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The history of Islam is rich with all kinds of miracles, which took place in the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Although Muslims believe in the miracles of other Prophets before Muhammad (PBUH) as well, however, for them Muhammad (PBUH) is the prime personality who in His every action and every deed was no less than a miracle and the number of miracles that came only from His personality is far greater than any of the earlier Prophets.
Among various miracles of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), one of the most renowned miracles is the miracle of Isra and Mairaj. It is the miracle where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ascended to heaven at night and met Allah Almighty. The lines below discuss a brief detail of what this event was, what were the major happenings of the whole journey.
A Brief Description:
The event of Isra and Mairaj took place on the 27 night of the Islamic month of Rajab when Allah Almighty sent Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to bring him to Allah. First Prophet (PBUH) was taken to Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and from there He ascended to skies and the higher journey began.
‘Isra’ means ‘walking in night’ and ‘Mairaj’ means to “ascend“. Therefore, the Isra and Mairaj event represent the whole journey of Prophet (PBUH) from His house to the higher skies and from there on backwards. In Quran, Allah Almighty says:
“Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose precincts We did bless – in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the one Who heareth and seeth (all things).” (17:1)
Further to that, learning from the Holy Quran, at another place Allah Almighty gives brief details of the Isra and Mairaj event in the following way:
“While he was in the highest part of the horizon: Then he approached and came closer, And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer; So did (Allah) convey the inspiration to His Servant (conveyed) what He (meant) to convey. The (Prophet’s) (mind and) heart in no way falsified that which he saw. Will ye then dispute with him concerning what he saw? For indeed he saw him at a second descent. Near the Lote-tree beyond which non may pass: near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!) (His) sight never swerved nor did it go wrong! For truly did he see of the Signs of His Lord the Greatest.” (53:7-18)
This ayah refers the peak of Mairaj where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) met Allah Almighty in person. Every Muslim is aware of this particular happening during the night, however, there are three other major things that happened on the night of Isra and Mairaj. The lines below give a brief detail the three major happenings on the night of Mairaj.
Meeting With Prophets:
The first major happening of the night of Isra and Mairaj is of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) meeting various Prophets while ascending to higher skies. A brief description of the Prophets He met is as follows:
- At the First Heaven, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) met Hazrat Adam (AS). Prophet Adam (AS) had bodies on his left and right. When he would look on the left he would cry and when he would look at the right he would laugh. These bodies were the souls of humans, on the left were the ones who were disbelievers and for them there was punishment, while on the right were the believers the good Muslims, for whom there was reward.
- At the Second Heaven, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) met Hazrat Isa (AS) and Hazrat Yahya (AS). They both were maternal cousins and Prophets of their time. They both greeted Him and made supplications full of good tidings for Him.
- At the Third Heaven, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) met Hazrat Yusuf (AS). Yusuf (AS) was known for His beauty and Prophet (PBUH) witnessed to it during His meeting with him. Yusuf (AS) gave the Prophet (PBUH) a warm welcome and supplicated for Him.
- At the Fourth Heaven, Prophet (PBUH) met Hazrat Idris (AS), who also greeted Him cordially and supplicated for Him.
- At the fifth heaven, Hazrat Harun (AS) who was the brother of Hazrat Musa (AS) greeted Prophet (PBUH) and supplicated for Him.
- At the Sixth Heaven, Prophet (PBUH) met Hazrat Musa (AS) who also greeted Him and supplicated for Him.
- At the Seventh Heaven, Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) was the one who greeted Prophet (PBUH). Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) was standing with his back rested on Bayt al-Mamur, which is the replica of Kabah on the seventh heaven around which the angels do the Tawaf in the same way as Muslims do around the Qibla in the world. It was at this point that Prophet (PBUH) also saw Sidra-tul-Muntahawhich is the tree which marks the end of the heavens and from there on there is the Abode of Allah Almighty.
Five Time Prayers:
When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) met Allah Almighty, besides other things the one thing that Allah Almighty spoke about to Prophet (PBUH) was the prayers. Allah Almighty made the five prayers compulsory for Muslims, although the prayers very fifty for the first time, but Prophet (PBUH) requested Allah Almighty to reduce the prayers, which were then reduced to five. Regarding, this, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in His hadith that Allah Almighty said:
“O Muhammad! These prayers need to be performed five times a day. However, there are ten rewards for each prayer!” (Muslim)
Thus, from this hadith it is clear that although the prayers we offer are five, however, they contain the reward of 50 prayers for a Muslim.
Showing Of Paradise And Hell:
In addition to meeting Allah Almighty, the Prophets and the commandment about prayer, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also visited paradise and hell during the Isra and Miraj. In hell He saw all kinds of people receiving different kinds of punishments, like there were adulterers who were eating fatty meat with rotten smell, the usury takers were having large bellies making it impossible for them to move, then there were those who usurped the property of orphans, they were eating red-hot stones.
On the other hand, in Paradise Prophet (PBUH) saw all kinds of blessings and gifts that the dwellers of heaven enjoyed. He also saw Hur ul Ayn who are the damsels of paradise and will be married to the believers who are given heaven by Allah Almighty.
In short, the night of Isra and Mairaj is one of the most reverended and respected nights for Muslim and the journey of Prophet (PBUH) is looked upon as one of the sacred and greatest miracles that Allah Almighty provided to only Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and no one else.