by Aadil Hussain
Being repeatedly agonized by Querish for spreading Islam, on a certain occasion by the people of Taif, especially after his uncle’s (Abu Talib) death, Prophet (saw) felt lonely.
Mi’raj-un-Nabi is one of the greatest miracles given to Prophet (saw), whose testimony Allah Himself provides (Al-Asra, 01). The distance traversed and proximity to Allah achieved by Prophet (saw) is such that the eyes of imagination surrender and deny commenting beyond the spot (the lote-tree) where Hazrat Jibreel (AS) takes his leave, fearing that any transgression would ensure burning of the wings. Ahmed Raza Khan (ra) beautifully sums up in Qaseeda-e-Mi’raaj:
“Khirad Se Keh Do Ki Sar Jhukalay, Gumaa Se Guzray Guzarnay Walay
Paday Hai Yahan Jahat Ko Lalay, Kise Bataye KidrGaye The”
(Let the intellect bow its head, it has traversed its limit
Even the directions are baffled, how can they mark his destination!)
The whole journey of Mi’raj can be divided into two parts- from Masjid al-Haram (the Kabba in Mecca) to Masjid al-Aqsa (located in Jerusalem) known as “sra and from Masjid al-Aqsa through Sidrat ul-Muntaha (the lote-tree, marking the end of heavens) to Qaba Qawsayni Aw Adna (“a distance of about two arms’ length Or nearer”) labelled as Mi’raj. However certain Islamic scholars further divide the second stage into two parts with a demarcation at Sidrat ul-Muntaha (as none of the Allah’s creations can pass this boundary except whom He wills). The part beyond the Sidrat ul-Munataha is unimaginable for any creation. Therefore, it is interesting to note even though Jibreel (as) was denied permission beyond the lote tree, Allah invited his beloved nearer to Himslef, to a distance of just “two arms-length” or nearer (Surah An Najm, 9).
The purpose of the entire journey of Mi’raj (as described in Sharah ‘Hadaiq-e-Bakhshish’) seems to be that of consolation, of solidarity shown by lover towards his beloved. Being repeatedly agonized by Querish for spreading Islam, on a certain occasion by the people of Taif, especially after his uncle’s (Abu Talib) death, Prophet (saw) felt lonely. He wished for a companion with whom he could share his sorrows, a companion who could help him against the enemy of Islam. With these worries, he left for Ummi Hani’s home on an invitation, where Jibreel (AS) appeared and manifested Allah’s announcement of a meeting:
” ان الله اشتاق الی لقائک يارسول الله ”
(Allah wishes to meet you, O Messenger of Allah)
Though various poets and scholars have tried to explain the event using their faculties at the best, perhaps none has been able to sketch it poetically better than Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (ra). In his Qaseeda-e-Mi’raaj, he brings forth the whole journey right away from the Ummi Hani’s home to the moment of the prophet’s (saw) union with Allah.
Starting from the Kabba, he compares it to the most beautiful bride ever present, fully adorned, with Hajr-e-Aswad (the black stone present at one of the corners of the Kabba) surviving as a mole to ward off the evil eyes, thereby augmenting its beauty. The nearer the prophet (saw) comes to his Destination, the more beautiful the things become.
“Nayi Dulhan Ki Phaban mei Kaaba Nikhar Ke Sanwra, Sanwar Ke Nikhra
HajrKe Sadqe Kamar KeIkTil Mei Rang Lakun Banaw Ke The”
(In the manner of a new bride, the Kabba had adoringly decorated
Even the Hajr, as if a mole, had in it millions of beauties exposed)
On seeing Prophet (saw), the Kabba’s niche bent its head out of shyness and deeming his exaltments it vacillated in ecstasy, as it had previously done for three days and three nights on the occasion of prophet’s (saw) birth (Sharah Hadaiq-e-Bakhshish).
From the Kaaba the prophet (saw) travels to Jerusalem to lead the Aqsa prayer. One of secrets behind the prayer was to disclose the difference of being first and being last, coming towards humanity as a last prophet is no less than coming first, rather it is a dignitary position for Deen has been completed.
“Nimaz-e-Aqsa Mei Tha Yahe Ser Ayaan Houn Manie Awwal Akhir
Ki Dast Basta Hai Peeche Hazir Jo Saltanat Aa Ke Kar Gaye The ”
(The secret in Aqsa Prayer was to manifest the difference of first and last
Though they had come first, all the prophets were praying behind him)
A Welcome At Aqsa
Since in Aqsa all the prophets had reached before to welcome the Prophet (saw), an interesting thing to note is the speed at which the prophet Musa (AS) traversed the distance. While travelling on Buraq, the prophet (saw) saw Musa (AS) praying in his grave, yet he had reached to Aqsa before the prophet (saw), like he had reached the sky before him. To Islamic scholars, the speed of Buraq could not match the speed of a prophet, which is much faster (Sharah Hadaiq-e-Bakhshish). Afterwards, the prophet’s (saw) journey began in the direction of Sidrat ul-Muntaha.
Since the ever-waited guest was coming, all the old and stained floor of the skies was removed and replaced (Mi’raaj happened on 27th, there was no moonlight rather moonlight was replaced) by the light emerging from creations of Noor like Angles.
“Purana Pur-Daag Malgaja Tha, Utha Dia Farsh Chandni Ka
Hajoome-e-Taaringa Se Kosoon, Qadm Qadm Farsh Baadly The”
(The old, stained and moonlit floor of the skies was removed
Away from stars, at every step light from angels formed new floor)
The angels also dressed him as the bridegroom of Heaven and wore around his head a wreath of light. All the Noor present in the universe seemed to be present in Prophet’s (saw) face, therefore all the creations of Allah including moon and sun begged for the light from it. Amid the distribution, the stars managed to have water with which Prophet (saw) took bath, which is still shining in them as light.
“Utaar Kar Un Ke Rukh Ka Sadqa, Ye Noor Ka Butt Raha Tha Bada
Ki Chand Suraj Machal Machal Kar, Jabeen Ki Khairat Mangtay The”
(The light from his face was being distributed as a charity
The moon and the sun in the struggle begged for light from his face)
On reaching Sidrat ul-Muntaha, where various angels had assembled zealously to see him, Prophet’s (saw) speed had increased to such a limit that they could only get a glimpse. Even Jibreel (AS) got tired, therefore he could no longer accompany the divine guest. He could not hold Prophet’s cloth and was left behind. Like others the desires to see Allah were broken for Jibreel (AS).
“Thakay Thakay Rooh-ul-Ameen Ke Bazu, Chuta Who Daman Kahan Who Pehloo
Rikab Chuti Umeed Tooti, Niga-e-Hasrat Ke Walwalay The”
(Jibreel Ameen had tired, he could hold Prophet’s cloth no longer
With Prophet leaving alone, all his desires to see Allah shattered)
The Throne of the Almighty had also been waiting to see prophet’s (saw), like the Kabba it too vacillated in front of him out of ecstasy. Meanwhile, Angel of Mercy welcomed the prophet (saw), “For you the ways are broad, which had been closed to Musa (AS)”, thereby revealing the self-sufficiency of Allah.
“Tabarakallah Ye Shaan Teri ,Tujhko Zeba Hai Bey-Niyazi
Kahi To Who Josh-e-Lan-Tarani, Kahi Taqazay Wisaal Ke The”
(All praises be to You, O Allah, You are undoubtedly Self-Sufficient
Once Musa had insisted to see You, here You wished to see Prophet)
The Imagination Stops
After this Ahmed Raza Khan (ra) denies any further explanation, and let’s the imagination surrender. Nobody save Allah knows where, when and how the prophet (saw) went ahead on his journey for there had been neither any companion nor any milestone to record the distance.
“Suraag Ain-o-Mataa Kahan Tha Nishaan-e-Kaifo-Illa Kahan Tha
Na Koi Rahi Na Koi Sathi, Na Sang-e-Manzil Na Marhale The”
(Where was the place and time? Who could tell us what or how?
There was neither any traveller nor any companion; what was the landmark or the distance?)
However, he talks about Allah’s meeting with the prophet (saw), also described in the Holy Quran as “Qaba Qawsayni Aw Adna” (“a distance of but two arms’ length or nearer”; Surah An-Najm, 9). Since shy, Prophet (saw) proceeded hesitantly with all awe, respect and humility, therefore Allah reduced the distance, hence millions of veils disappeared. The poet praises Allah to be the First and the Last, the Apparent and the Unapparent Who created Prophet (saw) and with His Own Will invited him toward Himself.
“Wohi Hai Awwal Wohi Hai Akhir, Wohi Hai Baatin Wohi Hai Zaahir
Usse Ke Jalwe Usse Se Milne, Usse Se Us Ki Tarf Gaye The.”
(Author is a student of BA (Hons) English at the IUST, Awantipore. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Kashmir Life.)