The Miracle of Al-Isra’ & Al-Mi^raj (Night Journey & Ascention)
The Miracle of
Al-Isra‘ & Al-Mi^raj
(The night journey and the ascension of Prophet Muhammad)
Allah sent the prophets as a mercy to the slaves and supported them with miracles to indicate the truthfulness of their message. Of all the prophets, our Prophet Muhammad was blessed with the most miracles. Al-Isra‘ and al-Mi^raj are among the many miracles of Prophet Muhammad.
The miracle of al-Isra‘ is confirmed in the Qur’an. In Surat al-Isra‘, Ayah 1 means: [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.] This journey is also confirmed in the sahihhadith. Moreover, Islamic scholars indicated that the person who denies al-Isra‘ is a blasphemer, for belying the explicit text of the Qur’an.
Al-Isra’ (the night journey)
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.
After the Prophet performed the Evening Prayer (^Isha‘), 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.
The buraq is a very fast animal; the length of the buraq‘s stride is the farthest distance its eye can see. The Prophet and Jibril arrived to a land with palm trees. Jibril told him, “This is Yathrib; this is Taybah.
The buraq continued with the Prophet and Jibril until they reached another place. Jibril informed the Prophet of the name of that place; it was Tur Sina‘.
Once again the buraq took off with the Prophet and Jibril. Once again it stopped. This was in Bayt Lahm, where Prophet ^Isa (Jesus) was born. Then the buraq continued with the Messenger of Allah until they entered the city of Jerusalem. There the Prophet went to Masjid al-Aqsa. Then 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.
1-On Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, Allah enabled him to see some of His wondrous creations. Allah enabled the Prophet to see the world (dunya) like an old woman.
1- Allah enabled the Prophet to see Iblis.
2- On his journey, the Prophet smelled a very nice odor from the grave of the comber of Pharaoh’s daughter, who was an upright Muslim.
4- during his trip, the Prophet saw people who were planting and reaping in two days. Jibril told the Prophet, ” These were the people who fight for the sake of Allah (mujahidun).”
5- The Prophet also saw people whose lips and tongues were clipped with scissors made of fire. Jibril told the Prophet, ” These are the speakers of sedition (fitna) who call people to misguidance.”
6- He also saw a bull, which exited a very small outlet, then was trying in vain to return through that small outlet. Jibril told the Prophet, ” This is the example of the bad word, once spoken, it cannot be returned.”
7- The Prophet saw people grazing like animals, with very little clothing on their private parts. Jibril told the Prophet, ” These are the ones who refused to pay zakat.”
8- 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.”
9- 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).
10- also, the Prophet saw people who were drinking from the fluid coming from the bodies of the fornicators; (water mixed with blood). Jibril indicated to the Prophet that these were the ones who were drinking the alcohol, which is prohibited, in this world.
11- The Prophet saw people scratching their faces and chests with brass fingernails. Jibril said, ” These are the examples of those who commit gossip (ghibah).“
The Ascension of The Prophet
After the Prophet took the night journey from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, he ascended to the upper heavens. The Prophet ascended to the heaven on stairs, called al-mirqat, in which one step is made of gold and the next of silver, and so on. The Prophet ascended these stairs until he reached the first heaven. There, Prophet Muhammad saw Prophet Adam.
Then the Prophet ascended to the second heaven, where Prophet Muhammad saw Prophets ^Isa and Yahya.
Then the Prophet ascended to the third heaven, where he found Prophet yusuf. In the fourth he encountered Prophet Idriss . In the fifth heaven, the Prophet encountered Harun, the brother of Prophet Musa. In the sixth heaven, he encountered Prophet Musa.
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. Every day 70,000 angels go there; then exit from it, and never return. The next day another 70,000 angels go, come out, and never return. This will continue until the Day of Judgement.
In the seventh heaven, Prophet Muhammad saw Sidrat al-Muntaha a very big tree of sidr. Then the Prophet ascended to what is beyond the seven skies; he entered Paradise. 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 saw the Hur ul-^In: females Allah created who are not humans or jinn.
The Prophet saw the wildan ul-mukhalladun: creations of Allah who are not human, jinn, or angels. They are a very beautiful creation of Allah whose appearance is like laid-out pearls. They are servants of the inhabitants of Paradise. The Prophet saw other things on the night of his ascension. He saw Malik, the angel in charge of the Hellfire.
The Prophet saw the Throne (^Arsh), which is the largest creation of Allah and is surrounded by angels whose number is known only by Allah. Four angels carry it, but on the Day of Judgement eight will carry it.
Imam Ali Bin Abi Taleb said:
“ان الله خلق العرش اظهاراً لقدرته ولم يتخذه مكاناً لذاته“
Which means: “Allah created the Throne to show His Power and not to take it as place for Himself”.
Hence, whoever believes that Allah is sitting on The Throne is a blasphemer, because Allah does not resemble any of His creation and exists without being in a place.
Then the Prophet ascended beyond Paradise. He reached a place where he heard the creaking of the pens used by the angels who are copying from the Preserved Tablet. It is at that location Prophet Muhammad heard the Kalam of Allah, which is an attribute of the Self of Allah. He heard the Kalam of Allah, which does not resemble our speech. It is not something that occurs bit after bit. It is not letter after letter or a word that comes after another word. Rather, it is an attribute of Allah that is eternal and everlasting. It does not resemble our attributes.
The Prophet understood several things from hearing this Kalam of Allah. He understood the obligation of the five Obligatory Prayers.
After all these matters took place with the Prophet, he returned to the city of Makkah. Some scholars said the Prophet’s journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, then to the heavens and what is above them, and the return to Makkah took about one-third of the night.
The Prophet told the people what happened to him the previous night. But the blasphemers did not believe him, they questioned the Prophet: ” If you are truthful, then describe to us Masjid al-Aqsa and its surroundings.” They asked this because they knew Prophet Muhammad had never been there before the previous night. Allah enabled the Messenger to see Masjid al-Aqsa, and he described the masjid and its surroundings in exact detail.
These blasphemers admitted the Prophet’s description was exact. Despite that, they were still stubborn and rejected the faith. They did not accept Islam. Those who refused to embrace Islam said, “This is magic. Muhammad played a magic trick on our eyes.
Note: Ibn Hajar al-^Asqalaniy in his explanation of al-Bukhariy said: “Attributing aboveness to Allah is a matter of status and the impossibility lies in it being physical.”
That was a brief summary of Al Isra‘ and Al Mi^ raj .We ask Allah that we would all die as Muslims. We ask Allah to bestow on us the bounty of entering Paradise without torture. Allah knows best.