Gift of Salah -Lessons of Me’raj
“Glorified be He (Allah), who took His slave ( Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) for a journey by night from Masjidul Haram (in Makkah) to the farthest Masjid (in Jerusalem – Masjid ul Aqsa), the precincts whereof we have blessed: in order that we might show him (Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) of our signs. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (17:1)
• Al-Israa and Me’raj are among the many signs of Allah Ta’ala and the miracles of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) which were very different when compared with any other natural occurrence in the Universe. No human being before him (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) ever travelled within such a short space of time covering such a vast distance, then moving on to the seven heavens until a point where Allah Ta’ala desired to take him to.
• This miraculous journey is primarily referred to in two distinct stages: Al Israa’ – which was the journey which began in Masjidul Haram where Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) embarked upon the unique white animal from Jannah called ‘Al-Buraaq’ with Jibreel (Alayhis Salaam) and they proceeded to Masjid ul Aqsa, whilst passing through Madinatul Munawwarah and Mount Sinaa’. The second stage in the journey is known as Me’raj, which was the journey from Masjidul Aqsa into the heavens.
• The wisdom behind this journey was establishing the transitory nature of this world with all its beauties and amenities; and consolidating the everlasting trait of the Life Hereafter.
• The object of this journey was not merely for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to be taken on a journey into the Heavens simply to witness the various dimensions of Allah’s creation therein; rather it was to affirm his superiority, leadership role and virtue above all the other Ambiyaa (Alayhimus Salaam).
• Some of the lessons of this event:
1. The Virtue of Salaah: The importance of the great gift of Salaah is evident from the fact that the Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was personally called to the Heavens to receive this injunction, while other injunctions were revealed via Jibreel (Alayhis Salaam).
2. Zam Zam Water: Whilst in Masjid ul Haram in Makkat ul Mukarramah, before embarking on the actual journey, the blessed chest of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was opened, his heart was removed and washed with the water of Zam Zam, and thereafter it was returned to its original condition. Its excellence is evident in that no other water was used for this purpose.
3. The Harms of disobedience: During this journey Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was shown the different punishments meted out to those who transgress the orders of Allah Ta’ala. This included, among others, the punishment for those who do not practice what they preach, those who slander, those who consume interest, those who indulge in fornication and adultery, those who misappropriate trust, those who do not fulfill their Zakaah and also those who are negligent with their Salaah.
• This journey also served as a means of encouragement and uplifting the morale of the Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), as it took place at a time in his life when he (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) together with his companions, were faced with a severe onslaught against their lives and faith, while frustration and a sense of losing hope began to surface.
• The historical significance of Masjid ul Aqsa and its precincts also was enlightened during this journey, as it was here and no other place, which had chosen for the assembly of the entire galaxy of Ambiyaa (Alayhimus Salaam).
• Although the Shariah has NOT specified any form of worship or commemoration of this event, at this time of the year, historically Muslims recall the lessons learnt from it and encouragement is given towards inculcating the lessons learnt from this miraculous occurrence.