Commemorating Ascension, Part 1

Shaykh Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki al-Makki

Introduction on the Prophet’s (s) Ascension


I. Introduction

Praise be to Allah Who has chosen His praiseworthy servant Muhammad for the Message, distinguished him with the sudden rapture on the Buraq, and caused him to ascend on the ladders of perfection to the high heavens to show him of the greatest signs of his Lord. He raised him until he reached to the Lote-tree of the Farthest Boundary where ends the science of every Messenger-Prophet and every Angel Brought Near, where lies the Garden of Retreat, to the point where he heard the sound of the pens that write what befell and what is to befall.

There He manifested Himself to him through vision and addressed him intimately in the station of encounter, accompanying him so that he was no longer alone. There He stilled his fear in those lofty worlds and He communicated to him what He wished, and revealed to him what He wished, and taught him what He wished, and explained to him what He wished. He showed him of the signs of sovereignty and the signs of creation and of the unseen that point to the uniqueness and perfection of His immense majesty, and the marvels of His lordly power, and the sublimity of His wisdom without beginning. Glory to Him, the God that knows the heart’s secret and its confidence, and knows what is more subtle and more hidden! He hears the patter of the black ant’s feet on a massive rock in the dark night.

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, Who is sanctified in His essence from all imaginal representation and shades, and elevated above having a partner in His attributes and acts. I bear witness that our master Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, whose rank He has raised so that none of the seven skies can reach it, nor any of the Prophets. For how could they reach his stature when they were shown to him in the Sanctified House in Jerusalem where Jibril gave him precedence over them so that he led them in prayer, then apprised him of their places and stations in the heavens, thereby showing that he is their paramount chief and foremost leader since the beginning?

Allah bore witness that the Prophet was the Guide through his knowledge and the Just Instructor in his actions. He elevated his speaking manner above vanity and disgrace; He freed his innermost being from belying what his eyes saw; and He kept his eyes from falsehood and transgression. Then he saw his Lord in the station of proximity and servanthood. Nor did he fall short of uncovering the reality of the event, but he received all that was communicated to him of both partial and total knowledge.

May Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him and upon his Family, the People of Guidance and Firmness, and upon his excellent and pure Companions, carriers of the burdens of the Prophetic Inheritance, defenders of the precious Religion with every burnished sword, who have triumphed and won the highest dwellings of the Abode of Eternity.

To begin, the indigent in need of the mercy of his generous Lord, Muhammad ibn `Alawi ibn `Abbas al-Maliki al-Hasani says — may Allah treat him with His radiant kindness: Allah has granted me the favor of writing a vast treatise covering the substantial research which has been done on the subject of al-isra’ wa al-mi`raj. Then He expanded my breast so that I could gather its account into a single text as a separate monograph so as to allow its access to the people at large. In this way they can familiarize themselves with that text and recite it in the public meetings and great celebrations in which Muslims gather to commemorate al-isra’ wa al-mi`raj, as is the custom in many countries, especially in the two Holy Sanctuaries.

I have collated my own work with that of the hafiz al-Shami and Najm al-Din al-Ghayti to make a single comprehensive text with the mention of additions in their appropriate places. This text includes most of the different narrations on this subject. I have provided a light commentary and brief notes explaining the meeaning of rare or difficult words. I have named this treatise: al-Anwar al-bahiyya min isra’ wa mi`raj khayr al-bariyya, “The resplendent lights of the rapture and ascension of the Best of creation,” asking Allah to grant benefit with it and accept it as purely for His sake. Allah’s blessings and peace be upon our master Muhammad and his Family and Companions.