Al-Isra and Al-Miraj are two miracles that Allah has revealed on the hands of our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), and Allah Almighty cannot be questioned as to what He does. Al-Isra started from Mecca and was concluded at Masjid Al-Aqsa in Beit Al-Maqdis, as mentioned in the Holy Quran. Al-Miraj started from Masjid al-Aqsa to heaven, a miracle proven in the Sunnah (for more on Isra and Miraj, click here).
We can sense some aspects of the wisdom behind that miracle through the verses of the Quran and the Hadiths that addressed this subject, but in regard to Masjid al-Aqsa in specific, we can highlight the following points:
- The gathering of the Prophets in Masjid Al-Aqsa with our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) as their Imam made a clear reference to the high status of Masjid Al-Aqsa and its pivotal role; to it was the Isra and from it the Prophet was ascended to heaven, and inside of it, was the gathering of the Prophets led by Muhammad (ﷺ).
- The prophets’ gathering, given the difference in their eras, homelands or ethnics, signifies that Masjid al-Aqsa belongs to the entire Muslim Ummah, whether before or after the “Bi’tha” (Prophetic Mission). That sign should remind us that the responsibility to liberate al-Aqsa doesn’t lie on the shoulders of one nation without the other, but it’s rather the responsibility of all Muslims.
- The Prophet’s (ﷺ) Israa journey to Masjid al-Aqsa (which was under the Byzantine occupation at the time) is practical prophetic portent of the Masjid’s liberation and return to the Muslims after it was neglected by the different occupiers throughout their reigns.
- Allah Almighty mentioned in the beginning of Surah al-Isra the verse that indicate the occurrence of this miracle, then it was followed by verses that mentioned the corruption of the children of Israel, and the punishment that Allah has destined on them for their depravity.
- The order of the verses in this form indicates that the Children of Israel, to whom Allah have sent many Prophets in the area of Masjid al-Aqsa, were no longer fit to carry Allah’s message to his people, and therefore, their page was to be turned over, and a new Prophet, Muhammad (ﷺ), was to inherit their Prophet’s message. And while a military conquest of Beit al-Maqdis was not physically likely at the time, Allah opened the path to his Prophet (ﷺ) to the Masjid spiritually, through al-Isra and Mi’raj.
This is what Allah has inspired us to deduce of the signs in concern of Masjid al-Aqsa. There remains more secrets to be sensed through deep contemplation, and continued thinking, and Allah is always the highest and most knowledgeable.