'Journey By Night' (Isra) of the Prophet...

The Words of Allah, as Revealed in Arabic, DOES NOT REVEAL that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) was taken from the Mosque (Masjid) in Mekkah to the Mosque (Masjid) in Jerusalem.
Upon deliberating what has been expounded further by Allah (s.w.t.) in Verses 53: 2 to 7 of the Qur'an, it is known to us with certainty that the Prophet was taken to the highest part of Horizon, near the Lote-tree and not to Jerusalem. Often, it is argued that King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem was also a MOSQUE. The Verse Number 95 of Sura Al-e-Imran (3) REJECTS that argument. The verse 3: 59 reveals "Undoubtedly, the first House for the worship of Allah ever built for mankind is the one at Bakka (Makkah), a blessed site and a guidance for all the worlds." This Text was Added on September 1, 2008.  
 
Most of the Muslim translators have - based upon the SPURIOUS NARRATIONS - either injected the name "Jerusalem" within the brackets or have specified 'the Mosque in Jerusalem'  within their commentaries. It is a recorded historical fact from the Islamic and Jewish history that there was NO MOSQUE in Jerusalem when the Second Khalif Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra) conquered this city. Khalifah Umar declined to pray in a Church and instead prayed in the open.
 

Here is the transliteration of the Opening Verse from Surah Al-Isra (17).
subhanallazee 'asra bi-'Abdihee laylam-minal Masjidil-Harami 'ila-Masjidil-'Aqsallazee barakna hawlahou li- nuriyahou min 'Ayatina; 'innahou Huwas-Samee'ul Baseer
Note:
Neither the name "MEKKAH" nor "JERUSALEM" is mentioned within the above Arabic Text.
 
The Arabic root word "qsa" means "to be distant". Al-aqsa refers to, "the more remote or further". No doubt, the Mosque that NOW STANDS in Jerusalem is known to Muslims as the "Al-Aqsa Mosque". But Allah (s.w.t) was referring to THE FARTHEST MOSQUE, ONE THAT IS BEYOND THIS PLANET. The Qur'anic Evidences and Support  for that is to follow...
 
Here is a direct translation of the above Verse 17: 1:
Glory to (Allah) Who did take 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: For He is the One Who Heareth and Seeth (all things).
Notes: This event of "Al-Isra " is often argued by those who wish to insist upon Prophet's visit to JERUSALEM to be separate from the event of "mi'raj"  Ascension, mentioned in the Qur'an Chapter 53 (Sura An-Najam). Upon reading the above verse it is evident that the showing him of "Our Sings" is clearly stated and related with the event of Al-Isra in Chapter 17.
The details of what was shown to the Prophet(S) viz. the Lote Tree, the Garden of Paradise etc., are mentioned in Chapter 53, hence there were NOT TWO SEPARATE EVENTS. The Night Journey was from the Sacred Mosque to the Mosque beyond the Highest Horizon. It  may also be noted that there is an article Al (the), before the Names of these Two Masajid and they indicate SPECIFIC DESIGNATED PLACES OF WORSHIP FOR MUSLIMS.  
Translator Yusuf Ali's MISLEADING -- SELF-CONTRADICTORY Commentary Number 2168 reads:
The Farthest Mosque must refer to the site of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem on the hill of Moriah, at or near which stands the Dome of the Rock, called also the Mosque of Hadhrat 'Umar. This and the Mosque known as the Farthest Mosque (Masjid-ul-Aqsa) were completed by the Amir 'Abd-ul-Malik in A.H. 68. Farthest, because it was the place of worship farthest west which was known to the Arabs in the time of the holy Prophet: it was a sacred place to both Jews and Christians, but the Christians then had the upper hand, as it was included in the Byzantine (Roman) Empire, which maintained a Patriarch at Jerusalem. The chief dates in connection with the Temple are: it was finished by Solomon about B.C. 1004; destroyed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar about 586 B.C.; rebuilt under Ezra and Nehemiah about 515 B.C.; turned into a heathen idol-temple by one of Alexander's successors, Antiochus Epiphanes, 167 B.C.; restored by Herod, B.C. 17 to A.D. 29; and completely razed to the ground by the Emperor Titus in A.D. 70. These ups and downs are among the greater Signs in religious history.
The emphasis "must refer to" placed by the translator is UNFOUNDED. Surprisingly, the next sentence of that commentary acknowledges the fact that this famous Mosque in Jerusalem known as (Masjid-ul-Aqsa) was completed in 68 A. H. The Prophet passed away in 10 A. H.
 
Caution:
Yusuf Ali published his translation with commentary in 1938. Millions of copies of that original publication, with the above Erroneous Commentary, have been distributed from Indo-Pakistan and also the revised and edited copies from Saudi Arabia by The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA, Call and Guidance -- printed by King Fahad Holy Qur'an Printing Complex. Any Muslim or non-Muslim, who is not aware of the fact that it is ONLY WITHIN the mistranslated texts and the commentaries this MISCONCEPTION EXISTS may be (naus'billah) inclined to doubt the VERACITY of the Qur'an.
Allah knows the secret in the heavens and the earth (Qur'an 25: 6). How could Allah reveal; His Prophet had visited a Mosque that DID NOT exist during Prophet's life time! It is the translators and commentators misgivings based upon the Spurious Re-reported Narrations quoted little later. Read the revealed verses of the Qur'an that negate these Narrations. 
 
If you feel that you owe to Allah and His Prophet, the dispelling of the Falsehood, please read carefully the entire article and Spread The Truth...
 
Where was this Farthest Mosque if not in Jerusalem?
The answer is, the Mosque Beyond the High Horizon where the Prophet (s.a.s.) was taken, and where the Angels do Pray, Celebrate and Glorify Allah as mentioned in the Qur'an:
"The heavens are almost rent asunder from above them (by His Glory): and the angels celebrate the Praises of their Lord and pray for forgiveness for (all) beings on earth: Behold! Verily Allah is He the Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful." Sura Ash-Shura (42); Verse 5.

Within human concept the distance from Mekkah to Jerusalem is the Farthest, but for Rabb of the Worlds (Universe) it is beyond the high horizon were angles reside.

To understand an obscure passage from the Holy Qur'an it is suggested by Allah (see Qur'an 11: 1), to study other passages from the Qur'an on the relevant subject matter. Here are verses that expound the subject of Prophet's Journey by Night that unfold REALITY and disclose FACTS:
Your Companion is neither astray nor being misled. Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. 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:. Qur'an 53: 2-7
 
The (Prophet's) (mind and) heart in no way falsified that which he saw. Will ye then dispute with him concerning what he saw? For indeed he saw him second time.  Near the Lote-tree beyond which none may pass: Near it is the Garden of Abode. Qur'an 53: 11: 15.
Notes:
1. "Your Companion" is a reference to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.).
2. Angel Gabriel is called "one in mighty power, endued with wisdom". See Qur'an 81: 23
3. The above verses tell us that the Night Journey of the Prophet was not a physical one.
4. The Garden of Abode and the Lote-tree are located high above the Horizon in the SKY.
5. The Prophet had visited the highest part of that horizon beyond which none can go.
6. Since Angel Gabriel appeared for the second time in the highest part of the horizon (after the first appearance in the Cave near Mekkah), the idea of Prophet meeting Gabriel and drinking a cup of milk offered by him in Jerusalem (see Hadeeth below) can not be entertained.

Those who claim that the Prophet (s.a.s.) met Angel Gabriel for the Second time in the Mosque of Jerusalem and thereafter he was taken to the Highest Horizon near the Lote-tree are in reality refusing to Judge by what Allah (s.w.t.) has Revealed in Q. 53: 11-15 quoted above...

          They who do not judge by which Allah has revealed from the high are indeed, disbelievers.           (Kafirun) Qur'an 5: 44.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING VERSES FOR SEVEN FIRMAMENTS AND THE SEVEN EARTHS.
Allah is He Who created seven Firmaments and of the earth a similar number. Through the midst of them (all) descends His Command: that ye may know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah comprehends all things in (His) Knowledge. Qur'an 65: 12
Notes:
1. The Arabic term sama ("heaven" or "sky") is often translated as the canopy or the firmament above our earth. Term Seven Heavens or Firmaments often appear in the Qur'an.
2. The phrase "earth (of) a similar number" denotes the multiplicity of the cosmic system, which the mankind has yet to discover. We know there are billions of galaxies and the possibility of life similar to that on this earth cannot be ruled out.
3. Descending of Allah's Command tells us that upon these far away "Earths" may live the obedient servants of Allah. If so, there could be Mosques (Prayer Houses). And, Prophet Muhammad s.a.s. was given the exclusive honor of visiting "the farthest" of these Mosques.
4. We daily recite "Rabbil-'Alameen" meaning Allah is the Rabb of the Worlds (plural). To doubt the existence of other worlds that also need sustaining is to doubt the text of the Qur'an.
 
Note:  In verse 17: 1 above, it is revealed that the objective of THE NIGHT JOURNEY WAS TO SHOW THE PROPHET (S) ALLAH'S SIGNS. The detailed information of Allah's Great Signs shown to the Prophet beyond the highest horizon are recorded under chapter 53, particularly in verse 18. The commentary number 2168 quoted earlier tells us there were no Great Signs of Allah in Jerusalem during the life Prophet to show.  
 
Spurious narrations have superimposed the Qur'an:
 
There are several such narrations in circulation. I have selected the ones compiled by Imam Bukhari who is regarded as the top most sound authority on the Collection of Hadeeths. Please read the following "cut and paste" text. The Narration is from the classification DRINKS 'Intoxicants and Gambling; Stones and Arrow', Volume 7, Hadeeth Number 482 (the text is reproduced from Alim CD):
Narrated Abu Huraira:
On the night Allah's Apostle was taken on a night journey (Miraj) two cups, one containing wine and the other milk, were presented to him at Jerusalem. He looked at it and took the cup of milk. Gabriel said, "Praise be to Allah Who guided
you to Al-Fitra (the right path); if you had taken (the cup of) wine, your nation would have gone astray."
Notes:
1. The Qur'an has recorded the first meeting of the Prophet with Angel Gabriel in a visible form was in the cave of Hira on the Mountain of Light (Nur), near Mekkah.
2. The Prophet's next meeting with Angel Gabriel in a visible form was during his Miraj or Night Journey, near the Lote-tree and the Garden of Abode as mentioned in verses 53: 11-15. And, that was the 2nd meeting.
3. The Qur'an does not record any meeting of the Prophet with Angel Gabriel in Jerusalem.
4. The Night Journey of the Prophet from this earth to beyond the horizon and in the vicinity of the Lote Tree was a Spiritual Journey and NOT a Physical one -- according to Bibi A'isha (r.a.) the Prophet's body was lying in bed --  the concept of DRINKING MILK by the Spirit on a Spiritual Journey (with physical body in bed) can not be entertained.
5.  The Prophet's Night Journey was direct from one Mosque on this earth to another Mosque beyond the Horizon. There was no stop-over.
 
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING HADEETH FROM BUKHARI; CLASSIFICATION FASTING; VOL. 3: 215.
Narrated Abu Said Al Khudri (who fought in twelve Ghazawat
in the company of the Prophet).
 
I heard four things from the Prophet and they won my admiration. He said;

1. "No lady should travel on a journey of two days except with her husband or a Dhi-Mahram;
2. "No fasting is permissible on the two days of Id-ul-Fitr and 'Id-ul-Adha;
3. "No prayer (may be offered) after the morning compulsory prayer until the sun rises; and no prayer after the 'Asr prayer till the sun sets;
4. "One should travel only for visiting three Masjid (Mosques): Masjid-al-Haraam (Mecca), Masjid-al-Aqsa (Jerusalem), and this (my) Mosque (at Medina)."
Notes.
1. Could the Prophet have spoken about a Mosque that DID NOT EXIST UPON THIS EARTH?
2. While DEFENDING THE ERRONEOUS COMMENTARIES based upon Hadeeths, some scholars do argue that Jewish Temple or Christian Church CAN ALSO qualify as a "Mosque". IF SO, did the Prophet equate, in above quoted Hadeeth, the Church wherein the names of Jesus Christ and Mary - the Mother of Jesus, were being INVOKED with the SACRED MASJID-AL-HARAM???
3. "And Mosques are built for Allah's worship; therefore, invoke not anyone along with Allah." Qur'an 72: 18. This verse disqualify the Christian Churches from being designated as Mosques.
4. Umar Ibn Khattab would not have refused to pray in the Church of Jerusalem or any location where the Prophet had himself prayed.
 
Text of another Hadeeth from Al-Bukhari 4: 585 (also 4: 636), cut and paste from ALIM CD:
Narrated Abu Dhar

I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Which mosque was first built on the surface of the earth?" He said, "Al-Masjid-ul-Haram (in Mecca)." I said, "Which was built next?"
He replied "The mosque of Al-Aqsa ( in Jerusalem)."
I said, "What was the period of construction between the two?" He said, "Forty years." He added, "Wherever (you may be, and) the prayer time becomes due, perform the prayer there, for the
best thing is to do so (i.e. to offer the prayers in time)."
1. The Qur'an Reveals that this Masjid-ul-Haram was built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Ishmael (a.s.), while they were in Mekkah. This was the first Masjid built on this earth.
2. How could Prophet speak of "FORTY YEARS" when he perfectly well knew the REVEALED TEXT for the building of that Mosque.
3. The History of Islam records that the next or the second Masjid, after the one in Mekkah, was built by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) himself in Medina when he had migrated to Medina. Neither the Muslims nor the Prophet had migrated to Jerusalem when Medina Mosque was built.
4. Six years after the Prophet had left this earth the followers of Islam conquered Jerusalem.
5. The foundation of the third Masjid was laid by the Second Khalifa Umar Ibn Khattab (r.a.) while he was in Jerusalem. The Mosque upon the surface of this earth known as Al-Aqsa Mosque was completed by Amir Abdul Malik Marwan and by his son Al-Walid, after 68 Hijri.
6. The Prophet had visited the "FARTHEST MOSQUE" WHICH WAS NOT IN JERUSALEM OR UPON THIS EARTH.
 
A passage from the biography of the second Khalif named Umar bin al-Khattab (r.a.):
 
The Patriarch of Jerusalem handed over the keys of the city of Jerusalem to Umar. The Muslims were now the masters of Jerusalem. That was a special divine favour of God to the Muslims. As Umar entered the city he was greeted by the citizens with great enthusiasm. Umar said that he wanted to be led to some place where he could offer thanksgiving prayer to God. He was led to a Church but he refused to pray there, on the ground that that would set a precedent for the Muslims of the following generations to forcibly convert churches into mosques...
Umar stayed in Jerusalem for a few days. He reorganised the administration, and made the necessary arrangements to look after the needs of the citizens. He founded a mosque at an elevated place in the city. This mosque came to be known as Umar's Mosque.
 
The above passages tell us that there was NO MOSQUE IN JERUSALEM to give Azan or to Pray to Allah, when the Khalif entered the city. He laid the foundation of the First Mosque in Jerusalem.
 
IMPORTANT QUESTION: If the so called reliable compilers of the Prophetic Narrations could hear and record the above quoted Reliable Narrations related by ABU HURAIRA, ABU SAID AL KHUDRI, ABU DHAR, relating to the MOSQUE IN JERUSALEM CALLED  MASJID AL-AQSA, CENTURIES LATER, how come KHALIFA UMAR WHO HAD LIVED MOST OF HIS LIFE WITH THE PROPHET (s.a.s.) HAD NOT KNOWN OF IT AND DID NOT INQUIRE ABOUT THE LOCATION OF THIS MOSQUE IN THE CITY DURING HIS STAY IN JERUSALEM  AND INSTEAD PRAYED IN THE OPEN SPACE AND LATER ON BUILD THE "UMAR'S MOSQUE"?
 
To learn the history of Al-Aqsa Mosque visit:
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GBSA,GBSA:2005-10,GBSA:en&q=al+aqsa+mosque
 
Here at http://www.noblesanctuary.com/ one will find the ONLINE GUIDE TO HARAM AL-SHARIF  THE NOBLE SANCTUARY IN JERUSALEM. The glimpses of the history of the Temple of Solomon; the Conquer of Jerusalem after the death of the Prophet; the photos and history of the Mosque of Umar; the Dome of the Rock; the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other constructions in the Sanctuary.
 
After reading the historical facts, IF YOU ARE CONVINCED there was NO MOSQUE IN JERUSALEM during the life of the Prophet, then BELIEVE IT - these Hadeeths were forged by people who lived AFTER THE PROPHET HAD LEFT THE WORLD AND KNEW OF THIS MOSQUE. THESE FORGERS THEN ATTRIBUTED THEIR SOURCES TO THOSE COMPANIONS WHO HAD FOUGHT SIDE BY SIDE WITH PROPHET.
 
Allah reveals: Those to whom We have sent the Book study it as it should be Tilawatih (Recited): They are the ones that believe therein. Qur'an 2: 121. We cannot ADD the name of city "Jerusalem" or SUBSTITUTE "Mosque" with the Jewish Temple or a Christian Church within Opening Verse of Surah Al-Isra (17). If we truly and sincerely wish to study what Allah has Revealed let us not deviate from the Arabic Text!  
 
Important Question and its Answer:
 
A Muslim Brother wrote:
Waleykum salaam
Thanks for the article, it's intriguing and enlightening to say the least' but you left one question unanswered. It's maintained in traditions that before turning their Qibla direction towards kaaba, Muslim used to face Jerusalem while they prayed. Why did they do that and what the significance of this prior to the revelation that asked them to turn their Qibla to kaaba?
MY ANSWER: Prior to the promulgation of the Islamic Laws and/or the Traditions by Allah through His Final Testament - the Qur'an, the earlier Revealed Laws and/or the Traditions were applied.  As for an example; The "stoning to death" for the sin of adultery was substituted with "flogging" once the Verses of Surah Nur (24: 2 to 6) were revealed. The significance of Kab'ah takes us to our roots in the Patriarch Abraham (a.s.), who is honored by Allah for being Hanif and Khaleel.
 
A Response Posted on an Islamic website
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Contrad/External/aqsa.html
to a Hadeeth from Bukhari quoted by me earlier, the opening passage of which reads:
I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Which mosque was first built on the surface of the earth?" He said, "Al-Masjid-ul-Haram (in Mecca)." I said, "Which was built next?" He replied "The mosque of Al-Aqsa ( in Jerusalem)." I said, "What was the period of construction between the two?" He said, "Forty years."

Please read carefully the following response and my brief note added after the text:

His saying (40 years)
But the possibility mentioned by Ibn al-Jawzi is more pertinent. And I found evidence supporting those who say that it is Adam who founded both mosques. For instance, Ibn Hisham mentioned in "Kitab al-Tijan" that when Adam built the Ka`bah, God ordered him to walk to Bayt al-Maqdis and build it and so he did and offered worship in it. And the construction of the House
[Arabic: al-Bayt, i.e., the Ka`bah] is famous and we have mentioned earlier the hadith of `Abd Allah Ibn `Amr that the House was elevated in the time of the flood until God showed Abraham its location. Ibn Abi Hatim narrated from the way of Ma`mar from Qatadah: God founded the House with Adam when he descended. But Adam missed the voices of the Angels and their prayers. Therefore, God told him: I sent down a House around which [people] will revolve like it is revolved around my Throne, so set out to it. Adam set out to Makkah - He had descended in India, and his steps were enlarged until he reached the House and revolved around it. It was also said that when he had prayed at the Ka`bah, he was ordered to set out to Jerusalem where he built a masjid [mosque] and prayed therein so that it became a qiblah to a part of his progeny.[17]

In summary, the verse 17:1 refers to the holy locations in Jerusalem and Makkah because they are blessed regardless of the presence or absence of a building at the time of the heavenly trip of Prophet Muhammad(P).  From an Islamic point of view, evidence has been given by eminent Muslim scholars like Ibn Hajar and Ibn al-Jawzi showing that it was Adam(P) who built both mosques for the first time and that the job of Abraham and Solomon(P) was only a renovation/reconstruction of these sanctuaries.

Brief note: Prophet Muhammad (p) had no knowledge of the past or future. Neither the text of Hadeeth quoted earlier nor those quoted by the Islamic website indicate that the narrated information had come from Allah, who had Commanded Adam (a.s.) to build these two mosques.  On the other hand, we know it with full assurance that the Prophet was conveyed the following:
Remember We made the house a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma`il that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round or use it as a retreat or bow or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer). Qur'an 2: 125

RECENT E-MAILS FROM READERS:
 
Several readers have sent emails informing me that the famous Jewish TEMPLE OF SOLOMON in Jerusalem was the Mosque Al-Aqsa that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) had visited on that night.
 
My Response: The history books have recorded that Roman Emperor Titus had completely destroyed that Temple in 70 A.D. There was no Jewish Temple or an Islamic Mosque in Jerusalem during the life of the Prophet. Later, the Dome of the Rock was built on that vacant plot of land in 63 Hijri. Yes, there was a Christian Church with the images of Jesus and others... 

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The Temple Mount - the Haram-esh-Sharif

The Temple Mount (Heb., Har Habayit; Arabic, Haram esh-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary),is identified in both Jewish and Islamic tradition as the area of Mount Moriah where Abraham offered up his son in sacrifice (Genesis 22:1-18; the Koran, Sura Al-Saffat 37:102-110). Here King Solomon built the First Temple almost 3,000 years ago. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, but 70 years later Jews returning from exile built the Second Temple on the same site. King Herod refashioned it into an edifice of great splendor. Following the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in the year 70, the area of the Temple was deliberately left in ruins (first by the Romans, then by the Byzantines). This desecration was not redressed until the Muslim conquest of the city by the Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab in 638. He ordered the clearing of the site and the building of a "house of prayer". Some 50 years later, the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik built the Dome of the Rock to enshrine the outcrop of bedrock believed to be the "place of the sacrifice" on Mount Moriah. He (or his son, the Caliph al-Walid I) also built the large mosque at the southern end of the Haram, which came to be called al-Aksa.
The above was copied from the Internet...



What is your Personal Choice?

Since the Prophet's Journey was a singular event in his life time and he was taken Directly from One Mosque to Another Mosque, the important question is; Where was that Al-Aqsa Mosque?

Those who wish to UPHOLD the re-reported Narrations from the Collection by Imam Bukhari as fully Dependable and totally Authentic; the Al-Aqsa Mosque for them was in JERUSALEM... 

Those who wish to UPHOLD the revealed verses of the Qur'an in Surah Najm (Ch. 53) the ONLY Dependable and Authentic; the Al-Aqsa Mosque for them was Beyond the HIGHEST HORIZON...



TOP RANKING LEARNED SCHOLARS OF HADITHS OF OUR ERA HAVE DISCOVERED THAT ISLAM TODAY ABSOLVES AND EMBRACES MORE THAN 5000 WEAK, SPURIOUS OR FABRICATED HADITHS...
TO READ THE DETAILS VISIT http://www.mostmerciful.com/al-albaani.htm

ALLAH ALONE KNOWS THE TRUTH...