Indeed he saw some of the greatest signs of his Lord

Indeed he saw some of the greatest signs of his Lord

Surat al-Najm reveals to us the true picture of the incident of the Mi’raj (ascension to the heavens). It describes for us the great miracles that occurred to the Messenger of God during the heavenly journey (May God’s blessing and peace be upon him). God Almighty described this by saying: “He has seen of the great signs of his Lord”. This indicates to us that the Messenger (may God’s blessing and peace be upon him) performed Mi’raj which was preceded by Israa (journey from Makkah to Aqsa), and both happened in one night. The Isra and Miraj journey took place before the Prophet’s migration to Madinah which was about about three years or a year and a half before the migration. While the story of the Night of Isra’ was mentioned by God Almighty in Surat al-Israa, Allah preserved the mi’raj for us in Surat al-Najm, and they are two of the great miracles that the Prophet was chosen for (may God’s blessing and peace be upon him) among the other Prophets. They are two of God’s miracles with which he favored the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace.

It came in “the Book of Shifa”: One of the specialties of the Prophet, may God’s blessing and peace be upon him, is the story of the night journey and the degrees of elevation it involved, which the Qur’an mentioned and narrated in authentic tradtions. Allah says: (Exalted is He Who took His servant from al-Masjid Haram (at Makkah)… Allah also says: (I swear by the star when it has dipped) to His saying: (Indeed he saw some of the greatest signs of His Lord) There is no dispute among Muslims regarding the validity of the night journey with him, may God bless him and grant him peace, as it is the text of the Qur’an, and it detailed it and explained its wonders and the characteristics of our Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace. [1/177].  

The story of Mi’raj

As for the story of the Mi’raj, it came outlined in the words of God Almighty: (His heart did not falsify what he perceived. (12) Will you dispute with him what he saw? (13) He saw Him indeed another time (14) By the Lote-tree beyond which none can pass, (15) Close to which is the Garden of Tranquility, (16) When the Lote-tree was covered over with what it was covered over; (17) Neither did sight falter nor exceed the bounds (18) Indeed he saw some of the greatest signs of His Lord. {An- Najm}.

The hadiths of the Prophet came to clarify these verses. Imam Muslim in his Sahih narrated the hadith of Anas bin Malik, may God be pleased with him, that the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said: I was brought al-Buraq which is a white and long animal, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place his hoof a distance equal to the range of vision. I mounted it and came to the Temple (Bait Maqdis in Jerusalem), then tethered it to the ring used by the prophets. I entered the mosque and prayed two rak’ahs in it, and then came out and Gabriel brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk. I chose the milk, and Gabriel said: You have chosen the natural thing. Then he took me to heaven. Gabriel then asked the (gate of heaven) to be opened and he was asked who he was. He replied: Gabriel. He was again asked: Who is with you? He (Gabriel) said: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? Gabriel replied: He has indeed been sent for. And (the door of the heaven) was opened for us and lo! we saw Adam. He welcomed me and prayed for my good. Then we ascended to the second heaven. Gabriel (peace be upon him) (asked the door of heaven to be opened), and he was asked who he was. He answered: Gabriel; and was again asked: Who is with you? He replied: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened. When I entered ‘Isa b. Maryam and Yahya b. Zakariya (peace be upon both of them), cousins from the maternal side. welcomed me and prayed for my good Then I was taken to the third heaven and Gabriel asked for the opening (of the door). He was asked: Who are you? He replied: Gabriel. He was (again) asked: Who is with you? He replied Muhammad (ﷺ). It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied He has indeed been sent for. (The gate) was opened for us and I saw Yusuf (peace of Allah be upon him) who had been given half of (world) beauty. He welcomed me prayed for my well-being. Then he ascended with us to the fourth heaven. Gabriel (peace be upon him) asked for the (gate) to be opened, and it was said: Who is he? He replied: Gabriel. It was (again) said: Who is with you? He said: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The (gate) was opened for us, and lo! Idris was there. He welcomed me and prayed for my well-being (About him) Allah, the Exalted and the Glorious, has said:” We elevated him (Idris) to the exalted position” (Qur’an xix. 57). Then he ascended with us to the fifth heaven and Gabriel asked for the (gate) to be opened. It was said: Who is he? He replied Gabriel. It was (again) said: Who is with thee? He replied: Muhammad. It was said Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. (The gate) was opened for us and then I was with Harun (Aaron-peace of Allah be upon him). He welcomed me prayed for my well-being. Then I was taken to the sixth heaven. Gabriel (peace be upon him) asked for the door to be opened. It was said: Who is he? He replied: Gabriel. It was said: Who is with thee? He replied: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. (The gate) was opened for us and there I was with Musa (Moses peace be upon him) He welcomed me and prayed for my well-being. Then I was taken up to the seventh heaven. Gabriel asked the (gate) to be opened. It was said: Who is he? He said: Gabriel It was said. Who is with thee? He replied: Muhammad (may peace be upon him.) It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. (The gate) was opened for us and there I found Ibrahim (Abraham peace be upon him) reclining against the Bait-ul-Ma’mur and there enter into it seventy thousand angels every day, never to visit (this place) again. Then I was taken to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha whose leaves were like elephant ears and its fruit like big earthenware vessels. And when it was covered by the Command of Allah, it underwent such a change that none amongst the creation has the power to praise its beauty. Then Allah revealed to me a revelation and He made obligatory for me fifty prayers every day and night.( Sahih Muslim : 259) 

 This hadith and other authentic hadiths that narrate the details of this journey, and include some of the major signs referred to in the Almighty’s saying: {He has seen of the great miracles of His Lord.} It is one of the great things that he had not seen before.

Mi’raj trip is real, not a dream

As for what the Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, saw in the context of the signs on the Night of the Mi’raj, “He saw it truly with his eyesight and insight, and for this he said: {(His heart did not falsify what he perceived. Rather, the heart matches the eye’s vision.” (Al-‘Uthaymeen)

Al-Qadi ‘Iyyad says: The sound position, Allah willing (inshaAllah), is that the Prophet, peace be upon him, traveled in both spirit and body throughout the entire Night Journey. Verses from the Koran, authenticated sayings, and the considered opinion direct us to this. The habit of the scholars is that they accept the literal meaning unless it is impossible. This being the case, they conservatively approach the metaphoric interpretation to keep the faith pure of the Oneness of Allah and the difference between Him and His creation. We cannot visualize Allah by either our worldly dictionary or human interaction… It is not impossible that the Prophet peace be upon him, went on the Night Journey in his physical body and in a state of awakeness. If it had been a vision, then Allah would have said, “with the spirit of His worshiper”. Recall how Allah says, “his eyes did not swerve, nor did they stray” 53:17. If it had been a vision then it would not have implicated either a sign or a miracle.  [Al-Shifa 1/189].

What was mentioned is a response to everyone who claims that the vision mentioned in these verses on this blessed night was in sleep. In addition to that, what came in “adwaaul- Bayaan”: that his riding, may God bless him and grant him peace, on al-Buraq indicates that the night journey is with his body. Because the soul is not meant to ride on animals as is well known, and in any case the authentic hadiths about him have been repeated: “He was taken from the Haraam Mosque Al-Aqsa Mosque, and that he took him from the Al-Aqsa Mosque until he crossed the seven heavens. The aforementioned hadiths indicated that Isra and Mi’raj are both with his body and soul, awakening, not sleeping. [Adwaaul- Bayaan 3/4].

Among the major signs that the Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, saw during this journey were the upper heaven, the earth, the light, the angels, the prophets, the sidrat al-muntaha, the paradise, the hearing of the pens, and their calls to God Almighty.  

 Idris Ahmad Abidemi

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