Q.No 15) What is the difference between Israa and Mi'raj? Did these events happen in a physical state or in a spiritual state?
Answer) The Israʾ and Miʿraj are the two parts of a Night Journey that took place during a single night around the year AD 621.The majority of scholars agree that the journey was physical.Molana Ashraf Ali Thanvi RA writes in “Nashar al Tayyib” that Jumhoor Ahlussunah wa al-Jamma’ah believe that it took place in a physical and waking state.He also hold that there is consensus of scholars of Islam on it.Mufti Muhammad Shafi RA also hold the same view.He says that the word ‘abd indicates that the journey was physical one because ‘abad is compound of both Jasad and Ruh(Spirit and body) and Allah says in Al Quran“Who took His ‘Abd (Muhammad SAW) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem)”.According to Allaman Suhali RA some of the savants of Islam hold that M’iraj took place twice in the life of Muhammad SA,one in a spirtual State and another in a physical state.Suhailis view also defend the stand of Jumhoor Ahlus Sunnah WA Al Jamaa’ah.A brief mention of Isra is found in the 17th surah (chapter) of the Quran, called al-Isra', while as the details of the m’iraj are found in the different Hadith collections.In the Israʾ ("Night Journey"), Muhammad traveled on the back of Buraq (a winged horse-like animal) to Al-Aqsa , where he led other prophets including Ibrahim , Musa (Moses), and Isa (Jesus) in prayer. Muhammad then ascended into heaven during the Miʿraj (Ascension), where he individually greeted the prophets, and later spoke to God, who agreed to lower the number of required ṣalāt (ritual prayer) from fifty times a day to only five. The journey and ascent are marked as one of the most celebrated dates in the Islamic calendar—27th of the Islamic month of Rajab. (RNB Salik Bilal)