The Night Of Mi'râj (2)

Jabrâil 'alaihissalâm' said, "O You, the Highest of all creatures! O You, the Beloved of the Creator! O You, the Master of Prophets! O You, the Honourable Prophet, the source of goodness and superiorities! Your Allah sends His salâm to you. He bestows upon you the blessing which He has given to no other prophet, to no creature. He invites you to Himself. Please get up. Let us go." They went to the Ka'ba, where someone came to them, cleaved open his chest, took out his heart and washed it with the water of Zemzem. Then he put it back in its place. Then, riding on a white animal named Burâq brought from Paradise, they went to the Masjid-i Aqsâ in Jerusalem in a moment. Making a hole in the rock with his finger, Jabrâil 'alaihissalâm' tied Burâq there. The souls of some past prophets, in their own figures, were present there. He offered Hadrat Adam, Hadrat Nûh (Noah) and Hadrat Ibrâhîm, respectively, to become the imâm so that they would perform the namâz in jamâ'at. Asking for an excuse and saying that they were defective, they all refused it. Hadrat Jabrâil suggested Rasûlullah 'sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam'. "When you are present, no one can be the imâm," he said. After the namâz, they went out of the masjid and by some unknown ascent passed the seven layers of heavens in one moment. At each heaven he saw a great Prophet. Jabrâil 'alaihissalâm' remained in Sidra, saying, "If I go as farther as a hair's breadth I will burn and perish." Sidrat-ul-muntahâ is a tree in the sixth heaven. After seeing Paradise, Hell and innumerable things, Rasûlullah 'sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam', on a carpet of Paradise named Rafraf, passed the Kursî, the 'Arsh, the world of souls, and reached the heights decreed by Allâhu ta'âlâ in an unknown, incomprehensible and unexampled manner. Without place, time, direction and manner, he saw Allâhu ta'âlâ. Without eyes, ears, means and place, he spoke with Allâhu ta'âlâ. Attaining blessings that could be known or comprehended by no creature, he came back to Jerusalem and thence to Umm-i Hânî's house in the blessed city of Mekka. The place where he had lain down had not become cold yet, nor had the motion of the water in the bowl come to a standstill. Umm-i Hânî, who had been walking about outside, had dozed off, unaware of everything. On his way from Jerusalem to Mekka he met a caravan of Quraish. A camel in the caravan was frightened and fell down.

The next morning he went to Ka'ba and related his mi'râj. Hearing this, the disbelievers scoffed at him. "Muhammad's gone crazy for good," they said. And the ones who had been thinking of becoming Muslims gave up. Some of them, amused, went to Abû Bakr's 'radiy-Allâhu ta'âlâ 'anh' house. They knew he was a clever, experienced and calculating merchant. As soon as he came to the door, they asked him:

"O Abâ Bakr! You went to Jerusalem many times. You must know well. How long does it take to go from Mekka to Jerusalem?"

Hadrat Abû Bakr 'radiy-Allâhu ta'âlâ 'anh' said, "I know well that it takes more than a month."

The disbelievers were pleased with this reply and said, "So will a wise and experienced man say." Laughing, mocking, being happy because Abû Bakr 'radiy-Allâhu ta'âlâ 'anh' had the same opinion as they did, they said:

"Your master says that he went to and came back from Jerusalem in a night. He is completely mad now," and showed their sympathy, reverence and trust for Abû Bakr 'radiy-Allâhu ta'âlâ 'anh'.

Upon hearing the blessed name of Rasûlullah 'sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam', Abû Bakr 'radiy-Allâhu ta'âlâ 'anh' said, "If he says so I believe him. He for sure went and came back in a moment," and went back in. The disbelievers were all stupefied. Hanging their heads, they walked away, saying, "How amazing! What a strong sorcerer Muhammad is! He bewitched Abû Bakr 'radiy-Allâhu ta'âlâ 'anh'."

Clothing himself immediately, Abû Bakr 'radiy-Allâhu ta'âlâ 'anh' went to Rasûlullah 'sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam'. In the big crowd he said aloud, "O Rasûlallah! I congratulate you, your blessed mi'râj! Infinite thanks to Allâhu ta'âlâ because He has honoured us with being the servants of such an exalted prophet as you are. He has blessed us with seeing your shining face, with hearing your sweet words that please hearts and attract souls. O Rasûlallah! Every word you say is true. I believe you. I am ready to sacrifice my life for you!" These words of Abû Bakr's 'radiy-Allâhu ta'âlâ 'anh' bewildered the disbelievers. Being at a loss as to what to say, they dispersed. This strengthened the hearts of a few people with weak îmân who had been doubting. That day Rasûlullah 'sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam' called Abû Bakr 'radiy-Allâhu ta'âlâ 'anh' "Siddîq." Being given this name, he was promoted to a higher grade.

All this exasperated the disbelievers. They could not bear the Believers' strong îmân, their believing right away whatever he said, their gathering around him and protecting him. In order to rout and disgrace Rasûlullah 'sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam', they attempted to test him.

"O Muhammad 'alaihissalâm'! You claim to have gone to Jerusalem. Tell us now! How many doors and how many windows does the masjid have?" were some of their questions. As the Prophet answered each, Hadrat Abû Bakr 'radiy-Allâhu ta'âlâ 'anh' said, "Right, O Rasûlallah! It is true, O Rasûlallah!" But in actual fact, out of his embarrassment, Rasûlullah 'sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam' would not even look at a person in the face. Afterwards, he stated, "I had not looked around in Masjid-i aqsâ. I had not seen what they asked about. At that moment Hadrat Jabrâil brought Masjid-i aqsâ before my eyes. [Like watching television], I saw, counted, and answered their questions at once." He said that he had seen travellers riding camels on his way and that he hoped, inshâallah, that they would arrive on Wednesday. On Wednesday, just before sunset, the caravan arrived in Mekka. They said that something had happened like the blowing of the wind and that a camel had fallen down. This situation strengthened the Believers' îmân but aggravated the disbelievers' enmity. The book Rûh-ul-bayân, quoting from the book Tafsîr-i Husaynî, and the book Bahr, in the section dealing with imâmat, say, "One who does not believe that Rasûlullah 'sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam' was taken from the city of Mekka to Jerusalem [to Beyt-ul muqaddes] will be a disbeliever. One who does not believe that he was taken to the heavens and to unknown places will be dâl and mubtadi'. " That is, he will be a heretic.