Shab E Meraj
Shab e Meraj is known as The Night Journey in islamic faith and Muslims worldwide. Shab e Miraj observes every year in month of Islamic Date of Rajab 27.
It was one of the most glorious days in Islam when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) went to the Isra, and then he went to Miraj. However, the story of Isra and Shab e Meraj gave a message to mankind that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the only Prophet who was awarded this place in front of all prophets in the history of Islam. Therefore, you can learn here the full story of Isra and shab e Miraj as you may add more knowledge to you.
What is ISRA and Miraj
The Night Journey, also known as Shab e Miraj, Isra and Miraj or Al Isra wal Miraj, is observed on 27th day of the month of Rajab (7th month of Islamic Calendar). Shab e Miraj literally translates to ( The Night of Ascent ). This event celebrates the night when the Prophet (S.A.W.) ascended to the Heavens from Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah. One of the great gifts of this night was that obligatory Prayer (Fardh Salah) was instituted on Muslims.
Similar to other events and occasions of the blessed life of our Prophet (S.A.W.), the Night Journey is a rich source of inspiration and lessons for the entire humanity.
The Miraculous Night Journey started in the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when he was already facing pain and intense hardship in his life because his tribe was stood against him and humiliated him and his companion. Apart from this, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lost his beloved wife Khadija (RA), and his protector Uncle Abu Talib.
Besides, when Prophet of Allah left for Ta’if for asking people to join him in this previous Deen-Islam, but all the people of the area didn’t support the prophet. Additionally, they treated their children to shower the rain of stones until he leaves the city. Therefore, he was rejected by the people of Taif very cruelly.
After getting bitterly rejected by the people of Taif, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) put his faith in Almighty Allah, and he was gifted with such a beautiful invitation which was set for him specially. It can be quoted here for the Muslims that after every hardship, there would be ease for you. So, Prophet of Allah was provided with such a glorious gift that was not provided to any other prophet from 102400 prophets.
Under Surah Isra, it is divinely said in such a way that He is exalted who sent his servant by night from the, i.e., Masjid al-haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings have been blessed by Us so that We can show him our sign. Indeed, He is the hearing and the seeing.
The complete story of Shab e Meraj
The complete story relies on the two portions i.e., Isra and Miraj. However, the Miraj is said to be the night of Ascension. So the entire story is unfolded below:
I. Al-Isra (Kaaba to Al-Aqsa)
It was the time when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sleeping. The angel of Allah Gabriel landed beside his bed and asked the prophet, Muhammad, to wake up and asked him to travel with him on the white beast i.e., Buraq. Once prophet Muhammad (PBUH) followed the instructions of angel, then they traveled on the white beast towards Al-Quds i.e., Jerusalem.
However, this journey from Ka’bah to Al-Aqsa was continued with several short intervals at a few places. The very first stop where the angel Gabriel stopped the Buraq at Madinah i.e., the first place of emigration, and asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to pray there. Later on, they moved to their next stop at Mount Sinai, where Allah (SWT) revealed a book i.e., Torah to Musa (AS). Similarly, the third step where angel Gabriel and prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stopped was the Bethlehem, the place where Isa (AS) was born. The second last place where both stopped was the grave of Musa (AS) i.e., A stone’s throw. In the end, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at Masjid al-Aqsa. As soon as he reached, Gabriel (AS) instructed him to come in the mosque where he needed to lead a prayer to the 124000 prophets on this blessing day with this space. So, the travel ends here is known as the Isra.
II. Al-Miraj: The journey from Al Aqsa to Skies
Once the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) offered the prayer, then he was ascended to the skies. He didn’t only watch there several miraculous sights along with unlimited angels, but he also met with numerous past prophets. Apart from this, during the journey of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), he was greeted with unexpected excitement and happiness. So, he was delighted because of this night. It becomes somehow difficult to imagine the feelings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when he met with his brothers, who left because of the difficulties and trials. However, the prophet was welcomed with warmth and love. So, they all said to him, Welcome. In Bukhari Sharif, it was also said that he was greeted like this, O pious Prophet and Pious brother by other prophets. On the other hand, he was welcomed by Adam (AS) and Ibrahim (AS) as the “pious son.”
PROPHET'S ASCENSION TO HEAVENS
In the second part of Isra and Miraj, Jibrael (A.S.) took Prophet (S.A.W.) to the heavens. Through his ascension, Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) stopped by the all seven layers of the heaven/sky. Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) met the following great Prophets on each heaven:
1. On first heaven, Prophet Adam (A.S.)
2. On second heaven, Prophet Isa (A.S.) and Prophet Yahya (A.S.) [Prophet Jesus and Prophet John]
3. On third heaven, Prophet Yusuf (A.S.) [Prophet Joseph]
4. On fourth heaven, Prophet Idris (A.S.) [Prophet Enoch]
5. On fifth heaven, Prophet Haroon (A.S.) [Prophet Aaron]
6. On sixth heaven, Prophet Musa (A.S.) [Prophet Moses]
7. On seventh heaven, Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) [Prophet Abraham]
(Ref: Sahih Bukhari: 3207)
It can be seen that after the hardship Prophet face, then he got such a great night his life so that he could see the paradise. Apart from this, the most beautiful scenery which was brought to him at the end of the journey the presence of Divine. It was impossible to imagine the scene that was occurred when he was blessed with this beautiful gift. Therefore, it can be said that how honorable prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was who could get this opportunity, which was never given to any of the previous prophets.
BAIT AL-MAMUR AND SIDRAT AL-MUNTAHA
Prophet (S.A.W.) then was shown Al-Bait Al-Mamur (Allah's House on top of all heavens). Upon inquiring about this place, Jibrael (A.S) told Prophet (S.A.W.),
This is Al Bait- Al-Mamur where 70,000 angels perform prayers daily and who attends it never will never be able to again attend this blessing. (Sahih Bukhari: 3207)
The Prophet (S.A.W.) was carried to Sidrat Al-Muntaha (a large Lote Tree which marks the end of heavens). Sidrat Al-Muntaha is the boundary which no creation of Allah can pass. Jibrael (A.S.) stopped at this tree whereas Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) is the only being who is allowed by Allah to pass this boundary.
Apart from this, it was the great night for the Muslim Umah, who was blessed with the 50 times prayer, which was requested to reduce to 5 times a day. Prayer is the source of strength that assist us to communicate with Allah make a close step towards Allah directly. Therefore, it was a matchless gift which was awarded to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for his ummah.
The return of Prophet to Home
Once prophet Muhammad (PBUH) met with other prophets and saw the beauty of heaven, he returned to Al-Aqsa then to Makkah. However, he saw different caravans which were taken place during his travel so that he can prove his miraculous journey towards Al-Aqsa and to the skies. However, it was unbelievable for people that this long route can be passed in a single night because the miraculous journey of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took place in a single night.
So this incredible story which took place at night, which remained a wonder and hope for Muslims of all times. Thus, it was the night when the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was given this honor to travel to paradise. Similarly, he was welcomed into the Divine Presence. Additionally, he made amazed to the people of heaven as well as on the earth because of the glorious event.
Once the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) returned to Makkah, then he discussed it with the people around him. Most of the disbelievers raised several questions from the Prophet. So, the disbeliever asked that if you are saying all truth, then describe the look and surroundings of Masjid Al Aqsa. However, he was asked by the disbelievers this question because the prophet didn’t go there before that night. Therefore, the Prophet of Allah was assisted by the Almighty Allah so he could see as exact as the Masjid Al-Aqsa looks like. Thus, the entire description was told by Prophet.
First, the Prophet (S) described the caravans he had overtaken on the way home and said where they were and about when they might be expected to arrive in Makkah; and each arrived as predicted, and the details were as he had described.
On the other hand, the Jabir Bin Abdullah narrated that he listened to the Messenger of Allah, who was saying that when Quresh were not doing trust over me, then I stood up in Al Hijr where Allah put the exact Jerusalem in front of my eyes and I started describing the Quraysh exactly.
Apart from this, the prophet of Allah described them that I was coming back from this journey I was watching some of your shepherds who were grazing their animals at some specific location. Similarly, they were also searching for the camel they lost there. Additionally, the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also described the features of the camel. However, they became amazed when their shepherd came back and told them whatever prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told them.
However, the blasphemers in Makkah who were denying admitted the description of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), but they still remained stubborn and denied from accepting Islam. It can be said that this glorious night cannot change the mind of someone because people are still unable to get the point. Therefore, their belief is still bereaved of the blessing of God.
To Remind Shabe Meraj
This glorious event has become an important day for the Muslims because we are the ummah of this Prophet, who is also honorable for Allah Almighty. However, this night provides the best lesson because it has offered us to do worship Allah. Similarly, one who does worship can be more close to Allah.
Besides this, Shab e Meraj the complete story gives the message that there is no one but Allah Who gives the witness of His presence through His Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Therefore, we must have faith in Allah and His Messenger Muhammad (PBUH). We need to celebrate this glorious night as we can refresh all the time this best night in our lives so that we can strengthen our faith more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the date of Shab e Miraj?
The most common view is that this incident took place on the 27th of Rajab during one of the early years while the Prophet (PBUH) was in Makkah. However, if we delve a little deeper, we find that there is no actual mention of this date in the Sunnah or Hadith. Therefore, theories about the date can not be proven, and we can not take them to be the ultimate truth.
How is Isra and Shab e Meraj celebrated?
We should celebrate Shab e Miraj in the same way we celebrate every single day of our lives. We should do the obligatory acts and do good, and try to avoid all evil deeds. As for specific celebrations or acts of worship, there are none for the occasion of Shab e Miraj. For example, we see specified acts of worship for Layla tul Qadr in the Sunnah. However, that’s not the case with Shab e Miraj.
Is Shab e Miraj mentioned in the Quran?
Allah discusses the events of Isra and Miraj in Surah al-Isra. However, this is mostly an outline of the events that took place. We can find more details and information in the Sunnah and authentic Hadith.
What happened on the night journey?
In brief, Angel Jibril came to the Prophet (PBUH) in Makkah and purified his heart. Then, he took him on Burraq to Masjid al-Aqsa, where Muhammad (PBUH) led the other prophets in Salah. After that, they ascended to the heavens, where Muhammad (PBUH) met many other prophets and spoke to Allah. Allah announced the obligation of the five daily prayers. It was initially fifty, but on Musa (AS)’s advice, Muhammad (PBUH) asked for reductions, which Allah granted him.
Did Muhammad (PBUH) see Allah during Shab e Miraj?
This is a common question that many people have. The correct answer is that the Prophet (PBUH) spoke to Allah, but he did not see Him. He talked to Him like Prophet Musa (AS) did during his time, but as confirmed by many Hadith and the Sunnah, he didn’t see Allah. The pleasure of seeing Allah is reserved for humans in the Afterlife. It will be one of the most significant rewards for the believers in Paradise, and they will be well pleased to have attained this great pleasure.