Was the Mi’raaj physical or spiritual?
Question: What do the blessed ‘Ulama [Islamic scholars] and Muftis [Islamic jurists] state regarding the following matter: (1) In Layla-tul-Mi’raaj, was the Mi’raaj of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ physical or spiritual? (2) What is the ruling on the person who denies the physical Mi’raaj? (Questioner: Muhammad Adeel Raza Qaadiri, Pindigheb, Attock)
بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ
اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ
1 Rasoolullah صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ was blessed with the physical Mi’raaj in wakefulness. Quranic Ayah and Sahih [authentic] Ahadees are its proofs. Moreover, the Mazhab [belief] of majority of the blessed companions, Tabi’een, Tab’-e-Tabi’een, Islamic jurists, Muhaddiseen and Mutakallimeen, and the belief of Ahl-e-Sunnat wa-Jama’at are the same. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has stated in the Holy Quran:
سُبْحٰنَ الَّذِیْۤ اَسْرٰى بِعَبْدِهٖ لَیْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ اِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْاَقْصَا الَّذِیْ بٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهٗ لِنُرِیَهٗ مِنْ اٰیٰتِنَاؕ-اِنَّهٗ هُوَ السَّمِیْعُ الْبَصِیْرُ(۱)
Glory be to Him Who took His bondsman by the night from the Sacred Mosque (Ka’bah) to Al-Aqsa Mosque around which We have placed blessing, in order that We may show him Our great Signs. Indeed He is The All-Hearing, The All-Seeing (here ‘hearing and seeing’ could also refer to the Prophet).
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 15, Surah Bani Israel, Ayah 1)
In the explanation of this blessed Ayah, it is stated in Tafseer Khaazin, Jalalayn and Haashiyah Saawi:
والحق الذی علیہ اکثر الناس و معظم السلف وعامة الخلف من المتأخرین من الفقھاء والمحدثین والمتکلمین انہ اسری بروحہ وجسدہ صلی اللّٰہ علیہ وسلم، ویدل علیہ قولہ سبحانہ وتعالی: (سبحٰن الذی اسرٰی بعبدہ لیلاً) ولفظ العبد عبارۃ عن مجموع الروح والجسد، والحدیث الصحیحة التی تقدمت تدل علی صحة ھذا القول
Translation: Haq [truth] is the very opinion hold by many people, great and honourable ‘Ulama, and from Muta`akhkhireen, the general Fuqaha, Muhaddiseen and Mutakallimeen, that the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم made the journey with his blessed body and blessed soul. The following Ayah is its proof: ‘Glory be to Him Who took His bondsman by the night’ because the word “Abd [عبد]” refers to the combination of both the soul and body. Similarly, the Sahih [authentic] Hadees which has been mentioned (above) is also a proof of the authenticity of this opinion. (Tafseer Khaazin, part 15, Taht-al-Ayah: 1, vol. 3, pp. 158)
It is stated in Naseem-ur-Riyad:
(انہ اسراء بالجسد والروح فی القصۃ کلھا) ای فی قصة الاسراء الی المسجد الاقصی والسموات، (وعلیہ تدل الآیة) الدالة علی شطرھاصریحاً (وصحیح الاخبار) المشھورۃ المستفیضة الدالة علی عروجہ صلی اللّٰہ علیہ وسلم الی السماء، والاحادیث الاحاد الدالة علی دخولہ الجنة ووصولہ الی العرش او طرف العالم کما سیاتی وکل ذلک بجسدہ یقظة
Translation: In the whole event of Mi’raaj, i.e. from Masjid-ul-Aqsa to the skies, the Beloved Rasool صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ made the journey with his blessed body and blessed soul. The blessed Ayah is a clear proof of one part of this journey, and Hadees-e-Mashhoor Mustafeed [مستفیض] is a proof of the journey to the skies. Moreover, Khabr-e-Waahid [خبرِ واحد] is a proof of entering Jannah, going to ‘Arsh [Throne] or to the other end of the ‘Aalam [universe] which will be mentioned later on; and he made the complete journey [going] with his blessed body in wakefulness. (Naseem-ur-Riyad, vol. 3, pp. 103)
It is stated in Maktubaat Imam Rabbani and Fatawa Razawiyyah: The blessed Mi’raaj certainly and undoubtedly took place with the same blessed body; it was not just spiritual which is also experienced by the devotees of Rasool by his favour. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has stated:
سُبْحٰنَ الَّذِیْۤ اَسْرٰى بِعَبْدِهٖ لَیْلًا
Glory be to Him Who took His bondsman by the night.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)]
He عَزَّوَجَلَّ did not state: Took the soul of His [most beloved] servant. (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 15, pp. 74)
It is stated in Maqalat-e-Kaazimi: The Mazhab [belief] of all of the majority of the ‘Ulama, Sahabah, Tabi’een, Tab’-e-Tabi’een, and after them, Muhaddiseen, Fuqaha and Mutakallimeen is the same that the Beloved Rasool صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ went for both the Isra and Mi’raaj physically in wakefulness, and this very fact is Haq [truth]. (Maqalat-e-Kaazimi, vol. 1, pp. 114)
1 It is Kufr [unbelief] to completely deny the blessed Mi’raaj because the Mi’raaj from Masjid-ul-Haraam to Masjid-ul-Aqsa is Qat’ee [definitive] and proved from the Book of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. However, the one who accepts Mi’raaj but holds the opinion that it was just a spiritual one is mistaken. In the present era, no one denies it except for heretics and people in error.
Completely denying the Mi’raaj is Kufr as stated in Sharh ‘Aqaaid-e-Nasfiyah and then in Nibraas:
فالاسراء ھو من المسجد الحرام الی البیت المقدس
قطعی ای یقینی ثبت بالکتاب ای القرآن و یکفر منکرہ۔۔الخ
Translation: The journey from Masjid-ul-Haraam to Bayt-ul-Muqaddas is Qat’ee [definitive], undoubtable, and proved from the Book of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ; and the one who denies it is a Kafir [unbeliever]. (An-Nibraas, pp. 295)
It is stated in Naseem-ur-Riyad:
(ذھب معظم السلف و المسلمین) عطف للعام علی الخاص، وفیہ اشارۃ
الی ان خلافہ لا ینبغی لمسلم اعتقادہ (الی انہ اسراء بالجسد) مع الروح (وفی الیقظة)
Translation: (The great and honourable ‘Ulama and common Muslims held the same opinion that the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم made the journey with his blessed body and blessed soul in wakefulness.) In saying “the great and honourable ‘Ulama and common Muslims”, it is indicated that having the belief contrary to it does not suit any Muslim. (Naseem-ur-Riyad, vol. 3, pp. 99)
It is stated in Fatawa Razawiyyah: These great happenings have also clearly proved that the Beloved Rasool صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ physically made the blessed journey of Mi’raaj. Why would it be [an event of] amazement if it had been a spiritual journey or a dream? In a dream, Zayd and ‘Amr make a journey to the blessed Haramayn and come back, and then they are still in their beds in the morning. It is a clear mistake to draw inference from the word “رؤیا” and not consider “الا فتنة للناس”. The word “رؤیا” is used in the meaning of “seeing”; and test and trial are in wakefulness, not in a dream. Therefore, it is stated: ‘سبحٰن الذی اسرٰی بعبدہ’; (i.e.) ‘Glory be to Him Who took His bondsman’. (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 29, pp. 635)
وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ
Abu Saaleh Muhammad Qaasim Qaadiri