KARAITE ISRAELITE MOSQUE OF ASCENSION
AND THE TEMPLE OF KEDAR MINISTRIES
(The Original Kedar-Rite of the Karaim)
QARAY - KARAITES قريظة
It is an established fact that the Hijra to Medina took place in the Spring Month of Rabi-Al-Awwal. This was the month in which the Prophet Muhammad witnessed the Jews(Israelites) fasting on Ashura. Ashura was numerically designated as the 10th day of the 1st Month and thus Rabi-Al-Awwal was initially recognized as the 1st Month. In fact the name Rabi-Al-Awwal means the First Spring Month and accordingly it was aligned with the Spring Season. In accordance with its seasonal alignment the calendar that initially recognized its observance was of a Solar nature.
Some time after the Hijra when the acknowledged Calendar shifted to a Pure Lunar Calendar. Rabi-Al-Awwal numerically shifted from the first month to the third month. Within this two month shift the 11th month of Muharram became the 1st month and thus Ashura which was designated for the 10th day of the 1st month was now to be observed in the First Month of Muharram. In shifting to a Pure Lunar Calendar the months completely detached from the seasons. This obviously meant that Ashura was no longer maintained as a Spring observance.
AL-ISRA ORIGINALLY OBSERVED ON THE 27TH OF RAMADAN
Another observance that was implemented before the calendar shift was that of Al-Isra being the Midnight Journey to Ascension. On the shifted calendar Al-Isra is observed on the 27th day of the 7th month of Rajab. However on the original calendar in which Rabi-Al-Awwal was the 1st month, Rajab was the 5th month and the 7th month was that of Ramadan. This means that Al-Isra was originally observed on the 27th day of the Month of Ramadan (which at the time was seasonally aligned to September). What is of interest here is that the 27th of Ramadan is a day observed by many in relation to Layal Al-Qadr which is the Night of Power or the Night of Revelation. Ramadan was to be designated exclusively as a month dedicated to honoring the revelation of the Koran. This would lead us to the conclusion that Al-Isra must have had an original significance in relation to the Koran since it was not only an observance dedicated for the Month of Ramadan but as mentioned earlier and in accordance with its original numeric alignment was synonymous with Layal Al-Qadr.
JERUSALEM AND THE KORAN
(EVERY RAMADAN ELIJAH AND AL-KHIDR MEET IN JERUSALEM
There is a hadith which states that every year during the Month of Ramadan Elijah and Al-Khidr meet in Jerusalem. This teaching reinforces the fact that there was an original understanding that associated the Month of Ramadan with Jerusalem. Since the Ramadan is that which honors the revelation of the Koran it can be likewise concluded that Jerusalem was associated with the revelation of the Koran. This now begins to make a tremendous amount of sense in relation to the understanding that Al - Isra and Layal Al-Qadr are synonymously associated through the 27th day of Ramadan.
Reported by Tabari and narrarated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in Al-Zuhd whereby Muhammad is said to have stated that Elijah and Khidr meet every year and spend the month of Ramadan in Jerusalem.
THE 27TH OF RAMADAN WAS THE DATE FOR BOTH LAYAL AL QADR AND LAYAL AL-ISRA
Shiites recognize the 23rd of Ramadan as Layl Al-Qadr while Sunni Muslims tend to favor the 27th of Ramadan. In regards to the latter the 27th of Ramadan is observed as a National Holiday in Bangladesh. This all reinforces the fact that the 27th of Ramadan was originally associated with both the Prophet Muhammad's Ascension from Jerusalem and the Prophet Muhammad's receiving of the Holy Koran. During his Ascension experience the Prophet Muhammad was communicating with the Angel Gabriel and at the Night of Power the Prophet Muhammad was likewise communicating with the Angel Gabriel.
In summary the 27th of Ramadan was originally the date of both Layal Al-Qadr the Night of Power in which the Koran was revealed and the Night of the Prophet Muhammad's Midnight Journey to Ascension known as Layal Al-Isra. In both events the Prophet Muhammad was in communication with the Angel Gabriel. Since it is acknowledged that the Ramadan is a month designated for honoring the revelation of the Koran it can be concluded that the original observance of Layal Al-Isra was commemorated in association with the revelation of the Koran.
THE REVEALING OF THE KORAN:
There are two methods in which most Muslims acknowledge how the Koran was revealed. The First was the immediate revelation referred to as Nazul or Tanzeel meaning that which was sent down and given immediately through divine revelation. Etymologically Tanzeel is rooted in Nazul which indicates that the revelation came down from a higher place or point to that of a lower destination. The Second method refers to that which was revealed in stages over an extended period of 23 years. This was the time of which the Prophet Muhammad revealed the Koran to his companions:
And those who disbelieve say: Why has not the Quran been revealed to him all at once? Thus, that We may strengthen your heart by it and We have arranged it well in arranging:
With the understanding that the Journey to Ascension(Al-Isra) was originally the 27th of Ramadan which is the Night of Revelation or the Night of Power it can be further understood that there were two revelations in which the Koran was revealed in the manner of Tanzeel or Nazul.
NAZUL AL KORAN IS NOT LAYAL AL QADR
(THEY ARE TWO SEPARATE REVELATIONS)
The first is that which occurred in Mecca on Mount Nur in the Cave of Hira in the year 610 this was the introductory revelation of what is designated as Surah 96.Al-Alaq and refers to the creation of man. This revelation was given on the 17th of Ramadan and is referred to as Nazul Al-Koran. Nazul Al-Koran and Layal Al-Qadr are obviously two different Nights of revelations. Layal Al Qadr is identified as a date in the last ten days of Ramadan and specifically in the Odd number days:
`Aishah radhiya Allahu `anha said: "Allah's Messenger used to practice I`itikaf in the last ten nights and say: 'Seek out Lailatul-Qadr in the (odd nights) of the last ten of Ramadan." [Bukhari and Muslim]
LAYAL AL-QADR IN THE LAST 7 NIGHTS OF RAMADAN
Layal Al-Qadr was even narrowed to the last 7 days
Sahih al-Bukhari 2015
: Book 32, Hadith 2
: Vol. 3, Book 32, Hadith 232
Narrated Ibn `Umar:
Some men amongst the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) were shown in their dreams that the night of Qadr was in the last seven nights of Ramadan. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "It seems that all your dreams agree that (the Night of Qadr) is in the last seven nights, and whoever wants to search for it (i.e. the Night of Qadr) should search in the last seven (nights of Ramadan).
NAZUL AL-KORAN IS OBSERVED ON THE 17TH OF RAMADAN:
Nazul Al-Koran could not possibly represent Layl Al Qadr as it is observed on the 17th of Ramadan which is clearly outside of the Last Ten Days of Ramadan.
"Nuzul Al-Quran commemorates the day when the words of the Qur’an were first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). On the 17th day of the holy month of Ramadan, the Angel Jibrail had come to the Prophet with the first five lines of Surah Al-Alaq as he was sitting in a cave on Mount Hira’."
Nazul Al-Koran is observed on the 17th of Ramadan and commemorates the Introductory revelation of Surah 96 Al-Alaq. However as mentioned above it cannot be Layal Al-Qadr. Layal Al-Qadr was decreed in the last ten days of Ramadan among the odd number dates. In this regard it is most readily observed on the 27th of Ramadan which was the original date of Layal Al-Isra before the Hijra Calendar Shift.
LAYAL AL-ISRA IS THE SAME AS LAYAL AL-QADR
RECONCILING THE 23RD WITH THE 27TH OF RAMADAN.
The Shiites recognize the 23rd of Ramadan as Layal Al-Qadr In this regard they honor the 19th, 21st and 23rd of the month. The 23rd was actually the beginning of a three night revelation with the Third Odd Night(27th) being the Journey to Ascension. This is the miracle of Karaism known as Iqara when the Angel Gabriel asked the Prophet Muhammad to Read from the Koran from which the first two times he was unable to fulfill the requested obligation. It was on the Third Night that he was able to read and thus began the Journey to Ascension. Therefore the 23rd was the beginning Night of Revelation but it was unsuccessful, the 25th was the second night of revelation but it too was unsuccessful and finally the 27th of Ramadan the Prophet Muhammad was able to Read. Therefore the 23rd, 25th and 27th are to be acknowledged in relation to the revelation with the 27th as Layal Al-Qadr.
READING THE FIRST VERSE OF SURAH 17:
On the 27th of Ramadan the Prophet Muhammad successfully read the first verse of Surah 17 which began his miraculous Journey to Jerusalem and Ascension:
Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing.
In Jerusalem the following 8 verses were recited before Ascension. These verse transitioned the Israelites from the giving of the Torah to the revelation of the Koran.
SURAH 17 (AL-ISRA - ISRAELITES)
2. And We GAVE MUSA THE BOOK(TORAH) and made it a GUIDANCE to the children of Israel, saying: Do not take a protector besides Me;
3. The offspring of those whom We bore with Nuh; surely he was a grateful servant.
4. And We had made known to the children of Israel in the Book: Most certainly you will make mischief in the land twice, and most certainly you will behave insolently with great insolence.
5. So when the promise for the first of the two came, We sent over you Our servants, of mighty prowess, so they went to and fro among the houses, and it was a promise to be accomplished.
6. Then We gave you back the turn to prevail against them, and aided you with wealth and children and made you a numerous band.
7. If you do good, you will do good for your own souls, and if you do evil, it shall be for them. So when the second promise came (We raised another people) that they may bring you to grief and that they may enter the mosque as they entered it the first time, and that they might destroy whatever they gained ascendancy over with utter destruction.
8. It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you, and if you again return (to disobedience) We too will return (to punishment), and We have made hell a prison for the unbelievers.
9. Surely THIS KORAN GUIDES to that which is most upright and gives good news to the believers who do good that they shall have a great reward.
ASCENSION AND SURAH 97
During Ascension the Prophet Muhammad received SURAH 97 which is LAYAL AL-QADR meaning the NIGHT OF POWER OR THE NIGHT OF REVELATION.
AL-QADR: SURAH 97
Surely We revealed it on the grand night.
And what will make you comprehend what the grand night
The grand night is better than a thousand months.
The angels and Gibreel descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair, Peace! it is till the break of the morning.
After receiving Surah 97 the knowledge of the entire Koran was miraculously sealed within the Prophet Muhammad.
REVIEWING THE KORANIC REVELATION:
SURAH 96- This was the first Surah to be revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The revelation took place in Mecca at the Cave of Hira which was located on Mount Nur meaning the Mountain of Light. It was revealed on the 17th of Ramadan in the year 610 when the Prophet Muhammad was 40 years old. For approximately the next 12 years the Prophet Muhammad received Koranic revelations which he taught to his companions in Mecca. The revelation of Surah 96 was the first of two revelation experiences which were received in the manner of Tanzeel. The revelation of Surah 96 which speaks of the creation of man is remembered as Nazul Al Koran.
SURAH 97 AND 17 - Surah 17 :1 was the first Ayat to be miraculously READ by the Prophet Muhammad who was illiterate. This miracle of Reading and Revelation took place immediately before the Journey to Jerusalem and Ascension. The Prophet Muhammad taught this Surah to his companions immediately before the Hijra to Medina. In this regard it holds the distinction of being the last Surah to be taught prior to the migration.
SURAH 17: 2-9 Upon arriving in Jerusalem the Prophet Muhammad read Ayats 2-9 which begins with the Israelites receiving the Torah of Moses and finishes with the Revelation of the Koran. Both Scriptures are declared as a source of Guidance.
SURAH 17: 2
And We GAVE MUSA THE BOOK(TORAH) and made it a GUIDANCE to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, saying: Do not take a protector besides Me;
Surely THIS KORAN GUIDES to that which is most upright and gives good news to the believers who do good that they shall have a great reward.
Immediately after reading 17:9 the Prophet Muhammad Ascended beyond the 7 heavens. It was there that he Read Surah 97 which is entitled Layal Al-Qadr and it was at that point the knowledge of the entire Koran was permanently sealed within the Prophet Just as Surah 17 was the last Surah taught before the Hijra, Surah 97 was the first to be taught after arriving in Medina..
SURAH 97 MECCA OR MEDINA?
Alī ibn Ahmad al-Wāhidī, who is considered to be the earliest scholar of the branch of the Qur'anic sciences known as Asbāb al-Nuzūl believes Surah 97 was the First Surah Sent Down in Medina However there is a controversy because many other scholars believed it was revealed in Mecca. The reconciliation is the fact that it was revealed at Mecca because the Journey to Ascension and Jerusalem took place before the Hijra to Medina but it was the first Surah that the Prophet Muhammad taught to his companions in Medina.
Surah 97 and Surah 17 were both revealed at Ascension. Surah 17 was the Last Surah to be taught before the Hijra to Medina and Surah 97 the First to be taught after the Hijra,
SURAH 97 & 17 REVEALED ON LAYAL AL-QADR WHICH IS LAYAL AL-ISRA
97+17 = 114. This is the number of Surah that complete the Koran
Surah 114 is entitled Nas or Mankind and is the completion of what began with Surah 96 Al-Alaq which describes the creation of man.