On 27th Rajab, all the Muslim believers celebrate this as a grand day of Meraj as Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) was invited and taken to heaven by Almighty Allah to visit and talk with from very nearer distance as mentioned in the holy Qur’an.
The Meraj in which the daily Salat was made incumbent, without doubt, occurred before the death of Hazrat Abu Talib, who passed away in the 10th year of Besat. Unmistakably, from the Hadith and books of history, it is mentioned that on the night of Meraj, Allah gave the order of the five daily Salat as being mandatory upon Muslims.The darkness of the night had spread across the horizon and silence reigned over the face of nature. The time had arrived when the living creatures take rest and sleep so that they might recuperate from their activities of the previous day. Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM), was also not an exception to this law of nature and he wished to take rest after offering his prayers (Salat) in the house of “Umm-e-Hani”, the daughter of his uncle and sister of Amir al-Mominin Ali (A) in the blessed city of Makkah. However, suddenly he heard a voice; it was the voice of the Archangel Jibreel (A) who said to him:
“This night you have to perform a very unique journey and I have been ordered to remain with you. You will have to traverse different parts of the world mounted on an animal named al-Buraq.”
Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) began his historical night journey, along with the trusted protector of the revelation, the Angel Jibreel (A) from the house of “Umm-e-Hani”, with the aide of his steed al-Buraq.
“After some time, Angel Jibreel (A) stopped Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) and said to perform the Salat. Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) dismounted from al-Buraq and performed Salat. Jibreel (A) said, ‘Do you know where you just prayed?’ Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) replied to him in negative. Jibreel (A) said, ‘In Taibah (Madinah), that place where your travelers will go.’ After this, Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) got back onto al-Buraq and continued the journey.”
“Once again, Angel Jibreel (A) stopped Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) and said, ‘Perform the Salat.’ Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) and his progeny once again dismounted al-Buraq, and performed Salat there. Jibreel (A) asked Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM), ‘Do you know where you just prayed?’ It is the Mountain of Sinai – the place where Prophet Musa / Moses (A)spoke to Allah .”
“Once again, Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) and his progeny ascended al-Buraq and continued. Shortly afterwards, Angel Jibreel (A) said, ‘Get down and perform the Salat.’ Then again Jibreel (A) questioned, ‘Do you know where you just prayed?’ Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) replied in negative, to which he answered, In Bait al-Laham (Bethlehem) – the place which is near to Baitul Maqdis and this is the place where Prophet Isa al-Masih (A) was born.”
Then they reached Baitul Maqdis, which is located in today’s Zionist occupied Jerusalem and is also known as Masjid al-Aqsa (the Furthest Mosque) and Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM), proceeded to tie the reins of al-Buraq to the same ring that the great Prophets (before him) used to tie their animal to. After this Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) and his progeny entered the Masjid and it was here that he met Ibrahim, Musa, Isa and the rest of the Prophets (A). They all gathered around him and they all proceeded to get ready for Salat. Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) and his progeny had no doubt that the Salat would be lead by Angel Jibreel (A), however when the lines for the Salat were being formed, Angel Jibreel (A) placed his hand on the shoulder of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) and pushed forward. Angel Jibreel (A) also took part in the Salat behind him along with the various Prophets (A).
On the second part of his journey, he proceeded from this spot to the skies (heavens). Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM), then observed the stars and the systems of the world and conversed with the souls of the previous prophets, and also with the angels of the heavens, peace and blessing be upon them all. Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) SM the centre of the tortures and the blessings (hell and heaven) and became fully aware of the secrets of creation, the extent of the universe and the signs of the Omnipotent Allah .
Then Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) continued his journey and reached Sidrat ul Muntaha (Beyond this point nobody has access including Angel Jibreel (A)). There he found it fully covered with splendor, magnificence and grandeur, and then he returned back by the way he had traveled. Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM), first came to Baitul Maqdis and then to Makkah. It was daybreak when he dismounted at the house of Umm-e-Hani from al-Buraq which had taken him into space. Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) and his progeny related this matter to Umm-e-Hani and the following night, he made it known to the assemblies of Quraysh as well. The word of his travels spread from mouth to mouth amongst all the groups, and now more than ever, the Quraysh were upset (with him).
According to an old tradition, the Quraysh asked the account of its structure, and Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) not only described the physical particularities of Baitul Maqdis, rather, he even informed them of the event that took place between Baitul Maqdis and Makkah. Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) said to them that he met the caravan of such and such tribe who lost their camel and he asked them to give him water and Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) drank water from their container. So they asked about the Quraysh caravan and he replied to them that he SM met them at Taim. So Quraysh became very excited and it was not long after that the travelers (of that caravan) reported the exact events (as had occurred).
It has been an on going discussion and debate for hundreds of years concerning the method of travel of Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) during the Meraj. Many things have been said regarding this journey and its being physical or only spiritual even though from the Glorious Qur’an and the Hadith there is no doubt that it was a physical ascension.
However, one problem from the point of view of science prevented some people in believing the reality and thus, the Meraj of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was recorded as being simply spiritual. Another group went a step further and believed that this complete event was simply a dream and that Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) experienced the Meraj during his sleep!
The heavenly journey went against the scientific and natural laws of today such as: the law of gravity of the earth; its speed of travel of 25,000 miles per hour; the weightlessness of an object that is outside of the airspace of earth; the fact that it is not possible to breathe the air that is outside our atmosphere; the various cosmic rays; meteorites and air pressure; and the speed of light that goes at the speed of approximately 300,000 kilometers a second; and other such examples.
However, the space scientists have proved how the barriers of time and space can be broken. Today, the space science research is ever increasing and the scientists and researchers are confident that in a matter of time, they will be able to place life on one of the planets in our solar system; just as today, they have opened up the exploration to the moon and the planet Mars.
These scientific progresses and advancements in technology and industry are a clear proof that such a celestial travel (that of Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SM) on the night of Meraj) is possible and can not be classified as something that was impossible.