The Telangana government has announced that February 8 will be observed as an optional holiday in celebration of the Shab-e-Meraj festival. This festival, also known as Isra and Mi’raj, holds great significance for Muslims worldwide.
Shab-e-Meraj commemorates the journey of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven, guided by Allah. According to Islamic beliefs, the Angel Jibrael purified the Prophet’s heart and stomach with Zam Zam while he slept in the Kabah. The Angel then took him to Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem, from where the Prophet ascended through the heavens. Along the way, he met various prophets and received divine revelations until he reached the highest point, the Sidrat al-Muntaha, where he had a direct conversation with Allah.
During the night of Shab-e-Meraj, the obligation of five daily prayers for all Muslims was established. It is a night of prayer, reflection, and gratitude for the Muslim community.
The government of Telangana has also designated other optional holidays in the official calendar. Sri Panchami on February 14 and Shab-e-Barat on February 26 are both marked as optional holidays. Additionally, the month of March holds three general holidays which are Maha Shivaratri on March 8, Holi on March 25, and Good Friday on March 29. Moreover, on March 31, the government has declared Shahadat HZT Ali (R.A.) as an optional holiday.
This announcement by the Telangana government aims to provide an opportunity for the Muslim community to observe and celebrate the auspicious Shab-e-Meraj festival. It acknowledges the significance of this event in Islam and promotes diversity and inclusivity in the state.
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