The Gifts of M‘iraj
PROF G R MALIK
According to the authentic collections of ahadith, the Prophet received three great gifts from Allah on the momentous occasion of M‘iraj – pledge of forgiveness for those believers who desist from committing the heinous sin of shirk, the gift of al-salat (prayers) and the concluding verses of surah al-Baqarah. What do these gifts signify?
Forgiveness for those believers who do not associate partners with Allah in belief, thought and action is another way of describing the solemn Quranic warning:
Allah does not forgive association of partners with Him and except this He forgives anything to whom He pleases. (4:48)
Shirk is unpardonable because it amounts to rejecting the law that holds the universe together. The whole of the universe, with its immensely vast galaxies and countless creatures follows the law ordained by Allah. This imparts unity and harmony to the universe which in the language of religion is called tawheed. If man uses his freedom of choice to defy tawheed, he declares a war on the temperament of the universe. That is why the Quran calls it the worst kind of injustice and iniquity (zulmun azeem). A believer who refrains from shirk and everything that smacks of it, respects the law of the universe and submits to the true Sovereign, Allah (SWT). This attitude wins him forgiveness for his minor lapses. On the other hand a mushrik is a rebel who denies Allah’s sovereignty and forfeits every consideration for forgiveness in his favour. It is to be borne in mind that shirk is not merely an academic kind of question whose commission and non-commission is inconsequential. It unhinges individual and collective life and leads to evils whose consequences are fatal.
Salat was ordained on the occasion of M‘iraj because it represents on a particular level a facet of the essence of M‘iraj – access and nearness to Allah (SWT). So indispensable is salat and its repeated performance for this purpose that initially it had been prescribed that a believer will have to pray 50 times a day. Later, on Prophet’s supplication motivated by Moses (AS), the number was reduced to five with the assurance that these five prayers will carry the reward of fifty. Because salat keeps on continuously renewing our contact with Allah, the Prophet (SAW) called it m‘iraj-ul-mumineen (m‘iraj of the believers).
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 22 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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