Shab-e-Miraj – The night Journey

by | Feb 25, 2022

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Why is Shab-e-Miraj called as Al-Isra Wal-Miraj? What happened in Shab-e-Miraj? How was Prophet Muhammad (SAW) welcomed on Heavens? When did Shab-e-Miraj take place? How did the Journey of Shab-e-Miraj occur? What is the lesson for us on the Journey of Shab-e-Miraj? What does Quran say about the Journey of Miraj? What is the importance of Shab-e-Miraj?

What is Shab-e-Miraj?

 Shab-e-Miraj is a gift from Allah to the Prophet (SAW) to show His rank and glory in the heavens and the earth. Shab-e-Miraj is a miraculous night Journey experienced by Muhammad (SAW) physically and spiritually. 

When Shab-e-Miraj occur?

Shab-e-Miraj occurred on the 27th night of Rajab around 621, just after the year of sorrow. This incredible journey occurred when the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) faced hardship and the most challenging year when He lost two of his best companion and supporter of life, first His wife Hazrat Khadija (RA) and second His uncle Hazrat Abu Talib (RA).

What is meant by Al-Isra Wal-Miraj?

Shab-e-Miraj is also known as the Al-Isra Wal-Miraj or the Night Journey. Al-Isra means the first part of the journey from house to Holy Kaaba and from the Makah to Jerusalem. Al-Miraj means the second part of the journey from Jerusalem to the heavens till the divine meeting. It is also known as Night Journey because it occurred in the night period.

What were the significant events that occurred on the night of Shab e Miraj?

Journey to Jerusalem- Al Isra

 In the 11th year of Prophethood, Allah sent Jibrail to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) while resting at His cousin’s house on Shab-e-Miraj. Jibrail (A.S) came and took Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to Bait-ul-Haram (Holy Kaaba), their Jibrail (A.S) split the chest of Muhammad (SAW) and removed His heart and washed it with ZamZam. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) sat on the buraq and went to Jerusalem from Mecca in Bait-ul-Muqadas, today known as Mosque Aqsa.

سُبْحَٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِۦ لَيْلًا مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ إِلَى ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْأَقْصَا ٱلَّذِى بَٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهُۥ لِنُرِيَهُۥ مِنْ ءَايَٰتِنَآ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ

Exalted is He who took His Servant [i.e., Prophet Muhammad] by night from al-Masjid al-Harām to al-Masjid al-Aqsā, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

It is the sign of Allah’s mercy how the distance of Mecca to Jerusalem traveled in a short period. 

When he got there, He met Allah’s messengers in Bait-ul-Muqaddas, and Jibrail asked Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to lead the prayer (Two Rakats) of the Messenger Allah. 

Jerusalem to Heaven- Al Miraj 

 After leading the Prayer in Bait-ul-Muqadass, they took Him (SAW) upon the heavens on Shab-e-Miraj. And the messengers of Allah were taken up in the heavens before Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to welcome Him in Heavens on Shab-e-Miraj. 

First Heaven

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) took up Heaven and Jibrail on the Buraq on Shab-e-Miraj. They were asked a few questions before opening the door to reach the first Heaven.

Who are you?

Jibrail Replied, “I’m Jibrail.

Who is with you?

Jibrail Replied, “The Messenger of Allah Muhammad (SAW)

Has He sent here it’s mean He is invited there?

Jibrail Replied, “Yes, He is”

 The Door of first Heaven opened they went there where He (SAW) met Hazrat Adam (A.S), the first creation, the first Human being, the father of humankind. Hazrat Adam (A.S) met Muhammad (SAW) and welcomed him like a father and as the Messenger of Allah.

‘Welcome unto him! What an amazing arrival has come! [Muslim] and ‘He is most welcome and amongst family

Second Heaven 

After meeting Hazrat Adam (A.S), he proceeded with Jibrail (A.S) towards the second Heaven and asked the same questions. Then the door of Second Heaven opened where they met two Messengers of Allah Hazrat Isa (A.S) and Hazrat Yahya (A.S). 

Third Heaven 

After being welcomed by Hazrat Isa (A.S) and Hazrat Yahya (A.S), they went up towards the third Heaven, and the same questions were asked and welcomed there. They met Hazrat Yusuf (A.S), the most beautiful Messenger among the Messengers of Allah. He was welcomed by Hazrat Yusuf (A.S) on the third Heaven.

Fourth Heaven

He proceeded upon the Fourth Heaven, and every time asked, the same questions were asked, and then the door of 4th Heaven opened and where they met Hazrat Idrees (A.S). He welcomed the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (SAW). 

Fifth Heaven 

He proceeded up and asked the same questions to them. On the fifth Heaven, Hazrat Haroon (A.S) welcomed the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (SAW). 

Sixth Heaven

After being welcomed by Hazrat Haroon (A.S), they went up to the sixth Heaven, where they were welcomed by Hazrat Musa (A.S). He met Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and was very happy. It is mentioned in the narration that He (A.S) started crying, and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asked what happened; He replied that you are the Messenger of Allah who will have more followers than myself. 

Seventh Heaven

They moved to the next Heaven, where they met Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S), the father of many Prophets who came after Him, including Prophet Muhammad (SAW). 

 He is on the highest Heaven, and He welcomed Muhammad (SAW) and said, Welcome O pious Prophet and pious son!’

Al Bait ul Mamoor- Frequented House

After the meeting with Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) on the Seventh Heaven, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) visited Bait ul Mamoor on Shab-e-Miraj, the house of Allah located outside the human realm. It is located on the seventh Heaven directly above the Kaaba. Bait ul Mamoor is the house that angels visit reportedly; almost 70,000 angels worship here daily without the repetition of angels. 

The angels worship Allah and supplicate those who are the believers and those who repentant.

Abu Darda reported that Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

 “No Muslim servant supplicates for His brother behind the back but that the angels say: And for you the same.”

Sidrat ul Muntaha 

After visiting Bait ul Mamoor, there is a large lote tree that marks the outmost boundary in the Seventh Heaven, and no one is allowed to cross that boundary. It is called Sidrat ul Muntaha because the angel’s knowledge stops at that point, and no one is has gone beyond except Prophet Muhammad (SAW). 

It is narrated in Surah An-Najm in the Quran

مَا كَذَبَ ٱلْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَىٰٓ

The ˹Prophet’s˺ heart did not doubt what he saw.

أَفَتُمَٰرُونَهُۥ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَىٰ

So will you dispute with him over what he saw?

وَلَقَدْ رَءَاهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَىٰ

And he certainly saw him in another descent

عِندَ سِدْرَةِ ٱلْمُنتَهَىٰ

At the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary

عِندَهَا جَنَّةُ ٱلْمَأْوَىٰٓ

Near it is the Garden of Refuge [i.e., Paradise] –

إِذْ يَغْشَى ٱلسِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَىٰ

When there covered the Lote Tree that which covered [it].

مَا زَاغَ ٱلْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَىٰ

The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit].

لَقَدْ رَأَىٰ مِنْ ءَايَٰتِ رَبِّهِ ٱلْكُبْرَىٰٓ

He certainly saw the most significant signs of his Lord.

(Al-Quran 53: 11-18)

At Sidrat ul Muntaha, Jibrail asked Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that point is my limit the rest of the distance you have to spend alone.

The Divine Meeting

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was made to go even higher. The end of this journey on Shab-e-Miraj brought the Prophet (SAW) into the Divine Presence, the ultimate source of strength and relief. It is impossible to visualize the beauty of this scene or how valued, praised, and humiliated the Prophet (SAW) must have handled.

We do not know a great about what was secretly concerned between Allah and His beloved (SAW) with Allah merely saying,

فَأَوْحَىٰٓ إِلَىٰ عَبْدِهِۦ مَآ أَوْحَىٰ

And he revealed to His Servant what he revealed [i.e., conveyed].

(Al-Quran 53:10)

 Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did not see Allah Almighty with eyes. It is narrated by Hazrat Aisha (RA) that if anyone will tell you that Muhammad (SAW) has seen His Lord, he is a liar, for Allah says ‘No vision can grasp Him.’

Gift of Miraj

Ordination of Prayers.

Allah Almighty blesses Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) with the gift of the obligation of Salah for His Ummah.
Holy Prophet (SAW) said it was narrated in the Hadith. 

Then the prayers were commanded on me: fifty prayers a day. When I returned, I passed by Prophet Musa (A.S), who asked:

‘What have you been ordered to do?’

I replied: ‘I have been blessed with offer fifty prayers a day.’

He said: ‘Your followers cannot handle fifty prayers a day, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel by Allah. Go back to your Lord and ask to reduce your followers’ burden.’

So I went back, and Allah reduced five prayers for me. Then again, I came to Prophet Musa (AS), but he repeated the same as he had said before. Then again, I went back to Allah, and He reduced five more, and it kept exact until it came to five prayers a day.

“When I came back to Prophet Musa (A.S), he said: ‘What happened?

 I replied: ‘I have been instructed to keep five prayers a day.’ He said: ‘Your Ummah unable to manage five prayers a day, so go back to your Lord and ask for a reduction for your Ummah burden.’ I said:

‘I have asked so much of my Lord that I feel embarrassed, but I am pleased now and indulge in Allah’s Order.’ When I left, I heard a voice saying: ‘I have given My order and have reduced the burden of my worshippers.”

Surah Baqarah

 Allah blessed His messenger with the significance of the last two ayahs of Surah Baqarah. 

Forgiveness

Allah’s Promise forgives the sins of the Ummah of Muhammad (S.A.W.) except those who died associating partners with Allah.

Jannah and Jahannum.

During this journey of Miraj, the Prophet (SAW) was also taken to Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannum (Hell) by Angel Jibrail (AS). During this visit, Prophet (SAW) saw the blessing that the residents of paradise would receive and saw the tortures and torments inflicted on the people who would enter hell. 

Back to Makah

Finally, the Prophet (saw) was brought back down to the Jerusalem Masjid Al-Aqsa and returned to Makah on the Buraq.

As he was transported home, he saw different caravans leading towards Makah, which He would later describe to the Quraish as proof that he had made this miraculous journey. Allah even stated Bait al-Maqdis to the Prophet (SAW), while the Quraish were cross-examining him in the Hijr of the Kaaba [Bukhari]. The entire journey had taken place in a small portion of a night, and many would imitate the Prophet (SAW) for making such a claim.

What is the significance of Shab-e-Miraj in Islam?

The Isra Night or Shab-e-Miraj has significance because Allah Almighty endowed the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with His sight. Allah Almighty Himself sent the Angel Jibrail to call Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to endow Him with His sight. It is believed significant to worship this Holy Night, Shab-e-Miraj. Furthermore, Shab-e-Miraj makes the belief of Muslims stronger because of the miracles that occurred in Shab-e-Miraj.

It is narrated in the Quran,

وَهُوَ بِٱلْأُفُقِ ٱلْأَعْلَىٰ

While he was in the higher [part of the] horizon.

ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّىٰ

Then he approached and descended.

فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَىٰ

And was at a distance of two bow lengths or nearer.

فَأَوْحَىٰٓ إِلَىٰ عَبْدِهِۦ مَآ أَوْحَىٰ

And he revealed to His Servant what he revealed [i.e., conveyed].

(Al-Quran 53:07-10)

What should Muslims do on Shab-e-Miraj?

We need to celebrate this night by meditating on the lessons of Shab- e–Miraj and maximizing our glorification and good deeds. Giving and providing for those in need is a fundamental value of being a good Muslim, so we must give what we can to help. Have you ever thought of the rewards you would get if you gave in Rajab – The Month of Allah.

There is no proper worship recommended for the Shab-e-Miraj, but Muslims can be indulged in any prayer that is easy for them. The Muslims spend their ultimate time on the Shab-e-Miraj at the worship place, observing fasts, offering purposeful supplications, recounting Quran dhikr, giving charities, and remembering the occasions of Shab-e-Miraj.

Keep yourself busy in Azkaar and recite the following supplications on Shab-e-Miraj as much as you can.

لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله

There is no God but Allah, Muhammad (SAW) is the messenger of Allah.

Holy Prophet (SAW) asked to seek forgiveness as much as possible for them.

اسْتَغْفِرُ ٱللَّهَ ٱلَّذِي لاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ هُووَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَه وَاتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ

I seek the forgiveness of Allah. There is no god save Him, the One and Only Who has no partner, and I repent before Him.

سُبْحَانَ اللّهِ،وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ،وَلا إلهَ إلاّ اللّهُ،وَاللّهُ أَكْبَرُ،وَلا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إلاّ بِاللّهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيمِ.

All glory be to Allah; all praise be to Allah; there is no god save Allah; Allah is the Greatest, and there is no might, and no strength saves with Allah, the All-high the All-great.

اللّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّد

Allah blesses Muhammad and his family.

 اَللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ

Allah, please forgive the believing men & women.

 أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللّهَ وَأَتُوبُ إلَيْهِ

I repent before Him.

Surah al Ikhlas can return in harmony and gift the reciter and his family.

May He guard us all against all kinds of pandemics, like coronavirus and the deadly diseases that are the clear indications that we should stick to the cause of Islam and we should review our deeds if somehow something terrible had happened by all of us in our lives. May Allah forgive us all.

Aameen.

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