Journey to Allāh’s Throne
Al-Isrāʾ and al-Miʿrāj – Part 2
Before moving on to the climax of this journey, the divine audience, there are a number of events and sights that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) saw but are difficult to place chronologically in the narrative. The author has opted to list them here.
He never passed any gathering during this journey except that they announced, “Muḥammad, enjoin your nation to perform ḥijāmah.”
At some point in this journey, he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) met with Ibrāhīm, Mūsā and ʿĪsā (ʿalayhim al-Salām) and they brought up the matter of the Hour and referred it to Ibrāhīm, but he said, “I have no knowledge of it.” They turned to Mūsā but he said, “I have no knowledge of it.” They turned to ʿĪsā and he said, “As for the time of its occurrence, no one knows it except Allāh. My Lord, Mighty and Magnificent, has told me something of what will precede it: the Dajjāl will come forth and I will face him with two rods. As soon as he sees me, he will begin to melt like lead. Allāh will destroy him so much so that the very stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslim, behind me hides a disbeliever, come and kill him!’ and Allāh will destroy them. People will then return to their countries and nations and at that time Yaʾjūj and Maʿjūj shall come out from every direction. They will trample all nations underfoot and whatever they come upon they will destroy. They will drink up every body of water. At last the people will come to me complaining about them. At that time I will invoke Allāh against them and He will destroy them until the whole earth will reek of their stench. Allāh will then send down rain which shall carry their bodies away and hurl them into the sea. I have been assured by my Lord that once all this takes place then the Hour will be as the pregnant mother at the last stages of her pregnancy. Her family does not know when she shall suddenly give birth by night or by day.
Jibrīl also took him around the top of the seventh heaven, he was granted entry into Paradise and walked therein. There he saw domes of pearls and found that its earth was musk. Shortly after entering, he heard a sound (of a conversation) coming from one side of Paradise, and upon enquiring after it, Jibrīl said, “This is Bilāl, the Muʾadhdhin,” When the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) returned to Mecca, he exclaimed, “Bilāl has succeeded, I saw this!”
There he saw a palace made of gold and asked whose it was. Jibrīl replied, “It belongs to a man of the Quraysh.” Thinking it was his, he asked further and Jibrīl replied, “It belongs to ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb.”
He also saw a river on which were pavilions of pearls and emeralds, and flying around it were delicate green birds. On its banks were vessels of gold and silver and it flowed over pebbles made of sapphire and emerald. Its water was whiter than milk and when he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) put his hand into it, he found that its soil was very fine musk. The Prophet took one of the vessels and scooped some water and drank and found it sweeter than honey and more fragrant than musk. He asked, “What is this, Jibril?” He replied, “This is al-Kawthar which your Lord has stored up for you.”
The Prophet then noticed a fragrant breeze and asked, “Jibrīl, what is this sweet scent?” He replied, “This is the scent of the lady who combed the hair of Pharaoh’s daughter and that of her children. One day, as she combed the hair of Pharaoh’s daughter the comb fell and she said: bismillāh — In the name of Allāh! Pharaoh’s daughter said, ‘You mean my father?’ She said, ‘No, my Lord and the Lord of your father.’ Pharaoh’s daughter said, ‘Shall I tell my father?’ She replied, ‘Yes.’ She told him and he summoned her and said, ‘Do you have a Lord other than me?’ She replied, ‘Yes, my Lord and your Lord is Allāh.’ He then ordered that a huge cow made of cauldron be heated up and ordered and that she and her children be thrown into it. She said, ‘I have but one request: collect my bones and the bones of my children in one garment and bury them.’ He said, ‘You have the right to ask, and your request is granted.’ Before her eyes, the children were taken and thrown in one after the other, until they got to the youngest who was still being breastfed, and she seemed to hesitate. The baby said, ‘Mother, throw me in. The punishment of this world is lighter than that of the Hereafter. Then she was thrown in with her children. Then ibn ʿAbbās commented: four people spoke in infancy: ʿĪsā, Son of Maryam, the Companion of Jurayj, the Witness of Yūsuf, and the son of the woman who combed the hair of Pharaohs daughter.
He looked into Hellfire and saw people eating decaying corpses and asked who they were. “They are people who consume the flesh of people,” Jibrīl replied.
He passed by some people with copper nails with which they were clawing at their faces and chests, shredding them. He asked, “Who are these?” He replied, “These are people who would eat people’s flesh and tarnish their reputations.”
He saw another group of people whose lips and tongues were being cut with scissors made of fire, each time they were cut, they would return to their original state. “Who are these?” he asked. Jibrīl replied, “Orators amongst your nation, they would enjoin people to good but forget to do it themselves while reciting the Book, did they have no sense?!”
He (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was also shown the Dajjāl in his true form, while awake, not in a dream. The Dajjāl he described as being mammoth-sized, extremely pale and white, one of his eyes was sound as if a twinkling star, and his hair disarrayed like branches of a tree.
Then he was taken to the Lote Tree at the Furthest Boundary, Sidratu’l-Muntahā, whose leaves were like elephant ears and its fruits like large earthenware vessels, like those of Hijar. Gold moths were flying around it, and gold locusts hopping around it. Then it underwent a transformation, and its beauty became indescribable, truly sublime. Each time it underwent a change by Allāh’s command, it would be covered in nameless splendour. It was enveloped in colours he just could not describe. There, everything that ascends from earth stops and is collected, and everything that is sent down from above stops, and is collected.
The roots of this tree are in the sixth heaven and its branches and trunk extend up through the seventh. From the base of this tree issue four rivers, two visible and two hidden. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) asked Jibrīl what these were and he replied, “The hidden ones are the rivers of Paradise and the visible ones are the Nile and the Euphrates.” In the lowest heaven, he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had seen two rivers and asked what they were. “This is where the waters of the Nile and Euphrates collect (before getting to earth),” Jibrīl replied.
It was here that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) saw Jibrīl in his true form, with six hundred wings covering the horizons,  filling the space between the heavens and earth. He was wearing a cloak made of fine silk and rubies, and his feet were like pearls resembling raindrops on a green leaf. All kinds of precious ornaments were falling from the feathers of his wings like rare pearls and sapphires, of kind Allāh alone knows. It was concerning this that Allāh says,
لَقَدْ رَأَىٰ مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَىٰ
“He saw some of the greatest Signs of his Lord”
Proceeding beyond the Lote Tree, he reached the point where he could hear the scratching of the pens (as they recorded the decree).
There and then Allāh revealed to him (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) what he revealed and obligated fifty prayers every day and night. He went back down to Mūsā who asked, ‘What has your Lord enjoined upon your Ummah?’ He replied, “Fifty prayers each day and night.” He said, ‘I have experience of people before you and therefore I know them better than you. I tried as hard as I could with the Banī Isrāʾīl, tested them [and found them lacking]. Your nation will not be able to bear this and [so my advice is to] go back to your Lord and ask him to reduce them for you.’ The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) then turned to Jibrīl, seeking his counsel as well and he nodded and agreed.
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) returned to his Lord and said, ‘My Lord, make things lighter for my Ummah because they cannot bear this,’ and Allāh reduced the number by five. Returning to Mūsā, he received the same advice and so returned again. He kept going back and forth between the two, after taking counsel with Jibrīl each time, with the number being reduced by five each time until Allāh said, ‘Muḥammad, My word does not change: there are five prayers every day and night, each being credited as ten, and that makes fifty prayers in the Mother of the Book. When a person intends to do a good deed and does not do it, they will have a good deed recorded for him; and if he does it, it will be recorded for him as ten. When a person intends to do an evil deed and does not do, it will not be recorded against him; and if he does it, only one evil deed will be recorded.’
Mūsā once again asked him to go back and reduce the number, saying, ‘By Allāh, I asked for less than this from the Banī Isrāʾīl but they faltered and abandoned it. Your community has weaker bodies, hearts, physique, seeing and hearing. Go back and ask your Lord to lighten it for you.’ But the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “How many times must I return to Him! I have asked my Lord to the point of embarrassment, I am now content and I have submitted.” Then a voice called out, “I have imposed my obligation and lightened it for My servants, and I will reward a good deed tenfold.” Mūsā then said, ‘Descend then, with the name of Allāh.’
In general, Allāh gifted him with three things at this place which had not been granted to any Prophet previous to him (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) the five prayers, the last two verses of Sūrah al-Baqarah and the fact that whoever did not commit Shirk with Allāh would be forgiven any mortal sins he committed.
When he returned, he went back to sleep and then awoke in the Sacred Masjid.  He did return to Umm Hāni’s house and informed her of what had happened and of his intention to tell everyone. She advised against this, saying people would deride him and even those who believed in him would reject him, but he insisted on following the course of action he had decided.
Having resolved to tell people what had happened, he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) sat alone, despondent and terrified that people would call him a liar. While doing so, Abū Jahl walked by and seeing him (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), came over and sat down, mockingly asking, ‘Has anything happened?’ He replied, “Yes, I went on a journey last night.” ‘Where to?’ asked Abū Jahl. “To Bayt al-Maqdis,” he replied. Abū Jahl exclaimed, ‘And you came back here by morning?’ Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “Yes.” Seeing a golden opportunity present itself, instead of immediately accusing him of lying, Abū Jahl asked, ‘If I call everyone here will you tell them the same thing?’
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) replied in the affirmative. He called everyone over and asked the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) to repeat what he had said earlier. When they heard what he had to say, some people began clapping in derision while others held their heads in shock, assuming the story to be a lie. Some Muslims who had recently accepted Islām were so taken aback that they absolutely refused to believe, apostated and left Islām altogether. Those who did so were all later slain in battle along with Abū Jahl.
Someone then asked him to describe Bayt al-Maqdis as some amongst them had seen it before. So, while standing in al-Ḥijr, the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) began to describe the area but got somewhat confused. They began to pester him with questions that he was unable to answer so much so that he, himself later reminisced, “I began to feel anxious like never before!”
Allāh then brought the whole place before him, near the house of ʿAqīl and he described its main features while looking on at it, and answered their queries. The people who had seen it confirmed his description.
He furnished further proof for the truth of what he said, “I passed by the caravan of such-and-such tribe in such-and-such valley, and the sound of the animal [al-Burāq] startled them and so one of their camels ran away. I directed them to it being then on the way to Shām. Then I continued on until I reached Ḍajanān, where I passed a caravan of such-and-such tribe. I found the people asleep and they had a vessel containing water which they had covered. I took off the water, drank it and replaced the cover. The proof of this is the caravan is now making its way down from the pass at al-Tanʿīm al-Bayḍā. Leading it is an ash-coloured camel on which are two sacks, one of which is black and the other, black and white.” On hearing this, people hurried to the pass, the first camel was as he had described but this was insufficient proof for them, so they asked after the water and found events to be exactly as he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had recounted. They then, later asked the second caravan about the camel and they confirmed what had happened stating that a voice directed them to the stray camel.
People rushed to Abū Bakr (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) clamouring for his attention, ‘Have you heard what your friend has said?!’ They told him and he asked, ‘Did he really say this?’ They confirmed it and he then remarked, ‘Then he definitely told the truth, I believe him in things far greater than this: I believe him when he tells me he receives revelation from the heaven!’ It was then that he was given the title of al-Ṣiddīq.
That same day, amidst all the ongoing mockery, derision and denial, Jibrīl came to Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) at midday and taught him the times of prayer, enacting the command that had come from Allāh as soon as it was due. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) summoned the Muslims, and Jibrīl led Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) in prayer and he in turn led the people.
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “Jibrīl led me in prayer twice at the House. He prayed Dhuhr the first day when the shadow was similar to (the length of) the strap of a sandal. Then he prayed ʿAṣr when the shadow was similar (to the length of) the object. Then he prayed Maghrib when the sun had set and the fasting person breaks fast. Then he prayed ʿIshā when the twilight had vanished. Then he prayed Fajr when dawn began and when eating is prohibited for the fasting person. The second day, he prayed Ẓuhr when the shadow of everything was similar to (the length of) the object, at the time of ʿAṣr the day before. Then he prayed ʿAṣr when the shadow of everything was twice as long as the object. Then he prayed Maghrib at the same time as he did the first time. Then he prayed ʿIshā when a third of the night had passed. Then he prayed Fajr when the land glowed with light. Then Jibrīl turned towards me and said, ‘Muḥammad, these are the times of the Prophets before you, and the time for each prayer is between these two times.’”
POINTS OF BENEFIT
- The excellence of cupping. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “The best of remedies is cupping” [Bukhārī #5371]
- During this journey, he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) passed by gatherings that we have not been informed about explicitly.
- When the greatest leaders of mankind meet, what do they discuss, what advice do they impart to their people?
– Consider the concern that Ibrāhīm has for the nation of Muḥammad when the two meet, his advice is for them to remember Allāh and to set their sights on Janna as their goal.
– When Ibrāhīm, Mūsā and ʿIsā meet, they discuss the Last Day and the events leading up to it, implying that we need to prepare for that Day
- The beauty of Paradise
- The virtue of Bilāl (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu)
- He has been given the title, “The Muʾadhdhin,” showing the virtue of the adhān and calling it, even though the adhān had not yet been legislated
- The Virtue of ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu)
- Al-Kawthar that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) has been granted as a gift from Allāh
- The story of the woman who combed Pharoah’s daughters hair shows how great her faith was in Allāh
- It puts in context the trials and hardships we face in our daily lives, many, if not all pale in significance compared to what she had to face for her faith
- All of us will be put to trial during our lives
الم ﴿١﴾ أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ ﴿٢﴾ وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ
“ALM. Do people think they will be left alone after saying, ‘We believe’ without being put to test. We tested those who went before them: Allāh will certainly mark out which ones are truthful and which are lying.” [al-ʿAnkabūt (29): 1-3]
- From the mercy of Allāh is that this nation is allowed to lie and pretend to fall into disbelief when tortured or threatened with death over their faith
– The Polytheists took ʿAmmār b. Yāsar and tortured him until he cursed the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and mentioned their gods in a good light. When he came to the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) he informed him what had happened and he asked, ‘What was in your heart?’ He replied, ‘Safe and sound with respect to its īmān,’ so he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “If they do it again, do what you did again.” [al-Ḥākim]
- When an accident happens, it is legislated to say, bismillāh. Abū Tamīmah who said: I was riding behind the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) when his mount stumbled and so I said, ‘May Satan perish!’ Upon hearing this the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “Do not say ‘May Satan perish’ for when you say this Satan becomes exultant and grows in stature and says, ‘It was by my power that I injured him.’ But when you say, ‘With the Name of Allāh’ he becomes humiliated and grows small until he ends up the size of a fly.” [Aḥmad #20591-20592-20690, Abū Dāwūd]
- He (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) looked into Hellfire but did not go into, unlike Jannah which he entered
- The severity of backbiting and tarnishing people’s reputations
- The severity if hypocrisy
- The severity of saying things we do not do
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ ﴿٢﴾ كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِندَ اللَّـهِ أَن تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ
O you who believe, why do you say things and then do not do them? It is most hateful to Allāh that you say things and then not do them. [al-Ṣaff (61): 2-3]
- He (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) saw the Dajjāl, in fact out of all Prophets, his (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) descriptions of him were the most detailed
- The Sidratu’l-Muntahā is at the edge of creation, above it is the Throne, and above that, in a manner befitting His majesty, is Allāh
- Its beauty is beyond description, and once again we are alerted to the fact that the laws of time and space as we know them no longer apply here, as he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) is seeing colours that he just cannot describe, they do not fall into the spectrum of colours we know in this world
- Allāh is above creation
- Some of the Salaf, such as Maqātil, said that the two hidden rivers were al-Kawthar and Salsabīl
- The Nile and the Euphrates are blessed rivers, in fact they have been the source of life and the foundation of the earliest civilisations
- Allāh knows best how they get from the heavens to the earth
- The greatness and beauty of Jibrīl
- Amongst the Greatest Signs that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) saw were: al-Bayt al-Maʿmūr, Sidratu’l-Muntahā and Jibrīl in his true form
- He (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) proceeded beyond the tree by himself, indicating his great status with Allāh
- The scratching of the Pens is either the transcribing of the decrees from the Preserved Tablet, Lawḥ al-Maḥfūẓ, or it is the writing of the Book which is with Allāh
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «لَمَّا قَضَى اللَّهُ الخَلْقَ كَتَبَ فِي كِتَابِهِ فَهُوَ عِنْدَهُ فَوْقَ العَرْشِ إِنَّ رَحْمَتِي غَلَبَتْ غَضَبِي»
“When Allāh had completed creation, He wrote in a Book which is with Him above the Throne, ‘My mercy precedes My wrath.’” [Bukhārī #3194-7553-7554 Muslim #2751from Abū Huryarah] cf. ʿIrāqī, Tarḥ al-Tathrīb 8:84
- In his hearing these pens, he is being taught that everything he has been shown and will indeed himself teach, will indeed happen.
- He is also prepared for the fact that the prayers have already been determined to be 5 in number but 50 in reward
- There is nothing authentically reported about the actual details of the conversation between Allāh and His Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam)
- This could be because this was a personal gift from Allāh to His Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).
- The obligation of the five daily prayers and how the number was reduced from 50 to 5
- Mūsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) gives sincere counsel to the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), he does this without being prompted
- One can use experience and custom to pass judgement and give advice as Mūṣā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) did
- Mūsā has had experience of leading a large nation of people, like the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) would do as well
- The status of Mūsā in that Allāh spoke to none other directly in this world until Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), cf. Ibn Mulaqqin, Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī 33:472
- The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) asks Jibrīl for his counsel. This shows us the importance of mashwarā in important affairs
وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ ۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
Consult with them about matters, then, when you have decided on a course of action, put your trust in Allāh: Allāh loves those who put their trust in Him. [Āli ʿImrān (3): 159]
- The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) shows his sincere concern for his nation in his repeatedly going back to his Lord for further reduction
لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
A Messenger has come from among yourselves. Your suffering distresses him: he is deeply concerned for you and full of kindness and mercy towards the believers. [al-Tawbah (9):128]
- The ease Allāh has given this nation out of His mercy in that 1 prayer is equivalent to 10 prayers
- The ease Allāh has given this nation in that having the firm resolve to do a good deed earns but not doing it earns a person 1 reward, and having the firm resolve to do an evil deed and not doing it has nothing recorded against the person
- Doing good deeds is rewarded tenfold, in fact even more
- The great reward of the prayer
- Why set the initial number to 50 instead of 5? To show us that our lives should be spent in the worship of Allāh and that the greatest expression of the worship is prayer
- Praying 5 prayers a day is well within our ability to do, they are not difficult
- The virtue of the last two verses of al-Baqarah:
إِنِّي أُوتِيتُهُمَا مِنْ كَنْزٍ مِنْ بَيْتٍ تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ، وَلَمْ يُؤْتَهُمَا نَبِيٌّ قَبْلِي ” يَعْنِي: الْآيَتَيْنِ مِنْ آخِرِ سُورَةِ الْبَقَرَةِ
“I was given these two verses from a treasure from a house under the Throne, no Prophet has been given them before me.” [Aḥmad #21343 from Abū Dharr]
مَنْ قَرَأَ بِالْآيَتَيْنِ مِنْ آخِرِ سُورَةِ الْبَقَرَةِ فِي لَيْلَةٍ كَفَتَاهُ
“Whoever recites the last two verses of Sūrah al-Baqarah, they will suffice him.” [Bukhārī #4723, Muslim 255 from Abū Masʿūd al-Anṣārī]
- Suffice him from Shayṭān, and evil on that day, some said also for the night prayer [Ibn Ḥajr, Fatḥ, Mubārakpūrī, Tuḥfa 8:152] – Shawkānī said all were meant
- The severity of shirk
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا
Allāh does not forgive the joining of partners with Him: anything less than that He forgives to whoever He wills, but anyone who joins partners with Allāh has concocted a tremendous sin.[al-Nisāʾ (4):48]
- Allāh will forgive those who repent from mortal sins
- The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) did not see Allāh
عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ، قَالَ: سَأَلْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، هَلْ رَأَيْتَ رَبَّكَ؟ قَالَ: «نُورٌ أَنَّى أَرَاهُ»
Abū Dharr asked Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), ‘Do you see your Lord?’ He replied, “There was just light, how could I see him?”[Muslim #178 from Abū Dharr]
- Those of the Salaf, like ibn ʿAbbās, who said he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) did see Allāh were talking about seeing Him with their hearts, i.e. a spiritual sight. Those who negated the sight, such as ʿĀʾishah, were talking about physically seeing Him with the eyes of the head.
- Imām Aḥmad was also of the view that he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) saw Him with the eyes of his heart. This is how the various narrations from him are understood when considered together
- When he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) returns he goes back to sleep. Ibn Kathīr remarks that this shows the strength of īmān and fortitude of Allāh’s Messenger: any normal man would have gone mad at experiencing a fraction of what he did, but he did not (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).
- The permissibility of sleeping amongst a group of people so long as they do not share the same blanket
- The wisdom of filling his heart with faith, wisdom and knowledge
- Wisdom and knowledge come after īmān in importance
- The place of īmān, knowledge and wisdom is the heart, not the mind
- Speaking the truth even when you know it will be used against you
- He (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) did not sugar-coat the message, or distort it, or compromise it to make it more palatable to people.
- The Messenger’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) humanity in his feeling anxious and getting confused over some details
- Allāh defends his Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam)by showing him Bayt al-Maqdis
- No matter how much proof you give, some people will just not believe
- The virtue and sincerity of Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq
- His method in affirming the truth of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam): go back to basics. He already believes in the Qurʾān, he believes in the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), therefore what they say must also be true
- Despite ongoing mockery and derision, life continues. Religion continues. The command for prayer is not delayed till a later time, it is enacted as soon as it is due
- Allāh’s obligations are to be enacted as soon as they are due, they are not to be delayed without valid reason
- In Jibrīl coming to lead the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) in prayer shows the importance of leading by example
- Jibrīl leading the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) further consoles him and confirms the truth of what he had just seen
- Initially all prayers were prayed as two cycles each, except for Maghrib which was three. These were later increased to the numbers we know today [Aḥmad #26338, Bukhārī #350]
- The virtue of Zamzam water as this is what was used to wash his (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) heart with
- Paradise is already created
- Paradise is above the seventh heaven
- Hell is also already created
 Ibn Mājah #3479 from Anas. Aḥmad 1:354 from ibn ʿAbbās. cf. Albānī, al-Ṣaḥīḥah #2263
There are a number of incidents related during the isrāʾ and miʿrāj which are difficult to place chronologically in the narrative. Some narrations indicate that some of these may have occurred after the divine audience, others indicate that they may have happened before, and yet others contain no indication whatsoever. The author has opted to quote them all in one place here, before the divine audience happens.
 Ibn Mājah #4081, Aḥmad 1:375 from ibn Masʿūd
 Bukhārī #3342, Muslim #163 from Anas. Aḥmad 1:257 from ibn ʿAbbās
 Bukhārī #3342, Muslim #163 from Anas
 Aḥmad 1:257 from ibn ʿAbbās
 Aḥmad 3:191 from Anas, Ibn Ḥibbān #54 who said that this happened on the Night of the Isrāʾ. cf. Bukhārī #3680 from Abū Hurayrah.
 Bukhārī #4964-6581-7517, Tirmidhī #2717, Aḥmad 3:207 from Anas. Ibn Abī Ḥātim from Anas. cf. Sharḥ Ibn Ādam 4:533
 Aḥmad 1:310, ibn Ḥibbān #2903 from ibn ʿAbbās
 Aḥmad 1:257 from ibn ʿAbbās
 Abū Dāwūd #4878, Aḥmad #13364. cf. Albānī, al-Ṣaḥīḥah #532
 Aḥmad 3:120, Abū Yaʿlā #3992, Bazzār
 Bukhārī #3239, Muslim #165.
 Aḥmad 1:374 from ibn ʿAbbās
 Muslim #279 from ibn Masʿūd
 Tabarānī, al-Shāmiyyīn #2812, Ibn Mardawayh from Anas as per Suyūṭī, al-Durr 5:7
 Ibn Jarīr 27:54 with a ṣaḥīḥ isnād from Anas
 Bukhārī #3887, Muslim #162, Abu ʿAwānah #337.
 Bukhārī #342, Muslim #163
 Muslim #173 from ibn Masʿūd
 Ibn Ḥajr, Fatḥ
 Muslim #164, Abū ʿAwānah #337
 Bukhārī #4964-6581-7517 from Anas. cf. Ibn Ḥajr 7:532
 Bukhārī #4856, Muslim #282, Ṭabarānī, al-Kabīr #10422
 Aḥmad 1:407 from ibn Masʿūd, Bukhārī #4858 as the words of ibn Masʿūd
 Ibn Jarīr 27:51, Aḥmad 1:394, Tirmidhī #3283, ibn Ḥibbān #59 from ibn Masʿūd
 Aḥmad 1:395-412 from ibn Masʿūd – ḥasan
 Aḥmad 1:395
 al-Najm (53): 18
 Bukhārī #3342, Muslim #163
 Bukhārī #7516, Muslim #162 from Anas
 Bukhārī #3207-3886 from Mālik b. Ṣaʿṣaʿah. Ahmad 4: 207.
The narration of Bukhārī mentions that the reduction happened in stages of ten, not five, but the stronger version is that of the five, cf. Ibn Ḥajr, Fatḥ
 Bukhārī #7516, Ibn Jarīr 15:3-5 from Anas
 Bukhārī #7516, Ibn Jarīr 15:3-5
 Bukhārī #349-3342, Muslim #163
 Bukhārī #7516, Ibn Jarīr 15:3-5 from Anas
 Bukhārī #3207-3886 from Mālik b. Ṣaʿṣaʿah. Muslim #162, Aḥmad 3:161, 4:207 from Anas
 Bukhārī #7516, Ibn Jarīr 15:3-5
 Muslim #173, Tirmidhī #3276 from ibn Masʿūd
 Qurṭubī, Mufhim, Ibn Ḥajr, Fatḥ 13:595
 Bukhārī #7516, Muslim #162 from Anas
 Tabarānī, Abu Yaʿlā, ibn ʿAsākir as per Suyūṭī, al-Khaṣā’iṣ 1:292
 Aḥmad 1:309, Ṭabarānī #12782 from ibn ʿAbbās, cf. Ibn Ḥajr 7:199 who said it was ḥasan
 Ahmad 1:374 from ibn ʿAbbās and ibn Kathīr said it was ṣaḥīḥ. Abū Jahl was killed at Badr.
 Muslim #172 from Abū Hurayrah
 Aḥmad 1:309-1:374, Ṭabarānī #12782 from ibn ʿAbbās. Bukhārī #3886-4710, Muslim #170 from Jābir b. ʿAbdullāh. Muslim #172 from Abū Hurayrah. cf. Ibn Ḥajr 7:199
 Ibn Isḥāq. cf. Aḥmad 1:374 from ibn ʿAbbās
 Dhuhlī, al-Zuhriyyāt, Bayhaqī, al-Dalāʾil cf. Ibn Ḥajr 7:199-8:392
 Dāruquṭnī #1011 from Jābir
 Abū Dāwud #1393, Tirmidhī #149 from ibn ʿAbbās
Abu Rumaysah Refi Shafi was born and brought up in High Wycombe. He currently studies with Shaykh Haitham Al-Haddad and, previously, Shaykh Abu AbdiRahman Al-Libee. He graduated from Imperial College from the faculty of Electronic Engineering. He currently works as a Software Engineer and is the chairman of WISE (Wycombe Islamic Society). He is very active in his local community, especially with his Masjid and working with youth. He has translated a number of books such as ‘The Criterion between the Friends of Allah and the Friends of Shaytan,’ and ‘Relief from Distress (the Dua of Yunus ‘alayhī al-Salām),’ both by Ibn Taymiyyah as well as many others. He has also written an explanation of Surah al-Fatihah called ‘The Spiritual Cure.’ He currently gives weekly circles in High Wycombe on a variety of topics covering aqidah, fiqh, hadith, tafsir and Arabic Language. He is also a Lecturer for MRDF.