This weekend, Muslims worldwide will mark “Isra and Miraj,” the Prophet
Muhammad’s night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, and from the rock now
located in the Dome of the Rock, to heaven.
The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, states: “Glorified be He (God) who took
his servant (Muhammad) for a journey by night from al-Masjid al-Haram (in
Mecca) to al-Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem), whose precincts we have
blessed…” (“Masjid” is the Arabic word for “mosque.”) Masjid Al-Aqsa and
the Dome of the Rock are located on “Haram Al-Shareef,” or the “noble
enclosure” in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Jerusalem is one of Islam’s holiest sites, along with Mecca and Medinah in
the Arabian Peninsula. It was home to many prophets of Islam, including
David, Solomon and Jesus, and was Islam’s first “Qibla,” or direction to
which Muslims turned in prayer.