Hyderabad: Shab-e-Miraj or Isra Night is observed in the Holy Month of Rajab by Muslims all over the world. According to the Arabic dictionary, Isra means travelling at night or walking at night, and Miraj means rising and going up.
Every year on the night of the 26th of Rajab according to the Islamic calendar, Muslims observe Shab-e-Miraj (Isra Night) in which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) went on a special journey to meet the Creator of this Universe Allah Almighty, crossing seven skies on the heavenly animal named ‘Al-Buraq.’
The Isra Night is also mentioned in Holy Quran in these words: “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to Masjid Al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Quran, 17:1).
This date marks a journey that has no parallel in human history and portrays the power of Allah that is beyond the horizons of human comprehension. This incredible journey took place during a time when the Prophet (SAW) was facing intense hardship and pain in his life because his tribe stood against him and humiliated him and his companion.
Apart from this, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lost his beloved wife Khadija (RA), and his protector Uncle Abu Talib.
It all started when Angel Jibra’eel (PBUH) woke the Prophet (PBUH) up, cleaned his heart with Zam Zam, and led him to a white beast named Buraq and commenced his journey to Masjid Al- Aqsa.
When he got there, He met Allah’s messengers in Bait-ul-Muqaddas, and Jibrail asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to lead the prayer (Two Rakats). After leading the prayer in Bait-ul-Muqadass, Jibra’eel took Him (PBUH ) upon the heavens on Shab-e-Miraj.
And the messengers of Allah were taken up in the heavens before Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to welcome Him in Heavens on Shab-e-Miraj. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took up Heaven and Jibra’eel on the Buraq on Shab-e-Miraj. They were asked a few questions before opening the door at each heaven.
The door of the First Heaven opened they went there where He (PBUH) met Hazrat Adam (PBUH), the first creation, the first human being, and the father of humankind. Hazrat Adam (PBUH) met Muhammad (PBUH) and welcomed him like a father and as the Messenger of Allah. In the Second Heaven, He (PBUH) met two Messengers of Allah, Hazrat Isa (PBUH) and Hazrat Yahya (PBUH).
After being welcomed by Hazrat Isa (PBUH) and Hazrat Yahya (PBUH), they went up towards the Third Heaven where they met Hazrat Yusuf (PBUH), the most beautiful Messenger among the Messengers of Allah. He (PBUH) was welcomed by Hazrat Yusuf (PBUH).
He proceeded upon the Fourth Heaven and they met Hazrat Idrees (PBUH). He welcomed the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (PBUH). On the Fifth Heaven, Hazrat Haroon (PBUH) welcomed the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (PBUH).
After being welcomed by Hazrat Haroon (PBUH), they went up to the Sixth Heaven, where they were welcomed by Hazrat Musa (PBUH). He met Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and was very happy.
They moved to the Seventh Heaven where they met Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH), the father of many prophets who came after Him, including Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He is on the highest Heaven, and He welcomed Muhammad (PBUH) and said, ‘Welcome O pious Prophet and pious son.
After the meeting with Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) on the Seventh Heaven, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) visited Bait ul Mamoor on Shab-e-Miraj, the house of Allah located outside the human realm.
It is located at Seventh Heaven directly above the Kaaba. Bait ul Mamoor is the house that angels visit reportedly; almost 70,000 angels worship here daily without the repetition of angels.
When Prophet (PBUH) finally reached the highest level in the heavens, He was brought into the divine presence of Allah, alone at Sidratul Muntaha (a boundary beyond which none may pass). It is called Sidrat ul Muntaha because the angel’s knowledge stops at that point, and no one has gone beyond except Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
At Sidrat ul Muntaha, Jibra’eel (PBUH) asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that point is my limit, the rest of the distance you have to spend alone.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was made to go even higher. The end of this journey on Shab-e-Miraj brought the Prophet (PBUH) into the divine presence, the ultimate source of strength and relief. It is impossible to visualize the beauty of this scene.
We do not know a great about what was secretly conversed between Allah and His beloved Prophet (PBUH). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not see Allah Almighty with eyes. It is narrated by Hazrat Aisha (RA) that if anyone will tell you that Muhammad (PBUH) has seen His Lord, he is a liar, for Allah says ‘No vision can grasp Him.’
Finally, the Prophet (PBUH) was brought back down to the Jerusalem Masjid Al-Aqsa and returned to Makah on the Buraq.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was given three things in ascension: He was given five daily prayers, the last part of the chapter of al-Baqara (Aamana Rasoolu) and the promise that the sins of the people from the ummah of Muhammad (PBUH) would be forgiven except those who died associating partners with Allah.” (Sahih Muslim).
After returning from the blessed journey of Miraj, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) narrated the whole event to His companions. All his companions believed Him wholeheartedly because they all knew that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never tells a lie.
He is the most “SADIQ” and “AMEEN” person in the entire world.
The motive behind the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wonderful trip to the Heavens was to show His highest status in the domain of Islam. It endorsed the unique position He held, according to Allah (SWT) and His creation.
We need to commemorate this night by reflecting on the lessons of Shab-e-Miraj and maximise our worship and good deeds. Being charitable and providing for those in need is a fundamental value of being a good Muslim which is why we, as Muslims must give what we can to help.
Holy is He who carried His bondman by night from the sacred Mosque to the Aqsa Mosque (Aqsa) around which We have put blessings that We might show him Our grand signs. No doubt, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Al Isra:1)