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Archive for May, 2015

M‘irâj and Ma‘ârij, but not Mirage – a Journey, an Ascent – Spiritual or Physical and to Where?

Monday, May 25th, 2015

M‘irâj and Ma‘ârij, but not Mirage – a Journey, an Ascent – Spiritual or Physical and to Where?

Miraj (also written as Meraj) is the sum-total of a two stage vision with all its details of Isra, the Night Journey and its retrace, in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) traveled from Makkah to Ka'aba to Solomon’s Temple and then ascended, in his Miraj, to heavens.

If one is to take Miraj in a physical sense, then it only means that God is limited by time and space and one has to move from one point to another to reach His realm. By implication, His dominion is not to be found on this earth. By such an approach one risks destroying the very definition of Allah who is non-physical, boundless and omnipresent while vainly establishing the physicality of a personal experience of the Prophet. According to Quran, the Children of Adam can enter the Hereafter only after their death when physicality of a person is left behind in this universe and it is only the non-physical aspect of us that moves on to the next:

7:24-25. (God) said,…`In this (very universe) you shall live and therein you shall die and from it you shall be brought forth (in the Hereafter).'[1]

Thus, Quran lays down a law that no human can transition from this physical universe into the Hereafter while one is alive. If Prophet Muhammad, who was one of the many Children of Adam, left this world physically during Miraj to go up into heavens, than at least according to Quran he never went into Hereafter for the mere fact that he was alive. No matter how far and wide and how fast one may travel into deep space, one will never get to the Hereafter because Hereafter is not a space but only a state. Physical death is a must before one can venture into ‘heavens’ unless all that the Prophet saw during his Miraj was in a visionary state.

In the discussion of Miraj, many terms will be explained as needed for their detailed understanding.

‘Araja: To ascend, mount. M‘irâj: The Ascension. Isrâ': The Night Journey or "carrying" by night of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) from the sacred Mosque at Makkah to the remote Mosque at Jerusalem and his Mi‘râj – Ascension to the heaven are two distinct stages of his mystic experience (17:1; 53:1-18). Bukhârî mentions Isrâ’ in Ch. 63:41 and of M‘irâj in Ch. 63:41of his well-known book Sahîh. On this subject see also various well-documented traditions extensively quoted and discussed by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bâri Ch.7:15 and Ibn Kathîr in his commentary of the Holy Qur’ân Ch. 17:1. Some reporters of the traditions and commentators of the Qur’ân have mixed up the accounts of the M‘irâj –The Ascension and Isrâ –The Night Journey. (Zâd al-Ma‘âd; L; T; R; LL).[2]

The reports about Miraj are found in Hadiths which outline Prophet’s experience of angels, life after death, heaven, and even God and His locale. Naturally, the debate of physical vs. non-physical Miraj takes its root in the fundamental disagreement over physical or non-physical nature of these entities. Unbeknownst to the believers in the former, merely by their arguments, they insist on physical existence of these. Paradoxically, the advocates of physical Miraj will deny physicality of all the said entities, yet all their arguments are about physical travel of the Prophet to a physical realm of Allah encapsulated in the confines of time and space. To reconcile both, at least in the matter of Miraj, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad settles the issue when he, deliberating on a different subject, discusses the Creative attribute of Allah:

…to create something out of nothing is also His work. Just as you see it in a scene in a dream He creates a whole world without any matter, and shows nonexistent things to be existent. Thus such are all the wonders of His power…[3]

Gist of Miraj

“The event of 'MERAJ' in details has been reported in a number of Hadith. One finds mention of miracles and signs in all the great religions of the world. All prophets of Allah have wrought such miracles which appear supernatural to us and it is this part of religion which has been the cause of a vast majority being led into what is called religiosity by todays thinker philosophers and 'MERAJ' being one of such events.

The philosophy underlying 'MERAJ' is simply this, that after the proclamation of Prophethood by the Holy Prophet he was subjected to great afflictions and in such a distressed condition glimpses of the success awaiting the Holy Prophet and his Ummah and the resultant elevation of the human race were manifested to the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, narrating the experience of 'MERAJ' states "I was asleep in Hateem that the roof of the house opened and Gabriel descended in the company of a few other angels. First of all they led me to Zam Zam (a fountain in MECCA) and opened my chest there, took out my heart and washed it with the water of Zam Zam. Thereafter a tray full of EMAN (belief) and wisdom was brought and Gabriel took EMAN and wisdom from the tray and placed it in my chest and closed it. After that an animal called "Burraq" was brought. It ran with great speed so that each of its step was touching the horizon. Riding on this 'Burraq' we first came to MASJID AL-AQSA and offered two 'Rakkat' prayers and thereafter we set out on our journey through skies to heaven in the company of Gabriel. We met Adam on the first sky. There I was shown two rivers and on my asking Gabriel told me that these were Euphrates and Nile. We met Prophet Joseph on second, Idrees on third, John and Jesus on fourth, Haroon on fifth, Moses on sixth and Abraham on the seventh sky. Then we passed through the garden where I saw a river on which palaces having domes of pearls and ground of 'MUSK' were built then we reached a place where the sound of the pen of the Creator could be heard and then we proceeded to 'Sadratul Mantaha' (the farthest lote-tree) and then Allah drew nearer to me so that the distance was reduced to the extent of two ends of a bow, even lesser. Then I was given three gifts, (1) the last verses of the Surah 'Baqarah' (the cow-chapter two) (2) good news of Allah's Mercy that Allah will forgive all except those who set equals with him. (3) Saying of prayers fifty times a day was enjoined.

I met Moses on my way back – then is the narration of the talk between Moses and the Holy Prophet and the ultimate reduction of the prayer times to five. On his way back he returned to MASJID AL-AQSA where all the prophets of the past had assembled and all of them offered their prayers led by the Holy Prophet and one Hadith tells us (Fastaiqaza wa howa fil Masjidalharam) and thereafter he awoke and he was in MASJID AL HARAM.

This in brief is the gist of the story reported in the Books of Hadith. A beautiful fairy tale indeed, if one considers it a bodily journey and does not bother to dig the underlying meanings. It will not serve any useful purpose for a person and his companions who are suffering severe afflictions at the hands of their opponents but if we believe in it as a manifest-vision and spiritual experience then it contains prophecies and promises for the success of those who are passing through that period of hardships and misery. It paints a picture of the bright future for them.”[4]

Timeline of Miraj

Maulana Muhammad Ali in his preamble to Chapter 17, Bani Israil – The Israelites, of his English and footnote of verse 17:1 of Urdu commentary on Quran explains the timeline of the Miraj as follows:

As regards the date of revelation of this chapter [17, Bani Israil – The Israelites], there are many indications that it belongs to the early Makkan period, and must have been revealed in, or about, the fifth year of the Call. The mention of lsrã', which is the same as Mi'rãj, in the very first verse [and the 60th verse], shows it to be an early revelation because Mi'raj is also mentioned in another chapter [53, An-Najm], The Star, which is also one of the early revelations. Ibn Mas'ud, who was one of the early converts to Islam, is reported to have said, speaking of the five chapters, 17th to 21st: "They are of the early revelations and they are the ones that I committed to memory first" (B. 66 :6).[5] Chapter An-Najm, which also touches upon the same subject, was revealed even before the chapter Bani-Israil. Obviously both chapters belong to early Makkan period and are referring to an event that has already happened.[6]

This explanation of Maulana Muhammad Ali removes the erroneous assumption for the time frame of Miraj which is generally affixed much later into tenth or eleventh year of the Call, 610 or 611 AD, when the Prophet was fifty years of age and after the helpless Muslim minority in Makkah had just emerged from their three year banishment and socio-economic boycott, near Makkah, commonly known as Shib Abi Talib.

Additionally, there is a general consensus that five time daily prayers were prescribed during Miraj and we also know by common history that Muslims had been performing these prayers since early Makkan period.

Prophecies in visions of the Prophets

The full context of Miraj can be realized only when the nature of prophecies is understood. A prophet by the very definition is someone who prophesizes. Prophecy foretold by a prophet is not equivalent of a wishful thinking of a child nor is it whimsical. Prophets can prophesize only after they are told or shown of that prophecy by God. Miraj was essentially a vision of the Prophet similar to other prophets before him. Visions of prophets entail prophecies for themselves, for their mission and their nation, which in due course come to their full fulfillment. One such vision was that of Prophet Ezekiel:

2:259. Or consider the case of him (- Ezekiel) who passed by a town (- Jerusalem as it was left in desolation by Nebuchadnezzar) and it had fallen in upon its roofs. He said, `When will Allâh restore this (town) to life after its destruction?' So (in his vision) Allâh kept him in a state of death for a hundred years, then He raised him (to life). Then (God) said, `How long have you stayed (in this state of death)?' He replied, `I may have stayed a day or a part of a day (in this state).' (God) said, `(Yes this too is correct) but (as you have witnessed in your vision) you have stayed for a hundred years. Now look at your food and drink, they have escaped the action of time, and look at your donkey (too, years have not passed over it). And (We have made you visualise all this) that We may make you a sign to the people. And look at the (dead) bones how We set them together and then clothe them with flesh.' Thus when the fact of the matter became clear to him, he said, `I know that Allâh is the Possessor of full power to do all that He will.' [7]

In the said verse, Ezekiel, when he sees the physical and moral desolation of Jerusalem and its people which had happened at the hands of Nebuchadnezzer II; he terms it as its death. He wonders if such a township and its people can be restored to their earlier resplendence. Thereafter, as an answer, Ezekiel is shown a vision in which there is a prophecy spanning a hundred years into the future when Dhul-Qarnain, Cyrus II, another prophet and a king, will restore Jerusalem to its former state. Thus it so happened that after its initial desolation, a century later, the dereliction of Jerusalem, the Solomon's temple that had been razed and Israelites who had been dislodged to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar II and were in their subsequent sorry state for a hundred years, was undone by Cyrus II. Since this was visualization into the future, the actual time of the visionary state of Ezekiel in the stated verse is no more than a day or a part of a day that is confirmed by food and drink, and the donkey as they have escaped the action of time. It is the vision of Ezekiel[8] which then foretold the revival of the apparently ‘dead’ Israelites i.e. the (dead) bones how We set them together and then clothe them with flesh.'[9] This vision in Book of Ezekiel 40:1-49 covers the rebuilding of Solomon's temple the second time by Cyrus II who not only repatriated the Israelites to Jerusalem but also funded the reconstruction of the temple[10]. No wonder, Cyrus II is labeled as a liberator and not as a conqueror in history and is entitled as Messiah by the Jews:

The Book of Ezra narrates a story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus; for this, Cyrus is addressed in the Jewish Tanakh as the "Lord's Messiah". Glorified by Ezra, and by Isaiah, Cyrus is the one to whom "Yahweh, the God of heaven" has given "all the Kingdoms of the earth".[11]

Similar to Ezekiel, Joseph too saw a vision in his childhood after which he was sold into slavery when he was a young lad by his brothers. His prophecy came to fruition only when he had grown up and was in a high office under the king:

12:4. (Remember the time) when Joseph [in his childhood], said to his father [–Jacob], `My dear father! I have seen (in a vision) eleven stars and the sun and the moon. I saw them falling down prostrate (before God) because of me.'

12:100. And he [–Joseph as adult, when in high office under the king], took his parents to the royal court and they all [i.e. his eleven brothers and parents – eleven stars and the sun and the moon (v. 12:4)] fell down prostrate (before God) because of him and he said, `My father! this is the real fulfillment of my vision of old. My Lord has made it come true. He has been gracious to me, indeed, when he released me out of the prison and brought you from the desert. (This all happened) after satan had stirred up discord between me and my brothers. Surely, my Lord is Benignant to whomsoever He pleases. He it is, Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.'[12]

In the same vein, Miraj too was a vision and a prophecy for Prophet Muhammad, the various aspects of which will be discussed throughout this chapter.

Why Miraj?

Every event in life of the Prophet had a purpose. Miraj too was one such event. Primary objectives unique to Prophet Muhammad were not only that of a Messenger and a Prophet, but also as a Unifier of all religions, an Exemplar and a Teacher. Miraj fulfilled all those requirements for him. Before he could teach any one the esoteric and abstruse aspects of his message he had to personally experience them all – his own embodiment of faith, the non-physical domain of life after death, hell and heaven, previous prophets, proximity to God and what it means, and the prophecies about success of Islam. He had to know in depth each of these aspects of his prophethood. Miraj was one of many such happenings that provided him with the wherewithal to personally know the scope of the spiritual domain of his office of prophethood.

Miraj was essentially a sequential stage in his prophethood which was seeded by his first prophetic revelation:

Recite with the name of your Lord Who created (all the universe)…(96:1)[13]

He was groomed through his prayers:

O you that have wrapped yourself up in robes (of Prophethood)! Stand up (in Prayer) at night except for a small portion of it,…(73:1-2)[14]

He was then assigned his mission:

O you who have been endowed with excellent capabilities! Arise (with the Divine Message) and warn…(74:1-2)[15]

In due course, he was taught every step of the way through Quran:

We will soon teach (you and) make you recite (the Qur'ân) so that you shall not forget (any part of it)…(87:6)[16]

Finally, his spiritually perfection was validated during his Miraj:

… he attained to the zenith of heights (in his spiritual ascension). Then he drew near to Him and afterwards he descended (to mankind, for their guidance). So that he became (as it were) one chord to two bows or closer still …(53:7-9) [17]

Miraj in Quran

The details of Miraj as reported by the Prophet himself clearly speak of a 'vision' and prophecies that he experienced while he was encapsulated in a spiritual state, but within the confines of an intellectual space, yet the incidence was timeless for in import. Miraj was a mystical, not a corporeal condition, which was later fully interpreted by history, both during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and immediately after his death. In simple words, it was not only a ‘time travel’ into the past and future but also the expansion of his mind to its fullest into the spiritual domain as well.

Symbolism in Miraj explicitly reflects the Prophet personally and his mission. Nowhere in the life of the Prophet one finds any traces of rancor in his heart, which was cleansed during Miraj, against anyone or any hint of base sentiments or prejudices in his thoughts or actions. His life is the prime example of monotheism, wisdom and faith as reflected by his chest being filled with faith. His travel in the night to a future distant mosque in Medina was a prophecy of his migration which was to start a Hijra calendar, when the spiritual clock of the world was reset till eternity. With the speed of a swift steed his message spread to the vales of the east and the west, including Nile (i.e. Africa) and Euphrates (Byzantine and Persian Empires). His message unifies the Islam of all the previous, regional or national, prophets in the same manner that he led their congregation in prayers. He is the first and the last universal prophet for all the times; his message cleanses all the previous prophets of base attributions to them. His life and Message reflects the farthest extent of spiritual and moral values, knowledge and achievements that is symbolized by him reaching the farthest Lote Tree. Torah when compared with his Message (–Quran) would inevitably make Moses (PBUH) weep for not only the textual distortions of the former but also of its spirit by its followers. The five daily prayers that are conducted facing Ka’aba are means for ascension for each Muslim, and are the Prophet’s gift from Allah to mankind.

Masjidun (n. of place.): Mosque; Place of prostrating; Place of worship. Masâjid (n. plu.): Mosques. Masjid al-Aqsâ: Distant Mosque; Remote Mosque (Prophet Solomon’s Temple at Jerusalem or The Holy Prophet's Mosque at Medînah.) Masjid al-Harâm Inviolable House of Worship; Holy Mosque at Makkah; The House of Allâh; Ka‘baa. (L; T; R; LL).[18]

Qasa: To be distant (place), go far away, be remote. Qasiyyun: distant. Aqsâ f. Quswâ: (comp. form): More remote; Further. Al-Masjid al-Aqsâ: The Distant Mosque (at Jerusalem).[19]

Of note is that Masjid means 'Place of worship' in a general sense. In context of Miraj, the use of the term Masjid has nothing to do with the common mosque where Muslim congregate for prayers. According to the time-line, Miraj happened while Prophet was still in Makkah and much before the Hijra (migration to Medina in the thirteenth year of the Call). At that time, there was no formal Mosque yet built by the Muslims anywhere. The first mosque at Quba was built near Medina in the year following Hijra. However, in terms of a prophecy, the distant mosque referred to in Miraj can also allude to the future Mosque of the Prophet (Al-Masjid an-Nabawi) in Medina.

At the time of Miraj the blessed precincts that were Masjids, i.e. places of worship, were those built by the previous prophets. Firstly, the Masjid al-Harâm, commonly known as Ka'aba in Makkah, was built jointly by Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ismael. Secondly, Masjid al-Aqsâ was built by Prophet Solomon, commonly called the Solomon's Temple. It would be a separate discussion as to why both these places at the time of advent of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were used for rituals far removed from the original purpose that the builders erected them for. Even worse, Solomon's Temple was more of ruin and a garbage dump at time of the Prophet.

Kashaf: To pull away, remove, take off, open up, lay open, lay base, uncover.[20]

Besides Hadiths, Quran too refers to the Miraj. Miraj was a Kashaf encompassing the journey and ascent in a vision, depicting both the physical life and spiritual perfection of the Prophet. The journey part was by night from Masjid al-Harâm i.e. the Holy Mosque (at Makkah) to Masjid al-Aqsâ i.e. the Distant Mosque (at Jerusalem). Of note is that nowhere in Quran the word Miraj itself is mentioned:

17:1. Glory be to Him Who carried His servant by night from [Masjid al-Harâm i.e.] the Holy Mosque (at Makkah) to [Masjid al-Aqsâ i.e.] the Distant Mosque [from Makkah] (at Jerusalem), the precincts of which (too) We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our signs. Infact, He alone is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.[21]

The stated verse lays out the purpose of this Journey, which was to show him some of Our signs. This showing of signs, the depths of esotericism and the prophecies, to Prophet Muhammad was in the same manner that Prophet Moses was shown signs relevant to his mission – the signs of serpent and shining hand (link). Both prophets, Muhammad and Moses, in their visions were shown the process and the net outcome of their respective missions. For the former, it was his future migration to Medina and then the whole Arabia and the known world of Persian, Byzantine and Egyptian empires were to come under sway of Islam; both mosques – The Kaaba and Temple mount, whose founder were prophets, were to return to Islam; whereas for the latter, his subjugated nation was to be freed, revived and was to be given the guidance in Torah.

Miraj also holds an everlasting prophecy. No mosque ever built by a prophet will remain as a temple for worship outside Islam. This verse was revealed in fourth or fifth year of prophethood. Ka’aba, which was built by Abraham, returned to Muslims two years before Prophet’s death when it was cleansed, once and for all, of any idols and idol-worship. Similarly, five years after his death, the compound of Solomon’s temple was taken over by his companions, led by Caliph Umar, who cleaned the garbage dump on it, and later, Umayyad Caliphs built the current mosque on it. Cities of both these mosques, Makkah and Jerusalem, were taken over by Muslim armies without bloodshed as the general amnesty was offered to the populace beforehand. Conquerors of both cities entered them in a humbled garb.

Today, the Distant Mosque mentioned in Quran covers the 180,000 square yards of al-Haram al-Sharif – the sacred precincts, which essentially is the whole walled compound of the Temple Mount, that comprises of its grounds and the structures later built on it which includes what is now called Masjid al-Aqsâ (originally build by Rashidun Caliph Umar, later expanded by Caliph Abd-al Malik in 690 AD), Dome of the Rock (built by Caliph Abd-al Malik in 691 AD), and even the Buraq Wall commonly called the Western Wailing Wall.

Masjid al-Aqsâ, the Distant Mosque, in verse 17:1 of Quran is a much larger compound, a ‘Place of Worship’ that includes the later built mosque on its grounds of the same name that modern day tourists are familiar with. In equivalence, the Masjid al-Aqsâ in Quran is the same as al-Haram al-Sharif of today.

The journey in verse 17:1 was a 'vision' and a prophecy which is mentioned as such in a later verse of the same chapter:

17:60. And (Prophet! recall the time) when We said to you, `Surely, your Lord has encompassed all people (for destruction) and has power over them (still they remained indifferent).' We made [Ru’yâ’: Vision, dream[22], i.e.] the vision which We showed you (being carried to Jerusalem from Makkah by night) and also the tree (- evil word; see 14:26) disapproved of in the Qur'ân, a means of distinction between the good and the bad for the people. (Despite the fact that) We have been warning them (by sending Our signs), this (warning from Us) only leads them to unrestrained inordinacy.[23]

As to the spiritual and prophetic narrations of the Prophet about his experience of Miraj, Quran testifies to his truthfulness of whatever he says, in Chapter – Al-Najm (The Star):

53:1. I call to witness every part of the Qur'ân when it is revealed,

53:2. That your comrade (Muhammad) has neither deviated (from true guidance in his practices) nor has he erred (in his beliefs).

53:3. He does not say anything out of (his own) fanciful desire.

53:4. This (Qur'ân) is nothing but (pure) revelation, revealed (to him by God).

53:5. The Lord of Mighty Powers has taught him (this discourse).[24]

Quran then gives glimpses of the ascension, the Miraj, which parallel Prophet's own narration in Hadiths:

53:6. (The Lord) Whose powers become manifest in manifold and frequent ways, with the result that he (- this Messenger of God) attained perfection and fullest vigour (both intellectually and physically).

53:7. And he attained to the zenith of heights (in his spiritual ascension).

53:8. Then he drew near to Him and afterwards he descended (to mankind, for their guidance).

53:9. So that he became (as it were) one chord to two bows or closer still.

53:10. Then He revealed that excellent and mighty (Qur'ânic) revelation which He had to send to His servant (Muhammad),

53:11. Whose mind made no mistake in (the interpretation of) that which he saw (during the ascension).

53:12. Will you doubt and dispute with him concerning that (sight) which he saw with his own eyes (it being no figment of imagination)?

53:13. And, of course, he saw Him (in His another manifestation to him) yet another time.

53:14. It was near the Sidrah which stands at the farthest end (of knowledge),

Sidratun: Lote-tree. When the shade of lote-tree becomes dense and crowded it is very pleasant and in the hot and dry climate of Arabia the tired and fatigued travelers take shelter and find rest under it and thus it is made to serve as a parable for the shade of paradise and its blessings on account of the ampleness of its shadow. The qualification of Sidrah by the word al-Muntahâ (53:14,16) shows that it is a place beyond which human knowledge does not go. One of the explanations given by Kashshâf being ‘The knowledge of angels and others ends there and no one knows what is beyond it. Hence the significance conveyed by the words is that the Holy Prophet's knowledge of Divine things was the utmost which could be vouchsafed to a human being.[25]

53:15. Near where also is the Garden which is the real eternal abode.

53:16. (This was) when the sublime thing (- the Divine Manifestation) which was to cover Sidrah had covered it.

53:17. (When he saw the Divine Manifestation) his eye deviated not (from the certainty of the Truth) nor did it wander away (from the invincible faith on which he stood).

53:18. (It was the moment when) he saw the greatly important signs of his Lord. [26]

The stated verses 53:1-18, besides testifying to truthful and trustworthy nature of the Prophet for delivering the Message, they also refer to the deep mystical experience of Miraj which cannot be put into words for its description of an ultimate reality, inconceivable majesty and profound verities[27]. It is quite clear from Quran that the heavenly abode cannot be perceived in terms of human physicality nor it could be linguistically described for its actuality:

32:17. “No soul knows what refreshment of the eyes is hidden for them: a reward for what they did.”[28]

The import of prophecies in Miraj for the Prophet as interpreted by Quran

All the prophecies in the vision of Miraj came to fruition for Prophet Muhammad personally, for his Companions and for his mission. During his Miraj, the Prophet’s heart was cleaned and filled with faith. Quran too testifies to his enlightened life devoted to pristine monotheistic beliefs and being devoid of any malice, to which history bears as independent witness:

94:1. Have We not (in fulfillment of your vision in your boyhood and again when you were entrusted with the Divine Mission) opened, expanded (and illuminated) for you your bosom,[29]

By Hadith traditions, there were 124,000 prophets before Prophet Muhammad; Quran too refers to them in a general statement:

4:164. And (there are some) Messengers whom We have mentioned to you before and (some) Messengers We have not mentioned them to you…[30]

40:78. And indeed We have already sent (Our) Messengers before you. There are some of them whom We have mentioned to you and of them there are some whom We have not mentioned to you…[31]

35:24. … for there has been no people but have (been warned by) a Warner (from God).[32]

When Prophet Muhammad was among the mix all the previous Messengers, and was one of the many in that congregation, it was only a confirmation of what Quran states for him:

46:9. Say, `I am no novel (Apostle) among the Messengers nor do I know what will be done to me (on your behalf) or to you. I simply follow what is revealed to me and I am nought but a plain Warner.'[33]

For the prophet to meet various Prophets in his vision at different levels of exaltation is affirmed by the Quran:

2:253. We have made these Messengers excel one another. There are those of them to whom Allah has spoken much, and some of them He has exalted by many degrees of rank… [34]

Irrespective of some of them [–the prophets that] He has exalted by many degrees of rank, neither the Prophet nor his followers make any distinction between them for the mere fact that each of the prophet believes in Allâh, His angels, His Books and His Messengers. When the faithful gather for prayers in mosque and as evidenced in Hajj, all are equal without any distinction. In Miraj, we know that all prophets joined the same prayers:

2:285. The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him by his Lord and (so do) the faithful. Everyone believes in Allâh, His angels, His Books and His Messengers. (And the faithful declare,) `We make no distinction (in believing) between any of His Messengers.' They say, `(Lord!) we have heard (Your commandments) and we are obedient. (Grant us) Your protection, Our Lord! for to You is the returning.'[35]

3:84. Say, `We [including Prophet Muhammad] believe in Allâh and in that which has been revealed to us and in that which was revealed to Abraham and Ismâîl and Isaac and Jacob and his children and in that which was given to Moses and Jesus and to all other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between anyone of them (in believing them) and to Him alone do we submit.'[36]

Prophet Muhammad leading all the previous prophets in congregational prayers points to culmination of all the prophethoods into the finality and perfection in his own person:

33:39. Those [i.e. including Prophet Muhammad and all those before him] who deliver the Messages of Allâh and who stand in awe of Him and stand in awe [and prayer] of none except Allâh [as shown in Miraj to the Prophet]. And Sufficient is Allâh to take account.

33:40. Muhammad is no father to any man among you but (he is rather) the Messenger of Allâh and the Seal of the Prophets. Indeed Allâh has full knowledge of all things.[37]

All previous prophets were nation or region specific and their message was only for a limited time, whereas, the Message at the hands of Prophet Muhammad is universal and for rest of the times. The Prophet leading all other prophets as their Imam during Miraj is indicative of that:

34:28. (Prophet!) We have sent you not but towards entire humankind (till the end of time) as a Bearer of glad-tidings and as a Warner but most people do not know (that the Message of Islam is universal and the Qur'ân the last revealed Book).[38]

35:24. Verily, We have sent you with the lasting truth (as) a Bearer of glad-tidings and (as) a Warner (to them)…[39]

The Prophet being welcomed during Miraj by other prophets is basically a fulfillment of their prayers and prophecies of his advent:

2:129. [Abraham and Ismail prayed] `Our Lord! do raise among them a great Messenger from among themselves, who may recite to them Your Messages and teach them the Book and Wisdom, and may purify them. You, indeed, You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.'[40]

46:10. … a witness (in the person of Moses) from among the Children of Israel has borne witness to (the advent of) his like [i.e. advent of Prophet Muhammad]…. [41]

61:6. And (recall the time) when Jesus, son of Mary, said, `O Children of Israel! surely I am a Messenger sent to you by Allâh fulfilling (the prophecies contained in) the Torah which preceded me and pronouncing the good news of (the advent of) a great Messenger named Ahmad, who will come after me…[42]

Miraj prophesized for the Prophet his migration during the night from Makkah to a distant mosque which was later built in Medina and served also as his seat of government. Of note is that the said prophesized migration was to be carried out under the protection of Allah Himself, a guarantee that we find in the verse of Miraj itself – Glory be to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Holy Mosque (at Makkah) to the Distant Mosque (17:1). It is based upon this assurance that Quran quotes the Prophet’s impeccable trust of Allah, the basis of his fearlessness, when during the actual migration at one time he was merely inches away from the drawn swords of the pursuing enemy:

9:40. If you do not help him (- the Prophet), then (know) Allâh has already helped him when those who disbelieved turned him out (from Makkah with only one companion); he being the second of the two when they were both in the cave (of Thaur); and when he said to his companion (- Abû Bakr), `Grieve not (about me). Surely, Allâh is with us.' Then Allâh sent down His Shechinah (- peace and tranquility) upon him, and helped him with troops which were not visible to you, and He humbled the word of those who disbelieved to the lowest, and it is the word of Allâh alone which is the supermost (and so prevails). Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.[43] [Emphasis added]

The Prophet visiting Ka’aba during Miraj when it was packed with idols was only a window into the future where his return as its master was foretold:

48:27. Allâh had surely fulfilled for His Messenger the vision, that conformed to the rules of wisdom. `(My faithful Companions!) you shall enter the Holy Mosque if Allâh will, safe and secure, some of you with your heads shaved and (others) with (their) hair only cut short (as is a prescribed rite for a Pilgrim), you will have nothing to fear.' (As for the time involved in its fulfillment) He knows what you do not know. He has, infact, ordained for you a victory (near at hand, at Khaibar) to be gained before (the fulfillment of) that (vision).[44]

90:1-2. Nay, (it will never happen as the disbelievers desire.) I do swear by this city (of Makkah), When you will surely alight (as a conqueror) in this city [and eliminate idol worship forever].[45]

Similarly, his going to Masjid Al-Aqsa and his leading the prayers, there was a prophecy of its prescient coming under the realm of Islam.

In the speed of the steed that he rode, he was foretold of lightening spread of Islam at his own hands, at the hands of his own Companions and those after them:

51:1. I call to witness those (beings) who went forth to scatter (the Qur'ânic teachings) far and wide with a true scattering,

51:2. They carry (their blessed) load (of truth),

51:3. Then speed along (exposing the wrong belief and evil practices) with love and peace,

51:4. And then distribute and apportion the work by (Our) command,

51:5. Verily, the promise you are made (about the spread of Islam) is true,[46]

81:23. And he [–Prophet Muhammad] has most surely seen himself (shining in the resplendence of his own light) in the clear horizon (- in the remotest corners of the world).[47]

The Prophet experienced Miraj when there was no possibility of his success in face of the colossal opposition that he was enduring, yet his mission succeeded like none in history:

94:2. And (have We not) relieved you of your burden (of various responsibilities)

94:3. Which had weighed your back down?

94:4. And have (We not) exalted for you your name and given you fame?

94:5. So surely every hardship is followed by ease.

94:6. Yes, every hardship shall be followed by an ease.[48]

The end result of the prophecies of Miraj and success of Islam are in many ways fruition of prayers of Abraham and Ismail:

2:127. And when Abraham raised the foundations of the House and Ismâîl (with him, and they were praying), `Our Lord! accept (this service) from us, You, indeed, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.

2:128. `Our Lord! make us both submissive servants to You (alone), and (raise) from our progeny a community (preaching virtue and) submissive to You, and show us our ways of worship and turn to us with mercy, for only You are the Oft-Returning (with compassion), the Ever Merciful.[49]

Miraj is reflective of zenith of spirituality – “Holy Prophet had developed a relationship of such intimate closeness with Allah, Most High, that it resembled the joining of the two bows by covenant takers, and so it necessarily followed that the pleasure of one was the pleasure of the Other, and opposition to one was tantamount to opposition to the Other. Therefore, the opponents should take heed, for now if the Holy Prophet (pbuh) shoots an arrow against an enemy, Allah, Most High, will shoot the same arrow at that target, and whoever contracts an alliance with the Holy Prophet (pbuh) will find that Allah becomes his friend. This, too, carries the same purport of several other verses of the Holy Quran like the following, for example:

1. "Whoever obeys the Messenger, indeed, he indeed obeys Allah …" (4:80).

2. "Those who swear allegiance to thee do but swear allegiance to Allah. The hand of Allah is above their hands …" (48:10).

3. "When thou threwest (a handful of dust) it was not thy act, but Allah threw…" (8:17)

After mentioning ‘the measure of two bows,’ the verse goes on to say: ‘or closer still,’ meaning that although the covenant of friendship and amity between two people who had joined their respective bows into one was indeed a powerful sign, yet the Holy Prophet’s proximity to Allah, Most High, was even more intimate than that. In other words, the relationship of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to Allah, Most High, surpassed by far, reciprocal bonds of friendship between human beings.”[50]

Ma‘ârij, the Miraj for the common mortals?

Miraj of the Prophet raises a natural question i.e. can ordinary mortals achieve their own Ma‘ârij, ascension?

Ya‘ruju (imp. 3rd. p.m. sing.): Ascends. Ta‘ruju (imp. 3rd. p.f.sing.): He ascends. Ya‘rujûna (imp. 3rd. p. m. plu.): They ascend. Ma‘ârij (n. ints. plu.): Stairways. Its sing. is Ma‘rajun.[51]

The answer to the above question is in affirmative and is from none but l-lahi dhī l-maʿārijiAllâh the Master of the ways of ascent (70:3), Who gives the following nine-step guidelines:

70:22. Different however is the case of [i]those devoted to Prayers,

70:23. [ii]Those persons who remain constant and steadfast in their Prayers,

70:24. And [iii]those in whose wealth there is a recognised right (- a fixed share),

70:25. (Set apart) for one who asks (for help) and also (for one) who is prevented (even from asking for one reason or the other);

70:26. (Different also is the case of) [iv]those who accepted the truth of the Day of Requital;

70:27. And [v] those who are fearful of the punishment from their Lord.

70:28. The fact is that the punishment of their Lord is not (a thing) to be felt secure from;

70:29. (Different as well is the case of) [vi] those who guard their private parts (by restraining their passions).

70:30. Except from their (free) wives or those (wives of theirs) whom their right hands own (- slave wives), for which they are not to blame.

70:31. But it is those who seek (to satisfy their lust) in any other way excepting that (of marriage) that are the transgressors.

70:32. And (different also is the case of) [vii]those persons who are watchful of their trusts and their covenants,

70:33. And [viii] those who are upright in their evidences (and bear true testimony),

70:34. And [ix] those persons who are strict in the observance of their Prayers.

70:35. All these (mentioned above) shall be dwelling in Gardens, honoured and treated generously.[52]

Spiritual Miraj for the Prophet, yet Corporeal Mirage for some of the rest

Even though there has been a heated debate in Islamic history and is still going on about the nature of Miraj, whether it was physical or spiritual, one must be cognizant of a few facts in Quran. On a physical plane, one cannot comprehend Allah by common five senses. It would be a fallacy to imagine that one can see the Divine Manifestation by physical eye, which is in the realm of ‘spiritual eye’ alone:

6:103. The physical vision comprehends Him not, but He comprehends all visions, He is the All-Subtle Being (incomprehensible and imperceptible), the All-Aware.[53]

42:11. …Nothing is like Him[54]

The words translated like Him literally mean like a likeness of Him. He is not only above all material limitations, but even above the limitation of metaphor.[55]

It would be a mistake to try to comprehend Him from within the confines of time and space, which to us mortals only started after the Big Bang, whereas He is beyond common physics:

57:3. He is (from) the very First (there was nothing before Him), and (He will exist to) the Last (there will be nothing after Him), and when nothing remains He will remain (He being an eternal Being). He is the Supreme Being (subordinate to no one). And (whereas He comprehends everything) He is Incomprehensible. He has full knowledge of everything.[56]

Allah is non-physical. He is omnipresent and beyond physical dimensions of time and space. One does not have to travel in time and space to reach the realm of his manifestation:

2:115. And to Allâh belongs the east and the west; so whichsoever way you may turn (you will find) there is Allâh's attention. Surely, Allâh is All-Pervading, All-Knowing. [57]

He can be sought by one’s 'heart' as He is 'nearer' to one than one can imagine:

50:16. We created a human being and We know what (dark) suggestions his mind makes to him. We are nearer to him than even (his) jugular vein.[58]

2:186. And when My servants ask you concerning Me (tell them), I am nearby indeed, I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me, so they should respond to My call, and believe in Me (that I possess all these attributes) so that they may proceed in the right way. [59]

57:4. It is He Who created the heavens and the earth in six aeons. And He is established on the Throne (of Power). He knows what goes down into the earth and what comes out of it, and what descends from above and what ascends to it. He is with you wherever you may be. Allâh is watchful of all that you do. [60]

Still, if a prophet, a mortal, out of love and passion wants to ‘see’ God, even he cannot:

7:143. And when Moses came at the time and place appointed by Us, and his Lord spoke to him, he said, `My Lord! reveal Yourself to me that I may look at You.' He said, `You cannot stand My revelation. Yet look at the mountain, and if it stands firm in its place, (only) then you shall stand My revelation.' Then when his Lord manifested His glory to the mountain, He sent it crashing down into pieces and Moses fell down unconscious, so that when he recovered he said, `Glory be to You! I turn towards You and I am the first to believe.'[61]

Besides experience of Allah’s manifestation, there is reference to Paradise in Miraj. No living soul has visited the actual Paradise of Hereafter, including the Prophet during his lifetime:

32:17. “No soul knows what refreshment of the eyes is hidden for them: a reward for what they did.”[62]

Even the Paradise is a spiritual state, not a physical space:

3:133. Wing your way to the protection of your Lord and to the Paradise whose expanse is as (vast as) the heavens and the earth. It is prepared for those who become secure against evil;[63]

57:21. (Mankind!) advance quickly, outstripping one another, towards the protection from your Lord and (towards) a Garden the extensiveness of which is (beyond measure) as the extensiveness of the heaven and the earth. It has been prepared for those who believe in Allâh and His Messengers; that (protection) is Allâh's grace and bounty. He grants it to such of those who wish to attain it (and strive for it). Allâh is the Lord of immense grace and bounty.[64]
…we have a reliable tradition on record that a messenger of Heracleus [Byzantine Emperor, born c. 575 – died February 11, 641[65]] asked the Prophet, “If the paradise were as extensive as the heavens and the earth, where would be hell?” “He replied, “Glory be to Allah, where is the night when the day comes?” The verse and the incident recorded clearly show that heaven and hell are not the names of two places, but actually two conditions, because if paradise were the name of a particular place, hell could not exist, as paradise would then extend over the whole of the space. This conclusively gives us a rational view of “heaven,” and is confirmed fully by the trend of modern thought which rejects the conception of the “geographical heaven” as primitive and irrational. Is not Modernism then indebted to the Qur’ân?[66]

To experience Miraj physically only means that the Prophet was a superhuman to defy God’s own created laws of time and space, astronomy, physics, chemistry and biology, whereas Allah states that even He does not break His own laws:

35:42. …And you will find no change in that law of Allâh, nor will you ever find the law of Allâh shifting from its course[67]

Ironically, some of the ‘believers’ insist on the physicality of a supernatural Miraj at par with non-believers who similarly challenged the Prophet for an unnatural performance:

17:90. And they say, `We will never believe unless you cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth,

17:91. `Or there be a garden of date-palms and vines for you, and you cause the streams to gush forth abundantly in its midst,

17:92. `Or, as you assert (and claim that it shall happen), cause the heaven to fall down upon us in fragments, or bring Allâh and the angels face to face with us,

17:93. `Or, there be a house made of gold for you, or you ascend into the heaven; but we will not believe in your ascending till you bring down to us a book that we can read.' …[68]

To such believers of physical Miraj and of course to the non-believers as well, Prophet replied quite simply:

17:93. … (Say), `Glory be to my Lord! I am not but a human being (sent as) a Messenger.'[69]

18:110. Say, `I [–Muhammad] am but a human being like you…[70]

Again, to undertake a corporeal Miraj, an obvious non-human feat, may possibly be performed by a non-human only, let’s say an Angel, but for sure not by a human prophet:

17:94. And nothing has prevented the people from believing when the guidance came to them except their sayings, `Has Allâh raised a human being (like us) as a Messenger?'

17:95. Say, `Had there been angels on the earth (in place of human beings) walking about secure and sound We (too) would have invariably sent down an angel from heaven as a Messenger to them.'[71]

Historically, it is only the fanatic followers who make their prophets into superhumans and before long the same human prophets are worshiped at par with God. Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism are just a case in point. Oddly, it is the opponents of the prophets who reject them for their being mere humans. Interestingly, so do the Prophets too call themselves as mere humans. Is it not ironic that the blind followers expect their prophets to be superhuman?

14:10. …They [–people of Noah, (the tribes of) `Âd and Thamûd and those who came after them (v. 14:9)] said, `You are nothing but a human being like ourselves…

14:11. Their Messengers (of God) said to them, `It is true we are nothing but human beings like yourselves…[72]

With these evidences from Quran that affirm a spiritual Miraj as the only possibility, we rest our case and feel sorry for those who take it as a physical experience because the pursuit of their illogic is like chasing a Mirage in hope of water in which never will they ever find Miraj for the Prophet nor a Ma‘ârij for themselves, and their case is outlined in Quran which is:

13:14. …like one who stretches forth both of his hands towards the water (wishing) that it may reach his mouth while it never reaches it. …[73]

[1] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[2] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 365
[3] On the concept of God and the status of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Light – U.K. Edition, May 2008 Special Century Edition, page 19.
[4]Meraj-Un-Nabi” by Maulana Hafiz Sher Mohammad, English Rendering by Ch. Masud Akhtar BA LLB, Paigham-e-Haqq, p. 5-6, Vol 2, No. 25/26, January/June 1980, Suva, Fiji.
[5] Introductory note for chapter Bani Israil – The Israelites: Maulana Muhammad Ali, p. 543. Sixth Edition, pub 1973
[6] ‘Bayan ul Quran’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali (in Urdu), vol.2, excerpted and paraphrased from footnote 1801 of verse 17:01
[7] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[8] Ezekiel 36: 1“Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, ‘Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord……33 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. 35 They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” 36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’ 37 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Once again I will yield to Israel’s plea and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep, 38 as numerous as the flocks for offerings at Jerusalem during her appointed festivals. So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
[9] Ezekiel 37: 1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”…..10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”
[10] Ezra 1: 1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: 2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” 5 Then rose up the heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem. 6 And all who were about them aided them with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, with beasts, and with costly wares, besides all that was freely offered. 7 Cyrus the king also brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. 8 Cyrus king of Persia brought these out in the charge of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 And this was the number of them: 30 basins of gold, 1,000 basins of silver, 29 censers, 10 30 bowls of gold, 410 bowls of silver, and 1,000 other vessels; 11 all the vessels of gold and of silver were 5,400. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.
Ezra 2: 1 Now these were the people of the province who came up out of the captivity of those exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried captive to Babylonia. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town.…..64 The whole assembly together was 42,360, 65 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were 7,337, and they had 200 male and female singers. 66 Their horses were 736, their mules were 245, 67 their camels were 435, and their donkeys were 6,720. 68 Some of the heads of families, when they came to the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, made freewill offerings for the house of God, to erect it on its site. 69 According to their ability they gave to the treasury of the work 61,000 darics[a] of gold, 5,000 minas of silver, and 100 priests’ garments. 70 Now the priests, the Levites, some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants lived in their towns, and all the rest of Israel[c] in their towns. [English Standard Version]
[11] Wikipedia – Cyrus the Great – Legacy:
[12] Yusuf – Joseph: Nooruddin
[13] Al-Alaq – The Clot: Nooruddin
[14] Al-Muzzammil – He That Has Wrapped Himself Up: Nooruddin
[15] Al-Muddaththir – One Endowed With Excellent Capabilities: Nooruddin
[16] Al-Tariq – The Night Visitant: Nooruddin
[17] Al-Najm – Parts of the Quran: Nooruddin
[18] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 248-249
[19] ibid, p. 457
ibid, p. 486,
[21] Isra – The Night Journey: Nooruddin [Note: This chapter also goes by another title: Bani Israil – The Israelites]
[22] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 196,
[23] Isra – The Night Journey: Nooruddin [Note: This chapter also goes by another title: Bani Israil – The Israelites]
[24] Al-Najm – Parts of the Quran: Nooruddin
[25] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 253-4,
[26] Al-Najm – Parts of the Quran: Nooruddin
[27] See also the footnotes of same verses by Muhammad Asad.
[28] Al-Sajdah – The Adoration: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[29] Al-Sharha – The Expanding
[30] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[31] Ghafir – Granter of Protection: Nooruddin
[32] Fatir – Originator: Nooruddin
[33] Al-Ahqaf – The Sand Dunes: Nooruddin
[34] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[36] Al-Imran – The Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[37] Al-Ahzab – The Confederates: Nooruddin
[38] Saba – Sheba: Nooruddin
[39] Fatir – Originator: Nooruddin
[40] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[41] Al-Ahqaf – The Sand Dunes: Nooruddin
[42] Al-Saff – The Ranks: Nooruddin
[43] Al-Taubah – The Repentence: Nooruddin
[44] Al-Fath – The Victory: Nooruddin
[45] Al-Balad – The City: Nooruddin
[46] Al-Dhariyat – The Scatterers: Nooruddin
[47] Al-Takwir – Loosing Of The Light: Nooruddin
[48] Al-Sharha – The Expanding
: Nooruddin
[49] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[50] Commentary of Chapter 53 (An-Najm — The Star) of the Holy Quran: by Dr. Basharat Ahmad, Translated by Imam Kalamazad Mohammed, excerpt from verses 8 & 9. Link:
[51] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 365
[52] Al-Ma'arij – The Ways Of Ascents: Nooruddin
[53] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[54] Al-Shura –The Counsel: English Translation of the Holy Qur’ân, edition 2002, by Maulana Muhammad Ali
[55] Al-Shura –The Counsel: Footnote for verse 42:11: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[56] Al-Hadîd – The Iron: Nooruddin
[57] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[58] Qaf – Allah is Almight: Nooruddin
[59] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[60] Al-Hadîd – The Iron: Nooruddin
[61] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[62] Al-Sajdah – The Adoration: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[63] Al`Imran – The Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[64] Al-Hadid – The Iron: Nooruddin
[65] Wikipedia:
[66] Dean Inge’s Homage to Muhammad, by S. Hamid Raza B.A. (Alig), p. 322, Sept & Dec, 1934, The Muslim Revival, Ahmadiyya Buildings Lahore (India)
[67] Fatir – Originator: Nooruddin
[68] Isra – The Night Journey: Nooruddin [Note: This chapter also goes by another title: Bani Israil – The Israelites]
[70] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[71] Isra – The Night Journey: Nooruddin [Note: This chapter also goes by another title: Bani Israil – The Israelites]
[72] Ibrahim – Abraham: Nooruddin
[73] Al-Rad – The Thunder: Nooruddin

Manuscripts of khutbahs of Maulana Muhammad Ali penned in hand of Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

In Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi’s papers, manuscripts penned by him of three Friday khutbahs of Maulana Muhammad Ali, with changes on them marked by hand of Maulana Muhammad Ali himself (in black ink), have been found. The khutbahs are from Ramadan of January–February 1931. Maulana Vidyarthi was editor of Paigham Sulh at that time, where these were published. We present here the scanned image of the first page of two khutbahs:

Khutbah dated 6th February 1931

Khutbah dated 13th February 1931

These two khutbahs can be read in full in their published form in the collection Khutbaat Muhammad Ali, volume 8, p. 49 to 57, and p. 58 to 64, available at this link.

US President in White House Studying Holy Quran Translation by Allama Noor-ud-Din— Well, sort of.

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.

House of Cards is TV series produced by streaming service Netflix. This is American political drama. In recent past in one of its show actor playing role of US President is studying/ consulting Holy Quran translation. When he places it on table the shot shows Holy Quran translation by Allama Noor-ud-Din (rendered into English by his daughter-in-law Mrs. Amtul Rehman Omar and son Abdul Mannan Omar).

Well of course this is drama. We pray one day it becomes a reality and US President does consult the modern, intellectual, peaceful, rational, and inspiring interpretation of Holy Quran by Allama Noor-ud-Din, who has been a source of all such interpretations and translations; from Maulana Muhammad Ali, Maulana Sher Ali, Abdullah Yousaf Ali, to Muhammad Asad etc.

In another related news. An American actress Lindsay Lohan, who is having troubles with law in last few years, has been spotted carrying, with hope of studying, Holy Quran translation. This translation is by Maulana Sher Ali, published by Qadiani Jamaat. Late Maulana Sher Ali was father of Mrs. Amtul Rehman Omar and father in-law of Abdul Mannan Omar. Maulana Sher Ali was student of Maulana Muhammad Ali. Under guidance of Maulana Muhammad Ali, Maulana Sher Ali did Holy Quran translation and commentary of Holy Quran. Later he went to England to have its English language reviewed by Arthur John Arberry. English translation of Holy Quran was published, in 1955, under instructions of Abdul Mannan Omar sahib, while he was in charge of Holy Quran publications, in Rabwah, Pakistan. He could not get commentary published, due to lack of funds, at that time. Later the SAME Holy Quran commentary was published by Qadiani Jamaat in form of 5 VOLUME COMMENTARY in 1988, under name of Qadiani Khalifa 2 Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad.

Link to House of Cards:

Link to Lindsay Lohan:

Link to A. J. Arberry:

‘A Handbook of Islam’, new abridged edition of ‘The Religion of Islam’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Update on 16 May 2015: Some corrections/enhancements made to the Kindle version (see link below).

Update on 12 May 2015:

I have now created a version of this book for Kindle. It is a .mobi file. You should be able to read it on any tablet or smartphone using a Kindle app (or of course on a real Amazon Kindle).

Right-click here and save the mobi file

After about two years of work, I have, by the grace of Allah, produced this book which you can read at this link.

Zahid Aziz