Why is the evens of Isra’ and Mi’raj being told.
Means of honouring and ennobling him…..so that they would come to know the station of their master, Muḥammad.
He was the imām who led all the prophets and angels in prayer. Why do we not make him our imām?
When Allāh wished to speak to Sayyidunā Mūsā, He told him to wait thirty days and then a further ten days: We appointed for Mūsā thirty nights and we completed (the period) with ten more.
Allāh, however, did not tell His Beloved to wait. Rather His order came suddenly, without any warning.
The Burāq was then brought to him. Allāh could have caused him to travel without the Burāq.
Mūsā had been ordered to remove his sandals when Allah spoke to him, but the Beloved was not ordered to do so.1
If we compare the meeting between Allah and the Prophet and between Allah and Prophet Moses, we find that:
1. In the mi‘rāj the Prophet met Allah in Sidrat al-Muntahā, beyond the seventh heaven, while Prophet Moses met Allah on the earth, in the Sacred Valley of T.uwā’ in Sinai.
These two places do not imply fixing a place for Allah, because He is beyond the limitation of time and space. The places were fixed only for the two prophets, Muhammad and Moses respectively. Allah mentions the place where His signs appeared for Prophet Moses in a burning bush in the following verses:
وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَى. إِذْ رَأَى نَارًا فَقَالَ لِأَهْلِهِ امْكُثُوا
إِنِّي آَنَسْتُ نَارًا لَعَلِّي آَتِيكُمْ مِنْهَا بِقَبَسٍ أَوْ أَجِدُ عَلَى النَّارِ هُدًى.
فَلَمَّا أَتَاهَا نُودِيَ يَا مُوسَى. إِنِّي أَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ
الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى. وَأَنَا اخْتَرْتُكَ فَاسْتَمِعْ لِمَا يُوحَى. إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي.
“Has the story of Moses reached thee: Behold, he saw a fire:
so he said to his family, ‘Tarry ye; I perceive a fire; perhaps I
can bring you some burning brand therefrom, or find some guidance
at the fire.’ But when he came to the fire, he was called: ‘O Moses!
Verily I am thy Lord! Therefore put off thy shoes: thou art in
the sacred valley of Tuwa’. I have chosen thee: Listen, then,
to the inspiration (given to thee). Verily, I am Allah:
there is no god but I: So serve thou Me (only)
and establish regular prayer
for My remembrance.”111
In other verses Allah specified the place more clearly, as follows:
فَلَمَّا قَضَى مُوسَى الْأَجَلَ وَسَارَ بِأَهْلِهِ آَنَسَ مِنْ جَانِبِ الطُّورِ
نَارًا قَالَ لِأَهْلِهِ امْكُثُوا إِنِّي آَنَسْتُ نَارًا لَعَلِّي آَتِيكُمْ مِنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ أَوْ جَذْوَةٍ مِنَ
النَّارِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَصْطَلُونَ. فَلَمَّا أَتَاهَا نُودِيَ مِنْ شَاطِئِ الْوَادِ الْأَيْمَنِ فِي الْبُقْعَةِ
الْمُبَارَكَةِ مِنَ الشَّجَرَةِ أَنْ يَا مُوسَى إِنِّي أَنَا اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ
“Now when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was travelling with his family, he perceived a fire in the direction of Mount Tur. He said to his family: ‘Tarry ye; I perceive a fire; I hope to bring you from there some information, or a burning firebrand, that ye may warm yourselves. But when he came to the (Fire), he was called from the right bank of the valley, from a tree in hallowed ground: ‘O Moses! VerilyI am Allah, the Lord of the worlds.” 112
The meeting in mi‘rāj was with preparation. Allah sent Gabriel and Michael to accompany the Prophet to heaven, while Prophet Moses’ meeting with Allah was without preparation: he saw fire at night, told his wife to stay and went to the fire where Allah talked to him. He did not come to talk to Allah, but to take some fire or to find guidance at the fire. He might have lost his way, he wanted physical guidance, and instead, he got spiritual guidance.
2. Prophet Muhammad went to heaven on the Burāq, while Prophet Moses walked when he entered the sacred valley T.uwā’. He was ordered by Allah to take off his shoes when he entered the valley, according to some commentators, symbolizes leaving the material world behind when he entered the spiritual one.
3. Both meetings ended with the injunction of prayers, which indicates the importance of prayers.
The heaven that is spoken about here is not the outer space, the stars and galaxies, but far beyond. The Prophet was not sent to teach astronomy, but to give spiritual guidance, to show the right path, the way to salvation.
1.Quran XX 12. It is generally supposed that Moses was ordered to take off his “leather shoes” out of respect for the sacred place. But Razi in his Commentary calls it an idiom and says that the Arabs used the word Na’al (shoe) [Editor: missing word] wife and family. The command to put off the shoes is therefore a metaphorical expression for making the heart vacant from care of family. See Tafsir-i-Razi vol. VI. 19. Stamboul edition.
Mi’raj do not imply fixing a place for Allah
Surah Al Baqarah (2:186)
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way. [2-186]
M Shakir’s Quran Translation
17. Surah Al-Isra’ (The Journey by Night)
Who took His slave (Muhammad ) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad ) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.
There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing