(Class notes from the sisters Halaqa, with Sheikh Adel)
One of the most amazing events in the life of our beloved Prophet (saw). Here is the summary:
The two journeys, the Isra (night journey to Jerusalem) and the Mairaj (the journey to the seven heavens) took place on the night of 27 Rajab before the migration to Medina. Jibrael (as) found the Prophet (saw) sleeping in the hateem area of the Kaaba. He opened his chest and washed his heart; this was most likely done in order to strengthen his heart and prepare him for his meeting with Allah (swt). He presented him with Buraq the animal, described as smaller than a horse and larger than a donkey. Jibrail (as) asks the Prophet (saw) to mount on Buraq. As the prophet approached Buraq, Jibrail (as) tells Buraq that “He (saw) is the most noble Prophet to take a ride on you”.
On reaching Jerusalem the Prophet (saw) tied Buraq to a stone and entered the Masjid Aqsa. Here, Allah (swt) gave the leadership of all Prophets to our Prophet (saw), where he led 124,000 Prophets in prayer. After the prayer the Prophet (saw) was presented with 2 cups to choose from: one of milk and one of wine – he chose milk and drank it. To this Jibrael (as) said “you chose the right drink and because of this you and your nation will be guided.” SubhanAllah!
For the Mairaj, the Prophet (saw) says he took Al Mairaj to go up to the seven heavens. What it looks like Allah knows best. At each heaven, Gibrael greeted the keeper with “Assalamalaikum”.
On the first heaven, the prophet (saw) greeted Adam (as), who replied to him as “my righteous Prophet and son”. The prophet said that every time Adam (as) looked to the left he wept as here he saw his descendants punished in hell, and when he looked to the right he laughed because here he saw them in heaven.
On the second heaven, the prophet (saw) greeted Issa (as) and Yahya (as)
On the Third heaven, the prophet (saw) greeted Yousef (as).
On the Fourth heaven, the prophet (saw) greeted Idris (as). He is one of the earliest prophets after Adam (as) and before Noah (as), and was friends with the angels. One day, he wanted to see the heavens so an angel took him on his wings to the heavens. On the 4th heaven, the Angel of death was commanded to take his soul and he died there. Allah (swt) has said that he is buried in heaven. SubhanAllah!
On the fifth heaven, the Prophet (saw) greeted Haroon (as).
On the sixth heaven, the Prophet (saw) greeted Moosa (as), who started crying as his people had lost the status of the most favored people of Allah.
On the seventh heaven Prophet (saw) found Ibrahim (as) leaning on Bait ul Ma’moor (meaning constructed house). It exists in heaven as Kaaba on earth; here 70,000 angels are in tawaf continuously and never returning. What an honor for Ibrahim (as)! After this Jibrael (as) told the Prophet that he cannot accompany him any more, as he would burn, but told the Prophet (saw) that he could go on. The Prophet reached the Lote tree; the roots of this tree are in the sixth heaven and the branches and leaves extend into the seventh heaven. Four rivers start beneath this tree, 2 are in heaven: the Kauthar and Salsabeel, and two on this earth: the Nile and the twin rivers of Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq.
The Prophet on his return from Mairaj was very perplexed as he was wondering how to relate this incident to the people. Just then Abu Jahl was walking by and saw him worried and asked what happened. The Prophet (saw) told him that he went on a journey to Jerusalem and returned. In those days it would have taken two months. Abu Jahl laughed at him and called the people of Mecca and the Prophet Narrated to them about his Journey to Jerusalem. They began questioning him about what the city looked like , what the mosque was like, etc, etc. Just then to aid our Prophet (saw) Allah (swt) sent Jibrael (as), who lifted the entire city of Jerusalem for our Prophet to see and put their questions to rest. SubhanAllah!
People still asked for more proofs now he looked up at the sky and pointed at the moon and everyone saw it split in half. The disbelievers seeing this went on to call the prophet (saw) a magician. The prophet(saw) then asked them to wait for 3 days for the return of a caravan he had passed by. On his return journey to Mecca, while still riding on Buraq the prophet (saw) had become thirsty and had come to this caravan had water from them, they seemed to be looking for a lost camel and asked the prophet(saw) if he had seen it. The prophet told them its location as he had seen a lone camel some distance away. He also told the Meccans that the first camel of this caravan has a red cover.
Indeed after 3 days, this caravan came and related everything the prophet said about them and also said they saw a very strange thing in the sky, the moon split in half.
We read the translation of verse 1-18 of Surah Najm, which talks about Mairaj.
Sheikh Adel mentioned that Abu Jahl’s real name was Amr Ibn Hisham, he was infact earlier known as Abul hakm meaning father of wisdom but the prophet gave him the name Abu Jahl i.e father of ignorance as someone so opposed to Allah cannot be called Hakm. He was even called “Pharaoh of this Land”.
Also mentioned that masjid Aqsa was the first qibla and third of the sacred mosques. The command for the five daily prayers was given on this journey. It was initially for 50 prayers daily but upon Moosa’s (as) advice the prophet (saw) kept going back to Allah(swt) to have it reduced until 5. It is said that one who says his five daily prayers receives the reward for 50 prayers which was originally prescribed. What a wonderful motivation to keep striving to never miss any Salat!