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Subject: Muhammad's Night Journey wasn't to Jerusalem, so why all the fuss?
American Kafir    9/3/2003 7:37:22 PM
Special Dispatch - Egypt September 3, 2003 No. 564 To view this Special Dispatch in HTML format, please visit: Egyptian Ministry of Culture Publication: The Prophet Muhammad's 'Night Journey' was Not to Jerusalem but to Medina Ahmad Muhammad 'Arafa, a columnist for the Egyptian weekly Al-Qahira, which is published by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, wrote an article rejecting the established Islamic belief that the Prophet Muhammad's celebrated "Night Journey" (Koran 17:1) took him from Mecca to Jerusalem. 'Arafa, presenting a new analysis of the Koranic text, asserts that the Night Journey in Surat Al-Isra' (that is, "the Sura of the Night Journey") in the Koran does not refer to a miraculous journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, but to the Prophet's emigration (Hijra) from Mecca to Medina. It should be noted that the belief that Muhammad's Night Journey (Koran 17:1) was a miraculous journey to Jerusalem is one of the most important foundations of the sanctity of Jerusalem in Islam. There is an extensive body of Islamic traditions related to this belief, and these are explicitly or implicitly rejected by the author. This article constitutes a dramatic departure from standard Islamic belief. The fact that this article was published in a government journal adds to its political significance. The following is a translation of the article, titled "Was the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey to Palestine or Medina?" which was published on August 5, 2003:(1) Where Is Al-Aqsa Mosque? "'Praise be to Him who took His servant by night (Isra') from the Al-Haram [Sacred] Mosque [in Mecca] to the Al-Aqsa [literally 'the most distant'] Mosque, whose environs We did bless, so that We might show him some of Our signs, for He is the All-Hearing and All-Seeing One' (Surat Al-Isra'[17]:1). "This text tells us that Allah took His Prophet from the Al-Haram Mosque [in Mecca] to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Thus, two mosques are [referred to] here, the first of which is the Al-Haram Mosque, and the second of which is the Al-Aqsa Mosque. 'Al-Aqsa' is a form of superlative which means 'the most distant.' Therefore, the place to which the Prophet was taken must be a mosque, and not a place where a mosque was to be established later, nor a place where a mosque had once stood. This place must be very far from the Al-Haram Mosque. It need not be [actually] built, as the Al-Haram Mosque [itself] was at that time merely an open space around the Ka'ba [and not a building]. "But in Palestine during that time, there was no mosque at all that could have been the mosque 'most distant' from the Al-Haram Mosque. During that time, there were no people in [Palestine] who believed in Muhammad and would gather to pray in a specific place that served as a mosque. Most of the inhabitants of Palestine were Christians, and there was among them a Jewish minority. Although the Koran refers respectfully to Jewish and Christian houses of worship, it does not call any of them a mosque, rather 'churches and synagogues' (Surat Al-Hajj [22]:40). The construction of the mosque situated today in Jerusalem and known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque began only in the year 66 of the Hijra of the Prophet - that is, during the era of the Omayyad state, not during the time of the Prophet nor that of any of the Righteous Caliphs. So much for the mosque." The Night Journey - The Prophet's Flight From His Enemies "As for the word Isra', if we open the Koran and trace the instances in which it occurs we find the following [five] verses...(2) we find that [the verbal noun] Isra' means 'moving secretly from a place of danger to a safe place.' The meaning of the [Koranic] expression 'He took His servant by night' is that He ordered him to journey in secret from his enemies to a place where he and his mission would be secure. In other words, the text speaks of the Hijra of the Prophet from Mecca to Medina, and not of a visit to Palestine. [Indeed], the Hijra of the Prophet [to Medina] was carried out unbeknownst to his enemies. "Let us go back to the beginning of Surat Al-Isra': Allah explains the reason for the Night Journey (Isra') by His words 'so that We might show him some of Our signs.' The exegetes and the transmitters of Hadith usually interpreted this as a reference to [Muhammad's] seeing the prophets and leading them in prayer. Some add [Muhammad's] ascent to heaven, and [his] seeing Paradise and Hell. How do we interpret the signs of Allah in this instance? Which of the interpretations is most acceptable? "We [on the other hand] interpret this [i.e. the signs] as [signifying] the Prophet’s deliverance from his enemies who were cunningly plotting to murder or capture him, and Muhammad's founding of the [Islamic] state in Medina, his triumph at the Battle of Badr, his making the Al-Hudaybiyya Treaty, and then the conquest of Mecca, and the spreading of his call (Da'wa). These wer
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American Kafir    RE:Muhammad's Night Journey wasn't to Jerusalem, so why all the fuss? (part 2)   9/3/2003 7:40:03 PM
The Medina Mosque "One of the traditions about the Hijra of the Prophet relates: 'He then continued on his way to Medina and entered it after 12 nights had passed from the month of Rabi' Al-Awwal. The Ansar [i.e. his supporters in Medina] gathered around him, each of them trying to grab the bridle of his camel and asking him to be his guest. But he [the Prophet] said: Let her [the camel] alone, for she has orders. His camel kept walking through the narrow paths and the alleyways of Medina until she reached a Marbid [a place where dates are put to dry] belonging to two orphan youths of the Banu Al-Najjar [clan], in front of the house of Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari. Then the Prophet said: 'Here is the stopping place, Allah willing. This place had been used by As'ad Ibn Zurara as a praying place before the Hijra of the Prophet, and he [Ibn Zurara] used to lead his friends in prayer there.' The Prophet then gave an order that this place be built as a mosque, and he bought its land for 10 dinars.' This is an abridgement [of this tradition] from the book Fiqh Al-Sira by Al-Buti.(3) The word 'praying place' [Musalla] occurring in the above text is the equivalent of the word Masjid [mosque]. In other words, this traditional account confirms that the final destination of the Hijra of the Prophet which was carried out secretly was a mosque - that is, a praying place - in Medina. "In conclusion, the Night Journey (Isra') was not to Palestine; rather, it was to Medina. It began at the Al-Haram Mosque [in Mecca] after the Prophet had prayed there with his companion,(4) and both of them had left it, and the journey ended at the mosque of As'ad ibn Zurara, in front of the house of Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari, in Medina, where the Prophet built the mosque known as the Mosque of the Prophet. The details of the journey of the Hijra are the very same details of the Night Journey (Isra'), because the Night Journey is indeed the secret Hijra." Endnotes: (1) Al-Qahira (Egypt), August 5, 2003. (2) The author cites five Koranic verses in which this verb appears: 11(Hud):81; 15(Al-Hijr):65; 20 (TaHa):77; 26 (Al-Shu'ara'):52; 44 (Al-Dukhan): 23. (3) The religious scholar Dr. Muhammad Sa'id Ramadan Al-Buti. (4) According to the generally accepted Islamic tradition, this companion was Abu Bakr. ********************* The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request. MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837 Phone: (202) 955-9070 Fax: (202) 955-9077 E-Mail: If you no longer wish to receive this publication via email, please reply and enter only the word "UNSUBSCRIBE" in the subject line
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FJV    The fuss is about influence   12/30/2006 4:48:34 PM
It all has to with getting people to do what you want. So you make an appeal to people so that they support your agenda. One of the most effective ways of making such an appeal is basing that appeal on the thing that the person respects most.

This means that in places where Islam is the most respected thing your appeal is most likely to be succesful when your appeal is based on Islam/Koran. So when you want to make a Muslim do your bidding it's best to say that it is written in the Koran that Muslim must do whatever you want them to do. You can back this up with a few verses from the Koran quoted out of context. Luckily or unluckily most Muslims in the Middle East are illiterate or at least illiterate in Arabic so you won't get called very often if you lie through your teeth.

You can see this same effect in more places as in the West where science is respected. If you want to make an appeal in the West then base your appeal on science or make your appeal look like science complete with a research paper and statistics.  Often when you look closely at such appeals then suddenly the science reveals itself to be not all that scientific. Marx for instance described his history and political interpretations as scientific.

If I want an extreme leftist to do my bidding then I would describe may appeals in terms of class warfare. You see this happening in Iraq where the conflict is described in terms of the imperial US imposing his will on the underdog Iraq. Framing the conflict in Iraq as class warfare could also be done in a favorable way for the US. Then the story would be "Saddams former elite are using their money to finance terror on the poor average Iraqis to regain a position where they can repress the Iraqi masses again". The role of the US ironically would be the enemey of the enemy of the Bourgeious Iraqis.

If I want to appeal to a libertarian then I base my appeal on expanding liberty. The fact that a repressive China is strengthened by US trade is made possible by the appeal that trade with China will eventually create more liberty there.

If I want to appeal to patriots then I base my appeal on that it's good for the US. Here fact that a repressive China is strengthened by US trade is made possible by the appeal that trade with China strengthens the US economy.

Etc. etc.

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TheServantOfAllah    May Allah guide you... Ameen   6/2/2012 11:23:36 PM
You're saying that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahualayhiwassalam went to madinah as the isra' mi'raj? You are wrong. He first got the revelation through Angel Jibreel in Makkah. Then he was told by the Angel Jibreel that he (Muhammad sallallahualayhiwassalam(1)) is a Prophet. Then, later on, another revelation was sent to the Prophet Muhammad sallallahualayhiwassalam, 

"O you (Muhammad S.A.W) enveloped in garments!
Arise and warn!
And magnify your Lord (Allah(2))!
 And purify your garments!
And keep away from Ar-Rujz (the idols)" [74:1-5]
And so after getting the revelation, he followed what Allah has commanded. He arised and he warned. When he did that, the Quraiyshi(3) in Makkah(4) went against him, and only some, became Muslims. Days passed and the Prophet Muhammad, S.A.W(5) recieved revelations and more people converted to Islam, and Quraiyshi people are against the Prophet Muhammad S.AW. The Prophet Muhammad S.A.W had two supporters whom he trusted. Abu Talib, his uncle and foster father and Khadijah, his first wife. After the boycott(6) and some other events, these two supporters whom were beloved to the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W so much, passed away. It was a great grief for the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W because Abu Talib who was his beloved uncle, died as a disbeliever, and Khadijah is the first wife of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W who gave comfort to the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W and encouraged him all the way, and she also was one of the Greatest Women In Islam. Then a few days later, Allah s.w.t(7)  willed for the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W to go through Isra' Mi'raj. And he (Muhammad S.A.W) went on and animal no bigger than a horse and no smaller than a mule, called Buraq(Lightning). And he went to Masjidil Aqsa, as that narration is famous. And Masjidil Aqsa is in Jeruseluem. And Masjidil Aqsa was built long before the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. And not after him. The Masjidil Aqsa wasonce a small masjid. Then Prophet Sulaiman alayhissalam, upgraded it and made the masjid on where his kingdom is. And then after the even of the Mi'raj, the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W was told by Allah to migrate to Madinah when the Quraish people plotted to kill him. And thus he migrated after all his companions and followers migrated to Al-Madinah(Medinah). And that migration is called Hijrah, and the islamic calender started on that day.
 End Notes: (1) Means: May Allah's peace and blessings be upon the him. <- Only for the beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W 
(2) Allah is our God and Lord, He alone deserves to be worshipped for He has created us from one man without difficulty.
(3) The people in Mekkah during The prophet Muhammad S.A.W.
(4)Makkah/ Mecca (english pronunciation) is the place of birth of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W and where the Quraiysh people are. And where the Ka'bah(The Holy Masjid, The House of Allah) is located.
(5) S.A.W is a short form of sallallahualayhiwassalam, (May peace be upon him(The Prophet Muhammad S.A.W))
(6) The boycott that the Quraiysh people made against the Muslims before the migration to Madinah.
(7) s.w.t mean: Glorious and Exalted is He. <- Only for our Lord, Allah s.w.t.
Thank You, Muslims who are reading this, please correct me if i'm wrong. :) 
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