Al-Isra – The Night Journey, wal-Miraj – The Miraculous Ascension was a miraculous wakeful journey of body and soul. Brought to The Prophet by Jibril عليه السلام, the journey took place on Buruq, a unique steed who was described as being larger than a donkey and smaller than a mule. Each stride of Buruq would carry The Prophet ﷺ as far as the eye could see (Bukhari and Muslim).
In a single night, The Messenger of Allah ﷺ travelled from the Kaaba in Mecca to Masjid al-Aqsa and then ascended heaven to reach Allah’s presence. Where no created being has gone before or since. On this night the 5 daily prayers were ordained for the Ummah of Muhammed. Al-Isra refers to the night journey, Miraj refers to the Holy ascension from Al-Aqsa to the highest reach of heaven, where no other creature, jinn, angel or human has reached. Although there is a difference of opinion regarding the exact date of the journey, most Scholars uphold that it was 18 months prior to the Hijrah (migration) to Medina.
The Miracle Which Followed the Miracle:
When The Messenger of Allah ﷺ awoke the next morning remembering his journey from the night before and began to narrate it, the polytheists who sought to claim this blessed journey was not true, began to question him on how many pillars and columns Masjid Al-Aqsa had. It had not occurred to The Prophet ﷺ to memorise such specific details of his destination along the journey, so Allah caused these very details to appear before his Messenger’s eyes, allowing him to provide a detailed description of where he had visited.
“When the Qurayshites disbelieved me, I stood in Ishmail’s precinct (the northern wall of the Ka’bah) and Allah revealed Jerusalem to me. So I began telling them about it’s distinguishing features as I looked upon it.” Bukhari & Muslim.
Abu Bakr al-Siddique عليه السلام in response to the attitude of the Quraysh in his unshakable loyalty proclaimed “If he said this, then he is telling the truth, and I would believe him even if he claimed to have experienced things more wondrous than these.”