Please can you tell me about the importance of the Night of Meraj and the things to do in this Holy Night.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Brother,

Please can you tell me about the importance of the Night of Meraj and the things to do in this Holy Night.

Wassalam

 

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Answer:

 

Night of ascension mairaaj

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Question: Please can you tell me about the importance of the Night of Meraj

The literal meaning of the Arabic term ‘israa’ means journey, and ‘mairaaj’ means ascension.  When the term ‘israa wal mairaaj’ is used in the Islamic terminology, it means the Night Journey of the Messenger of Allah (saws) with Hadrat Jibrael (a.s.) from the Sacred Mosque in Makkah to Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, and then his ‘mairaaj’ or ascension from Masjid al-Aqsa  to the heavens to be shown the Signs of Allah Subhanah.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Israa verse 1:

1        Glory to (Allah), Who did take His Servant (Prophet Mohamed (saws)) for Journey by night (Israa) from the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) to the Masjid al-Aqsa, whose precincts We did Bless; in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who Hears and Sees (all things).

 

There are several authentic and long narrations from the Messenger of Allah (saws) which describes in various ways what exactly transpired on his Night Journey and Ascension to the Heavens with Hadrat Jibrael (a.s.).

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 5.227         Narrated by Anas bin Malik

Malik bin Sasaa said that Allah's Messenger (saws) described to them his Night Journey saying, "While I was lying in Al-Hatim or Al-Hijr, suddenly someone came to me and cut my body open from here to here."  I asked Al-Jarud who was by my side, "What does he mean?"  He said, "It means from his throat to his pubic area," or said, "From the top of the chest."  The Prophet (saws) further said, "He then took out my heart. Then a gold tray of Belief was brought to me and my heart was washed and was filled (with Belief) and then returned to its original place. Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me." (On this Al-Jarud asked, "Was it the Buraq, O Abu Hamza?" I (i.e. Anas) replied in the affirmative).  The Prophet (saws) said, "The animal's step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal's sight. I was carried on it, and Gabriel set out with me till we reached the nearest heaven.

When he asked for the gate to be opened, it was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel answered, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has Muhammad been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative.  Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!' The gate was opened, and when I went over the first heaven, I saw Adam there. Gabriel said (to me). 'This is your father, Adam; pay him your greetings.' So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.'  Then Gabriel ascended with me till we reached the second heaven. Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel answered, 'Gabriel.'  It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?'  Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?'  Gabriel answered in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!'  The gate was opened.

When I went over the second heaven, there I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and 'Isa (i.e. Jesus) who were cousins of each other.  Gabriel said (to me), 'These are John and Jesus; pay them your greetings.'  So I greeted them and both of them returned my greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the third heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?'  Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.'  It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?'  Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?'  Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!' The gate was opened, and when I went over the third heaven there I saw Joseph.  Gabriel said (to me), 'This is Joseph; pay him your greetings.'  So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fourth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!'

The gate was opened, and when I went over the fourth heaven, there I saw Idris. Gabriel said (to me), 'This is Idris; pay him your greetings.' So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.'  Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fifth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked. 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!'  So when I went over the fifth heaven, there I saw Harun (i.e. Aaron), Gabriel said, (to me). This is Aaron; pay him your greetings.' I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the sixth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. It was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!'

When I went (over the sixth heaven), there I saw Moses. Gabriel said (to me),' This is Moses; pay him your greeting. So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' When I left him (i.e. Moses) he wept. Someone asked him, 'What makes you weep?' Moses said, 'I weep because after me there has been sent (as Prophet), a young man whose followers will enter Paradise in greater numbers than my followers.'  Then Gabriel ascended with me to the seventh heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked,' Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!'

So when I went (over the seventh heaven), there I saw Abraham.  Gabriel said (to me), 'This is your father; pay your greetings to him.' So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.'  Then I was made to ascend to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) Behold! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr (i.e. a place near Medina) and its leaves were as big as the ears of elephants.  Gabriel said, 'This is the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary.' Behold! There ran four rivers; two were hidden and two were visible. I asked, 'What are these two kinds of rivers, O Gabriel?' He replied, 'As for the hidden rivers, they are two rivers in Paradise and the visible rivers are the Nile and the Euphrates.'

Then Al-Bait-ul-Ma'mur (i.e. the Sacred House) was shown to me and a container full of wine and another full of milk and a third full of honey were brought to me. I took the milk. Gabriel remarked, 'This is the Islamic religion which you and your followers are following.' Then the prayers were enjoined on me: They were fifty prayers a day. When I returned, I passed by Moses who asked (me), 'What have you been ordered to do?' I replied, 'I have been ordered to offer fifty prayers a day.' Moses said, 'Your followers cannot bear fifty prayers a day, and by Allah, I have tested people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel (in vain). Go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers' burden.' So I went back, and Allah reduced ten prayers for me. Then again I came to Moses, but he repeated the same as he had said before. Then again I went back to Allah and He reduced ten more prayers. When I came back to Moses he said the same, I went back to Allah and He ordered me to observe ten prayers a day. When I came back to Moses, he repeated the same advice, so I went back to Allah and was ordered to observe five prayers a day.

When I came back to Moses, he said, 'What have you been ordered?' I replied, 'I have been ordered to observe five prayers a day.' He said, 'Your followers cannot bear five prayers a day, and no doubt, I have got an experience of the people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel, so go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your follower's burden.' I said, 'I have requested so much of my Lord that I feel ashamed, but I am satisfied now and surrender to Allah's Order.' When I left, I heard a voice saying, 'I have passed My Order and have lessened the burden of My Worshipers."

 

Your Question: …..and the things to do in this Holy Night.

Beloved brother in Islam, for any act, or worship, or celebration, or rite or ritual to be considered a part of the deen of Islam, the absolutely first things one needs to ask or determine is whether this act or worship was:

  1. Commanded by Allah Subhanah.
  2. Performed by the Messenger of Allah (saws).
  3. Endorsed by the Messenger of Allah (saws).

 

Dear and Beloved brother in Islam, it is the solemn belief of every true believer who sincerely fears Allah and the Last Day, that there was, is, or never will be anyone in the annuls of creation who loved, obeyed, and worshipped Allah Subhanah more or better than the Noble Last and Final Messenger of Allah, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws)!  

 

If one finds or determines that the act, or worship, or celebration, or commemoration, or rite or ritual was commanded by Allah, or performed and endorsed by the Messenger of Allah (saws), then one should wholeheartedly strive to follow the example of the Prophet (saws), and indulge in the worship with the conviction that this act of worship is a part of Islam and acceptable to Allah Subhanah, the Lord of the Worlds.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21:

There is indeed the best example for you to follow in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.

 

To the best of our knowledge, there is absolutely not even an iota of evidence in the authentic and established Sunnah or tradition of the Noble Prophet (saws) that he (saws) would make a particular gathering, or a specific prayer, or a specific fast, or do or organize any sort of celebration or commemoration for the night of Mairaaj! 

 

When the Messenger of Allah (saws) did not perform nor endorse any rite or ritual or commemoration for the night of Mairaaj, then it is absolutely evident that any specific rite or ritual or celebration or commemoration one were to do would be a manifest ‘bida’ (innovation), which neither forms part of the deen, nor is it acceptable as worship to Allah Subhanah.

 

If anyone ever comes up with any act of worship like a celebration, or a commemoration, or prescribes importance to any prayer, or fast, or night or day, or invents, innovates, or claims anything to be a part of the deen of Islam which is not endorsed by the Noble Prophet (saws), then it implies one of three things:

  1. that the person who claims that worship is due on this specific night in this specific way loves and worships Allah more than the Noble Prophet (saws)!!!
  2. or, that the person knows more than the Noble Prophet (saws)!!!
  3. or, that the person has received revelations from Allah Subhanah after the death of the Prophet Mohamed (saws)!!!

 

Allah is our witness brother, if anyone in the annuls of creation ever claims to have any of the above three qualities is nothing more than a confirmed and manifest liar!; for Allah is our witness, no man in the annuls of creation loved or worshipped their Lord more than Prophet Mohamed (saws), no man in the annuls of creation had more knowledge of the Truth than the Noble Prophet Mohamed (saws), and Allah is our witness, the Last and Final Revelations of The Lord Most Majestic were revealed on Prophet Mohamed (saws), and there is none who will or can receive revelations after him (saws)!

 

If one brings, invents, adds or innovates any act or deed in religion which has not been specifically endorsed by Allah and His Messenger (saws), then it has to be a ‘bida’ (an innovation in the religion after the deen was completed on Prophet Mohamed (saws)), and Allah is our witness, every innovation in the deen of Islam is an error in the Sight of Allah Subhanah! 

 

Sahih Muslim Hadith 1885     Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah

That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon:  “The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran;  and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws).   The most evil affairs are the innovations (bida), and every innovation (bida) is an error.”

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4515  Narrated by Ali ibn AbuTalib

That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: “If anyone introduces an innovation (bida in religion),  he will be responsible for it.   If anyone introduces an innovation (bida) or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (bida), he is cursed by Allah,  by His Angels,  and by all the people!”

 

The honor that our Lord Most Gracious bestowed on His Messenger (saws) on his Night Journey and Ascension is something which a true believer should cherish every living moment of his life.  But to invent or commemorate or celebrate this occasion with any specific prayer, or rite or ritual when the Messenger of Allah (saws) himself did not perform nor endorse it would be a manifest ‘bida’, and thus not acceptable to Allah Subhanah, The Lord and Creator of the Universe.

 

The Prophet (saws) said: ‘The most evil affairs are the innovations (bida), and every innovation (bida) is an error’; thus every believer who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day must stay clear and abstain from ever practicing or indulging in any innovation in this pure and perfect deen of Al-Islam.

 

If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws),   one can be assured of never ever being misled;   but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.  

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 

 

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