"It is narrated on the authority of Abdullah bin masood that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was taken for the night journey, he was taken to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha, which is situated on the sixth heaven, where terminates everything that ascends from the earth and is held there, and where terminates every thing that descends from above it and is held there The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was given three (things): he was given five prayers, be was given the concluding verses of Sura al-Baqara, and remission of serious Sins for those among his Ummah who associate not anything with Allah" ~ Sahih Muslim, Book # 001, Hadith # 329
Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi wrote the following Qasida-e-Mairaj to pay tribute to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and he also sketches the verses in such a way that the whole journey of Mairaj is summarized in them. I hope when you'll read it spirituality will touch your soul and you'll feel so contented and blessed.
When the supreme Prophet went to his journey to the Divine Throne of Allah,
There were very special arrangements made to welcome the unique guest from Arabia’
It was springtime; there were echoes of salutary greeting in the dales;
Then Angels and the skies were singing happy songs in their own way like the nightingales.
On the Heavens above and the earth below there was festive celebration;
The dazzling lights came down smiling and the fragrant perfumes went up on this occasion.
The light emitted by his radiant face created a moonlight near Allah’s throne;
The night was resplendently lit through a multitude of mirrors and brightly shone.
The Kaaba dressed herself most immaculately to welcome her bridegroom with pride;
The black stone looked like a beautiful mole on her charming body’s side.
With bashful looks the niche lowered her upright head in sheer delight;
The covering black curtain gracefully moved, saturated with the Divine Light,
The clouds spontaneously advanced and the hearts engaged in a peacock dance;
To honour the Prophet in a creative stance the Kabaa gazed at him in a lyrical trance.
The golden ornaments of Meezaab gently moved towards the ear from her forehead;
When it drizzled, the raindrops gathered like pearls on Hateem’s welcoming bed.
The bride’s body-fragrance intoxicated the surrounding breeze and her own garment;
When the perfumed curtain furled, the gazelles rushed to store its unique scent.
The happy hills smiled and their elegant tops stood out in space;
Like a maiden’s head-scarf the shoots of green grass rhythmically moved with grace.
The fresh-looking and well-clad rivers ran through the well-trimmed bowers;
It was a rare visual feast of stormy waves, rushing waterfalls and bubbling showers.
The old white-floor of moonlight was removed as it was not satin-free;
The new green-floor consisted of gardens and flowers as far as one could see.
More precious to us than our lives! Where is the Blessed Prophet’s blessed pathway,
On which our humble hearts, the heavenly damsels and wings of the angels lay.
The moment was indescribably exciting, when the angels, pure and wise,
Gathered round him and dressed him as the bridegroom of Paradise.
The light emitted by his face was distributed among the beggars with generosity.
The moon and the sun begged most eagerly for this bright charity.
The same luminous water still shining in their bright path,
Which the stars had gathered in their cups from his overflowing bath.
With the surplus sole-washed water Paradise was painted bright,
Those who wore his used-clothes became flowers, of the garden of light.
The sun revealed the news that Allah Almighty’s beloved Messenger
Was soon expected to come back after meeting his Creator.
The wedding crown of Allah’s light was on his head amidst a blissful prayer;
The Angels stood on both sides of his way to present a salute of honour.
Had we been there, we would have sought for some charity;
How could that happen, when we were destined to live this life of poverty?
He had hardly sat on the saddle that the journey of salvation ended at a glance;
The salvation itself congratulated him and the sins engaged themselves in a dance.
It is understandable why the Prophet’s horse startled like a frightened deer;
The rays of light dazzled his eyes and the lightning flashed too near.
The clouds gave alms to the beggars and made sure there was enough room;
The angels held the reigns respectfully and welcomed the bridegroom.
The dust of the luminous path rose up like the clouds of light;
The space overflowed with rain and the whole way was exceptionally bright.
0 moon! You should have brought some dust from the Prophet’s way;
You would have got rid of your spots by rubbing it on them for a day.
The hoff-prints of the ‘Buraq’ filled the entire way with flowers;
In no time all over the place there were fragment orchards and bowers.
The divine wisdom of ‘Aqsa’ prayer was to unfold the secret of first and last;
All the Prophets prayed behind him, though they had actually lived in the past.
The dignity of his arrival brightened up everything immaculately;
The stars, the skies, the cups and the containers cleaned smartly.
When he advanced, his unveiled sun-like face shone with glamour;
The sky felt over-awed and the stars became dimmer and dimmer.
The overflowing light filled the path with luminous water;
The stars slipped time and again and fell at the feet of Allah’s messenger.
The ocean of Unity surged forward and washed sands of Diversity;
Forget the dunes of the sky, just two bubbles were ‘Allah’s Arch and Kursi’
His sun-like merciful face eclipsed the stars that shine;
The moonlight and starlight looked like shadows in his sunshine.
When the unique bridegroom advanced even the lote tree failed to hold him back;
In the wink of an eye he went beyond this and that range of the track.
The angels felt that a glimpse had flashed through their sight and mind;
The bridegroom went far ahead but his companions were left behind.
Gabriel’s wings got tired and he could not accompany the divine guest;
The Prophet’s stirrup slipped out of his hands though he tried to hold it to his best.
He, who reflected on the Prophet’s speed suddenly found his mind aflame;
All the trees in the woods of intellect started burning with shame.
The birth of intellect flying ahead of the Prophet ended in a miserable plight;
They could not go beyond the lote tree in their insurmountable flight.
The strong-winged birds of superstition flew but soon lost their breath;
They sustained a fatal blow on their chests and fell down bleeding to death.
At the moment of Allah’s throne heard the angels raising a salutary uproar;
How nice to welcome back the same auspicious feet, which graced us before.
On hearing this, the devotee exclaimed, “Where is my master?
How lucky that my eyes will again kiss the soles of Allah’s Messenger!”
Allah’s throne knelt down to welcome, the angels fell again into a prostration’
It rubbed his eyes on his feet; they showed their utmost veneration.
Such a bright light shone that all the candles flickered;
The lamps felt ashamed when the ‘sun’ itself appeared.
In this atmosphere the Messenger of Mercy came respectfully to say;
“Those ways are open for you today, which were closed for Moses one day.”
“Move forward, O Muhammed! [Peace Be Upon Him ] Come nearer, O Ahmed, My beloved.”
What a lovely call it was and what a joyful atmosphere it created!
“O Allah, all praise be to You; You are undoubtedly carefree;
Once Moses insisted to see you; here You became anxious to see.”
Let intellect bow its head, because it has traveled beyond imagination;
Direction itself is baffled and it cannot dare to imagine his destination.
Who could answer where or when? Who could tell us what or how;
There was neither any companion nor any milestone between them and now.
Allah greatly encouraged him though his pace was humbly slow;
Grandeur checked him but Grace inspired him steadily to go.
He advanced hesitantly with feelings of respect and humility;
Allah led him on this endless journey with an exceptional agility.
The Prophet’s motion was nominal; it was all done by divine will;
Whenever he slowed down, Allah commanded him to come nearer still.
At last a barge emerged from the ocean of His Personality;
It took him near Allah’s lap and untied the anchor of morality.
Who could see this ocean’s shore? It was all speed and surprise;
He leapt like sight and became hidden from his own eyes.
When the secrets of Nearness were unveiled, who knows what the Reality was?
There was no room for otherliness; don’t say he wasn’t; he really was.
The garden so blossomed that the buds and the roses looked very charming
The unblown and the fully-blown flowers became equally inviting.
To differentiate between the circumference and the centre was difficult;
The arches bowed and the circles felt giddy as a result.
Millions of veils disappeared revealing endless oceans of luminosity;
It was strange Union of Lights which symbolised diversity in Unity.
The waves showed their parched tongues and wriggled in search of water;
The whirlpool fainted with thirst and its eye stared farther and farther.
He is the First and the Last; He lives in the Absence and the Presence;
His own hidden light went to see His own visible existence.
O dots on the arch of probability! Why do you guess the first and last?
Ask the track of the circumference, where did the process begin in the past?
Here Allah gave His beloved Messenger a gift of formal and ritual prayers,
He also honoured him with garlands of durood, and salaam’s regal flowers.
The tongue was anxious to speak and the ear was eagerly to go very near;
Mysteriously and silently he said what he wanted to say and heard what he wanted to hear.
Then the distinguished guest was taken to Paradise soon;
The stars of Paradise felt honoured to see the glory of their Arabian moon.
The Arabian moon was accorded a glorious welcome joyfully;
All the heavenly flowers became daffodils and the chandeliers shone more brightly.
The spirit of ecstasy edged him on but the sense of humility checked him modestly;
A real conflict of emotions: “To advance or just to stay there reverently.”
Allah’s omnipotence be praised! His truthful moon shone at millions of stations on his way;
Even when he returned home by dawn before the starlight faded away.
Take pity on Raza, O our Intercessor and Allah’s Messenger of Mercy!
Grant him a small share from the gifts distributed during the Meraj journey.
My mission is to praise the Prophet; my aim is to achieve his pleasure;
The poetic rhymes and refrains have no value; Mustafa’s (PBUH) Love is my true treasure.
Written By : Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi
English Translation By : Prof. G.D. Qureshi
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)
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