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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

THE MIRACULOUS NIGHT ASCENSION OF THE PROPHET (PBUH)

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds Who says: سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ" {الإسراء :17\1} 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. (Q17:1). We praise and thank Him abundantly. May the peace and blessing of Allah be showered on Muhammmad (SAW), his household, companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment. O servants of Allaah! I admonish you and myself to fear Allaah the exalted both in secret and public since it is the way to success, merger of all goodness and protection from all evils and tribulations. Allaah says: " وَإِنْ تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطٌ " {آل عِمران : 3\120}. And if you are patient and fear Allah, their plot will not harm you at all. (3:120) Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, today’s sermon shall be focused on the miraculous night journey of the Prophet (pbuh) following our discussion on the virtues of Rajab last week. Al-Israa means a night journey. Al-Mi’raaj refers to stairs, ladder, or route or place of ascent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the night of his ascension. Importance of the ascension Sayyid Qutb in ‘Fi zilaal’ states: “The journey from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa chosen by Allah- the most kind, binding the faith from prophet Ibrahim and Isma’il (AS) to Muhammad- the seal of prophets. It also binds the holy sites of all the religion of monotheism. It as the journey was an open declaration of the inheritance of the messenger of Allah the sanctuaries of the earlier Prophets, and that his mission encompasses all the holy sites, as well as the relation between them. It symbolizes an expedition which transcends time and space, its meaning and interpretation are heavy beyond the simple meaning derivable at the first glance at an issue …” Masjid Aqsa is of a blessed surrounding beyond the masjid itself. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the heart of the Holy Land where in Allah situated the children of Israel and eventually banished them out of it. The journey itself was a great miracle full of signs and wonders. The miraculous movement from Masjidul-Haram to Masjidul-Aqsa within a short while ... is equally of the signs of Allah which opens the heart to the prospects of wonderful horizon in life and equally reveals the latent energies concealed within the human nature and the preparations to receive support for selected persons among the human race- honoured before Allah above all other creatures. Allah hears and sees all things - the subtleties, and the conspicous . Scholars’ view on the occurrence: The most among scholars of Islam belief was taken to Masjid-Aqsa physically and then ascended to the heavens until he reached the lote tree, and this cause the amazement of the quraish. When Ummu Haani heard of the story she advised the Prophet not to tell people that they may belied you. if the ascension was an experience through dream it would not have attracted such level of skepticism and outright denial by the quraish. It is an Islamic faith to accept that the journey was with both body and spirit. The event of Israa and Miraj was a common narration in every region of Islam, about 20 companions narrated it. However, the purported hadith narrated by ‘Aisha and Mu’awiyyah which states it was a dream experience was sound, even if it were sound, it would not have suffice as evidence due to young age of ‘Aisha then and the kufr of Mu’awiyyah. In addition, the chain was not linked to the Prophet (pbuh) and they have not spoken on that capacity. The verse- 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. (Q17:1). points to the following: 1- The firmness of the event in the qur’an and all collections of hadith. It is narrated on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I was brought al-Buraq Who is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place his hoof a distance equal to the range of version. I mounted it and came to the Temple (Bait Maqdis in Jerusalem), then tethered it to the ring used by the prophets. I entered the mosque and prayed two rak'ahs in it, and then came out and Gabriel brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk. I chose the milk, and Gabriet said: You have chosen the natural thing Then he took me to heaven. 2- The event of Israa and Miraj took place both with the body and soul physically mounting the Al-Buraaq, and dream or vision. With this evidence of the qur’an- “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night” the servant mentioned here refers to a being made of body and soul, were it being in dream, it could have read- “He who took the soul of His servant”. Also is the verse- “The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit]. If it were to be a dream or vision it would have been a miracle, nor caused the quraish any amazement such that some people fell into apostasy when they could not comprehend it thus if it were mere dream such could not have happened. The following verses describe the mi’raaj- ascension to the heavens: "وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَى (1) مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَى (2) وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى (3) إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى (4) عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَى (5) ذُو مِرَّةٍ فَاسْتَوَى (6) وَهُوَ بِالْأُفُقِ الْأَعْلَى (7) ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّى (8) فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى (9) فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى (10) مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى (11) أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَى مَا يَرَى (12) وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَى (13) عِنْدَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَى (14) عِنْدَهَا جَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَى (15) إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى (16) مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَى (17) لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى (18) " {النّجم :53\1-18} (1)By the star when it descends, ( 2 ) Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, ( 3 ) Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. ( 4 ) It is not but a revelation revealed, ( 5 ) Taught to him by one intense in strength - ( 6 ) One of soundness. And he rose to [his] true form ( 7 ) While he was in the higher [part of the] horizon. ( 8 ) Then he approached and descended ( 9 ) And was at a distance of two bow lengths or nearer. ( 10 ) And he revealed to His Servant what he revealed. ( 11 ) The heart did not lie [about] what it saw. ( 12 ) So will you dispute with him over what he saw? ( 13 ) And he certainly saw him in another descent ( 14 ) At the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary - ( 15 ) Near it is the Garden of Refuge - ( 16 ) When there covered the Lote Tree that which covered [it]. ( 17 ) The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit]. ( 18 ) He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord. The event took place a year before the hijrah. Scholars are unanimous that solat was made obligatory on this night in Makkah but disagree on the form. Bukhari and Muslim reported from ‘Aisha "When the prayers were first enjoined they were of two Rakat each. Later the prayer in a journey was kept as it was but the prayers for non-travellers were completed." Narrated Abdullah bn Abbass, he said: “Allah enjoined prayers on the lips of your prophet as four rakats while not on journey, and two rakats on a journey, and one rakat in time of fear” (Muslim) 3- The event of ascension was opportunity that Allah will show His prophet great signs that point to His existence, oneness, and ability such as, paradise, hell, the nature of the heavens, the throne and the world became decimated compared to the expanse of the universe and gained the power of endurance and perseverance and strive in the cause of Allah … The event also points to the unified message of the Prophets in calling to Oneness of God despite difference in time and law. The hadith on Al-Israa and Al-Mi’raaj Narrated Anas bin Malik: The night Allah's Apostle was taken for a journey from the sacred mosque (of Mecca) Al-Ka'ba: Three persons came to him (in a dreamy while he was sleeping in the Sacred Mosque before the Divine Inspiration was revealed to Him. One of them said, "Which of them is he?" The middle (second) angel said, "He is the best of them." The last (third) angle said, "Take the best of them." Only that much happened on that night and he did not see them till they came on another night, i.e. after The Divine Inspiration was revealed to him. (Fateh-Al-Bari Page 258, Vol. 17) and he saw them, his eyes were asleep but his heart was not----and so is the case with the prophets: their eyes sleep while their hearts do not sleep. So those angels did not talk to him till they carried him and placed him beside the well of Zam-Zam. From among them Gabriel took charge of him. Gabriel cut open (the part of his body) between his throat and the middle of his chest (heart) and took all the material out of his chest and abdomen and then washed it with Zam-Zam water with his own hands till he cleansed the inside of his body, and then a gold tray containing a gold bowl full of belief and wisdom was brought and then Gabriel stuffed his chest and throat blood vessels with it and then closed it (the chest). He then ascended with him to the heaven of the world and knocked on one of its doors. The dwellers of the Heaven asked, 'Who is it?' He said, "Gabriel." They said, "Who is accompanying you?" He said, "Muhammad." They said, "Has he been called?" He said, "Yes" They said, "He is welcomed." So the dwellers of the Heaven became pleased with his arrival, and they did not know what Allah would do to the Prophet on earth unless Allah informed them. The Prophet met Adam over the nearest Heaven. Gabriel said to the Prophet, "He is your father; greet him." The Prophet greeted him and Adam returned his greeting and said, "Welcome, O my Son! O what a good son you are!" Behold, he saw two flowing rivers, while he was in the nearest sky. He asked, "What are these two rivers, O Gabriel?" Gabriel said, "These are the sources of the Nile and the Euphrates." Then Gabriel took him around that Heaven and behold, he saw another river at the bank of which there was a palace built of pearls and emerald. He put his hand into the river and found its mud like musk Adhfar. He asked, "What is this, O Gabriel?" Gabriel said, "This is the Kauthar which your Lord has kept for you." Then Gabriel ascended (with him) to the second Heaven and the angels asked the same questions as those on the first Heaven, i.e., "Who is it?" Gabriel replied, "Gabriel". They asked, "Who is accompanying you?" He said, "Muhammad." They asked, "Has he been sent for?" He said, "Yes." Then they said, "He is welcomed.'' Then he (Gabriel) ascended with the Prophet to the third Heaven, and the angels said the same as the angels of the first and the second Heavens had said. Then he ascended with him to the fourth Heaven and they said the same; and then he ascended with him to the fifth Heaven and they said the same; and then he ascended with him to the sixth Heaven and they said the same; then he ascended with him to the seventh Heaven and they said the same. On each Heaven there were prophets whose names he had mentioned and of whom I remember Idris on the second Heaven, Aaron on the fourth Heavens another prophet whose name I don't remember, on the fifth Heaven, Abraham on the sixth Heaven, and Moses on the seventh Heaven because of his privilege of talking to Allah directly. Moses said (to Allah), "O Lord! I thought that none would be raised up above me." But Gabriel ascended with him (the Prophet) for a distance above that, the distance of which only Allah knows, till he reached the Lote Tree (beyond which none may pass) and then the Irresistible, the Lord of Honor and Majesty approached and came closer till he (Gabriel) was about two bow lengths or (even) nearer. (It is said that it was Gabriel who approached and came closer to the Prophet. (Fate Al-Bari Page 263, 264, Vol. 17). Among the things which Allah revealed to him then, was: "Fifty prayers were enjoined on his followers in a day and a night." Then the Prophet descended till he met Moses, and then Moses stopped him and asked, "O Muhammad ! What did your Lord en join upon you?" The Prophet replied," He enjoined upon me to perform fifty prayers in a day and a night." Moses said, "Your followers cannot do that; Go back so that your Lord may reduce it for you and for them." So the Prophet turned to Gabriel as if he wanted to consult him about that issue. Gabriel told him of his opinion, saying, "Yes, if you wish." So Gabriel ascended with him to the Irresistible and said while he was in his place, "O Lord, please lighten our burden as my followers cannot do that." So Allah deducted for him ten prayers where upon he returned to Moses who stopped him again and kept on sending him back to his Lord till the enjoined prayers were reduced to only five prayers. Then Moses stopped him when the prayers had been reduced to five and said, "O Muhammad! By Allah, I tried to persuade my nation, Bani Israel to do less than this, but they could not do it and gave it up. However, your followers are weaker in body, heart, sight and hearing, so return to your Lord so that He may lighten your burden." The Prophet turned towards Gabriel for advice and Gabriel did not disapprove of that. So he ascended with him for the fifth time. The Prophet said, "O Lord, my followers are weak in their bodies, hearts, hearing and constitution, so lighten our burden." On that the Irresistible said, "O Muhammad!" the Prophet replied, "Labbaik and Sa'daik." Allah said, "The Word that comes from Me does not change, so it will be as I enjoined on you in the Mother of the Book." Allah added, "Every good deed will be rewarded as ten times so it is fifty (prayers) in the Mother of the Book (in reward) but you are to perform only five (in practice)." The Prophet returned to Moses who asked, "What have you done?" He said, "He has lightened our burden: He has given us for every good deed a tenfold reward." Moses said, "By Allah! I tried to make Bani Israel observe less than that, but they gave it up. So go back to your Lord that He may lighten your burden further." Allah's Apostle said, "O Moses! By Allah, I feel shy of returning too many times to my Lord." On that Gabriel said, "Descend in Allah's Name." The Prophet then woke while he was in the Sacred Mosque (at Mecca Some of the scenes the Prophet witnessed: - The Prophet saw some men and people whose heads are pelted with stones. He asked: Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “Those are people whose lag behind of solat” (Al-bayhaqi) - The Prophet (pbuh) saw some people who graze freely as the cattle graze on their thorny feeds. He asked: Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “Those are people who did not pay the zakat of their wealth” (Al-bayhaqi) - The Prophet (pbuh) saw some people who were eating rotten beef but before is a fresh meat. He asked: Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “Those are some people among your people who had legal wife, but left her to sleep with repugnant woman till daybreak.” (Al-bayhaqi) - The Prophet (pbuh) saw some women who were tied with their breasts. He said: “Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “These were women who brought children who are not of their husbands into the household.” (Al-bayhaqi) SECOND KHUTBAH All praises are due to Allah who says: "وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ بَرَكَاتٍِ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَكِنْ كَذَّبُوا فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ (96) أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا بَيَاتًا وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ (97) أَوَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ (98) أَفَأَمِنُوا مَكْرَ اللَّهِ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ (99) And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning."( 97 ) Then, did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them at night while they were asleep? ( 98 ) Or did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them in the morning while they were at play?( 99 ) Then did they feel secure from the plan of Allah? But no one feels secure from the plan of Allah except the losing people. (7: 96- 99) May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the chosen Prophet (pbuh), his household and his companions and those who follow them in goodness. The verses above serve as an enticement for believers and terrifying warning for disbelievers. The enticement here is illustrated in the abundant favour that descend from the heavens including rain, blowing wind etc, and on land which consists of plants, vegetations, abundant cattle, security, peace, guidance to men, … As a frightening warning to the disbelievers, the verses serve as warning of an agonizing torment and inevitable destruction as it had happened to people of ancient times who assaulted and belied their prophets. Our problems in Nigeria are still present, it increases day by day, including, the bomb blast, kidnapping involving over two hundred female students, people who make offerings to the jinns and demons, the perverted nature of homosexuality and lesbianism, the growing culture of nudity and others. Allah says: فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ إِنِّي لَكُمْ مِنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ (50) وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ إِنِّي لَكُمْ مِنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ (51) . {الذاريات :51\50-51} Oh Allah send peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations.

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