Allah is All-Powerful. He can do anything He wants. Although everything in the universe works in a set pattern, every now and then, Allah shows a miracle to amaze us and to increase the faith of believers.
Especially during the eras of different prophets, Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala showed His signs through miracles to help the prophets’ noble work of preaching.
One of the miracles the Last Prophet, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), was blessed with was the nightly journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then all the way up to the skies and back to Mecca again.
This night is regarded as the night of Isra (nightly journey) or Meraj (ascension). The Qur’an bears witness to the events of the night in the following words:
“Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose precincts We did bless – in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the one Who heareth and seeth (all things).” [Qur’an, 17:1]
The events of the night (Shab e Meraj) as observed in hadith and history are as follows:
The Lord of the Worlds sent the angel, Jibreel (A.S), with a horse-like creature, Buraq, from Paradise for the Prophet (P.B.U.H) to ride on. Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was taken to Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and then, in such a short span, was ascended to heavens.
The Messenger (P.B.U.H) was given the message there for his ummah that they are required to pray fifty times each day! Muhammad (P.B.U.H) requested Allah Ta’ala to reduce the number which later came down to five. These five prayers are now obligatory for every Muslim.
Another of the amazing events was the Prophet (P.B.U.H)’s encounter with the Creator of the Worlds:
“While he was in the highest part of the horizon: Then he approached and came closer, And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer; So did (Allah) convey the inspiration to His Servant (conveyed) what He (meant) to convey. The (Prophet’s) (mind and) heart in no way falsified that which he saw. Will ye then dispute with him concerning what he saw? For indeed he saw him at a second descent. Near the Lote-tree beyond which none may pass: near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!) (His) sight never swerved nor did it go wrong! For truly did he see of the Signs of His Lord the Greatest” (Qur’an, 53:7-18)
Multiple hadeeth, in this regard, suggest that Muhammad (P.B.U.H) did not see Allah Ta’ala with his eyes but with his heart, which means he felt his sure presence.
This miraculous night left no doubt about the exalted status of the Last of Prophets, Muhammad (P.B.U.H). He was allowed in places up in the skies where no one is ever allowed, even the angel, Jibreel (A.S), and the Buraq did not accompany him.
The night of Isra and Meraj (Shab e Meraj) is one of the amazing miracles of Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala, emphasizing His power and might and the status of His Messenger (P.B.U.H).