The people of Pakistan will go to the polls on February 8.
By a happy coincidence, it happens to be the 27th of Rajab, a sacred day in one of the four sacred months in Islam.
Muslims know that the event of Isra wal Mi‘raj, the Prophet’s (pbuh) miraculous journey from Masjid al Haram to Masjid al Aqsa in al-Quds (Jerusalem) and then onto the Sidratul Muntaha, occurred on the night of the 27th of Rajab.
The Prophet’s (pbuh) Mi‘raj occurred in the twelfth year of his mission in Makkah.
The previous two years of his life in Makkah were extremely difficult for him.
Two years earlier when the Muslims’ siege in Sh‘ab Abi Talib ended, he lost two of his closest companions in quick succession.
He lost his beloved wife Khadijah (ra) and his elderly uncle Abu Talib.
Both had suffered grievously as a consequence of the siege and lack of food.
In other words, they died of hunger.
After these successive losses, the Prophet (pbuh) went to Taif, a city some 40 km from Makkah, in hopes that the people there might accept the message of Islam.
Far from accepting his message, the chiefs of Taif set the hooligans of the town upon him who pelted him with stones and drove him out of town.
He was so badly wounded that his body started to bleed profusely.
It was in these trying circumstances that Allah (swt) rewarded him with Isra wal Mi‘raj.
One cannot help but draw parallels between the Prophet’s (pbuh) undoubtedly extremely severe travails, and what the people of Pakistan have suffered over the last 22 months.
They have had to endure all kinds of oppression, injustices, torture and killings.
Criminals and gangsters have taken control of the reins of power and caused havoc for the lives of ordinary people.
Pakistan’s most popular leader, Imran Khan is languishing in jail on totally bogus charges.
The morally depraved illegal occupiers of power have even tried to tarnish his image and that of his wife by accusing the pair of getting married while she was still completing her iddat (the waiting period after a woman’s divorce before she can remarry).
Imran Khan has been sentenced to 32 years in jail on three separate charges.
He faces some 180 charges in total, all completely bogus.
February 8 offers an opportunity for the people of Pakistan to confront the criminals and gangsters by rejecting them and voting for candidates who are aligned with Imran Khan.
His party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI), has been banned from contesting elections.
Thus, PTI candidates are forced to run as independents.
This complicates the situation for the electorate, many of whom are not well educated, but they have an opportunity to defeat the criminal syndicate at the ballot box.
While elections may not solve all of Pakistan’s problems, or none at all except to block the criminals from creating further havoc, it is an opportunity for the masses to express their preferences.
If the turnout is large—and it appears that way—the people may finally banish the criminals.
The people of Pakistan should come out in large numbers as a sacred duty on a sacred day (27th of Rajab).
It will be their Mi‘raj.
Such opportunities do not come by too often.
Following the Prophet’s Mi‘raj, Allah (swt) opened the way for the Hijrah to Madinah and the establishment of the Islamic State.
It cannot be ruled out that the February 8 election result might lead to the establishment of the Riasat-e Madinah (the Islamic State of Madinah) that Imran Khan has talked about so often.
It is now for the people of Pakistan to rise to the occasion.