The Reception of Miraj
When time came to tell the Meccan idolaters of the Isra and Miraj, the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- voiced his worries to Jibril -upon him peace-:
“But my tribe will not believe me!”
“Abu Bakr will. He is the Siddiq (the Confirmer)”, Jibril -upon him blessings and peace- assured. (Ibn Saad, I, 215)
Once they heard of it, the idolaters refused offhand to accept the Miraj. Making the most of the opportunity, they began spreading a storm of rumors around the town, in hope of turning Muslims away from their faith by questioning the credibility of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. They even went to Abu Bakr –Allah be well-pleased with him-, who to their dismay however, responded with an unshakeable loyalty to the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-:
“Whatever he says is right…for there is no chance of him lying! I will believe without hesitation in whatever he says!”
“So you really think that he went to Masjid’ul-Aqsa and back in a single night?” the idolaters asked mockingly.
“Yes…What’s there to be surprised about? Greater still, he tells me he receives news from the Almighty every day and night…and I still believe him.”
Afterward, Abu Bakr –Allah be well-pleased with him- went next to the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, by the Kaabah at the time, and listened to the experiences from first hand, to which he remarked:
“You speak the truth, Messenger of Allah!”
Made joyous by Abu Bakr’s reaction, the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- said with a smile with enough glow to light up the entire universe:
“You are indeed the Siddiq, Abu Bakr!”
From that day on, Abu Bakr –Allah be well-pleased with him- came to be known as the Siddiq.
The remainder of the Companions also followed in the footsteps of Abu Bakr –Allah be well-pleased with him- in confirming the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- regarding the Miraj.
Unable to confound the believers, the idolaters this time resorted to testing the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. They interrogated him regarding Masjid’ul-Aqsa. The Almighty then presented a vision of the Sacred Temple before the eyes of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, gazing at which he answered one by one the questions posed by the idolaters. (Bukhari, Manaqib’ul-Ansar, 41; Tafsir, 17/3; Muslim, Iman, 276)
Still unconvinced, the idolaters then posed another question.
“Then tell us, Muhammad, about the caravan of ours we are expecting from out of town, about which we do care more than we ever cared about Masjid’ul-Aqsa!”
“I stumbled upon the caravan of so and so clan over at that valley. Frightened by the growl of a wild beast, a camel of theirs had run away. I showed them where it was…
And near Dajnan, I saw the caravan of the clan. The men were asleep. They had a bottle full of water, which they had topped with a cover. I lifted the cover and had a drink. Then I put it back over the bottle, leaving it as it was before. The caravan should now be heading down the Tanim slope from Bayda. Leading the caravan is a brownish male camel, carrying two sacks, one black and the other spotted.”
Dazzled by the response they received, the idolaters exclaimed, “By Lat and Uzza, this will decide whether he says the truth!” Hoping to find inconsistency in the words of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, they rushed to the Tanim slope and waited for the caravan. Not long after the caravan became visible from a distance, they remarked, dejected:
“There is the caravan…led by a brownish camel!”
Upon an even closer inspection, the found the camel was exactly as it had been described. They then asked the caravan members of the water bottle the Blessed Prophet –upon him peace and blessings- had described. They confirmed that they had a bottle full of water under cover, which they found emptied some time later.
On a side note, that the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had a drink of water is one indication that the Isra and Miraj was a journey both physical and spiritual.
The idolaters then asked the other group of the runaway camel.
“That’s true! We were shaken by a growl in that valley, upon which a camel of ours fled. Someone then began calling us to the camel. We found the camel right where he told us and seized it!”
Some of them even said that they had recognized the voice as “Muhammad’s”.
There was not a single question that the idolaters had left unasked to the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, from the amount of camels in the caravan to the number of shepherds. The Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- answered each of them correctly, as just like Masjid’ul-Aqsa, the caravan had also been brought to his gaze. But those with hearts locked to the truth continued in their stubborn ways and merely remarked, “This has got to be magic!” (Ibn Hisham, II, 10; Ibn Sayyid, I, 243; Haythami, I, 75; Bayhaqi; Dalail, II, 356)
The Almighty declares:
“Were We then fatigued with the first creation? Yet they are in doubt with regard to a new creation.” (Qaf, 15) What could be easier for the Glorious Allah, who has created everything out of nothing, than to raise His servant to the Isra and Miraj? Only a lack of common sense could explain why one deigns not to accept this.
Again, the pitiable idolaters of Mecca had balked at believing the Isra, once again making fun of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. But now their inappropriate behavior was to forever cost them the blessing of having the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- nearby. Time had now come to take this blessing away from the Meccans who never knew how to appreciate it. Instead, they chose to go too far in their ungrateful and unjust treatment of a Prophet, for whose sake they had been created in the first place.
There was really one thing left to do: For Allah, glory unto Him, to take the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- away from them and award him to another people who could better appreciate such a blessing.
Indeed, not long after the fateful journey of Ta’if, the Almighty had already sent to His Beloved Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- the forerunners of an exceptional people longing to pledge allegiance to him.
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