The Biography of

Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam

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Lesson 9
Al-Isra and Mi'raj

It was during this period that the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam was transported at night to the Ka'bah and from there to Masjid al-Aqsa. From there he was then taken to the heavens where he met the prophets and saw the remarkable signs of divine majesty.

A number of important events featured around this night journey :

1. Jibraeel Alaihis Salaam cut his chest open and his heart was washed with the water of Zamzam.
2. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was given the command of fifty Salaah and this was finally reduced to five. Whoever performed five would be rewarded with the equivalent of fifty.
3. Two vessels were brought to him - one containing milk and the other wine. He chose the milk and was told by the angel : "You have been guided on al-fitrah (original unspoilt disposition). Had you chosen the wine your nation would have been misled." This was a symbolic way of saying that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had instinctively chosen good and not evil.
4. He saw Malik, the guardian of Hell, who never smiles. He also witnessed the dreadful punishment of those who consume interest, those who usurp the wealth of orphans and those who commit adultery.
5. The day after the night journey the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam told the people about his nocturnal trip, but the Quraish mocked at him saying that it was inconceivable and beyond reason. When Abu Bakr Radhi Allahu Anhu was told about the incident he accepted it as truth saying : "If he has said this then it is definitely true." It was due to this statement of his that he was given the title of As-Siddeek (verifier of the truth). (1)



Lessons to learn

  • Having been taken from Makkah to Baitul Maqdis showed that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was the leader of east and west and of the entire humanity till the end of time. It also showed that Baitul Haram in Makkah and Masjid al-Aqsa in Palestine were figuratively linked as important religious centres for Muslims. It showed the critical nature of Masjid al-Aqsa to the Muslims. An attack or siege on it is a siege on Islam.
  • All the prophets performing Salaah behind him showed his finality, universality and inclusion of all previous divine religions under his religion. It drew a distinct line between the regional, limited message of the prophets of old and his global and universal purpose and message.
  • The journey showed the possibility of space travel. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was the first space traveller in human history. He did it in complete ease.
  • When Salaah was given to the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam in Miraj it was a lesson to the Muslims. When the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was taken by body and soul to the heavens it means that five times daily Salaah should take ones soul and mind to Allah and divorce it from ones desires and passions. Salaah should not be an act of slavery or force but one of love, devotion and honour.



Invitation during Haj

Pilgrims would come to Makkah from all over Arabia for the annual Haj. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam invited tribes to Islam during this time. The tribe of Khazraj from Madinah was one such tribe and they accepted Islam as they were told of the coming of a prophet from their neighbours, the Jews of Madinah. They left Makkah for home with the intention of spreading Islam in Madinah. They were disunited and at war with each other and felt the hope of unity with a new prophet being able to unite them.



Lessons to learn

The Prophet's Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam inviting people in Haj proved that he was a concerned invitor to the truth. He did not sit back and only make effort in his home. He knew that it was a splendid opportunity and used it. Even if some opposed him he continued to go to others. The result was that some people of Madinah accepted his message. This was an enormous help to Islam because it provided a place of refuge for the Muslims to migrate to. It ultimately served as a deathblow for idol worship and for all opposition to Islam. It allowed for the creation of a stronghold and capital of Islam and produced a group of men who Allah became pleased with till the end of time.


The First Pledge of Aqabah

During the Haj of the following year twelve men from the Ansaar of Madinah met the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam at a place called Aqabah. They pledged themselves to follow him and abide to the teachings of Islam. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam sent Mus'ab Ibn Umayr Radhi Allahu Anhu with them to Madinah to teach the Qur'an to them and guide them in their other religious affairs.

Islam now began to spread amongst the tribes of Madinah. It was a critical juncture when the Aus and Khazraj, two of the influential tribes of Madinah, accepted Islam. The Aus and the Khazraj were kind-hearted and soft tempered. They were immune from the Quraishi traits of obstinacy and vulgarity. They were responsive and open to reason.

Another reason for their acceptance of his message was that continuous internal warfare had already exhausted both the tribes. They were desirous of peace and harmony and wanted to avoid conflict. Such was their anxiety for peace that the first Muslims of Madinah said to the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam: "When we left our people discord, conflict and enmity divided them more than any other. Perhaps Allah will unite them through you...and if Allah unites them on you then no man will be more honoured than you."

There was yet another reason for their conversion. Although the Aus and Khazraj as well as the other Arab tribes of Madinah were heathens like the idolatrous Quraish they had become accustomed to the concept of revelation and prophecy from their Jewish neighbours. The Jews of Madinah lived and traded side by side with them and they were often heard talking about a prophet who was to come in later times. (2)

The Second Pledge of Aqaba

In the Haj of the next year the Ansaar again met with the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. This time their number was seventy-three. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam read some of the verses of the Quran to them and invited them to accept Islam. He said to them, "I invite your allegiance on this condition that you would protect me in the same way as you would your women and children." They promised to sacrifice their lives and possessions in protecting him.

They pledged allegiance to the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam that they would keep away from polytheism, theft, idolatry, infanticide, etc. They asked whether he would ever leave them and return to his own people if Allah gave him power and victory. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said in reply : "I am of you and you are of me. I will fight against those who declare war upon you and make peace with those who make peace with you." Thereafter, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam selected twelve of them as leaders. (3)

When the Quraish got news of this secret pact they confronted the Madinite polytheists. They knew the deep ramifications of such an agreement. Having no knowledge of it the polytheists denied that anything of this sort had happened in their midst. The Madinite Muslims kept silent. The Quraiah could do nothing but leave, frustrated. (4)




(1) Ibn Hisham

(2) Ibn Hisham

(3) Ibn Hisham

(4) Ibn Hisham



Dua when looking into a mirror

Meaning : O Allah, You have created me beautifully, now

beautify my character.



The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam prohibited the wearing of gold and silk for men but allowed it for the women. (Tirmidhi)