Israa’ and Mi`raaj Miraculous Journey
Among the Prophet’s miracles is the ‘Israa’ (Travel at Night) and Mi`raaj (Ascension) Journey.
• The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, made this trip to see the wonders of the upper world and the magnificent creation of Allah.
• The trip was not to go where Allah is, because Allah exists without a place and Allah is neither in the sky nor on earth.
‘Israa’ – Traveling at night
• Allah said in Sooratul ‘Israa’, 1:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ ءايَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ
• This verse explicitly states that the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, traveled at night from the Haram Masjid in Makkah to the ‘Aqsaa Masjid in Jerusalem.
The ‘Israa’ Journey is confirmed by the Qur’an and the reliable hadith texts and one has to believe that Allah made the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, travel at night from Makkah to the ‘Aqsaa Masjid.
Mi`raaj – Ascension
• Allah said in Sooratul Najm, 13-15:
وَلَقَدْ رَءاهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَى. عِندَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَى. عِندَهَا جَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَى
• These verses in the Qur’an indicate that the Ascension took place, since they mention the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, seeing Angel Jibril at Sidratul Muntahaa, which is above the seventh sky where Paradise is and Paradise is above the seventh sky. This is also known from the hadith of the Prophet that Jannah of alFirdaws has its ceiling the `Arsh.
However, these verses are not an explicit text that the Ascension took place and it is possible that they may infer a meaning other than the apparent meaning. For example, if someone did not hear or learn about this event, did not understand the meaning these verses had conveyed and did not believe that Muslims believe that the Ascension took place, and denied the Ascension, one is excused, unless one denies it out of stubbornness.
However, if one understood from the verses that Sidratul Muntahaa is in the sky and in spite of that one denies the Ascension, then one contradicts the Qur’an and goes out of Islam.
The Sunni `Ulamaa’ from among the Salaf and Khalaf, and the scholars of Hadith, Creed (`Aqeedah), Interpreters of Qur’an (Tafseer), and Islamic Law (Fiqh) have the consensus that the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, made the ‘Israa’ Journey by body and soul while being awake.
This is a true matter and it is the saying of `Umar, Ibn `Abbas, Jaabir, Anas, Hudhayfah and others.
The `Ulamaa’ said:
The one who denies the ‘Israa’ belies the Qur’an and the one who does that goes out of Islam.
• From Makkah to al’Aqsaa: The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was carried on the Buraaq (one of the animals of Paradise which has wings). Prophet Ibrahim, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, used to ride the Buraaq in the morning when travelling from Palestine to Makkah to visit Ismaa`eel, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, and his mother Hajar and then return to Palestine after Dhuhr. The angel used to bring him the animal. (alAzraqiyy: History of Makkah) The Buraaq is a white animal, slightly larger than a donkey yet smaller than a mule and the length of its stride is the farthest distance its eye can see.
• From Jerusalem to the sky: The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, used the Mirqaat which is like a stairs but veiled from us and one of its step is made of gold and the other is made of silver. (Imamul Bayhaqiyy)
• Coming back to Makkah: The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, did not use the Buraaq but returned by an extraordinary way.
• Preparing Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam: Jibreel descended, cut open the chest of Prophet Muhammad washed it with Zamzam water and filled his chest with wisdom.
• Praying at noble places: The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, prayed two raka`aat at three places: Madinah, Mount Sinai where Prophet Moosaa was buried and Bethlehem, where Prophet `Isaa (Jesus) was born.
• Grave of Pharaoh Daughter’s hair dresser: The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, smelled the very nice odor of this pious, martyr and Muslim woman’s grave. Pharaoh killed her and her children by boiling water because she refused to worship him and leave Islam. Her breast feeding boy child said to her: O Mother, be patient. The torture of the Hereafter is far more severe than the torture of this life, and do not retract, because you are right. Pharaoh buried her bones and the bones of her children.
• The rock: Angel Jibril pierced the rock above the Masjid (the rock is connected to the earth not suspended in the sky) by his hand and tied the Buraaq to it. Some Prophets who used to go there also used this ring to tie.
• Praying as Imam: Allah assembled all the Prophets and Messengers from Adam to `Isaa for the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, to lead them in prayer in the ‘Aqsaa Masjid in Jerusalem. This is an indication that Prophet Muhammad, mercy and peace upon him, is higher in status than all the rest of the Prophets and Messengers.
• The two containers of non-toxicant wine and milk: After Jibril had offered them the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, choose the milk. Jibril said you chose the Fitrah (readiness to Islam) had you chose the other one, your nation would have strayed.
• Praying: The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, used to pray and make wudoo’ before the event of the ‘Israa’.