The truth about the life of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is probably one of the greatest untold stories over time.
The truth about the life of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is probably one of the greatest untold stories over time. His legacy began in the seventh century in Arabia with a band of small followers. Yet, over fourteen hundred years later, his followers have now grown to a global community of 1.5 billion people. That is all Muslims are one fifth of the world’s population.
He was born amidst some people of Bedouin culture. Yet, his teachings today have liberated millions around the world. Muhammad (upon him be peace) was a man chosen by God to teach people how to live a happy and fulfilling life. His heart was full of love and compassion for all humanity.
He came with a profound message, a message of justice and equality and this powerful message frightened the authorities of the tyrants of his time. These tyrants stopped at nothing to silence Muhammad. They conjured lies against him. They began a huge campaign to vilify him and to tarnish his character, even tried to use the media outlets of the time to try to destroy his reputation. And unfortunately they are still continuing up to day. However, truth shined through falsehood and lies will never stop people from knowing reality.
Muhammad was a very calm and peaceful person. He would respond to aggression with graciousness and would respond to hatred with love. People around him would describe him as somebody who was always smiling.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was someone who was always concerned about the welfare of everybody around him. Allow me to share with you a small story describing his kind and caring nature. During his lifetime, there was a woman who really hated him. Every day she would throw the rubbish and all sources of harmful objects in his path. Whenever, she saw him, she would use words of abuse and hatred. One day, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was walking along the same path and noticed that there was no rubbish there. Many days continued like this. So out of his concern for her, he went and visited her and found here sick in her home. The woman was amazed and taken aback with his compassion. How is it that this man she hated so much, the one she shared abuse by all means, had now come to visit her? She was so surprised and realized immediately how good a man Muhammad (peace be upon him) really was.
The amazing character of Muhammad is a lasting example for all to follow. Muslims everywhere model their lives upon his behavior, from prayer to politics, from personal hygiene to community involvement. This one man has continued to inspire millions of lives despite living fourteen centuries ago. So, why not we learn more about this amazing man?
Watch this short video to know the truth about Prophet Muhammad.
By Editorial Staff
The problem of the general majority of non-Muslims with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is briefed in the following story whose hero is a non-Muslim who became one of the greatest companions. He is Tufayl ibn `Amr Ad-Dawsi, the chief of the Daws tribe. He was an eloquent poet and a respected person among his people. Once, he went on a journey to Makkah during the occurrence of Islam’s call at the hands of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
At-Tufayl said, “As soon as I came to Makkah, I was generously received by the chiefs of Quraish, and was extravagantly honored by them. Soon after my arrival, they all came to me together and said, ‘Tufayl, you are a visitor to our city so let us give you our news. A man named Muhammad ibn `Abdullah has been pretending to be a Prophet of Allah. He has left from under our authority and is trying to split our community. We are afraid he will do to you and to the chiefs of your tribe what he has done to us. If you run into him while you are here, don’t talk to him, and don’t listen to anything he has to say, because when he speaks he is like a sorcerer.’
By Allah, they went on telling me about his “sorcery,” scaring me so much that I decided not to approach that man, or talk to him, or listen to him. The next morning I went to make Tawaf around the Ka`bah, to glorify the idols we used to worship. I put cotton in my ears so that not a word of Muhammad’s teachings would reach my hearing. But as soon as I got into the sacred area I found the Prophet (peace be upon him) standing in front of the Ka`bah, making a prayer that didn’t look like the ways of our traditions. I was much taken by this scene. I found myself walking nearer and nearer to him until I was quite close to him, despite my will. It was the will of Allah that I should hear some of what he was saying -it was so beautiful that I told myself, “Woe to you, Tufayl! You are an intelligent poet; you are able to differentiate the good from the bad. Why don’t you listen to the man? If what he says is good, accept it, and if it’s bad, reject it!’
I stood there until the Prophet (peace be upon him) left for his house. I followed him. When he entered the house, I followed him in and said, ‘Muhammad, your people told me many bad things about you. They scared me so much that I put cotton in my ears to prevent myself from hearing you. But the will of Allah let me hear your speech and I found it good. So, please explain to me what this is all about.’
He explained it to me and read Surah Al-Ikhlas and Surah Al-Falaq. I swear, I’ve never heard anything better than that nor have I met someone more fair on this earth. On the spot, I gave him my hand and pronounced the testimony of faith that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger, and I became a Muslim.” (Siyar A`laam An-Nubalaa’ by Imam Adh-Dhahabi)
The story shows us a technique of the media war waged against the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the early days of his call. The chieftains of Arab tribes would ask their people not to listen or meet the Prophet Muhammad because he is a sorcerer, liar, troublemaker, etc. or a terrorist as they claim today despite the fact that Muhammad is completely free of all of this. He was a rational person who sewed peace, love, good neighborhood, and noble manners and combated idolism, ignorance, misguidance and aberration. The same conditions of At-Tufayl are true for the current reality as people are now influenced by media makers who spread false rumors about Islam and its Prophet day and night and manipulate the minds of people in fabricated and unjust course of knowledge.
Just open your mind and come to know the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
In this video, Sheikh Hamza Tzortzis talks about the Prophet of humanity and sheds light on various sides of his message, life-story, mission and life-goals. Enjoy watching this video to know more about the ever greatest personality throughout the history; Prophet Muhammad ibn `Abdullah (peace be upon him).
 See Al-Alukah.net
Source: Reminders From Hamza Tzortzis Youtube Channel
This was where the Prophet received the injunction of the five daily prayers.
The Prophet liked to go to the Ka`bah enclosure at night. He would stand there in prayer for long hours. One evening, he suddenly felt deeply tired and in great need of sleep. He therefore lay down near the Ka`bah and fell asleep.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) has related that the Angel Gabriel then came to him. Gabriel shook him twice to awaken him, but Muhammad slept on; the third time the angel shook him, Muhammad awoke, and Gabriel took him to the doors of the mosque, where a white animal looking something like a cross between a mule and a donkey, but with wings) was waiting for them. He mounted the animal, which was called Al-Buraq, and started with Gabriel toward Jerusalem.
There Muhammad met a group of prophets who had preceded him (Abraham, Moses, and others, peace be upon them), and he led a group prayer with them on the Temple site. When the prayer was over, the Prophet was raised with the Angel Gabriel beyond space and time.
On his way, rising through the seven heavens, he again met the various prophets, and his vision of the heavens and of the beauty of those horizons permeated his being.
He at last reached Sidrat Al-Muntaha (the Lotus of the Utmost Boundary). This was where the Prophet received the injunction of the five daily prayers and revelation of the verse that established the `aqeedah (elements of the Muslim creed). (There were initially to be fifty prayers, but the number was reduced to five after successive requests from the Prophet acting on Moses’ advice.)
The Messenger believes in that which has been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believes in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers – We make no distinction between any of His messengers – and they say: “We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying”. (Al-Baqarah 2:285)
Muhammad was taken back to Jerusalem by the Angel Gabriel and Al-Buraq, and from there to Makkah. On the way back, he came upon some caravans that were also traveling to Makkah. It was still night when they reached the Ka`bah enclosure.
The angel and Al-Buraq left, and Muhammad proceeded to the home of Um Hani, one of his most trusted Companions. He gave her an account of what had happened to him, and she advised him not to tell anybody about it, which Muhammad refused to do.
The Qur’an Tells the Story
Later on, the Qur’an was to report this experience in different passages. One is in the Surah whose title, Al-Israa’ ( the Nocturnal Voyage), directly refers to the event:
Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a 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: for He is the One Who hears and sees (all things). (Al-Israa’ 17:1)
It is also in Surat An-Najm (The Star):
It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: He was taught by one Mighty in Power, endued with wisdom: for he appeared (in stately form); while he was in the highest part of the horizon. Then he approached and came closer, and was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer. So did (Allah) convey the inspiration to His Servant- (conveyed) what He (meant) to convey. The (Prophet’s) (mind and) heart in no way falsified that which he saw. Will you then dispute with him concerning what he saw? For indeed he saw him 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! (An-Najm 53:4-18)
The Night Journey and ascension were to give rise to many comments, both when the Prophet recounted the facts and later among Muslim scholars. When Muhammad went to the Ka`bah and reported his experience, jeers, sniggers and criticisms quickly followed.
The Quraysh believed that at last they had proof that the so-called prophet was indeed mad, since he dared claim that in one night he had made a journey to Jerusalem (which in itself required several weeks) and that he had, furthermore, been raised to the presence of his One God. His madness was obvious.
To be continued…
The article is an excerpt from the author’s book In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press (2007).
Among the greatest events occurring during the Prophet’s life is his miraculous night journey to Jerusalem and then to Heavens.
Read Part 1
By Dr. `Ali Al-Salabi
Anas ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Al-Buraq was brought to me; it is a white-colored, tall beast-larger than a donkey and smaller than a mule. It moves its hoof with a single stride to the farthest point that it can see. I rode on it until I reached Jerusalem; once there, I tied it to the very same ring (of Masjid Al-Aqsa’s door) to which the Prophets would tie (their riding animals). I then entered the Masjid and prayed in it two units; I then left. Next, Jibril (Gabriel) came to me with a vessel of alcohol and a vessel of milk. I chose the milk, and Jibril said, “You have chosen Al-Fitrah (i.e., Islam, uprightness).” (Muslim)
In another narration, the Prophet spoke to Malik ibn Sa`sa`ah about his night journey, saying, “While I was in Al-Hatim (i.e., Al-Hijr, the northern side of the Ka`bah) – and perhaps he said, ‘Al-Hijr’ lying down, one who comes (i.e., Jibril) came to me and split me lengthwise – He said, ‘And I heard him say: And he split what is between this and this.” The narrator said, “And I said to Jarud, “What does he mean by this.” He said, “From the lower part of his neck until his pubic hair. And I heard him say, ‘From his upper chest until his pubic hair.’”
The Prophet said, “He then removed my heart, after which a basin made of gold and filled with faith was brought to me. My heart was washed and then filled (with and wisdom). (My chest) was then put (i.e., sown) back together. A white-coloured beast was then brought to me; it was smaller than a mule but bigger than a donkey.” The Prophet said, “I was made to ride it, and Jibril set off with me, until he reached the closest heaven. He asked for it (i.e., the door to the lowest heaven) to be opened. It was said, ‘Who is this?’ He answered, ‘Jibril. It was said, ‘And who is with you. Jibril said, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘And has he been sent for?’ Jibril said, ‘Yes.’ It was said, ‘Welcome is he! Indeed, a blessed comer has come!’ He then opened the door.”
The Prophet said, “When I reached (inside), in it (i.e., the lowest heaven) was Adam. He (i.e., Jibril) said, ‘This is your father, Adam, so extend greetings of peace to him.” “I extended greetings of peace to him, and he returned the greetings, after which he said, ‘Welcome to a virtuous son and a righteous Prophet.” Then Jibril ascended with me until he reached the second heaven. He asked for it (i.e., for its door) to be opened, and it was said, ‘Who is this?’ He said, ‘Jibril.’ ‘And who is with you?’ it was said. Jibril said, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘And has he indeed been sent for? Jibril said, ‘Yes.’ It was said, ‘Welcome to him. Indeed, a blessed comer has arrived.’ He (i.e., the doorkeeper) opened (the door to that heaven). When I reached (inside), (I saw) Yahya and `Isa (Jesus), and they are the sons of aunts (i.e., the mother of each one of them is the aunt of other; hence their mothers are sisters). Jibril said, “These are Yahyah and `Isa, so extend greetings of peace to them.’ I gave them greetings of peace, and they returned them and then said, ‘Welcome to a virtuous brother and a righteous Prophet.”
The Prophet said, “Then I was taken above to the third heaven. He asked for it to be opened, and it was said, ‘Who is this?’ He said, ‘Jibril.’ It was then said, ‘And who is with you?’ He said, ‘Muhammad.’ ‘Has he indeed been sent for?’ it was said. ‘Yes,’ said Jibril. It was said, ‘Welcome to him. Indeed, a blessed comer has arrived. He opened (the door to the third heaven), and when I reached inside, Yusuf was there. Jibril said, ‘This is Yusuf, so give him greetings of peace. I extended to him greetings of peace; first, he responded, and then he said, ‘Welcome to a virtuous brother and a righteous Prophet. Next, I was taken above until Jibril reached the fourth heaven. When Jibril asked for it (i.e., its door) to be opened, it was said, ‘Who is this?’ He said, ‘Jibril.’ ‘And who is with you?’ it was said. Jibril said, ‘Muhammad.’ ‘And has he indeed been sent for?’ it was said. Jibril said, ‘Yes.’ It was said, ‘Welcome he is indeed! A blessed comer has indeed arrived,’ and he (the doorkeeper of the fourth heaven) opened (the door to the fourth heaven). When I reached inside, (Prophet) Idris was there, and Jibril said, ‘This is Idris, so extend greetings of peace to him. I gave him greetings of peace, and he returned them and then said, ‘Welcome to a virtuous brother and a righteous Prophet. Then I was taken above until Jibril reached the fifth heaven. When Jibril asked for it to be opened, it was said, ‘Who is this?’ He said, ‘Jibril.’ It was said, ‘And who is with you?’ He said, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘And has he indeed been sent for?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ It was said, ‘Welcome he is indeed! Verily, a blessed comer has arrived.’ He (i.e., the doorkeeper of the fifth heaven) then opened (the door to the fifth heaven). When I reached (inside), Haroon was there, and Jibril said, ‘This is Harun, so extend greetings of peace to him.’ I gave him greetings of peace, and he returned them and then said, ‘Welcome to a virtuous brother and a righteous Prophet.
Then I was taken above until Jibril reached the sixth heaven. When Jibril asked for it (i.e., its door) to be opened, it was said, ‘Who is this?’ he said, ‘Jibril.’ It was said, ‘And who is with you?’ He said, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘And has he indeed been sent for?’ Jibril said, ‘Yes.’ He (i.e., the doorkeeper of the sixth heaven) said, ‘Welcome he is indeed! Verily, a blessed comer has arrived.’ When I reached (inside), Musa was there, and Jibril said, ‘This is Musa, so extend greetings of peace to him. I gave him greetings of peace, and he returned them and then said, ‘Welcome to a virtuous brother and a righteous Prophet. When I left him, he cried, and it was said to him, ‘What makes you cry?’ He said, ‘I cry because a youth that was sent after me will have more people from his nation enter Paradise than will enter it from my nation.’
Next, I was raised to the seventh heaven. When Jibril asked for it (i.e., the door of the seventh heaven) to be opened, it was said, ‘Who is this?’ He said, ‘Jibril.’ It was said, ‘And who is with you?’ He said, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘And has he indeed been sent for?’ Jibril said, ‘Yes.’ He (i.e., the doorkeeper of the sixth heaven) said, ‘Welcome he is indeed! And a blessed comer has indeed come!’ When I reached (inside), Ibrahim was there, and Jibril said, “This is your father, so extend greetings of peace to him.’ I gave him greetings of peace, and he returned them and then said, ‘Welcome to a virtuous son and a righteous Prophet.’
Then, As-Sidratul-Muntaha (lote-tree of the utmost boundary, beyond which none can pass) was brought near to me. Its fruits were like the large jars of Hajar (because the jars of a place called Hajar are large, they are used proverbially to signify anything that is large; Hajar is a town in Bahrain), and its leaves were like the ears of elephants. Jibril said, ‘This is Sidratul-Muntaha.” And there were four rivers, two internal and two external. I said, ‘O Jibril, what are these two?’ He said, ‘As for the internal ones, they are two rivers in Paradise. And as for the external ones, they are the Nile and the Euphrates.’ Then Al-Bait Al-Ma ‘moor (a house of worship for the angels) was brought near to me. Then a vessel of alcohol, a vessel of milk, and a vessel of honey were brought to me. I took the milk, and he (i.e., Jibril) said, ‘It is the Fitrah (i.e., the religion of Islam, uprightness) that you and your nation are upon.’
Next, made compulsory upon me were fifty prayers for each and every day. I then returned and passed by Musa, who said, ‘What were you commanded with?’ I said, ‘I was commanded to perform fifty prayers each and every day.’ He said, ‘Verily, your nation is not able to perform fifty prayers every single day. By Allah, I have indeed had experience with people who came before you, and I have had the most difficult of experiences with the Children of Israel. So go back to your Lord and ask Him to decrease (the number of prayers) for your nation.’ And so I returned, and He (i.e., Allah M) reduced it (the number of obligatory prayers) for me by ten. I returned to Musa, and he said the same thing as he had said before. And so I returned (to my Lord), and He reduced it for me by ten. Next, I returned to Musa, and he said the same thing again. And so I returned (to my Lord), and He decreased it for me by ten. I returned to Musa, who repeated the same message. I returned (to my Lord), and I was ordered to perform ten prayers every single day. I went back (to Musa), who again said the same thing. And so I returned, and this time I was ordered to perform five prayers every single day. When I returned again to Musa, he said, ‘What were you commanded with?’ I said, ‘I was commanded to perform five prayers every single day.’ He said, ‘Verily, your nation is not able to perform five prayers every single day. I have indeed had experience with people who came before you, and I have had the most difficult of experiences with the Children of Israel. So return to your Lord, and ask Him to reduce (the number of obligatory prayers) for your nation.’”  The Prophet g said to Musa W-, “I asked my Lord until I have become shy; rather, I am pleased, and I do submit.’ When I left, a caller called out, ‘I have finalized My legislated obligatory duty (i.e., people will get 50 rewards for praying five times a day), and I have made lighter (the duty of prayer) for My slaves (i.e., they have to perform 5 prayers in actuality, though they receive for them fifty rewards).’” (Al-Bukhari)
Source: Taken with modifications from the author’s The Noble Life of the Prophet Muhammad.
The article provides some of the lessons to be learned from the Prophet’s night Journey to Jerusalem and then to the Heavens: Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj.
By Dr. `Ali Al-Salabi
The following are a number of lessons to be learned from the story of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj that happened to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a serious stage of His preaching mission.
1- Every trial or tribulation is followed by some form of relief or reward. The three years that followed the seventh year of the Messenger of Allah’s Prophethood were replete with trials and hardships for the Prophet.
- First he (peace be upon him), his followers, and even his fellow clansmen were besieged in a mountain pass that belonged to Abu Talib.
- Second, the Prophet lost in the span of a few months his uncle, Abu Talib, his greatest protector from humankind, and his wife, Khadijah, his human source of comfort.
- Third, the Quraish took advantage of Abu Talib’s death, taking it as a sign that they could persecute and harm the Prophet more severely than ever before.
- Fourth, the people of At-Ta’if, to whom the Prophet went seeking their support and help, rejected the Prophet’s message and treated him in a vile and despicable manner.
Yet, despite all of these hardships, the Prophet continued on course, patiently inviting people to Islam, not minding the hardships he had to continually face. It was then that the time was ripe for a great reward and consolation, one that took the form of a blessed and miraculous night journey first to Jerusalem and then upwards to the unseen world of the heavens.
2- The Prophet’s miraculous night journey was a precursor of a new stage in the Prophet’s Da`wah, for it occurred shortly before the Prophet’s migration to Al-Madinah. That new stage in the Prophet’s Da`wah involved the establishment of a Muslim country. Now, to be sure, Allah wanted the foundations of that country to be strong and firm; and the Prophet’s night journey helped achieve that end. For Allah made the night journey a test for the Muslims, to purge from their ranks those who had doubts and those whose hearts were diseased, and to make firm the believers who were sincere and strong in their faith.
3- As Muslims, we should be sure of our faith, so sure that we are willing to speak the truth even when we are afraid that others will make fun of us. Consider the faith and bravery of the Prophet, who openly described an event to the disbelievers that their perverse and limited minds could not even imagine, never mind accept. Even with the certainty of rejection and mockery from his people, the Prophet spoke without hesitation or fear, setting an ideal example for his nation, in terms of openly speaking the truth in front of the people of falsehood.
4- After the Prophet, the person who shined most after Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj was Abu Bakr. When the polytheists told him that the Prophet had just informed them about this night journey – and Abu Bakr had not yet heard about it – he did not in the least hesitate or waver in his faith, but instead immediately said, “If he said that, then he has spoken the truth. I indeed believe him concerning that which is more amazing than that. I believe him about news from the heavens, which comes in the morning or at the end of the day.’’ This statement sheds light not only on Abu Bakr’s strong faith, but also on his understanding and wisdom. Based on Abu Bakr’s response, he truly deserves the title, As-Siddiq (the most truthful).
5- That the Prophet led the Prophets in prayer proves that they submit to and agree upon his leadership; also, that they submit to the fact that the laws of Islam abrogate the laws that were sent down with all previous Prophets. In this there is a clear message for non-Muslims, whether Jews or Christians, that they should accept what their Prophets have accepted, by following the Seal of Prophets, the Prophet who was sent to all of mankind, and whose Shari`ah is binding and applicable until the Day of Resurrection.
6- In the Prophet’s miraculous night journey, a clear and strong link is established between Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah. That link has far-reaching implications for Muslims, such as the following:
- Jerusalem is of great importance to Muslims. It is one of the three inviolable Masjids; it is the place to which the Prophet was taken on his night journey; and it was the Qiblah (prayer direction) of the Muslims throughout the Makkan era of the Prophet’s biography. All Muslims should therefore love Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, which is both blessed and sanctified.The link that is established in the Prophet’s journey and elsewhere instills a sense of responsibility in Muslims towards Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa – the responsibility to keep it pure from all forms of polytheism and safe from falling into the hands of the enemies of Islam.
- The link also instills into Muslims the sense that a threat to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is a threat to Al-Masjid Al-Haram, and an attack on Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is the precursor to an attack on Al-Masjid Al-Haram. This principle is not an imagined one, but rather is established through historical fact. During the crusades, Arnat, ruler of the Al-Kurk kingdom, sent some of his people on a mission to desecrate the grave of the Prophet and to remove his corpse from the Prophet’s Masjid. More recently, the Portuguese tried to accomplish what the crusaders before them failed to accomplish: To enter with their army into Makkah and Al-Madinah. But the strong resistance of the Mamalik and `Uthmaniyin (Ottomans) prevented them from reaching their infernal goal.
To be continued…
Source: Taken with modifications from the author’s The Noble Life of the Prophet Muhammad.
Allah wanted to give the Prophet a chance to see some manifestations of His Power, so that his heart could become filled with trust in Allah.
By Dr. `Ali Al-Salabi
As long as he was alive, Abu Talib prevented the Quraish from harming the Prophet (peace be upon him). True, Abu Talib was merely one man and one man can only do so much, but in a tribal society like that of the Quraish, individual chieftains were highly respected. And given that Abu Talib was a respected chieftain, the Quraish did not want to lose him or go against him, and so the Prophet was relatively safe from their harm. But as soon as Abu Talib died, his protection went with him, and the Quraish began to persecute the Prophet with impunity – even common members of the Quraish joined in their leaders’ onslaught against the Prophet. As for the Prophet’s wife, Khadijah, when she died only a few months after the death of Abu Talib, the Messenger of Allah lost her comforting presence.
Then when the Quraish became more vile and harsh in their persecution, the Messenger of Allah went to At-Ta’if, hoping for help and support from its people, but receiving instead a hostile and harsh welcome from them and their leaders. Not only did they reject the Prophet’s message, they also sent a messenger to Quraish’s leaders, informing them about the Prophet’s Da`wah efforts in At-Ta’if. As a result, the only way the Messenger of Allah was able to enter Makkah was under the protection of a disbelieving man. Based on all of these sad events, the year in which they occurred became known as the Year of Grief. But then relief came to the Prophet in the most unexpected of forms – a miraculous night journey to Jerusalem and to the heavens.
There were many purposes behind that night journey. First, Allah wanted to give the Prophet (peace be upon him) a chance to see some manifestations of His Almighty Power, so that the Prophet’s heart could become filled with trust in Him, and so that the Prophet could increase in strength, strength that he would need to continue in his struggle against the polytheists of Makkah and beyond.
For the same purpose, prophet Musa too was made to see some of Allah’s Greater Signs. Allah said:
(Allah) said : “Cast it down, O Musa (Moses)!” He cast it down, and behold! It was a snake, moving quickly. He (Allah) said: “Grasp it, and fear not, We shall return it to its former state, – “And press your (right) hand to your (left) side, it will come forth white (and shining), without any disease as another sign. That We may show you (some) of Our Greater Signs.” (Ta-Ha 20:17-22)
After Musa’s heart became immersed in the appreciation of those signs, Allah said to him:
That We may show you (some) of Our Greater Signs. (Ta-Ha 20: 23)
In the journey of the Israa’ and the Mai`raj, Allah showed His Messenger those Greater Signs, in preparation for the Prophet’s migration and for the great struggles that were to come afterwards. During the journey of Al-Israa’ and Mi`raj, the Prophet saw much from the unseen world, such as angels, the heavens, Paradise, the Hellfire, and so on.
In the Noble Qur’an, the Prophet’s night journey to Jerusalem is discussed in Surah Al-Israa’, while his consequent ascension to the heavens is discussed in Surah An-Najm. In Surat Al-Israa’, Allah mentioned the wisdom behind the Prophet’s miraculous night journey as He says,
In order that We might show him (Muhammad g) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). (Al-Israa’ 17: 1)
And in Surat An-Najm, Allah says:
Indeed he (Muhammad) did see, of the Greater Signs, of his Lord (Allah). (An-Najm 53:18)
Speaking about the lessons and morals we can learn from the Prophet’s miraculous night journey, Abu al-Hasan An-Nadwi, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Al-Israa’ was not simply a one of a kind incident, during which the Messenger of Allah saw the Greater Signs, and during which the Prophet saw with his own eyes the dominions of the heavens and the earth; beyond these things, the Prophet’s night journey involved many profound meanings and far-reaching wisdoms. Chapters Al-Israa’ and An-Najm, which were revealed with information about Al-Israa’, announced that Muhammad is the Prophet of both Qiblahs (Jerusalem and Makkah), that he is the Imam of the east and the west, that he is the inheritor of the Prophets that came before him, and the Imam of the generations that were to come after him.
During the Prophet’s journey, Makkah and Jerusalem were juxtaposed (showing a strong relationship and link between the two), as were the Inviolable House (in Makkah) and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsaa (in Jerusalem). Also during that journey, the Prophets prayed behind him, a unique occurrence that announced the comprehensive-ness of his message, the lastingness of his leadership (and Prophethood), and the humanity of his teachings, which are right and applicable during all times and in all places.”
Source: Taken with modifications from the author’s The Noble Life of the Prophet Muhammad.
 Refer to Al-Asas Fis-Sunnah (1/292).