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Isra & Mi'raj

The Prophet (SAW) performed many miracles throughout his life, as we have observed this many times in his Seerah (prophetic biography). One of these miracles is the miracle of Isra and Mi’raj, the two parts of a journey. The Isra was the journey from Mecca to Masjid al-Aqsa in Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem), and the Mi’raj, which was the journey from Masjid al-Aqsa to the heavens. This article will examine what happened in the Isra and Mi’raj and what lessons we can take from it.


Background:

Before the Isra and Mi’raj took place, the Muslims were not in a good place. The Quraysh were at the peak of their harassing and oppression of Muslims. It was also just after the ‘Aam al-Huzn (Year of Sorrow), where two beloveds of the Prophet (SAW) died, that of his beloved wife Khadeejah (RA) and his uncle Abu Talib. The latter had died without accepting Islam causing even more sadness in the Prophet (SAW). This also took place after the journey to Ta’if, where the Prophet (SAW) attempted to give Da’wah to the tribe of Thaqif, who ruled Ta’if. In response, they stoned him so much so his blessed shoes were soaked in blood. Because the Prophet (SAW) was facing such hardship, Allah (SWT) gifted him the Isra and Mi’raj to lift his spirits and keep him motivated.


The Isra:

Allah Ta’ala says,


سُبْحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِۦ لَيْلًۭا مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ إِلَى ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْأَقْصَا ٱلَّذِى بَـٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهُۥ لِنُرِيَهُۥ مِنْ ءَايَـٰتِنَآ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ


Glory be to Allah, who sent his servant (Nabi (SAW)) on the night journey in one night from Masjid al-Haram (Mecca) to Masjid al-Aqsa, which we have blessed around it so we can show him our signs, Indeed he is all-hearing all-seeing.

(Al-Isra:1)


The Isra began on the 27th of Rajab, the Prophet (SAW) was at the house of Umm Hani (RA), when Jibril (AS) suddenly came. It is said that Jibril (AS) took him to the Hijr and washed his heart with Zamzam water and filled it with wisdom and Imaan. Rasulullah (SAW) was brought the Buraq, (which comes from the word Barq, which means lightning) the conveyance that would be used on the journey. It is said that its size was larger than a donkey and smaller than a mule, and its top speed was that the eye could see. Nabi (SAW) then took the Buraq and set out on his journey. During the journey, he stopped at many different places to pray. He (SAW) first stopped at Medina , then he stopped at Mount Sinai, where Nabi Musa (AS) was given the Torah, then he stopped at Bethlehem where Nabi ‘Isa (AS) was born, then he (SAW) stopped at the grave of Musa (AS).


Then he (SAW) finally arrived at the holy Masjid al-Aqsa. It was at Masjid al-Aqsa where Nabi (SAW) would show his superiority over all other prophets and the superiority of our Ummah over all other Ummahs. When Nabi (SAW) arrived at Masjid al-Aqsa, he found all the 124,000 prophets waiting for him to lead the Salaah (prayer). Jibril (AS) led him up and he led all the 124,000 prophets in prayer. This shows that his (SAW)’s Ummah is the best and most honored Ummah, and they were to be the one in charge of Masjid al-Aqsa. After leading the prophets in prayer, Jibril (AS) presented him a cup of milk and a cup of wine. Nabi (SAW) drank the cup of milk, Jibril (AS) then said, “All Praise be to Allah who has guided you to the Fitrah, for had you chosen wine your nation would have gone astray”. Thereafter, Nabi (SAW) with the Buraq and Jibril (AS) ascended to the heavens where Nabi (SAW) would meet the various prophets and see the various punishments and rewards of Jannah and Jahannam.


The Mi’raj:

Nabi (SAW) then ascended from Masjid al-Aqsa to the heavens. Nabi (SAW) and Jibril were stopped at the first heaven. Where Jibril (AS) asked for the doors of heaven to be opened. When they were, he saw Adam (AS), who Nabi (SAW) gave Salaam, and he replied, then he said, “Welcome to the righteous son and the righteous prophet.” Then Nabi (SAW) went to the second door and met Yahya and ‘Isa (AS), and then at the third sky he met Yusuf (AS), then at the fourth Idris (AS), then Harun (AS), then Musa (AS), then lastly Ibrahim (AS), who was leaning on the Baitul Ma’mur (structure like the Ka’bah where angels worship). After meeting the prophets, Nabi (SAW) saw the different punishments. Nabi (SAW) saw the punishment of backbiting, that they will be scratching off their own flesh. Nabi (SAW) also was told of the greatness and comfort of Jannah, that Jannah has pure soil and delicious water.


After this, Nabi (SAW) was given the final gift. The gift of Salaah, Nabi (SAW) was given 50 Salaah. While descending, Musa (AS) found out and advised Nabi (SAW) to ask Allah to reduce it, it was reduced so much that it became 5. When Nabi (SAW) came down, Musa (AS) furthermore told Nabi (SAW) to reduce it, but Nabi (SAW) became shy and couldn’t go back. So this is why we have gained 5 daily salaahs, and Allah out of his mercy, counted those 5 Salaahs as 50 salaahs. Then Nabi (SAW) descended to the earth.


After the Mi’raj, the Mushrikeen of Mecca did not believe in him, that he went on one night, meaning half of the day, from Mecca to Masjid al-Aqsa then the skies, they thought it was impossible. However, when Sayyidina Abu Bakr (RA) heard this, he immediately believed it, this is where he got the name As-Siddiq (the affirmer).


Conclusion:

We can conclude many lessons and points from Isra’ and Mi’raj. We learn that after difficulty comes ease, Nabi (SAW) went through such hardship during this time, and now the ease has come, another is that Salah is not a burden upon us rather it is a gift which Allah (SWT) bestowed upon our Ummah, and that Nabi (SAW) is the most honored and holds the highest rank among all the prophets (AS), and that our Ummah was to be the one to lead and take care of Masjid al-Aqsa from then on, taking on the responsibility of all the prophets before him.


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