The

Chishti Nizami Habibi Soofie 

International Sufi Order

Pietermaritzburg

South Africa

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P

Isra and Me‘ra>j  

(SCIENTIFIC EXPOSITION)

Allah Y says in the Holy Qur'aan in the 17th Sura al-Isra [The Night Journey]: Verse 1:

Glory to (Allah Y ) 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).

Woh har Aalam kih rehmat heh, kissi Aalam meh rehjateh

Yeh unki meherbani heh, keh yeh Aalam pasand aaya

Woh har Aalam kih rehmat heh, Woh har Aalam meh rehte heh

Ba faize rehmatulil aalamien, rehmat hi rehmat heh

 Kya muqaddar heh Bu Bakr-o-Faruq ka,

Un ka ghar rehmatoh ke kazineh me heh

 Is liye Kaaba heh us taraf hi juka

Ghar Khuda ka Muhammad ke sine meh heh

I am deeply grateful to my creator Allah Y for giving us this opportunity to commemorate the greatest event in the history of mankind and of the universe, namely the Ascension or Me‘ra>j of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e. The exact date as to when it took place is controversial. Ibn Kathir t quoted a number of different scholarly views in al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (3/108) concerning the exact date of Isra and Me‘ra>j. 

Majority of the scholars support a date between 12-16 months before the migration to Madinah, they not only disagree about a particular day, but the month as well. However scholars belonging to the majority school of The People who follow the Prophet’s Sunnah and the Example of his Community (Ahl as- Sunna wa’l Jamaa’a) agree took place in the 11th Year after the announcement of Prophethood or 621 C.E., during the latter part of the 27th night of Rajab.

 The destruction of the Caliphate of Islam on March, 3, 1924 (27 Rajab 1342), the result of a diabolical conspiracy hatched by the British and the Zionist Jews, with the Saudis and the so-called salafi Wahabbis acting as willing accomplices rendered the Muslim World powerless. One of the major reasons for Muslim decline is that their faith and knowledge of Islam has declined. The impact of acquiring a very narrow, conservative Islamic education and regarding what we mistakenly call Western education, especially at a university level, as a vice has led some Muslims to reject important events in Islamic History, which have a spiritual effect. Most people know the Holy Prophet e in respect of his earthly constitution, in which he normally stayed and have failed to understand anything beyond this earthly status due to ignorance. There are certain ‘so-called’ scholars who teach and preach that the Me‘ra>j of the Holy Prophet e was only a dream, because they regard it as some spiritual experience. However, the belief of the entire Muslim world throughout the ages has been that the Me‘ra>j took place with his total personality and that the Holy Prophet Muhammad e went to the farthest regions of the universe, and stayed in the transcendental region up to a point where no creature has ever reached. This has been our belief, this has been the belief that Muslims have held throughout these 1400+ years.  This materialist theory that the Me‘ra>j was only a dream comes from those who do not understand the nature of this world, nor the human constitution. The materialists do not understand the laws under which this world functions, therefore, they try to interpret everything in material terms and in accordance with their defective knowledge. The greatest tragedy being that some ‘so-called’ Ulama graduates of conservative institutes have reinforced this blasphemous belief that the Holy Prophet e is just an ordinary human being basing it on their very defective understanding of the Holy Qur'a>n when in reference to the earthly status of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e Allah Y says in the Holy Qur'aan, in the 18th Sura, al-Kahf [The Cave] in Verse 110:   

O! Prophet! Proclaim to the people that I am nothing more than a human being, Mislukum'.

Many people have stumbled on this verse because this word Mislukum can be translated in two ways.  One translation leads to disbelief (kufr) whilst the other translation is the translation of Faith (Imaan).  It has been translated by some as being “like you “This is the translation on the basis of kufr.  This statement is the greatest falsehood against the Holy Qur'a>n and H{adi>th   and is blasphemous against the personality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e.Blasphemy leads a person to kufr.  No human being is like the Holy Prophet e. The implication of the verse is to emphasize the humanity of the Holy Prophet e so that Muslims do not fall prey, like others have, in view of his great qualities and miraculous powers that Allah Y has given him.  They may not fall into the misconception that he is ‘God’ or ‘Son of God’ like others have fallen before them. It is his divinity that is being denied here, not that he is like us. Although I and you and the Holy Prophet e are human beings, there is a world of difference in point of status, constitution of personality and powers. The verse emphasises his status with regard to the temporal or mortal world in which we live.

Remember Allah has said in the Holy Qur’aan in the 49th Sura, al-Hujura>t [The Inner Apartments], Verse 2:

O Believers! Do not raise your voices above the pitch of the voice of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e    and do not talk with him in the fashion, which you speak amongst yourselves. If you commit even this slight unconscious mistake, all your virtuous acts [prayer (s}ala>t), fasting (s}aum), pilgrimage (h}ajj), alms (zaka>t), and every act of virtue] will be annulled totally and you will not even know it.

What is this status?  You will forgive any insult done to you but you will never forgive any insult done to your beloved.  This is the law of love.  If for a single error, of disrespect to Alla>h Y's beloved, every act of virtue is annulled, how much must Alla>h Y love him?  He does not even give the blasphemer, the divine help (Taufiq) to realise he has sinned, thus the door of repentance remains closed.  Beware of this.  The great Possessors of Recognition (aarifeen), those who rose to spiritual eminence, they say:

  Adab gahez zehre asmah az arsh nazuk tah , Nafas ghum kar dami ayaad Junaid oh Bayazid  Jah

There is a place where respect has to be offered and that place is more delicate than the arsh of God, when great spiritual luminaries from amongst his followers like Hazrath Junaid Baghdadi t and Hazrath Bayazid Bistami t come to the Holy Prophet e   in word or deed, they come trembling

What are Muslims being taught? They have lost the source of blessing and they feel that they can get grace from Alla>h Y.The source of blessing as established by Alla>h Y is only the Holy Prophet Muhammad e.  There is no other source.  There are numerous blasphemous beliefs which are being propagated in the name of true Islam, genuine Islam and orthodox Islam and the beliefs of Muslims throughout these 1400 years are being challenged, as beliefs mixed up with superstitions, not the real beliefs and that these ‘so-called’ reformers have now come to know what Islam exactly was. But, The fact is that Islam is from Alla>h Y and whatever the sahaba were taught by the Holy Prophet e they transmitted to the tabieen , who transmitted it to the tabe-tabieen and coming to us through generations.

 A proper examination and analysis of the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e, when viewed in its totality, would surely reveal that his miraculous journey by night from Makkah to Jerusalem (Isra) and thence, through the heavens, to the special divine presence (Me‘ra>j), is a lesson for those who ponder on another dimension of his blessed personality, i.e. the transcendental dimension. The Holy Prophet Muhammad e did not have his body and spirit as two things, nor do I have it, nor do you. The body is only the manifestation of the projection in the spatial-temporal dimension of the soul. The real human personality is a point of light in intense motion. This point of light in intense motion is the transcendental factor which was created by Allah Y in the Garden of Eden and which was there and which projects itself in the spatial-temporal dimension and assumes the form of the body. When it projects itself only in the temporal dimension it assumes the form of mind. Mind is only temporal, whilst body is spatial-temporal. The moment this human personality withdraws itself, there is nothing left. This is the meaning of death. The consciousness is a part and parcel of the soul. We call it ar-Ru>h}. The word ru>h} in Arabic means the essence not the soul. Essence is the exact meaning of the word ru>h} .The Me‘ra>j In modern and ancient philosophy there has been given a vital importance to this distinction between the concept of essence and the concept of existence, as to whether essence or existence is the basic factor in connection with a certain thing. We say in Islam that existence precedes essence and that human beings existed in the knowledge of God. They were not then even essences but only ideas. When those ideas crystallized, the first form that they took was essence, which is the exact meaning of the word ru>h}  . The Arabic ar-Ru>h means ‘The Essence.’ This essence has evolved under the Divine Law for billions of years and emerged here in the spatial-temporal dimension as this person. It will travel away from here at the time of death. It will be the essence with all the accumulated properties which it accumulated in the process. So to say that, ‘I have got a body, mind and soul’ is the talk of ignorant people. A scientist, philosopher or Muslim i.e. a believer in the Holy Qur'aan, should not talk in this fashion. The most important contribution that the Holy Qur'aan has made in the history of mankind is the principle of Unity or Tauhid. We are ahle Tawh}}i>d  . Due to ignorance people understand Tawh}}i>d as being God is one. Again they are wrong for God is not one. If you say that God is one, i.e. numerically one then you are committing kufr because the numerical one is a finite concept whilst God is infinite. He is not an mathematical one. He is unity. There is a big difference between the concept of the numerical one and the concept of unity.

 

The Holy Prophet Muhammad e is the essence of the creation of the universe (ar-Ru>h al-qayina>t). The Qur'aan also bears testimony to this that the Holy Prophet e is the essence of creation. It explicitly affirms this fact when Alla>h Y asks the Holy Prophet e  to say in the 6th Sura al- An’a>m [The Cattle] Verse 163:

I am the first among Muslims

 Muslim here refers to the first thing or being to submit to the will of Alla>h Y and not the misuse it has been put to in these days of bickering. Muslim means all creation that submits entirely to the will of God.

In another verse Allah says in the 3rd Sura, A<l-i- ‘Imra>n [The Family of ‘Imra>n] Verse 83:

Everything in the heaven and earth is Muslim

Then, what would the statement, ' I am the first among the Muslims mean”? That the first being to be created by Alla>h Y was the Holy Prophet e.. It has been the consensus of Muslim belief which was challenged only in this period of Muslim decay and degeneration, under the impact of modern materialism, that the Holy Prophet Muhammad e is the nucleus of creation, for Alla>h Y  created the light of the Holy Prophet e and from that light He created the whole universe. In the H{adi>th quoted on the authority of muh}addith ' abd al- Razza>q t, (the eminent fore runner of Imam Bukhari t  and author of al-Mus}annaf) by Alla>ma Yusuf bin Isma> ‘il al-Nabha>ni t in Al-Anwa>r al-Muh}ammadiyyah min Mawa>hib al-Ludunniyah[1] t and quoted by Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi one of the very eminent ulama of Deoband in his book Nashrut teeb fi zikre Habeeb. Hazrath Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari t reports that the Holy Prophet e informed him that:

The first thing which Alla>h Y created was my light, and every other creation was created from my light."

 Science bears testimony to this fact today. Remember Science came to the Modern West from the world of Islam. It was the Muslims who after the conquest of certain parts of Europe, especially Spain that established the first universities, scientific observatories, laboratories and libraries on the soil of Europe and the first Christian scientists who, after centuries of darkness and ignorance, lit the torch of scientific knowledge in England, France, Germany and so on, were pupils of Muslim masters.[2]  Einstein was asked, ‘how did this universe come into existence?’.   He answered: ‘the entire universe must have begun as a point of light in intense motion and the point of light projected itself on the tape of extension and became space and the intense motion of that point of light projected itself on the tape of duration and became time’. The experiment of physical analysis is pursued on the principle of heat, by raising temperature and disintegrating a particular thing into its finer constituent particles prove that the essence of all matter is light. [Refer to Hubert Reeves, the Canadian Astro-physicist. Read his light radiation theory]. The essential human being therefore is a space less and timeless being. (ar Ru>h}   - the essence al- Asl). All matter is therefore ultimately anti-matter and all the properties of matter ultimately cease to exist, since the essential being was created in the transcendental world called al Jannah. When Allah willed the universe to exist He said, ‘Be Muhammad’ (kun Muhammadah). Therefore the real Muhammad e is the foundation of the universe and all creation came through him. Me‘ra>j (Ascension) can be understood in terms of a transcendental transformation of the personality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e by Alla>h Y  It should be noted that some scholars who subscribe to no adequate notion either of the nature of human personality or of the dimensions of the personality of a Messenger of Allah e - whose view of religious verities is, for all practical purposes, either ‘formalistic’ or ‘naturalistic’ – consider it necessary to explain away or minimize every supernatural, or metaphysical, element of the Holy Prophet e’s personality.

 

Alla>h Y says in the Holy Qur'aan in the 53rd Sura an- Najm [The Star]: Verse 1:

                                                         By the star when it goes down                                                        

Urdu transalation by Ala Hazrath Imam Ahmad Raza Khan t

Us pyaare chamakte taare Muhammad e ki kasam jab Me‘ra>j  seh uthre

I take an oath by that Beloved Shining Star Muhammad e’s return from the Meraj

This Chapter (Sura) of the Holy Qur'aan, an- Najm [The Star] , deals with the Me‘ra>j  of the Holy Prophet e. The first Verse (Ayat) is short yet it has a depth of meaning. Alla>h Y speaks of the Holy Prophet e and takes an oath (kasam) by him.

The origin of the universe

Najm means 'star'. As a noun it means ‘original' (Asl) or root, from where something originates. In Hadith literature for a Hadith that has no source or origin it is said,

Haza Hadith ullazi la najma lahu.

This Hadith has no source or root.

Root is from which something originates.

Imam Jaafar Saadiq t commenting on this verse states:

"An Najm Huwa Muhammadun e

Najm refers to the Holy Prophet Muhammad e    

Therefore the 53rd Sura an- Najm [The Star]: Verse 1 can be translated as:

"I swear by the Holy Prophet Muhammad e the origin"

The question that arises is the origin of what or whom! What is it associated with? Alla>h Y says, ' My Beloved Holy Prophet e is the origin of this entire universe.' The universe contains 'the creator' and 'the creation'. The Holy Prophet e is the origin of everything other than Allah. He is the origin of Jinn, Man, Earth, Heaven and Divine Throne (Arsh); i.e. of everything created. The personality of our beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad e is the most marvelous in creation. It is only through his human emergence in history that we have come to know him. But the real Holy Prophet Muhammad e is a cosmic personality. It is the foundation of the entire universe.

The one aspect of his personality is universal and the other is mundane (earthly). Alla>h Y says in the Holy Qur'aan, in the 21st Sura, al – Anbiya>a [The Prophets], Verse 107: 

O! Prophet!I have not sent you but as a mercy to all the worlds.

 All the worlds! This is beyond this earth and humanity. This is called the cosmic or universal level.  He is the mercy for the entire creation of Allah i.e. the universe.  Who else can be a mercy unto all the worlds than he from whose light the universe has been created? And when we were taught that the Holy Prophet Muhammad e is the medium (wasila) between man and God. How can it be otherwise? What else links this world with Alla>h Y except His first creation which is the light of Muhammad e. Alla>h Y is Almighty and does not need any wasila for Himself but He has made the universe and it is His mercy that the creation needs wasila  and human beings need wasila to realise Him. For His realization Alla>h Y kept himself hidden but He has made the wasila to know Him. How can a human being know Alla>h Y Allah is all Mighty and all Powerful, He does not need any wasila, but He has made a universe that is in need. The angels are intermediaries, mediating between Creator and creation, performing functions for Alla>h Y, and when it is said that the highest in Alla>h Y’s creation is the intermediary why do we not accept. If this room should be illuminated with lamps of one thousand watts each, everybody will go mad. The intense light rays will penetrate the brain. Imagine the Majesty of Alla>h Y , the Infinite Majesty and Grandeur, the Infinite intensity of His "Light" when He says in the 24th Sura, Nu>r [Light], Verse 35:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.

One most important attainment of the numerous extra-ordinary gifts and virtues given to the Holy Prophet e on the night of Me‘ra>j, is. the Holy Prophet e being blessed with seeing Almighty Allah Y. Allah Y has blessed the Holy Prophet Muhammad e with many virtues, gifts, blessings and as the Holy Qur'aan says [53rd Sura an- Najm [The Star]: Verse 11]:

For undoubtedly he saw, of the Greatest signs of his Lord!

Many deny that the Holy Prophet e was blessed with the vision of Allah Y in his Me‘ra>j saying that the being whom he saw was the angel Jibra’eel u (Gabriel). As for the H{adi>th literature both, the views, viz., ‘vision of Alla>h Y ’ and ‘vision of Jibra’eel u -are deducible. But as for the Holy Qur'a>n, it affirms the ‘vision of Allah Y’ in the transcendental dimension of existence, i.e. life in heaven, even for the true followers of the Messengers of Allah Y - not’ to speak of the Messengers of Allah Y themselves. The view reported to have been put forward by Lady Ayesha y[3] should be' taken to, relate basically to the impossibility of seeing,' Allah Y with the physical vision; and, as such, it is an absolutely correct view. The Holy Prophet e Me‘ra>j was; however, an event of unique nature in which it should be accepted that his sacred personality had been transformed by Allah Y from the physical to the transcen­dental dimension of existence[4] - the same dimension in which his true followers who, in their status, are simply non-entities as compared with his status as Allah Y’s greatest Messenger, will exist in Heaven, and will, therefore, be­come capable of being blessed with the vision of Allah Y:

Allah Y says in the Holy Qur'aan in the 75th Sura al-Qiya>mat [The Resurrection]: Verses 22 and 23:

Some faces, that Day, will beam (in brightness and beauty); Looking towards their Lord;

Allah Y says in the Holy Qur'aan in the 17th Sura al-Isra [The Night Journey]: Verse 60:

We granted the Vision which We showed you, as a test for men,

Hazrath Abdullah ibn Abbas t comments on this verse[5] as referring to the ‘vision of Alla>h Y’ on the Me‘ra>j. Those that deny the Holy Prophet Muhammad e was blessed with the Vision of Alla>h Y’s countenance are astray whilst those that accept without a doubt become testifiers to the truth i.e. Siddique. blessings and virtues were given to other Prophets in accordance with their status, but all these blessings and much more were bestowed upon our Holy Prophet Muhammad e. The combined blessings radiated in their full glory in the personality of the Holy Prophet e. But, the vision of Allah Y (ruya) and seeing the essence (didaar) was exclusively given to our Holy Prophet, Muhammad e.  In the verse of the Holy Qur'aan that I recited Allah Y says:

The blessed heart in no way falsified that what he saw.

Allah Y is saying that, ‘whatever was seen by the blessed eye of My Beloved was in no way erroneously registered by his blessed heart’. Meaning the seat of love or the source from which love flows into the entire universe, the nucleus of the soul of the universe, the heart of the Holy Prophet e validated what was seen by the blessed eye. How the blessed heart validated the didaar is an issue that needs to be explained in some detail (tafseer). Based on reports recorded on this issue from the time of the Companions (Ashaab) and the great Imams (aimma) there have been differences in the conclusions of the scholars (Ulama). Some have said that the Holy Prophet e did not see Allah Y whilst many sahaba, tabieen and aimma have adhered to the school of thought and stated that without doubt, the Holy Prophet e saw Allah Y. Those sayings of the sahaba in which it is stated that the Holy Prophet e did not see Allah Y are explained by them as meaning the Holy Prophet e  did not see Allah Y in this world and in no way is it a negation of the vision of the Holy Prophet e  during the Me‘ra>j

 

Allah Y says in the Holy Qur'aan, in the 6th Sura, al-An’aam [The Cattle], Verse 103:

No vision can grasp Him.

 The physical eye cannot comprehend Allah Y but on the in reference to the Me‘ra>j when it is stated by Allah Y in the Holy Qur'aan in the 53rd Sura an- Najm [The Star]: Verses 8 and 9:

Then he approached and came closer, And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer;

During the Me‘ra>j the Holy Prophet e  saw the entire universe-including Alla>h Y -from highest point.This was the station at which the Holy Prophet e was uniquely blessed at which point the all distances were removed, proximity (qurbat), union (wisaal) reached perfection (kamaal) and Allah Y radiated His essence on the Holy Prophet Muhammad e. Many sahaba have supported the vision of Allah Y by the Holy Prophet e including Hazrath Abdullah ibn Abbas t.  Imam Hassan Basri t when referring to the vision of Allah Y by the Holy Prophet e says, ‘I swear by Allah Y that my Holy Prophet Muhammad e saw Allah Y, he saw Allah Y, he saw Allah Y’. This was the level of his conviction. Imam Ahmad bin Hamnbal t,  on being asked if the Holy Prophet e  saw Allah Y said, ‘Most definitely, The Messenger of Allah e, saw Allah Y, he saw Allah Y, he saw Allah Y(Ra’a, Rasulullahi e, Rabbahu, Ra’a Rabbahu, Ra’a Rabbahu). He ecstatically continued saying this till he was out of breath. This means he had such certainty of this belief that he declares it with fervor. By making reference to the incident of Hazrath Musa u, at Mount Sinai understanding this matter and blending the three views will be made simpler. According to 7th Sura, al-A’raaf [The Heights], Verse 143, Hazrath Musa u at Mount Sinai (Tur) respectfully requested from Allah Y:

O My Allah Y! Bless me with a vision of You

The verse continues that in response to this request Allah Y replied:

[O My dear Musa u!] You cannot see me.

I have discussed this in my previous lectures and lessons on the Mi’raaj. The words lan tarani affirms this that Hazrath Musa u could not see Allah Y, but it did not say that it is impossible to see Allah Y or that none has the ability to see Allah Y. This answer, ‘you cannot see me’ (lan tarani) has hidden within it advice (wazaa’at) and the negation of the ability to see hides an affirmation that, ‘O Musa! I can be seen, by that eye that has been equipped through My abundant blessing with the ability to see Me, but My dear Musa! You don’t possess this ability’. Allah Y said in this 7th Sura, al-A’raaf [The Heights], Verse 143 :

[My dear Musa u!] I will manifest a radiation (tajalli) upon this mountain [tajalli refers to being unveiled] so you fix your gaze upon the mountain  if it can bear the impact of My radiation and stand firm in its place then you will see Me."

So the word tajalli refers to being unveiled and to unveil and radiate beauty: The verse continues:

When Allah Y unveiled His Beauty, Glory and Light on the mountain, the mountain could not bear the impact of this Majestic unveiling and it burned to ashes, and Hazrath Musa u fell down unconscious.

Allah Y had laid a condition in the Holy Qur'aan, ‘If the mountain remained steady (fa innistakarra maqanahu) then Hazrath Musa u, you would see Me’. Meaning if the mountain could have borne the impact of the radiation of Allah Y’s beauty and stood firmly then Hazrath Musa u would have seen Allah Y (fa sowfa tarani). Let us now comment on what Allah Y says in the Holy Qur'aan in the 53rd Sura an- Najm [The Star]: Verse 11:

The blessed heart in no way falsified that what the eye saw.

The method of revelation would be to have a reflector capable of reflecting His Majestic, Glorious, and Beautiful radiation. Allah Y through His grace brought the Holy Prophet e to the spiritual station (maqam) of ‘proximity of two bows forming a circle’ (qaba qowsain) and ahead to the spiritual station of ‘the thin line of glue sticking the ends of the bows together’ (ow adna). The blessed eyes of the Holy Prophet e that desired the Divine Vision most surely belonged to the Blessed physical body of the Holy Prophet e but the blessed heart of the Holy Prophet e was higher in status than the Divine Throne of Allah Y (arsh)[6]. The supreme spiritual station of the beloved’s heart was so great that Allah Y wished to bless His Holy Prophet e with a vision of Him at that maqam. The heart of the Holy Prophet e was used as the reflector (mazhar) and although the eye saw the Holy Prophet e says. ‘curtains of light could be seen, concealing the essence for I could only see light’ (nurun anna raha). So the blessed pure heart of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e was made by Allah Y into the reflector of His essence. On Mount Sinai , Allah Y only manifested a radiation of His attribute of Beauty (jalwa-e-sifat) not the manifestation of the radiation of His essence (jalwa-e-zaat). Prophets are reflectors of the manifestation Allah Y’s attributes (sifati mazhar), The Friends of Allah t (Aulia) are reflectors of the manifestation Allah Y’s names (ismi-mazhar), whilst the entire creation are reflectors of the manifestation Allah Y’s actions (afaali-mazhar). Exclusively, the Crown and Cause of Creation, the Holy Prophet Muhammad e is the manifestation of the radiation of Allah Y’s essence (jalwa-e-zaat). In him alone is integrated the manifestation Allah Y’s attributes (sifati mazhar), the manifestation Allah Y’s names (ismi-mazhar) and the manifestation Allah Y’s actions (afaali-mazhar). These are all the reflection of the  status (darajah) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e,but his excellence is this that through Allah Y’s grace he has assimilated in his personality the manifestation of the radiation of Allah Y’s essence (jalwa-e-zaat). Taking into consideration the conclusion, ‘No eye can see Allah Y therefore the Holy Prophet e did not see him’: Allah Y said, My beloved if the eye cannot see Me unveiled then I know that there is no restriction for your blessed heart (qalb). There fore We are making your heart the place of manifestation of the radiation of My (jalwa-e-zaat). I am radiating and manifesting on your blessed heart in such a manner that through being the mazhar of My essence it will reach the station (maqam) of la-makaan. As the radiations of My essence are radiating in la-makaan similarly your heart is radiating the manifestation of My essence (jalwa-e-zaat). As We said to Hazrath Musa u if the mountain could have borne the impact of the radiation of My attribute and stood firmly then Hazrath Musa u would have seen Allah Y (fa innistakarra maqanahu fa sowfa tarani). Similarly if your heart stands firmly bearing the impact of the manifestation of the radiation of My essence (zaat)  and the manifestation of the radiations of the essence of My Beauty (husn-e-zaat) and assimilates it within, unshaken and consciously then your eyes will look at your heart and see Me reflected therein. So if your blessed eye cannot catch sight of Me directly then I will radiate with My essence into your blessed heart’.

aainae dil me he tasweere yaar

Jab zara gardan jukali dekhli

In the mirror of my heart is the picture of my beloved

When I lower my neck, I see my beloved

‘So My beloved, when your eye looks at your heart, You will see My essence. My radiations will be in your heart. [Allah Y says in the Holy Qur'aan in the 53rd Sura an- Najm [The Star]: Verse 17]:

The Blessed eye (of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e) did not deviate, nor exceeded the limit


So the eye saw and the heart reflected [53rd Sura an- Najm [The Star]: Verse 11:

The blessed heart in no way falsified that what the blessed eye saw.

The eye saw and the heart verified the vision. Some may think that the Holy Prophet e could have seen something else but only the possessor; his blessed heart can be the verifier. . The difference was that Mount Sinai could not bear the impact of Allah Y’s attributive radiation, whilst the blessed heart of the Holy Prophet e could bear the impact of the manifestation of the essence. So the blessed heart saw the vision of Allah Y in such a way that it became radiant itself whilst the blessed eye saw Allah Y reflected in the heart. So both the eye and the heart saw. If only Mount Sinai stood firmly and could have become the mazhar of the jalwa-e-Ilahi then Hazrath Musa u would have seen the Divine Splendour. Neither did Mount Sinai nor Hazrath Musa u stand firm. Hazrath Musa u was rendered unconscious by the indirect radiation.

 When Hazrath Musa u regained consciousness he said [7th Sura, al-A’raaf [The Heights], Verse 143]

When he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to Thee! To Thee I turn in repentance,

Hazrath Musa u repented from his request but the desire to see Allah Y increased. Scholars (Ulama) have not written this bit my heart says that after the incident the desire must have increased many fold. Respect in the Court of Allah Y demanded repentance but that indirect contact and the beautiful loss of consciousness, giving a taste of contact must have ignited the desire. A slight taste ignited the prevalent desire. He who does not taste cannot have an appetite. Hazrath Musa u must have lived, in this temporal world and in the permanent abode of beauty with this burning desire to have a vision of Allah Y. The night of Mi’raaj arrived and the Holy Prophet e was returning then Hazrath Musa u must have said to Allah Y, ‘My Allah Y! Mount Sinai could not become the reflector of You, but the heart of Your Beloved e, has become the mazhar, so please fulfill my request and desire to see You’. Allah Y replied, ‘My dear Musa! I will grant My Beloved fifty salaah for his community and you wait on his path of return.  I know that eventually I will reduce it to five salaah but since you are also a beloved Prophet of Mine I will satisfy your desire. When you meet the Holy Prophet e enquire as to how many salaah was given. When he tells you the amounts, ask him to return to Me to request a reduction’. Most books report that initially at Mount Sinai, Hazrath Musa u had requested nine times to see Allah Y and that this meeting between Hazrath Musa u and the Holy Prophet Muhammad e occurred nine times and the Holy Prophet e  was sent back to reduce the salaah nine times. So the nine requests of Hazrath Musa u were fulfilled when he saw the Holy Prophet Muhammad e. So people say that the Holy Prophet e did not see Allah Y, whereas we say, ‘Not only did he see Allah Y but he reflected from his blessed heart the reflection of Allah Y to those who could not see’. He beheld the Divine Countenance and showed it to Hazrath Musa u. So the Holy Prophet e became the perfect reflector wherein Allah Y’s attributes, names and essence manifests (mazhar). Therefore when the Holy Prophet e returned he stated (mar-ra’ani faqad ra al-Haq) ‘He who has seen me has seen Allah Y’. 

Jamali Kanboh, an Indo - Persian poet of the late 15 century summed up the essence of this in a famous couplet. He said,

 

"Musa Bahosh raft bayak jalwae sifat, tu ain zaat minagari dar tabasumi

Musa went out of his mind by a single revelation of the Attributes, you see the essence of the Essence, and still smile."

 Everything in this world is constantly in need of the "Light" of Alla>h Y’.Nothing in this world can survive without that radiation of Divine Light flowing into it. Unless the proper connection between this universe and Alla>h Y remains, this universe will vanish. Just as we use transformers to step the voltage down, Almighty Alla>h Y  created the "First transformer", the "heart" of the Holy Prophet e  to link this world to Alla>h Y. This status of Wasila was given to our the Holy Prophet Muhammad e   because he is the nucleus of the existence of the universe. Thus Alla>h Y says in the Holy Qur'a>n regarding this universe in the 3rd Sura al-i-Imraan [The Family of Imraan]: Verse 185:

The life of this world is but fleeting images.

Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ansari t translates the word mata’al guroor as fleeting images. Ibn Kathir t in his explication[7] (tafseer) of these words explains it as ‘mean and vanishing’. Of course this world and all it contains is a projection of Alla>h Y saying (kun Muhammada) ‘Be Muhammad e’. My love tells me that on the night of Me‘ra>j the projection of kun was withdrawn hence no images remained. The total personality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e was ushered into the Divine Presence and hence the entire world ceased to exist.

Dil jis se zinda heh who tamanna tumi toh hoh

Ham jis me bas rahe he woh dunya tumi toh hoh

The universe resumed functioning as soon as he was ushered back into it. The fact that we live in a functioning world is proof of the presence (haazir) of the ‘soul of the universe’ or (ar-Ru>h al-qayina>t). Therefore, unless we understand the personality of the Holy Prophet e the events of the Me‘ra>j   would remain inconceivable and dogmatic or we will doubt that the event occurred. When the world stopped functioning, this was a close/intense meeting of the ‘independent’ Light of the Creator (Nure Uluwiat.) and the ‘created and dependent’ light of the Holy Prophet e (Nure Muhammadiat). Nothing existed except the Light of the Holy Prophet e (nure Mustafa). How long Allah kept the nure Mustafa in His presence. What must have been the effect of this proximity and what the Holy Prophet must have brought when he was sent back? Remember if someone gets close to a being that has the strength to affect whatever is near it and the one near has the strength to receive the effect, then some effect had to take place. E.g. when a piece of iron is put into the fire, that has the power to transfer and iron has the power to take. The piece of iron after being encompassed by the fire, acquires the attributes of the fire and is red hot and able to burn. Ask the piece of iron where it acquired heat and the ability to burn? It answers I was in the company of an existence which was hot and I was close to that existence. That which was in me, got annihilated and that which was in that existence I assimilated. This is called 'the effect of company' or (suhbat ka asr). Remember, all the prophets proclaimed the Tawh}}i>d  but only the Holy Prophet Muhammad e   is a witness to the Unity of God. Others have based their testimony on the basis of knowledge (ilm), certainty (yaqeen), audition (sama’at) but none on witnessing (ru’yat). The Possessors of Faith, the Inmates of Paradise will see The One Allah (al-Waahid). What will be seen and felt cannot be explained nor understood. They will see al-Waahid but will not see His Oneness (wahdaniyah). Unity cannot be witnessed but our Holy Prophet e saw both once on his initial creation (meelad) and again in the Me‘ra>j. All differences were abolished here, except one; he is the created whilst Allah is the creator. The Qur’aan says in 4th Sura, an- Najm [The Star] , Verse 150,

Do not make differences between or separate Allah and His Messengers

According to the H{adi>th the Angel Jibra’eel u came and performed a surgical operation on the Holy Prophet e  and the vehicle, Burraq ­an electrically propelled vehicle, (lightning - from barqun ) came. It's a scientific fact that if we travel in space indefinitely we would reach the outskirts of the visible cosmos in about twenty billion years provided that we travel at the speed of light (barq) i.e. 186 000 miles per second (300,000 km/s). The Holy Prophet Muhammad e traveled the multiple (burraq) speed of light. They reached a point where Angel Jibra’eel u said that neither himself nor his vehicle could go any further, because they will be destroyed beyond that point. All these utterances were made in history when no human being had any idea of electricity or an electrically propelled vehicle. This idea was used fourteen hundred years ago, and has become a reality only today! If the hadith was a forgery, how could a person think about it that time? Therefore, how can one think that the ascension of our Holy Prophet e   was impossible. The human being is essentially a spaceless and timeless being. Such was the Holy Prophet e  whose nature could overcome the limits of time and space.

 

This human personality has different "modes" or "gears". The normal "gear" keeps us to this earth. But if the other "gear" can be used, which has been used by Alla>h Y  Almighty, through that operation which has been spoken of in the hadith, his level of existence was changed. It was changed to his own nature - a spaceless and timeless being. Thus, he was not limited by space and time.

 

We know about different types of time: mechanical time, psychological time, biological time, metaphysical time, serial time, plus time, minus time, zero time, etc. The nature of minus time is such that if one travels in minus time that person actually reduces in age. These are the teachings of the scientists. The Holy Prophet Muhammad e journeying upwards through plus time and beyond brought him back to his original state of creation i.e., nur.  Similarly with light (nur) of which there are different types: alpha rays, beta rays, gamma rays, x-rays, infra-red, ultra-violet rays, etc. The laws that govern these different types of rays are not the same. Now imagine that the vehicle that was sent by Almighty Alla>h Y was made in such a fashion as to exceed the speed of light. In how much time could it have traveled five hundred kilometers? Probably in zero time! In no time would he have arrived at zero time. Then we have minus time.We should try to understand the event of Me‘ra>j   by observing the natural phenomena and the laws Alla>h Y placed in them.

 

May Almighty Allah grant us the understanding to accept this message and make us people who acquire al-ilm and extreme love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad e Then only can we reclaim al-Haram al Kaaba and al-quds  from the Saudis and Yahudis

 

Irshad Soofi Siddiqui , 27 Rajab 1426, 1 September 2005


[1] Al-Anwa>r al-Muh}ammadiyyah min Mawa>hib al-Ludunniyah, page 12, Beirut 1310 A.H.

[2] Ansari F.R. ; Qur’aanic Foundations and Structure of Muslim Society, Volume  One, Chapter 2, page 35

[3]

[4] Qualitative transformations are all the time taking place in Nature. Thus, the view presented here is in accordance with the Natural Law. Also: this view synthesizes the partial views in which one school of thought-the minority' school-emphasises that Me‘ra>j was just a 'spiritual' experience like other spiritual experiences, in which the Holy Prophet's soul alone was the subject of experience, while the other school - representing an overwhelming majority of Muslims in history -gives prominence to the participation of the Holy Prophet e’s body in that entire event!.

[5] Nadvi. Sayed Sulaiman: Sirat un-Nabi, Page 427

[6] al-arsh: The Divine Throne. Allah Y , Who is without place, created a heaven called al-arsh where the radiations of His Essence are centered. This Throne upon which Allah Y  "sits" is the seat of those Divine Names that are bound to a place (muqayyidah). The Divine Word (al-kalimat al-ilahiyya) which descends from Allah Y contains the Sacred Law within which is all knowledge. The "place" of Unity of the Word is His Throne (al-arsh). Beneath the Throne is His Footstool (al-kursi) where the Word becomes differentiated into rulings (hukm) and reports (khabar). And, although the earth and the heaven do not contain Allah Y the heart of His slave does contain Allah. Such a heart is al­-arsh. It is the heart of the Lover of Allah Y  and around it the spiritu­al realities circle. Al-arsh is the universal manifestation taken in its total unfolding. The greatest heart is that of the Holy Prophet Muhammad e All knowledge and love are an overflowing from his heart.

 

[7] Al-Hafiz Imad al-Din abu fidaa Ismail bin Kathir Ibn al Dimishki t. Explication of the Holy Qur'a>n Volume 1, Page 352

 

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