On the twenty seventh of Rajab the musjids will be full. People will gather to listen to talks being delivered regarding the great incident of Me’raaj. After the talks are over, by and large we return home with the miracle of Me’raaj and its message forgotten until the following year.
Unlike us, the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and the Tabi‘een (those who came after the Sahaabah) never set aside any particular day for the discussion of the incident of Me’raaj. Hence even the scholars of the first century differed with regard to the actual date when Me’raaj occurred (see Fathul Baari, vol. 7, pg. 203 and Ruhul Ma’aani, vol.15, pg.6). The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and the Tabi‘een (rahimahumullah) had no need to set aside any particular day for this discussion. They regularly and frequently discussed the ahaadeeth with regard to all aspects of the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). They lived the message of Me’raaj every day of their lives.
While there are many aspects that are related to Me’raaj, the most important thing that pertains to us daily is the gift that was granted to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) on the occasion of Me’raaj. When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) proceeded to the seven heavens and beyond and met His Rabb, Allah Ta‘ala, he was granted the gift of salaah. Such was the importance of salaah that its injunction was not revealed while Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) walked on the earth. Rather it was saved for this special occasion beyond the seven heavens. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also greatly explained its importance throughout his life – to the extent that his parting advice when he left this world was with regard to upholding the injunction of salaah.
When we gather to discuss the occasion of Me’raaj, we should take stock of our salaah – the gift of Me’raaj. Firstly, am I performing my five salaah daily? Do I commence my day with missing Fajr Salaah? Do I remember the gift of Me’raaj at the time of Fajr? At the time of Fajr do I remember the impassioned plea of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) as he parted from this world with regard to upholding the injunction of salaah?
The same should be considered with regard to Zuhr Salaah and ‘Asr Salaah – when the tills are ringing and with regard to Maghrib Salaah and ‘Esha Salaah when other distractions are in the way.
Furthermore how do I perform my salaah? Is it in the manner that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) performed it or is it performed haphazardly and in extreme haste? Have I gained concentration in salaah? Also, do I perform it with jamaat (which is waajib for adult males) in the musjid? Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “By that Being who has control over my life, I intend asking the youngsters to gather some firewood. I would then instruct somebody to call out the azaan and perform the salaah while I go and set fire to the homes of those people who perform their salaah in their houses without any proper excuse” (Sunan Abi Dawood #549 and Musnad Ahmad #8903).
‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) says: “The one who wishes to meet Allah Ta‘ala as a Muslim on the Day of Judgement should be punctual in the performance of his salaah on hearing the azaan. Allah Ta‘ala has prescribed the clear ways of guidance for His Rasul (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). These salaah too are among those ways of guidance. If you too will adopt the way of those who perform their salaah at their homes, you will be abandoning the way of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), hence you would be led astray. The one who performs wudhu and leaves for the musjid, for every step he takes he gets one reward, one of his sins are forgiven and his stages are elevated in Jannah. In the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) only an open hypocrite would not join the jamaat. Even a sick person would be carried by two people and brought to the musjid to perform his salaah with jamaat” (Saheeh Muslim #654).
Salaah is not only an injunction of Allah Ta‘ala and a responsibility and duty upon His servants, it is also a means of acquiring one’s worldly needs. It is a means of averting calamities and hardships. It is reported in a hadeeth that whenever any matter perturbed Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) he immediately resorted to salaah (Sunan Abi Dawood #1321). The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) sought the solution to any problem by first resorting to salaah. When discussing Me’raaj, we need to take stock of how much we resort to the gift of Me’raaj to solve our problems and difficulties.
Pitiful Condition of the Ummah
While there are many reasons for the present pitiful condition of the Ummah throughout the world, one of the main reasons is the neglect of this fundamental injunction of Deen. While our conferences, summits, workshops and seminars may come up with many worthy resolutions, it is of prior importance that an all out effort is made to bring the entire Ummah onto the punctual performance of the five daily salaah (in the correct manner with all its etiquettes being observed). Without this it will be wishful thinking to expect the degradation of the Ummah to change for the better. With the proper fulfilment of salaah and all the other injunctions of Deen, the help of Allah Ta‘ala will be with us. Then minimal effort will make us victorious and gain us the best of both worlds.