Scientific topics from sermons- lesson (149): The Miracle of Night Journey and Ascention to Heavens
Last update:2011-08-09
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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

Meaning of "Be, and it is!":

 The issue of Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and Ascension into the heavens is a really delicate one, simply because people usually believe that every thing has its own special nature and properties that differ from those of other things. Also, people have become familiar with the Norms and Laws whereby Allah, All-Mighty, governs the heavens and the earth, such as the fact that water has its own properties that differ from those of fire, movement from one place to another is subject to relevant laws that govern it, an object has certain conditions with which it may be in congruity or non-congruity. However, in order to differentiate between things that are unusual or unfamiliar and those that are logically impossible I put forward the following facts:
 Although Allah made fire burn by His Leave at any moment, He is Able to make it unable to burn. In other words, nature and properties of all things, laws that govern the universe, and relationships between things in existence have been created by Allah, All-Mighty, Who creates whatever He likes in the way that He likes. If He creates something in a certain nature and properties, it is also possible that He makes it in another different nature and properties. Therefore, when Allah speaks about certain miracles in His Holy Quran, like the miracle of His Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then his Ascension into the heavens, we should by no means try to understand such miracle on the basis of the usual norms or laws with which we are familiar. This is because such a miracle as Muhammad’s Night Journey and Ascension breaches all these norms or laws. Moreover, man quite often wrongly thinks that causes, alone, bring about effects. If he so does, he falls easy prey to polytheism, i.e. attributing divine abilities to causes or elements. In other words, causes do not bring about, or create, effects, but it is Allah Who does. Not only so, but also He, All-Mighty, is Able to render any cause whatsoever inoperative whenever He desires to do so. Therefore, when Allah, All-Mighty, allows His Prophets or Messengers, (PBUT) - one of whom is Allah’s Messenger Muhammad, (PBUH) - to perform some miracles, such miracles are not logically impossible but rather unusual or unfamiliar; and theologians differentiate between things that are unusual or unfamiliar from those that are logically impossible. Consider, for example, what happened to the sea between Egypt and Sinai when Moses (PBUH) fled with his people from Egypt. In this context, Allah, All-High, says,

“And when the two hosts saw each other, Moses’ companions said: ‘We are sure to be overtaken!’”

[XXVI; 61],

 for Pharaoh was after them and the sea was before them. But the Verses go on:

“He (Moses) said: ‘Nay! Verily, with me is my Lord! He will guide me!’”

[ibid; 62]

  Allah, All-Mighty, created water in the form of liquid, but He is Able, at any moment, to make it solid. Therefore, only one signal by Moses with his stick was just enough to make the sea a solid way for him and his companions to cross.
 If we contemplate Allah’s Signs that bespeak His Infinite Divine Might and Power, we get to know that miracles are by no means impossible although they are unusual or unfamiliar. The usual and familiar thing to people is that fire should burn and water should be liquid, but it is Allah, Who makes them as such. It is He Who creates norms and laws. It is He Who gives things their natures and properties. It is He Who creates relationships between things. Such relationships may seem to be unchangeable, but they are as such so long as Allah, All-Mighty, desires that they should be so. If He desires to change them, it is by no means difficult or impossible for Him to do so. This is because it is He Who creates norms and laws of place and time. Therefore, when you read in books of the Prophet Muhammad’s biography that He, (PBUH), simply left his home in Mecca and was taken to Jerusalem and then back to Mecca in one night, you should believe that such a miracle was effected by Allah, All-Mighty, Who rendered laws of place and time inoperative for the sake of His Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH).
 However, Muhammad’s people, Quraish, belied Muhammad, (PBUH), and asked him to describe the Furthest Mosque of Jerusalem, which he did. He most accurately described the Furthest Mosque to them because he certainly saw it with his own holy eyes on that miraculous trip. Thinking that Muhammad might have heard the description from another person, they asked him to describe the things that he saw on his way there. He, (PBUH), described to them a caravan that was on its way to Mecca and even gave them the travelers’ names. When the caravan arrived back in Mecca, Quraish asked the travelers about their names, which were exactly the same names that Muhammad, (PBUH), had told them. Therefore, the Prophet’s Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem is something clearly mentioned and confirmed by the Holy Quran and Prophetic Tradition, and it is undisputedly true and constitutes an essential part of the creed of Islam.
 Even from the view-point of science, the Prophet’s Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his Ascension into the heavens are both logically possible although unusual and unfamiliar. And those who mix familiarity with logic do not know Allah, All-Mighty, or His Infinite Divine Power. They do not know the meaning of Allah’s Words:

“Be! And it is.”.

 They do not know that time is created by Allah and can be obliterated, that place is created by Him and can also be obliterated. Due to their ignorance of such vital fact, some people deny the Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascension. Some of them accept the Night Journey but reject the Ascension, although both events are definite and undisputable, simply because the whole universe, with all its galaxies and heavenly objects, its heavens and earth, has been created by Allah, All-Mighty, from nothing. Can their minds understand this fact: “Be! And it is.”?!
Allah existed when nothing else did. Which is greater: the fact that the whole universe was created by Allah from nothing, or the fact that Allah, All-Mighty, had His Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH), taken, by Allah’s Divine Power, from Mecca to Jerusalem and then up into the heavens?! To this effect Allah, the Almighty, says,

“Glorified is He (Allah) Who had His slave (Muhammad) taken from the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca) to the Furthest Mosque (in Jerusalem)…”

[XVII; 1]

 Therefore, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, (PBUH), was taken from Mecca to Jerusalem and then up into the heavens by Allah’s Infinite Divine Power, which is Irresistible and All-embracing. Such a trip is logically possible although it is unusual and unfamiliar. At the Prophet’s time, people were unfamiliar with such a thing, but now man traveled from the Earth to the Moon in three days at a speed of 40,000 km\h, which was quite impossible at the Prophet’s time. Hence, what was impossible at the Prophet’s time has become possible for mankind to do nowadays. People might not be aware of this fact: what is unusual or unfamiliar is not necessarily logically impossible. However, the more mature man’s mind becomes, and the more accurate his conceptions are, the more he gets to know that the universe, in its status quo, is a miracle of its own. Isn’t the universe a miracle?!
 In its mother’s womb, an embryo is created: a wonderful creature with a brain, cells, nerves, arteries and veins, a heart (with its cavities and valves, …etc.), a digestive system, glands, respiratory system, circulatory system, excretion system, …etc: all from a drop of liquid, without any effort on the mother’s part or planning on the father’s part. A baby is indeed a miracle in itself, isn’t it?!
 The more advanced human science and technology are, the more mental and not sensual miracles become. When human knowledge was still primitive and immature, miracles were sensual more than mental. But after human knowledge had become more mature, Prophet Muhammad’s everlasting Miracle, the Holy Quran, came and will remain till the end of the world. Moreover, sensual miracles are like matches, i.e. they burn for one time and then vanish and turn into believable or unbelievable pieces of news. But the miracle of the Holy Quran will last forever; and the more advanced science becomes, the more aspects of the Quran’s miraculousness are unveiled, for it presents a mental miracle, which proves that Islamic religion is true, that Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad, is true, that the Holy Quran is true, that Paradise is true, and that Hell-Fire is true. All we have to do is move and work, for Allah, Most Gracious, says,

“And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember; then, is there anyone who will remember (or receive admonition)?!”

[LIV; 17]

Translation  : Khaled Al-Athmeh
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