Isra and Miraj: The Miraculous Night Journey of Prophet Muhammad pbuh

Shab-e-Miraj (Isra and Miraj) is
one of the most important events related to prophethood. In this events, Allah has unveiled the “the marvels of future technology” i.e the idea of ‘aeroplane’. At present, it’s easy to believe now that we can complete any long distances within few hours but at that time it was quite confusing, but that was the test of faith. Allah the exalted, who created such a magnificent Universe, who can do anything so there is nothing to wonder about. Almighty Allah the Creator and Sustainer of the universis does every thing with means or without means and against the means as He likes and intends.No power and no one whats so ever can change His Command Kun (to be). In the incidence of Miraj there is a lessonfor every one and specialy for the people believing in Logic Positivity.

Allah has given the detail in chapter Isra and Najm about this incident :

“Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Qur’an 17:1)

” While he [Jibrael (Gabriel)] was in the highest part of the horizon; Then he [Jibrael (Gabriel)] approached and came closer, And was at a distance of two bows length or (even) nearer; So did (Allah) convey the Inspiration to His slave [Muhammad) through Jibrael; The (Prophet’s) heart lied not (in seeing) what he saw ; will you then dispute with him about what he saw [during the Mi’raj: (Ascent of the Prophet over the seven heavens)] ; And indeed he saw him [Jibrael (Gabriel)] at a second descent (i.e. another time) ; Near sidrat-ul- Muntaha [lote-tree of the utmost boundary (beyond which none can pass)] ; Near it is the Paradise of Abode ; When that covered the lote-tree which did cover it! ; The sight (of Prophet Muhammad) turned not aside (right or left), nor it transgressed beyond (the) limit (ordained for it) ; Indeed he (Muhammad ) did see, of the Greatest Signs, of his Lord (Allah)” [Quran, 53:7-18]

In this verse, the Qur’an mentions only a part of the Journey, i.e. Isra that’s from Masjid-e-Haram to the place of worship at Jerusalem. Then Miraj, ascension of the Prophet pbuh over the seven heavens. The object of this journey as stated here was that Allah willed to show His servant some of His signs. The Qur’an does not give any details other than this but we find further details in the traditions.

Muslims believe in the events of Isra and Miraj, it’s a part of faith. As we know, one cannot do anything to a person who falsify the truth and refuses to accept truth and reasons. Allah has mentioned it Qur’an so do we need any more proof? Quraish started to mock and doubt, persistently refused to accept truth. As soon as Abubakr RA received the news of Miraj so he said if Muhammed pbuh himself declared so it must be true. Thereupon, he recived the title of of Al-Siddique (truthful) after this incident. However that’s one of the most significant journey of the Prophet Muhammed pbuh to Heavens. Jibril AS took him to Sidratul- Muntaha, it isn’t just any ordinary tree like the ones we see in this world, but refers to a great shade close to Allah. (Allah knows best)

The event is referred to ‘night journey’. According to the authentic traditions, this took place a year before migration (Hijrah). The month of Rajab is the most famous for the incident of the night journey and ascension of Prophet pbub to the heavens, in Arabic known as Al-Isra wal Mi’raj. The exact date of this journey is unknown, however all Islamic scholars are in agreement that it took place in the month of Rajab. However, Prophet pbuh neither encouraged celebration himself nor instructed his Ummah to do so.This night is a sign for those who believe, to appreciate the creation of Allah, to be grateful to Allah and to pray to Allah 5 times a day – which is by default an obligatory act for Muslims.

▪ Isra :

It was during these trying times, when circumstances had reached desperate proportion, that Allah sent Angel Jibril AS to take Prophet Muhammad pbub on the most glorious journey ever experienced by anyone on earth. The Prophet pbuh was standing near the Ka’abah one night when Angel Jibril AS appeared with Burraq, a beast described as being between a mule and a donkey. Its speed was such that its hooves would touch where its eyes gazed. The part of journey known as Isra or the night journey took place between Mecca and Jerusalem. Burraq bore Prophet pbub on its back and in an instant transported him to Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, a journey that at the time took weeks overland. Here, at the third holiest site in Islam, the Prophet pbuh led all the Prophets in prayer. When later questioned about it, the Prophet pbuh was able to recount the details of this journey, the places, buildings, and even the caravan that was on its way from Jerusalem with perfect accuracy; this not only verified his claims and discredited the Quraysh mockery, but also strengthened Muslims in their faith.

▪Mi’raj :

From Masjid Al-Aqsa, Prophet pbuh went to the second part of his journey known as Mi’raj or ascension to the heavens.Accompanied by Jibril AS, he ascended from heaven to heaven and was introduced to some previous prophets of Allah including Adam, the father of all mankind; Isa and his cousin Yahya, Yusuf, Idris, Harun and Musa— peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all. In the seventh heaven, Prophet SAW saw Al-Baytil-Ma’mur, a building that is identical to the Holy Ka’abah in Makkah. Al-Baytil-Ma’mur is situated in the heavens exactly over the earthly Ka’abah. Each day, a continuous batch of 70,000 different angels enter it to worship Allah, a practice that will last till the end of time. There, Muhammad pbub met and exchanged greetings with his father-in-prophethood and the friend of Allah, Ibrahim AS, who incidentally was the Prophet who built the Holy Ka’abah on earth. At Al-Baytil – Ma’mur, (and on some other reports, while they were still in Masjid Al-Aqsa) the Prophet pbuh was offered a cup of wine and a cup of milk and was asked to choose between the two. He chose milk and at this Jibril AS remarked that Prophet pbuh had chosen fitra, nature, over the artificial and thus he and his followers will be on the natural religion of Islam.

Muhammad pbub witnessed the glories of Paradise, which is promised to the followers of truth. He was also shown hellfire and the horrific tortures, which await those who perpetrate corruption and sins on earth. He related to us the punishments specific to some crimes such as backbiting, adultery, usurping the money of orphans and eating riba; things that many commonly indulge in and need to be warned against in strictest terms.This was also the journey through which the prophet pbuh requested Allah to reduce the number of prayers from 50 to 5. Although this is a remarkable event in Islam.

Finally, the Prophet pbuh ascended to Sidrat ul Muntaha the boundary beyond which no one, not even Jibril AS can cross. At this point, the angel parted from the Prophet pbuh and he went on alone to face his Lord, Allah. However, Prophet Muhammad pbuh didn’t see Allah as narrated that ‘Aaishah RA said: “Whoever told you that Muhammad pbuh saw his Lord was lying. He said that no vision can grasp him [ al-An’aam 6:103]…” (Narrated by Bukhari)

Similarly punishments for evil deeds shown to him were only symbolic observations of the punishments in the Hereafter so that he might see in advance the things which would take place in the Hereafter. In regard to the Miraj it should be kept in view that aII the Prophets were enabled by Allah to see His Signs in the heavens and the earth according to their ranks. And for this purpose all the material curtains were lifted so that they could see with their naked eyes the unseen realities, to which they were required to invite the people.

This was done so that the Prophets could say with full conviction what they had seen with their own eyes. For this experience would distinguish them from a philosopher who based all his theories on assumptions and cannot say that he bears witness to what he claims. In contrast to the philosophers, Prophets could say that they bore witness to the things which they presented because they had seen them with their own eyes. The actual power behind these miraculous events comes from the Creator Himself who showed the metaphysical reality to Prophet Muhammad pbuh in his true consciousness.

Allah is the Source of All Power.

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