News and Updates
March 11, 2021

Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj: The Story of the Miraculous Night Journey

Muslim Hands
Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj: The Story of the Miraculous Night Journey

Most of us will know the basic story of the Prophet (saw) being transported from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa before Allah (swt) ascended Him to the heavens on Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj. What you might not know is that the Prophet (saw) stopped in many places on thiincredible journey.  

It’s a miraclesecond only to the revelation of the Qur’an and so it is important that we don’t let this momentous night slip by without reflecting on its lessons and its significance. 

When did Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj takes place?  

Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj took place during a time when the Prophet (saw) was facing intense hardship and pain. He and His followers were constantly ridiculed, humiliated, and oppressed by the Quraysh, who were the made up of the Prophet’s (saw) tribe and family  

When the Prophet (saw) travelled to Ta’if to search for allies, but the locals cruelly rejected him and even sent their children into the streets to stone him until he left the city. 

Aside from this, The Prophet (saw) had also just faced the Year of Sorrow, during which he (saw) lost his beloved wife Khadijah (ra), and his uncle Abu Talib, who was his protector and ally. 

Having gone through so much grief and suffering, the Prophet Muhammad (saw) was given a truly beautiful and comforting gift of being transported not only to the Sacred Sanctuary and through the skies, but ultimately into the Divine Presence, the source of all comfort and hope.  

One of the most important lessons of Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj, therefore, is that ‘with every hardship [there will be] ease (Surah 94).   

The start of the journey: From the Ka’bah to Al-Aqsa 

Angel Jibra’eel (as), or Gabriel woke the Prophet (saw) from his sleep in the Hijr, and then led him to a white beast named Buraq (from the Arabic word barq, meaning lightning). The Prophet (saw) mounted this exceptional creature, and they began to fly towards Al-Quds (Jerusalem). At several points along the journey, Jibra’eel (as) stopped Buraq and instructed the Prophet (saw) to dismount and pray’.  


  • They first stopped in Madinah, or ‘the place of emigration’. Soon after this night the Prophet (saw) would meet the Ansar and migrate to Madinah.  
  • They then stopped at Mount Sinai, where Allah (swt) revealed the Torah to Musa (as).  
  • The third third stop was in Bethlehem, where ’Isa (as) was born.  
  • The fourth stop was the grave of Musa (as), ‘a stone’s throw’ from the Sacred Land, ‘below the red sand hill’ (Bukhari). 
  • Finally, the Prophet (saw) reached al-Masjid al-Aqsa 

All 124,000 Prophets (as) were waiting for the Prophet (saw) inside al-Masjid al-AqsaJibra’eel (as) led the Prophet (saw) to the front, and He (saw) led them all in prayer. 

Al-Mi’raj: From Al-Aqsa through the Skies 

Soon after, Allah (swt) ascended the Prophet (saw) from the Dome of the Rock, through the skies Along the way, He (saw) met lots of past Prophets (as) and numerous angels, who all  greeted with excitement and delight, as his arrival had been much anticipated. 

It is hard to imagine how the Prophet (saw) must have felt upon meeting his brothers (as), who had all experienced their own trials and difficulties. After being resented by his own tribe and family, the Prophet (saw) was met with warmth and love.  

      ‘Welcome,’ they all said to him, ‘O pious Prophet and pious brother!’ (Bukhari). (Adam (as) and

       Ibrahim (as), however, welcomed him as a ‘pious son’). 

He was also witnessing the countless beauties of Paradisewhich he would later narrate to his Companions. 

In the presence of Allah (swt)  

At the end of this journey, the Prophet (saw) was brought into the Divine Presence, the ultimate source of strength and relief. It is impossible to imagine the beauty of this scene, or how honoured and humbled the Prophet (saw) must have felt. 

It was here that Allah (swt) gave this Ummah the gift of compulsory Salah, a daily source of strength to Muslims and an opportunity to communicate directly with Allah (swt) and draw closer to Him. As we approach the anniversary of Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj, let us time to reflect on and appreciate the gift of Salah and increase our voluntary prayers, especially during the night. 

Returning Home 

After this astounding experience, the Prophet (saw) was taken back down to Al-Aqsa and returned to Makkah. As he was transported home, he saw various caravans heading towards Makkah, which he would later describe to the Quraysh as proof that he really had made this miraculous journey. The entire journey had taken place in less than a night and many mocked Him (saw) for making such a claim. 

For Muslims however, the story was, and still is, a source of wonder and hope. On this blessed night of Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj, Allah (swt) gave His most favoured creation the honour of travelling to Paradise. It is truly an incredible story. 

Muslim Hands

Muslim Hands was established in the UK in 1993. Muslim Hands is an international aid agency and NGO working in over 50 countries worldwide to help those affected by natural disasters, conflict and poverty. Muslim Hands Canada is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency (Charity Registration No. 81126 4985 RR0001).