Prophet’s miraculous night journey

Layla-tul-Miraaj, the night of the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) ascent to the heavens is one of greatest miracles of the Islamic history as it is known to have been not only a spiritual journey of Prophet (SAW) but also a physical one. This miraculous night journey is also known as the event of “Isra and Miraj” which essentially denotes two parts of the journey. Isra, which means ‘walking in the night’, refers to the first part of the Prophet (SAW)’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem. The Prophet (SAW) was visited by the angel Jibrael and was carried to Masjid-al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem) on “buraq”, the steed of the prophets. Almighty Allah verifies the truth of this journey in the holy Quran as well: “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Surah Isra:1). The second part of the journey is known as Miraaj, which in the literal sense means “ladder”, and it alludes to the Prophet (SAW)’s ascension to heaven itself. From Jerusalem, the Prophet Mohammad (SAW) was then transported to paradise on his steed, where he roamed all seven levels of paradise and met a number of the prophets who had come before him, which included Hazrat Adam (AS), Musa (AS), Isa (AS), Yahya (AS), Yusuf (AS), Ibrahim (AS) and many others. Upon reaching Sidra-tul-Muntaha in the seventh heaven, a tree marking the very end of paradise and the beginning of the abode of Almighty Allah, the angel Jibrael halted as his entry was forbidden and let the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) pass. Here, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) got a chance to meet the Almighty Allah and converse with him.
It is on this night, that the Prophet (SAW) achieved a state of closeness with Almighty Allah that is beyond human measure. Moreover, it was on this occasion that Almight Allah enjoined the five daily prayers upon all muslims. It was originally supposed to be fifty daily prayers, but our Prophet (SAW) beseeched on behalf of his Ummah to make it easier for them and graciously, Almighty Allah brought the number down to five. Almighty Allah (SWT) narrates a few details about the journey in another part of holy Quran as well: “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 none 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” (Surah Najm: 7-18). The purpose of the Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) miraculous journey to the heavens was an act of declaration about the exalted status of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in the realm of Islam and testified to the irreplaceable position he held in the eyes of Almighty Allah and his creation.

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