The Milk and The Wine of Isra Mi’raj
Isra Mi’raj was one of the most significant historical events in the Islamic calendar. Perhaps it is amazing to think that a human being is given such honour to take such a journey, but it was well deserved reward for a man who saw the death of not one but two of his most beloved family members and pillars of support.
As if it is not enough, he had just suffered a humiliating response by being stoned by a group of tribesmen till he bled profusely. Even in such a state of utter grief and despair, he asked that no punishment is sent forth despite being offered.
But in the many astounding incidents and stories that happened to him on his journey, one incident gotten us particularly interested enough to write about it.
The Offering of Milk and Wine
From Abu Hurairah: “On the night Rasulullah was taken to the journey (Isra Mi’raj), two cups, one containing wine and the other milk, were presented to him at Jerusalem. He looked at them and took the cup of milk. Gabriel said “Praise be to Allah who guided you to Al-Fitrah (the right path) if you had taken the cup of wine, your nation would have gone astray.” [Sahih Bukhari]As many would know, milk itself holds so much benefit that it can be described as almost a complete food by itself. We covered the significant benefits of camel’s milk in one of our previous article. We also know today that wine is simply forbidden to Muslims.
However, did you know that during the incident, wine was not forbidden yet for the Muslims? The three verses on wine provision actually came after Hijrah, while the Journey happened before, which means the Messenger could have drunk the wine at that time!
This simple detail may not be actively discussed or even noticed, but it is an indication that the Messenger have always found wine to be distasteful, and hence it is a natural instinct of his to take the milk above the wine.
The Lesson of Isra Mi’rajIf one reflects on Jibril’s words to the Messenger, milk being “fitrah” makes common sense indeed. It is the first food consumed by most of us, as well as most mammals we know. It is the connector to our first love on earth, our mothers, and it supplies many vitamins, minerals, as well as water, all of which are the the foundation of every cell on our body that makes us human beings. Milk is a food in its natural state, that creates our natural state.
However, the incident of the milk and wine reflects something even more significant: even when he is about to face Allah, Allah still gave the Messenger the right to choose.
Choosing between Halal and Haram
Looking at ourselves, every single day of our lives have been made up of choices. We can choose to sleep or be awake, run or walk, take the bus or ride a car; it’s a natural right for us, that Allah did not take away, no matter how bad a person we are. But much like how our Messenger’s choices could have affected our people, our choices often comes with repercussions that can have great effects in the future.
That is why we have the right to choose even between Halal and Haram. But we know how our choices can affect us. Most of the time it is simple. However, there are times that we could use a little help in choosing fitrah.
It’s okay. Once you can recognise what we should avoid, what’s halal can be pretty simple!
May Allah continue to enlighten us to Fitrah.
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