Shab E Meraj
Moulana Javed Jafri
September 23rd 2003
Aamal include 12 rakat namaaz in 6 sets of 2 rakats
Shab E Meraj and Roz E Besat. The night is one of noor and the next day is one of rehmat and karamat. I have recited an ayat from Bani Israeel Ayat no 1.
[Pickthal 17:1] Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far distant place of worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 17:1]
This verse is about the physical ascension (mi-raj) of the Holy Prophet to the highest station in the heaven.
The mi-raj; is usually dated to the 27th night of the month of Rajab in the year before hijrat. While the Holy Prophet finished his night prayers in the house of his cousin, Ummi Hani, the sister of Ali ibn Abu Talib, the angel Jibra-il came to him with the invitation of the Lord of the worlds to have a journey to the highest heaven. Jibrail first took him to the Ka-bah (the Masjid al Haram) and from there he was taken to the farthest masjid in the heavens. Although aqsa means "the farthest" but most of the translators and commentators confuse this word with the name of Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem. Farthest is an adjective used to refer to the masjid in the most distant heaven. The distance between the Masjid al Haram and the Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem is not more than a few hundred miles which cannot be described as farthest. Moreover, the journey to Jerusalem was meaningless when the divine purpose was to show the Holy Prophet the wonders of the glory of the kingdom of Allah. If Allah had selected an earthly place to do this He could have chosen the Masjid al Hama.
According to the Ahl ul Bayt the mi-raj was a physical ascension, not a vision or dream in sleep or slumber, because even ordinary men see such things in their dreams. It was no doubt a spiritual realisation but attained by an actual journey. To bring the position of the Holy Prophet to the level of ordinary mortals, A-isha and Mu-awiyah had reported that the mi-raj; was only a vision. In view of what history and traditions say about the credibility of these two reporters, a large number of Sunni authorities have rejected their point of view and have accepted the fact that it was a physical ascension. Please refer to Aqa Puya's essay "Genuineness of the Holy Quran" to know about what is written about A-isha in Sahih Bukhari, and as for Mu-awiyah there are no two opinions about his hostility towards the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, and for his deceit, cunning and falsehood refer to At Tahrim: 4 and Muhammad: 22. Those who doubt the great miracle of the physical ascension of the Holy Prophet wrought by Allah should also doubt as to how Allah could create the universe out of nothing, or how He could make virgin Maryam give birth to Prophet Isa, or how could Isa preach the message of Allah from his cradle as a just born infant, or how could Allah split the sea to save Musa; and how could the several other miracles mentioned in the Quran take place if the doubters insist upon empirical justifications. The physical journey of the Holy Prophet to the arsh in the highest heaven known as mi-raj; is an unheard of wonder of the world since its beginnings and shall remain so to its end as the greatest miracle of the Almighty Lord of the worlds.
Among the celestial lights, where he received from Allah order for the five daily prayers, he saw his own name together with that of Ali inscribed in the kalimah.
"There is no god save Allah, Muhammad is His Prophet and Ali is His wali."
In the heaven Allah showed him Ali and said:
"O my Prophet Muhammad, I have given you Ali to be your vicegerent and successor. Peace be on you from your Lord, and His grace and His bounties."
Then all the secrets of creation and what happened in the world since its creation and what will take place were disclosed to the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet said:
"Peace from the Lord be on all the righteous servants of Allah, and peace be on all of you (O angels), and His grace and His bounties."
When the Holy Prophet returned to Makka from his journey, before he related his experience, Ali began to give every detail of his journey, which proves that in every single step the Holy Prophet had taken during his journey Ali was with him; and this is the reason on account of which the Holy Prophet said:
"I and Ali are of one and the same light."
In the bygone days ignorance might have prevented people to believe in the physical ascension of the Holy Prophet as the most beloved friend of Allah-habiballah, and his having attained the highest and the subtlest realisation of Allah's being, and seeing Ali face to face in the highest heaven, but there is no ground for the people of this age to deny it in the midst of advancement of science and technology, the step by step awareness of the laws, made by Allah, governing the operation of the universe, with the help of which man is exploring the so far unknown frontiers in the space.
Also refer to the commentary of An Najm: 8 and 9 and books of history for the event of mi-raj.
Aqa Mahdi Puya says:
The terms ascension and descension are used to explain the order of creation and the movement of cognitive self through the various spheres of finite beings to the absolute and from there coming down again through the various spheres of abstract and spiritual beings, of more comprehensive nature, to the lowest finite world. This journey is intellectual as well as visual.
The intellectual journey is experienced by all seekers of truth with the help of spiritual faculties, not bound by the physical senses. The visual journey begins from the highest point of the intellectual achievement, using it as a base, and proceeds upwards through the various spheres of the spiritual beings to higher and still higher levels till it reaches the absolute, and again comes down to its base. There was no prophet who did not have this visual experience of ascension and descension, and, as said in al Baqarah: 253, each had it in keeping with his potential, during sleep or wakefulness or in a state in between them, once in a lifetime or often times as the Holy Prophet had done. being the superior-most of them all. Not only the Holy Prophet but also his divinely commissioned successors (the Imams of the Ahl ul Bayt) who, in soul and body, were from him and 11e from them, and all of them were of one and the same divine light and origin, had the visual experience of ascension to the absolute many a time,
The Quran in verse 33 of Ar-Rahman says that man can cross the bounds of the heavens and the earth if he possesses the authority and has the power (knowledge of the laws enforced by Allah) to do so. Therefore the theories based on ignorance from the laws made by Allah should not be given any importance when they are put forward to deny not only the physical ascension of the Holy Prophet but also all the miracles wrought by the prophets of Allah and His chosen representatives .
Besides Ali ibn abi Talib and the Imams of the Ahl ul Bayt, a great number of reliable companions and scholars such as Ibn Abbas, Ibn Masud, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, Hudhayfah and Ummi Hani have confirmed the disappearance of the Holy Prophet from his bed in the house of Ummi Hani. So far as the physical and the dimensional aspect of the journey is concerned, it was undoubtedly physical. There is no logical, reasonable and scientific argument to prove its impossibility. As the end of the ascension was the full realisation of the aosolute, while passing the boundaries of physical realm, under the influence of divine light, his whole physical aspect was totally spiritualised and transcended the properties of substance and corporeality. It was a total transcendence of the Holy Prophet into a spiritual entity. Descension means his reappearance in his physical form. Only those who know and believe that he was a light, the first created being, and the last and final messenger of Allah can understand his ascension to the farthest stage where Allah's cognition is achieved in the highest realm of creation, referred to in this verse as the masjid al aqsa, the environment of which is blessed by His signs shown to the Holy Prophet.
Many a traditionists and commentators has dealt with his ascension at length in detail. A few points discussed by the great scholar Tabrasi in his commentary, Majma-ul Bayan, are stated below.
The physical ascension in the state of wakefulness has to be accepted. There is no doubt in it.
Some of the details given by the traditionists and commentators about what the Holy Prophet did and said during his ascension journey are not reasonable and in agreement with the articles of the faith. There is no room for any proper interpretation except that he visited the heavens, met all the prophets, saw paradise and hell, and fully comprehended the operation of the absolute omnipotent authority of Allah, but all that which is narrated about his talking to Allah seeing Him and sitting with Him on the arsh should be totally rejected because it is out-and-out anthropomorphism which is far from the glory and absoluteness of Allah.
Neither was his chest opened nor washed, because he was free from all evil (dirt), and if there was any spiritual dirt, washing with water would have not served the purpose. All this nonsense was evidently borrowed from anthropomorphist theories of the pagan and Christian creeds by the thoughtless narrators who thought that they should also attribute to their prophet all that which the others had done to their religious leaders.
Two "traditions" from that department are repeatedly described by the Christians, the Ahmadis, and a group of the Sunnis; these are:
'Ayishah, wife of the Holy Prophet, is alleged to have said that during the whole night of the Ascension, the body of the Holy Prophet was on the bed.
Mu'awiyah said that The Mi'raj was a "true dream."
Now the fact is that the Mi'raj (whatever its interpretation) took place in Mecca one or three years before the Hijrah. Bibi 'Ayishah did not enter the house of the Holy Prophet till one year after Hijrah. How could she say that she did not miss the body of the Holy Prophet at that time?
There is only one possible explanation: This "tradition" was forged by someone who did not know the sequence of Islamic history. Otherwise, he could not have attributed this "tradition" to 'Ayishah.
INITIAL QUESTION: I have question about "Miraj"; Did Holy Prophet see God or speak to Him on this occasion and are there any prophets who had done so. ANSWER: Our belief in Allah is such that nobody has ever seen nor will anybody ever see Allah. Some Sunnis do believe that they will see Allah on the Day of Judgement, but we believe otherwise. However, speaking to the Holy Prophet - Yes, according to the narrations recorded about the whole incident of Me'raaj, Allah did talk to the Holy Prophet (SAW). An interesting point here is that the various modes of revelation recorded in History are either through Jibrael (as was for most of the Prophets including our Prophet); or through dreams (as in the case of Prophet Ibrahim); or by creating speech (as in the case of Prophet Musa); or direct speech - that was priveleged only to our Holy Prophet - him being the best of all Prophets. References: Nasikhut Tawarikh - Vol III (quoted in Kalimatur Rasulul A'azam) 'Ulumul Qur'an by Dawood Al-Attar With Salaams and Duas Mustafa
PHILOSOPHY OF MERAJ
The first man Adam (AS) was created. The angels were made to prostate in front of him. He then commanded Adam and Hawwa to live in jannat. This was so that man would be able to witness that jannat exists to subsequent men. Adam was shown jannat only. Prophet Mohammed (AS) was a witness to both Jannat and Dozakh. Adam was not shown dozakh as there were no sinners in dozakh. By the time of the Prophet after a lot of Prophets had passed dozakh was full of a lot of sinners as they have not followed the Prophetic proclamations.
As you are sitting in this gathering you can observe your surroundings but your observation is limited. As you stand or go to a higher location your observation is increased as you can see further. Similarly sattelite in space increase the observed area. As you keep going higher your observation and knowledge increase. On the day of Meraj Allah raised Prophet Mohammed to a very high position in his creation and showed him all his Ayat and creation. The Ilm given to Rasoolallah (AS) was converted to visual proof on the Day of Meraj.
The word used in this ayat for the Prophet is abd or slave.
Imam Jaffer (AS) in a discourse on akhal and logic to one of his followers defined the properties. He tells Hisham that the more that a slave prostates in front of Allah; Allah raises his slave to a similar height. However you prostate in proportion to your strength however Allah raises you much higher. Therefore from the height Prophet Mohammed (AS) was raised you can estimate how much he has prostrated in front of Allah.
Prophet came so close that there was a distance of two kamaan (arches) between them. Allah then did wahi on his abd as befitted him.
Allah has given a command to stay up all night in prayer on 4 days in the year and this is one of those nights. Laylatul Mahiyya or night of staying up is tonight.
Ibn E Batatuta states that as he was traveling and reached Najaf on 27th Rajab. He observed that people who were ill and disabled from all over Iraq were being brought to Najaf. A rope was tied to the Roza of Ali Ibn E Abi Talib and they would pray all night. These people would then be cured. IT should be borne in mind that Ibn E Batatuta was not a shia.
Roza for 28th Rajab has also been commanded and the benefits of this roza are limitless. This was the day that the first ayat was revealed.
PROPHET AND MERAJ
Meraj started in Mecca. The Prophet states that Gibreel came with a white horse Burakh. There is a big debate ongoing for many centuries as to whether the Prophet did spiritual or physical meraj. As it is stated that Burakh was needed it is obvious that meraj was physical and not spiritual.
Burakh stopped at one spot on his journey and Rasool Allah was asked to pray here Toor E Sina. This is where Allah had given wahi to Moses. The next spot where Burakh stopped was where Prophet JEsus was born. Then in the masjid e aqsa he met all the Prophets. He then led the prayer for all the Prophets therefore he is also called Imam of the Prophets.
Then Burakh took to the skies. When they reached the first asmaan an old man was seen he stated that he is Adam (AS). Albert Einstien has stated the theory or relativity. The first principle is that one cannot travel faster than the speed of light. If something travels close to the speed of light it would seem as though time has stopped. Therfore if something travels faster than light then time reversal is possible. The speed of the Prophet on the day of Meraj was not barkh (light) but barrakh (faster than light) therefore it is feasible to meet Adam (AS). In this world the Prophet went faster than light therefore was able to meet Prophet Adam (AS) it is feasible that Imam Mehdi (AS) is travelling with the speed of light therefore he is able to stay on this world until the day of judgement.
At the same spot he saw Malik Ul Mout (Israeel) angel of death. Israeel gave his salaam to the Prophet. The Prophet asked him how is he able to khabs the rooh of a person dying all over world. Allah has given Israeel access to the entire world. He then asked the angel if he ever laughed or ever cried in his existance. Israeel indicated that such things happened. He indicated that a lady was helping two of her children cross a river one at a time. When the lady reached the center of the river Allah asked Israeel to khabs her rooh. At this time I cried. Then I laughed when Allah made one son the ruler of the east and the other the ruler of the west.
Then a loud voice was heard. Gibraeel stated that Allah had asked me to throw a stone into hell 4000 years ago (time not of this earth) and that stone has reached the bottom of hell today. THis gives one an estimate of the size of hell. Then the prophet saw heaven and his own houses in heaven and the houses of Hasan and Hussain.
Allah emphasizes abdiat and not risalat when he talks of Meraj as abdiat is man praying to ALlah however risalat etc are attributes that Allah has granted the Prophet. Allah wants to make it clear that Rasool is on Meraj due to his abdiat not due to his risalat.
On the day of his marraige Moosa (AS) saw a light. He told his wife he will go and bring some fire. Allah did his wahi on Moosa and the first statement was that Allah asked Moosa to take his shoes off. THe Imam's teach that this is a metaphor for love of family. Allah states that in order to come close to him he needs to shed love of other things. Allah raised Rasool to very high heights however at no place did he indicate that Rasool ALlah had to remove love for anything else from his heart.
At the second sky he saw Prophet Jesus. On the third sky he sees Prophet Yusuf. On the fourth sky he sees Prophet Idris. He is one of the four Prophets who Allah has suspended and will reappear on the day of reappearance of Imam Mehdi. On the 5th sky Prophet Haroon, on the 6th Prophet Moosa and on the 7th
Then he was raised to the position of 2 arches or less from Allah. This uncertainty does not restrict or place a limit on Allah. All this happened while Prophet's bed was still warm, water for his wudu was still being poured. This can only happen if one accepts relativity as a fact. If one removes a battery from a clock the hands stop until the battery is replaced. In a similar fashion Rasool is the heart of entire creation and removing him for Meraj put all creation at standstill until he returned.
He has raised the skies and left mezaan on the earth. Asmaan means elevated above you. Rasool reached the highest point in the universe. On the day of Meraj entire creation was lower than the Rasool. Allah raised Prophet to him and the noor of Imam Ali brought prophet Mohammed back to Earth on the day of Meraaj.
MORALS FROM MERAJ
These have to do with the people seen in hell by the Prophet (AS). Bibi Fatima has a hadees from the Prophet. This pertains to sins of women (and men). Rasool indicated that on the day of Meraj he saw some of the women in extreme punishment a women was hanging by her hair and her brain is being boiled in oil. Another hanging by her tongue and her fleash is falling off. Another was tied to the floor and scorpions are walking on her. Another is in a closet of fire.Another is being snipped by scissors of fire. The one hanging by her hair is being punished for not hiding her hair from na-mehram. The one hanging by her tongue scolded her husband. THe one hanging by her chest did not agree with her husband. The one tied to the floor was decorating her body for other men. The one who has the body of a pig and donkey was a backbiter. One who has fire going through her was a singer. The woman who keeps her husband unhappy is to be pitied.
The man who takes interest on money
The one who does not pray
The one who is a disbeliever
were also described by the Rasool