Story of Prayer

This is about the Night Journey & Ascension. In this night the Prophet (PBUH) led all the Prophets in prayer and ascended to the heavens the result of which, the five prayers were mandated obligatory on all Muslims. This falls on the 27th night of the Islamic month of Rajab which this year falls on May 5th starting tonight.  Even if there’s no obligation to celebrate this night, people still remember it.  The Night Journey started with the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mounting an animal called Al-Buraq and going to the “farthest mosque” which is Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.  This being the 3rd holiest site in Islam.  There He lead all the other prophets in prayer being the leader of the Prophets.  Afterwards He (PBUH) ascended to the heavens where He was given the mandate by God to pray.  As the story goes, He (PBUH) was told to pray 50 times and then as He left he spoke with Moses (upon whom be peace) who told Him (PBUH) that 50 is too much go get it reduced.  So He kept going back and forth between God and Moses getting it reduced up to 5 which was the final reduction because the Prophet was too embarrassed to go back again.  So there it was, the story of how we as Muslims began praying 5x/day.

I pass by this story every year and for some reason this year it’s resonating with me more.  Last week I went to Jummah with my dad and it was different from other Jummahs I’ve experienced.  After Jummah we went to the market and saw Muslims just hanging out and having lunch they way they do after prayer.  This simple act really made me feel at home in the community.  This made me feel proud of my community as a whole.  We went to a mosque that had a diverse community and I Love seeing the diversity and unity that resides within Islam.  You really see this through the community spirit of praying.  On this night we remember our community spirit as a whole as well as the reminder that prayer is also there if we are struggling with something in our lives and if we aren’t be thankful.  Prayer is one of the focal points of Islam and this is a part of how it began.  Thinking about this story makes me wish I could one day see the spot where the Prophet ascended to the heavens.  When I was in Makkah and Medina last year, I was reminded that these were the places where the Prophet stepped.  This is where it all began.  Days like these and days like Jummah where I can see the community at finest make me so happy and proud to be a part of this Ummah.  It gives me a sense of Home.

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