When it comes to fairy tales, we often take time out to choose which ones are appropriate for our kids to watch; we vacillate between what is considered too much sheltering and what is too much exposure, what is healthy to show young girls and boys, what is historically relevant, and so forth.
As the 27th of Rajab awaits us, we should actively plan to engage in reflecting with our children. We should commemorate such a magical event that impacted not only the life of our beloved Prophet sallahu’alayhi wa salam but also the ummah today!
What would it be to travel on a horse with wings? To fly with the angel Jibreel? To go to Paradise for an evening? To meet other Prophets? To witness the magic of Paradise?
Tips on how to observe and reflect on Israa Wal Miraaj, the Night's Journey:
Sit or lay on the ground, and ask everyone to imagine this journey, as someone takes them through a visualization exercise with their eyes closed.
In this exercise, one can go through each of the steps that occurred on the journey, making it as simple or complex as one would choose.
Let the participants travel with the words, through each part of the journey
Discuss how such an out of body experience such as flying, riding a horse, and traveling through space and time were possible.
Discuss the facts and hadith presented on Israa Wal Miraaj, the Night’s journey.
To dive in further, one can discuss how many of the towns people didn’t believe the story of Israa Wal Miraaj, the Night's journey, when the Prophet Muhammad, sallahualayhiwasalaam mentioned it to them; how something that seems magical and like a fairy tale could be true.
3) Reading about descriptions of paradise
Assemble in a circle and have each participant read about characteristics of Jannah/paradise.
Let them facilitate their own discussion and ask each other questions.
Transition to talking about how they would live if they make it to Jannah/paradise.
4) Drawing or storytelling
Gather together at a table with crayons and markers.
Create what the Buraq (animal that resembled a flying horse) may look like.
Draw abstract images and create their own visuals based on descriptions of Jannah/paradise that are read.
5) Star gazing
Lay outside in the late night where the stars can be seen. This may be in your backyard, parking lot or even a camping ground. To challenge yourself you can do so an hour before fajr prayer!
Discuss how the stars are humongous and appear so close at times, though they are so far away in other galaxies.
Then teach the significance of the stars (the three purposes they serve), and have the participants visualize what Jannah/paradise must be - if they stars themselves are so beautiful from far away, and are used to decorate the Heavens.
It was originally prescribed to the Prophet Muhammad, sallahualayhiwasalaam, to have his people pray 50 times. He then went back and it was lowered to 30, then to 20 and finally to 5.
Formulate a time table or daily schedule with your children and see how you could fit in 50 prayers a day. And then 30, and then 20.
Reflect on how the five prayers, though they seem like a lot at times, are really a blessing and very manageable.
The narratives on Israa Wal Miraaj, the Night's journey are so rich and so vast, to light up the lives of anyone who may read them, and want to embark an a magical experience! One such narrative is as follows below,
In the narration of al-Bukhārī, (Book; the Beginning of Creation; Chapter, the Mentioning of Angels), the following additions can be found; ‘Then I was shown Sidra al- Muntahā and I saw its Nabk fruits which resembled the clay jugs of Hajr (a town in Arabia) and its leaves were like the ears of elephants. Four rivers originated from its roots, two of them were apparent and two of them were hidden. I asked Jibrīl about the two rivers and he said, ‘the two hidden rivers are in Paradise, and the apparent ones are the Nile and the Euphrates.’
Remember, these are a handful of a long list of ideas to observe the blessed Nights’ journey, that can be done throughout a few nights and days. It is important that we truly reflect with our families on the magic that took place on the night of Israa Wal Miraaj.
1607 Taft AveWheaton,
Follow us on our really awesome journey: