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Happiness lessons from Isra Wal Miraj

Happiness lessons from Isra Wal Miraj

Look at the events of Isra Wal Miraj from a new, happiness-seeking perspective

By Sheima Sumer

Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

 

Did you know that the miraculous story of Isra Wal Miraj is not only fascinating but also loaded with happiness lessons? Our beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) travelled from the Ka’aba to Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem (the ‘Isra’), and then ascended from Masjid Al Aqsa to the seven heavens (the Miraj). Read on to discover the happiness lessons from this amazing journey!

This blessed and miraculous event occurred about one year before hijrah, 620 A.D. Scholars do not agree about the exact date of this blessed event.

Qur’anic references to Isra wal Miraj are found in the first verse of Surah Al Isra as well as in Surah Najm.

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

(Qur’an 17:1)

This blessed journey was a gift to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) directly from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). In the above verse, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) refers to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as “His Servant”. Shaikh Yasir Qadhi, in an excellent YouTube video explains that the title of servant is a title of the highest honour, given to the best of creation, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Happiness Lesson:

The highest title of honour is that of “Servant of Allah.” This part of our identity is where our true honour comes from.

 

At the time of our Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) miraculous journey, he had just experienced the ‘year of sorrow’. In this previous year, he experienced the death of his beloved Khadijah (رضي الله عنها), the death of his dear uncle Abu Talib, and the cruel rejection of the people of Taif. Therefore, the gift of Isra wal Miraj was our Prophet’s ease after hardship.

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.

Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.

(Qur’an 94:5-6)

Happiness Lesson:

Expect Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to grant you ease when you face hardships. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) will reward your patience.

 

In the beginning, Angel Jibreel  (عليه السلام) came to the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) home and took him to the circle around the Ka’aba. Jibreel then gave the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) a bowl of iman or zamzam water (according to different ahadith) and then took out the Prophet’s heart and cleaned it.

Then Jibreel brought the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) an animal called Al Burraaq, which was smaller than a mule and larger than a donkey. Each hoof of Al Burraaq could reach as far as the eye could see.

When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) mounted him, Al Burraaq jumped up and neighed. Jibreel yanked Al Burraaq’s harness and said, “Woe to you! Are you not ashamed? Your current rider is the most blessed rider you have ever had.”

Then the Prophet rode Buraq to Masjid Al Aqsa and he tied Al Burraaq to an animal post used by all the Prophets. Then the Prophet went inside the masjid and prayed two rakahs of the Tahiyatul-Masjid prayer. The Prophet(صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw Prophets Musa, Isa and Ibrahim all praying already. Next, Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) led all of the prophets in prayer; he was their Imam.

Happiness Lesson:

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was given the greatest honour of being the Imam of all prophets. We are truly blessed to be in his ummah!

 

Next, Jibreel  (عليه السلام) presented the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) with two bowls: one with wine and one with milk. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) chose the milk. Jibreel said, “You have chosen the fitrah (natural human nature) for your ummah.”

Then the “doors of the sky” opened for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and this was the beginning of his ascent (miraj) from Jerusalem.

At each of the seven skies (not to be confused with the levels of Jannah), Jibreel would ask permission for the doors of the heavens to be opened. At each heaven, a gatekeeper would say, “Who is it?”

Jibreel would say, “It is Jibreel.”

Then the gatekeeper would say, “Do you have anyone with you?”

Jibreel would answer, “Yes, I have Muhammad.”

The gatekeeper would say, “Does he have permission to pass?”

Jibreel would say “Yes” and then the doors of each heaven would open up.

At the first sky, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) went to the door and opened it. There was a man standing. Jibreel  (عليه السلام) said, “This is your father Adam so say salaam to him.” The Prophet    (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said salaam to Adam  (عليه السلام) and then Adam said, “Welcome, O Noble Son and O Noble Prophet.”

In the second heaven, Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw Prophets Yahya  (عليه السلام) and Isa (عليه السلام) and the Prophet  (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said salaam to them and they answered, “Welcome O Noble Brother and O Noble Prophet.”

In the third heaven, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw Prophet Yusuf  (عليه السلام)and the same greetings were said. The Prophet commented in a hadith, “I saw Yusuf and lo and behold it was as if he had been given half of all beauty.”

In the fourth heaven, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw Prophet Idris  (عليه السلام) and the same greetings were said.

In the fifth heaven, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw Prophet Harun  (عليه السلام) and the same greetings were said.

In the sixth heaven, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) greeted Prophet Musa  (عليه السلام). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) described Musa as a stout, tall, muscular man with brownish skin. In this heaven Musa  (عليه السلام) began to cry and he was asked why he was crying. Musa  (عليه السلام) replied, “This young man who was sent after me will have a larger ummah/following who will enter Jannah.”

In the seventh heaven, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) met Prophet Ibrahim  (عليه السلام). Prophet Ibrahim  (عليه السلام) was sitting with his back leaning on Baytul Ma’mur, the frequented house or the heaven’s Kaabah. Jibreel  (عليه السلام) said, “This is your father Ibrahim.” Then Ibrahim responded to the Prophet’s salaam by saying, “Welcome O Noble Son and O Noble Prophet.” Ibrahim  (عليه السلام)then gave salaams to the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad and he said, “Tell your ummah that the soil in Jannah is very lush but there are not trees but the seedlings for trees in Jannah are the tasbihs that you do (i.e. saying SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, Allahuakbar).”

Happiness Lesson:

Have hope that the good that you do on Earth will be seen in Heaven.

 

Then the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) met the gatekeeper of the hellfire/jahannam named Malik (عليه السلام). Jibreel told the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to greet Malik and when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) turned to greet him, Malik greeted the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) first. Malik did not smile at all. The Prophet asked why and Jibreel said, “He has never smiled or laughed since being created, but if he were to smile at anyone, it would have been you.”

Next, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) went above the seven skies and saw Sidratul Muntaha, the lote tree at the very end of the seventh heaven. It is the boundary beyond which creation is not allowed to pass.

The Sidratul Muntaha has long branches and a fruit with a sweet scent and luscious, sweet taste. The fruit is as large as the “jugs of Hajar” and its leaves are like the ears of elephants. Colours cover the tree and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “I don’t know what those colors are.” Golden butterflies surround this tree. This tree was the last thing that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw before he came to the presence of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). This tree is referred to as Ayatul Kubra in the Holy Quran and it is one of the most magnificent creations of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).

Below this tree are four rivers flowing. Two are hidden and two are visible. The two visible rivers are the Nile and Euphrates, which are blessed rivers even in our world. The two hidden rivers are seen only in Jannah: Al Kawthar and Salsabil.

Happiness Lesson:

Have hope in the beauties of the next world that await you!

 

End of Part 1.

About Sheima Sumer

Originally from Virginia, USA, the writer is a trained counsellor and author of "How to Be a Happy Muslim Insha'Allah: Rise Above Your Problems and Choose Inner Peace" among other books. She also runs www.howtobeahappymuslim.com and is a Happiness Mentor for The Muslimah Network

One comment

  1. As salaamualaikum dear Muslimah Network! I had no idea this article of mine was published already. I just saw it today. I need to finish Part 2 in shaa Allah! Best wishes to all of my sisters!

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