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Isra and Mi'raj in the United Kingdom

Isra and Miraj, also called Shab-e-Miraj, commemorates Prophet Muhammed's legendary journey to Jerusalem and his ascension into heaven. Muslims in the UK mark the day with prayers and discussions.

Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

©iStockphoto.com/Claudia Dewald

Isra and Miraj in the Muslim Calendar

Isra and Miraj is observed on the 27th day of Rajab, the 7th month of the Islamic calendar.

Muslims use a lunar calendar which differs in length from the Gregorian calendar used worldwide. This means the Gregorian date of Muslim holidays shifts slightly from one year to the next, falling about 11 days earlier each year.

Date Depends on Moon Sighting

The timing of Muslim months and holidays generally depends on the sighting of the Moon's crescent following New Moon. Because the Moon's visibility depends on clear skies and a number of other factors, the exact date of Muslim holidays cannot be predicted with certainty.

Also, since the Moon is never visible in all world regions at once and current local dates can vary from one country to another, a holiday may fall on different dates according to a country's longitude and time zone. Depending on their country of origin, religious orientation, or cultural affiliation, some Muslims may, therefore, celebrate a holiday one day earlier than others.

Is Isra and Miraj a Public Holiday?

Although Isra and Miraj is an important Muslim observance, it is not a bank holiday in the United Kingdom.

How Is Isra and Miraj Celebrated in the UK?

Isra and Miraj events in the UK include special prayers in mosques and gatherings in Muslim community centers. These gatherings usually include speeches or discussions highlighting the religious importance of the events commemorated on Isra and Miraj.

Since these gatherings are usually held within the country's Muslim communities and mosques, they remain largely invisible to the general public. Many Muslims also observe Isra and Miraj quietly at home.

Why Is Isra and Miraj Celebrated?

The terms Isra and Miraj refer to two parts of an event both mentioned in the Quran, the most important religious text of Islam, and further detailed in the Hadith, a collection of texts about Prophet Muhammed.

According to the scriptures, Muhammed embarked on a night journey (Isra) to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and was then lifted into heaven (Miraj).

Who Celebrates Isra and Miraj in the UK?

With nearly 2.8 million Muslims living in the United Kingdom, which equals about 4.8% of the population, Islam constitutes the second largest religion in the country, after Christianity. The largest Muslim community can be found in London. The municipalities of Bradford, Luton, Blackburn, Birmingham, and Dewsbury also have significant Muslim populations.

About Isra and Mi'raj in other countries

Read more about Isra and Mi'raj.

Isra and Mi'raj Observances

Note: Regional customs or moon sightings may cause a variation of the date for Islamic holidays, which begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday. The Islamic calendar is lunar and the days begin at sunset, so there may be one-day error depending on when the New Moon is first seen.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SatMay 16Isra and Mi'rajMuslim
2016ThuMay 5Isra and Mi'rajMuslim
2017MonApr 24Isra and Mi'rajMuslim
2018FriApr 13Isra and Mi'rajMuslim
2019WedApr 3Isra and Mi'rajMuslim
2020SunMar 22Isra and Mi'rajMuslim
2021ThuMar 11Isra and Mi'rajMuslim
2022TueMar 1Isra and Mi'rajMuslim
2023SatFeb 18Isra and Mi'rajMuslim
2024WedFeb 7Isra and Mi'rajMuslim
2025MonJan 27Isra and Mi'rajMuslim

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