21/7/1442 A.H (5/3/2021)
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST BENEFICENT THE MOST MERCIFUL
BEING THE THIRD SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF RAJAB DATED 21STRAJAB 1442 AH (5TH MARCH, 2021 CE)
THE EVENT OF THE PROPHET’S NIGHT JOURNEY AND ASCENSION: WHY AND HOW?
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, Who honoured His Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) with the night journey and ascension. We praise Him, the Almighty and thank him and we seek His assistance and Guidance. We seek His forgiveness and repent unto Him. We believe in Him and rely on Him. Whoever Allah has guided is the one that is indeed guided and nobody can lead such astray. And whoever is led astray, then for such, there is no helper/protector that can guide him. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner or associate. To Him belong all Dominion and all Praises, and He has Power over all things. I testify also that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is His slave and Messenger. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him, his household, his companions and all thos ethat follow them in goodness till the Day of Judgment.
Servants of Allah! I enjoin you and myself with the fear of Allah in open and in secret, in accordance with the Words of Allah Ta’alah: “O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him]” (Aal-Imraan:102).
Brothers of faith! The subject of our sermon today is centred aroound the night Journey and the Ascension of the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) which is one of the magnificent epic events in the life of prophet. There is no certainty that the night journey happened on a particular night, rather there is a lot of differences of opinion about the times of the night journey. Rather, it has become popular among Muslims in the later times, that the nigt Journey and Ascension happened on the night of the 27th of Rajab. We are not concerned with whether it was on that night or not. Rather, waht is important to us is the event itself.
Understanding the Al-Israa Wal-Mi’iraaj
Al-Israa is understood to be the movement of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) with Jibreel (peace be upon him) at night from the Sacred House in Makkah Al-Mukaaramah to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on al-Buraaq (a ride), As for al-Mi’iraaj , it is the ascent of both of them from baytul-Maqdas (Daarul-Salaam or Jerusalem) to the highest heavens, and this incident is established in the Qur’aan, the Sunnah, and the witness of the honorable Companions. It is part of the honour of Allah Ta’lah for His Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).
The Reason for the Journey of Al-Israai Wal-Mi’iraaj
The journey of al-Israa wal-Mi’iraaj had many reasons: It was a relief of his pain and sorrows (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), because of the harm done to him by his people, so as to lift his spirit and honour him, and as a way of being generous to him, and to make him know his status and position with Allah, the Most Magnificent and Majestic, as it ushered in a new phase of his Da’wah, in addition to the fact that it was a great honour for the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) and as compensation for him for what he suffered from his people and their oppositin to him. Allah Ta’lah said: “That is the bounty from Allah, and sufficient is Allahas Knower.”(An-Nisaa:70).
It was equally for purpose of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) to see some of the great signs of Allah Ta’alah, in accordance with His Words, the Most Exalted concerning te Night Journey: “Exalted is He who took His Servant [Prophet
Muhammad] by night from al-Masjid al-Harām to al-Masjid
al-Aqsā,668 whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our
signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.”(Al-Israai ‘: 1), and His Words on al-Mi’iraaj: “He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.” (An-Najm:18), so that it could streghthen him to face the difficulties of the Da’wah that he encountered, and from some of waht he witnessed including prophets and messengers, some of the scenes of Al-Jannah and the Fire, and so on.
The Timing of the al-Israai wal-Mi’iraaj
The opinions of historians varies concerning the time of the journey of al-Israai wal-Mi’iraaj, and the most popular of these opinions is that of Az-Zuhri, in which he said that it was a year before the migration to Madinah al-Munaawarah, and after the suffering experienced by the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) from his journey to Taaif, and that it was on the night of the 27th of Rajab in the 12th year of (his) prophethood.
The Events of the Night of al-Israai Wal-Mi’iraaj
Imam Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) recorded in his Saheeh, the incident of Al-Israa wal-Mi’iraaj, where the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) was laying on his back in the house of Umm Haani, and the roof of the house opened, and two angels in human forms descended from it, and they took him to Al-Hateem at Zamzam, then they cut open his chest, and they took out his blessed heart and washed it with Zamzam water, and filled it with Eeman and wisdom, as a way of preparing him for what he will see, and for it to be prepare him from a point of view of conviction and spirituality. Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar was bothered about that and said: “All that has been narrated about his chest being opened, his heart being taken out and other extraordinary events must be accepted without objection or trying to interpret it other than what it appears to mean, because Allaah is Able to do all that and none of that is impossible.” Then Jibreel (Peace be upon him) came to the Prophet with al-Buraaq , which is an animal that is smaller than a horse but larger than a donkey, its puts its hoof, that is, its singular stride, is as far as its eyes can see. When the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) cimbed it, them, it did not stand still until Jibreel (Peace be upon him) told it to stand still, even though nobody knew how to ride better than the prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), so the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) remained firm and it sweated, and then it took them both to the Baytul Maqdas.
Then it ascended with the Prophet and Jibreel to the earthly (first) heaven, and he (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) saw Adam (upon him be peace) and he welcomed him, and showed him the souls of the martyrs on his right, and the souls of the unfortunate ones on his left. Then he ascended to the second heaven, and he saw Yahya and I’sa (Peace be on them both). He greeted them, and then ascended to the third heaven and saw Yuusuf (Peace be on him) there. Then he saw Idris (Peace be on him) in the fourth heaven, and Aaron (Peace be on him) in the fifth heaven, and Musa (Peace be on him) in the sixth heaven, and in the seventh, he saw Ibraheem (Peace be on him). All of them greeted him and acknowledged his prophethood. Then he ascended to the Sidratil Muntahaa and the Baytl Ma’amuur. He then ascended above the seventh heaven, and Allah Ta’alah spoke, and he mandated him with fifty prayers (salaat). The Prophet remined until it was reviwed and made five. Then milk and wine was offered to him and he chose milk, and he was told that it fited the Fitrah., He saw the rivers of Al-Jannah, two visible outside two inner ones. He saw the keeper of Fire, Maalik. He saw the consumers of Riba, the consumers of the wealth of orphans unjustly, and many other scenes.
The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) saw men and some people bow whose heads were bent with stones, and he asked: “Who are these, O Jibril? “ He said: “those are the ones whose heads were too heavy for prayer (salaat)” (Bayhaqi). People (heads) who respected human appointments, gained increase in their wealth, going ou in the early morning and returning in the hours of the night, but the forgets the appointment with Allah, the Exalted and the Majestic, in standing before Allah in five daily prayers (salaat). Such heads have no weight or honor in the sight of God, and they are worthy of being pelted with stones on the Day of Resurrection.
The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) saw some people laying down like animals,, their food with thorns. He asked: “Who are these, O Jibril?” He said: “Those who do not pay zakat from their wealth" (Bayhaqi).
THE SECOND SERMON:
All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, We praise Him, the Exalted, the Most High. We thank Him, we believe in Him and we trust in Him. May His peace and blessings be upon our leader, Muhammad, his household, companions, and all believers till the day of accountability.
As to what follows, Dear servants of Allah, it is worthy to mention at the present time the prevalent ignorant phenomenon in our country Nigerian generally and Yoruba land in particular, and that is the tribal racism, which is prohibited in Islam for a long time. In Oyo state last week there occurred the killing of the Yorubas by the Hausas and the killing of the Hausas by the Yorubas, in Ibadan; a stinking tribalism as described by the Holy Prophet, may the peace and blesssings of Allah be upon him.
Tribalism is the support and solidarity for the one whose matter you care about, whether right or wrong. Islam has forbidden tribalism for any association other than the bond of religion and faith, and considered it as an act of Jahiliyya- ignorance, as mentioned in his saying, peace be upon him: “Indeed Allah removed Jahiliyyah from you, and its boasting about lineage. [Indeed a
person is either] a pious believer, or a miserable sinner. And people are all the children of Adam, and Adam was [created] from dust.” (al-Tirmidhi), and he also said: “One who fights under the banner of a people who ate blind (to the cause for which they are fighting. i. e. do not know whether their cause is just or otherwise), who gets flared up with family pride, calls, (people) to fight for their. family honour, and supports his kith and kin (i. e. fignts not for the cause of Allah but for the sake of this family or tribe) -if he is killed (in this fight), he dies as one belonging to the days of Jhiliyya.” (Narrated by Muslim)