The Mosque of Muhammad’s Night Journey

Tariq Sulayman

Whenever Mohammed was confronted by throngs of unbelievers who doubt his prophetic claims, he would say that he was just sent to warn the people and not to perform miracles. There were even times that he would ask the provocateurs to wait and yet nothing ever happens. One can’t blame the Jews and Christians especially in Yathrib (Medina) because they knew the fact that real prophets can really perform miracles as recorded in their writings and oral traditions.

Finally, Mohammed was pressured into making one in order also to save himself from another embarrassment. For he was caught one time, in the open space near the Ka’ba waiting for a chance to see his cousin to whom he was enamored. Failing to see his inamorata, he instead met some people accidentally and since he has the ingenuity for inventing stories, he concocted one which when accepted would also score as a miracle worthy of placing him as the Seal of prophets.

It is not hard for Mohammed to concoct one as he had already made some remarkable additions to the stories concerning patriarchs and prophets. For instance, the story of Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac was restructured to make Ishmael instead as the one about to be sacrificed. This was perhaps made to make the descendants of Ishmael which included Mohammed as the pre-eminent one over the Jews which were descendants of Isaac. Mohammed even added the dramatic element of Ishmael, as the one encouraging Ibrahim to do the sacrifice.

Then, there is the story of Musa (Moses) which was being suspected by some as still uncircumcised. Mohammed made up the story that once, when he was taking a bath, his clothes became animated and moved away on their own. Musa of course, ran after them and exposed himself to the onlookers who had finally seen his sex organ. I find this story disgusting and demonstrative of Mohammed’s pervert inclinations. I find this story not of the doubting Thomas kind but one which is akin to the peeping Tom class. Is this not suggestive of voyeurism?

Again, to establish the genuineness of the faith he was teaching, he made up the story of the father and son tandem of Ibrahim and Ishmael themselves building up the Ka’ba when in fact, there are no logical means to back up this story. The place of the Ka’ba as it is too far from Paran where Hagar and Ishmael were sent away from by Ibrahim himself. The patriarch must have placed a GPS device on the water container the mother and child carried into exile to be able to locate them accurately.

Not all of this prophet’s stories belong to the past. One story which belongs to the future is about the brides he going to marry in Janna (Heaven). One of them, eminently is Virgin Mary, he said confidently!

Now, let us abandon this horrible story for a while and return to Mohammed’s night journey. To make this marvelous story short, Mohammad said that he went on a night journey to Jerusalem with a small retinue which included Isa (Jesus). This flight of fantastic proportions had him ride Buraq, a winged horse with the head of a man. They landed on what is now known as the temple mount (a later Islamic claim) where a masjid was located. He led the prayers the prayers there which Isa obviously followed. Then later, seeing the large rock, he started ascending the different layers of Janna where he met the biblical personalities. Then naturally, he descended down the same rock which is now housed in the Dome of the Rock, rode Buraq once more and alighted in that place in Mecca where he met the first witnesses to his miraculous story. Of course, it was too late for them to see Buraq flying away! And now this story is part of Islamic theology.

The problem with Mohammed’s story is that it is never substantiated. In fact, in the first Islamic Invasion of Jerusalem in 638 AD, the Khalifa Umar, one of the prophet’s companions and his first successor never saw any masjid on the temple mount. Accordingly, during the time of Mohammad’s night journey, the temple mount was still in rubbles as “no stone stands over another”. But the Muslims continued to revere this fantastic story. The subsequent Muslim rulers were the ones who built the mosque there and even the Dome on the Rock to commemorate Mohammed’s ascent to Janna.

Apparently, the succeeding caliphs continued to live the lie of Mohammed out of reverence to his person or to stabilize their rule as Muslim authorities. Mohammed’s preoccupation with Jerusalem has made him invent the story which the Muslims always assume to be true.

Meantime, archeology continues to cast doubt on Mohammed’s claims. For instance, an inscription written in archaic Arabic was found on a prominent rock near an ancient city also on the western plateau on the way to Mecca establishing the year that the Ka’ba is built. Since the inscription used the word “built” and not “rebuild” it is demolishing again the story of the Ka’ba’s being built by Ibrahim and Ishmael. The year was indicated making the claim of Mohammed’s story too hard to substantiate. It seems that Mohammed’s Ka’ba story is another house built upon the sand. As a doubting Thomas I seem to find the whole Mecca lot a fantasy built upon the sands.

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