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We just finished explaining the difference between the jannath and samaawath.

Mo
st likely, the janaath occupy the seventh heaven. Now as we said one of the bigg
est problems is to peice together the chronological narrative of the story. We h
ave narrations that the prophet PBUH very clearly spoke to the other prophets. B
ut where did this happen? It could be in the heavens or in the baytul maqdas. Ab
dullah ibn Masud reports the prophet PBUH said that On the night he went to Isra
wal Mi'raj, he met Ibrahim, Musa and Isa. And he began talking about the day of
judgement. And Ibrahim was the first to be asked. He said "I have no knowledge
of the day". Same response from Musa. But Isa said "I know Allah will send me ba
ck to the Earth, and I will kill the dajjal, and the people will then go to thei
r various lands, and ya'jooj and ma'jooj will come forth, and every water they p
ass by will be finished until I will make dua that they be killed. So they will
die, and the entire world will be stenched by their decomposed bodies. And I wil
l then make another dua to get rid of these bodies - so Allah will send rain fro
m the sky and they will be washed away. When this happens, the day of judgement
will be like the pregnant woman who is just about to give birth". And the prophe
t PBUH said that whatever Isa AS said, is found in the Qur'an "they will come fr
om valleys etc". So this conversation has been preserved - but anything else the
y talked about has not been. Note also alot of the hadith with the prophet PBUH
narrate about ya'jooj and ma'jooj, about Isa coming down, the day of judgement e
tc, this incident shows that one source is Isa AS directly.
Another conversation recorded is when the prophet PBUH said he met Ibrahim AS on
the night he went to Isra. And he told him "Ya Muhammad, give my salaam to your
ummah". So Ibrahim AS is telling his own son, the prophet PBUH, his salaam. "An
d inform them that Jannah, its soil is beautiful but it is barren (flat land). A
nd the seedlings we put into the soil will come from subhanAllah, alhamdhulillah
, lailahailallah, allah u akbar". Therefore Ibrahim AS is saying every tasbih wi
ll become a tree because of the amazing fertile soil.
It's also narrated he met Malik, the doorkeeper of Jahanam. Again this could hav
e happened in the baytal maqdas or in the heavens. This angel is in the Qur'an w
here the disbelievers will say "Oh Malik, go tell your Lord to exterminate us".
So Jibraeel AS told the prophet PBUH "Oh Muhammad, this is gatekeeper of Hell, M
alik - give him salaam". So the prophet PBUH said he turned around to greet him,
but before he could say anything Malik said salaam first. The prophet PBUH repl
ied with salaam aswell. The prophet PBUH further narrates that Malik seemed very
sad and never smiled and he asked Jibraeel AS why this is. This shows us angels
are happy and joyful. So Jibraeel AS responded "he has never smiled or laughed
since he has been created. Were he to smile to anyone it would have been you". N
ote even though after all of this over the prophet PBUH saw Jannah and Jahanam,
Malik was brought up to say salaam to the prophet PBUH. This is to emphasise tha
t the prophet PBUH is as far away from the hellfire, as the seventh heaven is fr
om the bottom of the creation. Malik was the one who said salaam to first - just
to show there is no relationship at all with the prophet PBUH and the hellfire.
Its to clearly show the distance and superiority of the prophet PBUH Malik said
salaam first.
The prophet PBUH then proceeded onwards above the seventh heaven after seeing th
e prophets. The prophet PBUH said "And then I saw in front of me the sidratul mu
ntaha". The sidra is a type of tree that is known for its large branches. That i
t covers a very wide and vast area. And its known for its delicious fruit and sw
eet sense. For the arabs what comes to mind is a wide tree that grows in the des
ert. Muntaha means 'the very end'. So its the tree at the very end. And the prop
het PBUH said "the fruits of this tree were as large as the water jars of Hajar"
. Realise this is elequence - that the prophet PBUH is explaining things in symb
olic language. The people he is speaking to know the comparison. And the prophet
PBUH said "its leaves are like the ears of the elephants". Note its not authent
ically reported the prophet PBUH ever saw an elephant. After viewing it, Jibraee
l AS said "this is sidratul muntaha". In another report in Bhukari, the prophet

PBUH said after seeing the prophets "then Jibraeel AS continued going up with me
, until we got to the sudratul muntaha". And he said "when the tree was covered
up, there were colours going up and down it and I don't know how to explain thes
e colours to you". Here the prophet PBUH is thus saying he is seeing something c
ompletely different and a different dimension. A colour/light that dosen't exist
on the Earth. So what is the sidratul muntaha? The prophet PBUH narrated that "
everything that is raised up from the Earth stops there and absorbs it. And from
it descends down everything that is coming from this Earth, and it originates f
rom the sidratul muntaha. When the tree was enveloped, there were butterflies ma
de out of gold". So by viewing the sitradul muntaha, Allah is saying the prophet
PBUH is seeing of His most beautiful creations. In another narration the prophe
t PBUH said "when it was envoloped, it kept on changing until nobody could have
described it". Its a dynamic, majestic tree thats out of this world - with const
antly changing colours etc.
Note, in one hadith in Bhukari the prophet PBUH said he passed Ibrahim AS in the
seventh heaven and then saw the sidratul muntaha. In Muslim, the prophet PBUH s
aid he saw the sidratul muntaha in the sixth heaven. Imam an Nawai says that the
trunk of the tree begins in the sixth heaven, but its branches finish at the en
d of the seventh heaven because the sidratul muntaha is the end of the creation
as we know it. Nothing is beyond it except the throne and the one that is above
the throne. This seems to be a good explinaton. One of the tabis also says this:
that the sidra finishes in the seventh heaven. Thus from this we derive the sid
ra is a huge tree. And note that the concept of a tree is a very positive one. T
he tree is peace, life etc. The motif of the tree is throughout the Quran and su
nnah. Then the prophet PBUH said "at the base of the sidratul are four rivers. T
wo of these are hidden; two are open. So I said to Jibraeel what are these?" Jib
raeel AS "as for the hidden ones, you cannot see them in this world. As for the
other two rives, there are the river Nile and the ufratues river". And subhanAll
ah now we know that the cradle of civilisaton has always been assoicated with th
ese two rivers. The earliest civilsaton was the ufratues - the second was the Ni
le. These two rivers from the beginning of time have always been rivers of life.
They are the origins of life. And the prophet PBUH is saying the Jibraeel AS sa
id both rivers are from the blessings of Allah. As for the two rivers of Jannah,
they are al Kauther and sal-Sabeel.
Then in one version the prophet PBUH said "I saw baytal ma'moor". In another ver
sion the prophet PBUH said he saw Ibrahim AS in the seventh heaven, and then saw
the baytal ma'moor. Now did the prophet PBUH see it twice? We don't know exactl
y. This often happens as its the sahaba are narrating and there is an human elem
ent of missing out details. So we're not sure exactly what happened when. So as
we mentioned before the bayt in the heavens is directly above the bayt on the Ea
rth, and if it were to fall, it would fall directly on it. And that 70,000 angel
s do tawaaf around this bayt every day - and of course if you try to calculate h
ow many angels there are in total its limitless. As Allah says in the Qur'an onl
y He knows how many angels there are.
After this the prophet PBUH said he saw Jibraeel AS in his original form. And he
described in many hadith: "Jibraeel AS had 600 wings. He blocked the entire hor
izon". In another hadith "from the feathers of Jibraeel's wings, pearls were dri
pping". Note 600 is the maximum number as Allah says in the Qur'an, most of the
angels have 2, 3 or 4 wings. But Jibraeel AS has 600 wings because he is the bes
t of angels. Ibn Masud said when the prophet PBUH saw Jibraeel this is the refer
ence in the Qur'an that the prophet PBUH "saw Allah's major signs". Indeed the p
rophet PBUH saw three things in succession:
1. Sidtraul Muntaha
2. Baytal ma'moor
3. Jibraeel's original form

Every one of them is Allah's major signs. The sidratul muntaha represents the hi
ghest of creation. The Baytal ma'moor represents the highest of worship i.e. the
angels do tawaf around the bayt. And Jibraeel represents the best of angels in
his original form - so the best of creation is seeing the best of angels. And it
s said the prophet PBUH only saw Jibraeel AS twice in this form - this is one of
those two occasions. Somewhere in this period, narrated in Muslim, Ibn Masud sa
id the prophet PBUH stopped at the sidratul muntaha in the sixth heaven, and the
n the prophet PBUH was given three things:
1. The five salah
2. The ending of Surah Baqarah
3. Whoever worshipped him from his ummah without doing shirk, he will be forigve
n and will enter jannah
We will come to the five salah. In regards to Baqarah, scholars say the last two
verses of Surah Baqarah occupy a special status in the Quran. That is, the rest
of the Quran Jibraeel came down with it. There is only one passage in which All
ah directly recited. And so the messenger was brought up to recieve this revelat
ion, and not the revelation being sent down. And as the prophet PBUH said "I hav
e been given these two verses from beneath the throne of Allah". We know the vir
tues of these verses: the prophet PBUH said whoever recites these two verses All
ah will protect him. And in another hadith whoever recites these verses before h
e goes to sleep "it will be enough for him". And there are various interpretatio
ns to this. One scholar says it will protect you from shaitan; others say you wi
ll get the reward for praying tahajjud etc. So we should now make it a habit to
memorise it and recite it every night.
It was then that the prophet PBUH went to the jist of al Isra wal Mi'raj. And th
at is the divine appointment with Allah Himself. And going through the classical
books and narrations, sadly there is nothing that is authentic about the detail
s of the meeting. There are many legends and fabrications that are not true. Of
them is that the thahayat is a summary of the conversation. This is wrong. Did t
he prophet PBUH go beyond the sitratul muntaha alone? Or with Jibraeel AS? There
is nothing except an indirect reference in Bhukari: the prophet PBUH said "then
I was caused to ascend forth". So 'I' is used in the singular. Once the prophet
PBUH gets to sitratul muntaha, the prophet PBUH said that something caused him
to rise, and he said "I rose to a level where I could hear the pen writing". Now
what is the pen? And who is writing? Well, we know that Allah as teh prophet PB
UH said, the first thing Allah created was the pen. And then Allah told the pen
"Write". The pen asked "what shall I write?" Allah said "Write everything that w
ill happen until the day of Judgement". So the pen is a creation of Allah that i
s writing alone. So the prophet PBUH said he rose to a level where he could hear
the pen being written. Thus we can derive the prophet PBUH rose to this level a
lone for two reasons. One, Jibraeel AS is not mentioned here. He showed the prop
het PBUH his form at the sidratul muntaha, then the prophet PBUH said "I was cau
sed to ascend up - until I could hear the pen". There is no angel or living crea
ture above the sidratul muntaha. Thus its legitimate to say the prophet PBUH wen
t to a level that no living creature, no angel, nothing in creation has went to.
And so he went to a level where he could hear the pen writing in the book which
the prophet PBUH said "I could hear the pen inscribing in the book". This was a
n elite audience the likes of which never occured. But we don't have any details
about what was said except for the 50 salah (and from there we go on to what ev
eryone knows). And so in this perhaps there is a wisdom, that what happened only
Allah and the prophet PBUH know and its something we don't need to know. It's a
private conversation between them.
The only thing we know is that Allah told him to pray 50 salah every day. And th
e prophet PBUH goes back down through the heavens and meets Musa AS who tells hi
m to go back. Now before we get to that, the prophet PBUH must have passed Ibrah
im AS on the seventh heaven but he didn't say anything. Why? Three reasons - one

, Ibrahim AS is at a higher level and its not in his nature to try to second gue
ss or question. Whereas Musa is more firm and tries to negotiate. Another point,
Ibrahim has no experiance with large ummahs - but Musa AS is the most experianc
e prophet. In the Meccan phase the prophet PBUH is only active for 11, 12 years
whereas Musa has more than 85 years experiance. Third reason, Musa knows somethi
ng will happen at this meeting - how? He's been there done that on a smaller sca
le as of course Musa spoke to Allah on Earth. Our prophet PBUH was granted a div
ine audience in the presence of the king of kings. So just as Musa was given the
10 commandments, he knew the prophet PBUH would be given something. So Musa ask
s him "what did your Lord tell you for your ummah?" The prophet PBUH said "My Lo
rd told me my ummah must pray 50 times a day". Here Musa says "go back to your L
ord, and tell him to lower this because I have more experiance with you and your
ummah will not be able to do this". And so the prophet PBUH looked at Jibraeel
AS wanting to get his opinion. And Jibraeel nodded to him - this shows us, despi
te Musa being who he is, the prophet PBUH was not content until he got a second
opinion. Here even in another dimension the prophet PBUH is getting another opin
ion. So backed with the opinion of the best angel and a mighty prophet, the prop
het PBUH goes back up. Here is where the narrations differ. Some say it went dow
n by 5, or by 10. And the prophet PBUH went back and forth, up and down - at lea
st five times he did this. And every time Musa AS is telling the prophet PBUH th
e same thing "Go back as I have test the Bani Israel and your ummah won't be abl
e to do this". Until finally when the prophet PBUH came down with only 5 salah,
and Musa AS told him to go back one more time, the prophet PBUH said "I have gon
e back and forth until I am embarassed - but I am content and happy". When he sa
id this, a voice called out of Allah - "my fareedha (compulsary prayer) has been
established. It is five, but it shall be rewarded with fifty". Note here Allah
already decreed it was five - Allah already knew the prophet PBUH would come bac
k to him and this is why when it was reduced to five the prophet PBUH said this
is enough. And when the voice came out, both the prophet PBUH and Musa AS heard
it. And Allah says that He has made it easy for us with making it 5 salah, but g
iving us 50 benefits.
From this incident so much can be derived:
1. First and foremost, the status of the salah. Indeed, the purpose of the divin
e audience was to establish the salah. Every other commandment, Allah sent down
through Jibraeel AS. But this one commandment was so important the messenger was
called up to Allah. To recieve the message directly from the divine. It was so
important that the prophet PBUH had to go up. So the messenger is summoned to th
e presence of the divine. And this message is the salah. And if this is only ble
ssing we have of salah - it is enough. But add to this, so many hadith, so many
verses in the Quran. Salah is standard among every single prophet. The very firs
t verse in the Quran from the beginning. Isa AS as a cradle in the baby says "my
Lord has commanded me to pray salah". Thus salah is so important.
2. Another benefit is that, when the prophet PBUH was told he needed to pray 50x
a day, even though it was lowered to 5, he himself it was his regular habit to
pray 50x a day. When Allah said 50, the prophet PBUH made it cumpulsary among hi
mself to pray 50 raka'at. We see how:
17 fardh raka'at
12 sunnah ar-ratibah raka'at
2 before tahajjud raka'at
8 tahajjud
3 witr
8 raka'at for salaat duha
50 in total
3. What is the wisdom of bringing down a number when Allah knows it will be brou

ght down? Why go through this whole routine from 50 to 45 ... to 10 to 5? Many r
easons. To show the mercy of Allah. First that He dosen't want to make this hard
for us. He wants to make things easy for us as its mentioned so many times in t
he Qur'an. There is a wisdom to show that when the prophet PBUH asks Allah to re
duce it, He listens. Another wisdom is that there is a clear indication given th
at "Oh son of Adam you are only created for the worship of Allah". That is, if i
t was 50x a day you would literally be praying all day non stop. So there's an i
ndication that we have only be created for salah. The general rule is we should
pray like the angels. That's what the creation is supposed to do. So Allah is sa
ying "I know you can't do it, so do as you please but just pray 5x a day". And i
sn't is sad that the bulk of the ummah cannot just pray these 5x a day salah?
All of these are the main incidents. Of course the grand incident was the meetin
g with Allah. After this, the prophet PBUH described many other things he saw on
the way down. Before we discuss them, why does he see all these things after th
e meeting as he is going down? The wisdom here is obvious. That is, it's not bef
itting that the meeting with the king of kings be delayed. So he is going straig
ht up - and once he meets and speaks with Allah, then he may go and do other thi
ngs. And also scholars differ as to whether he saw Allah. The majority and corre
ct view is that he didn't see Allah - he only saw Allah's veil. To conclude, All
ah says in Surah Najam describing these incidents in indirect language. "Your co
mpanion has neither gone astray nor has he erred; and he's not speaking from his
imagination". We understand what Allah is saying now in light of the Isra. Alla
h says "What he is saying is wahi from Allah. He has been taught by the one who
is mighty in power (Jibraeel). He is free of any defect and he revealed himself
at the highest of heavans (i.e. sidratul muntaha). And then Jibraeel came closer
and closer than two bows length." So Allah is describing the miraculous encount
er between Jibraeel and the prophet PBUH.
By the star when it descends,Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has
he erred,
Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination.
It is not but a revelation revealed,
Taught to him by one intense in strength (Jibraeel) One of soundness. And he rose to [his] true form
While he was in the higher [part of the] horizon.
Then he approached and descended
And was at a distance of two bow lengths or nearer.
And he revealed to His Servant what he revealed.
The heart did not lie [about] what it saw.
So will you dispute with him over what he saw?
And he certainly saw him in another descent
At the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary Near it is the Garden of Refuge When there covered the Lote Tree that which covered [it].
The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit].
He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.