The journey of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) from Makkah to Jerusalem (Al-Isra) and from Jerusalem to the heavens (Mi’raj) is a very important event in the history of Islam.
Isra Wal Mi’raj was the night journey on the 27th Rajab 621 A.D when angel Jibrael accompanied Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to his journey to the heavens.
Let’s discuss the details of this event without further introductions.
Events of Isra Wal Mi’raj
This event is mentioned in the Holy Quran in Surah Isra in the following words:
Glory to the One Who took his servant from the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) to the Farthest Mosque (in Jerusalem) whose precincts We blessed in order that We might show him some of Our signs: for He is the one Who hears and sees.Al-Quran (Surah Isra 17:1)
It is reported by Anas bin Malik that the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was asleep in al-Hateem (the semi-circular wall also known as al-Hijr and Hijr Ismail) when the angel Jibrael appeared before him.
The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was awakened by the wings of angel Jibrael. It is reported in Sahih Bukhari that angel Jibrael cut open the chest of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and he washed it with a tray “full of belief”. The clot of the Satanic temptations was removed from the blessed heart of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
After that, angel Jibrael asked the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to ride a white beast, a mule-like animal known as the “Buraq”. It is said that Buraq was smaller than a donkey but bigger than a mule and its speed can be imagined by the fact that it reached the farthest point in one glimpse.
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was shown the city of Yathrib (also known as Madinah) where he performed two Raka’at of prayer.
After that. he was taken to the site of Hazrat Musa in Madyan where Prophet (peace be upon him) offered two Raka’at of prayer. Then the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) offered prayer at the point where God talked to Hazrat Musa directly.
After that, he was accompanied to the land of Syria where Hazrat Jesus (Isa) was born. He offered prayer over there as well. Finally, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) reached Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque where he again offered two Raka’at of prayer.
After that, angel Jibrael presented two vessels to the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم). One contained wine and the other containing milk. The Prophet selected the vessel that contained milk upon which angel Jibrael said:
“You have been guided to the Fitrah”.
With this, the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) journey of Al-Isra ended. After this, he was to ascend to the heavens along with angel Jibrael. The doors of the heavens were opened to the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and he was greeted with “Marhaba”.
On the different heavens, Hazrat Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw different messengers. The earlier Prophets whom the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saw were:
- Hazrat Adam (عليه السلام) on the first heaven.
When he looked towards the right he laughed and when he looked towards the left he wept. The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) encountered about this and he was told that the people on the right were from the heavens and the people from the left were from hell.
- Hazrat Isa (عليه السلام) and Hazrat Yahya (عليه السلام) on the second heaven.
- Hazrat Yusuf (عليه السلام) on the third heaven.
- Hazrat Idrees (عليه السلام) on the fourth heaven.
- Hazrat Haroon (عليه السلام) on the fifth heaven.
- Hazrat Musa (عليه السلام) on the sixth heaven.
- Hazrat Ibrahim (عليه السلام) on the seventh heaven.
Hazrat Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) then reached to Bait-ul-Mamoor where 70,000 angels perform tawaf and they never return again.
After this, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reached the point from where Hazrat Jibrael could not move forward or else his wings were to burn. This was the point, “Sidratul Muntaha” (the lote tree).
Near the Lote Tree beyond which none may pass.Al-Quran (Surah Najm 53:14-16)
There is a difference of opinion that whether Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw Allah almighty directly or not. Whatever the case, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was bestowed with three gifts from his lord. The gifts were:
- 50 prayers (reduced to five on the insistence of Hazrat Musa)
- The last two verses of Surah Baqarah (the largest Surah of the Holy Quran)
- Forgiveness of all sins except shirk (associating partners with God)
Finally, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was shown the heaven and hell where he witnessed different types of communities. He heard the footsteps of someone in paradise. Upon encountering, it was told that he was Hazrat Bilal (رضي الله عنه).
The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) then travelled back to Jerusalem and from there to Makkah. He narrated the entire incident to the citizens of Makkah who rejected to believe him.
It was only Hazrat Abu Bakr who accepted the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and therefore, he was given the title of “Siddique”, the testifier of truth.
- This journey of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) was vital for him.
This is because he was constantly persecuted by the Quraish of Makkah and after the loss of Hazrat Khadija (his wife) and Abu Talib (his uncle), he was distressed.
- The journey, however, calmed the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the support of Allah Almighty was shown to him.
This boosted his confidence to carry out his prophetic mission.
- Moreover, Hazrat Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was shown the city of Yathrib, indicating about his future journey to Madinah.
Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) led other prophets in prayer in Jerusalem which shows his highlighted status.
- He witnessed the heaven and the hell and the seven heavens.
All of this show that Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was given a special elevated status by God among all the chosen people of God.
Lastly, the journey of Isra Wal Mi’raj was also significant because Muslims were given five daily prayers in order to connect with God and the assurance of the forgiveness of all sins except shirk motivate Muslims for constantly seeking refugee from Allah.
With this, the article regarding Isra Wal Mi’raj has come to an end. I hope that all your queries have been answered.
Thank You for staying with me till the end and learning about this significant event in the history of Islam.