More stories from Isra’ Mikraj
How many of us remember what day is it today? Does someone out there could not even remember what day of the week it is today? Okay its Monday and not just a Monday but a special day for Muslims too. Still blurred? Its called Isra’ Mikraj as today corresponds to the 27 Rejab in the Islamic calendar.
Celebrations have been held here and there to commemorate the event. I hope that people remember what and why we are celebrating and, the most important point is to learn from the stories of Isra’ Mikraj…
The event happened after Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was tested with the death of two of his closest persons in his life and who helped him with the spread of Islam. They were Siti Khadijah, his beloved wife and his uncle, Abu Talib. According to history, Isra’ Mikraj happened 18 months before Hijrah.
Before his journey, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was operated upon by the angels of Jibrail and Mika’il. This is as a prep for his long journey and to withstand from eveyrthing he would see throughout his journey.
A part of his heart called the ‘alaqah was cleansed away with Air Zam Zam, the water said to be originated from heaven and whose well in Makkah never dried up. ‘Alaqah is a place where the Devil whispered doubtness in human beings.
After the ‘operation’, a special creature from heaven called buraq came to the Prophet to transport him from Makkah to Masjidil ‘Aqsa and up to heaven and then back to Earth. Buraq was said to travel at a much faster speed than lightining.
The part of the journey between Makkah and Masjidil ‘Aqsa is called Isra’, while the part where he ascended to heaven is called Mikraj. Some said Mikraj means stairs or ladder from heaven.
While on this journey, the prophet was chased by a genie by the name of ‘Afrit who carried a torch to stop the prophet from continuing his journey.
Some of the symbolic events that Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. saw on the way were:
A group of farmers who continously did their harvesting. As soon as their crops were harvested, the crops grew again and were then harvested. The prophet was told by Jibrail that these are the groups of “Fisabilillah” or those who achieved matrydom.
A group of people who bang their heads again and again until their heads were blown into pieces. The heads were fixed again and the people continued to bang their heads again. These, said the Jibrail, are people who do not want to lower their heads to pray.
A group of people who hid away their private parts with a piece of cloth and were chased away like animals. They ate stones and fire from hell. These are people who do not perform the zakat or tithes.
A group of men and women who ate raw meat while there was a cooked meat beside them. These are men and women who committed adultery while they are already legally married to others.
A man who swam in a river of blood and was stoned. These are people who take riba or interest.
A man who collected firewood, could not lift them and kept on adding firewood. These are people who have been placed with trust but could not carry the trust and still continue to take other trusts.
A group of people who continue to cut their tongues and lips with scissors. These are liars.
A group who scratched their faces and chests with their steel fingers. These are people who like to talk bad about other people and framed people.
A big cow who tried to come out from a small hole. These are people who like to exagerate.
A woman who came to the Prophet with a tray full of jewellery but was ignored by the prophet. Jibrail said that’s Earth. If the Prophet gave the woman attention, it meant that Muslims will place the world before the world after.
An old woman who sat in the middle of the journey and asked the prophet to stop and was also ignored by the prophet. These are poeple who wasted their lives till their old age.
A three-humped back woman who stopped the prophet to ask him something. Jibrail said that symbolises the age of the earth which is near its dooms day.
While on his way to meet Allah, the prophet ascended from one layer of the sky to the next.
First: He met Prophet Adam a.s., the first man. The prophet also saw a group of people comprising of those who took interest or riba and the orphans’ asset and adulterious people.
Second: He met Prophet Isa a.s. and Prophet Yahya a.s.
Third: He met Prophet Yusuf a.s.
Fourth: He met Prophet Idris a.s.
Fifth: He met Prophet Harun a.s. who was surrounded by the Israelis
Sixth: He met Prophet Musa a.s. Here, he was asked by Jibrail to lift his head and he could see that 70,000 of his people entered heaven without being judged.
Seven: He met Prophet Ibrahim Kalilullah who was leaning against Baitul Ma’mur. Here Prophet Ibrahim a.s. said to Prophet Muhammad, “Tonight you are going to meet Allah. Your race would be the last and they are so naive. Please pray for them. Ask your race to recite La Haulawala Quwata Illa Billah for a place in heaven.” Other narration said that Prophet Ibrahim said:”Send my regards to your race and tell them that heaven has a good soil, its water’s fresh and its plants are five: Subhanallah, Walhamdullilah, Wa la ila ha illlah wallahu akbar and La Haulawala Quwatta Illa Billahil Azim.”
While here, the Prophet entered Baitul Ma’mur and performed a prayer. It was said that Baitul Ma’mur is located exactly on the top of Baitullah in Makkah.
Eight: This is a place called “Al-Kursi” which is near to a tree from Sidratul-Muntaha. The prophet saw many miracles in this place. The water from the river never change and there were a stream of milk, a stream of wine, and a stream of honey. The leaves and fruits from the tree changed colours and turned to gem stones. Golden birds were flying around. The prophet also saw the Al-Kautsar river which flowed towards heaven. He entered heaven and saw hell with the angel Malik guarding hell.
Ninth: This is the top of the Sidratul Muntaha. The prophet entered inside a light and ascended to Mustawa and Sharirul-Aqlam. He saw a man in the light, a man who while on earth was praising Allah continously and his heart focussed on the mosque and always listen to his parents.
Tenth: The prophet reached Hadhratul-Qudus and Hadhrat Rabbul-Arbab and saw Allah s.a.w. with his own eyes. He immediately prayed. It was here where the prophet had a dialogue with Allah s.w.t.
Allah s.w.t.: Oh Muhammad, raise your head and pray.
Prophet: Oh Rabbi, You have taken Ibrahim as Khalil and you gave him a big government. You have talked with Musa. You gave Daud a big government and he was able to shaped steel. You gave Sulaiman a government whom you have never given to any and made it easy for him to control genies, human, devils and others. You taught Isa with Taurat and Injil and with your consent, he was able to cure blindness and brought people from the dead. You protected him and his mother from the devil.
Allah s.w.t.: Oh Muhammad, you are my number one. I consent that you would be the bearer of good and bad news. I opened up your heart and threw away all your sins. I made your race as the best. I gave priority and specaility to you on the Judgement Day. I gave you the seven verses (Al-Fatihah) where I have never given to anyone before. I gave you the last verses from Al-Baqarah as a treasure under my ‘arasy’. I gave rewards to Islam through Hijrah, sedekah (giving to the poor) and practise good and leave behind bad things. I gave your race to perform prayer 50 times a day.
After the dialogue, the prophet was brought to meet Prophet Ibrahim a.s. and Prophet Musa a.s. who then asked the prophet to appeal to Allah s.w.t. to reduce the number of prayers to five. After nine times appealing, the prophet was too shy to ask some more and so until today, there are five prayer times.
The prophet returned back to Makkah the same night.