THE NIGHT JOURNEY AND ASCENSION: Lessons and Exhortations

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IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
BEING THE THIRD KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF RAJAB 15/RAJAB/1440AH (22 /MARCH/2019CE)

THE NIGHT JOURNEY AND ASCENSION: Lessons and Exhortations

Praise be to Allah that says: (سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ)
Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Q17:1).
We praise Him, seek His forgiveness and repent unto Him. We seek refuge in Him from the evils of our souls and actions. Whom Allah guides, none can mislead, whomever He misleads, none can guide aright. I testify there is no god but Allah alone, and I testify that Muhammad (pbuh) is his servant and messenger.” May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his household, companions and whoever follows them till the day of recompense.

As to what follows,

Dear Muslims, I enjoin you and I to fear Allah in accordance with the verse:
﴿يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ ﴾ {آل عمران:3\102}.
O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims- (in submission to Him”. (3: 102) .

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, at this moment we are witnessing the commencement of honoured days and months and that shall form the concern of our sermon which is on the miraculous night journey and ascension of the Prophet (pbuh): lesson and exhortations. The occurrence of a great event in the history of the prophet- pbuh, al-israa wal mi’raaj when Muslims remember this incident, and gather over it in the twenty-seventh night of this holy month.
There is no clear cut proof that the event happened in that night, though there are several differences about the date among scholars, regarding- which night? Which month? What year? Did it happened once or more? And several other issues researched into by Muslim scholars in Islamic history of which there was no specific mention by the companions, or those who came after them. Their concern was more of the essence and lessons derivable from the event.

There has been no legislation due to this event, for fasting in the day or prayer in the night specifically in the month, and for this reason the differences emanated.

It commonly assume popularity among Muslims in the later centuries that Al-israa wal Mi’raaj took place in the twenty seventh night of Rajab, however, this is not our concern here, whether it happened in that night or not? Our concern is the event itself.

Al-israa’s occurrence is confirmed in the Qur’an, in a chapter named after the event thus:
(سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ)
Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Q17:1).

This shows that he who disbeliefs in the event is a kafir by the consensus of the Muslim scholars, because he disbelief in a matter clearly confirmed by the Qur’an, established by consensus, and well known in the life of the prophet of Allah by default.

The ascension part of the event is alluded to in the following verses:
The Mi’raj is mentioned in the Qur’an only once by way of allusion in Suratul Al-najm (The Star), where Allah says:

( 1 )   By the star when it descends, ( 2 )   Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, ( 3 )   Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. ( 4 )   It is not but a revelation revealed, ( 5 )   Taught to him by one intense in strength – ( 6 )   One of soundness. And he rose to [his] true form ( 7 )   While he was in the higher [part of the] horizon. ( 8 )   Then he approached and descended ( 9 )   And was at a distance of two bow lengths or nearer. ( 10 )   And he revealed to His Servant what he revealed. ( 11 )   The heart did not lie [about] what it saw. ( 12 )   So will you dispute with him over what he saw? ( 13 )   And he certainly saw him in another descent ( 14 )   At the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary – ( 15 )   Near it is the Garden of Refuge – ( 16 )   When there covered the Lote Tree that which covered [it]. ( 17 )   The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit]. ( 18 )   He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.

The prophet-pbuh- saw Jibreel in his angelic form twice; first was on earth mentioned in the verse: And he has already seen Gabriel in the clear horizon.” (Q81: 23). The second sighting was at the lote tree on the night of ascension.

Lessons and Exhortations:
Adversity begets grace, ease follows hardship. The Prophet-pbuh- experienced many difficulties, against his person and his message. He also lost his beloved wife, the demise of his uncle Abu Talib, and the pains and wound he sustained from Taif, … he was patient and persistent on the mission, until the miraculous night journey and ascension was granted to him to be a divine intervention and succor for him- pbuh.

Al-Israa means a night journey. It refers to the journey from the sacred mosque in Makkah to farthest mosque in Jerusalem. Al-Mi’raaj refers to stairs, ladder, or route or place of ascent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the night of his ascension. Account of the Israa is clearly stated in the Qur’an in Suratul Isra, and the Mi’raaj is mentioned by allusion in suratu-n- najm.

The description of the Israa and Mi’raaj:
The means of conveyance was the Buraaq, Jibreel brought it to him, it would place its hoof a distance equal to the range of its vision. The prophet led the prophets as the Imam in prayer in masjid Al-aqsa then went to the high heavens. He saw the inmates of Paradise. He was also shown some people, who planted on a day and harvest on a day, whenever they harvest, the plantation returns to the way it was. He asked: “Who are these? He said: “These are the Mujahidun in the path of Allah, Allah replenishes what they spent.” (Al-bayhaqi). Allah says: “and nothing do ye spend in the least (in His cause) but He replaces it: for He is the Best of those who grant Sustenance.” (34: 39). “There is never a day wherein servants (of God) get up at morn, but are not visited by two angels. One of them says: 0 Allah, give him more who spends (for the sake of Allah), and the other says: 0 Allah, bring destruction to one who withholds.” (Agreed upon).
In the instance when our nation have dropped the striving in the cause of Allah, when she became miserly to spend for Allah of her valued wealth, Allah subjected her to the worst humiliation, such that she is being controlled by the lowest among the creation of Allah, the Exalted. Allah says: (قُلْ هُوَ الْقَادِرُ عَلَى أَنْ يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابًا مِنْ فَوْقِكُمْ أَوْ مِنْ تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِكُمْ) “Say “It is Allah that delivereth you from these and all (other) distresses: and yet ye worship false gods!” (6: 64)
Ibn Kathir says: “From above you” that is, the thunderbolts. “From beneath your feet, that is, he would impose on you, the lowest among you.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) saw some men and people whose heads were pelted with stones. He asked: Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “Those are people whose lag behind of solat” (Al-bayhaqi). Those heads that honour every human appointment to increase their account and wealth, stepping out early in the morning only to return late in the night, but they failed to keep their appointment with Allah, the Exalted with regards to the five daily prayers. Such heads have no worth nor honour before Allah, thus they deserve being stoned on the day of resurrection.

The Prophet (pbuh) saw some people who were graze freely as the cattle graze on their thorny feeds. He asked: Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “Those are people who did not pay the zakat of their wealth” (Al-bayhaqi). What kind of bestial debasement for that rich Muslim when he lack the feeling of brotherhood, the feeling of kindness and compassion for the weak and the needy. Such person deserve to be resurrected in the image of an animal on the day of resurrection.
The Prophet (pbuh) saw some people who were eating rotten beef but in front of him lies a fresh meat. He asked: Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “Those are people among your people who had legal wife, but left her to sleep with impure woman till daybreak.” (Al-bayhaqi). The believer distances his sperm from being placed except at a honourable and pure place. But the descended and decayed souls would be less concerned about the purity of who he lays with.

The Prophet (pbuh) saw some women who were tied with their breasts. He said: “Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “These were women who brought children who are not of their husbands into the household.” (Al-bayhaqi).
The most beautiful thing in a man is his jealousy and the most beautiful thing in a woman is her shamefulness. But of the sign of the hour is disappearance of that, as stated in the evidence: “When it is the last hour, Allah raises up four things from the world; He lifts away blessing from the world, and justice from judges, shamefulness from women, and jealousy from men.”

SECOND KHUTBAH

All praises are due to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet, Muhammad.

Dear servants of Allah, it is quite disheartening and tears evoking, the terrorist occurrence which happened last Friday in New Zealand. We were helpless before this brutal terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday prayers, killing more than fifty people and injuring others. We could only refer the matter to Allah, we belong to Allah and to Him is our return. We have nothing except to say, Allah is sufficient for us, and sufficient as a protector. Allah suffices for us against the one who killed people bowing and prostrating for Allah.

What does this despicable terrorist want to have killed 50 martyrs during Friday prayers? It is terrorism in its true form! It is called Islamophobia! They are angered by the spread of Islam despite their plots, cruelty, brutality, and causing confusion, despite their fierce war against Islam, both the armed and cold wars.
( وَإِذَا خَلَوْا عَضُّوا عَلَيْكُمُ الْأَنَامِلَ مِنَ الْغَيْظِ ۚ قُلْ مُوتُوا بِغَيْظِكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ) سورة ال عمران/١١٩
“But when they are alone, they bite off the very tips of their fingers at you in their rage. Say: “Perish in you rage; Allah knoweth well all the secrets of the heart.” (3:119)
Islam is the religion of truth, truth cannot be extinguished by killing its proponents, but the truth manifests more strongly, and the victim gets martyrdom. Allah says:
(يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ * هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ)
” Their intention is to extinguish Allah.s Light (by blowing) with their mouths: But Allah will complete (the revelation of) His Light, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it). 9. It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it). (63:8-9)
We condemn this brazen audacity and call on all Muslims, infact all the free people of the world in general, to condemn this act because this is a war against the dignity of all humanity and a war against the sanctity of all religions. And we pray to Allah Almighty to accept the victims of this terrorism as martyrs, console the hearts of their loved ones, grant us patience and establish our feet firmly and make us victorious over the disbelievers.

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