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Some aqeedah lessons from the event of Al Israa Wal Mi’raj

Muhammad Ziyaad R

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious Most Merciful:

A Miraculous Journey

The journey of Israa wal Miraj is a miracle from Allah and it is mentioned in the Quran in the chapter of Al Israa: “Glorified be He Who took His servant for a Journey by Night from Al-Masjid Al-Haram to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him of Our Ayat . Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer” (Quran 17:1). He صل الله عليه وسلم first went from Makkah to Jerusalem and from Jerusalem he went in the direct presence of Allah. It is obligatory for us to believe that this event took place in one night[1] and that it happened between 12- 16 months prior to the hijrah.[2]

Not a dream

This special and miraculous journey took place in the company of the angel Jibreel alayhi salaam, who brought the Buraq for him to ride on.[3] The whole journey happened while the messenger صل الله عليه وسلم was awake and not in a dream.[4] Had it been just a dream, the pagans would not have labeled him as a liar and some newly converted Muslims would not have apostated because such an event is conceivable in a dream. Ibn Abbas RA explained that ‘the vision’ mentioned in ayah 17:60 is what the messenger صل الله عليه وسلم  saw with his own eyes. Moreover, spiritual journey unlike an actual physical one, does not require a special transport like the Buraq since the soul does not need this kind of transport.[5]

Status of the last Messenger

Al Israa, the first part of the journey, was in fact a further proof of his Prophethood to the people because he was able to describe with minute details the Masjid Al Aqsa although he never went there before that[6]. While in Jerusalem, he صل الله عليه وسلم led the other prophets in prayer and only the best can have this honor. Ibn Kathir said “his honorable status and superiority to them was manifested when he was made to go forward to lead them in prayer …”[7] He صل الله عليه وسلم is after all, the beloved of Allah and His Khaleel, Khayrul khalq (the best of creation).[8]

 

Conversation with the prophets, peace be upon them and their status

From Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem, Allah’s Messenger went with Jibreel into the heavens and met many prophets on each heaven. On the sixth heaven, he met Moosa alayhi salam. After they greeted, Moosa alayhi salam confirmed Muhammad’s prophethood صل الله عليه وسلم and mentioned that he (Muhammad صل الله عليه وسلم) will have the biggest ummah. He صل الله عليه وسلم also spoke to other messengers.[9] This shows that these prophets are honored by Allah and they are alive in barzakh[10]

Conversation with Allah

During the Journey, he صل الله عليه وسلم went past the lote tree and spoke directly to Allah without any intermediary. There, he was given the salah.[11] The pious predecessors of this unnah affirmed Allah’s speech as real and that it is not a creation.[12]

The real form of Jibreel

The Prophet صل الله عليه وسلم saw Jibreel alayhi salaam and we believe in what he صل الله عليه وسلم taught us. Jibreel السلام  عليهis described as having 600 wings.[13]

Seeing Allah

Because of his high status, some people believe that there was an exception for the prophet صل الله عليه وسلم  to see Allah during the Miraj. But Aisha Radi Allahu ‘anha clearly said that whoever claims this has lied. In another instance, the sahabi Abu Dharr Radi Allahu anhu asked the Prophet directly regarding this issue and he صل الله عليه وسلم replied “There was only light, how could I see Him”. The ‘light’ is explained in a hadeeth collected by Muslim as being the veil.[14] Allah knows best.

Abu Dharr said: “I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), ‘Did you see your Lord?’ He said, ‘ He is veiled by Light, how could I see Him.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 261).

Jannah and Jahannam already exist

The prophet صل الله عليه وسلم was brought to Paradise and he described it. We believe that Jannah already exists. Similarly, he was shown jahannam and was shown a vision of its punishment.[15]

A sign of the hour: The dajjal

We believe in the prophecies regarding the signs of the Day of Judgment. Among the signs that the Prophet was shown during the Mi’raj is the description of the dajjal.[16] The dajjal was described as being a human being who can create illusions and do magic tricks and this is what the correct belief of the Ahlus Sunnah is.

Evidence that Allah is not everywhere

This miraculous journey brought the Prophet صل الله عليه وسلم in the direct presence of Allah. It is known that he صل الله عليه وسلم went ‘above’ the seventh heaven, beyond the Lote tree and there he saw light and spoke to Allah directly. If Allah was present everywhere, the Prophet would have already been in His presence without needing to travel outside of the dimensions we are in now.[17]

The knowledge of the prophet صل الله عليه وسلم

During the Miraj, the prophet صل الله عليه وسلم asked Jibreel Alayhi Salaam many questions because he didn’t know who these people were or why certain people were inflicted some punishments.[18] However, Allah has chosen to give him knowledge of the ghaib (unseen) to strengthen and honour him, salawatullahi alaih.

Dissemination of knowledge of the unseen

Some people claim that the Prophet revealed some secret information to a restricted number of his companions. However, the narrations about this event have shown us that the Prophet صل الله عليه وسلم did not hide any information. If any information was to be hidden, the events of the Israa wal Miraj would have been among them since it is not something ordinary. Hence, the Prophet told us the message in its completeness and did not keep any part of knowledge as secret.

May Allaah send blessings and peace upon His slave and Messenger, our Prophet Muhammad, and his family and companions.

REFERENCE:


[1] The Radiance of Faith, pdf p.75

[2] The Sealed Nectar, p 69

[3] The Sealed Nectar, p 69

[4] Tafsir Ibn Kathir, pdf p. 2787

[5] Tafsir Ibn Kathir, pdf p. 2788

[6] The Radiance of Faith, pdf p.78

[7] The Leader of the Prophets, p23

[8] The Leader of the Prophets, p20

[9] The Radiance of Faith, pdf p.76

[11] The Sealed Nectar, p 71

[12] The Radiance of Faith, pdf p.51

[13] Tafsir Ibn Kathir, p 2787

[14] Fundamentals of Tawheed, p 159

[15] The Radiance of Faith pdf p.76

[16] Tafsir Ibn Kathir, p 2783

[17] The Fundamentals of Tawheed, p 141

[18] Tafsir Ibn Kathir, p 2779

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Al Mubarakpuri, S. The Sealed Nectar

Hafiz Ibn Kathir, A Compilation of the Abridged Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Islamweb Staff, The Leader Of The Prophets [online] English.islamweb.net/emainpage

Philips, Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal, The fundamentals of Tawheed

Philips, Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal, A commentary on Ibn Qudaama Al Maqdisee’s The Radiance Of Faith

Website: http://en.islamtoday.net/node/1799