I wanted to ask you a clarification on your opinion regarding Me`raaj. You said it was a dream, yet Bani Israeel, the first verse, Allah says that he took the Prophet (S) from Masjid Haraam to Masjid ul Aqsa. Is there where the word ro’yaa (I have read nuriyahoo, but I do not speak arabic, maybe it is just a tense) occurs first of all, and secondly could it not be possible that this journey was a journey via spirit and not a dream, because dreams to me imply a subjective experience. I think the physical versus spiritual is pointless I might add. Also, it would seem astonishing that the disbelievers would raise such a hassle with a ‘dream.’
I wanted a clarification in your translation of the vision as dream. Muhammad Asad gives some good insights into this opinion in his appendix of the Message of the Quran. He makes a difference between dream and spiritual journey, the soul journeying while the body remains. Does the literary context of the Qur’an rule this possiblity out or is it valid? He also quotes ibn Qayyam’s view supporting this. I think the allegorical descriptions of Paradise confirms the view of it being a spiritual journey, although by the fact that Allah revealed to the Prophet (S) whatever he revealed (surah najm), the me`raaj was much more than a vision.
What do you think and I would appreciate your response as you always do from the literary perspective?
In fact, in my previous answer, I actually implied that the experience of the Me`raaj was a spiritual one rather than a physical one. The word used by the Qur’an, as I have mentioned earlier is “Ro’yaa” (Al-Israa 17: 60) which is used for an experience during sleep or slumber. However, a Ro’yaa of a prophet of God is not comparable to that of a common man. We know that prophets of God are not only given a spiritual experience during a Ro’yaa, but sometimes are even given directives in that state. For instance, Abraham (pbuh) was directed to sacrifice his ‘only son’ in a “Ro’yaa“. The Prophet (pbuh) and his followers were given the glad tidings of entering the Masjid-e-Haraam in peace through a ‘Ro’yaa‘ of the Prophet (pbuh), as is mentioned in Al-Fath 48: 27.
The implication of my previous answer is only to the extent that according to the Qur’an, Me`raaj was spiritual experience of the Prophet (pbuh) in the state of a ‘Ro’yaa‘. My answer should not be construed as a refutation of the spiritual or even the factual nature of this experience. Indeed it was a true experience, witnessed by the Qur’an itself and, as you have correctly stated, attributed toward the Lord of the worlds Himself.
I hope this helps. In case any question remains unanswered, please feel free in writing back to me at your own convenience.
May the Almighty guide us all to the path of His liking.
My fondest regards to you and those around you.