There is no hadeeth stating that the 27th of Rajab/Shab-e-Meraj is a special night. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم never attached any virtue to it, therefore, neither should we. More people attend masaajid on this night than any other night, leaving Imaams with no choice but to cater for the community by addressing this issue. This is the only reason why some masaajid have programmes on this night, for educational purposes.
On the night of Meraj Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم was taken from Makkah Mukarramah to Jerusalem to the Heavens, on a special animal named the Buraq. In the heavens he was taken all the way up to the throne of Allah, where He had a special conversation with the almighty. During this conversation, Allah gifted him with Salah. This whole night took place for one reason: So that Allah could gift this entire Ummah with Salah. Some of us give so much importance to this night, but how much importance do we give to Salah, the purpose behind the occurrence of Meraj?
The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم may not have gathered and celebrated this night, but they – the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم – never missed their Salah, they had their priorities right. They knew that the closest we can get to Allah in this world, is in Sujood. If a man is courting a lady and she tells him what time to phone/meet him, he may not get anything out of it, but he will follow suit. Due to his filthy love for his illicit beloved, he will sacrifice and take great risks to meet her secretly.
If we loved Allah as much as we ought to, then we would rush to meet Him at Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha. We would sacrifice our precious sleep and close our businesses on time just to meet and converse with Him.
Learning about the night of Meraj is good but the main lesson we should take from it, is the importance of Salah. Even on their wedding nights the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم would seek permission from their brides to stand up for Nafl Salah. Nowadays people get married and miss their fardh Salah, but they would finish Isha Salah and then ask their wives for permission to perform Tahajjud. Salah in the life of a believer is like the position of the head on the body. According to the ahnaaf/hanafis, a man who misses out Salah intentionally must be taken to prison and kept there until he reforms. This is the lightest ruling. Other scholars say that a person leaves the fold of Islam, that is how strict they were in this regard.
There are some people who pray but they have mature children sitting at home, missing prayers. This is incorrect, we must encourage them too. Once Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم said that I would like to order someone to give adhaan, someone to lead the prayer, and a group of young people to collect firewood. He then said that I will go house to house checking if there are any males missing Salah. If they do so for invalid reasons, I would’ve burnt their houses down had it not been for their women and children living there.
I ask you, bearing the above in mind, how many homes would have been burnt in our times? We may not have a fire kindled with matches, but now our houses are burning with a different kind of fire. Every household has some problem, struggle or worry. There is no peace left and us collectively missing Salah is definitely one reason why. On the day of Judgement, Salah will be reckoned first before any other good or bad deed. If our Salah is well and ordered then everything else will fall into place, our reckoning will become easier. But if it’s weak or absent then we will struggle through our reckoning. Imaan will weaken in a person who misses His Salah.
Pray, and advise your families to pray too. Make an intention that I will never miss a single Salah. InshaAllah, Allah will make you successful in your worldly endeavours and the path to Jannah will be made easy for you. May Allah bless us with His Jannah Aameen. The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم asked Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم that how will you recognise your Ummatis on the day of Judgement, when there will be so many people there? Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم replied that if a man has horses with beautiful, white spots amongst a group of black horses, would he not recognise his horses? The Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم replied that certainly, O Messenger of Allah! Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم replied that my followers will come with white faces and the limbs they washed in Whudu will be shining bright.
That is our ID. On that day, that is how Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم will recognise us. So make an effort to pray. Usually in the event of a small life problem, the first casualty is our Salah. That should not be the case. Yes life gets busy but if it is important to you, you will find a way. Otherwise, you will find an excuse.
May Allah grant us the tawfiq, Aameen.
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(The above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis on 24.4.2017.)