The Sunnah Of Visiting Palestine And Gifts Of Mi'raj Unpacked.

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Bismihi Ta`ala

*THE SUNNAH OF VISITING PALESTINE AND GIFTS OF MI`RAJ UNPACKED.*

There is no place better than Makkah Mukarramah. But still, Allah Ta`ala sent Jibra-eel a.s. with the Buraq animal to take Rasouloullah Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam from Makkah to Masjidul Aqsa, Jerusalem. That part of Israa is from the Qur-aan(17:1) and anybody denying that becomes instantly out of fold of Islam.
One of the understanding described by mafaseers of visiting Palestine is that Palestine assembles the steps and rest place of many prophets. It is the head-quarter of prophets. A Markaz. Although know that all prophets irrespective from where they were, had to go for Hajj in Makkah, once in their lives.(Shu`abul Imaan)  
So before travelling to see the heavens, Allah Ta`ala took the beloved prophet SAW by air on Buraq to Masjidul Aqsa:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
‘’Glory is He who made His servant travel by night from Masjidul Haram to Masjidul Aqsa whose environs we have blessed..’’(17:1)
One of the tafseer of the ‘’Barkats around Masjidul Aqsa’’ described in this ayah are said to be the tombs of prophets around Masjidul Aqsa(Qurtubi). There is concentration of the most beloved human beings that were sent generation after generation one after the other. Reported in Musnad Ahmad that the beloved prophet SAW led salaah in front of all prophets in Masjidul Aqsa: 
فَلَمَّا دَخَلَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْمَسْجِدَ الْأَقْصَى قَامَ يُصَلِّي، ثُمَّ الْتَفَتَ فَإِذَا النَّبِيُّونَ أَجْمَعُونَ يُصَلُّونَ مَعَهُ، فَلَمَّا انْصَرَفَ جِيءَ بِقَدَحَيْنِ، أَحَدُهُمَا عَنِ الْيَمِينِ، وَالْآخَرُ عَنِ الشِّمَالِ، فِي أَحَدِهِمَا لَبَنٌ، وَفِي الْآخَرِ عَسَلٌ، فَأَخَذَ اللَّبَنَ فَشَرِبَ مِنْهُ، فَقَالَ: الَّذِي كَانَ مَعَهُ الْقَدَحُ أَصَبْتَ الْفِطْرَةَ  
احمد

This hadith is stamped Sahih by Ibn Katheer r.a. in his Tafseer. 
إسناد صحيح ولم يخرجوه
It is Allah Ta`ala`s wish to assemble the prophets there and also note the we will be assembled there on the day of Qiyamah. Imaam Suyuti r.a. commented the following hadith as a sahih hadith of Baihaqi and Tabrani:
صلاة فى مسجدى هذا أفضل من أربع صلوات فى بيت المقدس ولنعم المصلى فى أرض المحشر والمنشر وليأتين على الناس زمان ولقيد سوط الرجل حيث يرى منه بيت المقدس خير له من الدنيا جميعا (البيهقى فى شعب الإيمان ، والطبرانى فى الأوسط عن أبى ذر ، ورجاله رجال الصحيح)
Salaah in this masjid of mine is 4 times more virtuous than Salaah in Baytul Maqdis(Aqsa). And indeed, praiseworthy is the person performing salaah in the land of Assembly and the land of Resurrection. A time will come upon the people such that the whip`s space of a person`s view on Baytul Maqdis will be more cherish than anywhere in the whole world.(Tabrani;Baihaqi)
Note that one of the reasons why the beloved prophet SAW went to Jerusalem during Mi`raj is to put his Mubarak pace upon a special place whereby prophets used to stand. It is reported in a Sahih hadith of Musnad Ahmad that the beloved prophet SAW said: ‘’On the night of ascension(Mi`raj), I put my feet on the place that the prophets used to put their feet in Baytul Maqdis and hence I was presented to Isaa a.s….’’(Ahmad)
حَدَّثَنَا بَكْرُ بْنُ عِيسَى أَبُو بِشْرٍ الرَّاسِبِيُّ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ أَبَا عَوَانَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا عُمَرُ بْنُ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي وَضَعْتُ قَدَمَيَّ حَيْثُ تُوضَعُ أَقْدَامُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ مِنْ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ، فَعُرِضَ عَلَيَّ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ . قَالَ: فَإِذَا أَقْرَبُ النَّاسِ بِهِ شَبَهًا عُرْوَةُ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ، وَعُرِضَ عَلَيَّ مُوسَى، فَإِذَا رَجُلٌ ضَرْبٌ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ، كَأَنَّهُ مِنْ رِجَالِ شَنُوءَةَ، وَعُرِضَ عَلَيَّ إِبْرَاهِيمُ . قَالَ: فَإِذَا أَقْرَبُ النَّاسِ شَبَهًا بِصَاحِبِكُمْ 
احمد

As such, placing your feet with respect upon the Mubarak footsteps of prophets would benefit us spiritually.  


Furthermore the beloved prophet Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam recommended us to go do salaah in Masjidul Aqsa or if unsafe then at least send some oil(contributions) for the masjid:
عَنْ مَيْمُونَةَ مَوْلَاةِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفْتِنَا فِي بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ فَقَالَ ائْتُوهُ فَصَلُّوا فِيهِ وَكَانَتْ الْبِلَادُ إِذْ ذَاكَ حَرْبًا فَإِنْ لَمْ تَأْتُوهُ وَتُصَلُّوا فِيهِ فَابْعَثُوا بِزَيْتٍ يُسْرَجُ فِي قَنَادِيلِهِ

ابو داود When Hazrat Maymounah r.a. asked about Baytul Maqdis, the beloved prophet Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam said: ‘’Do go there, to then read salaah there- and because the area was affected by wars- if you can`t go there, then at least send some oil that would be used in its lamps.’’Abu Dawood.

So the first command of Shariah to Baytul Maqdis is to visit the masjid. The Mi`raj transit in Jerusalem made it Sunnah to visit Masjidul Aqsa.
How many of us tried to visit it until now? And know that foreign passports are respected by Israel. At least be at the border and try to get inside Palestine. If you are refused, then at least send some money contributions for the masjid. We should have been ready to give our lives for Masjidul Aqsa. But today, we are asked only to sacrifice this movement towards populating the masjidul aqsa. 

When you are invited by a noble King, then expect to return with gifts. Unfortunately, nowadays our chiefs/presidents expect gifts/bribery from us. This is a sign of qiyamah that protocols of life will be inversed. Khair, Rasouloullah Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam was invited by Allah Ta`ala to visit many unseen/ghaib sites like the skies, Baitul Ma`moor, Sidratul Muntaha, Jannat, Jahannum and above Jannah. The prophet Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam talked directly to Allah Ta`ala during Mi`raj. Before returning, he was gifted 3 main gifts. I wish to extrapolate and unpack these gifts today in front of you:

The three main gifts of Mi`raj are:
1.    5 daily salaahs
2.    The last 2 ayahs of sourah Baqarah(Sourah 2: Verse 285, 286)
3.    And forgiveness to those very sinful ummati that have not done shirk(have not associated with Allah Ta`ala).

(Muslim Shareef;Tirmizi)
فَأُعْطِيَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ثَلَاثًا أُعْطِيَ الصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْسَ وَأُعْطِيَ خَوَاتِيمَ سُورَةِ الْبَقَرَةِ وَغُفِرَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ أُمَّتِهِ شَيْئًا الْمُقْحِمَاتُ
صحيح مسلم

1.       The 5 daily Salaahs.

Salaah is the gift of Mi`raaj received following the divine communion between the Prophet (saw) and his Creator. It is a gift which is worthy of that honour, since it is an ideal way of accomplishing divine satisfaction. Like Mi`raaj, salaah is the means whereby one is propelled upward to attain the nearness of Allah. It is the communion between Allah and His slave. (Bukhari) The Prophet of Allah (saw) turned to salaah in moments of difficulty and fear. (Ahmad). In times of sadness, salaah is a tonic. It is a remedy that dispels depression. Salaah provides assistance to the oppressed. It is the hope of the desperate people. “Nay, seek (Allah’s) help with patience and prayer.” (Al Baqarah: 45). Salaah rids oneself of one’s vices and adorns oneself with flowers of goodness. Allah Ta’ala has stated: “For prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds.” (Al Ankaboot: 45)
Living Mi`raaj on a daily basis
To speak directly to one’s Creator is a great privilege indeed. In fact, this divine communion is available to each and every one. By standing in salaah, one communicates directly with one’s Creator. The Prophet of Allah (saw) has said: “When someone is in salaah, he is then in communion with his Lord.’’ (Bukhari) “Whoever is in salaah is communicating directly with his Lord.” (Mustadrak). “Swalah is the coolness of the eyes.” (Mustadrak). “If it is performed at its prescribed time, it has no equal in reward.” (Bukhari). “It is the action that is most loved by Allah Ta’ala.” (Bukhari) Salaah, in fact, helps us to lower our gaze, to be chaste and pure. It gets rid of our undesirable carnal fantasies. “It is a purifying river.” (Bukhari). It washes our sins away and is a shield against satan. It is both a spiritual and a physical exercise. “When one performs fajr swalah, Allah Ta’ala protects oneself all day.” (Muslim). “It is a very important pillar of Islam which establishes a distinction between us and the infidels.” (Muslim). It guides us on the straight path. In times of drought, eclipse, cyclone or natural calamity and in times of happiness or misfortune, salaah is the only recommendation.
Salaah is an expression of gratitude for Allah’s favours. (Bukhari). Days of Eid are celebrated with an additional salaah. If you are depressed and are feeling empty inside, then stand on the musallah and communicate your pains directly to your Creator. Supplications done after the obligatory salaah and in the last part of the night are those that are most accepted. (Tirmizi). So after the salaah, raise your hands in prayer and supplicate Allah. He will answer your prayers. Ameen!
So, let us stand and communicate our wishes and pains directly to our Lord. May Allah grant us the will to perform our five daily salaah, the gift of Mi`raaj. Really salaah is our ultimate divine communion.

2.       The last 2 ayahs of Surah Baqarah(Ayah 285 and 286 of Surah 2) conceal an ocean of goodness. Reported in Musnad Ahmad that these last 2 ayahs were revealed exclusively to prophet Muhammad Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam and to none other prophets. Also these ayahs suffice in many conditions: 

عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ قَالَ لَقِيتُ أَبَا مَسْعُودٍ عِنْدَ الْبَيْتِ
3.       فَقُلْتُ حَدِيثٌ بَلَغَنِي عَنْكَ فِي الْآيَتَيْنِ فِي سُورَةِ الْبَقَرَةِ فَقَالَ نَعَمْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْآيَتَانِ مِنْ آخِرِ سُورَةِ الْبَقَرَةِ مَنْ قَرَأَهُمَا فِي لَيْلَةٍ كَفَتَاهُ

مسلم
‘’*The two last ayahs of Surah Baqarah, whoever read them at night, these two will be sufficient for him.*’’(Muslim)

Sufficient is described as sufficient for protection, sufficient to cover all your hizb, sufficient as reading Quran, sufficient for Tahajjud, etc.
That is why we should not miss to read daily these 2 ayahs before sleeping.  

3         . Forgiveness to very sinful ummati that has not done shirk. Shirk or to associate deity with Allah is such a major sin that disqualifies a person from this massive grace of forgiveness from Allah. To avoid asking or supplicating other than Allah in everyday life will enhance forgiveness Insha Allah. Furthermore, when you are in the arena of divine grace and gifts, one should not spoil the carpet with any sins. Don`t urinate or excrete impurities in return of the noble reception of forgiveness. That is, don`t take for granted to sin when hearing the forgiveness of Allah. Because to sin deliberately taking it for granted is KUFR. And remember that if our daily life is without salaah and sinful, then we are coating our heart with thick black dots. If the heart is fully coated, then it will not take effect of Imaan and hence one may die on Kufr.
It is the habit of animals to cover their dirt. Likewise, rasouloullah Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam advised us to cover our sins with good actions. Sins should be avoided at all cost. Because sins deprive us from Wealth and Health. Hence instant Tawbah should be done if ever sinned. And also follow sins by Sadaqahs, 5 daily Salaahs, long Tahajjuds, sitting on the musallahs, reading dourouds, doing Zikr, going in jamaat, Umrah, Hajj, etc.
It is because the Ummah has abandoned in vast majority the main gift of Mi`raj, salaah and also that we are not sponging our sins with good actions that we are now drowned in the worldly trials of defeat and weakness in front of mercenaries.

Mufti Mackoojee
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