By Liyaqat Ali Khan
The history of Islam is rich with miracles that took place during the life of Prophet Muhammad.
Among the various miracles of Prophet Muhammad, one of the most renowned incidents is of Isra and Me’raj. It is an incident where Prophet Muhammad ascended heaven at night and met Allah, the Almighty.
The event of Isra and Me’raj took place on the 27th night of the Islamic month of Rajab. Almighty Allah sent Archangel Gabriel to the Prophet to bring him up to the heavens. First, the Prophet was taken to Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and from there he ascended to the skies and the journey began.
“Isra” means walking at night and “Me’raj” means to “ascend”. Therefore, the Isra and Me’raj events that are one and the same represent the whole journey of the Prophet from his house to the higher skies and the return.
In the Quran, Allah 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).”
The Prophet was carried physically from the Sacred Mosque in Makkah to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on a mount (a flying horse-like creature) called Al-Buraq in the company of Angel Gabriel. There the Prophet led all the other prophets in prayer.
“While he (Prophet Muhammad) was at the highest part of the horizon and came closer to Almighty he was at a distance of only two bow-lengths or (even) nearer. So did (Allah) convey the inspiration to His Servant what He (meant) to convey. Prophet’s mind and heart in no way falsified what 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.” (The Qur’an)
This verse refers to the peak of Me’raj where Prophet Muhammad met Allah Almighty in person.
There are other major things that happened on the night of Isra and Me’raj.
One of the major happenings of the night of Me’raj is of Prophet Muhammad meeting various Prophets while ascending to higher skies.
When Prophet Muhammad met Almighty Allah, besides other things the one thing that Allah spoke about to Prophet was about the daily prayers known as Salath or Namaz. Allah made the five prayers compulsory for Muslims, although they were fifty in the beginning.
In addition, the Prophet also visited paradise and hell during the Me’raj.
To sum up, the importance of the night of Me’raj is one of the most revered nights for Muslims. The journey of the Prophet is looked upon as one of the greatest miracles that Allah Almighty provided to Prophet Muhammad.