Al-Isra – The Night Journey, wal-Miraj – The Miraculous Ascension was a miraculous wakeful journey of body and soul. Brought to The Prophet by Jibril عليه السلام, the journey took place on Buruq, a unique steed who was described as being larger than a donkey and smaller than a mule. Each stride of Buruq would carry The Prophet ﷺ as far as the eye could see (Bukhari and Muslim).
In a single night, The Messenger of Allah ﷺ travelled from the Kaaba in Mecca to Masjid al-Aqsa and then ascended heaven to reach Allah’s presence. Where no created being has gone before or since. On this night the 5 daily prayers were ordained for the Ummah of Muhammed. Al-Isra refers to the night journey, Miraj refers to the Holy ascension from Al-Aqsa to the highest reach of heaven, where no other creature, jinn, angel or human has reached. Although there is a difference of opinion regarding the exact date of the journey, most Scholars uphold that it was 18 months prior to the Hijrah (migration) to Medina.
Beyond here even the Angels can not pass. Specific revelations given by Allah to His Beloved Messenger, including the 5 daily prayers (this began as a total of 50, but was lowered upon the advice of Musa to The Prophet who returned back to Sidrat al-Muntaha Allah and requested this be lowered for fear His Ummah could not fulfil this obligation).
The Frequented House.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “Then I was shown Bayt al-Ma’mur. I asked Jibreel عليه السلام about it and he said, This is Bayt al-Ma’mur where 70,000 angels daily arrive and perform prayers. When they leave they never return. Bukhari and Muslim.
An exact replica of the Kabah outside the realms of human existence. It is located directly above the Kabah in the seventh heaven.
He ﷺ was approached by Jibil عليه السلام who offered him 2 vessels, one containing wine and another containing milk. When he ﷺ chose the milk, Jibril عليه السلام said “you have chosen inborn human nature” - Fitrah. This is a sign that Islam is the ultimate way of life to compliment authentic human nature, as nothing in Islam conflicts with nature or human nature.
The Prophet ﷺ said “I happened to pass by Musa عليه السلام on the night of my Night journey by the red sandhill whilst he was standing praying in his grave” (Muslim).
Where Isa عليه السلام was born.
Where The Prophet ﷺ would guide his nation to make Hijrah to only 18 months later.
The Journey began when Jibril عليه السلام opened The Messenger of Allah’s chest and washed it with Zamzam water. The Prophet said:
“...Then he brought a golden tray of wisdom and faith and having poured its contents into my chest, he closed it.” (Bukhari).
The Miracle Which Followed the Miracle:
When The Messenger of Allah ﷺ awoke the next morning remembering his journey from the night before and began to narrate it, the polytheists who sought to claim this blessed journey was not true, began to question him on how many pillars and columns Masjid Al-Aqsa had. It had not occurred to The Prophet ﷺ to memorise such specific details of his destination along the journey, so Allah caused these very details to appear before his Messenger’s eyes, allowing him to provide a detailed description of where he had visited.
“When the Qurayshites disbelieved me, I stood in Ishmail’s precinct (the northern wall of the Ka’bah) and Allah revealed Jerusalem to me. So I began telling them about it’s distinguishing features as I looked upon it.” Bukhari & Muslim.
Abu Bakr al-Siddique عليه السلام in response to the attitude of the Quraysh in his unshakable loyalty proclaimed “If he said this, then he is telling the truth, and I would believe him even if he claimed to have experienced things more wondrous than these.”