Saturday, 17 March 2012

Israk and Mikraj

Israk and Mikraj refer to 2 physical journeys which Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. experienced. Both journeys were bestowed by Allah SWT, to Nabi Muhammad, to show His Greatness and Control (keagungan dan kekuasaanNya). The Israk and Mikraj occurred 2 years before the Prophet's Hijrah to Madinah.


FIRST JOURNEY
The first journey was his travel from Masjidil Haram in Makkah to Masjidil Aqsa in Baitulmuqaddis in Palestine. The Israk occurred at night on 27 Rejab, in the 11th year of Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. becoming a Rasul (tahun ke-11 daripada kerasulan Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.). This journey is called Israk and is mentioned in the Quran in the 17th Surah (The Night Journey) in Surah al-Israa' Ayat 1.

17. Surah al-Israa' Ayat 1:

"Maha Suci Allah yang telah menjalankan hambaNya (Muhammad) pada malam hari dari Masjidilharam ke Masjidil Aqsa, yang Kami berkati sekelilingnya, untuk memperlihatkan kepada tanda-tanda kekuasaan dan kebesaran Kami. Sesungguhnya Allah jualah yang Maha Mendengar lagi Maha Mengetahui."

From the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement:

017.001
YUSUFALI: Glory to (Allah) Who did take 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: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).

PICKTHAL: 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.

SHAKIR: Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

SECOND JOURNEY
The second journey was his ascend from Masjidil Aqsa (took off from the Hanging Rock) to meet with Allah SWT at Sidratul Muntaha in the 7th sky (di langit ketujuh). Ustaz said Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. stopped short of Allah SWT's Kursi (Throne; Singgahsana Allah SWT) - under the Throne (bawah A'rash Allah SWT). This is depicted in the Quran in the 53rd Surah an-Najm (The Star) Ayat 13-18.

53. Surah an-Najm Ayat 13-18:

"Dan demi sesungguhnya! (Nabi Muhammad) telah melihat (Malaikat Jibrail dalam bentuk rupanya yang asal) sekali lagi di sisi 'Sidratul Muntaha', yang di sisinya terletak syurga 'Jannatul Makwa'. (Nabi Muhammad melihat Jibrail) ketika 'Siratul Muntaha' diliputi oleh makluk-makluk alam ghaib yang tidak terhingga. Penglihatan Nabi Muhammad tidak berpaling dari yang dilihatnya dan tepat (akan pemandangan yang indah dan tidak pula melampauinya. Demi sesungguhnya ia telah melihat sebahagian dari sebesar-besar tanda-tanda (yang membuktikan luasnya pemerintahan dan kekuasaan) Tuhannya."

From the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement:

053.013
YUSUFALI: For indeed he saw him at a second descent,
PICKTHAL: And verily he saw him yet another time
SHAKIR: And certainly he saw him in another descent,

053.014
YUSUFALI: Near the Lote-tree beyond which none may pass:
PICKTHAL: By the lote-tree of the utmost boundary,
SHAKIR: At the farthest lote-tree;

053.015
YUSUFALI: Near it is the Garden of Abode.
PICKTHAL: Nigh unto which is the Garden of Abode.
SHAKIR: Near which is the garden, the place to be resorted to.

053.016
YUSUFALI: Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!)
PICKTHAL: When that which shroudeth did enshroud the lote-tree,
SHAKIR: When that which covers covered the lote-tree;

053.017
YUSUFALI: (His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong!
PICKTHAL: The eye turned not aside nor yet was overbold.
SHAKIR: The eye did not turn aside, nor did it exceed the limit.

053.018
YUSUFALI: For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest!
PICKTHAL: Verily he saw one of the greater revelations of his Lord.
SHAKIR: Certainly he saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.

Hanging Rock (Batu Terapung) in the Dome of the Rock
This rock wanted to follow the Prophet s.a.w. up to the heavens but before it could do so it was stopped. It remained hanging till today as evidence of that night journey, 1434 years ago.

References:
  1. The text on Israk and Mikraj above is taken from the book Biografi Agung Rasulullah s.a.w. (2012) by Ustaz Rusydi Ramli Al-Jauhari, pages 156-158. The text continues on to page 160.
  2. The incident about the hanging rock was related by Affandi, who learnt it from his ustaz.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the occurrences of Israk and Mikraj really happened. This should negate all other accounts which wrote that it was only a dream. Israk and Mikraj was not a dream. To reiterate, Israk and Mikraj really happened and were real events that involved Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. His soul and body (roh dan jasad) really travelled.

Q&A

1) How fast was this night journey?

In the kitab by Sahih Bukhari, it stated that Ummu Hani' the Prophet's cousin, related that the journey was as short as 'the blink of an eye' (sesingkatnya perjalanan Israk Mikraj Rasulullah s.a.w. seolah-olah sekelip mata). It also mentioned that his bed was still warm when he returned (tempat perbaringan Rasulullah s.a.w. masih panas dan berbahang).

So we have to accept that the Israk wa Mikraj was a brief night-journey from the Grand Mosque in Makkah to Masjidil Aqsa and up to the 7th sky.

The details of the return leg is not explained here cos I don't have the text. But Rasulullah s.a.w. returned instantly and his bed was still warm.

2) Why did people think it was just a dream?

I think it is these (blink of an eye and his bed was still warm) that made people think it was just a dream. It wasn't a dream. It happened for real. The 2 Ayats above should suffice.

3) What do humans know about time?

We must remember that there are a lot of things that the human brain (though intelligent) cannot grasp and therefore refuses to understand, that Allah SWT has powers that make things fast, so fast that we fail to grasp that things really happened. It is I think the concept of time contraction which is also related to relativity, the same Theory of Relativity that Einstein miserably failed to explain to his scientific community. If he had been successful, he would have been a Muslim because it takes a beautiful Islamic mind to be able to correctly describe to the scientific world, the meaning and features of time contraction. Anyway, what Einstein tried to do was he took the e=mc2 formula off a Muslim textbook of physics and he cut short that formula to become e=mc2, for which he could not go further to tell the world that time is indeed a relative living entity, and that time is a flexible entity which is also compressible and expandable, i.e, time can contract and expand. And that was what the early Muslim physicists busied themselves with, and when it got out they mutilated that formula and it became a truncated e-mc2, that I think any student in first year physics can laugh at. It is sad that what the Muslims tried to prove (eg time contraction, time expansion) was taken wrongly and therefore, the world fails to understand the Powers of Allah SWT. But I think that Israk wa Mikraj is a superb example of what time contraction means. And that is the essence of time. E=mc2 is a truncated formula from a very long formula which I have seen and studied; the truncated missing part tells of time contraction, while e=mc2 tells only of relative time. Time is precious as stated in the Quran in Surah Wal Asri (Demi Masa). Time is precious as it can contract and it can be prolonged. In Israk wa Mikraj, time was contracted. In Akhirat, time is prolonged. If you study time carefully, you will see that scientists and time-keepers have to re-set time every few years because time is actually a living entity. As humans, we can only sense time, feel time is short or waiting time is long. We sleep all night and that is roughly 6-7 hours but it feels like very short. We cannot control how fast time goes but we can plan activities for different times.

4) What lessons can we take from the incidence of Israk wa Mikraj?

Israk wa Mikrah is important as the Prophet brought back information about solat, which is related to time and timing our activities in this life. Allah SWT sets the 5 solat times to mark or compartmentalise our daily time so we don't lose time and lose ourselves but we are free in between solat times to do as we please. Had humans been asked to do 52 prayers per day as initially required (instead of 5) that would be like a prayer every 30 minutes. Which means if I were to travel from KB to KL (which is an 8-hour journey), I would need to pray 8 times. So we are blessed by Israk wa Mikraj to have only 5 solat fardhu (wajib) per day and the other prayers are only sunnat.

5) What do others say of Israk wa Mikraj?

YouTube video on Kebenaran Peristiwa Isra' dan Mi'raj Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. (Tangan Bersyahadah)


6) Are there other things connected to Masjidil Aqsa?

Note: The text where it says "Masjidil Aqsa, yang Kami berkati sekelilingnya," is a very significant phrase, as it is telling us that the place surrounding Masjidil Aqsa is truly a blessed place and this is very real, even today. The land surrounding Masjidil Aqsa is so blessed that this is a fertile land that produces the best harvest.

Masjidil Aqsa (small blue dome) and Dome of the Rock (big gold dome)

If you read a blog written by a Jewish soldier who was sent to patrol the area, he calls the area al-Madinatul al-Muqaddasah and I think he knows that it is true. In his blog he wrote that while on patrol, his patrol unit came across things like plenty of fruit trees, grape vines with lots of grapes, tranquil life as if nothing matters in the war zone, life goes on peacefully (that is as much as I can recall reading his blog). That was written by a Jewish soldier and he wondered why he was even sent there - a place of complete peace. Even though we hear a lot of ugly stories about the area, Allah SWT protects Masjidil Aqsa and its surrounding - the blessed land that is fertile and produces the best food - one of which is olives.

In another account that I read, the best olives also come from this area around Masjidil Aqsa. More reading points to 2 types of olives - green and black (I will take up the olives in another post). That I think is why the text is very important and it is important for us to understand what Allah SWT is trying to tell us. And the Jewish soldier-boy's account in his blog of what he saw in that blessed land surrounding Masjidil Aqsa, is true, even though he does not know of this truth in the Quran.

7) What is meant by 'the 7th sky'?

You have to ask people who study the skies and the universe.

But I will relate to you what I have experienced while in various flights. The longest time I had flown was probably from San Francisco Airport in California to Heathrow Airport in London but I slept throughout that flight. The next longest flight was from Los Angeles Airport in California to Changi Airport in Singapore. The not-so-long flight was from Narita Airport in Japan to San Francisco. These long flights are useless because they don't leave an imprint on the mind. I learnt nothing of them. But in Umrah, the long flight from KLIA to the Hajj/Umrah terminal in Jeddah is a blessed journey. In this long flight, one can see day turning into night and also night becoming day. This is a blessed feeling and nothing can beat the feeling of seeing both events in one journey. These are the powers of Allah SWT. It relates to Creation of this Earth and how Allah SWT makes night and day, and weaves one into the other. There is a Surah about this in the Quran. Flying is an important experience as it teaches you the powers of Allah SWT.

In flight at dusk
At the break of dawn
What I learnt from the domestic flights when I flew MAS are some of what I treasure. The most beneficial time to fly is very early in the morning at Subuh, just as the sunrays break through the clouds - this gives you a feeling of Allah SWT's mighty powers. The other good time to fly is around Maghrib. At Maghrib, you will see the sunrays slowly disappearing and the clouds turn bright orange to red and blue hues as the night sets in. This should remind you of the time set for maghrib prayer. The instant the redness disappears and the blues hues set in is the timestamp of maghrib, and that is the most blessed time (I feel) and I usually cry when this happens in all the flights that I flew around at Maghrib. I take the window seat to observe Allah SWT's powers of turning day into night (Maghrib) and night into day (Subuh).



Sunrise
Sunset

1 comments:

Kelanaputera Dungun said...

Percaya kepada semua perkara yang ghaib adalah sebahagian daripada Rukun Iman...termasuklah peristiwa israk dan mikraj Nabi saw. pada malam yang penuh diberkati untuk menemui Allah Yang Maha Esa.

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