It has been reported that on the morning of the day after the night of the miʿrāj, Muṣṭafā reported about the beginning of his journey on earth to Jerusalem. The exalted Companions became happy and accepted that, and the report was spread in Mecca. Abū Bakr Ṣiddīq was absent that day and had not seen the Prophet. When Abū Jahl heard the report, he said to himself, “If it is possible to turn Abū Bakr away from the followers of Muḥammad through some cause, the cause may be this absurd report.” Hence he got up and set off on the road of Abū Bakr. He said to him, “O son of Abū Qaḥāfa! This companion of yours Muḥammad is talking about an absurdity that no intelligent man would ever accept. He says that last night he left his mosque and went to Jerusalem and returned the same night. O Abū Bakr! Do you believe that someone can in one night go from Mecca to Jerusalem and return on the same night? That is one month for a caravan or a man who goes on foot. If you believe this absurd report, there is no doubt whatsoever that your intelligence is defective.”
The sincerely truthful Abū Bakr gave him a circumspect answer and abbreviated explanation. He said, “If he said that, he is telling the truth.”Abū Jahl despaired of him, and Abū Bakr hurried to the Messenger and, before sitting down said to him, like someone truthful and in love, “O Messenger of God! Tell me about your journey last night.” He said, “O Abū Bakr, last night Gabriel came bringing Burāq and took me to Jerusalem. I saw the pure spirits of the prophets and the chieftains of the Higher Plenum and I led them in prayer. From there I journeyed to the realm of the Dominion and arrived at the Highest Horizon. I saw the greatest signs and returned to the region of Mecca while it was still night.”
Abū Bakr said, “You have spoken the truth, O Messenger of God! By the exaltedness of that Lord who sent you with the truth, just as you were awake and taken on this journey in your form and person from place to place, my spirit was also taken in companionship with and service to you. Your journey was in the form and frame and my journey in serving you was in spirit and secret core. I saw myself in a dream in your service, and you were shown in wakefulness by the confirmation of the Real.”
Just as he was saying these words, trustworthy Gabriel came and revealed this verse: “And he who brought truthfulness and he who assented to it” [39:33]. From that day on Abū Bakr’s title became “the sincerely truthful,” and until the coming of the Hour, the folk of the Sunnah and the Jamāʿa will be emulating him in assenting to the truthfulness of the miʿrāj.
Someone may ask, “It is narrated that on the night of the miʿrāj, when that paragon of the world wanted to place his feet in the stirrups, Burāq shied away from him. Why did Burāq shy away?” The answer is that when Burāq saw that he would be the steed of the Master, he lifted up his head, rejoiced, and strutted. He said, “O Master! I have hope for you. Afterward, a day will come when you will strut into paradise, just as today you are going to Jerusalem. On that day also I want to be your mount, for the habit of noblemen is that whoever seeks an intimate at night will have in the day the rejoicing of a close friend.”
The paragon of the world verified this covenant for him and with the clemency of prophethood and the tenderness of messenger hood said, “At the resurrection, you will be my mount.” Then Burāq said, “O paragon of the world, nonetheless I still want a souvenir from you so that I may bind it around my neck as a collar and make it a necklace for myself.” The Master answered his request and gave a strand of his black hair to him. Burāq bound that to his neck with the hand of need and until the coming of the Hour.
Someone may ask, “What wisdom is there in the fact that on the night of the miʿrāj, Moses spoke with him about reducing the number of prayers, but no other prophet spoke of that?” The answer is that Moses was a possessor of whispered prayers in this world and he had the opinion that no one’s level was higher than his level and no one’s miʿrāj beyond his miʿrāj. But Moses’ miʿrāj was to the Mount, and Muḥammad’s miʿrāj was to the Carpet of Light.
Moses was commanded to fast for forty days, and when he was made present in the presence of whispered prayer, some of his requests were granted and some were not. But Muḥammad was the unique pearl of the ocean of creativity, and he was taken to the Presence still stained by sleep. In one instant he asked several times for reduction, and all of that was granted to him. This is why, when he became present in the Presence, the majesty and beauty of the Possessor of Majesty were unveiled to him: His mindful heart did not lie about what he saw [53:11].
It has been said that when Moses returned from the presence of whispered prayer, the light of awesomeness and tremendousness came with him, so everyone who looked upon him was blinded. But when Muṣṭafā returned from the presence of contemplation, the light of intimacy came along with him, so everyone who looked upon him increased in eyesight.
53:10 He revealed to His servant what He revealed.
Even though He said these words with the lid on and left them obscure so as to declare the greatness of that state and the magnificence of Muṣṭafā’s measure, it has been mentioned in some books that a group of the Companions asked Muṣṭafā what this revelation was. Muṣṭafā explained as much as their capacity was able to bear. He said that the Lord of the Worlds complained about his community, saying, “O Muḥammad, in holding to the covenant, I who am the Lord did not create any of the depths of hell for your community. But they, in breaking the covenant, are trying to throw themselves into hell. O Muḥammad, I am the Exalter and the Abaser. He is exalted whom I exalt, and He is abased whom I abase. They are seeking exaltation from elsewhere and they see abasement coming from elsewhere. O Muḥammad, I do not ask them today for tomorrow’s deeds, but today they seek from Me tomorrow’s provision. O Muḥammad, the provision that I have put in their name I will not give to another, but they give the deeds that are My rightful due and fitting for Me to others through eye-service. O Muḥammad, the blessings come from Me and they show gratitude to others. O Muḥammad, nonetheless, I am seeking for pretexts to forgive your community. O Muḥammad were it not that I love to rebuke them and talk with them, I would not call them to account for anything. O Muḥammad, I did four things with previous communities that I will not do with your community: I took a people into the earth, I changed a people’s form, I rained down stones on a people, and I destroyed a people with the flames of fire. Because of your eminence and rank, I will not do any of these with your community. O Muḥammad, I secluded you with Me to show the people who you are and to show you who I am.”
When God’s Messenger saw all this honoring and exalting from the Exalted Threshold, he said, “Lord God, bestow all of my community on me!” The command came, Tomorrow at the resurrection in the Greatest Gathering, I will bestow the rest on you. Then the world’s folk will know your level and rank with Me.” And God is the success-giver and helper!