Contributed by Saffiyah Sabreen Syeed, who is conducting a free online course on the Philosophy of Isra and Mi’raj.
We are living in a special time, wherein the secrets of the Cosmos are being continuously unveiled before us. String Theory, Quantum Mechanics, Relativity and the Multiverse model have revolutionised our understanding of creation itself. There could be no better time to expound on the fascinating Night Journey and Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).
Using tools of Relativistic and Quantum physics, we are now in a position to understand the nature of the Mi’raj, the nature of the Cosmos and the nature of the Blessed Prophet (saw) himself. This wasn’t possible previously when physics and cosmology were in their infancy. Our predecessors had to suffice themselves with the symbolic descriptions of the Mi’raj. On the contrary, we are standing at the cusp of a new revolution in Science when what was considered the domain of theology and spirituality has now entered the scientific discussion.
The Prophet’s Night Ascension was literally the inauguration of a new scientific age and in Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ansari’s words, :The Prophet (saw) is not only the Last Prophet to Humanity but also the Inaugurator of the Scientific Age”. And this event is the best representation of that. The Prophet (saw) visits Jerusalem as it exists in a Parallel Universe using the Planck Energy of 1-2 Billion Joules from Buraq (Energy of a Lightning Bolt). He (saw) is presented with various options in the course of his journey, and His choices determine the course of History. Thus, showing that the cosmos at its fundamental level is not deterministic (solid block of matter that is independent of human consciousness) but probabilistic in nature.
The best combination of God’s pre-knowledge and the Human being’s Free will. Thus the Mi’raj resolves the millenia-old debate of how to reconcile God’s pre-knowledge with our Free will. The mystery of Quantum Physics is in Superposition wherein particles can be at different places all at the same time. What is applicable to particles should apply to macroscopic phenomena also like human beings. The Prophet (saw) sees Moses (pbuh) in a superposition, first in his grave near Mount Sinai, then in Jerusalem and lastly in a parallel universe.
Surah Najm (The Chapter of the Star) contains the entire narrative of the Mi’raj. Allah Most High takes an oath by a collapsing/dying star, which in modern astrophysics is a Black Hole- a region of infinite density and a portal to other parallel universes. At the centre of which lies a Singularity (a dimensionless/timeless realm) which in arabic is called “la makan la aman” this is the station of “Qaaba kaosayni ao adna” in Surah Najm. He sees the future of the cosmos (Big Crunch and then the Recurrence of the whole creation process), the Prophets he encounters in the parallel universes all represent the different stages of the modern era.
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