1. Laylatul Me’raj
In the 5th year of the Prophethood of Rasulullah (SAW) Allah Ta’ala ordered Jibraeel (AS) to accompany His beloved Messenger on a historic and miraculous journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and then through the seven heavens and finally back to Makkah. All this Allah (SWT) did out of His power in a short span of time. Allah (SWT) refers to this demonstration of His Majesty in the Quran where He says : “Glory be to Him who carried His servant by night from the Masjidul Haraam (Sacred Masjid) to Masjidul Aqsa (Furthest Masjid) whose precincts We have blessed that We might show of our signs, for He is the Hearer and Seer. (Bani Israeel 17:1).
The Ahadeeth of Rasulullah (SAW) which contain elaborate accounts concerning Me’raj in Bukhari, Muslim and other reliable collections have been narrated by about 30 Sahaba (RA). It is the unanimous belief of the early and later scholars of Islam that Rasulullah (SAW) was taken on this journey in body and soul and in a statre of complete wakefulness. However, for purposes of brevity let us look at a synopsis of this event extracted from Alama Ibn Katheer in his famous Tafseer ibn Katheer :
“The truth of the matter is that Nabi (SAW) was taken on this journey by night (ISRA) in a state of complete wakefulness from Makkah to Baytul Muqaddas, riding on his Buraaq. When he reached the door of Masjidul Aqsa, he tethered the animal to the door, entered the Musjid and performed two rakaats of Tahiyyatul Musjid. Thereafter he was taken on the Me’raj which was like ascending a flight of stairs until he reached the sky of the earth and from there onwards to the remainder of the seven heavens. In every heaven he was met by its inhabitants and greeted the different Prophets in the heavens according to their status until he met Musa Kaleemullah (AS) in the sixth and Ebrahim (AS) in the seventh heaven. From there he proceeded to the point where the screech of the pen of Taqdeer could be heard and he saw the Sidratul Muntaha which was draped with a large number of sheets of gold and various other colours and surrounded (from all sides) by the Angels.
There he saw Jibraeel (AS) in his original form with 600 wings of such magnitude that one flap of his green wings completely covered the horizon and he saw also the Baytul Ma’moor (the Kaaba of the Angels) and Ibraheem Khaleel (AS), the builder of the Kaaba on earth resting against it. This Baytul Ma’moor is entered every day by 70 000 Angels for the sake of worship. The number of the Angels is such that no Angel will be able to return there a second time until the Day of Qiyaamah.
Nabi (SAW) was also shown Jannah and Jahannum and also received the command of 50 times daily salaah which was later reduced to five by virtue of the mercy of Allah Ta’ala.
Thereafter, Rasulullah (SAW) returned to Baytul Muqaddas where the various Prophets had gathered. He led them all in what is believed to be Fajr Salaah. Rasulullah (SAW) then left Baytul Muqaddas riding on the Buraaq and reached Makkah before daybreak. Allah (SWT) knows best”. (Tafseer ibn Katheer Pg 25 Vol 1).
The Me’raj of Rasulullah (SAW) is not only a manifestation of the sublime power of Allah Ta’a;a but also allows us a glimpse into the physical and spiritual powers of Rasulullah (SAW). The strength and power of Rasulullah (SAW) lay in nothing other than his Sunnah. The lesson for the Muslim Ummah of today is that instead of remaining overawed by the technological and mundane advancements of those around us, let us realise that we can draw from a greater powerhouse by emulating the Sunnah of our Beloved Nabi (SAW).
Moulana S Jeebhai – Jamiatul Ulama KZN