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Qur’anic Roots of the Me’raj

Qur’anic Roots of the Me’raj


The Heavenly Journey of the Prophet of Islam   has been straight forwardly explained in two Surahs of the Qur’an. In other Surahs as well, we see allusions to this journey.

In the Surah al Isra (Sarah 17   also known as Bani Isra`il), it is mentioned:

سُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسۡرَىٰ بِعَبۡدِهِۦ لَيۡلاً۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِ إِلَى ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡأَقۡصَا ٱلَّذِى بَـٰرَكۡنَا حَوۡلَهُ Û¥ لِنُرِيَهُ Û¥ مِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِنَآ‌Ûš إِنَّهُ Û¥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡبَصِيرُ

“Glorified be He who carried His servant at night from Masjid al¬ Haram to Masjid al Aqsa, the precincts of which We have blessed so that We may show him of Our Signs. Verily He is the All¬ Hearing, the All Seeing. ” [1]

From this verse, we come to the conclusion that the Prophet of Islam   traveled with his physical body through the worlds of Ascension. Further, by the greatness of the Hidden Power, he was able to complete this journey in a very short span of time.

Allah  starts His speech with the phrase   which denotes the fact that Allah   is free from all deficiencies   but He does not stop here. Rather, He makes the ascension the reason for His greatness by saying `made to travel’   so that others do not imagine that the means of this journey was through causes of the natural world and with normal, ordinary means of transportation. This would have made his journey something that could have been denied. Rather, this journey was accomplished by relying upon the power of Allah   and His specific and special blessings.

Although this verse states that the start of the journey was from Masjid al Haram and ended at Masjid al Aqsa, this does not contradict the fact that the Prophet   in addition to this trip, also had other trips towards the higher world, since another part of the journey of Ascension of the Prophet   is explained in verses of Sarah al Najm.

Another important part of this verse is that the journey of the Prophet   was both bodily and spiritually, not just a spiritual pilgrimage, and this is confirmed by the word   meaning His servant which is used to mean both the body and the spirit. Had it not been so, He would have said   meaning his (Muhammad’s) soul only. In Sarah al Najm, the event of the Me’raj is explained in more detail.

From the time the Prophet Muhammad  told the Quraish, `I saw the angel of revelation (when he received the first revelation) in his original and pure state’, all the Quraish rose up to mock him.

The Qur’an, in response to the thoughts of the ignorant people replies:

أَفَتُمَـٰرُونَهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَىٰ (١٢) وَلَقَدۡ رَءَاهُ نَزۡلَةً أُخۡرَىٰ (١٣) عِندَ سِدۡرَةِ ٱلۡمُنتَهَىٰ (١٤) عِندَهَا جَنَّةُ ٱلۡمَأۡوَىٰٓ (١٥) إِذۡ يَغۡشَى ٱلسِّدۡرَةَ مَا يَغۡشَىٰ (١٦) مَا زَاغَ ٱلۡبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَىٰ (١٧) لَقَدۡ رَأَىٰ مِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِ رَبِّهِ ٱلۡكُبۡرَىٰٓ(١٨)

“Will you then argue with him about what he saw? He certainly saw him (Jibra’il) during his other ascent to the Lote tree (in the seven heavens) near which is Paradise. When the tree was covered with a covering, (Muhammad’s) eyes did not deceive him, nor did they lead him to falsehood. He certainly saw the greatest (signs) of the existence of his Lord. ” [2]


[1] Surah al-Isra’ (17), Verse 1
[2] Surah al Najm, Verses 12 to 18

Taken From : Me’raj – The Night Ascension As Compiled by Mullah Faidh al Kashani Translated  by: Saleem Bhimji

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