Miracle of Al-Isra & Al-Miraj (620 AD)
(The night journey and the ascension of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
10th year of prophet hood was a year of grief and sorrow as the prophet’s uncle Abu Talib and his wife H. Khadijah passed away.
After that, the Prophet went to Taif in the hope of spreading Islam but was rejected. All these events were of great disappointment to the Prophet. So Miraj was in fact a ray of hope that Allah had not forsaken him and it strengthened him spiritually. In the 10th year of Prophet hood on 27th Rajab the Prophet was taken for Isra and Miraj.
The miracle of al-Isra’ is mentioned in the Quran as, “ Praise be to Allah Who enabled His slave, Muhammad, to make the journey at night from Masjid al-Haram in Makkah to Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, which is surrounded a blessed land.”
Before the Prophet took this night journey, the ceiling of the house in which he was staying was opened, and Jibril descended. He cut open the chest of Prophet Muhammad and washed that open area with Zamzam water. Then he emptied something from a container into the chest of the Prophet to increase his wisdom as well as the strength of his belief. This was done to prepare the Messenger of Allah for that which he had yet to see in the upper world from among the wonders of the creation of Allah.
Al-Isra: After the Prophet performed the Evening Prayer (^Isha’in Majid e Haraam, Makkah, H.Jibril came to him with a white animal. This animal was the buraq,–one of the animals of Paradise. Jibril held the buraq by his ear and told the Prophet to mount it. When the buraq was mounted, the Prophet set forth. Then the buraq continued with the Messenger of Allah until they entered the city of Jerusalem. There the Prophet went to Masjid al-Aqsa. The Prophet entered the masjid where Allah assembled for him all the Prophets–from Adam to Isa. Prophet Muhammad moved forward and led them all in prayer. This is an indication the Prophet is higher in status than all the rest of the prophets and messengers. Then he was brought two jugs, one containing wine and the other milk. He chose the milk and refused the wine. At this, the Archangel Gabriel said, ‘You have been rightly guided to the fitrah, the true nature of man, and so will your people be, Muhammad. Wine is forbidden to you.
After the Prophet took this night journey from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, he ascended to the upper heavens. When the Prophet and Jibril arrived at the first heaven, there, Prophet Muhammad saw Prophet Adam. To Adam’s right, the Prophet saw some bodies, and to Adam’s left, other bodies. If Adam would look to his right he would laugh, and if he would look to his left he would cry. Adam was seeing the souls of his descendants. Those on his right were his descendants who would die as believers and those on his left were his descendants who would die as non-believers.
Then the Prophet ascended to the second heaven. In this second heaven was where Prophet Muhammad saw Prophets Eisa and Yahya. Isa and Yahya are cousins; their mothers were sisters. They welcomed the Prophet and made supplication (du^a’) for him for good things. The Prophet ascended to the third heaven, where he found Prophet Yusuf. Prophet Yusuf was extremely handsome. Allah bestowed half the beauty on Yusuf. Yusuf received the Prophet with a warm welcome and made supplication (du^a’) for him for good things.
Then the Prophet ascended to the fourth heaven, where he found Prophet Idris. Idris welcomed the Prophet and made supplication (du^a’) for him for good things. In the fifth heaven, the Prophet encountered Harun, the brother of Prophet Musa. In the sixth heaven, he encountered Prophet Musa. Each of these Prophets received Prophet Muhammad with a warm welcome and made supplication (du^a’)’) for him for good things.
Then the Prophet ascended to the seventh heaven, and that is where our Messenger saw Prophet Ibrahim. The Prophet saw Prophet Ibrahim with his back against al-Bayt al-Ma’mur.
Then the Prophet ascended to what is beyond the seven skies; he entered Paradise. He saw examples of the inhabitants of Paradise and how their situation would be. He saw most of the inhabitants of Paradise are the poor people .In Paradise, the Prophet saw some of the bounties Allah prepared for the inhabitants of Paradise.
He was gifted the obligation of the five Obligatory Prayers. At first, Allah obligated fifty prayers.
When Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) encountered Musa, Musa(AS)) told him to make supplication (dua’) to his Lord to ease the obligation of fifty (50) prayers, because his nation could not handle that. Musa said, “I have experience with the people of Israel, and I know your nation cannot bear that.” So the Prophet asked his Lord to lessen these prayers for his people. Five prayers were eliminated. Once again, Musa told the Prophet to ask Allah to lessen the number of prayers. Allah did. Nine times the Prophet made supplication to Allah to lessen these prayers–until these prayers were lessened to five Obligatory Prayers. So Prophet Musa was a great benefit to us. Had we been obligated to pray fifty prayers a day, this would have been a difficult matter for us.
On Prophet Muhammad’s journey, Allah enabled him to see some of His wondrous creations. The Prophet saw angels smashing some people’s heads with rocks. These heads would return to the shape they had been, and then the angels would smash their heads again–and so on. Jibril told the Prophet, “These are the ones whose heads felt too heavy to perform prayer–the ones who used to sleep without praying.”
On his journey the Prophet saw people who were competing to eat some rotten meat–ignoring meat that was sliced and unspoiled. Jibril told the Prophet, “These are people from your nation who leave out that which is permissible (halal), and consume that which is forbidden ((haram). “This reference was to the fornicators, that is, the ones who left out the permissible (marriage) and committed sins (fornication).
The Prophet saw people scratching their faces and chests with brass finger nails. Jibril said, “These are the examples of those who commit gossip ((ghibah)”
After all these matters took place with the Prophet, he returned to the city of Makkah. Some scholars said the Prophet’s journey took about one-third of the night, i.e., his journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, then to the heavens and what is above them, and then back to Makkah .The next day the Prophet told the people what happened to him the previous night. The blasphemers belied the Prophet and mocked him, saying, “We need a month to get there and back, and you are claiming to have done all this in one night?” They said to Abu Bakr, “Look at what your companion is saying. He says he went to Jerusalem and came back in one night.” Abu Bakr told them, “If he said that, then he is truthful. I believe him concerning the news of the heavens–which an angel descends to him from the heavens. How could I not believe he went to Jerusalem and came back in a short period of time–when these are on earth?” At that, the Companion, Abu Bakr, was called “as-Siddiq”–because of how strongly he believed what the entire Prophet said.
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