The night journey and the ascension of Prophet Muhammad [saw]
Praise be to Allah[swt], the Lord oft he Worlds, the One Who exists without a place. To Him belong the endowments and proper commendations. May Allah raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad [saw] and his kind Al and Companions and protect his nation from what he fears for them. May the Lord of Heavens and Earth grant us the sincere intentions and guide us to the acceptable deeds.
Thereafter, Allah sent the prophets as a mercy to the slaves and supported them with miracles to indicate the truthfulness of their message. Of all the prophets, our Prophet, Muhammad [saw], was blessed with the most miracles. Al-Isra’ and al-Mi’rqj are among the many miracles of Prophet Muhammad [saw].
The miracle of al-Isra’ is confirmed in the Qur’an. In Surat al-Isra’, Ayah 1, Allah said:—
سُبۡحٰنَ الَّذِىۡۤ اَسۡرٰى بِعَبۡدِهٖ لَيۡلًا مِّنَ الۡمَسۡجِدِ الۡحَـرَامِ اِلَى الۡمَسۡجِدِ الۡاَقۡصَا الَّذِىۡ بٰرَكۡنَا حَوۡلَهٗ لِنُرِيَهٗ مِنۡ اٰيٰتِنَا ؕ اِنَّهٗ هُوَ السَّمِيۡعُ الۡبَصِيۡرُ
Glorified (and Exalted) is He (Allâh) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him]. Who took His slave (Muhammad [saw]) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid-al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad [saw]) of Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer
This journey is also confirmed in the sahih Hadith. As such, there is scholarly consensus (ijma) Prophet Muhammad [saw] journeyed in body and soul and the night of al-isra’ from Masjid al Haram in Makkah to Masjid al-aqsa in Jerusalem. Moreover, these scholars indicated the person who denies al-Isra is a blasphemer for belying the explicit text of the Quran.
Before the Prophet [saw] took this night journey, the ceiling of the house in which he was staying was opened, and Jibril descended. He cut open the chest of Prophet Muhammad [saw] and washed that open area with Zamzam water. Then he emptied something from a container into the chest of the Prophet [saw] to increase his wIsdom as well as the strength of his belief. This was done to prepare the Messenger of Allah[swt for that which he had yet to see in the upper world from among the wonders of the creation of Allah[swt].
After the Prophet performed the Evening Prayer (‘lsha‘), Jibril came to him with a white animal, slightly larger than a donkey yet smaller than a mule. This animal was the buraq, one of the animals of Paradise. Jibril held the buraq by his ear and told the Prophet to mount it. When the buraq was mounted, the Prophet set forth.
The buraq is a very fast animal; the length of the buraq’s stride is the farthest distance it’s eye can see. The Prophet and Jibril arrived to a land with palm trees.
Jibril told the Prophet to dismount and pray, so the Prophet dismounted the buraq and prayed two rakas. Jibril asked him, “Do you know where you prayed? and the Prophet answered, “Allah knows best. “This is Yathrib; this is Taybah (two names for the city of al-Madinah). Before the Prohet [saw] migrated to al-Madinah, it was called Taybah and Yathrib. It earned the name al-Madinah after the Prophet migrated to it. The buraq continued with the Prophet [saw] and Jibril until they reached another place. Again Jibril told the Prophet[saw] to get down and pray. The Prophet [saw] dismounted there and prayed two rakas. Jibril informed the Prophet of the name of that place; it was TurSina’.
Once again the buraq took off with the Prophet [saw] and Jibril. Once again it stopped, and theProphet dismounted and prayed two rakas. This was in Bayt Lahm, where Prophet (Jesus) was born. Then the buraq continued with the Messanger of Allah until they entered the city of Jerusalem. There the Prophet [saw] went to Masjid al-Aqsa. Outsite was a ring used by the Messenger of Allah to tie their animals. The Prophet tied his burqq to this ring. Then the Prophet entered the masjid where Allah [swt] assembled for him all the Prophets from Adam [alayhis] to Isa [alayhis]. Prophet Muhammad moved forward and let them all in prayer. This is an indication the Prophet [saw] is higher in status than all the rest of the prophets and messengers.