As Salamu Alaikum Rahamtullah. What part of the month did al-Isra-wal Mi’raj take place? And what’s a written book on deriving benefits & lessons from it? As well as when Idris Alaihi Salam met the Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) in heaven… Isa and Yahya alahim Salam met the Prophet I think they said welcome righteous brother, I think when it got to Ibrahim he said oh righteous son and righteous brother. But Idris said welcome righteous brother. Can this also be used as a proof that Idris has come later in time? Because he said: “Oh righteous brother” and not “Oh righteous brother and son”? As I remember reading a fatwa from Shaikh uthaymeen saying around the lines that its corruption to the aqeedah of the muslims to say that prophet Idris was from the early prophets like around Prophet Sheeth’s time and Allah Knows best. Pardon for detail … Barakallahu feekum
Wa Alaykum us-Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
There are a few books written specifically on al-Israa wal-Mi’raaj (the Night Journey and Ascension) such as the work of Imam as-Suyuti (d. 911 H.) entitled al-Ayaat ul-Kubrah fi Sharh Qissatil-Israa, the work of Imam al-Albani (d. 1421 H.) on the authentic narrations of the the Night Journey and Ascension, and the work of Shaikh Ahmad ash-Shaakir (d. 1337 H.), among others. The work of Shaikh Ahmad ash-Shaakir has been translated into English under the title: Al-Isrā Wa-Al-Miʾrāj: The Night Journey and Ascension of the Prophet.
In terms of books in the English language, then there is not too much written on the topic specifically discussing the benefits and lessons that can be drawn from it. More work needs to be written on this topic for English speakers.
In terms of the date of the Night Journey and Ascension, then the scholars differed widely on it. Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen (d. 1421 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, said,
“The scholars of history differed regarding this (i.e. al-Israa wal-Mi’raaj) mentioning about ten different opinions”. End. [al-Liqaa al-Baab al-Maftooh (4/60)]. For more on the various opinions regarding the date of the Night Journey and Ascension, refer to Fath ul-Baari (7/237) of Hafidh Ibn Hajar (d. 852 H.) and al-Ayaat ul-Kubrah fi Sharh Qissatil-Israa (pg. 34-36) of Imam as-Suyuti.
If someone researches this matter, then they will find it as the Shaikh mentioned with the scholars differing on the year, month, and day in which it occurred. None of the opinions narrated have any authentic, clear proof to substantiate their argument. For those reasons, Imam Ibn ul-Qayyim (d. 751 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, recorded his teacher Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, to have said,
“There is no well-known evidence to prove the month of al-Israa wal-Mi’raaj, nor its date, nor its specific time. Rather, the reports on that are all disconnected and differing. There is nothing in it which is definitive”. End. [Zaad ul-Ma’aad (1/54)]
This view of Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) was held by other scholars as well.
In relation to Prophet Idris (may peace and blessings be upon him) then the scholars have differed about when he was sent and on whether or not he was a prophet or messenger. Before discussing that, then you are correct in mentioning that Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon him) mentioned that affirming that Prophet Idris appeared before Prophet Nuh is wrong. The Shaikh held the view that believing such is a deviation and alteration of the sound ‘Aqeedah (creed).
Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in his explanation of the following verse in the Nooniyyah poem of Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him),
“And all the Messengers of Allah from Nuh until
The best of creation, the one dispatched from ‘Adnan [i.e. the Prophet Muhammad]”
“The author, may Allah have mercy upon him, benefits us in his statement,
‘From Nuh until’ that Adam was not a messenger and what has been mentioned that Idris is the grandfather of Nuh is a lie for Idris is not before Nuh. Rather Idris came after him. What is apparent, and Allah knows best, is that he was from Bani Israeel. Whoever claims that Idris is the grandfather of Nuh or came before him or that Sheeth, or the likes, came before Nuh, then he has erred, and lied, and has opposed the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Allah, the Exalted said,
‘Verily, We have inspired you (O Muhammad) as We inspired Nuh (Noah) and the Prophets after him’ [4:163].’
If there was someone before Nuh (may peace and blessings be upon him), then it would be said, ‘Verily so and so and the Prophets that came after him’. However, there is no one before Nuh.
Beware of the Family Tree of Prophets (poster) which is printed and sold sometimes. It has Idris written before Nuh and this is a lie. It is obligatory upon the one who sees this poster to tear it down because it will change the Aqeedah of the Muslims towards a mistake. It will change the Aqeedah to us believing that Nuh was preceded by a messenger and this is a lie. It comes in the Qur’an,
‘Verily, We have inspired you (O Muhammad) as We inspired Nuh (Noah) and the Prophets after him’ [4:163]
and in the Qur’an also,
‘And indeed, We sent Nuh (Noah) and Ibrahim (Abraham), and placed in their offspring Prophethood and Scripture’ [57: 26].
Thus, it is not possible for there to be prophethood and a book before Nuh, and the intent of Prophethood here is messengership. It comes in the authentic Sunnah,
‘They will go to Noah and say, “O Noah! You are the first among the Messengers of Allah to the people of the earth”‘ [al-Bukhari (no. 3162)].
This is clear. So then we say what is spread by this poster is falsehood”. End. [Sharh al-Kaafiyyah ash-Shaafiyah fil Intisaar lil-Firqatun-Naajiyah (3/311-312)]
As mentioned earlier, the scholars differed as to when Prophet Idris (may peace and blessings be upon him) was sent. The difference of opinion stems from whether or not Idris was a prophet or a messenger. The views of the scholars can be divided into three categories:
First View: that Idris was a messenger and appeared after Prophet Nuh (may peace and blessings be upon him). This was the view of Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with them), Imam Ibn al-Arabi (d. 543 H.), Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon them both), and others.
Among the proofs they use to prove this is the narration of al-Israa wal-Mi’raaj which you cited earlier that when the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) met Idris, Idris said to him, “Welcome, O pious prophet and pious brother”. A detailed discussion on this topic was mentioned by Hafidh Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy upon him) in his commentary of the following two chapters from Saheeh al-Bukhari, the Book of Prophets,
Imam al-Bukhari (d. 275 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, mentioned in his Saheeh,
‘And verily, Ilyaas (Elias) was one of the Messengers. When he said to his people: “Will you not fear Allah? “Will you call upon Ba’l (a well- known idol of his nation whom they used to worship) and forsake the Best of creators. “Allah, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers?” But they denied him [Ilyaas (Elias)], so they will certainly be brought forth (to the punishment). Except the chosen slaves of Allah, And We left for him (a goodly remembrance) among generations (to come) in later times” [37: 123-129].
Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said,
‘he (Ilyaas) was mentioned in good,
“Salamun (peace) be upon Ilyasin (Elias)!” Verily, thus do We reward the Muhsinun. Verily, he was one of Our believing slaves” [37: 130-132]
‘. End. [Saheeh al-Bukhari (pg. 680)]
In the next chapter, Imam al-Bukhari wrote: “Chapter: the Mention of Idris (may peace be upon him) and he is the grandfather of the father of Nuh. It was said he was the grandfather of Nuh (may peace be upon them both)” [Saheeh al-Bukhari (pg. 680)]
Hafidh Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy upon him) wrote in commentary,
“It was mentioned from Ibn Mas’ud and Ibn ‘Abbas that Ilyaas is Idris. As for the statement of Ibn Mas’ud, then it was reported with a connected chain by ‘Abd bin Humayd and Ibn Abi Hatim and its chain is Hasan that he said, ‘Ilyaas is Idris and Ya’qub is Isra’eel’. As for the statement of Ibn ‘Abbas, then it was reported with a connected chain by Juwaybir in his Tafseer from ad-Dahhaak. Its chain is weak and for those reasons, Imam al-Bukhari did not report it with certainty.
Abu Bakr Ibn al-‘Arabi took from this that Idris was not the grandfather of Nuh. He was only from Bani Israeel because it was reported that Ilyaas was from Bani Israeel.
He used as evidence for that the statement of the Prophet (ﷺ) [in the Night Journey], ‘Welcome, O pious Prophet and pious brother’. If he was from his grandfathers, he would have said what Adam and Ibraahim said, ‘Welcome, O pious Prophet and pious son’.
This is a good argument except that it was replied to [by other scholars] who said that Idris only said that out of humility and kindness. Thus, it is not an evidence as was claimed.
Ibn Ishaaq, in the beginning of as-Seerah an-Nabawaiyyah, mentioned the lineage of the honorable one (i.e. the Prophet Muhammad) until he reached Prophet Nuh and said, ‘the son of Lammak the son Matooshalkha bin Khanookh (Enoch) who is Prophet Idris according to what is claimed. This proves that this opinion is taken from the People of the Book'”. End. [Fath ul-Baari (6/430)]
He later wrote,
“Some of them have recorded a consensus that Idris is Nuh’s grandfather. This is questionable because it is established from Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that Ilyaas is Idris, which would necessitate that Idris be from the progeny of Nuh, not that Nuh is from the progeny of Idris. Allah says,
“We guided Nuh (Noah), and among his progeny Dawud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon)” [6:84]
until He said,
‘’Iesa (Jesus) and Ilyaas (Elias)” [6:85].
So this proves that Ilyaas is from the progeny of Nuh whether we say the pronoun in the statement “his progeny” is referring to Nuh or to Ibrahim. This is because Ibrahim is from the progeny of Nuh, thus whoever is from the progeny of Ibrahim is inevitably from the progeny of Nuh”. End. [Fath ul-Baari (6/432)]
Second View: that Prophet Idris was a prophet and not a messenger, and that he appeared before Nuh just like how Prophet Adam and his son Prophet Sheeth appeared before Nuh. This was the view of Imam Ibn Kathir (d. 774 H.), Imam Shihab ud-deen al-Qastallaani (d. 923 H.), al-‘Adawi al-Maaliki (d. 1112 H.), and others (may Allah have mercy upon them all). Some of proofs for that position have been mentioned by Hafidh Ibn Hajar above, but other proofs for this position include:
A narration from Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that he recited the statement of Allah,
“And do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance” [33:33]
and then said,
“There was between Nuh and Idris 1000 years . . .”. [Reported by at-Tabari (19/98-99) and others. Graded Saheeh by Shaikh Saleem al-Hilali (may Allah preserve him) in his book Saheeh al-Anbaa al-Musnad min Ahaadith al-Anbiyaa (pg. 197)]
Hafidh Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy upon him) wrote, “Some of them (i.e. the scholars) have claimed that Idris did not appear before Nuh. Rather that he was in the time of Bani Israeel.
al-Bukhari said it was mentioned by both Ibn Mas’ud and Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that Ilyas was Idris. They used as evidence what is narrated via az-Zuhri from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) regarding the al-Israa that when the Prophet (ﷺ) passed by Idris who he said, ‘Welcome, O pious prophet and pious brother’. He did not say like Adam said and Ibrahim, “Welcome, O pious prophet and pious son”.
They said if he was in the lineage [of the Prophet] he would have said as they had said. However, this does not necessarily indicate this because it is possible that the memory of the narrator [of this Hadith] was not good. Or that Idris said this out of humility and servility because he does not have the fatherly status like Adam who is the father of mankind. Nor does he have the position of Ibrahim who is the Khalil of the Most Mericiful and the greatest of the prophets of strong resolve after prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon them all)”. End. [al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (1/113)]
A similar opinion was said by Imam al-Qastallaani (may Allah have mercy upon him) in his work Irshaad as-Saari li Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari (7/253). This was agreed to by al-‘Adawi al-Maaliki in Haashiyah al’Adawi ‘ala al-Khurashi (1/59).
Third View: that Idris was a prophet and a messenger sent before Nuh just as Adam was both a prophet and messenger and his son Sheeth likewise. This view was indicated by Qaadi Iyyad (d. 544 H.) in his book Ikmaal al-Mu’lim bi Fawaaid Muslim (1/436), and was mentioned specifically by Mulaa Ali al-Qaari (d. 1014 H.) in Mirqaatul Mafaateeh (10/229) and Shaikh al-Mubaraakfoori (d. 1353 H.) in Tuhfatul-Ahwadhi (7/85), may Allah have mercy upon them all. However, this view that Adam, Sheeth, and Idris were Messengers while also being Prophets is based on a Hadith reported by Abu Dharr (may Allah have mercy upon him) that was graded very weak by Imam al-Albani (d. 1420 H.) in ad-Da’eefah (no. 1910 and 6090).
The three views mentioned above can be summarized by the following statement from Imam al-Maaziri (d. 536 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, who said,
“The historians mention that Idris was the grandfather of Nuh (may peace be upon them both). If the evidence establishes that Idris was sent [as a messenger] also [like Nuh], then the statement of the genealogists is not valid that Idris came before Nuh. This is because the Prophet (ﷺ) reported the statement from Prophet Adam that he will say [on the Day of Judgement], ‘Verily Nuh was the first Messenger sent’. If the evidence does not establish that, then what they (i.e. the genealogists) say is possible [i.e. that Idris appeared before Nuh], and it is correct to carry the meaning of the Hadith to be that Idris was a Prophet, not a Messenger”. End. [al-Mu’lim bi Fawaaid Muslim (1/228)]
In conclusion, the scholars differed on when Prophet Idris was sent and whether he was a prophet or messenger as discussed above. And so, the view of Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon him) that the belief that Prophet Idris appeared before Prophet Nuh is an error in the ‘Aqeedah and deviance from the correct creed cannot be taken unrestrictedly. Rather, we understand that to be one view from the views of the scholars and each group of scholars have their proofs and reasoning. So if someone believes one way or the other in relation to this issue, then in Shaa Allah it is all acceptable due to the absence of definitive proof regarding it. It is important to note that despite the differing in this particular matter, all the scholars agree that Idris was sent by Allah and that he has been given a special status by Him as He says,
“And mention in the Book (the Quran) Idris (Enoch). Verily! He was a man of truth, (and) a Prophet. And We raised him to a high station” [19:56-57].
May peace and blessings be upon Idris and all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah.
And Allah knows best
Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan