Turkey’s top cleric marks Muslim holy night

– ‘Muslims do not have freedom of spirit and heart if al-Aqsa Mosque is not free,’ says head of Diyanet

By Ozgun Tiran,Ufuk Ertop <br>

KIRKLARELI, Turkey (AA) – One of the most important things that Lailat al Miraj reminds us about is al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) said Tuesday.

Ali Erbas marked Lailat al Miraj, or the “Night of Ascension”, during a program organized by a mosque in Turkey’s northwestern Kirklareli province.

“I pray that this holy night brings blessings to the entire Muslim world,” Erbas said.

“Al-Aqsa Mosque must be free,” he added.

Lailat al Miraj is observed in Turkey as one of the five holy nights when the minarets of mosques are illuminated and there are special prayers.

The event marks the night that Allah took Prophet Muhammed on a journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to heaven.

The night is generally observed on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz