Tonight is Miraç Kandili, or Isra and Mi’raj in Arabic, the Islamic Holy Night that commemorates a journey taken by the Prophet Muhammad. According to Sura 17, and later developed by several Hadiths, Muhammad was taken to “the furthest mosque” (believed to be in Jerusalem) atop a buraq. There he led Adam, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets in prayer. After that the buraq took him into the heavens, where Muhammad recieved instructions from God concerning prayer. Originally God demanded people pray 50 times a day, but Muhammad negotiated done to 5.
It’s not widely observed here in Istanbul, but some neighborhood kids did come running up to me to kiss my hand and receive a blessing this morning. Hopefully they weren’t too disappointed I didn’t have any candy!