A year before hijrah, 27 Rejab saw the two part journey that took Prophet Muhammad s.a.w from Kaaba in Mecca to Masjidil Aqsa in Jerusalem, the Isra’ and then the Mi’raj to the heavens. It is recorded in Verses 1 to 60 of Surah al-Isra.The Prophet made the journey riding the buraq. This journey followed the year of sorrow for the Prophet who lost his wife Saiyidatina Khadijah and his uncle Abu Mutalib.
The Isra – The Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w was taken from Kaaba in Mecca to Masjidil Aqsa in Jerusalem accompanied by the archangel Jibrail. Along the way, Jibrail asked the Prophet s.a.w to perform ablution and 2 rakaat solat at significant and historical spots such as:
– Madinah, where Prophet s.a.w would perform the hijrah to.
– Mount Sinai, where Prophet Moses received his commandments
– Baitul Laham, where Prophet Jesus was born.
The Prophet s.a.w dismount the buraq upon reaching Masjidil Aqsa. In the mosque, he lead the prayers to a congregation of previous prophets.
Jibrail then brought to 2 containers, one filled with wine and the other filled with milk. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w chose the milk and was told by Jibrail that if he were to choose the wine, a lot of his followers would be
The Mi’raj – The Ascension to the Heavens
The Prophet s.a.w and Jibrail ascended up to the heavens on a stairs.
On the first level of heaven, they met with Prophet Adam a.s. and saw the punishments on people who takes interests, people who misuse the money of orphans and adulterers.
On the second level of heaven, they met with Prophet Jesus a.s. and Prophet Yahya a.s.
On the third level of heaven, they met with Prophet Yusuf a.s.
On the fourth level of heaven, they met with Prophet Idris a.s.
On the fifth level of heaven, they met with Prophet Harun a.s. and Israelites.
On the sixth level of heaven, they met with Prophet Moses a.s. and the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w witnessed his many followers including those who will enter heaven without being judged.
On the seventh level of heaven, they met with Prophet Abraham a.s. who was resting at Baitul Ma’mur. Prophet Abraham said to Muhammad s.a.w that he would be meeting with Allah s.w.t that night. Prophet Abraham then said that with every LA HAULA WALA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH recited by Muhammad’s follower, a plant would be grown for them in heaven
On the eighth level of heaven, Prophet Muhammad witness the al-kursi and the many miracles of heaven.
On the tenth level of heaven, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w met with his Creator. He prostrated and was given the commandment to perform the daily prayers. Initially, it was commanded to perform the daily prayers for 50 times a day but after consulting Prophet Abraham and Moses, Muhammad asked for leniency and the daily prayers were reduced to 5 times a day.
The Prophet then descended from heaven to Jerusalem and rode the buraq to Mecca.
Significance of Isra Mi’raj
“Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless – in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who hears and sees (all things).” (Surah Al-Isra, 17:1)
The journey was to entertain the prophet after his year of sorrow and to show the miracles as signs from Allah the Creator. On the night journey, Allah s.w.t have made it clear the transfer of leadership from the Children of Israel to the Children of Ismail, and the Centrality of Jerusalem in the history of Islam.
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w received the command to perform the 5 daily prayers on the night journey. The daily prayers which signify the ultimate unquestionable submission of oneself to Allah s.w.t.