The Prophet Night Journey & Heavenly Ascent
Sayyid Muhammad ibn ʿAlawī al˜Mālikī Translation & Notes by Gibrīl Fouād Ḥaddād
- Introduction xi
- The striving of the scholars to organize the account of isra’ & miraj into a single version
- The collated hadith of isrā’ & mirāj
- Al-isra’ & Jerusalem
- The seven heavens
- The lote-tree & paradise
- The divine meeting
- The descent
THE PROPHET NIGHT JOURNEY AND HEAVENLY ASCENT
The Striving of the Scholars to Organize the Account of Isra & Mi’rāj into a Single Version
The scholars have striven to organize this account and gather its narrations into a single narrative, at the same time making mention of a few variant additions, in order to facilitate its perusal and benefit.
In this way they gathered the narrations in one place for the people at large. This is permitted according to the rules of the experts in the field of hadīth as stated by them.
Many of them have used this method in many instances in which they would join up together the several narrations of different narrators of a single event, as was done with the Farewell Pilgrimage and some of the military raids and campaigns.
The hadīth Master al-Shāmī did this with the account of the Prophet’s Night-Journey and Ascension (as did the hadīth Master al-Ghayçī and a number of other scholars).
Of use here is what al-Shāmī said on this question in his great book al-Mi’raj: Know-may Allāh have mercy on me and you! – that each of the hadīths of the Companions (on this subject] contains something the other does not.
Therefore I consulted Allāh Almighty and concatenated them, rearranging the account into a single narrative so that it would be sweeter to attentive ears, and in order for its benefit to suit all occasions.
If someone says: “Each hadīth of the mi’raj differs from the next and the ascensions may number according to the number of their accounts: why then did you make all of them into a single account?”
I say: The author of Zad al-Ma’ad [Ibn al-Qayyim) said: text This is the path of the feeble-minded among the literalists of the Zahirī school who are authorities in transmitted texts.
If they see in the account a wording that differs from the version of one of the narrators they multiply the occurrence of the event accordingly.
The correct view is what the Imāms of transmission have said: namely, that the mi’raj took place once, in Makka, after the beginning of Prophethood.
It is a wonder how these have claimed that it took place repeatedly.
How can they countenance the conclusion that, every time fifty prayers are prescribed upon him, then he goes back and forth between Mūsā and his Lord until they become five, and his Lord says: “I have decreed what is due to Me and have reduced the burden of My slaves,” only for him to come a second time with fifty prayers which he decreases again, ten by ten?
The ḥadīth Master Imād al-Dīn Ibn Kathīr said in his history, after noting that Mālik ibn Șa şaʻa’s version did not make mention of al-Quds: Some of the narrators would omit part of the report due to its being known, or due to forgetfulness, or because he would mention only what he considered important, or because one time he would feel eager to relate it completely, while another time he would tell his public what is of most use to them.
He who relates every differing narration to a separate occurrence thereby affirming several ascensions has strayed widely and has said something indefensible, failing to fulfill his pursuit.
The reason is that all of the versions contain his meeting with the Prophets and the prescription of the prayers upon him: how then could one defend multiplying these occurrences?
This understanding is extremely far-fetched nor was it related from any of the Salaf, whereas if this had indeed taken place several times the Prophet would have reported it to his Community and the people would have transmitted it often.”
To read more about the The Prophet Night Journey And Heavenly Ascent book Click the download button below to get it for free