Prayer Time

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All praises and thanks are due and belong to Allah; Who lifted up His servant from this earth to the seventh heaven without a rocket. May Allah’s peace and salutations be upon the Prophet Muhammad who was sent as a mercy to the whole of mankind. May Allah’s peace be on him, his family and all companions?

Isra’ literally means a journey by night and Mi’raj literally means an elevator or a ladder, i.e., an instrument that lifts something up. But, In Islam, Isra’ refers to a miraculous night-journey made by the last Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from Makkah to Jerusalem, and Mi’raj refers to the journey of  the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from Jerusalem, up to and out of the universe, through the seven heavens.

About this journey, the holy Qur’an declared:

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

Glory to Him who journeyed His servant by night, from the Sacred Mosque, to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed, in order to show him of Our wonders. He is the Listener, the Beholder”.(Al-Israa:1)

The exact date of this unprecedented journey is a matter of difference among the Muslim historians and the Jurists, however, suffice it to mention that it occurred before the migration of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Muslims to Madina in a duration opined by majority of scholars as between 12-16 months to such migration.

The lessons of this journey:

This journey is of immense lessons and contains dozens of expository wisdoms for humanity in general and to the adherence of Islam in particular.

Generally, this stresses the concept of ease after hardship, remaining firm during times of tribulations and afflictions and not giving way for weakness of faith when facing the forces of evil. If we go through hardship for the sake of our faith and we patiently bore this hardship, Allah will bless us with something greater. We should remember that this journey happened at a time of extreme adversity during the Prophet’s life and despite all the hardships, he remained steadfast and patient. Although the circumstances around him were enormously adverse, his faith was never shaken, hence he was rewarded with this wonderful journey.

It also teaches depending and relying on Allah during adversities and oppression. Whenever we are facing adversity, feeling weak, and oppressed, and all our means have been cut, we should go back to Allah, rely on Him alone, have faith, and be patient. The way to overcome our calamities and tribulations is by getting closer to Allah, by crying to Him, and surrendering ourselves totally to His will—while believing that whatever is happening is best for us.

In addition, this journey teaches us the lesson of speaking the truth and supporting it without fearing the blame of the blamers and the denial of the beliers. If Allah had guided you to the truth and made it easy for you to see it do not hesitate to declare because some people will not be please with you. The holy Prophet after his return from this unprecedented journey- the type of which the world had never seen and will never see – he did not hesitate to declare it among the disbelieving folk of Makkah. The infidels of Makkah thought it impossible to even think of such a thing let alone believe that it really happen, but his holiness peace be upon him, was not taken aback with this, rather, he went ahead and narrated what he saw in this journey which set the whole of Makkah into a whirl pool of mockery and denial. One of his companions and also a childhood friend of him who knew his trustworthiness, Abu-Bakr Siddeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) when he heard it quickly believed in him and said: you have spoken the truth oh Messenger of Allah!, go ahead and narrate , I believe in you. That day he (Abu-Bakr) won the divine title of Siddeeq ( the truthful-the highest spiritual state after prophethood)

We are also reminded by this great event of Isra and Mi’raj that before we experience victory, we will be tried. We should remain focused and direct ourselves to the right path while keeping our ultimate goal of reaching Jannah in mind. This will prevent us from deviating from the right path when we are tested. If we understand Islam, we will understand that no situation is too tough for us to handle as believers–we should face all situations with patience and contentment while relying on Allah to show us the solution.

The journey teaches us that sins and disobedience are sources of man’s condemnation to eternal suffering just good deeds, sound faith and obedience to Allah’s commandments are the basis of eternal bliss and joy in paradise. This was exemplified in the various kinds of people the Prophet saw in this journey being punished for committing certain sins in the world. The Prophet mentioned of seeing people being punished by the angels for lying, neglecting prayers, taking usury, women who were ungrateful to their husbands and complains a lot. He also saw the bounties and balconies of some believers in paradise.

It teaches that paradise (Jannah) and Hell are among the creations of Allah which are already in existence and that they never seize to exist.

It affirms that the holy Prophet Muhammad is the most beloved creation of Allah and the best of the Progeny of Aadam as he was made to see most of the great Prophets and Messengers in this journey and was their imam (leader) who led them in a prayer in the Aqsa Mosque. He also reached a place in the seventh heaven where no creature ever stepped including even the closest angels to Allah. He heard the message of his Lord without an intermediary between he and Him.

It tells how important the Aqsa Mosque is as it is the only mosque on earth where all the Prophets and Messengers prayed together with the imamship of the leader of the Prophets and seal of the Messengers; Muhammad (peace be upon him)

The journey affirms to us the importance of the second pillar of Islam; salaat. Whilst all other injunctions were given to the Prophet in this world, the salaat was given to him and his followers in the heaven. They were initially fifty (50) salaat daily but were reduced to five (5) daily but carries the reward of the initial fifty salaat.

Finally, it demonstrates the immense power and dominion of the Creator and lord of the world’s; Allah the Mightiest. It is scientifically and logically impossible for any human being to fly into the horizon and penetrate into the heavens till the seventh one and coming back just in one night. He left his people during their sleep and came back to them whilst they were asleep, subhanallah!. Billions of dollars from coffers of powerful nations are used to build rockets in years just to get to the closest planets to the earth. This teaches us that the word impossible that exist in the dictionary of Allah dominion and powers and that impossibility is not attributed to Allah almighty.

Finally , if this is the special status the Prophet Muhammad-peace be upon him-occupies in the sight of Allah doesn’t it befit us to follow his path and embrace his teachings? The deviation of some Muslims has even reached an extent that they invented certain acts of worship in the month this journey occurred; Rajab, using it to celebrate this great event. This has no any basis in Islam as the Prophet himself never reserved that day as a day of any kind of worship or celebration and neither did his companions and the pious predecessors of the best Islamic centuries. Allah knows best and may His blessings and salutations be upon the final Prophet, his family and all companions.

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