All rubbish. Muhammad did not go physically, did not have a dream, did not have a vision
The fairy-tale story is a copy from the Persians which some cannot get away from due to deaf, dumb and blind subservience to Bukhari and his ilk!
The Miraj is the term used to describe the ascent up to heaven of the Prophet in order for him to “see” Allah and receive the praying regulations. He was shown many heavenly delights as well as a peek into hell (filled mostly with women!). The story goes something like this:-
The Miraj is a journey that the Prophet took in one night, in 621 AD, usually said to have occurred one year before the Hijra when he left Mecca to go to Medina. Some Muslims consider it a physical journey but others a dream. Certain verses of the Quran are used to give Quranic validity to this story, for example verses 1 and 60 of Surah 17 but all the details are taken from the hadith (funny how the Quran, complete and perfect, needs the hadith to tell us the “details”).
The “Ascent” begins with the Prophet in the Kaaba in Mecca when the archangel Gabriel comes to him with a winged horse right out of “The Tales of the Arabian Nights” or should I say “The Persians Mind”, who carries the Prophet to the "farthest mosque". The location of this mosque is not stated in the Quran, but in the traditions it is the Noble Sanctuary (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. There, the Prophet leads other Prophets in prayer. He then gets back on Buraq, and in the second part of the journey is taken to the heavens, where he tours heaven, and speaks with the earlier prophets, and with Allah. Allah tells him to enjoin the Muslims to pray fifty times a day; however, Moses tells the Prophet that they would never do it, and urges him to go back several times and ask for a reduction, until finally it is reduced to five times a day.
On returning to Earth it is said that very few believed him about his night journey but it is now celebrated in the Lailat al Miraj.
To begin with the demolition of this fairy tale I would like to quote, as usual, from that most misunderstood of books, the Quran (remember it, top shelf, wrapped in fine silks, revered but not remembered with meaning and understanding…?).
Surah 17 verse 1
Most glorified is the One who summoned His servant during the night, from the sacred mosque to the farthest place of prostration, whose surroundings We have blessed, in order to show him some of our signs (ayat in Arabic)
This has been misunderstood and the fantastic story of our beloved Prophet going to Jerusalem and then “up to” heaven added to Muslim beliefs. Many translators of the Quran put the name Jerusalem in brackets after the words “farthest place” which is not there in the Arabic so their only intention is to mislead. Also, the Quran uses the word “ayat” which is translated as “signs” but ayats are the verses of the Quran and we know that part of the revelation of this Book was given while the Prophet was in Medina. The word “signs” can also be used to show the implementation of the Quranic System written in Allah’s Book. When the Quran says that we should approach it in a state of cleanliness this means of the mind and not just washing the physical body. Hence, we have to read the pure Quran without any of the preconceived notions that distort its meaning.
Why would the Prophet need to receive instructions for praying when he had received the whole of the Quran in a process that is called “Wahi” which is best described as "inspiration”? To speak to Moses and Jesus while up in heaven and have Allah looking as if He does not understand how many times humanity can pray in a day (it starts off at fifty and eventually ends up at five) or how long he can fast for, turns Muslims into a people of mindless fairy tale believers. The Miraj story has Allah not knowing that mankind cannot spend the whole of the day praying or all of the year fasting but is corrected by His own Messengers, Abraham, Jesus and Moses. These same Messengers were given wisdom and knowledge by Allah who then has them teaching Him!!!!!!! Does this make Allah All-knowing, and All-wise or does it reflect badly on those who associate such nonsense to Him?.
Surah 20 verse 52
“My Lord never errs, nor forgets”
The words of the Quran slam the fabricated story into the fires of hell but Muslims do not think and reason for themselves and happily sit in a mosque listening to a madrassa “educated” mullah telling lies. I have heard the stupid response to this story that Allah was not in error because the five prayers are equivalent to fifty so Allah was not negligent! Words fail me (but I will continue, do not worry I have more to say).
The mosque in Jerusalem is indeed called Al Aqsa but this mosque was built over one hundred years after the Prophets death so could not be the Al Aqsa that is mentioned in the Quran. Al Aqsa means “safe haven far away” and does not describe, by itself, a physical object or place but an environment where Islam was preached and practiced. Also, the word “ASRA” has been understood to mean “night flight” which is flapping ones wings, or that of a winged horse, on a journey to the stars. In Surah 20 verse 77 and Surah 26 verse 52 they have the same word to describe the exit of Moses and the children of Israel from Egypt, at night, check the Arabic if you doubt me.
“Take away My slaves by night and strike for them a dry path in the sea”
“Take away my slaves by night, for you will be pursued”
Where are our “scholars” now? Where are their fabricated stories of Moses and the slaves of Egypt flying off into heaven on winged horses? There are, according to the same hadith tales, many millions of winged horses in heaven so why they were not utilised by Allah, or should I say by the imagination of Bukhari et al, I have not been able to understand? The word “Asra” has clearly been understood by the impure translators and “scholars” of the Quran to mean “leaving” in terms of Moses, which means he left (fled) Egypt at night. Moses left Egypt to reach a place of safety so that “Islam” could be implemented away from the tyrannical pharaoh, exactly what the Prophet did by moving to Medina from the oppressive Meccans. That is why the Quran mentions Moses after the opening verse of Surah 17 to link the two episodes of Hijra.
Properly understanding the words Al Aqsa and Asra gives us a clear meaning to the above verse in Surah 17, the Prophet left Mecca, the area of Haraam around the Kabah, at night to go to a place of safety. Any Muslim can tell you that this event was the start of the Muslim calendar at the time of the Hijra! The Prophet left Mecca at night and journeyed (he actually “fled” the city because there was an apparent plot to kill him) to Medina where he was able to teach and practice Islam to the people. He built a mosque where he conducted all of his and the communities activities based on the Quran. Islam as a way of life was shown to the unbelievers, the “signs,” as quoted above, were the revelation of the Quran and how to implement the practical Islam system. The Prophet and his companions were normal human beings, “bashaar”, and so they proved that Islam was not a theoretical ideology but a reality, a true “deen”. A woman could ride unmolested from one side of the Islamic world to the other during this period of “safety” and this is what is being inferred to by this verse as well.
The mosque being the council chamber and community centre for the city was a living example of how Islam should be implemented and not just for the “prayer” that we mainly see today. Mosques built in Spain during its glorified Islamic period were used by the leaders as their council chambers, to conduct the political affairs of the nation. The prophet apparently even let Abyssinian dancers perform in the Medina mosque but where are these activities being conducted in today’s mullah dictated mosques?
It is also my understanding that the Medina mosque was given the name Al Aqsa since it gave safety and security to the early Muslims. Later when the Prophet had died its name was changed to Masjid Al Nabi, the Prophets Mosque, and this left the door open for the mosque in Jerusalem to be called Al Aqsa.
Do not say that the time of the Miraj was about one year before the Hijra according to the “scholars” who have made a study of when and how each Surah was revealed. These studies were formulated from the hadith and have no place in a proper debate, the scholars apparently know more about when each Surah was revealed than they know about what they actually mean!
As a student of comparative religion I have been able to the compare the Miraj tale with the most influential external source on Islam, that of the Zoroastrian Persians. Read their books and you will see how their prophet Zoroaster went up to heaven and brought down their religious beliefs and practices. Miraj, night of kismet, namaaz, hereditary kingship based on divine authority, priesthood (mullahs), the second coming of their prophet, etc are all derived from them and have no bases from the Quran. Our Shia brothers have a fantastic story of Imam Mehdi, who has been in a cave for over a thousand of years, waiting to return to humanity and do whatever they say he will. This is again Zoroastrian but try explaining that to a Shia!
I have come across this article which gives you much more detail about the Miraj fairy tale.
From http://www.concentric.net/~Saim/arda_viraf.htm by Saim
“The story of Miraj may have incorporated elements from many sources, but it seems to have been in the main based upon the account of the ascension of Arta Viraf contained in a Pahlavi book called "The Book of Arta Viraf," (Arta Varif Namak) which was composed in the days of Ardashir Babagan, King of Persia, some 400 years before Muhammad's Hijra, if we may believe Zoroastrian accounts.
In that work we are informed that, finding that the Zoroastrian faith had to a great extent lost its hold upon the minds of the people of the Persian Empire, the Magian priests determined to support by fresh proofs the restoration of the faith which the zeal of Ardashir had undertaken to carry out. Therefore they selected a young priest of saintly life, and prepared him by various ceremonial purifications for an ascent into the heavens, in order that he might see what was there and bring back word whether it agreed or not with the account contained in their religions books. It is related that, when this young Arta Viraf was in a trance, his spirit ascended into - the heavens under the guidance of an archangel named Sarosh, and passed from one storey to another, gradually ascending until he reached the presence of Ormazd (Ormazd is the later form of Avestic Ahura Mazdao, the Good God of Zoroastrianism) himself. When Arta Viraf had thus beheld everything in the heavens and seen the happy state of their inhabitants, Ormazd commanded him to return to the earth as His messenger and to tell the Zoroastrians what he had seen. All his visions are fully related in the book which bears his name. It is unnecessary to quote it at length, but a few quotations will serve to show how evidently it served as a model for the Mohammedan /hadith legend of the ascent of Muhammad.
In the Arta' Viraf Namak (cap. vii, 1-4) we read:
'And I take the first step forward unto the Storey of the Stars, in Humat . . . And I see the souls of those holy ones, from whom light spreads out like a bright star. And there is a throne and a seat, very bright and lofty and exalted. Then I inquired of holy Sarosh and the angel Adhar, What place is this, and who are these persons?'"
In explanation of this passage it should be mentioned that the “Storey of the Stars "is the first or lowest “court" of the Zoroastrian Paradise, Adhar is the angel who presides over fire. Sarosh is the angel of obedience, and is one of the "Eternal Holy Ones" (Amesha-spentas later Amshaspands) or archangels of the Zoroastrian faith. He guides Arta Viraf through the different heavens, just as Gabriel does Muhammad.
The narrative goes on to relate how Arta Viraf reached the Storey of the Moon, or the second, and then the Storey of the Sun, which is the third of tile celestial mansions. In the same way he was led on and on through every one of the heavens, until he was introduced into Ormazd's presence, and had the interview which is detailed in cap. xi in these words: -
"And finally up rose from his throne overlaid with gold the archangel Bahaman: and he took my hand and brought me to Humat ("good thought ") and Hukht ("good word") and Hurast ("good deed"), amid Ormazd and the archangels and the other holy ones and the Essence of Zoroaster the pure-minded..... And the other faithful ones and chiefs of the faith, whom I have never seen anything brighter and better. And Bahaman [said]. 'This is Ormazd.' And I wished to offer a salutation before Him. And he said to me, 'Salutation to thee, O Arta Viraf! Welcome! Thou hast come from that perishable world to this undefiled bright place.' And he commanded holy Sarosh and the angel Adhar 'Carry off Arta Viraf and show him the throne and the reward of the holy ones and also the punishment of the wicked'. And finally holy Sarosh and the angel Adhar took my hand, and I was carried forward by them from place to place and I have seen those archangels and I have seen the other angels."
We are then told at considerable length how Arta Viraf visited Paradise and hell, and what he saw in each. After his visit to hell the tale goes on: -
"At last holy Sarosh and the angel Adhar took my hand and brought me forth from that dark, dreadful and terrible place, and they bore me I that place of brightness and the assembly of Ormazd and the archangels. Then I wished offer a salutation berate Ormazd. And He was kind. He said, 'O faithful servant, holy Arta Viraf, apostle of the worshippers of Ormazd, thou to the material world, speak with truth the creatures, according as thou hast seen and known, since I, who am Ormazd, am here. Whosoever speaks rightly and truly, I hear and know. Speak thou to the wise ones.' And when Ormazd spoke thus, I remained astounded, for I saw a light and did not see a body, and I heard a voice, I knew that 'this is Ormazd.'
It is unnecessary to point out how great is the resemblance between all this and the Muslim legend (hadith inspired, not Quranic) of Muhammad's Miraj.
In the Zardusht-Namak, a work which was probably composed in the thirteenth century of the Christian era, there is related a legend that Zoroaster himself, centuries earlier than Arta Viraf, ascended up to heaven, and afterwards obtained permission to visit hell also. There we are told he saw Ahriman, who closely corresponds with the Iblis of the Muslim traditions.
Nor are such legends confined to the Persian portion of the Aryan world. In Sanskrit also we have similar tales, among which may be mentioned the Indralokagamanam, or 'Journey to the World of Indra' the god of the atmosphere. There we are told that the hero Arjuna made a journey through the heavens, where he saw Indra's heavenly palace, named Vaivanti, which stands in the garden called Nandanam.
It must, however, be noted that very similar legends are found in certain Christian apocryphal works also, especially in the “Visio Pauli” and the "Testament of Abraham,” In the "Visio Pauli" we are told that Paul ascended to the heavens and beheld the four rivers of Paradise and Abraham also viewed the wonders of the heavens in his legendary "Testament," each returning to earth to relate what he had seen, just as Arta Viraf and Muhammad are said to have done.
Of Abraham it is said:
'And the archangel Michael descended and took Abraham up upon a cherubic chariot, and he raised him aloft into the ether of the sky, and brought him and sixty angels upon the cloud and Abraham was traveling over the whole inhabited earth upon a conveyance." (Testament of Abraham, Rec.A.cap. x.)
This "cherubic chariot" assumes another for in the Mohammedan legend, for Muhammad rides upon an animal called Buraq, riding being more in accordance with Arabian ideas than driving. The word Buraq is probably derived from the Hebrew baraq, "lightning," which in Arabic is barq.
The Hindu books tell us that ever-flowing streams water the fresh, green plants that grow in that beautiful place, and in its midst there stands a tree called Pakshajati, bearing a fruit styled Amrita or Immortality. Beautiful flowers of varied hues adorn that tree; and whoever rests under its shade is granted the fulfillment of whatever desire he may conceive in his heart.
The Zoroastrians have also an account of the existence of a marvelous tree, called if, Hvap in the Ayesta and Humaya in Pahlavi, the meaning in each ease being "possessed of good water," 'well watered." In the Vendidad cap V. it is described in these words. - " In purity do the waters flow from the sea of Puitika into the sea of Vourukasha, to the tree Hvapa: there grow all plants and of all kinds." Hvapa and Pakshajati are identical with the Tuba' or tree of "goodness" of the Muslim paradise, which is too well known to need description here.
Regarding the Tree of life in the Garden of Eden the Jews have many marvelous legends, such as, in the Targum of Jonathan (Jewish hadith book), for example, we are told that the Tree of Life was 500 years journey in height! The Muslims confound this with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which they take to have been the wheat plant.
The Jewish legends have affected the Muslim account of the heavenly Paradise, because the Muslim belief is that the Garden of Eden was situated in heaven. They therefore transfer to the heavenly Paradise much that the Jews have related about the earthly. In this respect they may have been led into error by the Christian apocryphal books, for the description of the four rivers, etc., given in the Visio Pauli “(cap. xlv) evidently springs from the same strange fancy.
50 to 5
Bargaining with God (The All Knowing)
Genesis 18: 20-33
Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD.
Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing--to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?" "If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it."
Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it."
Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?" He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?" He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it."
Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."
When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.” Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Why attribute these stories to our Prophet? The simple answer is to keep the people away from the Quran. When the Quran is protected by Allah it cannot be destroyed like the revelation of previous Prophets. The only way is to bring in new ideas that the majority are not able to understand and turn them away from the only true Sunnah, the Sunnah of Allah. Hide the Quran under a mound of man made ideas and you will divide and conquer. This would not have happened if Muslims had held fast to the Rope of Allah, the Quran, and the only answer to this problem is if they truly return to it for guidance.
Now read the fantasy in Bukhari and tell me if it now makes sense!
Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 429: Narrated Malik bin Sasaa: The Prophet said, "While I was at the House in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness, (an angel recognized me) as the man lying between two men. A golden tray full of wisdom and belief was brought to me and my body was cut open from the throat to the lower part of the abdomen and then my abdomen was washed with Zam-zam water and (my heart was) filled with wisdom and belief. Al-Buraq, a white animal, smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me and I set out with Gabriel. When I reached the nearest heaven. Gabriel said to the heaven gate-keeper, 'Open the gate.' The gatekeeper asked, 'Who is it?' He said, 'Gabriel.' The gate-keeper,' Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel said, 'Muhammad.' The gate-keeper said, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel said, 'Yes.' Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!' Then I met Adam and greeted him and he said, 'You are welcomed O son and a Prophet.' Then we ascended to the second heaven. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel said, 'Gabriel.' It was said, 'Who is with you?' He said, 'Muhammad' It was asked, 'Has he been sent for?' He said, 'Yes.' It was said, 'He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!" Then I met Jesus and Yahya (John) who said, 'You are welcomed, O brother and a Prophet.' Then we ascended to the third heaven. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel said, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is with you? Gabriel said, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been sent for?' 'Yes,' said Gabriel. 'He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!' (The Prophet added:). There I met Joseph and greeted him, and he replied, 'You are welcomed, O brother and a Prophet!' Then we ascended to the 4th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met Idris and greeted him. He said, 'You are welcomed O brother and Prophet.' Then we ascended to the 5th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in previous heavens. there I met and greeted Aaron who said, 'You are welcomed O brother and a Prophet". Then we ascended to the 6th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met and greeted Moses who said, 'You are welcomed O brother and. a Prophet.' When I proceeded on, he started weeping and on being asked why he was weeping, he said, 'O Lord! Followers of this youth who was sent after me will enter Paradise in greater number than my followers.' Then we ascended to the seventh heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met and greeted Abraham who said, 'You are welcomed o son and a Prophet.' Then I was shown Al-Bait-al-Ma'mur (i.e. Allah's House). I asked Gabriel about it and he said, This is Al Bait-ul-Ma'mur where 70,000 angels perform prayers daily and when they leave they never return to it (but always a fresh batch comes into it daily).' Then I was shown Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. a tree in the seventh heaven) and I saw its Nabk fruits which resembled the clay jugs of Hajr (i.e. a town in Arabia), and its leaves were like the ears of elephants, and four rivers originated at its root, two of them were apparent and two were hidden. I asked Gabriel about those rivers and he said, 'The two hidden rivers are in Paradise, and the apparent ones are the Nile and the Euphrates.' Then fifty prayers were enjoined on me. I descended till I met Moses who asked me, 'What have you done?' I said, 'Fifty prayers have been enjoined on me.' He said, 'I know the people better than you, because I had the hardest experience to bring Bani Israel to obedience. Your followers cannot put up with such obligation. So, return to your Lord and request Him (to reduce the number of prayers.' I returned and requested Allah (for reduction) and He made it forty. I returned and (met Moses) and had a similar discussion, and then returned again to Allah for reduction and He made it thirty, then twenty, then ten, and then I came to Moses who repeated the same advice. Ultimately Allah reduced it to five. When I came to Moses again, he said, 'What have you done?' I said, 'Allah has made it five only.' He repeated the same advice but I said that I surrendered (to Allah's Final Order)'" Allah's Apostle was addressed by Allah, "I have decreed My Obligation and have reduced the burden on My slaves, and I shall reward a single good deed as if it were ten good deeds."
Bukhari,Volume 4, Book 55, Number 585: Narrated Abu Dhar: I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Which mosque was first built on the surface of the earth?" He said, "Al-Masjid-ul-,Haram (in Mecca)." I said, "Which was built next?" He replied "The mosque of Al-Aqsa ( in Jerusalem) ." I said, "What was the period of construction between the two?" He said, "Forty years." He added, "Wherever (you may be, and) the prayer time becomes due, perform the prayer there, for the best thing is to do so (i.e. to offer the prayers in time)."
The Mosque of Al-Aqsa was built after the conquest of Jerusalem and even the Temple of Solomon was not built until Solomon’s time, well after the date put onto the fairy tale creation story.
Volume 8, Book 77, Number 610: Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
(regarding the Verse) "And We granted the vision (Ascension to the heavens "Miraj") which We showed you (O Muhammad as an actual eye witness) but as a trial for mankind.' (17.60): Allah's Apostle actually saw with his own eyes the vision (all the things which were shown to him) on the night of his Night Journey to Jerusalem (and then to the heavens). The cursed tree which is mentioned in the Qur'an is the tree of Az-Zaqqum.