Among the miracles of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ are the events of Al-Isra’ (the night journey from the Haram Mosque in Makkah to Al-Aqsa Mosque) and Al-Mi^raj (the ascension into the skies).
Al-Isra’ is confirmed by explicit texts in the Qur’an and the authentic hadith. Hence, it is obligatory to believe that Allah the Exalted, enabled His Messenger (peace be upon him) to make the night journey from Makkah to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine.
As for Al-Mi^raj, it is confirmed by explicit hadiths, though the Qur’an does not explicitly refer to it with clear text that does not need interpretation. However, it does refer to it with text that is near explicit.
Al-Isra’ is the event referred to in the following Saying of Allah Ta^ala:
﴾سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا﴿
[which means] [Exalted is He [Allah], Who enabled His slave to take a night journey from Al-Masjid Al-Haram to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him some of Our wonderous creations (i.e., signs)].
Regarding Al-Mi^raj, Allah ta^ala revealed the following ayah:
﴾وَلَقَدْ رَءاهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَىٰ عند سدرة المنتهى عندها جنة المأوى﴿
[which means] [Verily, he saw him a second time at Sidratul-Muntaha at which is the abode of Paradise].
If someone was to allege that His Saying [Verily, he saw him a second time] is possibly a dream; we say that this allegation dismisses the apparent meaning of the verse (made ta’wil) and doing so is not permissible without any definitive mental evidence or confirmed relayed evidence as Ar-Raziyy said in his book Al-Mahsul.
Imam Muslim narrated from the route of Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah accept his deeds) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
أُتِيتُ بالبُراقِ وهوَ دابَّةٌ أبيَضُ طَويلٌ فَوقَ الحمارِ ودُوْنَ البَغْلِ يضَعُ حافِرَهُ عندَ منتَهَى طرْفِهِ، قال فركِبْتُه حتّى أتيتُ بيتَ المقْدِسِ فَربَطتُهُ بالحلقَةِ التي يَربِطُ بها الأنبياءُ، قال ثم دخَلْتُ المسجِدَ فَصلَّيتُ فيه ركْعتينِ، ثُمَّ خَرجْتُ فجاءَني جبريلُ عليه السلام بإناءٍ من خَمرٍ وإنَاءٍ منْ لَبَنٍ فاختَرتُ اللّبَنَ، فقالَ جبريلُ عليه السلامُ: ((اختَرْتَ الفِطْرَةَ)) قال ثمّ عَرَجَ بنَا إلى السَّماءِ
[which means] “Al-Buraq was brought to me, and it is an animal that is white and long, larger than a donkey and smaller than a mule. It rests its hoof at the reach of his eyesight. I rode it until I came to Baytul-Maqdis (in Jerusalem), then tied it to the ring used by the prophets.
Then I entered the masjid and prayed two rak^ahs in it. When I came out, Jibril came to me and handed me a cask of wine and a cask of milk. I chose the milk, and Jibril said, ‘You have chosen the fitrah (i.e., adherence to the Religion of Islam).’ Then he elevated me into the sky”
This hadith holds evidence that Al-Isra’ and Al-Mi^raj took place during one night with his [the Prophet’s] body and soul and while being awake.
No one [among the scholars] said that he reached Baytul-Maqdis then slept.
The Messenger Seeing his Lord on that Night with his Heart and Not his Eyes.
Pertaining to the matter of the Prophet seeing his Lord on the night of Al-Mi^raj; At-Tabaraniyy narrated in Al-Mu^jamul-Awsat with a strong chain of narration, as attested by Hafidh Ibn Hajar, from the route of Ibn ^Abbas, may Allah accept his and his father’s deeds that: “Muhammad saw his Lord twice.”
Also, Ibn Khuzaymah narrated with a strong chain of narration that: “Muhammad ﷺ saw his Lord”. These quotes mean, ‘he [the Prophet] saw Him [his Lord] with his heart’.
This is supported by the hadith of Imam Muslim relayed by Abul-^Aliyah from the route of Ibn ^Abbas which is in reference to the Saying of Allah, the Exalted:
﴾مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَىٰ أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَىٰ وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَىٰ﴿
[which means] The heart [of the Prophet] did not lie about what it saw. How dare you argue with him over what he saw. Indeed he saw Him a second time.” He [Ibn ^Abbas] said, “He indeed saw his Lord with his heart twice.”
Note: Al-Ghazaliyy said in Ihya’ ^Ulum ad-Din, “The reliable saying of the scholars is that the Prophet did not see his Lord on the night of the Ascension [Mi^raj].”
This refers to the fact that the Prophet did not see Allah with his naked eyes, because it is not confirmed that the Prophet said, ‘I saw Him with my eyes’, nor did the Companions, their followers, or the followers of their followers confirm this and say that ‘the Prophet saw Him with his naked eyes’.