The night of 27 Rajab: Isra and Miraj
And also, like you know, tonight is the 27 Rajab and thus before closing my sermon I will say a few words on it. On the night of 27 Rajab, occurred what is known as the Isra and Miraj (the spiritual journey and ascension to the heavens) which the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) experienced. And according to the Hadith and other anecdotes of Islam it is a 27 Rajab that our beloved prophet (pbuh) made a night journey to Mecca and Jerusalem and later on to the heavens. It is baffling that many Muslims still think that the journey was a physical one, when verily it was a spiritual one. This is one of the reasons why they still believe that Jesus, Hazrat Isa (as) is still physically alive in the heavens and can come down with his body of clay back on earth. This provides them a consolation that this is possible as they believe that the journey of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a physical one.
Prophets of Allah usually speak in parables. Parables are but ways of the chosen ones of Allah to illustrate situations so that they may better understand them, but rather than understanding them, and implement them as and when they apply, people misunderstand those parables and take them literally rather than metaphorically.
Someone who really experienced the state of Kashaf (vision) may better understand the state that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was when Allah granted him the vision. Despite the fact that the degree of this prophetic Kashaf was a much of a higher level than any other Kashafs which other people may witness, including those of the past prophets, but only what is clear in this case is that Allah only takes the soul of His servants who are alive only by both the state of sleep and consciousness which we call vision (Kashaf).
Compared with sleep which ordinarily is deep and resembles death, the state of Kashaf comes in the waking state where the inner heart of the soul (the Sirr) of this servant of God is awake. His Sirr then is awake, his physical and spiritual eyes are awake and also his material body is awake when he is conscious although he is in bed or in other positions of Zikr-e-Ilaahi, and he also realizes that Allah is trying to attract his soul (towards Him) and is somehow uprooting his soul despite that his soul is still connected with his physical body.
So, what was the nature of this journey? Did it take place when the Prophet (pbuh) was asleep or when he was awake? Did he actually undertake a journey in the physical sense or did he have a spiritual vision while remaining in his own place? In fact, it was neither one nor the other, but really a mixture of the two truths, as he would have to have been in the state of Zikrullah, been lying down on his bed, or it may be that from deep sleep, Allah has awakened his consciousness and thus his (physical) body also so that he may also experience this vision by having all his physical and spiritual senses. And thus he saw what he saw with his eyes, both physical and spiritual as a manifestation within the limit of the hidden world (Ghayb) which Allah has kindly shown him; as his physical eyes are aware (whether they are closed or open), and it is likewise for his spiritual eyes too, but only there was never any kind of levitation (where his entire body rises in the air, rising to the sky physically) when he made such a journey and ascension. It is his soul which Allah has in an extraordinary way disconnected from his body to testify such a vision without making him lose his life.
Each group of Muslims can come forward with arguments and Hadiths from several sources to prove their point of view. But those who say that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made an ascension, in the air with his physical body do not realize that when Allah establishes a law, namely that of gravity, He respects that and therefore that which was created with the earth is connected with the earth and shall die and buried in the ground, while the soul is of the essence of Allah; and that (soul) of a prophet, especially that of the most perfect of prophets is more connected, even closer to Allah. So Allah has this power and established the law that He takes the soul of His servant or that of His Prophet and returns him his soul like when He gives a temporary death to all people and then gives them back life the next morning when we wake up from our sleep. We all dream, and those dreams, we witness them with our spiritual eyes, and we travel with our spiritual body, not with our body that resembles the death which are found on the bed (i.e., when asleep).
May Allah make us all understand this truth and I pray that Allah give me more knowledge on this subject, so that we better understand all the more His manifestations and signs. Insha-Allah, Ameen. May Allah (swt) bless all of you, Ameen, Summa Ameen, Ya Rabbul Aalameen.
(Extracts from the Friday Sermon of May 15, 2015 (26 Rajab 1436 Hijri) delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.