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Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi'raj "Everlasting Lessons"

Discussion in 'Islam DIR' started by Sajdah, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi'raj "Everlasting Lessons"

    By Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi:
    Al-Israa’ was a land-to-land journey that Allah Almighty caused His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to make from Makkah to Jerusalem, that is, from Almighty Allah's Sacred House to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
    Al-Mi`raj was a land-to-heaven journey from Jerusalem to the heavens. It was a journey to a place that no human being other than the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had ever reached [or has reached since]. It was a journey to the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary, whose place only Almighty Allah knows.
    Such two journeys were a turning point in the Prophet's life and in the course of his call in Makkah, especially after all the suffering he (peace and blessings be upon him) had faced at the hands of the Quraysh.
    Allah Almighty wanted Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj be an alleviation and relief to His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He Almighty wanted to tell His Prophet that if the people of the earth had let him down, the people of heaven were there to support him; if the people of the earth had rejected his call, Allah Almighty would receive him and His Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) would follow him and he would be their imam.
    That journey was an honor and compensation to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) from Almighty Allah. It was also a preparation for him to the following stage of his call. A few years later, he (peace and blessings be upon him) would migrate to Madinah, where he (peace and blessings be upon him) would lead a life of strife and jihad and confront the Arab tribes and other parties that would stand as one man against his international call.
    In fact, it is not known exactly when the Night Journey and Ascension took place, but it was certainly before the Hijrah (emigration from Makkah) to Madinah. It was said to have happened either three years or 18 months before the Hijrah.
    Anyway, there are two important points that we are to concentrate on in discussing Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj. The first thing is to contemplate how Allah Almighty linked His Sacred House and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and why He Almighty wanted to inform us that Al-Aqsa Mosque was a main destination of the Night Journey.
    We should meditate why the Night Journey was from Allah's Sacred House to Al-Aqsa Mosque, from which the Ascension to heaven was made, why Ascension did not take place from Allah's Mosque to heaven directly.
    This indicates that Al-Aqsa Mosque, that sacred place which Allah Almighty has blessed, was a main destination of the Night Journey.
    Prophet Muhammad's being received by other Prophets of Allah Almighty in Al-Aqsa Mosque and his leading them in Salah (ritual Prayer) there is also significant. It indicates that leadership was moved to a new nation and to a new Prophethood.
    It is significant that Prophet Muhammad's mission was not like the missions of the previous prophets. Each of all the other prophets (peace and blessings be upon them all) was sent to his own people, while Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent to all mankind [and jinn]. He (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent as a mercy to the worlds at all times. This was a sign of the eternity and internationality of His message (peace and blessings be upon him).
    Thus, his going to Al-Aqsa Mosque, the land of Prophets, from which came Prophets Abraham, Isaac, Moses, and Jesus, was an indication that leadership of the world had moved to the new international message, Islam. Allah Almighty wanted Muslims to realize and deeply appreciate the relation between His Sacred House and Al-Aqsa Mosque. It was from His Sacred House that the Night Journey began and to Al-Aqsa Mosque that it reached.
    Allah Almighty has blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and its neighborhood. He Almighty says in that regard: [Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship the neighborhood whereof We have blessed…] (Al-‘Israa’ 17:1) [The Inviolable Place of Worship mentioned in this verse refers to Allah's Sacred House and the Far Distant Place of Worship refers to Al-Aqsa Mosque.]
    Mind that Allah Almighty had blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and its neighborhood and referred to it even before even the Prophet's Mosque was built, as the Prophet's Mosque was established after his immigration to Madinah.
    Mind also that when Prayer was ordained on the Muslims, Al-Aqsa Mosque was the qiblah to which they were to turn during Prayer. They would turn their faces in Prayer towards it for three years in Makkah, and for 16 months in Madinsh before the qiblah was changed to Allah's Sacred House.
    Besides, Al-Aqsa Mosque is one of the three mosques to which Muslims are required to dedicate time for visiting; the other two mosques are the Sacred Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque. This shows that Jerusalem is the third sacred place after Makkah and Madinah in Islam.
    Allah Almighty wanted to establish and emphasize the significance and sacredness of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Muslims' hearts so that they do not cede it for anything. They are to hold it as sacred as both Allah's Sacred House and His Prophet's Mosque.
    That was why the Muslims [when they were strong] were zealous to keep Al-Aqsa Mosque under their rule and protection.
    Hence, Muslims must realize the importance of Jerusalem in their history and the significance of Al-Aqsa Mosque in their religion and life.
    Allah Almighty wills that we remember the importance of Al-Aqsa Mosque when we celebrate the anniversary of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj.
    This is to remind us of the gravity of the circumstances in which Al-Aqsa Mosque is in this age. We must not give up our responsibility in defending Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem. This is a sacred issue to fight for. We should not, under any circumstances, give up our role in that regard.
    The Jews dreamed of establishing a state (in the land of Palestine) and managed to achieve that dream. That being so, we at least must not give up hope that one day we will again have Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem under our control. We should not lose hope of that at all, even if we see surrender embodied everywhere in our status quo.
    We must believe that Allah Almighty is with us and that He Almighty will grant us victory and make Islam prevail, as He, Most High, always supports the true believers.
    Imams Ahmad and At-Tabarani reported on the authority of Abu Imama Al-Bahilai (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, "A group of my nation will keep being in the side of right and victorious over its enemy; no party of their enemy can cause them harm; the only harm that may afflict them is (physical) exhaustion. They would be like so until the Day of Judgment." The Prophet's Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) asked, "Where would they be, Allah's Messenger?" He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "In Jerusalem and its surrounding vicinity."
     
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  2. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    The second most important lesson that we are to learn from Al-Israa’
    and Al-Mi`raj is concerning Prayer.
    It is known that Prayer was ordained on that great night.
    It is because of the great importance of Prayer that Allah Almighty ordained it in heaven.
    He Almighty sent for His Messenger to mankind (peace and blessings be upon him) and caused him to go on a night journey and ascend to heaven and the Lote Tree to inform him (peace and blessings be upon him) of the ordinance of Prayer.
    Mind that all other ordinances were decreed on the earth.
    This indicates how important Prayer is in Islam.
    It symbolizes ascension to heaven; it is the Muslim's spiritual ascension to heaven.
    Thus, Prayer is the gift that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) brought with him from that journey to all Muslims so that they can worship Allah Almighty through it.
    Prayer had to do with Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa Mosque was the first qiblah in Islam. If it is true that Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj took place in the tenth year of the Prophet's mission, this would mean that the Muslims' qiblah in Prayer was towards Al-Aqsa Mosque for three years before the Hijrah to Madinah and 16 months after it.
    Then Almighty Allah decreed that the qiblah be changed towards the Sacred Mosque. Allah Almighty says: [So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye (O Muslims), wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces when ye pray) toward it.] (Al-Baqarah 2:143)
    When the qiblah was changed, the Jews raised doubts about that. Allah Almighty says, [The foolish of the people will say: What hath turned them from the qiblah which they formerly observed?] (Al-Baqarah 2:142)
    The Jews spread rumors that the Muslims' Prayer [to the first qiblah] was invalid and so would not be rewarded. Allah Almighty refuted their claims as He, most High, says:[And We appointed the qiblah which ye formerly observed only that We might know him who followeth the Messenger from him who turneth on his heels. In truth it was a hard (test) save for those whom Allah guided. But it was not Allah's purpose that your faith should be in vain, for Allah is full of pity, Merciful toward mankind.](Al-Baqarah: 143) According to this verse, "your faith" refers to Prayer, as Prayer is a symbol of one's faith.
    To sum up, Prayer is the spiritual means through which Muslims can ascend to their Lord. If the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ascended to heaven (once), we, brothers and sisters, could spiritually ascend to there as much as we can through Prayer.
    Allah Almighty says in a the qudsi hadith:"I have divided the Prayer into two halves between Me and My servant,
    and My servant will receive what he asks. When the servant says, 'Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe,' Allah the Most High says, 'My servant has praised Me.' And when he (the servant) says, 'The Most Compassionate, the Merciful,' Allah the Most High says, 'My servant has lauded Me.' And when he (the servant) says, 'Master of the Day of judgment,' He Almighty remarks, 'My servant has glorified Me.' And when he (the worshiper) says, 'Thee do we worship and of Thee do we ask help,' He Almighty says, 'This is between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for.' Then, when he (the worshiper) says, 'Guide us to the straight path, the path of those to whom Thou hast been Gracious not of those who have incurred Thy displeasure, nor of those who have gone astray,' He (Allah Almighty) says, 'This is for My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for."
     
  3. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Part One: Miraculous in Every Aspect

    By `Amr Khalid

    A Famous Islamic Caller


    Al-Israa' and Al-Mi`raj (the Night Journey and Ascension) refer to the miraculous journey that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) experienced. Unlike what some people claim, that journey involved both the body and soul of the Prophet. The main proof of the fact that the body of the Prophet was involved in the journey is that Almighty Allah began the first verse of Surat Al-Israa' by the word subhan, which means exalted and glorified. This word indicates that a miraculous event is about to be mentioned in the sequel.
    This journey was a decisive stage of the Prophet's call in Makkah, because there were several cases of people embracing Islam and others leaving it after this incident. Abu Bakr, the Companion of the Prophet, received his title As-Siddiq (Arabic for the very sincere) after this incident. He was the first to believe in the truthfulness of all events of this journey as narrated by the Prophet.
    On that night, Jibreel came to the Prophet and told him to circumambulate the Ka`bah seven times. At the Ka`bah, Jibreel told him that he (Prophet Muhammad) was going to Al-Aqsa Mosque, wherefrom they shall both ascend the seventh heaven to meet Almighty Allah.
    In fact, you should prepare yourself for that day when you shall meet Him. Will you be happy on that day? Or will you be ashamed of what you did during your life?
    Almighty Allah says,
    [Glory be to Him Who took His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our signs; surely, He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer [of all things].] (Al-Israa' 17:1)


    Implications of Timing and Description

    The choice of timing to be at night is due to the fact that nighttime has different implications for different people. For the corrupt, it means time of committing adultery, drinking wine, and doing everything that is prohibited by Almighty Allah. For the righteous, it is the time when they feel nearest to Almighty Allah. It is the time when the soul is pure; thus, sincere believers should pray at night as much as they can. They should worship Allah and implore Him during the night.
    Thus, the timing was of great significance and also were the words that Almighty Allah used to describe His Prophet: [His servant.] When Almighty Allah honors someone, He either reminds them that they are human beings or bestows upon them the blessing of remembering that they are His servants. In turn, it is the duty of the pious ones to always be humble before their Lord.
    Throughout the history of all Prophets, there came moments when they were gifted with glorious victories, yet they remained humble and grateful to Almighty Allah. When Prophet Muhammad finally conquered Makkah, he entered it on his camelback with his head bowed in humility.
    The same goes with Prophet Yusuf or Joseph (peace be upon him). He also kept to his humbleness and modesty when his parents and brothers kneeled before him after he suffered a long life of hardships. He implored Allah as stated in the Glorious Qur'an:
    [My Lord, You have indeed given me of the sovereignty and taught me of the interpretation of events: Originator of the heavens and the earth, You are my Guardian in this world and the hereafter; make me die a Muslim and join me with the good.](Yusuf 12:101)


    Also, Prophet Sulayman or Solomon (peace be upon him) had many gifts bestowed upon him by Almighty Allah (such as understanding and communicating with all creatures), yet he kept to supplicating Almighty Allah and thanking Him:
    [And [Solomon] smiled, laughing at her speech, and said, "My Lord, arouse me to be thankful for Your favor wherewith You have favored me and my parents, and to do good that shall please You, and admit me, by Your mercy, to the ranks of Your righteous servants."](An-Naml 27:19)


    Therefore, no matter how successful, famous, wealthy, or religious you are, always maintain your humility before Almighty Allah. He shall then elevate you in status even more. So, when Prophet Muhammad showed extreme humbleness before his Lord, he was raised where no one else reached.
    The journey of Al-Israa' and Al-Mi`raj has a highly symbolic nature. After the Prophet circumambulated the Ka`bah, he found Al-Buraq, which was going to be his means of transportation during this great journey.
    Anas ibn Malik narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) described Al-Buraq saying,
    "I was introduced to Al-Buraq, a white and long animal that is larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule. It would place its hoof at a distance equal to the range of its vision." (Muslim)


    From this hadith, one can get hold of the level of faith the Prophet's Companions had. They believed in the truthfulness of this journey whose turn of events was beyond the comprehension of humans. It is important to remember that this miraculous journey took place at a time when beasts of burden were the only means of transportation. However, with whatever means of transportation the human brain can engineer, the journey will always remain a miraculous event that goes beyond human perception.
    Moreover, through the creation of Al-Buraq, Almighty Allah challenges humans and reminds them of His capability and power that always surpass theirs, no matter how advanced they become in science and technology until the Day of Judgment. So, people should never boast about their power or achievements. They should always remember that their power and knowledge are incomparable to those of Allah, Almighty, All-Knowing.

     
  4. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Fetter Your Own Buraq

    Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) described how Jibreel accompanied him along his journey saying, "And I set out with Jibreel" (Al- Bukhari). This refers to the importance of one's company. You should carefully choose friends who can help you in the journey of this worldly life.The Arabic word Al-Buraq is derived from barq, which means lightning. It refers to the speed at which the creature traveled from one place to another. Likewise, only a good companion can push you forward with such speed. A few weeks before that journey, Prophet Muhammad was not able to move freely in Makkah and life was so suppressing on earth. However, during that journey, he was able to penetrate the whole universe.
    When the Prophet and Jibreel reached Al-Aqsa Mosque, they landed near the wall of the mosque, whereupon the Prophet tethered the creature to a ring. This creature, Al-Buraq, had been brought to the Prophet as a means of transportation; it was not expected to run away, so why did the Prophet fetter it? This had a very important wisdom: Recommending one's soul to Almighty Allah does not mean that one should dispense with the causes or the means. Everyone should do their best to achieve their goals. Everyone must fetter their own Buraq.

    Unity and Responsibility

    Prophet Muhammad then entered the mosque. In the middle of the night, the mosque was expected to be void of people, yet it was amazingly full. All Prophets of Allah, starting from Adam (peace be upon him) and up until Jesus or `Isa (peace be upon him), were present. There was no place for a foot. They all came to welcome the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
    Such a gathering of all Prophets in one place is a unique event. It had an important significance: unity of humans regardless of difference in time and place. At our present time, how can unity be achieved with the wars, hatred, and bloodshed we suffer all over the world? Islam calls for unity, coexistence, and dialogue of civilizations, not clash of civilizations.
    Nevertheless, the presence of Allah's Prophets at the mosque had another implication. Prophet Muhammad was going to see them later during his journey in the seven heavens.
    In the mosque, all the Prophets stood aligned for Prayer and waited for what Jibreel had to say. Jibreel told Prophet Muhammad to lead the Prayer, and they all prayed two rak`ahs.
    As much as this incident came to honor Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), it was also a commitment: The Prophets handed over to him the banner of leadership of humankind. Accordingly, Prophet Muhammad became a witness over us, and so we became witnesses over other nations.
    Do you feel that you are responsible? We, Muslims, constitute 20 percent of the world's population, yet we still learn and take from the remaining 80 percent. We stopped giving. We ceased to add to the heritage of humanity 200 years ago. Prophet Muhammad said, "The upper hand is better than the lower hand" (Al- Bukhari).Therefore, there is no way for us other than the way of revival. We are responsible for this earth now.
    Al-Aqsa Mosque is where the Prophets gathered, where the ascension to the seven heavens started, and where the descent took place before the Prophet returned to Makkah. The fact that Prophet Muhammad Led the Prophets in Prayer has an important significance: It is known in Islam that a man is not to be led in Prayer inside his own home, so what can one say about Prophet Muhammad's and (and thus Muslim's) responsibility toward Al-Aqsa Mosque?
     
  5. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Part Two: A Gathering in Heavens
    In this part, we look at the wisdom of Prophet Muhammad's meeting with other Prophets during the journey of ascension.
    Anas ibn Malik's narration of the story of ascension continues. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
    "I prayed two rak`ahs in it [i.e. Al-Aqsa Mosque] and then went out, and Jibreel brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk. I chose the milk, and Jibreel said, 'You have chosen the natural thing.'" (Muslim)
    Milk represents Allah's creation that is intact. On the other hand, wine is an example of human interference in the creation of Allah. It is produced by fermenting the juice of grapes and thus requires human interference. In many cases, such interference can spoil what Allah has created.
    The Prophet's choice emphasizes that fitrah or pure nature of what Allah has created is one foundation for the Muslim Ummah. One must search for this pure nature within oneself.
    Almighty Allah says,
    [Glory be to Him Who took His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our signs; surely, He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer [of all things]. We gave Musa (Moses) the Book and made it a guidance to the Children of Israel, commanding, "Take no guardian beside Me." [They were] the offspring of those whom We bore with Nuh (Noah); surely he was a grateful servant.](Al-Israa' 17:1–3)
    These verses talk about three generations in a descending chronological order: the generation of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), that of Prophet Musa (Moses) (peace be upon him), and that of Prophet Nuh (Noah) (peace be upon him). All three generations have a common bond: love for Almighty Allah, belief in the same message, and endeavor to achieve the same goal.
    Also, it is worth mentioning that Prophet Muhammad passed by three important sites during his Night Journey: Mount At-Tur in Sinai, which witnessed a number of events mentioned in the story of Prophet Musa (Moses) and the Children of Israel; the city of Bethlehem where Prophet Jesus was born; and the road between modern-day Palestine and Makkah, which was trod by Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isma`il (Ishmael) in their way to the place where they built the Ka`bah.
    Prophet Muhammad started his journey of ascension from Al-Mi`rajRock. In company with Angel Jibreel, he reached the seventh heaven within seconds. Today, a spacecraft traveling at a speed of 7,000 KPH takes three years to reach the nearest planet.
    In a hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari, Prophet Muhammad said,
    "Then he [Jibreel] took my hand and ascended with me to the nearest heaven. When I reached the nearest heaven, Jibreel said to the gatekeeper of the heaven, 'Open [the gate].' The gatekeeper asked, 'Who is it?' Jibreel answered, 'Jibreel.' He asked, 'Is there anyone with you?' Jibreel replied, 'Yes, Muhammad is with me.' He asked, 'Has he been sent for?' Jibreel said, 'Yes.' So, the gate was opened and we went over to the nearest heaven, and there we saw a man sitting with some people on his right and some on his left. When he looked toward his right, he laughed, and when he looked toward his left, he wept. Then he said, 'Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.' I asked Jibreel, 'Who is he?' He replied, 'He is Adam, and the people on his right and left are the souls of his offspring. Those on his right are the people of Paradise, and those on his left are the people of Hellfire; when he looks toward his right, he laughs, and when he looks toward his left, he weeps.'"
    Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) is the father of humanity. This confirms the idea of unity of humans everywhere. Anyone can easily notice the recurrent emphasis on this notion throughout the journey of Al-Israa' and Al-Mi`raj.
    Now, why is Prophet Adam laughing and crying? He is happy with those who learned from his experience and, at the same time, sad for those who did not. As we already know, his experience with Satan resembles a mathematical problem that has a model answer; it is something that one has to learn to resolve similar problems. Although other problems may appear different, the idea is the same: Keep away from the whispers of Satan.
     
  6. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Prophet Muhammad continued the narration. He said,
    "Then, we ascended to the second heaven. Jibreel (peace be upon him) demanded that the gate of heaven be opened, and he was asked who he was. He answered, 'Jibreel.' Again, he was asked, 'Who is with you?' He replied, 'Muhammad.' It was said, 'Has he been sent for?' He replied, 'He has indeed been sent for.' The gate was opened."
    "When I entered, Jesus, son of Mary, and John, son of Zachariah (peace be upon them) — cousins from the maternal side, each is the son of the other's aunt — welcomed me and prayed for my well-being."
    "Then, I was taken to the third heaven and Jibreel asked for the opening [of the gate]. He was asked, 'Who are you?' He replied, 'Jibreel.' He was asked, 'Who is with you?' He replied, 'Muhammad.' It was said, 'Has he been sent for?' He replied, 'He has indeed been sent for.' The gate was opened for us, and I saw
    Yusuf (Joseph) (peace be upon him), who had been given half of [world's] beauty. He welcomed me and prayed for my well-being. Then, he ascended with us to the fourth heaven."

    "Jibreel (peace be upon him) asked for the gate to be opened, and it was said, 'Who is it?' He replied, 'Jibreel.' It was said, 'Who is with you?' He said, 'Muhammad.' It was said, 'Has he been sent for?' He replied, 'He has indeed been sent for.' The gate was opened for us, and lo Enoch was there. He welcomed me and prayed for my well-being. Then, he ascended with us to the fifth heaven."
    "Jibreel demanded that the gate be opened. It was said, 'Who is it?' He replied, 'Jibreel.' It was said, 'Who is with you?' He replied, 'Muhammad.' It was said, 'Has he been sent for?' He replied, 'He has indeed been sent for.' The gate was opened for us, and then I was with Aaron. He welcomed me prayed for my well-being."
    "Then, I was taken to the sixth heaven. Jibreel (peace be upon him) asked for the door to be opened. It was said, 'Who is it?' He replied, 'Jibreel.' It was said, 'Who is with you?' He replied, 'Muhammad.' It was said, 'Has he been sent for?' He replied, 'He has indeed been sent for.' The gate was opened for us, and there I was with Musa (Moses) (peace be upon him). He welcomed me and prayed for my well-being."
    "Then, I was taken up to the seventh heaven. Jibreel demanded that the gate be opened. It was said, 'Who is it?' He said, 'Jibreel.' It was said, 'Who is with you?' He replied, 'Muhammad.' It was said, 'Has he been sent for?' He replied, 'He has indeed been sent for.' The gate was opened for us, and there I found Abraham (peace be upon him) reclining on Al-Bayt-ul-Ma`mur [Arabic for the much-frequented fane], and there enter it 70,000 angels everyday; they never visit [this place) again."
    (Al-Bukhari)
    But, where are the rest of the Prophets? Why didn't Prophet Muhammad meet Prophet Nuh (Noah)? The fact is that the presence of those particular Prophets in the seven heavens is symbolic.
    Some prophets were ordered by Allah to construct new societies and this was what Prophet Mohammad was going to do when he immigrated to Madinah. Other prophets migrated from their homelands and returned, like Prophets Yusuf (Joseph) and Musa (Moses). In fact, this was a prediction of what Prophet Muhammad was going to do two years after immigration to Madinah.
    Some other prophets were subjected to persecution, while others were even subjected to murder or attempts of murder by their people. It was as if Almighty Allah had selected a number of Prophets whose lives foreshadowed future events in the life of Prophet Muhammad.
    Al-Bayt-ul-Ma`mur is a place in the seventh heaven. It is located exactly above the Ka`bah and is identical to it. We perform Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka`bah) on earth, and right above us, the angels perform Tawaf around Al-Bayt-ul-Ma`mur. Above both of these is Allah's throne. Those who visit Makkah for Hajj or `Umrah feel this. The Ka`bah is the holiest place on earth and a point directly connected to the holiest of places ever.
    But, why is Prophet Abraham reclining on the wall of Al-Bayt-ul-Ma`mur? This is because he and his son, Isma`il (Ishmael), built the Ka`bah. The rule is that one reaps the fruits of his or her labors. He is leaning on it because he labored enough in his life, and now he can rest in the hereafter.
    We should labor in this life so that Almighty Allah would allow us to rest on the Day of Judgment. That is life: We want to rest, but there is no comfort in it. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was once asked, "When does a person get to relax?" He replied, "It is the moment when he [or she] sets his [or her] foot in Paradise." There is no repose before that.
    We should not let comfort be our purpose in life. We live this life to farm, learn, reform our societies, reproduce, worship Allah, help people, and take initiatives. Almighty Allah says,
    [Verily, We have created man into toil and struggle.] (Al-Balad 90:4)
    Thus, work, toil, and accept your destiny.
    Prophet Muhammad said, "Seventy thousand angels enter into it [Al-Bayt-ul-Ma`mur] daily and, after they come out, they never return again." Can anyone imagine the number of angels? One cannot even compare the number of human beings to the number of angels. Look at this evocative hadith: Prophet Muhammad said,
    "The heavens resound yearningly — worthy it is to sound yearningly and proudly — as no place in them is without an angel prostrate in adoration and worship before Almighty Allah." (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
    However, Allah does not need our worship. We are the ones who need to worship Him to save ourselves from Hellfire. We need to kneel and prostrate ourselves before Him. The angels are many. Prophet Muhammad saw scores of them as he ascended through heavens. They are true worshippers who perform Prayer thoroughly. Now, can you see the kingdom of Allah? Do you understand what the Omnipotent, Almighty, Owner of the Kingdom, and Possessor of Majesty and Bounty mean?
    The journey of Al-Israa' and Al-Mi`raj was a bounty and honor bestowed on Prophet Muhammad by Almighty Allah. It relieved his grief over the incident of At-Ta'if and the persecution of Quraish. Truly, Allah is Most Great and his kingdom is boundless.
     
  7. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Reward for Tolerance and Forgiveness
    By: Dr. Salah Sultan

    The sacred journey of Al-Isra’ and Al-Mi`raj was a reward for Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) for tolerating and forgiving those who were unjust to him and those harmed him and his Companions as well.
    `Amr Ibn Az-Zubayr narrated that `A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): “Have you encountered a day harder than the day (of the Battle) of Uhud?” The Prophet replied:

    Your tribes have troubled me a lot but the hardest day was on the day of Al-`Aqabah when I presented myself (as a Prophet) to Ibn `Abd-Yalail Ibn `Abd-Kulal but he did not respond to me. So, I departed excessively grieved, and did not relax till I reached Qarn Ath-Tha`alib, (a place near Makkah). I lifted my head towards the sky and saw a cloud unexpectedly shading me. I looked up and saw Gabriel therein. He called me saying, “Allah has heard your people's saying to you, and what they have replied back to you. He has sent the Angel of mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.” The Angel of mountains called and greeted me, and then said: “O Muhammad! Order what you wish. If you like, I will let the two mountains, Al-Akhshabayn, fall on them.”
    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
    “No, but I hope that Allah will let them beget children who worship Him Alone, and will none besides Him.” (Al- Bukhari)
    Mercy and Tolerance
    This is how our beloved Prophet was like. With one word he could have had the
    Angel of mountains destroyed everything in Makkah, so that no polytheist would remain alive.
    He could have done that with only one word, but he would not do it because he was sent as a mercy for all mankind. He had a heart full of love for all people, wishing them to embrace the true religion or, at least, some of their offspring would pray to Allah.
    This is the way Du`ah (Islamic preachers) should be. They should preach with love for the benefit of people. They should not respond to the offense with the like, but treat people kindly. They replace evil with goodness, separation with strengthening relations, and maltreatment with love and guidance.
    The Divine Reward

    Therefore, Allah has rewarded the merciful Prophet with the greatest journey that has never taken place in the whole universe, to Jerusalem and then to the highest levels in the sky, where Allah brought the Prophet close to Him.
    Allah assisted him to succeed in guiding many people to the truth. Allah accepted his Supplication, and therefore, among the offspring of those polytheists came the best reformers and Du`ah. Among those reformers were:

    1- Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, the son of Al-Walid Ibn Al-Mughirah, the one who was meant by the verses in Surat Al-Muddaththir:
    2- [Leave Me (to deal) with him whom I created lonely, To whom I granted resources in abundance, And sons abiding in his presence, And I adjusted affairs for him adjustably, Yet he desireth that I should give more. Nay! For lo! he hath been stubborn to Our revelations. I will make a distressing punishment overtake him.] (Al-Muddaththir 74: 11-17)
    3-`Ikrimah Ibn Abi Jahl, the son of `Amr Ibn Hisham, the leader of the polytheists.
    3- Um Habibah Bint Abi Sufyan, the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and whose father was a polytheist at that time.
    4- `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas who accepted Islam together with his mother
    Um Al-Fadl at a time when Al-`Abbas Ibn `Abdil-Muttalib was still a disbeliever.
    In this way we see how patience and kindness with people lead them smoothly to the right path. In this way, those who call to Islam shall be close to Allah, reach higher status and get the best reward from Allah the Almighty.
     
  8. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Night Journey for the Nation …
    Ascension to Civilization

    By Dr. Khaled At-Tarawali


    Many are the sad events and bitter memories that Muslims experience nowadays, and so many are those experienced by them in the past years. Those events have shocked their reality and posed new challenges and many questions whose answers are surrounded by much frustration, defeatism, and blackness.
    But, as the present gets darker, some bright flashes tend to dash here and there from the depths of the past. From time to time, these flashes remind Muslims that they are the descendants of great builders of civilization and that darkness — no matter how long — will surely be followed by daylight.
    As we celebrate the anniversary of Al-Israa' and Al-Mi`raj (the Night Journey and Ascension of Prophet Muhammad), Muslims in many places of the world suffer afflictions and wars, bloodshed and terrorism, chaos and backwardness, bewilderment and confusion.
    There are questions about the end, about persecution of religion and betrayal of its adherents, about mass suicide and the doom of a glorious nation that is supposed to exist till the end of time, if Allah wills.
    Such deviation has reached an unprecedented level. Meanwhile, the nation's decline continues, in spite of the glimpses of light that try to illuminate the path away from clamor and storms.
    Horizontal Connection, Vertical One
    Established by the Night Journey, the horizontal connection between different places on earth stresses the principle of symbolic extension of a message that promotes benevolence, peace, and mutual respect.
    In his Night Journey, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) did not go to Jerusalem to subdue it, shed the blood of its inhabitants, or bring it under the sovereignty of Muslims by force. In fact, the Night Journey was a gathering of all Prophets in the presence of the last one of them. It was a meeting of the leaders of one religion and a symbolic reference to a meeting of different nations, races, and cultures.
    Having taken place at the beginning of laying the foundations of Islam, the Night Journey was a clear indication that this religion is a religion of peace — a religion that encourages its followers to get to know others and build healthy relationships with them. Also, this blessed journey pointed out the fact that Islam is a continuation of the same spring of good, from which past nations drank when they adopted the message of their Prophets and reformers.
    Islam did not carry to this good, virtuous land of Jerusalem a message of aggression, oppression, or appropriation. It neither said, "We have brought a nation without a land to a land without a nation" nor said, "We have come with a Prophet to a land without prophets." On the contrary, Islam respected what preceded it and regarded itself as part and parcel of a whole fabric that had been formed throughout the history and geography of preceding nations.
    On the other hand, the journey of ascension established a vertical connection between the earth and heaven. It underlined the fact that there is a close relationship between this nation and its Lord. This relationship is manifested by the five daily Prayers.
    The five Prayers stand as a constant reminder that the deliverance of humans on earth depends on their good relation with their Creator. Without the guidance and benevolence of Him, the existence of humans on earth would be one of troubles and falls.
    In this way, the journey of ascension established a new pillar for any worldly success. In more modern terms, one can say that no civilizational precedence of the Ummah can ever be sound, sustainable, renewable, or creative without taking the spiritual and moral aspects into consideration in all spheres of life. Indeed, the way that the Ummah takes toward progress and prosperity is a way that leads to Almighty Allah.
    Spirituals: Core of Civilization
    The spirituals and principles of morals along with that close relationship between heaven and earth lay the foundations of human life, with its psychological, cultural, political, social, and economic aspects. A structure that overlooks the spiritual and moral aspects of civilization is definitely lame in theorization, in thought, and in vision. Such a lame structure will lead to lameness in application, even if such lameness was hidden from the very beginning.
    Unfortunately, we lost our morals in politics and severed the spiritual ties between heaven and earth. We forgot or pretended to have forgotten a whole Qur'anic surah named Ash-Shura (Mutual Consultation). Afraid of power, weakhearted scholars turned the principle of shura into a mere piece of information about the history of Islam, rather than a binding principle. In turn, the rulers grew even more tyrannical. They deluded their peoples, imposing upon them immoral and unspiritual interpretations of the principle of shura. They bequeathed the rule just as the houses and other possessions are bequeathed.
    At the beginning, the subjects yielded and refused to stand up to injustice, either out of fear or out of greed. Afterward, the people became even unable to straighten their backs and stop bowing, as if they had never stood up straight before. As a result, generations from this nation were born bowing. They grew old and remained bowing, and they entered their graves still bowing. Sadly, they never had the chance to see the sky! Furthermore, morals disappeared and the earnest appeals addressed to people's conscience came to a standstill.
    The ascension toward civilization will never be a success without the existence of these spiritual and moral aspects in all our actions and in every path toward progress, liberation, and — above all — toward Allah. Neither we nor our offspring will ever gain the least benefit from an alleged civilization as long as murder, terrorism, horribleness, and damage are rocking our homes, without knowledge or clear-sightedness, without rights or morals, and without any reasonable argument!
    In fact, we shall never understand the civilizational message of the journey of ascension unless we first understand that building a civilization is neither accomplished in disorder and clamor nor achieved with hands stained with falsehood, tyranny, and aggression.
    In conclusion, civilization is a journey (or Israa') that turns a lost, helpless person into a righteous one who aims at reform. It is also an ascension (or Mi`raj) of such a person to spirituality, morality, justice, and freedom. This is one of many messages of the Night Journey and Ascension for both the individual and the community, however the conditions may be.
     
  9. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Al-Israa' and Al-Mi`raj
    A Miraculous Journey
    By Magda Azzam
    (Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Nearer, the Seer.) (Al-Israa' 17:1)


    One night Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was sleeping near the Ka`bah in Makkah, when the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) came to him, woke him up and, taking him by the arm, led him to Al-Buraq, a beast resembling a horse with two huge wings springing from its back. From Makkah, Al-Buraq took off toward Jerusalem . There, the Prophet was met by all the other prophets. He (peace and blessings be upon him) dismounted, tethered Al-Buraq to a ring in the gate of Jerusalem , and led them in Prayers.
    Two vessels were then brought to him, one containing milk, the other wine. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) drank the milk. Jibreel said, "O Muhammad, you enjoy what is pure. Surely you will guide your people to the right path." This journey demonstrates God’s might and ability to make possible the impossible. The concepts of time and space as we understand them do not apply, and what applies cannot be perceived by our limited faculties.


    Led by the Angel Jibreel, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) began his ascent through the seven heavens, where he saw the other prophets till he reached Sadrat Al-Muntaha, the remotest lote tree, symbolizing the end of worldly knowledge. He was then taken before the Divine Presence. Allah enjoined the Muslims to perform Salah(ritual prayers) 50 times a day.
    After his audience with Allah and on his way down, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) met Musa (Moses—peace and blessings be upon him), who asked him how many Prayers were laid upon his followers. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied 50, Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) told him that the congregational Prayer is heavy and your people are weak.

    He advised him to go back and ask Allah to reduce them. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) made several trips back and forth, and each time God reduced the number, till finally He reduced it to 5 Prayers a day and if they are performed properly the worshipper will be given credit for 50.


    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) continued his descent till he arrived back in Makkah. When he told the people what had happened to him, Muslims who were weak in faith doubted the Prophet’s report. Yet when his friend and long supporter Abu Bakr was asked to take a stand on the issue, he replied, "If Muhammad said it happened, then it must have happened. I believed him when he first talked about his divine revelation, why should I doubt him now?" Thus on this occasion he earned the title of As-Siddiq (the Veracious).
    ( …and We appointed the vision which We showed thee as an ordeal for mankind…)(Israa' 17:60)

    This miracle was the first serious trial for the Companions' faith when they were confronted with an issue that cannot be measured empirically. For the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), after seeing Allah's signs, his faith was established on certainty.

    The trip from Makkah to Jerusalem was not chosen haphazardly. This area is known as the cradle of all religions and Muhammad’s message encompasses all the preceding ones


    This miraculous journey establishes several facts. First, the status of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), as he was chosen to lead all the prophets in prayer, and to go where no one else, not even Jibreel, was allowed.

    Second, The journey also establishes the sanctity of Jerusalem, because it is the point where the earth and sky meet and from there the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ascended to heaven. Therefore, the whole of Jerusalem and not only the mosque is considered in the eyes of Muslims a sacred place to behold and cherish after Makkah and Madinah.
     
  10. Bloomdido

    Bloomdido Member

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    Is there a special Islamic keyboard where you can press one key which them comes up with "peace and blessings be upon him?" It must be a chore to have to type the whole thing every time you refer to the Profit.
     
  11. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Lol, no there is no especial key. :D

    You mean Prophet Peace be upon him! we write it every time out of love and respect, and Allah (Swt) rewards us every time we say Peace And Blessings Be Upon Our beloved Prophet Muhammad, as we are commanded to do so.

    [33:56] "Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels (ask Him to do so). O you who have believed, ask (Allah to confer) blessing upon him and ask (Allah to grant him) peace."
     
  12. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    It Is All About the Unseen
    By Mohsen Hamdy

    Belief in the Unseen is an integral part of a Muslim’s creed. Every Muslim must believe in all whatever Allah told us about in the Qur’an and all whatever the Prophet told us about in his Sunnah. In the Qur’an we are told the first characteristics of the righteous: [This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah; Who believe in the Unseen] (Al-Baqarah 2:3).
    However, this does not mean that such belief is a pretext for not working hard or a justification for defeatism. Belief in the Unseen is a test for the believers that ascertains their faith. Believing in something unseen is a challenge that not everybody can take. It is those who believe strongly in the omnipotence of Allah, Who has the upper hand in every affair in this world and the world to come.
    The story of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj is an example of that test to which Muslims were put after the Prophet ended his night journey and ascension. For the whole story is all about belief in the Unseen.
    The wisdom of Al-Israa’ is summed up in the very words of Allah: that [We might show him of Our tokens!] (Al-Israa’ 17:1). Also the wisdom of Al-Mi`raj is clearly stated in the Qur’an: [Verily he saw one of the greater revelations of his Lord] (An-Najm 53:18).
    The word subhan (sublime, exalted) mentioned in the beginning of Surat Al-Israa’ gives the impression that this journey was something unusual. It should not be subject to the normal laws of the earth nor to the laws of time and place. It is the Divine Law that arranged for that journey. Part of the world of the Unseen has become visible for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This is implied in the word li-nuriyahu [that We might show him], not li-nuriyahum (that We might show them).
    When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) returned to Makkah, he told the people about what happened to him the previous night. Their reactions followed one of two courses: Some utterly rejected his story while others gave it their utmost belief.
    The people of the Quraish did not believe him and mocked him, “It takes us a month to go to there and back and you claim that you went there and back in one night?”
    On the other hand, when Abu Bakr was told what had happened to the Prophet, he said his oft-repeated words: “If he said that, then he is truthful. I believe him concerning the news of the heavens. How could I not believe that he went to Jerusalem and came back in a short period of time when these are on earth?” From that moment Abu Bakr was given the name As-Siddiq, the Verifier of the Truth.
    It is unfortunate that in the 21st century there are many people who doubt the authenticity of the event of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj. One finds little difference between this stance and that of the Quraish. In fact, this rejection in modern times is worse than that made by the Quraish. At least, the means of transportation in the Prophet’s time made it difficult for the people to understand this overnight journey to a place hundreds of miles away. Such speed is easy to conceive with today’s technology. And, after all, we should remember that it is Allah, the Creator of the heaven and earth, Who arranged for this journey, and He Almighty is the One Who speaks about it in the Qur’an. This leaves no room for doubt or question.

    Islamonline.net
     
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