The Night Journey and the Ascension
  • “Glorified be He who took His slave on a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram1 to the Masjid-al-Aqsa2, the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him of Our signs.

    Approximately ten years after Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations of the Quran and after the death of Abu Talib and Khadijah Prophet Muhammad was presented with a white animal he described as being smaller than a horse but larger than a donkey, it was known as al-Buraq.

    The Angel Gabriel told Prophet Muhammad to mount the animal, and together they travelled more than 1200km to Masjid al-Aqsa. Prophet Muhammad walked into the Masjid to be met by a group of the previous Prophets; he then had the great honour of leading them in prayer.

    While still in the sacred precincts of Masjid Al-Aqsa, the AngelGabriel presented Prophet Muhammad with two cups,One was filled with milk, the other with wine, and both offered to the Prophet.

    Prophet Muhammad chose and drank the milk; Angel Gabriel then said to him “Thanks be to God, who guided you to the fitrah; if you had taken the wine, your followers would have gone astray.

    The Ascension

    Prophet Muhammad ascended to the lowest heaven in the company of Angel Gabriel from the rock In his sayings Prophet Muhammad described the size of the heavens; the first heaven, as compared to the second, is similar to a small ring in the desert, and he continued this narrative until he described the sixth heaven as being the size of a ring in the desert compared to the seventh heaven At each gate of the seven heavens, Gabriel sought permission to enter and the angels at the gates welcome them.

    In the first heaven, Prophet Muhammed saw his father Adam, the father of all mankind In the second heaven, he saw Prophet Jesus In the third heaven, he saw Prophet Joseph and described him as an embodiment of half of the beauty In the fourth heaven, he saw Prophet Idris who was described in Quran as being elevated to a very high level.

    In the Fifth heaven, he met Prophet Aaron. In the sixth heaven, he saw Prophet Moses In the seventh heaven, he met Prophet Abraham At each meeting, the prophets expressed their faith in Muhammed and his message.

    While in the seventh heaven, Prophet Muhammad was shown the building known as the much-frequented house (al Bayt al-Mamoor) it is the heavenly equivalent of the Kaaba in Mecca.

    Every day 70,000 angels visit this much-frequented house in the seventh heaven to worship God. Prophet Muhammad then moved through the seventh heaven to the uppermost boundary, to Sidrat al-Muntaha, “Near Sidrat al-Muntaha (lote-tree of the utmost boundary.

    Near it is the Paradise of Abode.” (Quran 53:14-15) Beyond Sidrat al –Muntaha is the realm of the hereafter, Paradise, and the throne of God and God himself. No one has gone beyond it except Prophet Mu-hammad.

    As he moves into this realm and stands in the presence of God When Prophet Muhammed returned to Mecca , he informed the crowd that he has been to Jerusalem and back The crowd of people started to laugh, whistle, and clap. They treated it as a big joke and fell against one another laughing. Among the crowd were people who had travelled to Jerusalem and they asked Prophet Muhammad to describe what he had seen.

    He did not remember small details and descriptions. However, Prophet Muhammad tells us that God showed him the details “right in front of his eyes” and he described what he had seen“stone by stone, brick by brick”.The travelers confirmed his descriptions.This event was such a test of faith The Sweetness of Faith To those whose faith was strong and true, like Abu Bakr when hereplied without hesitation “If the messenger of God said so, then it is true”. Although the Muslims with low faith, disbelieved.

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