On Mehraj, the Night of Ascension

On Mehraj, the Night of Ascension
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MUBASHIR IQBAL KITABA

The noble and pious life of our Beloved Holy Prophet (SAW) is full of miracles. His (SAW) noble and pious life is the only one to follow in letter and spirit to get success both here and the hereafter for whole of the human kind.
The night of Mehraj was the journey of our Holy Prophet (SAW) from Mecca to the heavens. It was one of the biggest and important miracle of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as this journey was a physical journey and all what ever existed in heavens and in skies was shown to the Holy Prophet (SAW) by his Lord Almighty Allah in a friction of a second on the night of mehraj.
The glorious and Holy Quran (the book of Almighty Allah) is witness to the event of mehraj. In the Holy Quran Almighty Allah says: “Glorified be He who took His Slave on a journey by night from Masjid-al-Haram to the Masjid-al-Aqsa, the neighborhood whereof we have blessed, in order that We might show Him our signs. Verily, He is the All-hearer, the All Seer” (Quran: 17:1).
The two Arabic words Israa and Mehraj where Isra means travelling at night while mehraj means rising or going up to a high place. The journey which the Holy Prophet (SAW) took was the night of 27th in the month of Rajab. It was actually the invitation of Almighty Allah to his beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) the final and last messenger to invite him to the skies to show him the signs and secrets. The angel Gabriel (the king of all angles) accompanied the Holy Prophet (SAW) from Makkah to Masjid-Al-Aqsa in Palestine and then to the skies, and then to the high realms and last to the presence of the creator of universe, Almighty Allah.
In the Mosque of Al-Aqsa, our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) led the prayer where all the previous Prophets were present and offered their salah behind the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). They all stood behind our Holy Prophet (SAW) and acknowledged him as their leader (Imam).
On the night of mehraj , the skies were decorated and the angels were waiting eagerly to have a glimpse of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The Holy Prophet (SAW) was taken on the Buraq (a kind of heavenly animal) for this journey to the skies. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said that the Buraqs step was so wide that it reached the farthest point within the reach of the Buraq’s sight. He (SAW) said that, “I was carried on it, and the angel Gabriel was along with me when we reached the nearest sky. Gabriel (AS) asked for the gate to be opened, He was asked, who it is. Gabriel (AS) answered, Gabriel. It was asked who is accompanying you? Gabriel replied, Muhammad (SAW). Then I was welcomed and the gate was opened and when I entered the first sky I saw Adam (AS) Gabriel said to me. This is your father. I paid him greetings and He returned the same and welcomed me by saying, ‘O pious son and pious Prophet May have Allah’s blessings on you’ and we left for the second heaven”.
Gabriel (AS) asked for the gate to be opened. It was asked, “Who is it? Gabriel replied Gabriel. It was asked who is accompanying you? Gabriel (AS) answered, Muhammad (SAW) then I was welcomed on the second sky and there I saw Prophet Yahya (AS) and Hazrat Isa (AS). Both of them greeted me and I returned their greetings. Then Gabriel (AS) ascended with me to the third heaven and the same question was asked and replied upon. I was welcomed and greeted on the third heaven where I saw Prophet Yousuf (AS). He greeted me and I also greeted him. Then I was ascended to fourth heaven where I saw Hazrat Idris (AS) He greeted me and I greeted him. Then I was ascended to fifth heaven where I saw Hazrat Haroon (AS). He greeted me and I greeted him. Then Hazrat Gabriel (AS) ascended with me to the sixth heaven where I saw Hazrat Musa (AS). He greeted me and I greeted him. Then I was ascended to the seventh heaven where I saw Hazrat Ibrahim (AS). Gabriel said to me. This is your father. Pay your greetings to him. I greeted him and he greeted me”.
When the Holy Prophet (SAW) first saw Prophet Ibrahim (AS) on the seventh heaven, he (AS) was sitting with his back against Bayt-al-Mamur. Bayt-al-Mamur is like Kabah and the angels go there and make taweef around it. The angel that did taweef today had to wait for next visit to Bayt-al- Mamur only after the Day of Judgment. Every time 70,000 angels do taweef of Bayt-al-Mamur and this indicates the number of angels are much more than the number of humans.
During this journey, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) saw people who were planting and reaping in two days. Gabriel (AS) told the Holy Prophet (SAW) that these were those who fought for the sake of Almighty Allah (Mujahedeen’s).
He (SAW) also saw people whose lips and tongues were clipped with scissors’ made of hell fire. Gabriel (AS) told the Holy Prophet (SAW) that these were the speakers of sedition (fitna) who call people to misguidance.
The Prophet (SAW) continued his journey till Gabriel politely refused to accompany him to Sidrat-al-Muntaha, a lote tree. He(Gabriel) told the Prophet (SAW) that “ if I walk or move even an inch my wings would catch fire because of the Noor of Almighty Allah”.
In the Holy Quran Almighty Allah says: “Near Sidrat-al-Muntaha (lote-tree) the utmost boundary. Near it is the paradise of Abode”. (Quran 53:14-15) The Holy Prophet (SAW) described its fruit like jugs and its leaves as big as elephant ears. Four rivers originated from the lote trees roots. Two of the rivers originated in paradise while the other two rivers were replicas of Nile and Euphrates.
Sidrat-al-Muntaha is the last boundary because anything that comes up from the earth or the heavens stops there and the reach of angels too stops there except Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW).

—The author, a PhD Research Scholar, can be reached at: mubashirkitaba@gmail.com

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