Traversing the Corridor of Time and Space: Isra Miraj
PRESENTED at the ZAWIYA of SHAYKH NOORUDDEEN DURKEE
Charlottesville, Virginia June 13, 2010
Allahumma inna nasalaka mujibati rahmatika
Wa’aza’ima magfiratika, wa salamata min kulli
Itmin, wal-ganimata min kulli birrin, wal-fawza bil-jannati min-a nnar.
O Allah, we ask You for words which will make certain Your Mercy, actions which will make certain Your Forgiveness, freedom from every offence, a supply of every virtue, entering Jannah and safety from the Nār.
My Dear Friends: As I prepared for this dars, it became obvious to me how the series of darus over the past two years in Bedford, at the Ramadan retreats, and here in Charlottesville have been woven, by
Allah (swt) as a tapestry of profoundly beautiful, deep, and revealing expressions of the inner and outer interface between the Allah (swt) and the seeker of Truth and understanding.
From the sacredness of submission in sawm, to the sanctifying “upliftment” of suhbat, to the subtleties of dhaahir and baatin, and today, to discussing the dynamics of the Isra Miraaj (to be followed by
Nifsu-Shabaan and Laylatu-l-Qadr), we are on a continuing journey of understanding the pathway of
Shaykh Ahmed Abdur Rashid
light, the reality of wujuud, and the transformative process of tajalli. It is a process of transcendence within our self, as an expression of Allah (swt).
All testifies to the incredible harmony, balance, consistency and systemic integrity of Allah’s Will, in
His Divine Presence, from the world of command to the world of creation (caalam al-Amr and ‘caalam al-khalq). So let us take up this journey, once again from where we stopped, in order to contemplate, rejuvenate and reaffirm the signs of Allah. In Qur’an, we are told:
Subahana-l-ladhii ‘asra bi-‘abadihi laylam-mina-l-masjidi-l-harami ‘ila-l-masjidi-l-‘aqasa-lladhi barakna howlahu li-nuriyahu min ‘ayatina; innahu huwa-s-sami’u-l-basir.
Glorified is He who carried His servant for journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless in order that We might show him some of Our signs. Surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Qur’an 17:1)
The Qur’an further narrates:
For indeed [the Prophet] saw [Jibreel] at a second descent near the Lote tree, beyond which none may pass: near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold the Lote tree was shrouded
(in mystery unspeakable!)… (His) sight never swerved nor did it go wrong, for truly did he see of the signs of his Lord the greatest! (53:13-18)
This was a journey of tremendous distance and speed. Some say it took only one third of the night.
Some say it was the time it took for a pitcher of water, kicked over by the foot of The Prophet (sal), to fall, with his returning before it fell completely over and spilled.
Shaykh Ahmed Abdur Rashid
It is important to remember when recalling this event that he (sal) was carried by Buraq on this journey.
The meaning of al-Buraq in the Arabic language is a beam, to send out light (an active and dynamic word). Today, science tells us that light is the fastest traveling entity in the world. It travels at the speed of 700 million miles an hour. Fourteen hundred years ago, when no scientist had even imagined the swiftness of the light or it’s reality, Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sal) called this fast traveling beast, al-Buraq, on the basis of its fast pace.
Allah says in Suratu-l-Fussilat:
Sanurihim ‘ayatina fi-l ‘afaqi wa fii anfusihim hatta yatabayyana lahum ‘annahu-l-haqqa.
We will show them our signs in the Universe and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur’an) is the Truth. (41: 53)
Allah is always showing us His signs; the question is, “Do we see them?”
The experience of
seeing/vision lies at the core