Isra Wa’al Mi’raj – Prophet’s Night Journey & Ascension
(Al Quran 17:01) “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram (in Makkah) to al-Masjid al- Aqsa (in Jerusalem), whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.”
The isra wa’al mi'raj means the 'night journey & ascension'. It is the most significant event of Prophet Muhammad's life which he experienced during the first part of his prophethood in Makkah. The term isra means ‘night journey’ or ‘traveling by night’ and the term mir’aj means ‘ascension’. This incident comprises of two parts. One is the isra in which the Prophet's blessed body and soul, were taken by Archangel Jibraeel (Gabriel) (alaihi salaam) from Makkah to Jerusalem on a creature with two wings called buraq. The second part is his ascension in to the heavens with the angel. In the first part he met all prophets and messengers that came before him, and led them in salah (prayer) which signifies his leadership status among them. In the second part he traveled up the heavens and met all major Prophets such as Adam, Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Harun (Aaron), Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus son of Mary) (alaihim usalaam), went to the highest part in paradise and came closest to presence of Allah ﷻ. During that journey and his communion with Allah ﷻ, much knowledge was revealed to him of this world and the hereafter which he taught throughout remaining part of his prophethood. Some scholars have different opinions on when this event occurred. One of the most renown Islamic scholar, jurist, biographer of 13th century, Imam Nawawi (1233 - 1277 CE), through his research claimed it happened in Rajab. Hence we notice many Muslims across the globe commemorate this event during Rajab and discuss its details and learn many lessons from it.