Written By: Hurulein Teja

Meraj According to the Quran, Hadith & History.

With Buraq commentary By Syed-Mohsin Naquvi
Acknowledgements to S. Abidin and Board of Istifta
Office of Grand Ayatullah Sayed Al-Sistani

Introduction

And Allah swt says in the holy Quran:

“He it is Who raised among
the “Ummies” ( illiterates)
an Apostle from among themselves,
reciting unto them His signs,
and purifying them, and teaching
them The Book (Qur’an)
and Wisdom although they were
of before in manifest straying.”
Surat Al Jumu’ah, Ayat 2.

The darkness of the night had spread across the horizon and silence reigned over the face of nature. The time had arrived when the living creatures take rest and sleep so that they might recuperate from their activities of the previous day. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, was also not an exception to this law of nature and he wished to take rest after offering his prayers. However, suddenly he heard a voice, it was the voice of the Archangel Jibreel who said to him:

“This night you have to perform a very unique journey
and I have been ordered to remain with you.
You will have to traverse different parts of the world
mounted on an animal named Buraq”.

From the house of “Umme Hani” the prophet mounted on Buraq and proceeded to Bayt ul Maqdis, situated in Jordon, whichĂ‚ is also called Masjid ul Aqsa. After a very short time, he dismounted from there and visited different parts of the mosque as well as Bethlehem, the birth place of Prophet Issa, peace and blessings be upon him, and also saw various other places associated with different prophets. At some of these places, he performed two rakaats of prayer.

On the second part of his journey, he proceeded to the skies. He, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, then observed the stars and the systems of the world and conversed with the souls of the previous prophets, and also with the angels of the heavens, peace and blessing be upon them all. He saw the centre of the tortures and the blessings ( hell and paradise) and became fully aware of the secrets of creation, the extent of the universe and the signs of the Omnipotent Allah swt.

Then he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, continued his journey and reached Sidrat ul Muntaha. There he found it fully covered with splendour, magnificence and grandeur, then he returned back by the way he had travelled. He, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, first came to Bayt ul Maqdis and then to Mecca. It was daybreak when he dismounted at the house of Umme Hani from the animal which had taken him into space. He related this matter to Umme Hani and the following night, he made it known to the assemblies of Quraysh as well.

According to an old tradition, the Quraysh asked the account of its structure, and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, proved to them the incident which had occurred between Mecca and Bayt ul Maqdis and said to them that he met the caravan of such and such tribe who lost their camel and he asked them to give him water and the Holy Prophet drank water from their container. At another place, he met a group of persons whose camel had run away and had broken its leg. So they asked about the Quraysh caravan and he replied to them that he saw them at Taim. So Quraysh became very excited.

Proof in the Holy Quran of this ayat is in Surah Bani Israel;

And Allah says in the Quran:

“Glory be to Him Who
carried His servant (Apostle
Mohammad) by night from the
Holy Mosque (of the Ka’ba) to
the Farthest Mosque, which We
have blessed its environment
that We may show unto him, of
Our signs;
Verily He is the
All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.”
Surah Bani Israel, Ayat 1.

The Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny,made this journey with his body and soul together and not just with his soul only.

The word his servant in the Holy Quran applies to his body and his soul

Clear mention of Meraj is Surah al Najm.

It has mentioned that the Meraj of the prophet has taken place more than once.

And Allah says in the Quran:

“The One endued with wisdom;
(and) hence he ( the holy Prophet saw)
took an over viewing position”
Surah al Najm, Ayat 6

These verses refer to the Meraj, ie Ascension of the Holy Prophet into the heavens. See 17 :1 and His meeting the Angel Jibraeel in his full form of his wonderful strength.
Ref: Commentary on the Holy Quran by S.V. Ahmed Ali, 2nd Ed. 1995.

Some Ullama have mentioned that Imam Jafar as Sadiq, alaihi salam, has said that the Holy Prophet has done Meraj about 120 times and not only once.

The efficiency of a miracle is basically different from that of the natural causes and the strength of man. We should not consider the strength of Allah swt as being limited like our own.

In short, all the natural causes and external impediments are controlled and conquered by the will of Allah swt. His will does not concern only that which is an impossibility to us, but beside that, He does what He wills and whatever He likes whether or not man possesses the strength for it or not.

The Object of Meraj

The object of this grand journey was to make known to the prophet the various aspects of the existence of the great universe.

The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, travelled through these worlds in a short time, not with human strength but with divine strength. Allah swt commences his statement “glory be to him !” – Allah is free from all defects and needs and He has also not contented himself with this and has introduced himself as the agent of the journey by saying “Asra” ( Allah made him perform the journey.) Allah favoured this journey so that people might not think that the journey was performed according to natural laws and with usual means and some might deny this possibility. So it has been to clarify that it was under divine will and with special favour from the Almighty.

A person asked our 4th Imam, alaihi salam,- “is there a particular place for Allah?”

He, alaihi salam, replied: “no”.

The man said: “then why did he make his prophet journey through the skies?”

The Holy Imam, alaihi salam, said: “He made him ascend so that he might become aware of the expanse of the universe and see and hear wonderful things, the like of which had not been seen and heard by the eyes and ears before.”

It is no doubt necessary that the prophet should enjoy such a position that he should rely on his vast information and should be able to send a message to the people of the 20th century, who are still thinking of travelling to the moon and to mars, that he did this performance without any means and his Creator was kind to him and made him fully aware of the system of creation.

Meraj and Modern Science

Modern scientists deny and do not conform to the ascension to the heavens (the Meraj) of our Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. They use scientific arguments such as, in order to depart the earth, it is necessary to neutralize its gravity. eg. if you fling a ball into the air, the power of gravity brings it back to the earth and whatever force you use, it will come to earth again.

The unbelievers ask that as we claim the Holy Prophet went to Meraj out of the zone of gravity and became weight-less, how did he perform the journey at this speed and without the necessary facilities. Below are some of their points of dispute.

1) The atmosphere in which one may breathe exists just beyond the earth’s surface and as we go higher, the air becomes thinner and still more unfit for breathing and eventually we reach a point where there is no air at all. Therefore, how did the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, manage to live without the oxygen during his journey in the aforesaid region?

2) The mortal rays and celestial stones destroy every terrestrial body which is touched by them and therefore do not reach the earth on account of their collision with the regions of air. In fact, these regions serve as a coat -of -mail for the inhabitants of earth. They then ask by what means did the Holy Prophet remain safe from these mortal rays?

They further add that the speed at which the Holy Prophet performed his journey had to be decidedly more than the speed of light and given that light travels at the speed of 300,000 kilometres per second and modern science has proved that nobody can travel faster than the speed of light, how was it possible? Keeping this scientific law in view, they then ask, how did the Holy Prophet commence his journey at a speed faster than that of light and then return safely?

Research by both eastern and western astronomers has made all of these matters possible by sending the first artificial satellite into space in 1957, called the “Sputnic”. So it became clear that the power of gravity could become neutralized by means of a rocket. By sending these rockets into outer space, problems like mortal rays and the difficulties in breathing air are being overcome by technological means. After some time it may become possible for humans to lead their lives in one of the celestial spheres and they may travel quite easily to the moon and to Mars.

So, here it has been proven by scientists and technicians that such an activity as Meraj is one hundred percent possible.

As always, however, there is satan in between humankind who are always arguing about divine rules and they bring objections from different points and they will definitely spread this question that the Holy Prophet undertook this journey without scientific and mechanical help and he performed this journey during the one night of Meraj. So questions arise as to how.

Clear proof in foregoing discussions about the miracles of prophets are detailed in narratives which concern the event of the year of the elephant and the incident of Abraha’s army being killed with small stones. All this was done without scientific tools and only with the help of The Divine Ruler, and in Meraj also the Holy Prophet went with the blessing of Allah “the creator of this whole wonderfulĂ‚ system to whom we all belong”.

To argue with all this is the same as to argue with Allah itself, where all is clear proof from Holy Quran.
Holy Month of Rajab

On 26th Rajab, all the Muslim believers could celebrate this as a grand day of Meraj as “grand idd” and all the Muslims who believe in our Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, should be proud to have such a prophet like Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, to whom Allah swt was also proud and had invited him to visit his place.
Two Differing Translations in Dua’a Nudbah

“…and made Your Easts and Wests come under his feet,
and harnessed for him the Buraq,
And did make him ascend towards Your heavens…”

“…lowered and humbled before him the Easts and the Wests,
under his total control was brought all affairs,
exalted his soul in Thy heavens….”
.
Buraq According to Syed Mohsen Naquvi

The concept and reality of the BURAQ has been a controversial issue among Muslim scholars.

The Sufi school gave it a shape, an entity and further credibility. According to hadeeth, it is a specially prepared “animal” or “carriage” that took our Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, to the heavens on the Night of Asra in his full body (that is, it was not a dream).

Sufi poets gave it shape and form, so that now people think that it was a white horse.

I remember from my early childhood that in our ancestral village of Mustafabad (in U.P., India), there was one Imambara where several pictures decorated the walls. One such picture was that of a white horse with wings and the face of a very beautiful woman. The title on that picture read al- Buraq.

My personal view about this whole concept is as follows:

The Arabic word BURAQ is derived from the root B-R-Q, which is the word for electricity. BARQ AS-SAMA is the term used for thunderbolt and lightning in the sky.

Therefore, my conclusion is that Allah the Almighty, out of His Unlimited Power to Create, designed some sort of otherworldly method of transport for the Prophet to travel all that distance in a flash.

We are not sure about the kind and length of the distance the Prophet had to cover that night. When Allah says: nahnu aqrab ilayhi min hablil wareed, then one is inclined to think that the distance covered by the Prophet that night was actually physical, but it was the distance of MA’RIFA. That will, logically mean, that so called BURAQ was a carriage to cover the intellectual distance of understanding Allah’s reality.

Allah only knows what the truth is in this matter, because we don’t have a very clear expression of the whole thing in the Hadeeth literature. All we have is the wishful thinking of the Muslim scholars who came in later times.

Our knowledge is limited and and the reality of the Almighty Allah and that of the Prophet is unlimited.

In the meantime, Buraq Air, at Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, Libya have no hesitation in supporting the ascension story of the Prophet of Islam and have named their airlines after BURAQ.
.
References:

Ayatullah Jaffer Subhani.The Message – the Holy Prophet of Allah.
Bihar Ul Anwar, Vol- XV111,Pg 282, Ascension chapter
Email by Syed Mohsin Naquvi, Jafariya Forum. 2003.
Email by Sakina Zayn Al Abidin, Jafariya Forum.
Email by Grand Ayatollah, Qom, Iran.
S.V. Ahmed Ali, 2nd Ed. 1995.The Holy Qu’ran
S.V. Ahmed Ali, 2nd Ed. 1995. Commentary on The Holy Qu’ran

Source: victorynewsmagazine.com

Source: almujtaba.com


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