Part One - The Ecstasy of Mi’raj: How Beautiful, How Blissful A The Door of Masj
By Al-Ikhwat Al-Mujahidun
Part One - The Ecstasy of Mi’raj: How Beautiful, How Blissful A The Door of Masjid Al Aqsa
If I were Muhammad I wouldn’t be willing to get back to earth After reaching close to the ‘Arsh (Throne) -‘Abdul Quddus, the Ganggoh Sufi-
BURAQ is the name. Therefore, it is similar to barq, the lightning that slides at the speed of light. That night, accompanied by Jibril, a noble Rasul (Messenger) was brought to the Masjidil Aqsa. Khadijah, the faithful wife, a symbol of love full of sacrifices was gone. The same as Abu Thalib, the protector who was full of love though unwilling to believe. He had passed away. The Messenger was in sorrow.
He felt forsaken. He felt alone in confronting the waves of fabrications, tortures and resistance against his pure invitation that were increasing by the day. He felt desolate. Therefore, Allah wanted to strengthen him. Allah showed him a part of His symbol of Dominion and Power.
Buraq is the name. It was tied to the door of Masjid Al Aqsa when all the Prophets and Messengers assembled there. They performed solat. And the Buraq rider was now leading them all in prayer. But from here, the Prophet departed for a historical journey. Joined by Jibril, he went up to heaven, going through it, level after level. Meeting with Adam, Yahya and ‘Isa, Yusuf, Idris, Harun, Musa and Ibrahim. Then, it was straight away to Sidratul Muntaha, Baitul Ma’mur and then further up heading towards Allah until the distance was less than the two ends of an archer bow. Allah opened His screen.
Allah.. Allah.. If looking at the handsome Yusuf could make the womenfolks cut their fingers without sensation, imagine the feeling of seeing the Most Beautiful Who is the Creator of all beauty? Or say it to me my friend, what do you feel when seeing the noble Ka’bah for the first time? Yes, an ecstasy. We are moved. We feel serene. The tears are flowing. The body feels weightless. The soul feels complete. Our mouths are agape. Therefore, what did Muhammad SAW essentially feel when he was in Mi’raj, meeting up with his Lord? Serenity. Enchantment. Refreshment. Spiritual bliss. Liberation of the soul. No comparison. No likeness. No equal.
BURAQ is the name. Therefore, it is similar to
By Allah, how beautiful, how blissful.
Therefore, there is some truth in what the Ganggoh Sufi was saying. When experiencing the climax of spiritual bliss, there was of course a temptation to stay longer there. If possible, we want to enjoy it forever. Or at least to repeat it again. Again and again. A peacefulness that could not be illustrated, the souls that experience completeness, splashing and swaying in the ocean. The spirits are astounded, like a drop of water merging with the ocean, our individualism are gone, vanishing and swallowed by God’s Magnificence and Majesty. We want to gulp it all down, absorb it and then collapse, we want to be pulled in, embraced and lay our hearts there only. Forever and ever.
Spiritual bliss. Inner absorption. We surely want to enjoy it all the time. We wish for it every moment.
Yet, it is there where the error lies!
Look at the Mi’raj journey of the Prophet. It did not happen every day. It happened once, only when the affliction of agonies, storms of sadness and pressure from the burdens were exceeding the limitation of human endurance. It happened when the Prophet felt he was at the highest peak of the soul’s hardship; a da’wah that was rejected, a neglected call, not so many followers, tortured companions and the main supporters who had died one by one. Thus, one thing that we derive from the Mi’raj journey is that it was merely a waqfah. It was a temporary resting station. An oasis where the Prophet refilled the provisions for his journey. The provisions for his struggles.
The Mi’raj was not the last point of that journey. Feeling the intense spiritual bliss was not the goal from the journey of his life and message. That was what made the Prophet different from the Ganggoh Sufi. If the Sufi saw the ecstasy of spiritual bliss as the goal of his life, the Prophet was merely making it as a respite. Temporarily replenishing the spiritual energy and refilling the soul’s stamina. After that the world was waiting for him to do work for humanity. And then he, as Muhammad Iqbal said in his Ziarah Abadi, positioned himself into the cauldron of history.
To me the angel offered “Stay here in this heaven, together with the serenity of our sujd (prostration) Together with the pure enjoyments” “No!” I said, “There are still conducts of injustices on earth It’s there that I would dedicate myself, to work, sacrifice Until the time limits that have been determined arrive."
This is the way of love of the strugglers. Its travelers are not the pursuers of ecstasy and spiritual journeys. They are the strugglers who invite towards goodness, who command the ma’ruf, stop the munkar and believe in Allah. In that great work, they sometimes feel tired, weak and depleted. Therefore, Allah prepares the Mi’raj for them. The Prophet, whose love and tasks of da’wah are incomparable, was certainly given a special Mi’raj; personally having an audience with Allah ‘Azza wa Jalla. We, his followers, are fortunate to receive his words: “The moment of Mi’raj for a Mu’meen is solat!”
Solat, as Sayyid Quthb said, is a direct connection between the ephemeral human and an eternal power. It is a time that had already been chosen, for the meeting of that separated drop of water with the source that never runs dry. It is the key to that treasury which is sufficient, satisfactory and abundant. It is a liberation from the small limitations of the earth’s reality toward the reality of the universe. It is the wind, mist and cloud in the intense and blazing daylight. It is that gentle touch on the hearts that are weary and in difficulties.
Therefore, solat is a rest. When it feels like the bones are slipping in jihad, the muscles are numb and the skins are soaked in sweats, the Prophet said to his Muadzzin, “Yaa Bilal, Arihna bis solaah… O Bilal, relieve us with solat!”
The Idolization of khushoo' (humility and devotion in prayer)
A Musaffir (traveler) stopped at a Masjid. He was tired, sweltered, weary, wretched and giddy. Especially that he felt lonely in the crowd along the way. He found serenity in that Masjid. His ablution felt like it was washing his entire body and soul. When the water rubbed, he was as if seeing black dots of his sins fading, dripping, flowing and drifting away with the water. In his solat, he truly felt himself standing in front of the Creator. Every bit of his recitation was as if responded by Him. He felt the vibe of that greatness. This is the first time he could weep and sob in his sujd. His heart was shrouded by the feeling of tranquility, coolness and meaningfulness. He felt ecstasy.
At other time, he was passing by that Masjid. He had purposely intended to pray there. He longed for the khushoo'. There was greatness that especially emanated from that Masjid. Its pillars are raised solidly, layered with gray marbles. The columns have half of their spirals sweetly decorated with geometric designs. Its dimly lighted lamps are enclosed in shining metals and octagonal in shapes. Its floor is coolly refreshing, a specific characteristic of dark granites and its carpets are soft, greeting every sujd.
He chose to pray behind a pillar wrapped in yellowish carvings with holy verses. He tried to fully appreciate his solat. But strange. He did not find that vibe this time. There was no ecstasy. There was no spiritual charm. Not even a drop of his tears was willing to flow. In regret, he closed off his prayer with the salaam. To the right and then to the left. And his eyes were transfixed to a translation of a calligraphy on the southern wall. He read, “Whoever seeks Allah, he would find khushoo'. Whoever pursues khushoo', he would lose Allah.”