Laylatu-l-Mir'aj | Commemorating the Night of Ascension

Vision of Miraj

A`udhu bi wajhillahi al-Karim
wa bi kalimatillahi al-tammat
al-lati la yujawizuhunna barrun wa la fajir
min sharri ma yanzilu min al-sama'
wa min sharri ma ya`ruju fiha
wa min sharri ma dhara'a fi al-ard
wa min sharri ma yakhruju minha
wa min fitani al-layli wa al-nahar
wa min tawariq al-layli wa al-nahar
illa tariqin yatruqu bi khayrin ya Rahman

I seek refuge in the Face of Allah the Munificent
and in Allah's perfect words
which neither the righteous nor the disobedient overstep
from the evil of what descends from the heaven
and the evil of what ascends to it
and the evil of what is created in the earth
and the trials of the night and the day
and the visitors of the night and the day
except the visitor that comes with goodness,
O Beneficent One!
- Prayer of the Prophet during the Journey of Ascent

There are three glorious and significant Celestial Nights of Lights in the terrestrial calendar of events for entire humanity. Such luminous points are placed in our human existence like guiding stars as a source of blessing and opportunity to remember what is Real. If one to look around their surrounding, regardless of which hemisphere of the planet they live in, they will find that majority of people are immersed in perpetual forgetfulness (of the reality), in utter denial of their appointed meeting with their Lord and captured in the net of deception of the material world which binds and binds more who enslave themselves after its mirages. For the entire humanity its a great blessing to come across such luminous nights in which blessed servants were given drinks from the cup of divine fountain and in such generous giving by the Most Generous, al Karim, these nights are marked till the end of days as occasion to remember and as mediation for grace, blessing and forgiveness and also as opportunity for those who yearn for the Face of the Divine to raise themselves up more towards the Divine Intimacy.

Fa-itha faraghta fainsab,
Wa-ila rabbika fairghab.
So when you have finished [your duties], then arise, 
And to your Lord direct [your] longing.
- The Quran 94:7-8

The three glorious and significant Celestial Nights as unveiled in the last cycle of Abrahamic Revelations of Humanity, that is in Islam, are called: Laylatul Miraj, Laylatul Bar'aat (Nisfu Shabaan) and Laylatul Qadr, which appear respectively in the month of Rajab, Sha'ban and Ramadan. Some places on the planet it is tonight which will be observed as Laylatul Miraj, the Holy Night of Ascension and in other places it will be tomorrow night, based on the lunar calendar.

At present the month of Rajab is passing us and on the 27th Night of Rajab, a very significant enlightening event occurred in the Kingdom which is known as Miraj or Ascension of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet was taken while alive in the heaven to travel the Heavens, to meet earlier Divine Messengers, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, John the Baptist and Jesus and finally he traveled further, beyond the last boundary and experienced the Ultimate Experience of Meeting the Divine, Face to Face.

As the famous Sufi Qawwali Allah Hu sings and commemorate this event in the words of the Sufi poets:

Pahunche Miraj me, Arsh Tak Mustafa
Jab Na Mabud O Bande me Parda Raha.

In the Night Ascension Mustafa arrives the Intimate Divine Presence
When there was no veil between the Master and Servant.

Tab Malaik Ne, Hazrat Se Chup Kar Kaha
Sari Makhluq me, Haq Numa Tu hi Tu.

Then angels said secretly to Prophet,
Cosmic totality holds this truth alone: Only You, Only You!

Allah Hu, Allah Hu, Allah Hu

Only That Existence alone Is.

Allah who is the Most Merciful and Most Compassionate longs that Her Creation remembers Her and it is Her good pleasure that each human being live a pure life (hayyatut-taiyyaba). The act of sending the select and elect Divine Informers and Messengers Allah was also an act of Mercy; similarly there were special events that occurred in the life of these enlightened guides of humanity which were not only special wayfaring station for their own journey to the Lord of the Glorious Throne, but made into holy occasion for the rest of us to walk along their guided path.

Ihdinas Siratul Mustaqim!

Through the secret of unity, all that happened in the life of a chosen and elect friend of God (Awliya Allah), elect Divine Messenger or Informer of God (Rasul and Nabi) has the potential to manifest and unfold in the life of any other individual who are connected to them, who has made relation with them by the invisible golden thread of love (sohbet, bayah and nisbat). Each person is a microcosm, each Man is Adam and hence what happens in each, has a cosmic relationship to the rest, for indeed in truth, the Existence is without two or partner. The hint of this secret can be traced here:

Creating and resurrecting all of you, o humanity, is just like creating and resurrecting a single soul. Truly, God hears all and observes all. - The Quran 31:28

For this reason, the special occasion through which enlightenment were given to the elect friends and divine informers, special event of experiencing divine nearness - opens up the field of possibility that such experience or its traces could be given as a gift to those who love the ones who are loved by God and it was only through love (hubb) they were given what they were given which no eyes have seen, nor any being on earth has experienced other than their destined recipients.The station of love (hubb) is through which the Chosen one became Divine Beloved (Habib Allah) and was granted what no other were granted as the experience of Miraj.

The great Mujaddid Ahmad Sirhindi, may Allah hallow his secret, wrote in his Maktubat (as translated by Irshad Alam) touching upon the experience of Miraj and how such state is also bestowed upon others (in this case him):

You should know that among those contingent beings who have realized the station of nearness (qurb) of divinity (ilahi), those who have stepped their feet out side the circle of contingentness find the beginningless beginning and the endless end unified together. 
While on the station of ascent (maqamtul uruj) on the night of Heavenly Ascension (miraj), Hazrat the Seal of Messenger (salaam) found Hazrat Jonah in the belly of the fish. And he found the storm of Hazrat Noah taking place and he saw the people of paradise in paradise and people of hell in hell. He found five hundred years (of earthly time) equal to half of a day after entering the paradise. The Prophet saw a rich companion named Abdur Rahman ibn Auf entering paradise late, so Hazrat asked him the reason for coming late and he gave news of his own trials and tribulations (that he suffered on the way). He saw all that in one moment - there was neither past nor future.

Through the grace of (Prophet Muhammad) the Friend of Allah, I have experienced such "states" (i.e. unveiling and mystic visions), I (the Mujaddid) saw the angels prostrating before Adam and at that time their heads were not raised from the prostration. I saw the angels of the Highest Paradise (illiyin) not performing these prostrations, they were not ordered to prostrate. In my vision, they were absorbed (in seeing that. All these past events as well as) that will happen in the last world, they were all seen in that same (one single all inclusive) moment.

According to individuals station and their striving (mujahada) different mystical experiences with similar traces of cosmic experience of miraj is bestowed. As one dervish experienced during a zikr session in which the servant of God reached an absorbed state while beholding, remembering and uttering the Name of God and in one instant he was transported from the gathering of remembrance in a mosque to the far horizon where with every turn of his external face while saying "la ilaha illa Allah" he was shown the expansive horizon of the cosmos and the experience lasted for only few seconds in worldly time's measure but its intensity and experience was surreal. 

Ya Qaribu, Ya Qaribu, Ya Qarib
Ya Latifu, Ya Lafitu, Ya Latif
Ya Mujibu, Ya Mujibu, Ya Mujib

O Thou Who is the Near Most! Make us near to Thou.
O Thou Who is the Most Subtle, be Gracious to us.
O Thou Who Responds! Please respond to our calling.

Laylatul Miraj is one of the most special night in which the Divine Messenger, Muhammad Mustafa, upon him be abundant peace and blessings, were given an unparalleled spiritual experience of supreme Divine Nearness. About which the Final Testament reveals:

Glory be to Him Who took His slave on a journey by night
from the Masjid al-Haram to the Masjid al-Aqsa,
whose surroundings We have blessed,
in order to show him some of Our Signs.
He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.
- The Quran, 17:1

In mystical words of the Quran, the event is further described in chapter 53:

The Lord of Mighty Power has taught him, The Lord of Strength; so he attained completion, While he was in the highest part of the horizon: Then he drew near, and came closer till he was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer; And God revealed unto His slave that which He revealed.

The heart was not untrue in seeing what he saw. What! do you then dispute with him as to what he saw? And certainly he saw him in another descent, By the lote-tree of the utmost boundary, Near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!)

The eye turned not aside nor yet was overbold. Certainly he saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.
- The Quran 53:5-18

For the mystics this journey signifies the journey that is made possible, from the world of limited horizon to the world of unlimited horizon and the two mosques in the above verses of the Quran in the beginning of Suratul Isra, in a level of meaning stands for symbol of those two horizons. To the people of haqq, this even of Miraj is of extreme important because by verification of the Prophet, this experience of Miraj of nearness to the Supreme Soul is bestowed and made possible to approach to the seekers through deep prayer of the heart, the salaat. "Salaat" as the blessed master has transmitted, "hold the secret of miraaj and for the believers it is the miraaj."  This again is a verification that what come to pass in the heart of the elect, opens up the possibility of entering into the same domain by those who come to love the elects. This is because "the movement which is the existence of the universe is the movement of love", as affirmed by the Sufis.

In North America, the Lailat al Miraj in 2011 is on Tuesday, the 28th of June. Note that in the Muslim calendar, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Lailat al Miraj on the sunset of Monday, the 27th of June. The dates provided here are based on the dates adopted by the Fiqh Council of North America for the celebration of Lailat al Miraj. (Credit)

I have also received communication from fuqara's in London, UK that (according to Noor & Takbeer TV Channels) 27th Rajab is tomorrow evening in the UK (i.e. Tuesday night 28th June) and is therefore the anniversary of the Prophet's (Peace be upon him) night journey. A blessed night that should be devoted to worship and it's recommended the following day be spent fasting (27th Rajab - Wed 29th June).

It is recommended to have ghusl (bath) on this  day & observe fasting. This day is one of the four days that are dedicated to fasting among the whole year. The reward of observing fasting on this day is equal to seventy years fasting.

It is recommended to repeat very frequently the salwat ie sending blessings upon Prophet Muhammad and his Household. ie Recite Salwaat  "Allahooma Salle Alaa Mohammadin wa Aale Mohammad," as many times as possible, the meaning of which is, "O Allah send your peace and blessings upon Muhammad and his holy family." So wherever you are in the world, you may consult your local mosque or Islamic resources to find out whether its tonight or tomorrow night and try to pray, meditate and spend time with your Beloved. May we direct our longing and turn our faces and heart to the Real on such night and may we seek our own Miraaj. Ameen.

As Sidi Ibn Arabi, may Allah hallow his secret advices: "If you want to enter the presence of the Truth and receive from Him without intermediary, and you desire intimacy with Him, this will not be appropriate as long as your heart acknowledges any lordship other than His. For you belong to that which exercises its authority over you." So may in such blessed nights we strive to remove from our heart all that is other than the longing for the Divine Face.

Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee, the Khalifah of Shadhili Sufi Way in North America, may Allah bless him and give him long life, gave an important discourse on Spiritual Travel (Safar) and below is a selection from his talk that can be watched and listened below. Click play on the video.

(Notice: This site may autoplay certain music / invocations. To play the Youtube, please stop / pause the existing audio first that may be playing. From the right menu please locate "Listening with Heart" and click stop sign on the music interface.)

Travel Further:

Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee speaks on al Isra wal Mi'raj

Watch and listen to the rest of the parts via Youtube:
Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 (End Part)

Resources on Technology of the Heart
* Secret of the Spiritual Ascension (Miraj) of Prophet
* Symbology of the Prophets Ascension (The Miraj)
* Miraj | the mystical night journey | holy ascension to the Ultimate Divine Presence
* God Maker and Prophet's Ascension | From Omid Safi's Speech
* Ascent of spiritual state | miraajul maqam
* Perfecting the preparation for our own ascension to the Lord of Majesty and Glory

Deen Islam website makes available few useful resources on the significance of this night and its devotions.
* The Spiritual Significance of Isra and Mi`raj 
* Dua's for 27th Rajab is the Month of God - Isra and Mi`raj

Also read:
* Part 2
* Part 3
* Ascension of his holy and prophetic lordship, Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam, his attaining the dignity of Intimacy, and his hearing Divine Words concerning the mysteries of both worlds.

Night of Lights
> Download and listen to Sohbets by Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee on the Night of Lights via Green Mountain School

Further Reading
. The Significance of Rajab
. Isra and Miraj via wikipedia
. Dua of Laylatul Miral
. Amal of Shab e Miraj
. - Al-Israa' & Al-Miraj
. The Muhammadan Reality | The Holy Ascension of Prophet
. The Thirty - First Word - Rasale i Nur
. Miraj: A physical or spiritual journey
. Ibn Arabi Society | Miraj
. Ibn 'Arabi and the Mystical Journey | The Journey to the Lord of Power 



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Technology of the Heart: Laylatu-l-Mir'aj | Commemorating the Night of Ascension
Laylatu-l-Mir'aj | Commemorating the Night of Ascension
Technology of the Heart
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