KARACHI: Shab-e-Miraj literally translates to the Night of Ascent. It refers to the incident of Isra and Mairaj when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was taken to the Heavens from the Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca.
The Muslims around the world every year on 27th of Rajab ( Islamic Lunar calendar) observe the Shab-e-Miraj to mark the Isra (journey).
Shab-e-Meraj to be observed tonight, April 3, 2019 in Pakistan and across the world.
Shab e Meraj is an arabic word, it divided into two words, Shab means Night and Meraj or Miraj means ascend. Shab e Meraj Means The Night of Ascending.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) when he was taken from Makkah to Al-Haram-Al-Sharif (also known as the Temple Mount) and was then taken to heaven on the heavenly animal named ‘al-Buraq.’
The History of Shab-e-Meraj
Meraj was a journey by the Prophet to the heaven. In that night, archangel Gabriel came to the Prophet (s) and brought him a conveyance called Buraq and the Prophet (s) got on and moved toward Jerusalem. At the time of mounting on Buraq, it began to show disobedience and Gabriel hit it and told it, “Be calm o Buraq! Previously no prophet has ever mounted on you and in the future, no one like him would ever ride you.” After that hit, Buraq was calm and took him up which was not so high while Gabriel was with him.
Entering al-Aqsa Mosque
In the middle of the way, the Prophet (s) stopped in Medina, mosque of Kufa, Tur Sina and Bethlehem which is the birthplace of Prophet Jesus (a) and prayed there. He (s) then entered al-Aqsa Mosque and prayed there too.
Apparently, the Prophet (s) ascended to the skies from the mosque of Qubbat al-Sakhra. The reason for naming it is the existence of a rock inside it from where the Prophet (s) ascended to the skies. In the travel log of Nasir Khusraw, it has been claimed that upon the entrance of the Prophet (s) to the mosque, that rock ascended before him and after his ascent that rock never came back to earth.
Sky of the World
Speaking with the Prophet Adam (a)
From there, the Prophet (s) ascended to the sky of this world and saw Prophet Adam (a) there. Then, angels came to welcome him in groups and greeted him smiling and congratulated him. There, the Prophet (s) saw an angel having a frowning and angry look and when greeting him (s), not smiling like others. When the Prophet (s) asked the name of that angel from Gabriel, he answered that, “this is Malik, guard of the hell and has never smiled and his wrath on the enemies of God and sinners is being increased incessantly.” The Prophet (s) then asked Gabriel to show him the hell and when he opened its cap, a flame rose out of it which filled the air.
Conversing with Malik al-Mawt
There, the Prophet (s) also met Malak al-Mawt (Azrael or ‘Izra’il, the Archangel of Death) who was holding a tablet of light in his hand and after he had a conversation with the Prophet (s), said, “all the world in my hand is like a coin in the hand of a man and he flips it. There is no house except I meet five times a day…” That was when the Prophet (s) said, “Indeed, death is the greatest of calamity and the harshest of event.” And then Gabriel said, “the events following death are worse than that.”
Second to Seventh Skies
The Prophet (s) then ascended to the second sky and there, he (s) met Prophet Yahya (a) (John, the Baptist) and Prophet Jesus (a), then with Prophet Joseph (a) in the third sky, with Prophet Idris (a) (Enoch) in the fourth sky, with Prophet Aaron (a) in the fifth sky and with Prophet Moses (a) in the sixth sky.
The Prophet (s) then went to the seventh sky and reached where Gabriel was unable to reach saying, “I do not have permission to go there, and if I approach it as much as a tip of a finger, my wings and feather will burn.”
On return, the Prophet (s) landed in Jerusalem and went toward Mecca. On his way to Mecca, he (s) encountered a trade caravan of Quraysh who had lost a camel and were searching for it. The Prophet (s) drank from the water they had in a bowl and poured the rest of it on the ground and according to a report, covered the cap of the bowl. He (s) landed in the house of Umm Hani before sunrise, and told her his secret for the first time and then in the daytime, disclosed his secret to the gatherings of Quraysh.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) continued his heavenly tour until he reached very close to the Throne of Allah Almighty and attained the utmost nearness to Him. After having drunk from the Divine fountain of spiritual knowledge, he came down to impart the knowledge to mankind.
On that Night of Ascent, Allah Almighty also gave the order of the five daily Salat (Prayers) as being mandatory upon the Muslims.
Faithful would gather at mosques after Isha to offer special prayers that would continue till Fajr prayers, while different gatherings and Mahafil-e-Naat are being arranged to mark the holy night.