It is Good Friday and I am in Bait al Maqdis waiting for Jumma to begin. After Tahiyyat e Masjed I roam inside the circular Masjed al Sakhrah also called the Dome of the Rock. I notice a couple being shown something by a well-dressed man in white, who is shining a flashlight in an area enclosed within an iron grill spaced such that I can pass my hand through.
The couple has just finished putting their hand inside the dark space, and the expression on their face is riveting.
“What is it?” I ask like a curious tourist who does not want to miss anything.
“Would you like to see it?” he smiles benevolently “it is the foot imprint of Prophet Muhammad pbuh as he ascended on Mairaaj…”
“Yes I would very much like to see it” I feel my chest burgeoning with anticipation.
He shines the flashlight but I don’t see what I am looking for.
“Put your hand here, he indicates with the light and I do.
The sensation is indescribable as my hand fits into a footprint and I am in shock. The only sensation similar that I have come close to is when I was pushed into the Hajr e Aswad and I kissed it……….remaining in shock for a while at what I had just experienced.
My hand as I withdraw it, I place it on my heart, I want the feeling of closeness that I just felt to my Rasool (pbuh) to stay with me for as long as I live and become imprinted on my heart…….. I stand there looking at my hand that has just touched his (pbuh) footprint and I feel so close to him (pbuh) as if I had touched him. Suddenly I remember my friend H and I run to get her……..
I, humble me, at the starting point of Mairaaj, Subhanallah, how Allah Subhanawataala has blessed me. I am beyond gratitude…………..
Here is the experience in RasoolAllah’s (PBUH) own words:
HADITH SAHIH BUKHARI
Narrated Malik bin Sasaa:
The Prophet said, “While I was at the House in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness, (an angel recognized me) as the man lying between two men. A golden tray full of wisdom and belief was brought to me and my body was cut open from the throat to the lower part of the abdomen and then my abdomen was washed with Zam-zam water and (my heart was) filled with wisdom and belief. Al-Buraq, a white animal, smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me and I set out with Gabriel.
When I reached the nearest heaven. Gabriel said to the heaven gate-keeper, ‘Open the gate.’ The gatekeeper asked, ‘Who is it?’ He said, ‘Gabriel.’ The gate-keeper,’ Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel said, ‘Muhammad.’ The gate-keeper said, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel said, ‘Yes.’ Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!’
Then I met Adam and greeted him and he said, ‘You are welcomed O son and a Prophet.’ Then we ascended to the second heaven. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel said, ‘Gabriel.’ It was said, ‘Who is with you?’ He said, ‘Muhammad’ It was asked, ‘Has he been sent for?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ It was said, ‘He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!”
Then I met Jesus and Yahya (John) who said, ‘You are welcomed, O brother and a Prophet.’ Then we ascended to the third heaven. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel said, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is with you? Gabriel said, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been sent for?’ ‘Yes,’ said Gabriel. ‘He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!’
(The Prophet added:). There I met Joseph and greeted him, and he replied, ‘You are welcomed, O brother and a Prophet!’ Then we ascended to the 4th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met Idris and greeted him. He said, ‘You are welcomed O brother and Prophet.’ Then we ascended to the 5th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in previous heavens. there I met and greeted Aaron who said, ‘You are welcomed O brother and a Prophet”. Then we ascended to the 6th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met and greeted Moses who said, ‘You are welcomed O brother and. a Prophet.’ When I proceeded on, he started weeping and on being asked why he was weeping, he said, ‘O Lord! Followers of this youth who was sent after me will enter Paradise in greater number than my followers.’
Then we ascended to the seventh heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met and greeted Abraham who said, ‘You are welcomed o son and a Prophet.’
Then I was shown Al-Bait-al-Ma’mur (i.e. Allah’s House). I asked Gabriel about it and he said, This is Al Bait-ul-Ma’mur where 70,000 angels perform prayers daily and when they leave they never return to it (but always a fresh batch comes into it daily).’
Then I was shown Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. a tree in the seventh heaven) and I saw its Nabk fruits which resembled the clay jugs of Hajr (i.e. a town in Arabia), and its leaves were like the ears of elephants, and four rivers originated at its root, two of them were apparent and two were hidden. I asked Gabriel about those rivers and he said, ‘The two hidden rivers are in Paradise, and the apparent ones are the Nile and the Euphrates.’
Then fifty prayers were enjoined on me. I descended till I met Moses who asked me, ‘What have you done?’ I said, ‘Fifty prayers have been enjoined on me.’ He said, ‘I know the people better than you, because I had the hardest experience to bring Bani Israel to obedience. Your followers cannot put up with such obligation. So, return to your Lord and request Him (to reduce the number of prayers.’ I returned and requested Allah (for reduction) and He made it forty. I returned and (met Moses) and had a similar discussion, and then returned again to Allah for reduction and He made it thirty, then twenty, then ten, and then I came to Moses who repeated the same advice. Ultimately Allah reduced it to five.
When I came to Moses again, he said, ‘What have you done?’ I said, ‘Allah has made it five only.’ He repeated the same advice but I said that I surrendered (to Allah’s Final Order)'” Allah’s Apostle was addressed by Allah, “I have decreed My Obligation and have reduced the burden on My slaves, and I shall reward a single good deed as if it were ten good deeds.”