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Was Miraj Spiritual

The allegation that comes up is in regards to the Miraj. The non Ahmadi Muslims take this journey to be physical while the Ahmadi Muslims agree with the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw and believe it to be a spiritual journey. We will firstly look at the Qur’anic proofs of this journey being spiritual and then also look at the ahadith. Allah States in the Qur’an:

 

مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَىٰ {12}

The heart of the Prophet was not untrue to that which he saw.(Chapter 53 verse 12)

 

Allah has clearly Told us that it was the Heart of the Prophet which was untrue to which he saw. This itself shows us it was a spiritual journey. Allah also States:

 

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ {2}

 

Glory be to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Distant Mosque, the environs of which We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our Signs. Surely, He alone is the Hearing, the Seeing.(Chapter 17 Verse 2)

 

Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmadra has beautifully explained this verse and described the Miraj in the best way. We will now post his tafsir which explains these verses.

 

http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=1404&region=E1&CR=EN,E2&CR=EN,E2

 

This is taken from the Five Volume Commentary of the Holy Qur’an Pages 1404-1411. The Qur’an has also made it clear by word that this was a vision. Allah States:

 

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لَكَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ أَحَاطَ بِالنَّاسِ ۚ وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّؤْيَا الَّتِي أَرَيْنَاكَ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِلنَّاسِ وَالشَّجَرَةَ الْمَلْعُونَةَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ ۚ وَنُخَوِّفُهُمْ فَمَا يَزِيدُهُمْ إِلَّا طُغْيَانًا كَبِيرًا {61}

 

And remember the time when We said to thee: ‘Surely, thy Lord has encompassed the people.’ And We made not the vision which We showed thee but as a trial for men, as also the tree cursed in the Qur’an. And We warn them, but it only increases them in great transgression.(Chapter 17 Verse 61)

 

The Qur’an itself has rejected the false belief of one physically ascending. Allah States:

 

أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِنْ زُخْرُفٍ أَوْ تَرْقَىٰ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلَنْ نُؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّىٰ تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَابًا نَقْرَؤُهُ ۗ قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّي هَلْ كُنْتُ إِلَّا بَشَرًا رَسُولًا {94} وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ أَنْ يُؤْمِنُوا إِذْ جَاءَهُمُ الْهُدَىٰ إِلَّا أَنْ قَالُوا أَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَشَرًا رَسُولًا{95}

 

‘Or thou have a house of gold or thou ascend up into heaven; and we will not believe in thy ascension until thou send down to us a book that we can read.’ Say, ‘Holy is my Lord! I am not but a man sent as a Messenger.’And nothing has prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them save that they said, ‘Has Allah sent a man as a Messenger?’(Chapter 17 Verses 94-95)

 

This verse is so clear and beautiful that there should really be no misconception left of Jesusas going physically to the heavens. The unbelievers asked the Prophet Muhammadsaw for a sign to prove his truthfulness and the sign they asked was for him to physically going to heaven but his reply is clear. He has shown us that it was not the habit of Allah to transport an earthly body to paradise by stating that Holy is my Lord, I am not but a man sent as a messenger. If we accept that Isaas physically went to the heavens then the response of the Prophetsaw would not be accepted rather the Christians and others who are against us can use this as a huge allegation. Secondly it would also mean Isaas is not a man nor a messenger so we should be careful by stating that Isaas is alive after all of this clear proof has been given to us by the Imam of the Age, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian. This Ayah has clearly shown us that Allah and the Prophet Muhammadsaw are against a Physical Ascension.

 

It is also clear from the Qur’an that Allah is everywhere, so it is an illogical belief to say that the Prophetsaw physically ascended to Allah:

 

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ{187}

 

And when My servants ask thee about Me, say: ‘I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me. So they should hearken to Me and believe in Me, that they may follow the right way.’ (Chapter 2 verse 187)

 

Now Allah makes it clear of how near He is as well in the Qur’an, since He knew what would happen to the Muslims and how their beliefs would become corrupt. Allah States:

 

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ ۖ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ{17}

 

And assuredly, We have created man and We know what his physical self whispers to him, and We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein. (Chapter 50 verse 17)

 

Allah Also States:

 

وَهُوَ اللَّهُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَفِي الْأَرْضِ ۖ يَعْلَمُ سِرَّكُمْ وَجَهْرَكُمْ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تَكْسِبُونَ {4}

 

And He is Allah, the Godboth in the heavens and in the earth. He knows your inside and your outside. And He knows what you earn.(Chapter 6 Verse 4)

 

He Further States:

 

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ۚ يَعْلَمُ مَا يَلِجُ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا يَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا وَمَا يَنْزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَمَا يَعْرُجُ فِيهَا ۖ وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنْتُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ {5}

 

He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods, then He settled Himself on the Throne. He knows what enters the earth and what comes out of it, and what comes down from heaven and what goes up into it. And He is with you wheresoever you may be. And Allah sees all that you do.(Chapter 57 Verse 5)

 

And:

 

وَلِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۚ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ {116}

 

To Allah belong the East and the West; so withersoever you turn, there will be the face of Allah. Surely, Allah is Bountiful, All- Knowing.(Chapter 2 Verse 116)

 

Now let us turn to the ahadith and see what is narrated about the Miraj. It is stated:

 

قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ بِاسْمِ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ وَاسْتَيْقَظَ وَهْوَ فِي مَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ‏.‏

 

On that Gabriel said, “Descend in Allah’s Name.” The Prophet (ﷺ) then woke up while he was in the Sacred Mosque (at Mecca).(Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Hadith #608)

 

This itself proves that the body of the Prophet was asleep. The heart was not asleep as hearts do not sleep, and it was therefore a vision. Another hadith states:

 

‏‏ بَيْنَا أَنَا عِنْدَ الْبَيْتِ بَيْنَ النَّائِمِ وَالْيَقْظَانِ

 

Narrated Malik bin Sasaa: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “While I was at the House in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness(Bukhari, volume 4 book 54 Hadith #429)

 

It is clear that the Prophetsaw said he was in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness.
Hazrat Ayeshara states:

 

“By God, the body of the Holy Prophetsaw did not disappear, but he was raised spiritually. (Tafseer Kashāf)

 

Another saying is as follows:

 

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ، عَنْ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ أَبِي خَالِدٍ، عَنْ عَامِرٍ، عَنْ مَسْرُوقٍ، قَالَ قُلْتُ لِعَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ يَا أُمَّتَاهْ هَلْ رَأَى مُحَمَّدٌ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَبَّهُ فَقَالَتْ لَقَدْ قَفَّ شَعَرِي مِمَّا قُلْتَ، أَيْنَ أَنْتَ مِنْ ثَلاَثٍ مَنْ حَدَّثَكَهُنَّ فَقَدْ كَذَبَ، مَنْ حَدَّثَكَ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا صلى الله عليه وسلم رَأَى رَبَّهُ فَقَدْ كَذَبَ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَرَأَتْ ‏{‏لاَ تُدْرِكُهُ الأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الأَبْصَارَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ‏}‏ ‏{‏وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ وَحْيًا أَوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ‏}‏ وَمَنْ حَدَّثَكَ أَنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي غَدٍ فَقَدْ كَذَبَ ثُمَّ قَرَأَتْ ‏{‏وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَدًا‏}‏ وَمَنْ حَدَّثَكَ أَنَّهُ كَتَمَ فَقَدْ كَذَبَ ثُمَّ قَرَأَتْ ‏{‏يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ‏}‏ الآيَةَ، وَلَكِنَّهُ رَأَى جِبْرِيلَ ـ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ ـ فِي صُورَتِهِ مَرَّتَيْنِ‏.‏

 

Narrated Masruq:I said to `Aisha, “O Mother! Did Prophet Muhammad see his Lord?” Aisha said, “What you have said makes my hair stand on end ! Know that if somebody tells you one of the following three things, he is a liar: Whoever tells you that Muhammad saw his Lord, is a liar.” Then Aisha recited the Verse: ‘No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Courteous Well-Acquainted with all things.’ (6.104) ‘It is not fitting for a human being that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or from behind a veil.’ (42.52) `Aisha further said, “And whoever tells you that the Prophet knows what is going to happen tomorrow, is a liar.” She then recited: ‘No soul can know what it will earn tomorrow.’ (31.35) She added: “And whoever tell you that he concealed (some of Allah’s orders), is a liar.” Then she recited: ‘O Apostle! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord..’ (5.68) `Aisha added. “But the Prophet (ﷺ) saw Gabriel in his true form twice.” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Hadith #378)

 

There are many questions which arise if one wants to misinterpret the miraj and turn it into a physical journey. Saying the kuffar would not have accused it if it was spiritual is an extremely weak point. What did the kuffar not accuse? They were not ready to accept anything, so why would they accept such a beautiful journey that states that the Holy Prophetsaw saw their prophets and lead them in prayer? If this was a physical journey, how did all of the Prophets come to Jerusalem? Were they in their physical or spiritual form? If physical that would mean that their bodies were already raised before Qiyamah and that they all returned to the world and everyone missed it. How can all 124,000 prophets fit in such a small mosque? Masjid Aqsa was in pieces during this time and was hardly in its proper form. Since prayers were lead which prayer was it? Who lead adhan or Ikamat? Which prophet knew the adhan and how did he learn it? Why did Allah need security? Is He not powerful enough accordin to the ones who take this as a pysical journey? These are some questons which come up and in reality taking the miraj as a physical journey causes confusion and goes against the Qur’an.

 

Now the non Ahmadi Muslims believe that the Miraj was a physical journey and also believe that Isaas was alive in the heavens during the miraj. So a question which arises is that if he was alive during that time in his physical body, and the Prophetsaw lead the prayers where all prophets prayed behind him, did Isaas come down in his physical body to pray with the Prophetsaw as well? Do they now believe that Isaas already came one and left the world again and was raised to the heavens twice? These are questions they cannot answer.