The Miraj of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is a great favor and blessing from Allah to the Muslims. It is a religious experience far superior to all the religious experiences Allah gave to the Messengers who came before him. Some such experiences include Moses dropping his staff which turned into a serpent which swallowed the fake ones of the magicians. Also when he struck the water it parted and when he again struck it, it joined back thereby drowning Pharaoh and his men.
As the Miraj is a Religious Experience outside the realm of reason and logic it is not correct to say that it was only a spiritual journey. This is because Allah speaks about the event as one which involved the entire personality of the Messenger. He says:
Glorified be He Who transported His servant by night from the Invioable Place of Worship, to the Far Distant Place of Worship, the neighborhood whereof We have blessed. (17:1)
Because the Prophet (pboh) was transported in a way we are unable to comprehend, he was able to stop on the way at two places, one to help the bedouin find his lost camel, and at the other place he drank water from a tent, and covered the water pot and proceeded towards Jerusalem.
The Miraj of the Prophet (pboh) highlights many important issues that every believer should take note of. Some of them are:
1. The climax of the Miraj was when the Prophet (pboh) was permitted to stand very close to Allah—two bows length or even closer—in that position, he was standing in front of the Lord with his gaze fixed on the Creator, and there was nothing between both of them. Then Allah told him to take another look and the Messenger stood there in a very composed state of mind with his total personality not being affected in any way with the experience he was having. Allah tells us about that occasion in the following verses of the Holy Qur’an:
And He revealed unto His slave that which He revealed; the heart lied not in seeing what it saw. (53:10-11)
No other creature had that unique blessing and status. Even Moses, after fasting for forty days and nights, when he requested his Lord to be able to see Him, he was told that he did not possess that capacity. Allah demonstrated this fact to him by telling him to look at the mountain and if he can bear what he was to experience, he would be able to see Him; so when Allah caused to descend upon the mountain something of His Divine Vibrations Moses fell down and fainted.
2. Allah has made this experience of the Prophet (pboh) an all-time blessing for all believers. That is, they practice standing in front of the Lord five times for the day and speak directly to Him. For example, in their Salaat they say:
Only You (O Lord) we worship, and only You we ask for help.
Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:
Salaat is the Miraj of the Momin.
Because Salaat is that Institution that enables us to be alone with our Lord, Satan, out of envy, will not want us to experience His closeness to us. As a result he will try to get between the worshipper and the Lord.
3. During the Miraj, all the Unseen Verities became known to the Prophet (pboh). He saw Paradise, Hell, the Angels, Jinns, the Lote Tree, the Pen, Lauhi Mahfuz, and even Allah. So when he gave his companions any information about Al Ghaib, he gave it on first-hand knowledge. In this connection Allah says:
And those whom they invoke instead of Him have no power of intercession; except those who bear witness to the truth; and they know. (43:86)
4. Because Prophet Muhammad (pboh) journeyed to Allah, he knows the Path that leads to Him. So that he is able to invite people to follow it, and also to lead them along. In addition, to giving this import invitation, he is blessed with the ability to light up the Path because he is Siraajun Muneerah.
5. This journey was something physical, as, during the earthly phase of it, i.e. from Makkah to Jerusalem, he stopped on the way on two occasions, one was to help a Bedouin find his camel and the other was to drink from a covered pot in one of the tents. Perhaps these things were done so that the people were able to confirm that there was someone who visited them.
6. All the Messengers who came before him and had the opportunity to predict his coming were given the opportunity to pray with him and to know in person Who was the Promised one.
7. Through his leadership, he was able to redirect the focus of all to turn towards the direction of the Kaba in worship. Before this they used to turn towards the direction of Jerusalem to worship.
8. This special journey created a contact with all the heavenly bodies, and so the entire universe became connected under one leadership, who is the Prophet (pboh).
9. Because the Miraj was a special religious experience of the Prophet (pboh), which opened up the path (Siraatul Mustaqeem) Muslims have the opportunity to experience the closeness of Allah to them.
10. Muslims know that if they are to be drawn closer and closer to the Lord, they will have to wash their hearts clean of all worldly impurities, as, in spite of the Prophet (pboh) was free of sins, his heart was washed before he began the journey.
Muslims should resolve on this day that they will strive hard to earn the pleasure of Allah which will result in Him enabling us to get closer to Him.