Saturday, 10 July 2010

The Mir’aj

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

‘and raised high the esteem (in which) Thou (art held)’

Mir’aj is a very special time and some people may think that it is a sort of ritual celebration, so whenever it comes around it is mandatory that we ‘celebrate’ it. Mir’aj is much more important than just a celebration. In addition of acquiring blessings for associating with Allah’s beloved and trying to understand something of his great mission we are all, insha Allah, gaining some form of enlightenment.

We must understand firstly that Mir’aj is the occasion when Allah placed the seal of prophet hood. After Prophet Muhammad (saw)there was no need for any other Messenger. Mir’aj is also that occasion when the true meaning of the term ‘Imam ul Ambia’ was realised. All the previous Messengers (pbot) predicted Prophet Muhammad (saw)coming. Why was this necessary? The mission was not yet completed.

Allah has placed at mans’ disposal whatever is in the skies and earth. He says in Surah Ibrahim;

‘It is Allah who hath created the heavens and the earth and sendeth down rain from the skies, and with it bringeth out fruits wherewith to feed you; it is He who hath made the ships subject to you, that they may sail through the sea by His command; and the rivers (also) hath He made subject to you’.
So our mission, physically, is to benefit from the things Allah has created in the universe. And the Mir’aj was the occasion when man learned how to access whatever Allah has created from him.

Allah is the embodiment of purity. He is ‘As Sahir’; The One that is Pure. Since Allah has created man as His vicegerent on earth, man is supposed to also be pure and clean. He says in Surah Baqarah;

‘for Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean’.

Whenever you ‘dirty’ yourself remove the impurity immediately but begging your Lord for forgiveness. It necessary to seek purity because our Lord is our destination and only the pure will be able to meet him. He says;

‘and to Him will ye be all brought back’.

Every so often we hear “Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return”. Each one of us is returning to our Creator; however some may not reach Him. Understand that we are on a journey and that journey is to successfully return to and meet our Lord. The best and surety way of achieving this is to follow the path of Siratul Mustaqeem – the straight path that has no deviations.

Mir’aj is real and it is possible for followers of Prophet Muhammad (saw)to also experience some sort of ‘mir’aj’, if they keep their personality clean and pure. We are all aware of the hadith ‘salaat is the mir’aj of the believer’. And in order to pray our salaat as a prerequisite we must physically purify ourselves. Remember Allah loves purity. This is why the non-believers are banned from entering the holy city of Makkah Mukarramah. So we can see the importance of constantly seeking purity, physically, spirituality and morally. The foundation for making yourself eligible to meet your Lord is purity.

On the Day of Judgement mankind will be categorise into three groups. There will be one group of people who will be blessed with the ability to overtake everyone and reach the destination that is Allah . The second group will be those who will be a bit slower because of the ‘heavy baggage’ they will be carrying and Prophet (saw) will intercede to Allah on behalf of them. The third group will be those who will not be able to move at all regardless of the effort they will put in. They are the unsuccessful ones who will not have a chance to meet Allah and as a result they will be pushed into the abyss of hell. Which group would you like to be in?

Prophet was so pure and clean that it was no problem for him to physically leave this universe and go right up and meet his Lord. This journey consisted of two phases; the journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and from Jerusalem up to the heavens. Using the physics of today we see that it is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light.

Allah says about Prophet ;

‘The Messenger of God is an excellent model’

A lot of people tend to think that this only refers to religious issues. However, it refers to all aspects of life, so whatever scientists’ discover today or in the future, Prophet (saw) was already ahead and advanced in all matters. This is so different from the other religions. For the example the Christians propagated that the world was flat, the Hindus argue that the earth is actually resting upon a horn of a cow. Prophet Muhammad (saw) was able to travel from one city to another in a way in which man is yet to discover. And while travelling he stopped at two places where they were caravans. At the first stop the lead camel of the caravan became agitated and ran off. Prophet (saw) was able to accurately advise the tribesmen where to recover the camel. At the other caravan Prophet (saw) went into the tent where the people were resting, he drank some of their water and continued on his journey. The companions and others, who accused him of being ‘crazy’, because of the difficulty they had in believing him, were able to verify what he told them through these meetings. He was also able to accurately describe Masjid al Aqsa for the doubters. The means of travel was so sophisticated that man is yet to discover how.

After his visit to Al Aqsa where he led all the past Messengers in salaat, he was privileged to go up. We must note that the atmosphere consists of barriers called the electro magnetic barriers. Earth’s atmosphere has 7 electro magnetic barriers and in the Qur’an we find the term ‘samawat’ mentioned. This translates to the 7 layers (skies) in the earth’s atmosphere. Because of the presence of these barriers waves cannot penetrate it. However during the mir’aj Prophet (saw) was able to ‘break through’ these hurdles and go higher and higher even to the point where angel Jibreel couldn’t go. We can’t explain this wonder through scientific reason and logic. It was on this night that the avenues were opened up for man to gain access.

Why could Jibreel go on with Prophet while in the heavens? Possibly because when Allah announced that He was going to create man He gave the angels a little leeway and they questioned His decision. They demonstrated a limit in their capacity and therefore couldn’t go further as Prophet (saw) was able to. Why was he able to go higher and higher? Because it is said about him in the Qur’an;

‘nor does He say (aught) of (his own) desire.’

Every thing he said was on the basis of Divine inspiration and guidance. Because he was most pure and clean he was able to go higher and higher, to the point where he was in the Divine Presence of Allah .

Allah says He is close to us. He mentions in Surah Qaaf;

‘for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein’.

If Allah is ‘with us’ why was it then necessary for Him to physically take Prophet (saw) up into the heavens to meet and converse with him? In order to understand this reference must be made to the following;

Ashadu an la ilaha illa'llah - I testify that there is no God but Allah ’

Once there was a muezzin who was sounding the adhan and when he said ‘ashadu an la ilaha illa'llah.’ his Sheikh held him by the arm and accused him of lying. Puzzled the muezzin asked how he could make such a statement. The sheikh replied how is it possible to prove there is only One God. The muezzin, an intelligent fellow, replied, “I can’t but my leader and teacher said there is only One God, and he never told a lie so I know there is only One God.’

Even before Prophet hood, Muhammad (saw) was known for his trustworthiness and honesty.

How can you believe in something you have never seen? Because Prophet was sent as a witness to the entire universe and he testified to what he saw and preached. He says;

‘And I am commanded to be the first of those who bow to Allah in Islam’.

When he was in the Divine Presence according to some scholars Allah greeted him and he replied and in this beautiful situation he thought of his ummah and included us all in this beautiful moment. At that point when he was at the highest, greatest point he remembered others. This conversation is repeated daily by Muslims all over the word we they engage in salaat;

Attahiyyaatu Lillahi Was Salawato Wattayyibatu Assalamu Alaika Ayyuhannabi 'o 'Warahmatullahi Wabarka'tuhu Assalamu Alaina Wa'ala'Ibadillahis Sa'liheen, Ash'had'u'un La ilahaillallahu Wa Ash'hadu Anna MuhammadunAbd'uhu Wa Rasooluh'

Greetings, prayers and our good deeds are for Allah. Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be on you O Prophet. May peace be upon us and on the devout slaves of Allah. I testify that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.

How can we keep ourselves pure and clean? It starts with your intentions. Remember ‘actions are judged by intentions’. Allah showed His beloved the unseen verities. Some of the companions had a debate as to whether or not Prophet (saw) saw Allah . Hazrat Aisha (ra) was of the view that he didn’t and she further went on to say ‘anyone who says that he saw Allah is a liar’. Perhaps she was referring to physical sight, but think for a moment did Prophet (saw) tell of everything he saw and witnessed?

Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, wrote in his final writings ‘those who know don't speak, those who speak don't know’. Why didn’t Prophet disclose everything he experienced? For example when he was asked to describe the Lot tree he said that ‘the leaves were like the ears of elephants’. How can one describe this and generally speaking how can one explain religious experiences?

We all know of the 5 senses that humans poses. But what about the sixth sense, the one that is used to read the book of Moses (as). As scholars put it there are certain degrees of freedom that man has and some may be able to use their higher senses while other may not. So how for example people, using their 10th sense or higher degree of freedom, explain a matter or experience to someone who only operates on their 5th sense? Religious experiences are difficult to explain using scientific reason and logic. Prophet (saw) was privileged to witness the unseen, be it actual or concept. Allah wanted to show His beloved who He is.

‘There is no God but He: that is the witness of Allah, His angels, and those endued with knowledge, standing firm on justice, there is no God but He, the Exalted In power, the wise’.

It is possible for man to travel spirituality and for him to even go upwards into the heavens. This is being done on a regular basis. There are righteous people who have access to the heavens and to the Messengers. How can this be proved? The answer is found in the Qur’an?

‘and say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah. "they are dead". Nay, they are living, though ye perceive (it) not’.

How can you explain this? How can we explain that there are certain righteous believers who have left this world and yet still they are still alive and are functioning? Reason and logic is useless when it comes to understanding this. Unfortunately there are some who argue haram, bidah, shirk. Remember what Allah says in His Glorious Words;

‘They have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they Hear not’.

After all of this explanations and descriptions the question sill remains why Mir’aj? Why was it necessary to physically take up Prophet (saw)? In order to answer this, firstly think of how is it possible to get the sun light into a dark room. Logically one could reflect the light using a mirror. There may be some hindrance such as the clouds, dust in the atmosphere, spots on the mirror etc. The Mir’aj is the occasion when Prophet (saw) went up into the heavens and removed all the barriers that existed and got the true and beautiful Light of Allah to reflect on mankind. He was destined to reflect the Light of Allah on earth. Proof of this can be found in the Qur`an in Surah Ma'ida and Surah Nur. In Surah Nur there contains a verse known as Ayat an-Nur. This ayat is renowned for its remarkable beauty;

‘Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth Parables for men: and Allah doth know all things’.

Prophet (saw) is that one who was delegated that mission of reflecting the Light of Allah on the universe. Allah says in Surah Zumar;

‘and the earth will shine with the glory of its Lord’.

No other creature has this capacity. His blessed personality is capable of absorbing the Light of Allah; and further reflect it throughout the universe.

Make this an occasion where we make the firm decision that we are going back to meet our Lord and the meeting will be cordial and beautiful. May Allah help us and bless us and make it possible for the believers to experience their ‘mir’aj’ here in this world. May Allah always bless the believers.

No comments:

Post a Comment