Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a 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 hears and sees (all things). (17:1) Following the year of sorrow, Prophet Muhammad was blessed with the experience of Isra (the Night Journey) and Miraj (the Ascension). A journey that has no parallel in human history, begins from the Kaba in the city of Makkah to Masjid al-Aqsa in the city of Jerusalem, and concluding beyond the horizons of human comprehension in the heavens. Prophetic acts are not simple miracles as we may understand today but they are clear Signs from the Majestic Creator. We are made to witness such Prophetic experiences as a trial and test of our faith in our absolute servitude to Allah and our unquestionable loyalty in the following of His Prophets. To believe in them and their mission is to believe in the All Encompassing Creator. We testify that “we make no distinction between one and another of His Messengers” (2:285). From Ibrahim to Muhammad and everyone in between, they are, but Allah’s Messengers with a clear Message and a defined Mission to establish Divine Law, Supreme and Sovereign over all other man-made laws. And that is for the good of all humanity. Among many other lessons that the event of Isra and Miraj offers, some are the gift of daily prayers, the transfer of leadership from the Children of Israel to the Children of Ismail, and the Centrality of Jerusalem in the history of Islam. Prophet Muhammad received the command for 5 daily prayers on this blessed night. This daily ritual is an expression of epitomic proportions challenging the earthly beings to unquestionably submit and surrender oneself to the One and Only Creator. In his ascension beyond the domain of earthly space and time, he met Abraham (Ibrahim), Moses (Musa), Jesus (Isa) and others (peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them) and led them in prayers at al-Aqsa and then in the heavens. The concept of per chance does not fit the workings of the Creator. Everything He does is for a purpose. Prophet’s revisit to Jerusalem since the changing of the Qibla is for no other purpose but to re-emphasize the centrality of Jerusalem, as the first and eternal Capital of Islam. Each year, we relive the memory of Isra (Night Journey) and Miraj (Ascension) – from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to the heights of heavens. Fourteen centuries has helped more than one billion people recognize and accept the Truth and accept the Prophetic leadership and his contributions to the humanity. Since past few decades, there seems to be confusion on the Centrality of Jerusalem. This must be cleared. Muslims must remember their responsibilities. The restoration of Jerusalem as the eternal Capital of Islam and establishing peace and justice for the people therein is imperative. There are myriad tools available today for this pursuit. Chief among them is “will”. The biggest impact that the medium of Internet has had in today’s modern world is the elimination of distance. Muslims must adapt to such modern tools of today with great speed. This medium must be harnessed to educate and to recognize the differences between myths and realities.
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