The Isra and Mi’raj

Did you know the Prophet Muhammad travelled to heaven and back in one night?

It’s called the “Israa wal Miraj” or the “Night Journey” and is mentioned in the 17th Chapter of the Quran. In it, the Prophet journeyed from Makkah to Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem on the back of a beast called the “Buraq”, which travelled at the speed of lightning.

Once he arrived in Jerusalem, he led the Prophets in prayer at Masjid Al Aqsa.[1]

From there he ascended the Miraj (ladder) to Heaven and met with God Almighty, the Angels and Prophets.

He also received the obligation of five daily prayers while on this journey. Many reports also indicate he had the chance to see Heaven and Hell in detail.

Once he returned, many of the townspeople mocked him for his claim.[2] In his defence, he informed them of an approaching caravan he had seen while on his journey. That same caravan he informed them of also arrived days later, matching the exact precise description of the Prophet, proving him truthful.

He also described for them in detail the exact structure of Masjid Al Aqsa to those who were familiar with the Mosque as narrated in the Hadith:

Jabir bin `Abdullah narrates that he heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “When the people of Quraish did not believe me (i.e. the story of my Night Journey), I stood up in Al-Hijr and Allah displayed Jerusalem in front of me, and I began describing it to them while I was looking at it.”

(Bukhari)

The journey is said to have taken place one year before the Prophet’s migration and was a means of easing his heart after he had suffered during the year of sadness.

Holy is He Who carried His servant by night from the Holy Mosque (in Makka) to the farther Mosque (in Jerusalem) – whose surroundings We have blessed – that We might show him some of Our signs.

Quran 17:1

 

The incident of the Night Journey is mentioned in great detail in the Hadith of Bukhari narrated by Anas Bin Malik.

He (Gabriel) then ascended with him (Prophet Muhammad) to the heaven of the world and knocked on one of its doors. The dwellers of the Heaven asked, ‘Who is it?’ He said, “Gabriel.” They said, “Who is accompanying you?” He said, “Muhammad.” They said, “Has he been called?” He said, “Yes” They said, “He is welcomed.” So the dwellers of the Heaven became pleased with his arrival, and they did not know what Allah would do to the Prophet (ﷺ) on earth unless Allah informed them.

The Hadith also discusses in great detail how Prophet Muhammad met with  Prophet Adam on the first Heaven, Prophet Idris on the second Heaven, Prophet Aaron on the fourth Heavens, Prophet Abraham on the sixth Heaven, and Moses on the seventh Heaven.

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[1] An-Nisai

[2] Sahih Muslim

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