In a previous entry I mentioned many of the proofs for the correct belief that the Isra and Mi’raj of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was a vision and a spiritual ascension, and not a physical bodily ascension contrary to the popular myth prevalent among Muslims. Now I shall present another proof from an authentic Hadith narrated by Samura b. JundabRA that whenever the Prophet ﷺ finished (morning) prayer he would face us and ask: “Who among you had a dream [Ru’ya] last night?”
Samura goes on to narrate that one day he asked this question but we replied in the negative. So the Prophet ﷺ said:
لَكِنِّي رَأَيْتُ اللَّيْلَةَ رَجُلَيْنِ أَتَيَانِي فَأَخَذَا بِيَدِي، فَأَخْرَجَانِي إِلَى الأَرْضِ الْمُقَدَّسَةِ
“But I had seen (a vision) last night that two men came to me, took me by the hand, then took me to the Holy Land.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: H. 1386)
The Holy Land is where Aqsa Mosque (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem is located, and is a reference to the first Verse of Surat al-Isra, where the night journey of the Prophet ﷺ from the Sacred Mosque to the Aqsa Mosque is mentioned.
The ‘two men’ mentioned in this Hadith were in fact the two Angels Gabriel and Michael as is made clear toward the end of the Hadith, who came to the Prophet ﷺ while he was sleeping, and took him, meaning his soul out of his body, to the Holy Land, from where he ascended into the Heavens and also was shown Hellfire and the punishment of its inmates, etc.
The Hadith describes the Prophet as being taken to the Holy Land, but in another version of it, it is described as:
أَتَانِي اللَّيْلَةَ آتِيَانِ فَابْتَعَثَانِي، فَانْتَهَيْنَا إِلَى مَدِينَةٍ مَبْنِيَّةٍ بِلَبِنِ ذَهَبٍ وَلَبِنِ فِضَّةٍ
“Last night two (Angels) came to me and took me to a town built with gold bricks and silver bricks.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: H. 196)
As I have written in my blog, the Holy Land of Jerusalem will be the place of Paradise in the Hereafter, it shall be transformed into the capital city of Janna, a city built with gold and silver bricks.
In yet another version of the Hadith:
فَارْتَقَيْنَا فِيهَا فَانْتَهَيْنَا إِلَى مَدِينَةٍ مَبْنِيَّةٍ بِلَبِنِ ذَهَبٍ وَلَبِنِ فِضَّةٍ، فَأَتَيْنَا باب الْمَدِينَةِ فَاسْتَفْتَحْنَا فَفُتِحَ لَنَا
“So we ascended till we reached a city built of gold and silver bricks and we went to its gate and asked (the gatekeeper) to open the gate” (Sahih al-Bukhari: H. 7047)
Angel Gabriel told the Prophet ﷺ:
فَارْفَعْ رَأْسَكَ، فَرَفَعْتُ رَأْسِي فَإِذَا فَوْقِي مِثْلُ السَّحَابِ. قَالاَ ذَاكَ مَنْزِلُكَ. قُلْتُ دَعَانِي أَدْخُلْ مَنْزِلِي. قَالاَ إِنَّهُ بَقِيَ لَكَ عُمْرٌ لَمْ تَسْتَكْمِلْهُ، فَلَوِ اسْتَكْمَلْتَ أَتَيْتَ مَنْزِلَكَ
‘Raise your head’ I raised my head and there was something like a cloud. They (Gabriel and Michael) said: “That is your place”. I said: Let me enter my place. They said: “There is still remaining from your life (age) which you haven’t completed. So when you complete it you shall attain your place.”
Incidentally, this Hadith proves that the Prophet ﷺ is residing in his place in Janna, and is not alive in his earthen grave in Medina.