LIKE all the events and occasions related to our beloved Prophet Muham-mad (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), the night journey of Isra’ Mikraj, commemorated on the 27th of Rejab, is a rich source of inspiration and lessons.
The details of the Messenger of Allah’s miraculous visit to Masjidil Aqsa in Jerusalem, the scenes that he witnessed in his ascension to the heavens and his people’s response to the news of the event are all worthy of reflection. In many ways they are still relevant to our daily life.
Fourteen hundred years ago Isra’ Mikraj brought to the world something that changed the course of history. The event is a fact that has been mentioned in Al-Quran and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
The Prophet’s night journey raised a good deal of stir among people, and the skeptical audience plied Muhammad (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with all sorts of questions. The disbelievers found it a suitable opportunity to jeer at the Muslims and their creed. They pestered the Prophet with questions as to the description of the Mosque at Jerusalem, where he had never gone before, and to their astonishment, the Prophet’s replies furnished the most accurate information about it. However, this increased in them nothing but flight from Islam, and they accepted nothing but disbelief.
But for true Muslims, there was nothing unusual about it. Allah the Almighty, Who is powerful enough to have created the heavens and the earth, is surely powerful enough to take His Messenger beyond the heavens and show him firsthand those signs of His that are inaccessible to people otherwise.
“Glory be to Him Who made His servant (the Prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque (Masjidil haram) to the remote mosque (Masjidil Aqsha) 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.” (Al-Israa’ 17:1)
Among the most significant lessons of Isra’ Mikraj is knowing the importance of Solat (prayer), because it is through prayers that one can directly communicate with his Almighty Lord. It is known that Solat was ordained on that great night and it is because of the great importance of prayer that Allah SWT ordained it in heaven. He the Almighty sent His Messenger (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to mankind and made him to go on a night journey and ascend to heaven to inform him of the ordinance of prayers.
Therefore, Muslims should be thankful to Allah SWT for this gift. We should take care of it and never neglect it. It is the thing that allows us the Muslims to communicate with the Creator five times a day.
Solat is the spiritual means through which Muslims can ascend to their Lord. If the Prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ascended to heaven (once), we his ummah (Muslim community) could spiritually ascend to our Lord the Exalted as much as we can through prayers. Solat is considered essential if we are to call ourselves Muslims.
Alhamdulillah, we took ‘Sembahyang teras kekuatan ummah’ (Prayers as the community’s pillar of strength) as the theme in this year’s celebration of this important event as mentioned by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in his titah. And the best prayers are those performed in congregation and in the masjid (mosques).
Indeed, mass (congregational) prayers can build a strong ummah. As the acting rector of Universiti Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), Pg Anak Dr Hj Amiruddin Alam Shah Pg Anak Dr Hj Ismail said in his lecture during the Isra’ Mikraj celebration, Muslims should perform mass prayers in straight rows because it determines “our sense of brotherhood with one another”.
A hadith of Prophet Muhammad states the rows must be straight and not crooked. This is important to prevent difference in hearts among the Muslim community; the ummah will become weak and not truthful to one another, which affects our religion.
The routine of prayer will make us better Muslims. The greatest one of all is that it will help us to put our lives into perspec-tive, seeing that all things come from Allah and that it is to Allah that all will return.
By praying at the set times we give a routine of prayer to our day. We wake up thinking of Allah and we spend the day interrupting all of our busyness to think of Him again, to thank Him and to praise Him alone.
Indeed, the angels in heaven exist just to do this. In the holy Quran we read: (Most surely, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find solace.) (Ar Rad 13:28)
Let us reflect on what His Majesty said in his titah during Isra’ Mikraj celebration in June 2012. At that time, His Majesty reminded all Muslim households in the country to perform their five daily prayers diligently. “Make sure that every member of the household — the parents (the husband and the wife), the children and even the domestic helper performs their five daily prayers. Not even one person (in the family) should be allowed to neglect this religious obligation.”
Prayer, he said, takes precedence among all religious obligations in the presence of Allah SWT and to neglect prayer is to turn down blessings, where blessings are precious, so much so that no price or figure is able to estimate its value.
The Brunei Times/Editorial
Friday, May 30, 2014