REFLECTIONS ON THE ISRA’ AND MI’RAJ
by Amany Shalaby, Ph.D.
PART 3 of 3
In the Name of Allah, The Grantor of Universal Compassionate,
the Grantor of Spiritual Mercy
The following is a continuation from Part 2 of Reflections on the Isra’ and Mi’raj, an article written for us by Amany Shalaby, Ph.D., faculty of UOS, author, speaker, presenter, translator, teacher of Islamic and Sufi studies worldwide.
Allah revealed the obligatory Salat (prayer) to Prophet Muhammad (sa) which given to us as a gift to connect us to Allah, As the Prophet (sa) described, it is our means to ascension.
In the beginning the obligatory prayers were supposed to be fifty but prophet Musa [Moses] (as) told prophet Muhammad (sa) to ask Allah to reduce the number of the obligatory prayers because people would not be able to do it and as prophet Muhammad (sa) kept asking Allah, Allah responded and made them five prayers. However, Allah granted tenfold blessings for each prayer performed and made the five equivalent to fifty.
After the revelation, the Prophet (sa) returned to al-Masjid al-Aqsa and untied his Buraq and returned to his home to find his billow still warm. This signifies that after spiritual retreat, or pausing to connect with Allah, we need to return to resume our activities in the world and do not become ascetics but try to serve.
It is recommended that we fast and do extra act of worship at the night commemorating the Isra’ and Mi`raj, such as doing the Khalwah (retreat) in hope to ascend like the Prophet (sa) beyond the physical realm of dense forms, the spiritual realm with subtle images, and beyond the pursuit of extraordinary power, to become aware of the Divine Presence, realizing our poverty before Allah, and our dependence on the Divine Essential Presence for our own existence.
In this way, we become mere servants to Allah, enslaved to the Divine Beautiful Attributes such as peace, mercy, love, justice and freedom and we realize our need for tawbah (returning in repentance) when we experience lacking such godly qualities.
Allah (swt) honors the attitude of poverty (faqr) and servitude (`ubudiyyah) and draw the possessor of such qualities near and make him/her delight in being intimate with His Essence.
Finally, it is important to mention that the reward of praying in al-Masjid al-Haram (the Ka`bah) and in al-Masjid al-Aqsa is 100,000 fold equivalent to the reward praying in other places. This is because Allah had chosen these places to remind people of Him, and be prayer areas of His prophets. Allah made it a portal to attract large number of people for prayers and remembrance so they have “barakah” or special energy that people can receive.
Thank you for taking the time to share in Reflections on the Isra’ and Mi’raj.
Amany Shalaby, Ph.D., is a faculty member at The University of Sufism, speaker and presenter.
Amany works as a translator of Islamic books and teaches in diverse study circles across the states on Islamic spirituality.
Amany is the author of The Essence of Creation, The Emanation of Consciousness and the forth-coming book of poetry, Hidden Pearls.
Dr. Shalaby graduated as an electric engineer from`Ein Shams University, Cairo, Egypt 1985. She obtained her Post Graduate Diploma in Islamic Studies from Islamic College of Advancing Studies, Middlesex University, London, UK in 2002 and her Master’s degree in Comparative Philosophy of Religions in 2014 from the Islamic College of Advancing Studies, Middlesex University, London, UK.
She is a co-founder of the non-profit, Radiant Hands Inc., an organization that helps single mothers in need, and Nur Corner Institute. You can also find more about Amany at her personal website, The Hidden Pearls.