One night more than 1,400 years ago, the Islamic faith teaches, God took the Prophet Muhammad on a journey from Mecca to Jerusalem to heaven.
Muslims believe that during the trip, Muhammad met with other prophets, including Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. And that it was the night God assigned to him the five daily prayers and made them mandatory for all Muslims.
Muhammad had been sorely tested by the loss of his most beloved wife, his uncles who raised and protected him and the rejection and physical attack by the people of a town he visited – but he didn’t question his faith, Islamic teachings say.
The night journey, known to Muslims as Isra and Mi’raj, was commemorated Friday by Muslims everywhere, including in the Inland Empire at the Islamic Center in Redlands.
It was Rajab 27 on the Islamic calendar.
“The night journey … came in which God wanted to strengthen his faith, to remind him that ‘I’m still with you,”‘ said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Southern California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Ayloush, who is a guest imam at many Southern California mosques, regularly provides sermons and leads the Friday prayer.
The night journey, Ayloush said, reminded the prophet that obstacles are tests faced by every prophet of God.
As 1 p.m. approached, the parking lot of the center filled rapidly as Muslims came to the Redlands mosque. Children followed quickly in the footsteps of the adults.