[Glory is due to The One Who took His servant on a night journey, from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed, so that We may show him of our signs. Verily, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.]
Ya Aiyuhal Muslimoon! There is a most glorious type of defense that is much more solemn and profound than defense of one's homeland, and this is defense of the Truth, the sole object of the holy faith of Al-Islam. This divine method exists to promulgate theTruth and reality; thus, our faith, our religion - the Din of Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal is known as the Din of Truth, meaning a religion that belongs to the Truth, contains nothing but the Absolute Truth, the whole Truth, and has no other object than the Truth. In describing His Most Glorious and Noble Qur'an which comprehends all realities, Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen informs us with words of wisdom in verse 30 of Surah Al-Ahqaf:
"It guides people to the Truth and to the Straight Way."
Alal Muslimeena Jami'ah! The Most Noble and Glorious Qur'an is the infallible standard which destroys the conspirators and the revilers and puts fear in their hearts. It also makes the true Believers courageous, steadfast and unswerving. It defends and preserves their souls against the insults, the threats and mockery of their avowed enemies and elevates the believers to a lofty position far above the ego and wicked designs of those who feel threatened by the Absolute Truth. That Absolute Truth, is the Din of Al-Islam, the Din of Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen.
In concise and most elegant fashion, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala declares in verse 143 of Surah Al-A'raf of His conversation with Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam and Nabee Moosa's request to see Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala. Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen then tells Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam that this was not possible. This Truth is made explicit and explained most eloquently by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala who then summons Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam to appear at a specified time on the mountain where the remarkable conversation takes place between the Most Glorious Creator and His servant. Almighty Allah then tells us: "And when Moosa A.S. came at our appointed time and His Lord spoke to him."
Moosa A.S. said: "My Lord! Show (reveal) Yourself to me so that I can look at You."
Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala replied:
"You cannot see Me; but look at the mountain. If it remains firm in its place,
then only will you see Me. So when Allah manifested His Glory to the
mountain, He made the mountain crumble and Moosa fell down in a swoon."
Beloved People of Imaan! This tells us that Almighty Allah instructed Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam to look instead to the mountain which he did. When Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala manifested only a fraction of His Power and Divine Light, Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam was unable to withstand the awesome power and the earth shattering scene on the mountain and fell down unconscious. Finally when Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam regained consciousness, he said:
"Glory be to Thee O Allah! I turn to Thee,
and I am the first of the Believers."
This experience was the spiritual ascension (the Mi'raaj) of Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam. Let us remember that our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam did not request to meet Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala as did Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam. It was the Will of Almighty Allah that our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam should do so in order that his Glorious Creator and Sustainer might reveal to him the secret of creation and a glimpse of life beyond the Qabir; that mankind should benefit by the experience and be rightly guided by it. The Isra and Mi'raaj of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam is the miraculous journey from Makkah to the furthest Masjid at Jerusalem, and then an ascent through the sphere of the heavens where our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam enjoyed the company of the Ambiya Alayhim Salaam, the Mala'eeka and ultimately, his audience with Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen - Most Glorious and Most Exalted Creator of the heavens and the earth.
According to some historians, the Mi'raaj took place either in the month of Shawwal or Ramadhaan. Al-Waqidi was certain of this. Ibn Qutaybah and Ibn Abd al-Barr mentioned something similar, namely that it took place eighteen months before the Hijrah. Ibn Sa'd reporting from Abi Sirah, also states that it happened in Ramadhaan, eighteen months before the Hijrah. There are some deceptive people with their own misguided views and fanciful interpretations today who, unfortunately, are ignorant enough to regard the miracle of the Mi'raaj as metaphoric and they claim that all this happened in a dream despite the many declarations by Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal in the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an. To such misguided people I want to quote Verse 53 of Surah Fussilat:
"Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth)
and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth.
It is not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things."
The Mi'raaj is one of the greatest miracles granted to Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam proving his Nabuwaat till Qiyamah. The Most Holy Qur'an describes the Mi'raaj in verse 1 of Surah Bani Isra'il (or Al-Isra) in the following words:
"Glory to Allah Who did take His servant for a journey by night from
the Sacred Mosque in Makkah to the Furthest Mosque whose precincts
We did bless in order that We might show him some of Our Signs; for
He is the One who hears and sees (all things)."
The word "Isra" is derived from the Arabic word "Asra", which means 'to travel at night'. The phrase: Allah took His servant for a journey by night......."Asra bi Abdihi" means that Almighty Allah caused Al-Buraq to carry His servant on a journey by night. "His servant" - 'Abdihi' is none other than our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. This verse describes the initial stage of the journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, and explains its purpose to be the manifestation of the extraordinary signs of Divine Providence. The noteworthy feature is that the Mi'raaj took place within a part of the night in spite of the fact that the distance between Makkah and Jerusalem is several hundred miles.
Verses 1 to 18 of Surah An-Najm gives a detailed account of the Mi'raaj, and reveals some wonderful details of the ascension of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and his experience in the heavens where he is described as having witnessed the Divine Glory and manifestation at the closest possible propinquity. The events of the Mi'raaj have been described as extraordinary and the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an belies the misconception that the whole event was merely a dream as confirmed by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala in verses 1 to 9 in Surah An-Najm:
"By the star when it sets! Your companion is neither astray nor being misled,
nor does he speak out of desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him:
He was taught by One Mighty in Power, endued with wisdom: So he attained
to perfection. And he is the highest part of the horizon. Then he drew near,
drew nearer yet, so he was the measure of two bows or closer still."
To elaborate on verse 9 of Surah An-Najm: Two bow shots (counting 100 to 150 yards to a bow shot) would be a clearly visible distance (200 or 300 yards away) or does it mean that he was only six feet away if we assume a bow measures roughly 3 feet across? Almighty Allah knows best. To conclude on the events and experience of this most wonderful and auspicious journey, I quote verses 10 to 18 of Surah An-Najm where Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala declares:
"So He revealed to His servant what He revealed. The heart was not untrue in
seeing what he saw. Do you then dispute with him as to what he saw?
And certainly he saw him in another descent, at the farthest Lote-tree.
Near it is the Garden of Abode. When that which covers, covered the Lote-tree.
The eye turned not aside, nor did it exceed the limit. Certainly he saw of the
Greatest Signs of his Lord."
These verses show the refined quality which our Beloved Nabee - Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen had attained, and to the Muslim mind, he was without any question of a doubt, the most perfect man to walk upon this Doonya. How wonderful would it be if only all of us would take him as the ideal example as Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen intended, and in so doing draw ourselves closer to our Glorious and Exalted Creator and Sustainer. When any of us bow down in complete humility and humbleness and ask for Baraka'h, Blessings, Mercy and Muhabbat from Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal, let us feel and be sure that we have indeed earned and deserved them in full measure and pay heed to Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala's words in verse 107 of Surah Al-Anbiyaa:
"And we have not sent thee (O Muhammad), but as a mercy to (all) the nations."
If we can briefly analyse what our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam saw and related to us of his ascension, we can understand that this was not a pleasure trip or even a straight forward revelation. The Mi'raaj was an auspicious journey with purpose and meaning. To give the followers of Islam, and indeed, to all of mankind, some insight into not only the Power, but the Glory, the Muhabbat, the Greatness, the Brightness and the Great Beauty of our Glorious Creator and Maker; something for all mankind to experience and enjoy, for Almighty Allah's Pleasure is to have that which He created returned to Him. Almighty Allah's Pleasure is with us and likewise, our pleasure is with Him. What more could either party ask for or require than the pleasure of each other's company?
The most important reason for the Mi'raaj was that Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal had decreed that Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam would be the last and the seal of the prophets with no other prophet after him, and therefore there would be no other means of revelation and examples to mankind. It is obvious that unless we gain knowledge and understanding of the secret of creation, that of mankind in particular, and the life in the Aghirah, it will not be possible for us to make our progress in this egotistical earthly environment and control our temptations in preparing for the final journey and the subsequent meeting with our Glorious and Supreme Lord and Creator.....Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala.
And so my beloved brothers and sisters in Islam, it was that our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam was chosen and directed by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala to set an example to mankind who will also be taking that same journey, the difference being that journey of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam took him directly to Almighty Allah, whereas we will all make the journey stage by stage travelling way beyond the physical boundaries of the universe. And so we see yet again that the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an has given us direct guidance as to what we may or may not do to make our progress into the Aghirah. And this is why Islam is regarded as a fully comprehensive religion, making it a unique religion, because the Most Glorious Qur'an confirms this in verse 3 of Surah Al-Ma'idah:
"This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My
Favour to you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion."
And so with the completion of revelation, Prophethood was also brought to an end, with no other messengers or prophets after our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam as confirmed by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala in verse 40 of Surah Al-Ahzab:
"Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he
is the Messenger of Allah and the seal of the Prophets."
In Sahih Al-Bukhari our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoio Alayhi Wasallam said:
"There is no prophet after me."
The Mi'raaj of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam is by far the most important of all the messages and guidance given in the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an, because it gives us a clear proof that a spiritual life does exist in the Hereafter and belief in the Aghirah is the whole essence of Islam. The fact that our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam met Nabee Adam, Nabee Esa, Nabee Moosa and Nabee Ebrahim (Peace be upon them) on his Mi'raaj proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that there is a life here-after and a progressive journey of our ultimate return to our Glorious Creator and Maker. Otherwise, how could our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam have met with any of the earlier Ambiya Alayhim Salaam who had all passed away hundreds and thousands of years earlier. (except for Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam).
May Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala grant us all the success to our Hijrah back to the Most Holy Qur'an and to understand it according to our capacity. If any one of us attains to some knowledge or understanding of it by study, contemplation, and the test of life, both inward and outward, it is our foremost Islamic duty, according to our capacity, to instruct others, and to share with them the joy and peace which result from contact with the spiritual world. The Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an must be read, not only with the tongue and voice and eyes, but with the best light that our intellect can supply, and even more, with the truest and purest light which our hearts and conscience can give us. In is in this spirit that we must approach the Glorious and Holy Book of Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen.
And Almighty Allah knows best.
By Imam Abdul Hamid