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The Night Journey

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Story of Al-Isra' wal-Mi'raj (The Night Journey)
In the name of Allah, the beneficent the merciful. الإسراء والمعراج
On 27th Rajab, all the Muslim believers celebrate this as a grand day of Mi'raj as "Grand Eid" and all the Muslims should be proud to have such a prophet like Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny (Ahlul Bayt), to whom Almighty Allah (swt) was also proud and had invited him to visit and talked with very nearer distance as mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an 53:9.

Also note that, the Mi'raj of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny has taken place more than once. However, it should be mentioned that Mi'raj 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 Ahadith and books of history, it is mentioned that on the night of Mi'raj, Allah (swt) gave the order of the five daily Salat as being mandatory upon the Islamic Nation.

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 (saw), 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 (pbuh) in the blessed city of Makkah. However, suddenly he heard a voice; it was the voice of the Archangel Jibreel/Gabriel (pbuh) 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 (a name derived from ‘Barq’, meaning lightning). Where he found an animal smaller than a mule but slightly bigger than a donkey. The animal, which was a quadruped, also had two wings and floated easily as he moved with unimaginable speed.

Journey of Al-Isra
Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny began his historical night journey, along with the trusted protector of the revelation, the Angel Jibreel (pbuh) from the house of "Umm-e-Hani", with the aide of his steed al-Buraq.

"After some time, Angel Jibreel (pbuh) stopped Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and said to perform the Salat. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) dismounted from al-Buraq and performed Salat. Jibreel (pbuh) said, 'Do you know where you just prayed?' Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) replied to him in negative. Jibreel (pbuh) said, 'In Taibah (Madinah), that place where your travelers will go.' After this, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) got back onto al-Buraq and continued the journey."

"Once again, Angel Jibreel (pbuh) stopped Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and said, 'Perform the Salat.' Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny once again dismounted al-Buraq, and performed Salat there. Jibreel (pbuh) asked Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), 'Do you know where you just prayed?' It is the Mountain of Sinai - the place where Prophet Musa / Moses (pbuh) spoke to Allah (swt)."

"Once again, Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny ascended al-Buraq and continued. Shortly afterwards, Angel Jibreel (pbuh) said, 'Get down and perform the Salat.' Then again Jibreel (pbuh) questioned, 'Do you know where you just prayed?' Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) 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 (Jesus) al-Masih (pbuh) 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 (saw), 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, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny entered the Masjid and it was here that he met Ibrahim/Abraham, Musa/Moses, Isa/Jesus and the rest of the Prophets (pbut). They all gathered around him and they all proceeded to get ready for Salat. Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny had no doubt that the Salat would be lead by Angel Jibreel (pbuh), however when the lines for the Salat were being formed, Angel Jibreel (pbuh) placed his hand on the shoulder of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and pushed forward. Angel Jibreel (pbuh) also took part in the Salat behind him along with the various Prophets (pbut).

Journey of Al-Mi'raj
On the second part of his journey, he proceeded from this spot to the skies (heavens). Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), 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 (saw) saw 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 (swt). Then Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, continued his journey and reached Sidrat ul Muntaha (Beyond this point nobody has access including Angel Jibreel (pbuh)). 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 (saw), 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, peace and blessing be upon him 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, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, 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 (saw) 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 (saw) drank water from their container. So they asked about the Quraysh caravan and he replied to them that he saw 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).

Proof of Isra and Miraj (Shab-e-Mi'raj, Lailat-ul-Miraj) in the Glorious Qur'an:

The Heavenly Journey of Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny has been straight forwardly explained in two Surahs of the Glorious Qur'an.

In the Surah al-Isra (Surah 17 - also known as Bani Isra'il), it is mentioned:

"Glory be to Him Who made His servant (Prophet Muhammad) to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) to the Farthest Mosque (Masjid al-Aqsa) of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing." (Qur'an, 17:1)

From this verse, we come to the conclusion that Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny traveled with his physical body (servant) through the worlds of Ascension. Further, by the greatness of the Hidden Power, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was able to complete this journey in a very short span of time.

Allah (swt) starts His speech with the phrase (Subhan) which denotes the fact that Allah (swt) is free from all deficiencies - but He does not stop here. Rather, He makes the ascension the reason for His greatness by saying 'made to travel' (Isra) so that others do not imagine that the means of this journey was through causes of the natural world and with normal, ordinary means of transportation. This would have made his journey something that could have been denied. Rather, this journey was accomplished by relying upon the power of Allah (swt) and His specific and special blessings.

Although this verse states that the start of the journey was from Masjid al-Haram and ended at Masjid al-Aqsa, this does not contradict the fact that Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny in addition to this trip, also had other trips towards the higher world, since another part of the journey of Ascension of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) is explained in verses of Surah an-Najm.

From the time Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny told the Quraysh, 'I saw the angel of revelation (when he received the first revelation) in his original and pure state,' all the Quraysh raised up to mock him. Glorious Qur'an, in response to the thoughts of the ignorant people replies:

"Will you then argue with him about what he saw? He certainly saw him (Jibreel) during his other ascent to the Lote-tree (in the seven heavens) near which is Paradise. When the tree was covered with a covering, (Muhammad's) eyes did not deceive him, nor did they lead him to falsehood. He certainly saw the greatest (signs) of the existence of his Lord." (Glorious Qur'an, 53:12-18)

The object of this grand journey was to make known to Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny the various aspects of the existence of the great universe.

A person asked our 4th Imam, Imam Ali bin Hussain (as): "Is there a particular place for Allah (swt)?"

Imam Ali bin Hussain (as) replied: "no."

The man said: "Then why did He make his Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, journey through the skies?"

Imam Ali bin Hussain (as), replied: "He made him ascend so that he might become aware of the expanse of the universe and see and hear wonderful things, the like of which had not been seen and heard by the eyes and ears before."

Mi'raj (Night Ascension) or Miraj-un-Nabi and Modern Science:

It has been an on going discussion and debate for hundreds of years concerning the method of travel of Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny during the Mi'raj. Many things have been said regarding this journey and its being physical or only spiritual even though from the Glorious Qur'an and the Ahadith 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 Mi'raj 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 (saw) experienced the Mi'raj 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.

Fortunately however, it must be known that through scientific research and investigation, the space scientists of the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a basketball, weighed only 183 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path, on October 4, 1957. They were able to demonstrate to mankind with ease, that they could overcome such problems as the gravitational pull, cosmic rays, problems with breathing in space, and others, through various technologically designed and built equipment and instruments.

Even 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, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny on the night of Mi'raj) is possible and can not be classified as something that was impossible.
Isra Wal Miraj
July 19, 2009, 6:38pm
Isra Wal Miraj means the Night of Ascent. It is the blessed night when the Holy Prophet of Islam was spiritually transported to heaven and he reached a high stage of nearness to God Almighty which is beyond ordinary human comprehension.
The Ascent took place on the 27th day or Rajab two years before Hijra. The journey was not with a physical body but was a vision of the highest type. On the way, the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, met Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and some other prophets.
The purpose of the Ascent was to confirm the high status of the Prophet of Islam, a position which, all Muslims believe, cannot be attained by any other human being. It is related that even Gabriel, the Angel who was accompanying the Holy Prophet remarked at one stage, “I am forced to stop here. I cannot go any further, but you O Messenger of peace and friend of the Master of the Worlds, continue your glorious ascent.”
It is also related that the Holy Prophet continued his journey until he reached very close to the Throne of God Almighty and attained the utmost nearness to Him. After having drunk fully at the divine fountain of spiritual knowledge, he came down to impart the knowledge to mankind. It was on this journey, that five daily prayers were made obligatory upon Muslims.
Customs around Isra and Miraj vary among various Islamic communities.
Some people spend the evening or night listening to or studying the story of Isra and Miraj in a mosque or at home. They may also decorate their homes or communities with candles or small electric lights and share food, particularly sweets, with each other or prepare a communal meal.
People in some communities make a special effort to include children in the celebrations and explain the story of Prophet Mohammad’s (Peace Be Upon Him) journey.
We join our Muslim brothers and sisters in the observation of the Isra Wal Miraj, a time for celebration and deep reflection.
What is Existentialism?
Existentialism is the philosophy that places emphasis on individual existence, freedom, and choice. Existentialism stresses the individuality of existence, and the problems that arise with said existence. Because there is so much diversity in the philosophy of existentialism, a concrete definition is hard to put down. Certain themes are common to almost all existential writing, which helps mark the writing as such. The term itself suggests one major theme, the stress on concrete, individual existence, and on subjectivity, individual freedom and choice.
The idea of the highest ehthical good can be found in philosophy since the days of Socrates and Plato. It was generally held that this good was the same for everybody; as a person approached this moral perfection, she/he became morally like the next person approaching this moral perfection. Kierkegaard reacted to this way of thinking by saying that it was up to the individual to find his or her own moral perfection and his or her own way there. "I must find the truth that is the truth for me. . .the idea for which I can live or die" he wrote. Other Existentialists have followed along this way of thinking, one must choose one's own way, make their own individual paths without the aid of univeral ideas or guidance.
Subjectivity is also important to Existentialism. Passionate choices and actions are important. Personal experiance and acting on one's own convictions are essential to arriving at personal truths. A better understanding of a situation is gained when one is in the middle then watching from the sidelines with a detached view. Systematic reasoning and acting is avoided at all costs in Existential thought. Kierkegaard and Nietzsche are noted for their random, unsystematic way of exploring their ideas, using many different literary syles to express themselves.
Choice is also very important. One learns from making choices, and commiting to those choices. According to Existentialists, humanity's primary distinction is its freedom to choose. There is no fixed instinct that drives humanity to do what it does. Choice is inescapable, not making choices is choosing to not choose.
Existentialism-Existentialism believes in the personal interpretation of the world. It is based on the view that the individual defines reality, truth and goodness.As a result, schools exist to aid children in knowing themselves and their place in society.Students learn what they want and discuss subjects freely.

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...The novel ‘The Story of Tom Brennan’ written by J.C Burke and the film ‘Stand by me’ written by Rob Reiner. These texts present the fact that relationships with people assist one’s journey of going into the World, people deal with obstacles differently and maturity brings great rewards. J.C.Burke uses descriptive language, dialogue, metaphors and idiomatic first person narration. The novel ‘The Story of Tom Brennan’ written by J.C Burke and the film ‘Stand by me’ written by Rob Reiner. These texts present the fact that relationships with people assist one’s journey of going into the World, people deal with obstacles differently and maturity brings great rewards. J.C.Burke uses descriptive language, dialogue, metaphors and idiomatic first person narration. Going into the World can be a difficult and a daunting time which everyone can find hard to overcome. Going into the world can be defined as growing up when you may or may not be ready. Individuals venturing into the world will experience obstacles but with maturity and relationships the individual can gain significant rewards. This is clearly shown in the two following texts. Going into the World can be a difficult and a daunting time which everyone can find hard to overcome. Going into the world can be defined as growing up when you may or may not be ready. Individuals venturing into the world will experience obstacles but with maturity and relationships the individual can gain significant rewards. This is clearly......

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...A journey by boat It was Durga Pooja vacation. I had come to my native village with my cousins. As we had no work there, we found the village life very dull. Suddenly an idea struck in my mind and soon we decided to go on a journey by boat. A day was fixed for the journey. The river was not too far. On the fixed day we took our bags and some things to eat and started for the river bank on foot. As we had already hired a boat, we found it ready. The boat was small but it was beautifully decorated. There were two boat-men who instructed us to set properly on both the sides of the boat. It was morning and the sky was clear. A fine cool breeze was blowing. As soon as we took our seats in the boat, it began to move on water. They were really thrilling movements in our life. We all were in high spirit. The' boat was moving gently. The river water was shining in the rays of the sun and was presenting a beautiful scene. It looked white like silver. There were many more boats of different shapes and sizes sailing in the river. There were men, women and children in those boats. The children were very excited and were shouting with joy. All of a sudden the cool breeze stopped blowing and we felt a bit hot. One of my cousins suggested enjoying cold drink which we had brought in our bag. Soon it was midday and we decided to take our lunch. Up to this time we were on the other side of the river. The boatmen tied the boat to the bank and guided us to a restaurant. We took our meals. We......

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...love and my faith”, replied young Goodman Brown, “of all nights in the year, this one night must I tarry away from thee” (Hawthorne 158). Hawthorne gives a very small and at first unnoticed hint in one of the very first sentences. Although undersized, the hint is showing a bigger picture, and underlines how the rest of his story will unfold. Since the story is filled with so much controversy surrounding Faith, and the loss of the one thing a man needs most, it’s a very effectively utilized allegory. Deception, corruption, and sheer hate cause complete and utter destruction, which is what Young Goodman Brown found himself bound by. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story is not just another problematic tale that gets your mind ruminating. With all of the detailed symbols and metaphors used by Hawthorne, it takes time to see that his story has significant ties to several Biblical narratives. It embodies the chronicles of mans fall, and his separation from God and faith. This story bleeds symbolism, even the most clear cut things like Young Goodman Brown’s name has a meaning behind it. Hawthorne didn’t just use any old name, he put meaning behind it. Young Goodman Brown symbolizes youth and good nature. Brown is a young man throughout the story, and his youth suggests that he has yet to be corrupted by the world and is still innocent. Browns wife Faith undoubtedly symbolizes actual faith in God; just as God is with us, during Browns journey in the forest she was with him. She is not......

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