Muslims from Redbridge prepare to celebrate Lailat al Mi’raj
Muslims from across the borough will celebrate the journey to the heavens by the prophet Mohammed on Wednesday.
Lailat al Mi’raj will see Muslims gather in mosques, where they will listen to talks from imams and take part in prayer.
Bashir Chaudhary, chairman of Ilford Community Centre, Eton Road, Ilford, said: “All the prophets will be spiritually here. The holy prophet was for the whole of mankind. He was a great person on this planet, raised human dignity and fought for equal rights.”
The ascending of Mohammed to heaven from earth is a well-known and important event for Muslims.
Isra and Mi’raj refers to the two part journey undertaken by Mohammed which began with him travelling on the steed Buraq.
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He travelled to “the farthest mosque” in Jerusalem, where he leads the other prophets in prayer.
After this he ascended to heaven, going through the “seven skies”.
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Here he spoke to God, who gave Mohammed instructions to take back to the faithful.
The retelling of this in talks teaches listeners about “mercy and forgiveness”, said Mr Chaudhary, who is also chairman of the League of British Muslims.
Hafiz Abdullah Muhammad, leader of the Quran Study Group the Eman Foundation, based in Goodmayes, said the event also teaches Muslims about the “importance of prayer” and the “importance of Jerusalem” to a number of faiths.
“We all have a common heritage, and the Night Journey shows how Jews, Christians and Muslims have common historical roots,” he said.
“Jerusalem is a city where people of different faiths live together peacefully.
“It gives us a message of hope.”
He said he and his study group will journey to the City of Jerusalem on the anniversary of the Night Journey. “We plan to go to all the holy sites common to faiths,” he added.