What is Isra and Miraj?
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) went on a miraculous journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and the heavens. This journey is called Isra and Miraj in Islam. It has two parts: the night journey (Isra) and the ascension (Mi’raj). On the Miraj night journey, he travelled with the angel Jibril (Gabriel) on a winged horse called Buraq. He prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with the other prophets. In the ascension, he met a different prophet at each level of heaven: Adam, John the Baptist, and Jesus, Joseph, Idris, Aaron, Moses, and Abraham. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also saw many wonders and signs of Allah.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) reached Allah’s presence, where He received the commandment of the five daily prayers. He thanked Allah for his generosity and returned to Mecca with Jibril. Shab-e-Meraj, also called Al Isra wal Miraj, happened on the 27th of Rajab. It is the second-greatest miracle after the revelation of the Quran.
Isra and Miraj in the Quran
Surah Isra verse 1 of the Quran gives the first piece of evidence about Prophet Muhammad (saw) Night Journey, Lailat al Miraj:
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. (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 him in another descent.
At the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary.
Near it is the Garden of Refuge.
When there covered the Lote Tree that which covered [it].
The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit].
He certainly saw the greatest signs of his Lord.
Isra and Miraj in Hadith
The following Hadees tells us about Shab e Meraj, the story of Al Isra wal Miraj:
- The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said that the Angel Jibril (AS) descended when he was asleep in Umm Hani’s (RA) Makkah home when he stated, “The roof of my house was opened.” (Bukhari). According to scholars reconciling various narrations, the Prophet (SAW) was next led to the Hijr, the Ka’bah’s semi-circular wall. Where he claimed Jibril (as) “opened my chest and washed it with Zamzam water.” Then, after pouring its contents into my chest, he closed it. He had just brought a golden tray filled with knowledge and faith. [Bukhari]
- The Prophet (SAW) said, “I was then delivered a white beast, bigger than a donkey and smaller than a mule, called al-Buraq [from the Arabic word barq, signifying lightning]. Its stride extended to as far as the eye could see. [Muslim]
- Buraq was “saddled and reined,” according to Anas (RA), but he backed away. Jibril Angel therefore questioned him, “Do you do this because of Muhammad (Peace be upon Him)? He is the only one who has ridden you who is more honourable in the eyes of Allah. He said, “Then he began to sweat heavily.” [Tirmidhi]
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 (Arabic ). The loss of his beloved wife, Hazrat Khadija, and his beloved uncle Abu Talib 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.
Read our blog on Sab-e-Miraj in detail, check out the given link: Shab-e-Miraj
Isra – The first part of the night journey
In the eleventh year of His prophethood, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) experienced a remarkable event. Angel Jibril (AS) visited Him while He was asleep in the house of Ummy Hani, who happened to be His cousin. Jibril came at night time, that is why it is called Shab e Miraj. As He rested, Jibril (AS) took the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) on a spiritual journey. This journey began at Masjid Al-Haram, the sacred site that houses the Kaaba. At Masjid Al-Haram, Jibril (AS) performed a miracle. He opened the chest of the Prophet (SAW) and took out His heart. He washed it with ZamZam water, which is a blessed water from a well near the Kaaba. Then he put the heart back in its place. This made the heart of the Prophet (SAW) 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 Muhammad (SAW) from Makkah to Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. This is another sacred mosque that was built by Prophet Sulaiman (AS).
Leading Prayer during Isra and Miraj
The journey was remarkably quick, and even as He travelled, the Prophet (SAW) knew everything along the way. He saw many signs of Allah’s power and mercy. He also saw some of the previous 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!
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. The gatekeeper opened the gate and let them in. In the first heaven, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) met Adam, the first human being and prophet. He greeted him and Adam welcomed him as his son and a prophet.
Then, they ascended to the second heaven, where they met John the Baptist and Jesus, the son of Mary. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and angel Jibril then ascended to the third heaven, where they met Joseph, the son of Jacob. They ascended to the fourth heaven, where they met Idris, who was raised to a high position by Allah. Then, they ascended to the fifth heaven, where they met Aaron, the brother of Moses. They ascended to the sixth heaven, where they met Moses, who spoke to Allah directly. They ascended to the seventh heaven, where they met Abraham, the friend of Allah. All of these prophets greeted Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and they welcomed Him as a prophet.
After meeting Abraham, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) proceeded with Jibril to a place beyond the seventh heaven, where he reached the Lote Tree of the Farthest Limit, covered with indescribable colours. 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 critical moment on Al Isra wal Miraj.
Shab e Meraj – Why Muslims Pray 5 Times a Pay
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) entered the presence of Allah, who spoke to Him directly without any intermediary. Allah told Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that he had ordained fifty prayers daily for his people. As Prophet Muhammad (SAW) descended from the presence of Allah, he met Moses (AS) again in the sixth heaven. Moses asked him what Allah had ordained for his people. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told him that Allah had ordained fifty prayers daily. Mosa (AS) said that this was too much for his people and that they could not perform it. He advised Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to return to Allah and ask for a reduction. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) agreed, returned to Allah, and asked for a reduction. Allah reduced the prayers by ten.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) returned to Moses (AS) and told him what happened. Moses said that this was still too much for his people and that 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 3 gifts of Miraj.
Allah 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
The story of al-Isra and Miraj is a source of inspiration and guidance for Muslims. It shows the Prophet’s (SAW) devotion, courage, and trust in Allah (SWT). It demonstrates Allah’s (SWT) mercy, power, and wisdom. We can learn many lessons from this miraculous journey, such as the importance of prayer, the unity of the prophets, and the beauty of heaven. We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and learned something new. May Allah (SWT) bless you and your family. Ameen.