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Night journey and ascent to heaven

Published: 14/06/2013 05:43:15 AM GMT
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A few months before the migration from Makkah to Madinah, God took the Prophet (peace be upon him) in one night from the Grand Mosque in Makkah to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a month’s journey of 1230 km for a (more)

A few months before the migration from Makkah to Madinah, God took the Prophet (peace be upon him) in one night from the Grand Mosque in Makkah to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a month’s journey of 1230 km for a caravan. From Jerusalem, he ascended to the heavens, passing the boundaries of the physical universe to be in divine presence, meet God, and witness the Great Signs (Al-Ayat ul-Kubra). His truth became apparent in two ways. First, ‘the Prophet described the caravans he had overtaken on the way home and said where they were and about when they might be expected to arrive in Makkah; and each arrived as predicted, and the details were as he had described.’ Second, he was never known to have been to Jerusalem, yet he described Al-Aqsa Mosque to skeptics like an eyewitness.
The mystical journey is mentioned in the Qur’an: “Exalted is He who took His Servant [Prophet Muhammad] 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)
“So will you dispute with him over what he saw? And he certainly saw him in another descent at the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary — near it is the Garden of Refuge (Paradise) — when there covered the Lote Tree that which covered (it). The sight (of the Prophet) did not swerve, nor did it transgress (its limit). He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.” (Qur’an, 53:12-18)
The event is also confirmed through eyewitness testimony transmitted through the ages with an unbroken chain of reliable scholars (Hadith Mutawatir). Forty-five companions of the Prophet transmitted the reports on his Night Journey and the Heavenly Ascent. There are many other miracles which the Prophet performed related in the Sunnah, or conglomeration of the sayings, deeds, approvals, and descriptions of the Prophet.

The tree trunk
In Madinah, Muhammad used to deliver sermons leaning on a tree stump. When the number of worshippers increased, someone suggested a pulpit be built so he can use it to deliver the sermon. When the pulpit was built, he abandoned the tree trunk.
Abdullah ibn Umar, one of the companions, gave an eye-witness testimony of what happened. The trunk was heard weeping, the Prophet of Mercy went toward it and comforted it with his hand.
The event is also confirmed through eye-witness testimony transmitted through the ages with an unbroken chain of reliable scholars (Hadith Mutawatir).

The flowing of water
On more than one occasion when people were in dire need of water, the blessing of the Muhammad saved them. In the sixth year after the he migrated from Makkah to Madinah, Muhammad went to Makkah for pilgrimage. In the long journey through the desert, people ran out of all water, only the Prophet was left with a vessel with which he performed ablution for prayers. He put his hand in vessel, water began flowing from between his fingers. Jabir bin Abdullah, who witnessed the miracle, says of the fifteen hundred men, ‘We drank it and made ablution.’ This miracle has been transmitted with an unbroken chain of reliable scholars (Hadith Mutawatir).
The sprouting of water from human fingers is similar to the Moses’ miracle of producing water from a rock.

Blessing of food
On more than one occasion, the Prophet blessed food by either praying or touching it so all present could get their fill. This happened at times when food and water shortage afflicted Muslims. These miracles took place in the presence of a large number of people and is, thus, not possible to deny.

Healing the sick
Abdullah ibn Ateek broke his leg and the Prophet healed it by wiping his hand over it. Abdullah said it was as if nothing had happened to it! The person who witnessed the miracle was another companion, Bara’ ibn Azib (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) During the expedition of Khyber, Muhammad healed the painful eyes of Ali ibn Abi Talib in front of a whole army. Ali, many years later, became the fourth caliph of Muslims. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Exorcising devils
The Prophet exorcised the devil out of a boy brought by his mother for healing to him by saying, ‘Come out! I am Muhammad, the Messenger of God!’ The woman said, ‘By the One who sent you with the truth, we have never seen anything wrong with him since.’ (Musnad of Imam Ahmad, and Sharh Al-Sunnah)
Prayers answered
(1) The mother of Abu Hurayra used to speak ill of Islam and its Prophet. One day, Abu Hurayra came weeping to the Prophet and asked him to pray for his mother to be saved. Muhammad prayed and when Abu Hurayra returned home he found his mother ready to accept Islam. She bore the testimony of faith in front of her son and entered Islam. (Saheeh Muslim)
(2) Jarir ibn Abdullah was commissioned by the Prophet to rid the land of an idol worshipped besides God, but he complained he was could not ride a horse well! The Prophet prayed for him, ‘O God, make him a strong horseman and make him one is guides and is guided.’ Jarir testifies he never fell off his horse after the Prophet prayed for him. (Saheeh Muslim).
(3) The people were struck with famine during the time of Muhammad. A man stood up when Muhammad (peace be upon him) was delivering the weekly sermon on Friday, and said, ‘O Messenger of God, our wealth has been destroyed and our children are starving. Pray to God for us.’ Muhammad raised his hands in prayer.
Those in attendance testify that that the moment he lowered his hands after praying, clouds began to build like mountains! By the time he stepped down of his pulpit, rain was dripping from his beard! It rained the whole week till next Friday! The same man stood up again, complained this time, ‘O Messenger of God, our buildings are destroyed, and our property is drowned, pray to God for us!’ The Prophet raised his hands and prayed, ‘O God, (let it rain) around us, but not on us.’ Those in attendance testify that the clouds withdrew in the direction he pointed, the city of Madinah was surrounded by clouds, but there were no clouds over it! (Bukhari, Muslim)
(4) Here is a beautiful story of Jabir. He testifies that once the camel he was riding was exhausted because it was used for carrying water. The camel could hardly walk. The Prophet asked him, ‘What’s the matter with your camel?’ On finding out how tired the poor camel was, Muhammad (peace be upon him) prayed for the poor animal and from that time, Jabir tells us, the camel was always ahead of others! The Prophet asked Jabir, ‘How do you find your camel?’ Jabir responded, ‘It is well, your blessing has reached it!’ The Prophet bought the camel from Jabir on the spot for a piece of gold, with the condition that Jabir ride it back to the city! On reaching Madinah, Jabir says he brought the camel to the Prophet the next morning. Muhammad gave him the piece of gold and told him to keep his camel! (Bukhari, Muslim)

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Reproduced from Arab News