The Glorious Night Journey & the Miracle of Ascension
On 27th of Rajab, Allah blessed our beloved prophet with one of the greatest Miracles, the Isra and al-Miraj, the Glorious Night Journey and the Ascension to Heaven.
This post is quite long, but I am sure once you start reading, you will find it iteresting and thoughful. So, please try to read.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, the One Who exists without a place. To Him belong the endowments and proper commendations. May Allah raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and his kind Al and Companions and protect his nation from what he fears for them. May the Lord of Heavens and Earth grant us the sincere intentions and guide us to the acceptable deeds.
Thereafter, 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 (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), was blessed with the most miracles. Al-Isra' and al-Mi^raj are among the many miracles of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).
The miracle of al-Isra' is confirmed in the Qur'an. In Surat al-Isra', Ayah 1, Allah said:
Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Inviolable Mosque to the Far-Distant Mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing. [17: 1]
As such, there is scholarly consensus (ijma^) Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) journeyed in body and soul the night of al-Isra' from Masjid al-Haram in Makkah to Masjid al-Aqsain Jerusalem. Moreover, these scholars indicated the person who denies al-Isra' is a blasphemer for belying the explicit text of the Qur'an.
It is well known to us that the faith of Islam is based on aqeeda (creed). Without this no deeds are acceptable.Therefore every muslim must know the creed of Islam According to Imam Nasafi (died537 AH), there are some 63 articles of faith which make up the Islamic creed. One of these articles of faith is the miracle of ascension (Miraj). All of the books of creed speak about the ascension since it is definite aqeeda.
For example, “The Muslim Creed” By Suhaib Hassan published by Al-Quran Soceity
London says on page 10, “Miraj is true, Allah almighty took his prophet while he was awake on a splendid journey…”
Similarly Aqaid-e-Nasafi (by Imam Nasafi (died 537 AH) which is a standard aqeeda book in Hanafi schools world over says, “The Prophet’s ascension was a bodily journey in a wakeful state to the heavens and then to the heights where Allah wished him to go.”
According to Imam Nawawi and Zaraqaani, the Miraj took place on the 27th of Rajab some 17 months before the Hijrah in the year of sorrow.
Forty five companions have narrated ahadith about the Miraj. In the tafsir of Ibn Katheer, he has devoted 15 pages and compiled most of the authentic ahadith on this topic. Apart from Abu Darr Ghaffari, all the other narrators are Madani and from the Ansar. How did they learn about the Miraj ? It could be that the blessed Prophet wanted to talk about it, which is most likely because it was one of the greatest and wonderful miracles. The other possibility is that the Ansari companions had heard it from Abu Darr. Then there were dozens of tabiun (successors) who narrated ahadith about the Miraj. The Prophet , the companions and their successors all used to talk about the Ascension.
All the six books of Hadith contain chapters on Miraj. Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim have separate chapters on Miraj and Isra respectively. If they hadn’t discussed it, we would have become ignorant about this aqeeda.
What is the Ascension?
This verse talks about the most remarkable miracles of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) , the night journey
(Isra). This journey had two phases: The horizontal from the Kaabah in Makkah, to the historic masjid in Jerusalem. The second was the vertical phase from Al-Aqsa to the divine throne. The purpose of this journey we are told was “to show him Our signs”. The hadith literarture gives graphic details of this momentous journey. The verse begins with one of the Divine attributes, “Subhaan”, then Glorified. Let us look at the significance of this:
The diameter of the universe according to the astronomers is 3 billion light years, an incredible distance unimaginable, to the human intellect. The question is how could such a fantastic distance be covered in such a short period of night? We need not search any further, since the Glorious Quran tells us it was Subhaan who took His servant from the sacred mosque to the furthest mosque. The Divine name Subhaan 'the one who is flawless without defect or weakness, the Glorified, The Quran claims the One took His servant on this miraculous journey is the one who is free from every kind of weakness.
The Lord of the universe, Who can create from nothing by the mere command of ‘kun’
(Be) and ‘fa-yakun’ (it becomes), by using the divine epithet “Subhaan”, the clouds of
doubt vanish in the air ! Hence the denial of the Miraj is not the denial of the miraculous
journey, but the power of Allah.
A Brief Description of Miraj (Summed from the Hadeeths described by the noble companions of Prophet)
After the Prophet performed the Evening Prayer (^Isha'), Jibril came to him with a white animal, slightly larger than a donkey yet smaller than a mule. 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.
The buraqis a very fast animal; the length of the buraq's stride is the farthest distance it's eye can see. The Prophet and Jibril arrived to a land with palm trees. Jibril told the Prophet to dismount and pray, so the Prophet dismounted the buraq and prayed two rak^as. Jibril asked him, "Do you know where you prayed?" and the Prophet answered, "Allah knows best." Jibril told him, "This is Yathrib; this is Taybah. "." (These are two names for the city of al-Madinah.) Before the Prophet emigrated to al-Madinah, it was called Taybah and Yathrib. It earned the name al-Madinah after the Prophet emigrated to it. The buraq continued with the Prophet and Jibril until they reached another place. Again Jibril told the Prophet to get down and pray. The Prophet dismounted there and prayed two rak^as. 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, and the
Prophet dismounted and prayed two rak^as. 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. Outside was a ring used by the Messengers of Allah to tie their animals. The Prophet tied his buraq to this ring. Then the Prophet entered the masjid where Allah assembled for him all the Prophets--from Adam to ^Isa. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) 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.
1- On Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)'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. However, this old woman was wearing a great deal of jewelry, and in this there is an indication signifying the reality of the world.
2- Allah enabled the Prophet to see Iblis. The Prophet saw something on the side of the road which did not dare to stand in his way or speak to him. What the Prophet saw was Iblis. Originally, Iblis was a believer and lived with the angels in Paradise. When Allah ordered the angels to prostrate (sujud) to Prophet Adam, Iblis was ordered to prostrate to him as well. The angels prostrated to Adam in obedience to Allah, because angels do not disobey Allah. However, Iblis did not obey, and he objected to the order of Allah. He said, "You created me out of fire, and You created him out of clay. How do You order me to prostrate to him?" So this objection by Iblis to the order of Allah was the first blasphemy he committed.
3- On his journey, the Prophet smelled a very nice odor. He asked Jibril about this pleasant scent and Jibril informed him this good smell was coming from the grave of the woman whose duty used to be to comb Pharaoh's daughter's hair. This woman was a good, pious believer. One day, as she was combing Pharaoh's daughter's hair, the comb fell from her hand. At this she said, ""Bismillah. "Pharaoh's daughter asked her, "Do you have a Allah other than my father?" The woman said, "Yes. My Lord and the Lord of your father is Allah."
Pharaoh's daughter told her father what had happened. Pharaoh demanded this woman blaspheme and leave Islam, but she refused. At that, Pharaoh threatened to kill her children.
He brought a great pot of water and built a great fire under it. When the water boiled,
Pharaoh brought her children and started to drop them into that pot one after the other.
Throughout all this, the woman remained steadfast to Islam, even when Pharaoh reached her youngest child--a little boy still breast feeding--but she felt pity for him. At that, Allah enabled this child to speak. He said to his mother, "O Mother, be patient. The torture of the
Hereafter is far more severe than the torture of this life, and do not be reluctant, because you are right." At this the woman requested Pharaoh collect her bones and the bones of her children and bury them in the same grave. Pharaoh promised her that--then dropped her into that boiling water. She died as a martyr. The good odor the Prophet smelled coming from her grave is an indication of her high status.
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). "This reference was to the fornicators, that is, the ones who left out the permissible (marriage) and committed sins (fornication).
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 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 finger nails. Jibril said, "These are the examples of those who commit gossip ((ghibah). ")."
1- After the Prophet took this 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 almirqat, in which one step is made of gold and the next of silver, and so on. These stairs are veiled from us. The Prophet ascended these stairs until he reached the first heaven. When the Prophet and Jibril arrived at the first heaven, Jibril requested the gate to be opened. The angel assigned to that gate asked Jibril, "Who is with you?" Jibril answered, "It is Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)." The angel asked Jibril, "Was he dispatched? Is it time for him to ascend to the heaven?" Jibril said, "Yes." So, the gate was opened for him, and Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) entered the first heaven.
There, Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) 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 (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saw Prophets ^Isa 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 (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) 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. Prophet Ibrahim is the best of the prophets after our prophet, Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).
The Prophet saw Prophet Ibrahim with his back against al-Bayt al-Ma^mur. To the inhabitants of the skies, al-Bayt al-Ma^mur is like the Ka^bah is to us, the inhabitants of the earth. 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 Judgment. In this, there is an indication as to the greatness of the numbers of the angels-- their numbers are far more than the numbers of the humans and the jinns together.
In the seventh heaven, Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saw Sidrat al-Muntaha--a very big tree of sidr.
Each of the fruits of this tree is as large as a big jar. The leaves of this tree are similar to the ears of the elephants. Sidrat al-Muntahais an extremely beautiful tree. It is visited by butterflies made of gold. When these butterflies gather on this tree, its beauty is beyond description.
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 .
The Prophet saw other things on the night of his ascension. He saw Malik, the angel in charge of the Hellfire. Malik did not smile at the Prophet when he saw him, and the Prophet asked why. In answer to the Prophet's question, Jibril said, "Malik did not smile since the day Allah created him. Had he smiled for anyone, he would have smiled for you."
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. They are in Paradise and will be married to those men Allah willed them to marry.
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 least in status of the People of Paradise will have 10,000 wildan ul-mukhalladun to serve him. Each one of them would carry a tray of gold in one hand and a tray of silver in the other hand.
The Prophet saw the Throne (^Arsh), which is the ceiling of Paradise. The Throne is the largest creation of Allah in size; Allah did not create anything bigger in size than it. The seven heavens and the earth in comparison to the Kursiyy, are like a ring thrown in a desert, and the Kursiyy in comparison to the Throne, is like a ring thrown in a desert. The seven heavens and the earth in comparison to the Throne are like a seed of mustard compared to the ocean. Allah created the Throne as a sign of His Power and He did not create the Throne to sit on it.
Allah created the Throne to show His Power. It is carried by four angels, and on the Day of Judgment, it will be carried by eight angels. The Prophet said he was permitted to speak about one of these angels who carry the Throne. In describing this angel, the Prophet told us the distance between his ear lobe and shoulder is the distance a fast-flying bird would cover in 700 years.
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 (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) 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--so 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 which is eternal and everlasting. It does not resemble our attributes. The Kalam of Allah has neither silence nor interruptions. It is an attribute of Allah, and it does not resemble the attributes of the creation.
The Prophet understood several things from hearing this Kalam of Allah. He understood the obligation of the five Obligatory Prayers. At first, Allah obligated fifty prayers. When
Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) encountered Musa, Musa told him to make supplication (du^a') 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.
From the Kalam of Allah, the Prophet also understood that a good deed would be written for the person who intends to do a good deed, even if he did not do it. Also, the good deed performed would be registered for he who performs it as at least ten good deeds--up to 700 good deeds. For some people, Allah would multiply the reward of their deeds more than that. Additionally, if one performs a bad deed, it is registered for him as one bad deed; yet for he who inclines towards committing a bad deed and then refrains from committing it, a good deed would be registered for him. Here one should note the difference between two matters. If a thought crossed a person's mind about doing something sinful, and this person wavered in this thinking, i.e., considered whether he should do it or not, then he refrained from doing this for the sake of Allah, this is written as a good deed. However, if a person has the firm intention in his heart that he wants to commit a sin, it would be written for him as a sin, even if he does not do it.
The Prophet Returns to Makkah
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--that 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 all what the Prophet said.
The blasphemous people 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 (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) 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.
Moreover, the Prophet said, "On my way back, I saw some of your shepherds grazing their animals in a particular location. They were searching for a camel they had lost." The Prophet continued by giving the description of the camel. When these shepherds came back, they told their people what happened to them--precisely as the Prophet had already told them.
These blasphemers admitted the Prophet's description was exact. Despite that, they were still stubborn and rejected the faith. They did not accept Islam. Only those whom Allah willed to be guided, will be guided. The person whom Allah did not will to be guided, will not believe--regardless of how much explanation or how many proofs he is shown. The person whom Allah willed to be guided, surely he will be a believer. Many people witnessed miracles and still did not believe. Many people witnessed the miracle of the Prophet's splitting of the moon. Those who refused to embrace Islam said, "This is magic. Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) played a magic trick on our eyes." They even asked the people of a faraway land who witnessed the moon split in two. Despite this, they still did not believe. They said, "The magic of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is powerful; it even reached the faraway lands!" This was their response to witnessing a miracle--instead of believing and becoming Muslims.
We ask Allah that we would all die as Muslims. We ask Allah to bestow on us the bounty of entering Paradise without torture. And Allah knows best.
Was Miraj Physical or a Dream?
Had the Prophet's journey of Al-Israa' and Al-Mi`raj been in soul only, it would not have been regarded as a miracle. It would have been then an ordinary dream. While sleeping, many people visit remote places and see extraordinary things without moving an inch from the places they are already in, and there is nothing extraordinary about that to other people.
These questions, in this view, have been resolved by the text of the Quran itself. The opening statement: "Holy is He Who carried His servant by night from the Holy Mosque to the farther Mosque... " (verse 1) itself indicates that it was an extraordinary event which took place by dint of the infinite power of Allah.
For quite obviously, to be able to perceive the kind of things mentioned in connection with the event, either in a dream or by means of intuition, is not so wondrous that it should be prefaced by the statement: "Holy is He Who carried His servant by night..." ; a statement which amounts to proclaiming that Allah was free from every imperfection and flaw. Such a statement would make absolutely no sense if the purpose of it was merely to affirm that Allah had the power to enable man to have either visions in the course of a dream, or to receive information intuitively.
As per this view, the words of the experience or a dream vision, was an actual journey, and the observation in question was a visual observation. All was contingent upon Allah's will that truths be revealed to the Prophet in this fashion.
The Creator is infinite and transcends both time and place, yet in dealing with His creatures He has to have recourse to the means which are finite and are circumscribed by time-space limitations. This is because of the inherent limitations of man. Hence when Allah speaks to His creatures, He employs, of necessity, the same means of communication which can be comprehensible to the latter even though His Own speech transcends the means employed in the speech.
In like fashion, when Allah wants to show someone the signs of His vast kingdom, He takes him to certain places and enables him to observe whatever he is required to observe. For it is beyond the power of man to view the universe in the manner Allah can. While Allah does not stand in need of visiting a certain place in order to observe something that exists there, man does need to do so.
The same holds true of having a direct encounter with the Creator. Although Allah is not confined to a particular place, man needs to experience His presence at a defined place where the effulgence of His Being might be focused. For it is beyond man's power to encounter Allah in His limitlessness.
Then the splendid vision drew nearer and came still nearer till there was a distance of two bow lengths or even less so Allah revealed to His beloved servant what He wanted to reveal (53:8-10)
So Basically the ayat does support the fact that the Miraj was a physical journey as is demonstrated in the FIRST ayat of the Sura Isra:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ
Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Nearer, the Seer. Surah Isra:01
Answer to this question from the viewpoint of Hadeeth
The numerous ahadith reported in Bukhari, Muslim and other books do indicate this journey was not a dream. Qadi Iyaad al Malaki, in his commentary on Sahih Muslim says:
“The majority of the pious predecessors and later jurists, scholars of Hadith and men of learning believe the Miraj to be bodily. Four reasons are given by the scholars for this
Firstly, the word ‘Abd’ in the ayah of the Miraj refers categorically to mind and soul together.
Secondly, all the ahadith about the Miraj actually talk about the Prophet mounting the Buraq, eating, drinking, meeting pas prophets, leading them in the prayer. All these are physical actions. No where is it mentioned that this was a dream.
Thirdly, if it was a mere dream, which the beloved Messenger narrated to the people of Makkah, why did they deny it? Surely don’t people see many weird and wonderful dreams ?
Fourthly, how could it have been a test of people’s faith it was a mere dream ?
This is why the great Hanafi scholar, Imam Nasafi mentioned in his classical work “Aqaid an Nasafi”. “In the Miraj, he was taken to Masjid al-Aqsa and then to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha, and wherever Allah wished.”
All this took place in a state of wakefulness and with the body. However it took place in the realm of the Barzakh, which is the state between the physical and spiritual. Hence spiritual laws govern the body and the spiritual elements appeared in the bodily form. In fact all the ‘strange’ events of Miraj were expressed in this state of Barzakh.
Shah Wali Allah’s comments on the intercession: (Sirat un –Nabi, page 451, in Hujja
Tullahil Balaagah) Shah Wali Allah goes on to interpret many of the scenes of the Miraj in light of the above.
For example, the Hadith mentioned two cups were presented to the Prophet . Once was a cup of milk and the other was a cup of wine. He chose the cup of milk, and there upon the angel said: “You selected the natural state. If you had chosen the cup of wine, your entire nation would have been lead astray.” In this world for Barzakh, milk represented the natural state, and misguidance was in the form of wine.
Purpose of Miraj
The Quran explaines the reason for taking Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) on this miraculous journey as “to show him our signs.” The Messenger visited heaven and hell, met the prophets and the angels and above all his Majestic Lord,
According to Imam Nawawi and Zarqaani, this took place on 27th Rajab, 17 months before Hijrah. This was the year which biographers call “the year of sorrow” when his beloved wife and caring uncle die. The Messenger was very sad that he lost two great supporters and comforters. The ascension in a was was a “Divine treat” for him . Some of the other purposes of the journey are as follows:
• Declaration of the universality of Islam
o By leading the prophets
o By praying in Masjid al-Aqsa
o Warning the Kuffar of the imminent punishment
• The twelve commandments:
o Not to commit shirk
o Kindness to parents
o Respect others rights
o Avoid spend thriftiness
o Do not kill your children
o Do not commit adultery
o Do not kill
o Be kind to orphans
o Fulfill your promise
o Be fair in your dealings
o Do not be suspicious of others
o Do not be arrogant
o Prelude to Hijrah
o The obligatory five prayers
Another Scholarly article on Miraj, the greatness of Allah, Islam, and His Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far distant place of worship, whose precincts We have blessed, that We might show him of Our Signs! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer. [17:1]
Allah (swt) has revealed this as the first verse of Quran's chapter al-Isra, Night Journey, which is also known as the chapter of the Children of Israel or the chapter of Glorification ( Subhan ). In it Allah mentions the Night Journey ( Isra ) in which He called the Prophet (s) to His Divine Presence.
As Allah opened the Holy Qur'an in the Opening chapter Surat al-Fatiha, with the words “ Al-Hamdu Lillah - Praise be to Allah,” in this verse of Surat al-Isra (17:1), He opens the chapter of the Night Journey with, “ Subhana - Glory be to Allah (swt)."
Allah is glorifying Himself saying, “ Subhana alladhi asra'” which means “Glory to Me, the One who brought the Prophet on the Night Journey calling him to My Divine Presence.” This is beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Allah is not just reminding us about this event, rather, He is glorifying Himself on account of it. That is because the Night Journey, moving almost instantaneously from Makka to Masjid al-Aqsa and the Ascension, traversing in an incredibly short span of time the worldly domain of this universe and beyond, transcend the laws of physics governing movement. There is no way for any scientist's mind to comprehend how the Prophet (s) moved across the globe and was then carried to Allah's Divine Presence. Such a journey is beyond the scope of imagination. Therefore Allah (swt) glorifies Himself saying, "Yes it happened! Glory to Me Who can do this! I am beyond these laws and systems. I am the Creator of all systems."
Malik bin Anas (r) related that the Prophet (s) said, “I was lying in the hijr (of the Inviolable Mosque of Makka) when someone [the archangel Jibril (as)] came to me and cut open my chest from throat to belly. He removed my heart and cleaned it with the water of the well of Zamzam before putting it back in its place. Then he brought me a white creature called al-Buraq by whose means I was lifted.”
Another narration relates that the two archangels “Jibril and Mika'il (as) came to the Prophet (s) when he was laying down in al-Hijr [of the Inviolable Mosque in Makka] and carried him to the well of Zamzam. They laid him down on his back and Jibril (as) opened his chest from top to bottom, despite which there was no bleeding. He said to Mika'il (as), ‘Get me water from Zamzam,' which he did. Jibril (as) took the Prophet's heart and washed it thrice before putting it back. He filled it with faith and wisdom. Then he closed his chest and they took him out from the door of the masjid to where the buraq was waiting.”
Archangel Jibril could have removed the Prophet's heart miraculously by means of a small opening or without opening his chest at all. Yet we see in this Tradition of the Prophet (s) a hint of how to perform open heart surgery. This same technique of opening the entire chest cavity is used by heart surgeons today.
How did Allah describe the one whom He brought on the Night Journey? He describes him (as) as "His servant." Abu Qasim Sulayman al-Ansari said that when the Prophet (s) reached the highest levels and distinguished stations, Allah revealed to him, “With what shall I honor you?” The Prophet said, “By relating me to you through servanthood ( ‘ubudiyya ).” This is why Allah revealed this verse of the Holy Qur'an honoring the Prophet (s) by the title "His servant ” when describing the Night Journey. Allah did not grant such an honor to Moses. Rather He said, "And when Moses came to Our appointed tryst…" [7: 143] referring to Moses (as) by his name. Instead of saying, “ Glory be to Him Who made Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) to go …”Allah honored the Prophet (s) by referring to him as “` abdihi ", His servant.”
Another subtle inference from Allah's use of the term “` Abdihi” - a construct in the absent form or third person - is the meaning that, ‘He called the Prophet to a void where there was nothing except His Own Presence.' Allah called the Prophet to a point where there is no place and there is no time, no ‘where' and no ‘when.' More miraculous than calling the Prophet (s) to His Presence was His bringing the Prophet's (s) body and soul, which exist in time and place, to where there is no time and place. Allah brought His sincere servant, our master Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) (as), from a physical form of this worldly life to the completely abstract Divine Presence which is beyond any laws of science and physics which govern the universe.
The verse goes on to describe the Prophet's movement through stations. Allah's description of the Prophet (as) as servant ‘ abd, precedes His mention of the two mosques: the Inviolable Mosque (Masjid al-Haraam) and the Far Distant Mosque (Masjid al-Aqsa). Having perfected his character through constant worship, ` ubudiyya, the Inviolable Mosque, or Holy Sanctuary, is here an indication of the Prophet's (s) having already been elevated beyond all sin. Allah did not say His Servant was taken “from Makka,” rather He said, “from the Inviolable Mosque.” “Inviolable” means that no sin is permitted within its precincts, nor backbiting, cheating, or lying. There one must be ever mindful of Allah's (swt) Presence. Masjid al-Haraam is a station where those sins which signify the animal life, can never be committed. 'Aqsa' in Arabic means 'the Farthest'. Thus Masjid al-Aqsa here is named as the farthest mosque in relation to Masjid al-Haraam and symbolizes the spiritual realm. The literal meaning is, ‘He brought His servant from Masjid al-Haraam to the mosque at the farthest end.' Symbolically, Allah brought the Prophet away from that which is forbidden, things of this earthly life, haraam , to the place furthest away from it - al-Aqsa. The furthermost point from the animalistic life is the spiritual dimension.
The contrast between these 'stations' is further demonstrated by the famous stone at each of these holy sites. In Masjid al-Haraam the Black Stone is a stone governed by physical constraints, held up in an encasement, having fallen from heaven and been darkened by the sins of humanity. At Masjid al-Aqsa the holy stone marking where the Prophet (as) ascended to the heavens is miraculously suspended in the air, disregarding the physical law of gravity, seeking to leave the earthly pull of gravity to soar towards the Divine Presence.
The subtle meaning derived from the order of the words here is that Allah's one true servant, the Prophet (s) began from station of `abdiyya, servanthood, for which he was created, allowing him to begin from the station of perfected and flawless character (`ismat) and move from there to the farthest station, the highest rank of all creation, as indicated by the station of the farthest mosque.
Allah brought Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) (s) to Masjid al-Aqsa in Palestine from which most of the prophets hail. There he found all of the prophets gathered there, and they prayed in congregation behind him (as). From there Allah raised him to the heavens, as if saying, ‘O My prophets! I did not raise any one from Masjid al-Aqsa as I am raising Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) (s).' This was in order to demonstrate to them Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)'s (as) ascendancy - unlike any one of them he was not restricted by the laws of this universe.
Allah then moved him from Masjid al-Aqsa by means of the Miraj, lifting him up to His Divine Presence. Why did Allah use the words, ‘ laylan - by night'? Why didn't He say, ‘ naharan - by day'? ‘ Laylan' here illustrates the darkness of this world which becomes illumined only by the bright moon of the Prophet (s) to illuminate every darkness.
Subhan alladhee asr'a bi `abdihi laylan . "Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night…" Look at every word of this holy verse. First Allah praised Himself in the third person, in absence. Allah then miraculously moved the Prophet ( asra' ) from Makka to Masjid al-Aqsa. Then He referred to the Prophet as ‘ 'abd, servant', distinguishing him through that elevated title as being related to the spiritual life, not the animal life.
The message of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) (s) completed and perfected both the physical discipline and jurisprudence ( shariah ) of Musa and the spirituality ( rawhaniyya ) of ‘Isa. The shariah of Musa relates to the worldly life and the spirituality of ‘Isa relates to the heavenly life. By passing from the worldly life, represented by the Night Journey, to heavenly life, represented by the Ascension, the Prophet (s) was carried on these two wings. No prophet was carried on both except our master Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) (s).
In his Musnad Imam Ahmad said that the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) would be prevented from entering four places: Masjid al-Haraam in Makka, Masjid an-Nabawiyy in Madina, Masjid al-Aqsa and Tur, Mount Sinai where Moses used to speak to Allah.
Imam Ahmad says in his Musnad that Maymuna said she asked the Prophet about Bayt al-Maqdis. He said, “It is the place of Judgment Day where everyone will be called. Come to it and pray in it because one prayer in it is like 1,000 prayers anywhere else.”
In another hadith the Prophet said that “One prayer in Masjid an-Nabawiyy is like 10,000 prayers elsewhere. One prayer in Masjid al-Haraam is like 100,000 prayers elsewhere.”
In another narration of Ahmad one of the Prophet's wives asked what one should do if they are not able to go to Masjid al-Aqsa. He said, “If someone is not able to go let them send lamp oil there to give light in the mosque. If anyone sends lamp oil to light the mosque it is as if you went and prayed there.”
According to this hadith one can send something to the mosque from far away attain the reward of one having reached the masjid despite not going there oneself, this though it is not a human being, but only four walls. This is one of many text proofs that intercession in Islam is accepted.
Allah mentioned in the Holy Qur'an “whenever Zakariya entered the sanctuary to (see) her, he found with her food. He said: O Mariam! whence comes this to you? She said: It is from Allah. Surely Allah gives to whom He pleases without measure.” [3: 36] Allah then stresses the importance of this place, “ There did Zakariya pray to his Lord…” [3: 37] as one in which prayers are answered, having become holy as Maryam's place of worship. Here we see that a place, whether a mosque or a sanctuary, once it becomes holy, can provide blessings and rewards to those who worship in it or send oil to, in the case of Masjid al-Aqsa. This is for a place, consisting of nothing more than four inanimate walls, what then of asking a pious person for dua? That is the case of the intercession of the Prophet (s).
There is another narration from Abu Dawud in which the Prophet was asked by Abu Dharr which was the first masjid placed on earth. The Prophet replied, “Al-Masjid al-Haraam.” (The mosque Sayyidina Ibrahim made in Makka). Then he asked which was next. “Masjid al-Aqsa.” (in Jerusalem). Abu Dharr asked how much time was in between the two. “Forty years. Sayyidina Ibrahim made the Mosque in Makka, Sayyidina Y'aqub founded Masjid al-Aqsa then his son Sayyidina Sulayman finished it.”
One of the great scholars of Quranic exegesis, al-‘Ala'i said, ‘On the Night of Ascension the Prophet had five different vehicles. The first was the Buraq, a winged creature which carried him from Makka to Masjid al-Aqsa. The second was the Ascension by which the Prophet (s) reached the sky of this world, as- sama' ad-dunya .' There are two explanations for Mi`raj: either the Buraq carried the Prophet (s) up or a ladder that descended and took the Prophet up very rapidly. ‘The third vehicle was the wings of angels taking the Prophet up to the seventh heaven. The fourth vehicle was the wings of Jibril (as) from the seventh heaven to sidrat al-muntaha . The fifth vehicle was ar-raf raf to ka`ba kawsayn .' The Prophet (s) stopped in ten different stations: the seven heavens and the eighth at the Furthermost Lote Tree, sidrat al-muntaha. The ninth is where he heard the sound of the angels' pens writing people's actions. The tenth level was at the Throne. And Allah knows best.' ( Tafsir ruh al maani. Al-alusi. Dar al-fikr. Tafsir surat bani israil )
Allah supports His prophets with miracles ( m'ujizat ) to be able to go beyond the laws of physics and beyond the constraints of our human realities. If Allah grants a miracle we should not view it as something improbable otherwise we will be like scientists who cannot understand anything beyond the physical laws of the universe.
These miraculous events happened on the Night of the Night Journey and Ascension, Laylat al Isra wal Miraj. The many hadith of Isra were authenticated by numerous huffaz (hadith masters) such as Ibn Shihab, Thabit al-Banani, and Qatada. Some scholars have different opinions on when this night occurred. Imam Nawawi said that it happened in Rajab. In ar-Rawda, Nawawi says it happened 10 years and 3 months after the beginning of the prophecy, while in Fatawa he states it was after five or six years of prophecy. Whatever the case, all scholars say that the Isra and Miraj took place both in body and spirit.
Allah said in the Holy Qur'an
75. So also did We show Ibrahim the malakut kingdom and glories behind the magnificent powers and laws of the physical universe that he might have certitude.
76. When the night covered over him he saw a star. He said ‘This is my lord.' But when it set he said, ‘I do not love those that set.'
77. When he saw the moon rising in splendor he said, ‘This is my lord.' But when the moon set he said, ‘Unless my Lord guides me I shall surely be among those who go astray.'
78. When he saw the sun rising in splendor he said, ‘This is my lord.' But when the sun set he said, ‘O my people, I am innocent and free from the sin of you giving partners to Allah.
79. ‘For me I have set my face firmly and truly towards the One Who created the heavens and the earth, and I am not one who gives partners to Allah.' (Al-An'am 6:75-79).
Allah opened the kingdom of heavens and earth to Sayyidina Ibrahim without an Isra or Miraj. He opened Prophet Ibrahim's baseera (spiritual vision) to see the wonders of the universe from where he was on earth. Allah showed him what is beyond the laws of the physical universe through the eyes of his heart. Yet immediately after this verse where Allah has shown Ibrahim the glories behind the physical universe, in verse 76 Ibrahim sees a star and says, ‘This is my lord!' In verses 77 and 78 he similarly “mistakes” the moon and sun for his lord.
Allah showed Ibrahim (as) the truth, and he is conveying the heavenly message. If he tried to directly present unseen spirituality to those who worship only physical objects, they would not understand it. How could he explains the heavens and glorifying the Lord to those who only understand literal meanings and physicality and not interpretative meanings or spirituality? Ibrahim was trying to gently tell the people ‘don't worship the stars, or moon, or sun. Go beyond what you can see physically.' Ibrahim knew the reality of the universe as Allah had shown it to him. The verses of the stars, moon, and sun are for the non-believers, to slowly build up their beliefs. They rejected anything beyond the comprehension of their minds. He wanted everyone to be under Allah's mercy so he was trying to let them understand by process of elimination that there is a spiritual dimension. He eliminated the star (something small), then the moon, then the sun (the biggest heavenly body). This means don't run after things of this worldly life but run after the spiritual dimension which is beyond the laws of the physical universe.
In our time, materialistic scientists and certain narrow minded Islamic sects try to negate spirituality, the fourth dimension, which Allah showed to Ibrahim (as). Those rejecting the spiritual dimension of Islam are falling into the same trap as the people of Ibrahim. The Prophet (s) said, ‘ akhwaf ma akhafu ala ummati ash-shirk il-khafi what I fear most for my community is the hidden shirk (associating partners to Allah).' For a person to be prideful of himself. Sayyidina Ibrahim was shown the realities of this universe and tried to guide his people to Allah. Finally, in verse 79 he reaffirms his true belief in Allah and his turning away from worldly distractions. From his place on earth, Ibrahim was shown by Allah (swt) the malakut of heavens and earth.
Sayyidina Musa did not see this malakut , but he was able to hear and talk to Allah from Mount Sinai. Although Ibrahim was granted to see in spiritual dimensions, and Musa was granted to hear Allah directly, both of their bodies were still on earth and subject to its physical laws. Sayyidina Ibrahim's vision and Sayyidina Musa's hearing went beyond the physical through the power of the soul, but their bodies did not move beyond the physical world.
However, Allah made Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) to move in spiritual dimensions with his physical body in complete freedom from the physical laws. Allah called the Prophet, ‘ li nuriyahu min ayatina to show him from Our signs...'(Isra 17: 1) Allah showed Ibrahim malakut of this universe, but He showed Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) His signs. Allah moved the Prophet in body and spirit beyond the physical laws of this universe and showed him His signs ‘ ayatina Our signs.' This possessive form relating the signs as being Allah's directly indicates a greater honor and knowledge bestowed to the Prophet as opposed to knowledge about Allah's creation in general. The malakut of samawat (heavens or skies) and ard (earth) shown to Ibrahim were the workings of this physical universe and did not reach to Paradise. Allah's signs are directly related to Allah and are not associated with this world.
Imam Nawawi and the late Imam Mutwalli Sh'arawi side with the majority of scholars in interpreting this to mean that the Prophet saw his Lord another time- not that he saw Jibril another time as claimed by some. Nawawi relates in his commentary on Sahih Muslim, “Most of the scholars say that the Prophet saw his Lord with the eyes of his head ra'a rabbahu bi ‘aynay ra'sihi.”
Fa awha ila abdihi ma awha
53:10 Allah revealed to His servant what he revealed
Ma kadhaba al-fu'adu ma ra'a
53:11 The Prophet's heart in no way falsified what it saw.
A fatumarunahu ala ma yara
53:12 Will you then dispute with him about what he saw?
Wa laqad ra'ahu nazlatan ukhra
53:13 And he saw Him again another time
ainda sidrat al-muntaha
53 :14 at the Lote-tree of the utmost boundary
‘aindaha jannat al-ma'wa
53:15 at the Garden of Abode
idh yaghsha as-sidrata ma yaghsha
53:16 Behold the lote-tree was shrouded with what shrouds
Ma zagha al-basaru wa ma tagha
53:17 His sight did not swerve or go wrong.
Imam Sh'arawi asks, “What would make the Prophet's sight swerve? Some say it was Jibril, but the Prophet had seen Jibril many times and Jibril was with him for the duration of the Night Journey and Ascension. It is irrelevant to say at this juncture that the Prophet's sight did not swerve or go wrong, because if this was in reference to Jibril the Prophet had many opportunities to see him already. Allah doesn't say anything irrelevant which is why I side with the majority of ‘ ulama (including Imam Nawawi) in saying that with his physical eyes the Prophet saw Allah (swt).”
The Prophet came all the way to the Divine Throne( ‘arsh ), reached qab kawsayni (the distance of two bow lengths), and reached the Paradise of Jannat al-Ma'wa near the Lote-Tree ( sidrat al-muntaha ). After all this what could possibly make his sight swerve or go wrong? As mentioned above, the Isra and Miraj took place several years after Jibril brought the first revelation to the Prophet. Thus, it is illogical that after being seen by the Prophet so many times that now Jibril would have the potential to make his sight swerve.
Ma zagha al-basaru wa ma tagha
53:17 His sight did not swerve or go wrong.
Laqad ra'a min ayati rabbihi al-kubra
53:18 Indeed he saw the Greatest Signs of his Lord
A fa ra' aytum al-lat wal ‘uzza
53: 19 Have you seen Lat and ‘Uzza (two pagan idols)
Wa manat ath-thalithata al-ukhra
53:20 And the third one Manat (another idol)
Why does Allah mention these three false deities here immediately after mentioning the “Greatest Signs of his Lord” in 53:18? Scholars say that verses 53:19-20 name the idols that people were worshipping in order to contrast them to Allah (swt) mentioned in 53:18. If 53:18 referred to Jibril then it would not follow to mention the false idols after it.
That is the greatness of Sayyidina Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). No one saw his Lord except for Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), so he is the only real muwahhid . No one except Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) has real tawhid , only imitation tawhid .
Prophet Abraham was the father of the prophets and was granted spiritual vision to see the workings of the universe and Prophet Moses was granted to speak with his Lord. But Allah moved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) with his physical body in defiance of the physical laws of the universe to the Unseen, a place where there is nothing and no possibility of anything to be there- la khala wa la mala . Allah took Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) there and revealed Himself to him, in the manner He wished. How this was we don't know. It is ghayb (unseen, unknown). But we know that this is not in reference to Jibril who was seen by the Prophet many times. We again recall the opinion of Imam Nawawi who said, “Most of the scholars say that the Prophet saw his Lord with the eyes of his head ra'a rabbahu bi ‘aynay ra'sihi.”
Looking at these verses in Surat Isra and Surat Najm we see that the Isra and Miraj was not like Allah showing Ibrahim malakut of the universe. Allah gave this universe to all of humanity whether in dunya or akhira. However Allah showed Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) something related to Himself “ ayatina Our Signs.”
Bukhari Volume 8, Book 77, Number 610:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
(regarding the Verse) "And We granted the vision (Ascension to the heavens "Miraj") which We showed you (O Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) as an actual eye witness) but as a trial for mankind.' (17.60): Allah's Apostle actually saw with his own eyes the vision (all the things which were shown to him) on the night of his Night Journey to Jerusalem (and then to the heavens). The cursed tree which is mentioned in the Qur'an is the tree of Az-Zaqqum.
Volume 7, Book 69, Number 482:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
On the night Allah's Apostle was taken on a night journey (Miraj) two cups, one containing wine and the other milk, were presented to him at Jerusalem. He looked at it and took the cup of milk. Gabriel said, "Praise be to Allah Who guided you to Al-Fitra (the right path); if you had taken (the cup of) wine, your nation would have gone astray."
The Dome of The Rock
This is the oldest Muslim building which has survived basically intact in its original form. It was built by the Caliph Abd al-Malik and completed in 691 CE. The building encloses a huge rock located at its center, from which, according to tradition, the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) ascended to heaven at the end of his Night Journey. In the Jewish tradition this is the Foundation Stone, the symbolic foundation upon which the world was created, and the place of the Binding of Isaac. The Caliph Omar is said to have cleared the waste which had accumulated on the rock during the Byzantine period. The structure is octagonal and the dome is borne by a double system of pillars and columns. The walls, ceiling, arches, and vaults are decorated with floral images. The dome, on the inside, is covered with colored and gilded stucco. Abd al-Malik marked the end of the construction with a dedicatory inscription (still visible) which reads: "This dome was built by the servant of Allah Abd al- Malik Ibn Marwan, emir of the faithful, in the year seventy-two" (Hejira 72 in the Muslim calendar is691/692 CE). Under the Abassid ruler, Caliph al-Mamun (r. 813-833), repairs were carried out, and the caliph also seized the occasion to replace the tiles bearing al- Malik's name with others bearing his own name as the building's founder.
The term the "farthest mosque" is considered in Islamic tradition as the general name for the precinct of al-Haram al-Sharif ("The Noble Sacred Enclosure") in Jerusalem, as well as the specific name for the congregational mosque located at its southern edge.
The contemporary congregational mosque of al-Aqsa is a result of different stages of construction and renovations. It is usually agreed upon that Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad
Caliph who was the patron of the Dome of the Rock, started the construction of al-Aqsa Mosque at the end of the 7th century. A major building phase took place during the time of the Caliphate of his son, Abd al-Malik (709-715 AD). The building suffered from several major earthquakes and was renovated and reconstructed during the Abbasid period by Caliph al-Mahdi (775-785) and possibly by Caliph al-Mansur (743-75). A further reconstruction was executed during the Fatimid period, in the 11th century. During the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem the mosque was considered as Templum Salomonis (the royal palace of Solomon) and it served as the palace of the Kings of Jerusalem and later as the dwelling place of the Knights Templars. At the same time the Dome of the Rock was regarded as the Templum Domini (The Temple of the Lord). Moreover, several major restorations are known to have taken place during the 14th and 20th century.
The mosque consists today of a seven bay hypostyle hall with several additional small halls to the west and east of the southern section of the building. Unlike most hypostylestyle mosques the building does not have a clearly delineated courtyard unless one considers the whole Haram as its court. It is capped with a silver dome, made of lead sheets, which together with the golden dome of the Dome of the Rock, formulate the icon of the Haram in Jerusalem.
An Explanation of Miraj by Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
By Owais Shah
***Message for The Readers:
I did not try to measure Event of Miraj in the scales of science; miracles are always beyond human intellect. Science has not yet progressed to the level by which we can understand or investigate miracles of Allah. No one can comment any thing else, about such a marvellous miracle, human knowledge and intellect is limited to describe miracles. Allah is the glorious and Allah knows the best. I simply try to convince non-Muslims according to my knowledge and intellect. The exact mystery and phenomenon behind the miracle of Miraj, only Allah knows the best. If anyone have objection on my above research article please point out it to me then I will modify it, if there is any mistake please draw my attention toward it so I will correct it. If you have any questions, doubts, suggestions, or if you want to comment on my above research article then please email me do not hesitate to ask me or to share your opinion with me.
EINESTIEN’S THEORY OF RELATIVITY
1. First postulate - Special Principle of Relativity-The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames of reference. In other words, there are no privileged inertial frames of reference.
2. Second postulate - Invariance of c - The speed of light in a vacuum is a universal constant, c, which is independent of the motion of the light source.
Time dilation - the time lapse between two events is not invariant from one observer to another, but is dependent on the relative speeds of the observers' reference frames.
Relativity of simultaneity - two events happening in two different locations that occur simultaneously to one observer, may occur at different times to another observer.
Lorentz contraction - the dimensions (e.g., length) of an object as measured by one observer may be smaller than the results of measurements of the same object made by another observer.
Composition of velocities - velocities (and speeds) do not simply 'add', for example if a rocket is moving at ⅔ the speed of light relative to an observer, and the rocket fires a missile at ⅔ of the speed of light relative to the rocket, the missile does not exceed the speed of light relative to the observer. (In this example, the observer would see the missile travel with a speed of 12/13 the speed of light.)
Inertia and momentum - as an object's velocity approaches the speed of light from an observer's point of view, its mass appears to increase thereby making it more and more difficult to accelerate it from within the observer's frame of reference.
Equivalence of mass and energy, E = mc² - the total energy content of an object with mass m equals mc2 in its rest frame. Conservation of energy implies that in any reaction a decrease of the sum of the masses of particles must be accompanied by an increase in kinetic and potential energies of the particles after the reaction. Similarly, the mass of an object can be increased by taking in kinetic and potential energies.
SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION FOR THE EVENT OF MIRAJ
The question (doubt) that was raised in the early era regarding the Event of Miraj is written below.
How could it was possible for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to travel the entire universe in a very short duration of time?
Since the Special Theory of Relativity has a variety of surprising consequences that seems to violate common sense. A very common question regarding the Special Theory of Relativity that appears in the mind of students is written below.
How we will verify the consequences of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, if no body can travels with the speed of light?
The most important question regarding the Event of Miraj, which was under debate is that Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) travelled the entire universe and when he (peace be upon him) returned back to the room from where he (peace be upon him) started the journey of Miraj, the chain of the door was still at the same position where it was oscillating previously. It was impossible to understand that he (peace be upon him) travelled the entire universe but on the earth very short duration of time passed or time stopped.
According to Special Theory of Relativity if a body travels with the velocity of light then Time Dilation and Relativity of Simultaneity occurs. Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was riding on the Buraq, and the speed (velocity) of the Buraq was similar or more than the speed (velocity) of light. Therefore, now we can easily understand that Time Dilation and Relativity of Simultaneity occurred during the Event of Miraj. Therefore, time seemed to be stop or a very short duration of time passed. (Allah knows the best)
The comoving distance from the earth to the edge of the visible universe is about 46.5 billion light-years in any direction, which is called visible universe. It is sometimes quoted as a diameter of 92.94 billion light-years. Light travels 9.46 trillion kilometres in a year. It means that if light travel continuously then it will reach to the edge of visible universe in 46.5 billon years and the exact universe is far bigger than visible universe about which scientists are yet unaware. Furthermore, velocity of light is 3 x 108 m/s. It is yet the fastest possible velocity of anything.
Now the second question is that to travel such a huge distance billions years are required so, how did the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) travelled such a huge distance in a very short duration of time?
The simplest answer of above question is that Allah is omnipotent, Allah potent over everything. However, the answer of above question can also be understood. Another consequence of Special Theory of Relativity is Lorentz Contraction according to which length seems to be contracted (shorter) for an observer (person) moving with velocity of light. Therefore, it is possible that he (peace be upon him) felt a very short distance while in fact it was a very huge distance. (Allah knows the best)
The final consequence of Special Theory of Relativity is equivalence of mass and energy, E=mc2 according to which if a body will travel with the speed (velocity) of light then its mass will be convert into energy. Moreover, when this energy will be reconvert into mass then due to mass defect some amount of mass will be disappear. Furthermore, mass of the body will not join as it was originally. It means that it may possible that hand will join to ear, ears will join to legs and legs will join to head. No part of the body will join to its original position.
According to E=mc2 there must be mass variation (mass defect), but in fact with the blessed body of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) nothing like above happened, no defect produced. Allah kept safe the blessed body of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from every possible defect. Why did no mass defect produce in the blessed body of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
I am unable to say an exact answer of above question in meanings of physics because we do not know the factors, states and conditions, which can fail, change, and violate the consequences of Special Theory of Relativity. It might be possible that E=mc2 violated during the Event of Miraj. Event of Miraj is not fiction story; it is a fact and a marvellous miracle. Therefore, we need to modify and upgrade the Special Theory of Relativity to understand and explore the phenomenon of the Event of Miraj.
I think the mystery due to which no mass defect produce in the blessed body of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is actually that before going to journey of Miraj, angel Gabriel (a.s) filled the blessed body of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with mystery, wisdom and a highly special type of light "Noor". Blessed body of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was composed with "Noor", it was not like ordinary mass due to which no mass defect occurred in his (peace be upon him) blessed body. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) safely returned back to the earth without any defect. (Allah knows the best)
Allah is the glorious and eminent is Allah's glory. No one can see the splendour (display) of Allah. Many years ago before the Event of Miraj, Holy Prophet Moosa (a.s) "Moses (peace be upon him)" wished to see Allah via his (peace be upon him) eyes. Allah showed an instantaneous glimpse but Prophet Moosa (a.s) "Moses (peace be upon him)" was not able to see Allah, the splendour (glimpse) was so much strong that the Koh-e-Toor (a mountain where Allah showed a glimpse) became Black (Dark), and this mountain is still on the earth for our observation. So, the question is that if no body has viewed yet a glimpse of Allah then how could it was possible for the beloved Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) to sought and meet with Allah?
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was honoured in the journey of Miraj. Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) met to Allah and did conservation with Allah. Before depart to the journey of Miraj the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) bathed with Hozz-e-Kosar (a holy water in the heaven) and angel Gabriel (a.s) washed his (peace be upon him) blessed heart by Abb-e-Zamzam (a holy water in "Mecca" a city in Saudi Arabia). About the mystery of Hozz-e-Kosar I am unable to say anything, while about Abb-e-Zamzam I think, the reason behind it to washed his (peace be upon him) blessed heart with Abb-e-Zamzam, might be it provided strong force to the blessed heart of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to face and to see Allah. (Allah knows the best)
I think that Abb-e-Zamzam must have unique characteristics, it is good for heart, it may reduce heart attack chances or it can make heart stronger. We should research on Abb-e-Zamzam to verify above characteristics.
Note: (a.s)→Alehissalam, (Hazrat)→ a respectful word used with the name of Holy Prophets
Last edited by BD-Shardul; July 23, 2009 at 10:05 AM..