Lecture on Al Isra Wal Mi’raj by Shaykh Saqib Iqbal [Bolton Conference]

𝗕𝗼𝗹𝘁𝗼𝗻 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗢𝗿𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝗷𝗶𝗱 𝗲 𝗚𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗮

In a world where holding onto our deen is becoming increasingly difficult due to confused and convoluted interpretations while science and religion are being made to appear entirely contradictory, Shaykh Saqib Iqbal’s recent lecture in Bolton offered refreshing clarity and a synthesis between Islam and science. The lecture, lasting for 2 hours and 30 minutes, was not just a rigorous account of Al Isra Wal Mi’raj but also an intellectual journey that intersected various disciplines including physics, astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology.


It themed around the topic of Al Isra Wal Mi’raj and pulled huge crowds of diverse individuals from across the country with scholars, students of Islamic sciences, professionals, community leaders, and the general public. The arrangement was in accordance with Shar’i rulings, with segregated seating for brothers and hundreds of sisters, embodying the traditional Islamic ethos.

Lecture on Al Isra Wal Mi’raj, by Shaykh Saqib Iqbal

Shaykh Saqib Iqbal’s heartwarming and intellectually stimulating lecture delved deep into the event of Al Isra Wal Mi’raj, emphasizing its significance in Islamic tradition. The Shaykh discussed the miraculous journey of The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, drawing connections to a Muslims own spiritual journey. The lecture was not just a recount of the historical event but a reflection on its contemporary relevance and our connection with the Prophet ﷺ.


A notable aspect of the lecture was the exploration of ‘Harakah’ (movement) in the context of Surah Al Isra. He elaborated on the six elements of movement as understood in philosophy, addressing questions about the causer, the element undergoing movement, time, beginning, end/destination, and the nature of the movement. By correlating these philosophical concepts with the Qur’anic narrative, the Shaykh presented an intriguing blend of religious doctrine and philosophical thought, proving the authenticity of Islam and strengthening the faith of all those in attendance by elucidating the miraculous beauty of Al Qur’an.


Moving on, Shaykh Saqib presented elements of modern science, discussing Einstein’s theories of relativity and the intentions of space missions like that conducted with Voyager 1. This approach underscored and strengthened the Islamic narrative and recount of Al Isra Wal Mi’raj with scientific advancements and proofs, particularly in the realm of space travel and cosmology.


Bridge The Gap Between Faith and Reason – Qur’an Answers

The Shaykh’s discourse on the six elements of movement was a profound example of Islamic scholarship engaging with philosophical queries. He illustrated how the Qur’an answers these philosophical questions, bridging the gap between faith and reason.


Another insightful area of the lecture was the concept of Rabt Bayn al Ayaat, which refers to the interconnectedness of various Surahs in the Qur’an. He highlighted the thematic links between Surah Bani Israil, Surah Kahf, and Surah Maryam, each narrating different miracles, thereby enriching the understanding of the Qur’anic narrative.


In the Shaykh’s emotionally spurring and spiritually enriching method of discourse, he went on to distinguish between ‘Safar’ (Travel/Journey) and ‘Sayr’ (A leisurely and pleasurable tour), contextualising them with Al Isra Wal Mi’raj and the spiritual journey of the believers. The Shaykh underscored the immediacy of the Prophet’s ﷺ assistance to his followers, symbolising the continuous guidance available to the believers if they were to call upon him ﷺ from the depths of their hearts.


For all in attendance, this was a strong message to understand the vastness of the knowledge of the Beloved ﷺ and the importance of connecting with him ﷺ. Throughout the lecture, signs of enthused and renewed passion for Deen al Islam could be seen on the faces of all those in attendance.


Misconceptions About Al Isra Wal Mi’raj

Many misconceptions about Al Isra Wal Mi’raj were addressed, while relating them to the limitations of human understanding (Fahm). The Shaykh paralleled the once-questioned possibility of space travel in Islamic narrative with the acceptance of such possibilities in light of modern physics. In addition, he demonstrated the subtle distinction often misunderstood by the common folk with regard to muhal aqlan (rational impossibility) and muhal aadatan (habitual impossibility).


Moving forward with eloquence and scholarly finesse, he seamlessly wove together the threads of Surah Isra and Islamic eschatology, artfully integrating it with the wondrous account of the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ miraculous night journey, known as Al-Isra wal Miraj. Employing his signature pedagogical style, the Shaykh presented a memorable mnemonic,
‎”ا، ع، ي، ا، ه، م، ا” which served as a mental scaffold to help both laymen, students of the Deen, and scholars alike remember which Prophet the beloved ﷺ encountered at each stage of this wonderous journey.


This mnemonic device not only enhanced understanding but also made the complex narrative accessible to all levels of attendees and provided a deep spiritual meaning to the extraordinary night journey of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and each Prophets link with the celestial stations and the created world. (May peace be upon them all).


Shaykh Saqib Iqbal discussed the relativity of each realm, (the 7 Asma’) in relation to the uniqueness of the respective Prophet’s whom Sayyiduna RasulAllah ﷺ met. This unique discussion was not only highlighted but was linked to the authority of Sayyiduna RasoolAllah, with the Shaykh mentioning how the Prophet ﷺ has been endowed the authority and leadership of all the celestial spheres. The shaykh went onto discuss this in further detail touching upon modern contractual law and the Islamic legal system through the concepts of Hiba, Waqf, Ijara ( Mausufa, Muntahia Bi Tamleek, Iqtina) Hibah Bil Iwadh, Bila Iwadh and Iqalah, mentioning the complete given control of the Prophet ﷺ by Allah which will never be revoked.


The Shaykh uniquely linked the aforementioned to the centre of the Islamic world and its Judiciary, Al Quds-Ash Shareef which has been given to the Muslims by Allah Almighty and His Rasool ﷺ. The Shaykh continued on to deliver a powerful and unequivocal message about the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the harrowing genocide unfolding in Al Quds as-Shareef (Falastine) and our individual and societal duty as an ummah.


Zionists Study Islamic Eschatology

During this intellectually stimulating lecture, he discussed the importance of Islamic eschatology. His discourse on the subject of end times was nothing short of comprehensive, encompassing an extensive examination of the various perspectives offered by other world religions and philosophies. This included an in-depth comparison with Christian and Jewish eschatological views, adding layers of depth to his analysis. The Shaykh mentioned how the Zionists also study Islamic eschatology to understand the Islamic perspective for the events to transpire and to prepare themselves, and as Muslim we need to do more to improve our propagation of this science.


Moreover, through comparative critical analysis of other so-called oracle figures such as Nostradamus, Lady Shipton, Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russel and the predictions of several other philosophical and religious traditions, the Shaykh firmly grounded and elucidated the prophecies of the chosen one ﷺ as undeniable facts as he urged all Muslims to study Alaamaatus Saa’ah (Signs of the hour).


The exposition was characterized by meticulous scholarship and insightful commentary, which held the audience captivated. To facilitate the retention of this profound knowledge, the Shaykh ingeniously introduced a mnemonic device, “م، د، ع، ي،” to encapsulate the key events associated with the end times. He passionately emphasized the urgent need for the Muslim Ummah not only to acquire but also to actively disseminate this critical knowledge.


The Shaykh went on and expressed his concern that senior Mudarisoon (Islamic educators) often quickly cover Kitab-al Fitan in Hadeeth studies during the final stages of the Dars e Nizami (traditional Islamic scholarship course) whilst other traditions such as Judaism and Zionism pay special attention to learning and studying Islamic eschatology for their own religious, philosophical, political and worldly benefits. The Shaykhs words resonated deeply with all leaders in attendance, who were galvanised to prioritise the comprehensive study of this vital subject, recognizing its pivotal role in equipping the Muslim community with a profound understanding of their faith.


Importance of Nisbah in Islamic Scholarship

The lecture also included references to historical figures like Imam Bukhari and Shaykh Moinuddin Chishti, linking their contributions to the broader Islamic tradition. Shaykh Saqib used their examples to illustrate the importance of Nisbah in Islamic scholarship and its role in the propagation of faith. The discourse on Nisbh Wala’ee and Imam Bukhari’s choice to use Al Ju’fi in his works, was linked to Shaykh Moinuddin Chishti’s massive influence in converting millions of people to Islam by the Shaykh which served as a profound reminder of the enduring legacy of Islamic scholars and their spiritual lineage.


Shaykh Saqib Iqbal’s lecture in Bolton was not merely a religious sermon; it was an academic symposium that wove together the threads of faith, science, philosophy, and history. By presenting Al Isra Wal Mi’raj in light of various scientific and Islamic disciplines and philosophical inquiries, the Shaykh offered a nuanced understanding of this important event in Islamic tradition.


The Shaykh’s approach serves as a valuable model for contemporary Islamic scholarship, demonstrating how faith can engage with and contribute to the broader spectrum of human knowledge. The lecture was a testament to the rich intellectual tradition of Islam and its ongoing dialogue with modern scientific and philosophical thought.


To conclude, we would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to the masjid e Ghousia organisers who spent their days and nights working assiduously to allow such a well organised and impactful event come into fruition. Something that reached the Kanz ul Huda’s professional standards. Alhamdulillah.



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