Celebration of the Prophet (sawa) Appointment and Night Journey to Heaven

Dated: May 8, 2016

Today, 27 Rajab, is the Eid of Besat, the day that the Prophet’s appointment as the Messenger of Allah began  and years later, the Miraj, the wonderful miraculous journey of the Prophet Muhammad (sawa) from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to the Heavens.  It therefore has doubly joyous significance.
As for the Prophet’s appointment, this night is known as ‘laylat al-mabath’, which stands for the beginning of the Holy Prophet’s Mission of promulgating the true religion of Almighty Allah.  On this day, the Holy Prophet (saws) was appointed for conveying the Divine Mission of Almighty Allah. There is a clear difference between Besat, the Prophet’s appointment as Rasul, and between the beginning of revelation which began on Laylatul Qadr in the month of Ramadhan. On this date today, the angel Jibril brought news to the Prophet (sawa) of his official appointment and start of prophetic responsibility.  It is recommended to recite extra prayers this night and to recite the Ziyarah of the Prophet (sawa) and Imam Ali (as).
As for the Miraj, the Prophet (sawa) journeyed to the heavens on many occasions: there are numerous hadiths that testify to the Prophet’s multiple journeys of ascension. But one such event took place towards the end of the Prophet’s time in Makkah on this 27th Rajab, after the great loss that he suffered of losing both his uncle Abu Talib (as) and his beloved wife Khadijah (sa) in the same year. This tremendous journey helped to heal his heart from this loss and intrigues of the pagan Arabs.
Some have argued that this was a spiritual ascension only. However, the Quran testifies to the physicality of this journey with the verse,
“Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque 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.” (17:1)
The journey began when the Prophet (sawa) was resting in the house of Umm Hani, the sister of Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) near the precincts of the haram in Makkah. The angel Jibril came with Buraq, which the Prophet mounted. The journey involved stopping off at several points including Madinah, Sinai, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem, at each stop the Prophet offering prayers. Finally at Masjid al Aqsa, he led prayers and then ascended to Heaven where he saw great wonders and had the sole honour of conversing with His Lord. He returned before the morning prayers, and related his journey to his family and companions.
The pagans doubted the Prophet: however, he told them of a travelling caravan that he met on his journey who had lost their camel and how they had given him water to drink. To everyone’s surprise, the caravan arrived next morning, confirming what the Prophet had told them. Indeed Allah further vindicated the Prophet from charges of falsehood with the verse:
“What! do you then dispute with him (sawa) as to what he saw? And certainly he saw him in another descent, At the farthest lote-tree; When that which covers covered the lote-tree; The eye did not turn aside, nor did it exceed the limit. Certainly he saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.” (53: 12-18)
This night and day are hugely significant for us: we are on a journey to Allah, and in this journey we are thirsty, hungry, in need of comfort and guidance. We quench our thirst at the hands of the Prophet (sawa), the greatest human being ever, and we bow to Allah in thankful submission that He guides us to the path of Muhammad (sawa). Without this guidance through Muhammad’s appointment as the Prophet and his Holy Progeny who keep his mission alive, we would be lost in darkness! It is a mercy that today Imam Mahdi (atfs) is present among us to keep us guided. We also need companionship and support on this journey, of true sincere lovers of the Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt. We thank Allah for those who help and support us in our journey to Him.
May your day be filled with prayers, closeness to Allah, and the desire to seek His Pleasure through our Master Muhammad and his Holy Progeny (sawa).
Sayed Mohammad Al-Musawi
World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL)
London, UK

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