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Online Quran Academy - Islamic Mentors

Al-Isra and Wal-Miraj: Story of the Prophet’s Miraculous Journey

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What is Isra and Miraj?

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) had a miraculous journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and the heavens. This journey is known as Isra and Miraj in Islam. It has two parts: the night journey (Isra) and the Ascension (Mi’raj). During the night journey, He (SAW) travelled with the angel Jibril (Gabriel) on a winged horse called Buraq and prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with other Prophets (Peace be upon them). In the Ascension, He met a different Prophet at each level of heaven. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also witnessed many wonders and signs of Allah Almighty.


In another blog, we discuss the What is Shab-e-Barat?


Isra and Miraj in the Quran

The journey of Isra and Miraj holds great significance in Islamic history and is mentioned in the Quran.

Surah Isra verse of the Quran gives the first piece of evidence about Prophet Muhammad (saw) Night Journey, Lailat al Miraj:

quran verses that describe Shab e Meraj, Al Isra wal Miraj

Glory be to the One Who took His servant Muḥammad by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose surroundings We have blessed, so that We may show him some of Our signs. Indeed, He alone is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing. (Quran 17:1)

The second piece of evidence about Shab e Meraj is from the Quran.

Surah Najm Verses 13-18

And he certainly saw that angel descend a second time. At the Lote Tree of the most extreme limit in the seventh heaven. Near which is the Garden of Eternal Residence. While the Lote Tree was overwhelmed with heavenly splendours. The Prophet’s sight never wandered, nor did it overreach. He certainly saw some of his Lord’s greatest signs. (Surah Najm verses 13-18)

The Prophet (SAW) was sleeping near the Kaaba when he was awakened by Angel Jibril (SAW), who opened his chest, took out His heart, and washed it with Zamzam water. Then, he brought him a white beast called Al-Buraq, faster than lightning. The Prophet (SAW) mounted Al-Buraq and travelled with Jibril (SAW) to Jerusalem, where he led all the Prophets in prayer at al-Masjid al-Aqsa.


Please read our other blog about the Shab-e-Miraj: Exploring Jannat and Jahannam with Hazrat Muhammad (SAW).


Isra and Miraj in Hadith

The following Hadees tells us about Shab e Meraj, the story of Al Isra wal Miraj:

Hazrat Anas bin Malik (RA) narrated that:

“On the Night of Isra, fifty prayers were made obligatory upon the Prophet. Then it was decreased until it was made to five. Then it was called out: ‘O Muhammad! Indeed My Word does not change; these five prayers will be recorded for you as fifty.'”

( Jami’ Tirmidhi 213)

Narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA):

Allah’s Messenger (SAW) was presented with two cups one containing wine and the other milk on the night of his night journey at Jerusalem. He looked at it and took the milk. Gabriel said, “Thanks to Allah Who guided you to the Fitra (i.e. Islam); if you had taken the wine, your followers would have gone astray.

(Sahih Bukhari 4709)

Narrated by Hazrat Anas ibn Malik (RA):

The Prophet (SAW) said: When I was taken up to heaven I passed by people who had nails of copper and were scratching their faces and their breasts. I said: Who are these people, Gabriel? He replied: They are those who were given to back biting and who aspersed people’s honour.

Abu Dawud said: Yahya b. ‘Uthman has also transmitted it from Baqiyyah, there is no mention of Anas in it.

(Abu Dawood 4878)

Gifts Conferred During the Night Journey

During the Night Journey, the Prophet (SAW) went beyond Sidrat al-Muntaha and entered the Divine Presence of Allah Almighty. Allah (SWT) gave him three gifts: the Five Daily Prayers, which were initially fifty but reduced to five after Hazrat Musa’s ((AS) advice; the promise that whoever believes in Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and His Messenger will have their sins forgiven; and the last two verses of Surah al-Baqarah, which protect from all evil.


Seeking forgiveness by doing Istighfar, read our blog.


Story of al-Isra and Miraj

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) made this Miraculous journey, Shab e Meraj, in the month of Rajab. Al Isra wal Miraj occurred during the Year of Sorrow, often known as a year of sadness and suffering. The loss of his beloved wife, Hazrat Khadija (RA), and his beloved uncle, Hazrat Abu Talib (AS), in that year led the Prophet (SAW) to experience great hardship.


In addition to all of these difficulties, Ta’if’s residents cruelly rejected the Prophet (SAW) when he visited the city to teach Islam, sending their kids out into the streets to stone him until he left. So Allah (SWT) presented him with a gift.


Isra – The First Part of the Night Journey

In the eleventh year of his prophethood, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) experienced a remarkable journey. Angel Jibril (AS) visited Him while He was asleep in the house of Hazrat Ummy Hani (RA), who happened to be His cousin. Hazrat Jibril came at night; that is why it is called Shab e Miraj. While He rested, Angel Jibril (AS) took the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) on a spiritual journey, which began at Masjid Al-Haram, the sacred site of Kaaba. At Masjid Al-Haram, Jibril (AS) performed a miracle by opening the Prophet’s (SAW) chest and taking out his heart. He then washed it with Zamzam water, blessed water from a well near the Kaaba. After washing it, he put the heart back in its place. This made the Prophet’s (SAW) heart pure and strong for the journey of Al Isra wal Miraj.


Then, Jibril (AS) brought a horse for the Prophet (SAW) to ride. The horse was called “Buraq,” and it was a white animal that looked like a mix of a mule and a donkey. But it was not an ordinary horse. It had wings, and it could fly faster than lightning. Buraq swiftly carried Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from Makkah to Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. This is another sacred mosque that Prophet Sulaiman (AS) built.


Leading Prayer during Isra and Miraj

The journey was quick, and even as He travelled, the Prophet (SAW) knew everything along the way. He saw many signs of Allah Almighty’s power and mercy. He also saw some of the Prophets who had passed away. For example, He saw the messenger Hazrat Musa (may Allah have mercy on him) praying in his grave. Finally, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) reached Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. He found a great gathering of all 124,000 Prophets (AS) who had ever lived there. They were waiting for Him on Miraj Night with respect and love. Angel Jibril (AS) led the Prophet (SAW) to the front, and He (Peace be upon Him) led them all in prayer in this blessed mosque. This was a great honor for Him and a sign of His high status among all the Prophets (AS). SUBHANALLAH!


Read our other on-depth blog on the Prophets and Messengers in Islam

miraculous night journey - Shab e Meraj
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) went on a miraculous journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to the heavens. This journey is called Isra and Miraj in Islam. It has two parts: the night journey (Isra) and the ascension (Mi’raj).

Miraj – The Second Part of Al Isra wal Miraj

In the second part, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) was taken up by Jibril to the first heaven. There, they were asked by a gatekeeper who they were and who they had with them. Jibril replied that he was Jibril and that he had Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) with him, who was invited by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. The gatekeeper opened the gate and let them in. In the first heaven, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) met Hazrat Adam (AS), the first human being and Prophet. He greeted him, and Adam (AS) welcomed him as his son and a Prophet.


Then, they ascended to the second heaven, where they met Hazrat Isa (Jesus) (AS) and Hazrat Yahya (John)(AS). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and angel Jibril then mounted to the third heaven, where they met Hazrat Yusuf (Joseph) (AS), the son of Jacob. They ascended to the fourth heaven, where they met Hazrat Idris (Enoch) (AS), who was raised to a high position by Allah. Then, they ascended to the fifth heaven, where they met Hazrat Harun (Aaron) (AS), the brother of Hazrat Moses (AS). They ascended to the sixth heaven, where they met Hazrat Musa (Moses) (AS), who spoke to Allah Almighty directly. They ascended to the seventh heaven, where they met Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) (AS), the friend of Allah (SWT). All of these Prophets greeted Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and they welcomed Him as a Prophet.


Read our other blog on the Jannah – The Reward for True Muslims.


At the seventh level, he also saw Sidrat al-Muntaha, a large lote tree that marks the end of creation. There, Jibril stopped and told Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) that he could not go any further but that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had to continue on his own. So, this was the most vital moment on Al Isra wal Miraj.


In our other blog, we also discuss the Concept of Jahannam in Islam.


Shab e Meraj – Why we Pray 5 Times a Day

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) entered the presence of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, who spoke to Him directly without any intermediary. Allah Almighty told Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that he had ordained fifty prayers daily for his people. As Prophet Muhammad (SAW) descended from the presence of Allah (SWT), he met Hazrat Moses (AS) again in the sixth heaven. Prophet Moses (AS) asked him what Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala had ordained for his people. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told him that Allah Almighty had ordained fifty prayers daily. Hazrat Mosa (AS) said this was too much for his people, and they could not perform it. He advised Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to return to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and ask for a reduction. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) agreed, returned to Allah Almighty, and asked for a reduction. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala reduced the prayers by five.


The Decree To Five Prayers

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) returned to Moses (AS) and told him what happened. Moses said this was still too much for his people, and they could not perform it. He advised Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to return to Allah and ask for another reduction. After each reduction, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) consulted Mosa (AS), who suggested further reductions until the prayers were set at five a day. Mosa (AS) continued to advise additional reductions, but Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) felt reluctant to ask for more and accepted Allah’s final decree. Despite concerns, he hoped his people could manage the five daily prayers. The command for praying five times a day is one of the three gifts of Miraj.


When he reached His presence, Allah Almighty commanded Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to perform five daily prayers. After thanking Allah (SWT), he returned to Mecca with Jibril. The event is known as Shab-e-Meraj or Al Isra wal Miraj, and it took place on the 27th of Rajab. It is considered the second-greatest miracle after the revelation of the Quran.


Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala then said that He had decreed the five prayers a day for Prophet Muhammad’s Ummah but would reward them as if they had performed fifty prayers daily. He said He would not change His word or return on His promise. SUBHANALLAH


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When did Isra and Miraj Happen?

The Isra Wal Miraj, the Night Journey, and Ascension occurred on the 27th night of the Islamic month of Rajab in the year 621 CE.

How long was the Isra and Miraj Journey?

The Isra and Miraj journey took one night. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem and ascended through the heavens, encountering various Prophets and reaching the Divine Presence of Allah (SWT).

What is the importance of Isra and Miraj?

The Isra Wal Miraj holds immense significance in Islam as they signify the spiritual journey and Ascension of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). This miraculous event emphasizes the importance of prayer, establishes a connection between earthly and heavenly realms, and reinforces the Prophet’s pivotal role as the Seal of the Prophets. Believers commemorate this occasion as a source of inspiration and reflection on the profound nature of divine revelations.

What is the difference between Isra Wal Miraj?

Isra refers to the Night Journey, where Prophet Muhammad (SAW) travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem.
Miraj is the Ascension, the second part, where he ascends through the heavens, meets Prophets and reaches the Divine Presence. Together, Isra and Miraj signify a pivotal spiritual event in Islamic tradition.


Conclusion

This blog post explains the story of al-Isra and Miraj’s miraculous night journey of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven. It describes how He met Allah (SWT), received the commandment of five daily prayers, led the other Prophets in prayer at Masjid al-Aqsa, and saw the wonders and horrors of heaven and hell. It emphasizes the main lessons and benefits of this amazing event, such as the establishment of prayer as the pillar of Islam, the honour and status of the Prophet (SAW) as the leader of humanity, and the glimpses of paradise as a reward for the believers. Aims to inspire and educate Muslims about their faith and history and to motivate them to follow the example of the Prophet (SAW). It ends with a prayer for Allah’s (SWT) blessings and guidance for us and our families.

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Ali
Ali
3 months ago

Amazing

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