Why are we celebrating the 27th of Rajab? Culture or Islam? Find out now!
What did the Prophet (may peace be upon him) do?
By Asma bint Shameem
Indeed, one night the Prophet (may peace be upon him) was granted the Night Journey of al-Israa' wal Mi'raaj, when he was first transported from Masjid al-Haraam to Masjid al-Aqsa and then onwards, he ascended to the Heavens and Allaah spoke to him as He willed, and enjoined the five daily prayers upon him.
This is definitely part of our Aqeedah. It says so in the Qur'aan [al-Isra':1] and there is no denying that fact.
However, the big question to ask is…….
What did the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) do when the same day arrived the next year? Or the year after that? Or the year after that?
Did he EVER celebrate the night of al-Israa' wal Mi'raaj, or fast the next day???
And what did he instruct the Sahaabah to do about his Night Journey?
Did he tell them to celebrate that night as a 'special night' for worshipping Allaah?
Did he tell them to specifically fast the next day because it was 'the day after the Journey'?
And what were the actions of the Sahaabah themselves?
Did THEY do any of the above??
The answer to all of the above is a big resounding NO!
Surely the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) did not omit or forget anything in the deen! Surely he did not hide anything from mankind!
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) said, "There is nothing that brings you closer to Jannah except that I have informed you about it and there is nothing that brings you closer to the fire of Hell except that I have warned you against it." (at-Tabaraani--Saheeh)
Then why do we not have ANY Saheeh reports of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) or the Sahaabah worshipping Allaah especially on this night and fasting the next day?
ANSWER: BECAUSE THAT WAS NOT THE PRACTICE OF RASUL ALLAAH (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) OR HIS SAHAABAH!
If celebrating it was something that is prescribed in Islam, the Messenger (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) would certainly have told his ummah about it, either in word or in deed. If any such thing had happened, it would have been well known, and his companions would have transmitted the information to us. They narrated from the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) everything that we need to know, and they did not neglect any aspect of the religion, rather they were the first ones to do anything good. If celebrating this night had been prescribed in Islam, they would have been the first people to do so.
And if it wasn't the practice of our Beloved Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) or his Sahaabah, then, why, O Muslim, do YOU insist on doing it???
Isn't the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) the best example to be followed?
"In the Messenger of Allah you have a fine example for he who hopes for Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah abundantly." (Surah al-Ahzaab: 21)
But everyone does so!!
Sure, I know, you have seen your fathers and grandfathers doing so. But, let me remind you, O Muslim, that it is NOT our forefathers that we are supposed to follow. Rather, our worship should be based on proofs from the Quraan and authentic Sunnah, and NOT culture or tradition.
"When it is said to them: 'Follow what Allah has sent down,' they reply: 'We will follow that which we found our fathers upon,' even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided." (Surah al-Baqarah: 170)
Is good intention enough??
I know beyond doubt, that in celebrating this night, your intention is good. But dear brother/sister, in order for our worship to be accepted, it also has to be prescribed in the Qur'aan and Sunnah. If it is not so, it will be rejected.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) said: "Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected." (Bukhaari, Muslim)
Exact date unknown???
Also, do you know that even though the incidence of al-Israa' wal Mi'raaj is an undeniable fact in history, yet the exact date or even the exact month in which this took place is not certain?
Shaykh 'Abd al-'Azeez ibn Baaz said:
"With regard to this night on which the Isra' and Mi'raaj took place, there is nothing in the saheeh ahaadeeth to indicate that it is in Rajab or in any other month. Everything that has been narrated concerning a specific date for these events cannot be proven to have come from the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) according to the scholars of hadeeth…." (Islam-qa)
But, what's the harm in it???
Now, some of you will say, "What's the harm in it? I am just worshipping Allah!"
But, the answer to that, O noble reader, is…..
"And whosoever opposes the Messenger (Muhammad Sal Allaahu Alaihi Wassallam) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination!" [Surah an-Nisaa:115]
Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen says: "Fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer is a bid'ah (innovation), and every bid'ah is a going astray." (Majmoo' Fataawa , 20/440)
So, remember, my dear brothers and sisters in Islaam, DO NOT single out the 27th for your worship because it was NOT the practice of the Prophet OR his Sahaabah. If however, you pray every single night and it is part of your routine to stay up for worship, then there is no harm. Similarly, if you are in the habit of fasting Mondays and Thursdays, or during Ayyaam Beed (the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every Islaamic month), and the 27th of Rajab falls on one of those days, then it is OK to do so. The problem arises when one thinks that this night is special and singles out this night or day for worship, thinking they are getting extra reward for their worship. But this is contrary to the Sunnah.
Al Huda Institute, Canada