THE FACT OF ASCENSION
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Under the guidance and supervision of
بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
To guide people and solve its problems in the light of Quran and Sunnah is the work of Islamic sages. Several Imams have written books explaining Quran and Ahadith, interpreting them in accordance with the understanding requirements of their times. Shaikh Mohammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui (رحمة الله عليه ), a great Islamic sage who read the pulse of the people of his time knew how to convey the basic teachings of Islam in accordance with their understanding abilities and language constraints. His style is unique but simple, and his concise coverage of the subject is often like squeezing the river into the proverbial cup.
The Book "The Fact of Ascension" (حقيقتِ معراج) is one such book wherein the Shaikh has convincingly described the facts about Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Ascension. The importance of this book will be known to its readers only when they read it.
Quadri's efforts in rendering the works of our Shaikh into English language are certainly praiseworthy. He has an exceptional style which allows him to maintain the essence of the Shaikh's text to its full.
I pray Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to accept Quadri's efforts. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) accept these translations as their original work and let all of us benefit from them.
Ghouse Mohiuddin Siddiqui, Son and successor of Shaikh Mohammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui ( رحمة لله عليه )
17 Jumada I, 1422 AH (8 August, 2001)
بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
"The Fact of Ascension (حقيقتِ معراج) is the eighth book translated in the series of translations of Hadhrat Mohammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui's (رحمة الله عليه) works.
There are differences of opinion among Ulema about the facts of Ascension of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Shaikh has clarified this issue in the light of Quran and Ahadith in a convincing way. The book has been divided into 3 sections, A, B, and C.
Shaikh has concentrated his entire work towards clearing the misconceptions about Islamic teachings and practices and at times has solved great puzzles in the light of Quran and Ahadith. The book in your hand is one such work.
I am thankful to Hadhrat Ghouse Mohiuddin Siddiqui for his support in translating these works.
I pray Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and seek Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) blessings in letting me and its readers benefit from this endeavor.
Shaikh Mir Asedullah Shah Quadri
9th Jumada I, 1422 AH ( July 31, 2001)
THE FACT OF ASCENSION (حقيقتِ معراج)
بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
It is in Quran - سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ [ The Unity (ذات الہی) is pure who took His Servant during the night time from the honored mosque (the mosque of Makka al-Mukarrama which houses Ka'aba) to the far away mosque ( Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem) around which We have abundant virtue (around all four sides of Al-Aqsa mosque, there is abundance of virtue) so that We show him our signs and traces of Omnipotence. Indeed He is the (only) one who sees and listens.] (Al-Isra - 1)
When Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) was with the Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), then why did the Accession (معراج) took place? Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says, "so that We (Allah سبحانه و تعالى) show him the wonders of our omnipotence (قدرت). Without doubt He is the only one who sees and listens (إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ)
During the Accession whatever the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) heard and saw, all of it was via the reflective gleaming of the Divine Epithets (اسماء الہی). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) heard with the Hearing of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and saw with the 'Seeing' of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
Prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus (عليهم السلام) and many other prophets were born in the honored house (the dome of the rock of Jerusalem). Without doubt, He (Allah - سبحانه و تعالى) is 'Seeing' and 'Hearing'. Meaning, the absolute attributes only belong to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Whatever we are doing and whatever we are saying, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is aware of it ( Meaning, He is seeing and hearing).
There are several issues about the Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Accession which require details. Shaikh says that he is one of the many writers who have written on this subject.
Is Accession possible? Without doubt, it is possible. The way Angel Gabriel's (عليه السلام) descent to the World of Manifestation (our world) is a fact, and for him it is possible to come to the World of Manifestation (عالم شہادت) by taking a form; Prophet Mohammad's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) ascent from this world, leaving behind the human necessities (worldly form) to the audience of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is also a fact. As it is possible for the Angel to take a form and shape from his state of formlessness, so also it is not difficult for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to become formless from his (worldly) state of body and form. Thus, this fact is undeniable.
People are captivated in the material darkness of this world therefore are unable to comprehend facts. Before coming into the World of Manifestation, we were in the World of Similitude (عالم مثال), and before that we were in the World of Souls (عالم ارواح) and before that we were in Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) knowledge. Definitely, we were in all these places.
Don't the people who are holed up and captivated in periodic and materialistic world, exist in the World of Similitude, or in the World of Souls? If you ask for the truth, our ego (انا) or soul, is distinct from the requirements of matter and materialism. The way we are seemingly existing in this world, we are also existing in other subtle worlds (مافوق عوالم). Thus Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Accession is, returning his attention towards his old place.
When did the Accession take place? It occurred in the fifth year after the Apostleship. Where did the Accession take place? The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was in the house of Umme Haani (رضي الله تعالى عنها), the sister of Hadhrat Ali (رضي الله تعالى عنه), at Makkah al-Mukarrama, from where he came to to rest in Masjid-e-Haram. From the Quranic words أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ it is becoming clear that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) took the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) along with Him during the night time. Why did the Accession (معراج) took place in the night? The dependence of all religious works is on the 'knowledge of unseen'. To believe without seeing is the epitome of faith. If Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Accession had taken place during the day, there would have been no difference between Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (رضي الله تعالى عنه) and Abu Jahel?
Why it is أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ, and not أَسْرَىٰ بِمٌحَمّدٍ ? Whatever elevation a human being acquires (from Allah سبحانه و تعالى), it is because of his 'servanthood'. The exaltation of an individual is directly in proportion to the state of his serventhood. By stating the word أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ the cause and reason for Accession has been described. And it is also to emphasize that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is the Absolute virtuous Servant of Allah. أَسْرَىٰ Means to remain awaken in the night, then why is لَيْلًا in the Quranic verse? This is to show that there are exclusive divine favors for those who remain awaken for prayers in the night.
Some devotedly loving adherents of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) consider that if Accession had taken place during the day, and the Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) blessed body disappeared in front of their sight, the people who eternally long to see the sight of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in front of them, would have laid down their lives in grief. It is also clear from the word بِعَبْدِهِ, the Accession was with the body, because wherever the Arabic word عبد comes, the purport is the sum of life and body, and not life and soul.
Was the auspicious Accession with Corporeal body (جسمانی) or spiritual (روحانی)? The Accession was both corporeal and spiritual. As long as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was in the World of Corporeal Forms (عالم اجساد), it was Corporeal Accession. When he turned his attention towards the upper (celestial) worlds, his purified corporeal body transformed itself to become suitable for those worlds and (from there) it became spiritual Accession. We have described that when Angel Gabriel (عليه السلام) (who is formless and free from facial consideration) can come to this world with a corporeal face; then it is not a difficult for Prophet Mohammad's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to give up his corporeal face and become formless. Spiritual Accession of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to take place frequently; rather this type of Accession is normal even to the followers of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) who are very obedient. Those Awliya Allah on whom the World of Similitude is uncovered, they could see things that cannot be described in words. The exclusive Awliya Allah are fortunate to have spiritual Accession as a Sadaqa of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)
It is being proved by مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ that Masjid al-Haram is more sacred than Masjid al-Aqsa. One gets more recompense for performing Salah in the Al-Haram mosque than performing the same in Al-Aqsa mosque.
It is in Quran - إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ [ Indeed, the first House (for Allah's Ibadah) established for mankind was that at Makkah - blessed and a guidance for the worlds.] (Aal-e-Imran - 96)
From the above verse it is declared that the first place for prayers is the sacred Kabatullah and its mosque. People consider that the sanctified Kabatullah was built by Prophet Abraham (عليه السلام). Moreover, from the words, أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ, it is declared that the first prayer house on this planet is Kaaba only, where Prophet Adam (عليه السلام) and mother Eve (عليها السلام) have met on the ground of Arafat, and where our mother Eve's (عليها السلام) sacred grave is also located. The most important thing is that the sacred body of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is also made up from the purified soil of Kaaba.
Why did the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) first reached the Al-Aqsa mosque during Accession? All prophets were there. It was necessary to meet with them and perambulate by their excellence. It was also needed to be blessed with the abundant virtues of the Al-Aqsa mosque. After that, is the perambulation of the excellence of the state of Mohammad (كمالاتِ محمدي صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and wonders of Allah's omnipotence (قدرت خداوندی کے کرشمے), and it was to be distinct with the perusal of the traces and secrets of Divinity.
The specific details of the Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Accession are available in Sura An-Najm.
There is a spherical stone on the ground. A person comes and lifts it above the ground. Nearby, there is another larger stone ball which is twice as heavier than the first one. The person tries his best to lift; but he gets tired in his attempts and the ball remains as it is on the ground.
Another person comes and smiles at the helplessness of this guy. He puts an iron angled rod below this larger ball, puts a prop nearby and pushes down from the other end of the rod with his full weight. The ball easily gets lifted up from the ground.
A third person with the knowledge of mesmerism comes on that spot and using his mesmerism powers stares at the stone. The stone gets lifted up by itself and hangs over the ground.
Now think about it. The first person, though he is a human being, considers himself having only the power of an animal and is not aware of his intelligence and therefore does not use it. The second person considers himself intelligent and using his intelligence, lifts up the stone from the ground which could not be lifted by the first person. The third person, in addition to his intelligence, finds spiritual power within himself, and uses it to lift the stone ball. But, this spiritual power is of very inferior category.
Prophet Solomon (عليه السلام) said to his courtiers, 'is there anyone who could bring the throne of Bilquis before her arrival there'? Afreet Jinni said 'I will bring it before you finish your court proceedings. Asif bin Barkhia (a wali Allah), who was a Minister in Soloman's (عليه السلام) Court, said, 'I will present the throne in an instant'. See, Asif bin Barkhia, when thought about himself, found himself to be more powerful than the Jinnies. And in twinkling of an eye, brought the throne of Bilquis from far off place. No walls, no buildings in between this distance, nothing posed him an obstruction. This episode is described in Quran in Sura An-Naml.
Alas, we never tried to understand who we are? What are our powers? and what is the standard of measurement that we consider ourselves a compendium of flesh and bones? That is the reason, the signs and deeds appearing from us correspond with the level of our understanding about our own selves. If we had traced ourselves further, we would have been more useful.
اس سے بڑھکر کیا ہو جہالت
اب تک نہ کھلا کے کون تو ہے
What could be more than this ignorance that still it is not uncovered who you are?
Let us view ourselves cursorily. When a man looks at himself, he realizes that he has weight, he occupies space, is prone to get cut if someone attempts it. But all these are the characteristics of the matter. the wood and stone also have the same characteristics. The man is vegetal; he grows naturally in length, width and depth. Don't the trees grow in this fashion? The man walks, moves around and have senses. The cattle also move around and have senses. The man has intelligence; thinks and understands about the things around him. Are intelligence and comprehension, characteristics of the matter? No. The characteristic of the matter is perpetuity; if it is in motion, it remains so unless someone makes it stationary, and if it is motionless, will remain so unless someone makes it move. Then for man, how is this movement and respite with "intention"? Definitely, this is not the characteristics of this material world. Therefore, to consider yourself as matter, is believing in an impossibility.
تنم غبارِ رُخِ جان باصفاۓ من است
Because my body is made up of dust, I am unable to identify who am I.ہے خاک میں ملایا اس پستئ نظر نےاۓ شاہ باز معنی سدرہ مقام تیراYour inferiority complex has brought you you to nought. O'falcon of reality, your place is the heavenly tree (beyond which even angels cannot go).گر آپ کو بھلادے نام و نشاں مٹادے
سر نامۓ کتابِ ہستی ہو نام تیرا
If you could give up you ego, and erase the traces of your being (in consideration of the absolute existence of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), your name would be super-scripted in the book of 'Existence'.
Let us investigate ourselves from a research point of view. When we were born, we were tiny, less than a forearm, weighing a few pounds. We gradually grew to the prime of our youth. Then the youth started declining.
Shaikh says that I have become middle aged, rather entered into the valley of old age. During this span of time, I have changed many modes, shades. My skin has changed and my weight has undergone a radical change. The dead part of my body exhumed out by way of Carbonic acid gas. The food compensated it and replaced those parts which were dead. The dead parts were liquidated and becoming gasses moved out of my body. May be a few molecules of the beginning , when I was born, have been left in the body. It is said that in 7 or 12 years time, the whole body becomes new. Be that as it may, but I am the same Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui. let my earlier body remain with me or not, whether I was kid or young, or am now middle aged or old, my personal ego remained the same. All these changed conditions, faces, and characteristics, are mine only. Honestly speaking, I am pure (fee) from the considerations of all these different faces. If a face or condition was essential to my person, it would not have been possible for me to change it. But the happenings testify it the other way.
سائنس و فلاسفی سے ہے کیا حاصل
کیا لاجک و ہسٹری کا حاصل
جب اپنی حقیقت کو نہ سمجھا تم نے
جو کچھہ لکھا پڑھا وہ سب لا حاصل
What is gained by Science and Philosophy? What is the use of learning History and Logic. When you do not understand your own reality, whatever you have studied is fruitless.Let us study ourselves in a little detail. When we go to a distance of a mile or two, we need time to reach their. When we hear, we require vibration of air waves to touch our ears, and when we see, we require the light of the sun, stars or a lamp. Whatever we do in this world, there is a cause for it to happen. But when we sleep in the night putting off lights in our bedrooms, a totally different world comes in front of us. We reach to Makkah al-Mukarrama and Madina al-Munawwara. We meet with venerable beings or with our friends and acquaintances and at times, also come to know about the future happenings of this world before time. Look, to witness these things we do not require the light of the sun. To hear we do not require the air waves and to go to far off distances, we did not have to travel. These similitude bodies (اجسام مثالی) neither have any weight, nor mass to occupy space. No sooner the eyes are closed in sleep, you reach (in dreams) thousands of kilometers away. No time is required to go there as spacial and periodic considerations of this world do not exist in that world.The dreams are of various types. Some require explication (تعبیر), some are true dreams and some are nonsensical or meaningless nightmares. The to find out if the dream was factual or malicious, a sound and truthful evaluation is required. If your attention is towards superior and elevated things, you will witness only those things in your dreams.جو مَن میں بسے وہ سپنے میں دِسےWhoever lives in your heart he will only be witnessed in your dream.If your mind has an inclination or hatred towards a particular thing, it will alter the dream accordingly and this dream will be deviated from facts. If your mind is at peace and does not excessively react to worldly desires, the dream will be as good as the dawn of the day. Since Apostles are sinless (like infants) and their minds are totally satisfied, their dreams are revelations.The way the human being has a personal thought in which his Corporeal Self (Anima - نفس) views all internal/external things, the quintessences (جواہر) and characteristics (اعراض), visualizing them in some face or form; in the same way, this Cosmos, also has a thought of its own, which is known as the 'World of Similitude' (عالم مثال). In Sufi terminology, the Cosmos is known as 'Large Human', and human being is known as 'Small human'. In the World of Similitude, all things appear in some shape or face. The pictures coming from the World of Similitude are the thoughts of the Large Human (Cosmos). Pictures coming to the World of Similitude and known as 'Detailed Notion (خیال منفصل); and the pictures coming into our minds are called 'Incessant Notion (خیال متّصل).This is evident that outside, the characteristics (اعراض) and purport (معنی) do not have any form/shape, but when this formless/faceless purports (meanings) come into our thoughts (notions), they take some appropriate form or shape. Our beloved Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) witnessed in the dream that he is drinking milk, and some leftover of it, he gave to Hadhrat Umar (رضي الله تعالى عنه). The explication for it given by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), is that this is the inspirational knowledge (علم لدنّی), some of which he gave to the Hadhrat Umar (رضي الله تعالى عنه).Obviously, the knowledge (علم) is an imperceptible (غیر محسوس) thing which does not have any form or face. But when it came to 'World of Notions (عالم خیال), it also took the form of milk. Does that have any bearing on the factual formlessness of knowledge? No.A person will be regarded silly if he does not draw his conclusion from the 'form' to its 'meaning' or who captivates 'meaning' into the 'form'. We cannot subject a thing to our commands about whom we do not know anything. People choose an absolutely meaningless word which is in their mind, and they caption it for an unknown thing, and then with it, subject a person to its commands who does not exists in their minds. In any case, anything taking a shape in the 'World of Similitude', or the 'World of Manifestation' does not have any affect on its original formlessness.Even, this world (World of Manifestation) which is being considered as real and factual, is also a dream.It is in Hadith - Hadhrat Ali (رضي الله تعالى عنه) said, People are sleeping when they die, they will wake up (Tabaqatush Shafi’iyyah, vol. 6 pg. 357).Now your wakefulness is a kind of sleep. But when you die, your eyes will be opened (meaning, you will realize) and you will see the explication of this dream you had been seeing.This world is also an explication of an earlier dream. If you had purity of mind, if you were free from the worldly desires, you could have turned your attention towards the earlier dream as well.کیسی پیاری صورتیں دکھلاتا ہے نقاش خیال
لوحش اللہ ہوگۓ ہیں روکش بتخانہ ہمThe painter of thought (the notional painter) shows us exceptionally charming pictures. We are overwhelmed with Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) wonders even while witnessing the pictures of an Idol temple.This dream is within the dream. The external dream is the explication of the internal dream.سوفسطائ کہ از خرد بے خبراست
گوید عالم خیالے اندر گزراست
آرے عالم خیالے اندر گزر است
پیوستہ درو حقیقتے جلوہ گراستThese are Persian Couplets, meaning, Sophist mind is ignorant of wisdom. Therefore, he says that the world is fictitious and self-fabricated. Yes, it is a fact that the world is a thought, but this thought is the Manifestation of Truth of Al-Mighty.It is important to note that Sophism is different from Sufism and Sophist is different from Sufi.After explaining a few required issues, Shaikh says that he would like to turn the readers' attention back to the Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Ascension.The state of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (رضي الله تعالى عنه) and Abu Jahel is depicted in the following Qurani verse.It is in Quran - وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَىٰ - وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا تَجَلَّىٰ [ By the night when it puts a veil and by the day when it shines brightly] (Al-lail 1-2)Abu Jahel could never affirm and Hadhrat Abu Bakr (رضي الله تعالى عنه) was never uncertain, never doubted about the prophethood of Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). After knowing about the Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Accession, Abu Jahel went to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (رضي الله تعالى عنه) and started saying ' and now your Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) has started claiming that he has visited Baitul Maqdis and the Empyrean (عرش اعظم). Do you still testify and believe in him? On this, the ever truthful Hadhrat Abu Bakr (رضي الله تعالى عنه) said, 'why should I hesitate in my affirmation when I am certain that everyday Angel Gabriel (عليه السلام) has been coming to the audience of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and carry with him the divine revelations.If you consider this affirmation and this convincing argument, you will not have any doubt left in your mind about the Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Accession. This was the rare of the rarest reply that earned him the title of 'Supremely Truthful (صدّيق اكبر) from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). It is definitely possible for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to have corporeal Accession (معراج جسمانی). When it not surprising that Angel Gabriel (عليه السلام) who is a 'spirit', routinely descends to this Physical world, then how come it will be surprising that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) who is the Soul of all the souls of the Cosmos (روح الارواح), to reach to the World of souls (عالم ارواح).Did the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) have the audience of the Sustainer of the Worlds on Empyrean? When Angel Gabriel who did not have the physical body descended to this physical world and was witnessed by all Sahabah and it did not make any difference to his being a soul, then if the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is on the Empyrean and the Supreme Refulgence of Allah (تجلی اعظم) is in front of him; will it make any difference to the non-colorfulness of Allah's Unity?How did Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) reach Baitul Maqdis and Empyrean (عرش اعظم) with such swiftness? How did Angel Gabriel (عليه السلام) routinely come to this physical world? Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is free from the consideration of directions. A direction is needed to witness a thing in this world, but Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is free from this limitation. Angel Gabriel (عليه السلام) is also free from the considerations of direction in the World of souls, but when he came down to this world, he was also subject to adherence to a direction. Therefore, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) after reaching the world of Souls, also becomes free from the limitations of directions and reaches Empyrean (which is above the World of Souls) and has audience of the Supreme Refulgence of Allah (تجلی اعظم) without the restriction of a direction; is there any difficulty in it?As long as Prophet Isa (عليه السلام) was in this Physical world, he used to eat, sleep and had to involve in other human chores. Since he is based now on Second Sky (سماء ثانیہ), these necessities have also been eliminated from him. Every world has its own requisites and accordingly all its necessities and dependencies get associated to its incumbent. When that world is not there, its necessities will also vanish. People make the mistake of trying to understand issues considering their materialistic state on par with non-materialistic state and get confused and deny facts.Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا [His Unity is pure, who took His servant during the night time]. Look, at the outset itself Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) describes Himself to be 'pure"; free from any dimensional consideration so that those who are unaware of His vision, do not consider his vision during Meraj to be contrary to His purgative magnificence and non-demurral (شان تنزیہ و بے چونی).The advantage of Accession occurring in the night is that belief in the 'unseen' is the only standard of affirmation of faith. Also,, it was not to perturb the devotedly affectionate followers of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Remember, the manifestation of هُو الظاهر is relevant with the day and هو الباطن is pertinent with the night. This is the reason that the latent deeds (اشغال باطنہ) are more useful in the night. In the word بِعَبْدِهِ, the alphabet (ب) denotes the meaning in the company of, which makes it clear that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was in the company of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) all along (throughout his life). It is not that earlier he was away and it is only during Me'raj at Empyrean, that he achieved proximity with Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Neither the earlier proximity of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) could affect the purgation (شان تنزیہ) of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), nor his nearness to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) on Empyrean during the Accession could make any difference to Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) non-demurral (شان بے چونی). The word (عبد) is mentioned in the verse because the most prominent attribugte of the servant is 'servitude' (عبدیت) only. The creation of the entire cosmos is only for the manifestation of servitude (اظھار عبدیت) because the attributes of the Sustainer (رب) are manifested on the servant (عبد) only.It is in Quran - وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ [ We have created the Jinnies and Human beings only for our worship.] (Adh-Dhariyat - 56)The consideration of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) along with the adherents of faith is inevitable in Apostleship. But in servitude (عبدیت) the relation is only with Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). There was no propagation work involved during the Accession. Also, 'belovedness' (محبوبیت) which is an exceptional state of the servant, gets manifested in a specific attribute only. But it is 'servitude' which appears in every condition. The usage of word (عبد), because of its absolute indigence upon the Sustainer, is befitted with 'soul', simile and corporeal body which proves Corporeal Accession of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). By the word (عَبْدِهِ), Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has shown the connection of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) with His Unity (ذات), (meaning Prophet is Servant and Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is the Sustainer which confirms that Abdullah (the supreme servant of Allah ) is Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) only. Also in (بِعَبْدِهِ), the cause is disclosed which is, in view of the epitome of servitude (کمال عبدیت) of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), he was the only one who was blessed with Corporeal Accession (معراج جسمانی). And, as he had descended from the State of soul to Corporeal body (جسم ناسوتی); the same way, he ascended from the Corporeal body to the soul and from there, the upper arc of Absolute Existence of the Circle of Being (قوس اعلی دائرہ وجود) or the State of Divinity (الوہیت). There, lower arc of 'Contingent Existence of the circle of being (قوس اسفل دائرہ وجود) met with the upper arc of Absolute Existence of the Circle of Being (قوس اعلی دائرہ وجود).It is in Quran - فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَىٰ [ The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) met Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) from nearer than two bow distance] (An-Najm - 9)قوسین وجوب و امکاں ک معراج میں جس دن آکے ملے
سب دائرہ وحدت کے سوا مٹوادیا کملی والے نےWhen the arch of 'Absolute Being' met with the arc of 'Contingent Being' on the day of Accession, what remained was the Circle of Existence. That is the Supreme Status of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) (Hasrat)Abdiyet (عبدیت) also indicates that if the very obedient adherents of the Prophethood (غلامان دربار نبوت) strictly follow their master's guidance in serventhood, they may also be rewarded with Accession suitable with their state; meaning, they will be elevated and enhanced in spirituality (روحانیت) and unveiling (کشف) and will be granted with the distinct state of Ihsan.It is in Hadith - The Prophet said, pray Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) as if you are seeing Him. (Bukhari).Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says - سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى [ He took His servant from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid Al-Aqsa around which We have given abundance of virtue].This verse indicates that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) exalted the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) first with a detailed perambulation of the excellence of Prophet Abrahim (عليه السلام). That was the reason the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was in Masjid al-Haram. Then He was graced with the excellence of other resolute Prophets. That is why Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) took the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to Baitul Maqdis where some of the sacred graves of those prophets are located. Then came the perambulation of the personal pre-eminence of the Prophethood of Prophet Mohammad (کمال ذات محمدی صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and the from there the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) ascended above the Empyrean.With the above sequence of events, the secret of the change of 'Qibla' must have been revealed. First, the Kaaba became the Qibla, then Baitul Maqdis became Qibla and then finally Kaaba became the Qibla. But on the second occasion, the Kaaba-e-Ibrahimi became Kaaba-e-Mohammadi. وَالْحَمدُ لِلهِ وَ الصَّلوةُ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ وَ حَبِيبِهِ وَ نَبِيّهِ وَ مُصْطَفَاهُ [ And all praise is for Allah and let Allah's blessing be on His Servant, His exclusive friend, His Prophet, His Mustafa].Allah () says - لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا [ So that We show him Our Sings]. Here it is indicated that let many thousands of refulgences of Allah () be shown to His Servant, but Allah's Santified Unity or the encirclement of His Divinity, remains beyond the imaginative reach of human perception. Allah's () vision does not have any bearing on the purgative Unity of Almighty.It is in Quran - لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ ۖ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ [ Peoples eyes cannot perceive Him. He perceives their eyes. He has minute vision and is aware of everything] (Al-An'aam - 103)It is in Quran - أَلَا إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّحِيطٌ [ He is the one who encircles everything.] (Fussilat - 54)It is in Quran - إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ [ He only is all Hearing and Seeing.] (Al-Isra - 1)If this pronoun (إِنَّهُ) is considered for Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), the meaning of this verse will be "it is not the ability of the Servant to claim participation in any matter whatsoever. The Entity (the affirmed being - Allah سبحانه و تعالى ) will always remain existent, and non-entity (Lavide - Servant - معدوم ) will always be non-existent. Therefore, whatever is there in non-existential contingent being (نِستِ هست نما) belongs to the primordial being (هستئ حقيقي). Whatever attributes are manifested in the Servant, they all belong to his Sustainer (رب). Therefore, in essence Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) only is hearing and seeing.Another meaning of this verse could be, "unless the Servant gets annihilation (فنايئت), he cannot be rewarded with the vision of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) because Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) sees Himself.If this pronoun (إِنَّهُ) is considered for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), then the meaning of this verse will be "Since everybody sees and hears to his connection (نسبت) with Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and cannot come out of his fact (), or probate archetype (), and since the origin and nucleus of all connective references is the connection of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) with Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and the antecedent of all facts of creatures and probate archetypes is the 'Archetypes Primeval () and the fact of Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), therefore, only the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) sees and hear due to his relation with Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).نہ اٹھا ہے نہ اٹھیگا کبھی یہ بیچ سے پردہ
تو اۓ نور خدا بے شک نقاب روۓ وحدت ہےThe veil of light between Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and His creatures is Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). And this veil can never be taken out. O'Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), O'Light of Almighty, without doubt you are the Supreme Phenomenon of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).میں یہ عینک لگا کر جسکو چاہوں دیکھہ لیتا ہوں
اگر یہ آنکھہ پر عینک نہ ہو پھر نور ظلمت ہےWearing the spectacles of this Prophetic light (نورِ محمدىۖ), I can see anything I wish. If this spectacle is not there on the eyes, then it is a total darkness. (Hasrat)
It is generally observed that the following aspects of Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Accession are required to be elaborated in the view of some differences of opinions among Ulema.
(i) What type of Accession the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) had? Was it Corporeal (جسمانی), in Similitude and unveiling (مثالی و کشفی) or in dream?(ii) How far the Accession took place? Was it up to Baitul Maqdis or up to the Supreme Empyrean (عرش اعظم)?(iii) Was Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) favored with the sighting of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)?
WThe first two points have been discussed in Section A, and B above. Now will first discuss the third point C here.
In this context, the biggest argument presented is the observation of Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضي الله تعالى عنها).
It is in Hadith - Narrated by Masruq (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) - I said to Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا), "O'Mother! Did Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) see his Lord?" Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) said, "What you have said makes my hair stand on end! Know that if somebody tells you one of the following three things, HE IS A LIAR -
"Whoever tells you that Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) saw his Lord, IS A LIAR." Then Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) recited the following verses: (i) " لَّا تُدۡرِڪُهُ ٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرُ وَهُوَ يُدۡرِكُ ٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرَۖ [Peoples' eyes (be it physical eyes or heart eyes) cannot see Him. He sees their eyes (them).] (Al-An'aam - 103). ; and (ii) "وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُكَلِّمَهُ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحۡيًا أَوۡ مِن وَرَآىِٕ حِجَابٍ ["It is not fitting for a human being that Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil.] (Ash-Shura - 51).
(Bukhari - Vol 6, Book 60, Hadith # 378 - part of the Hadith). This Hadith is also mentioned in Muslim (Book No. 1 -Hadith # 337)
Read carefully the above Hadith. Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) is not narrating a Hadith, rather she is clarifying the meanings of the verses of Quran and the reasons for her observations on a narration (Hadith).
Her observations are correct. The only issue is, it has been misunderstood by some people. We have explained this issue below to clarify the doubts of some people.
(a) This verse is not exclusive for the Accession, rather it is regarding the Absolute perception (مطلقًا ادراك) of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
(b) What is negated from the verse is the perception of Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) eternal antiquated Unity (ادراک کہنہ ذات) and the purgative refulgence (تجلّئ تنزیہی). This verse does not negate the sighting of refulgence (رویت تجلیات).
(c) The perception (ادراک) requires enclosure (احاطہ), but sighting does not require enclosure or circuity (احاطہ).
(d) The meaning of al-Absar (ٱلأَبصَـٰرُ) is related to the people who are living in this world. And when Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) moved to the sublime worlds (عالم بالا), then the requirement of this world also did not remain with him. When Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was in this world, all the dependencies of this world, like eating, sleeping and other chores were necessary for him. Once he shifted during Me'raj to the sublime world, these necessities were left behind by him.
Like Hadhrat Jibril (عليه السلام) who is invisible (غیر مرئ) and light (لطیف), whenever visited this 'World of Density (عالم کثیف), the necessities of this world, like taking a shape of Bedouin or Wahya Kalbi, wearing of cloths, etc., were also associated with him. That is why it is said the when Jinnie takes the shape of a snake in the World of Manifestation, poison also comes in him, and the Jinnie could be killed with a hit of a stick.
Therefore, when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) moved to the Sublime world, then for his faculty of 'seeing', the requisites of the world of Manifestation, like direction, bounds and the need for light of the sun also did not remain.
It is in Quran - وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نَّاضِرَةٌ . إِلَىٰ رَبِّهَا نَاظِرَةٌ [ Some faces that Day (the Day of Judgment) shall beam (in brightness and beauty). Looking at their Lord (Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی)] (Al-Qiyamah - 22-23).
It is in Quran - كَلَّا إِنَّهُمْ عَن رَّبِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّمَحْجُوبُونَ [Nay, surely, they (evil doers / non believers / Hypocrites) will be veiled from seeing their Lord that Day (the Day of Judgment).] (Al-Mutaffifeen - 15).
From the above verses, the vision of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is proved. The only way to reconcile these two verses is that the Unity and the State of Infinity (ذات و مرتبہ احدیت) and Allah's Unitary refulgence (تجلّئ ذاتی) is beyond perception. Yes, there can be an 'Attribute Refulgence (تجلّئ صفاتی), Similitude or Manifestative reflgence (تجلّئ مثالی یا تشبیھی).
Our above understanding is based on the following narration.
It is in Hadith - Narrated by Ibn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ): Ibn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said - I saw my Lord, the Exalted and Glorious in the most beautiful form. Akrama (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said, on this I submitted, does not Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) say that “Peoples’ eyes cannot perceive Him. He perceives their eyes.”, then Ibn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said, Hey ’ this is true when Allah’s (سبحانہ و تعا لی) refulgence (Tajalli) is from the divine light which is the “Light of His Unity”. Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) has seen his Sustainer (Rab) twice”. (Tirmidhi).
In view of the above facts, the dilemma between the comprehensions is put to rest. All the verses and Ahadith that negate the sighting of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), relate to the Divinity Splendor (شانِ احديت), Unitary Refulgence (تجلّئ ذاتي) and Eternally Antiquated Divine Fact (کہنہ حقیقت حقہ). And all the verses and Ahadith that affirm the vision of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) relate to similitude, refulgence and reflect their respective connection. If this is not done, we will have to express denial of many Sahih Ahadith. Since on the day of Judgement, the knowledge about belief (علم ایمان) only will get manifested, and if you did not have the certainty of the vision of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in this world, then it will be very difficult.
It is in Hadith - It is narrated by Jareer Bin Abdullah al-Bajali (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that he said: "We were with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and he said, 'You will certainly see your Lord as you see this moon, and there will be no trouble in seeing Him'. (Bukhari, Muslim, Mishkaat).
It is in Hadith - Narrated by Jareer (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that he said, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, soon you will see your Sustainer (رب) openly. (Bukhari - Muslim - Mishkaath)
It is in Hadith - It is narrated by Jaber (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) who narrates it from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) that the People of Heaven (Paradise) will be busy in their delights and suddenly a divine light will glitter over them. They will raise their heads to find that their Lord is manifested on them saying ‘Peace be upon you O’ People of Heaven’. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, this is the exegesis of the verse "سَلَامٌ قَوْلًا مِّن رَّبٍّ رَّحِيمٍ " ( Yasin - 58 ). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said ‘ The Sustainer looks at them, they see their Sustainer; and they do not look at any of the graceful things provided to them as long as they are seeing their Sustainer, until their Sustainer gets back into the veil. And the traces of His Light will remain on them. (Tirmidhi, Mishkaath).
It is in Hadith - Narrated by Ibn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) - Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said that ‘My Sustainer came to me in a very good face and said, O’ Mohammed (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), I submitted, ‘Yes my Sustainer, present; I am present’. He said, ‘Do you know the sublime Angels argue with each other in what’? ‘ I submitted , I do not know’. Then He placed His hand (of omnipotence) in between my shoulders and I found the coolness of the hand into my chest and then I knew whatever there is, in the skies and the earth. (Tirmidhi - Mishkaath).
In the old materialistic philosophy, the conditions for seeing were, direction, light, impression, exposition, etc. These are related to the corporeal vision, and not to spiritual seeing. Now-a-days, the people of mesmerism and hypnotism are making mockery of the materialistic flimsy contentions. We neither doubted earlier because of these philosophers, nor we became more certain because of these devotees of spirits. Our belief is on the verses of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) narrations. Allah is everywhere, every moment اَلانَ كما كَان and our belief is also اَلانَ كما كَان .
We will discuss briefly about the type of Ascension the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) had. Was it Corporeal (جسمانی) in Similitude and Unveiling (مثالی و کشفی), on in Dream (منامی).
Consider the following facts.
(i) Let us have a look at the Quranic verse سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى [ The Unity ( Allah's person - ذات ) is pure, who took His servant in one night from the honored mosque (in baitul Maqdis, Jerusalem]. The word (سُبْحَانَ) in the verse depicts that Accession has no effect on the Purgative Unity (تنزیہ ذات) of the Almighty. Later in the verse it is said (لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا) [ so that from Our refulgences, We show him the Supreme Refulgence].
(ii) The meaning of the word (أَسْرَىٰ) is to take during the night. As a matter of fact, this word cannot be said for a Dream.
(iii) If the Accession was spiritual ( روحانی - with soul only), then the verse would have been (اَسرى روحَ عبدهِ). In the meaning of the word (عبدهِ), Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) soul and corporeal body both are included. Thus if only soul was involved, Allah would have said (بِروحِ عبدهِ).
(iv) Who will deny the seeing of a dream. The objections of the non-believers, retracting of the people of weak faith and becoming apostates, elevation of the ranks of the one who affirmed, all these are evident facts that the Accession was Corporeal. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (رضي الله تعالى عنه) was felicitated with the title of 'Supremely truthful (صديق اكبر) because of his instant affirmation of this episode.
(v) It is in Hadith - Abu Huraira (رضي الله تعالى عنه) narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said ' I saw myself in Hateem (a small enclosure at one side of the Kaaba) and the people of Quraish were asking questions about my travel during the night (Accession). They asked me a few things which I did not look (during Accession) minutely. Because of this, I got very much uneasy, and uneasiness which I never felt before. Then Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) raised the Baitul Maqdis for me. I gave their answers looking at it (Ibn Kathir).
Let us be truthful enough, who will subject a dream to this type of scrutiny?
(vi) It is in Hadith - Narrated Hadhrat Abu Bakr (رضي الله تعالى عنه) that I asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) about the night of Accession that 'I searched you at your place in the night, and I did not find you. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, Jibreel (عليه السلام) had taken me to Al-Aqsa mosque. (Baihaqi)
Now left is the issue of Accession in Dream which is found in abundance in the Prophet's Ahadith. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) had seen his Sustainer in Dreams plenty of times. It was Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) practice that everyday after Salatul Fajr, he will inquire from the people about their dreams. Several times he himself described his dreams which confirm the Accessions in Dreams. Similarly, the Accessions of Similitude and Unveiling (مثالی و کشفی) occurred in plenty. Rather, the state of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is depicted in this verse - وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الْأُولَىٰ [Every moment your state is superior and more exalted than your state in the previous moment] (Wadduha - 4).
Imam-e-Azam Abu Hanifa (رضي الله تعالى عنه) saw Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in his dreams more than 100 times. Imam Ahmed (رضي الله تعالى عنه) also saw Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in his dreams several times. Awliya Allah do get this type of dreams and unveiling and Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) willing, this will continue till the day of Resurrection.
Now, left is the issue, how far the Ascension took place. The answer is, up to al-Aqsa mosque is proved from verse 1 Sura Al-Isra. And to Supreme Empyrean and Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) audience is proved from verses in Sura An-Najm. Also there are plenty of continuous Ahadith in which Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Ascension to the Empyrean is clearly stated.