[ meer-ahj ]
/ ˈmɪər ɑdʒ /
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noun Islam.
Muhammad's miraculous ascension from Jerusalem, through the seven heavens, to the throne of God. The site from which he ascended is now the shrine of the Dome of the Rock.
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Origin of Miʿraj

From the Arabic word miʿrāj literally, ladder, stairs
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is Miʿraj?

Miʿraj refers to the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad into heaven after the Israʾ, or Night Journey—the miraculous journey in which he was carried from Mecca to Jerusalem.

These events are often referred to together as Israʾ and Miʿraj. The names are also used to refer to the annual commemoration of these events by Muslims.

During the Miʿraj, the Prophet Muhammad is said to have ascended through seven heavens to the throne of Allah, who commanded him to establish daily prayers.

The Night Journey is said to have begun at the site now known as the Kaaba, a cube-shaped building in Mecca that is considered Islam’s holiest site. The shrine built at what’s believed to be the site of the Prophet Muhammad’s ascension is known as the Dome of the Rock.

When is Miʿraj?

Israʾ and Miʿraj are both observed on the 27th day of Rajab, the seventh month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the corresponding Gregorian calendar dates change each year. In 2022, Israʾ and Miʿraj will be observed on March 1 (starting at sundown on February 28). In 2023, Israʾ and Miʿraj will be observed on February 18 (starting at sundown on February 17).

More information and context on Miʿraj

Miʿraj comes from the Arabic word miʿrāj, which literally means “ladder” or “stairs.”

During the Israʾ, the Prophet Muhammad is said to have traveled alongside the angel Jibril (Gabriel), who commanded him to stop and pray along the way at three sites now holy to Muslims, including Medina, Mount Sinai, and Bethlehem. According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad was transported by a winged creature known as Buraq.

Upon reaching the end of the journey at what is now the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the Prophet Muhammad led other Prophets in prayer before ascending into heaven and receiving a decree from Allah to establish daily prayers. Upon his return, he instructed Muslims how to pray five times a day.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Miʿraj?

How is Miʿraj discussed in real life?

The term Miʿraj is commonly used in Israʾ and Miʿraj to refer to the Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey and his ascension, which Muslims commemorate each year.


Try using Miʿraj!

True or False?

Israʾ and Miʿraj are observed on the same day.

How to use Miʿraj in a sentence

  • We need not copy the descriptions of this Ascension, or "Miraj," in every detail.

    The Life of Mohammad|Etienne Dinet