their religions something that they had no permission from Allāh. In addition, any innovation in the religion is implied by the person performing it that Islām is incomplete and has faults because by innovating and adding to Islām one accuses Islām of not being complete. This, of course, is well known to contain a great deal of gross corruption, vile actions, and a contraḍīction to the saying of Allāh:

"This day, I have perfected your religion for you…"

as it is also an obvious contrast to the traditions of the Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) that caution and warn against innovations.

I hope that what was mentioned from the evidences is sufficient and convincing enough for the seeker of the truth in rejecting this innovation (bidʿah) of celebrating the night of Israa‘ wal-Mi‘raaj and warning against it because it has nothing to do in anyway with the religion of Islām.

Since Allāh has obligated to give Muslims sincere advice, to elucidate the Divine laws for them, and has forbidden concealing knowledge, I felt it necessary to call to attention my Muslim brothers against this innovation (bidʿah) which has spread throughout many cities so much so that the people thought it to be part of Islām.

Allāh is responsible to correct the affairs of all the Muslims and grant them success in comprehending the religion and to give us, along with them, success in holding firm to the truth, ascertaining it, and leaving what opposes it; for Allāh is Capable over all. May Allāh bless and be merciful upon His Slave and Worshipper and Messenger, his followers, and his companions.


Endnotes:

[1] Ṣaḥīḥ: Related by al-Bukhārī (5/301) and Muslim (12/16) from ’Aa‘ishah (raḍī Allāhu ’anhaa).

[2] Ṣaḥīḥ: Related by Muslim (5/132) from ’Aa‘ishah (raḍī Allāhu ’anhaa).

[3] Ṣaḥīḥ: Related by Abū Dāwūd (no. 4607) and by at-Tirmidthī (no. 2676). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albānī in Irwāʾ al-Ghalīl (no. 2455).

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Tags: Bidʿah, Ibn Bāz , Celebrations

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