Israk and Mikraj is a public holiday each year in Brunei – as in many other Muslim-majority countries. Israk and Mikraj falls on 27 Rejab on the Islamic Calendar, but its date varies on the Gregorian Calendar from year to year and also varies based on moon-sightings.
This holiday is a commemoration of a two-part journey that Allah took Muhammad on around A.D. 620. It is said that Muhammad was taken from his bedroom in Meccah to “the furthest mosque”, which many believe at the time was the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. That part of the journey is called “Israk”.
The second phase, “Mikraj”, is said to have been a transport to heaven and to hell. Muhammad is said to have met with many prophets of old, such as Moses and Jesus. It is believed that Muhammad received instructions on proper prayer practices from Allah at this time, which he then passed on to others. This is why there is an emphasis on prayer during Israk and Mikraj in Brunei and elsewhere.
Some say that Muhammad’s journeys were merely of his soul, while others say his body travelled. In any case, he was found the next morning in his bed where he had gone to sleep.
Many Muslims in Brunei will attend special prayer services at mosque and pray much at home as well for Israk and Mikraj. Some may also decorate their homes with candles or lights.