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Isra and Mi'raj in the United States

Many Muslims in the United States observe Isra and Mi'raj (Al Isra' wal Miraj, Lailat al Mi’raj, or Laylat al Miraj). This event commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascent into heaven. It is observed on the 27th day of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar.

Is Isra and Mi'raj a Public Holiday?

Isra and Mi'raj is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, March 22, 2020 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in the United States.

Jerusalem

The Prophet Mohammad (also written as Muhammad) traveled from Mecca to Jerusalem, pictured above.

©iStockphoto.com/Claudia Dewald

What Do People Do?

Customs and traditions that center on Isra and Mi’raj vary in the United States. Many Muslims make special prayers in the evening. Some people attend prayer services and sermons at Islamic centers or mosques while others observe Isra and Mi’raj quietly at home. Some Muslims celebrate the event over two days.

Conferences about Isra and Mi’raj were held in some parts of the United States in recent times. It has also been reported (in various media) that thousands Muslims in California, Wisconsin and other states celebrate this observance each year. This event gives people the chance to reflect on the importance of prayer. It is a time for people, particularly students, to learn more about Isra and Mi'raj, what it means in Islamic faith, and how it is applied in practice.

Public Life

Isra and Mi’raj is not a federal public holiday in the United States. There may be some local congestion on roads around major mosques in the evening of the event.

Background

Isra and Mi’raj is a two-fold event that commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascent into heaven, according to Islamic belief. One night during the 10th year of Muhammad’s prophecy, the angel Gabriel woke him and traveled with him to Jerusalem. Muhammad prayed at the site of the Temple of Solomon with the prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others.

The Prophet Muhammad then rose to heaven (carried by Gabriel) from the rock of the temple mount, where many people believe that the Dome of the Rock sanctuary now stands. Allah instructed Muhammad about the five daily prayers that all Muslims must observe. This day is also known as the Night Journey.

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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