- This article is about the creature of Islamic legend. For the chemical element, see Boron.
: البُراق al-buraaq
, meaning lightning
), is a mythical creature from Islamic
tradition. It was said to have been a creature from the heavens, which in the 7th century, carried the prophet Muhammad
and back during the Isra and Miraj
(Night Journey), which is the title of one of the chapters of the Qur'an
An excerpt from a Translation of Sahih Bukhari
Volume 5, Book 58, Number 227 hadith
(supplemental tradition to the Qur'an) describes a buraq:
- “I was brought by the Buraq, which is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place its hoof at a distance equal to the range of vision.”
The Late Makkan scholar Muhammad al-Alawi al-Maliki mentions in his book "al-Anwar al Bahiyya min isra wal miraj khayr al bariyya", about the Buraq :
"....Then he(Jibreel/Gabriel) brought the Buraq, handsome-faced and bridled, a tall, white beast, bigger than the donkey but smaller than the mule. He could place his hooves at the farthest boundary of his gaze. He had long ears. Whenever he faced a mountain his hind legs would extend, and whenever he went downhill his front legs would extend. He had two wings on his thighs which lent strength to his legs.
He bucked when the Prophet came to mount him. Jibril put his hand on his mane and said: "Are you not ashamed, O Buraq? By Allah, no-one has ridden you in all creation more dear to Allah than he is." Hearing this he was so ashamed that he sweated until he became soaked, and he stood still so that the Prophet mounted him."
The Journey to seventh heaven
According to Islamic tradition, the Night Journey took place 12 years after Muhammad became a prophet, during the 7th century. Muhammad had been in his home city of Mecca, at his cousin's home (the house of Ummu Hani' binti Abu Thalib's) doing the 5th prayer (Isha'a
). Afterwards, Muhammad went to the Masjid Al-Haram
mosque. While Muhammad was resting between Baitullah
and Hijir Ismail
, suddenly the angel Jibril (Gabriel
) appeared to him. The angel cut open Muhammad's chest, took out his heart, and purified it with the holy water of the nearby Zam-zam
well. The angel then restored the heart to Muhammad's chest, leaving no wound. After this, the Buraq arrived. Muhammad mounted the beast, and in the company of Gabriel, they traveled to the "farthest mosque". The location of this mosque was not explicitly stated, but is generally accepted to mean Jerusalem. At this location, Muhammad dismounted from the Buraq, prayed, and then once again mounted the Buraq and was taken to the various heavens, to meet Allah. Muhammad was instructed to tell his followers how many times per day that they were to offer prayers. The Buraq then transported Muhammad back to Mecca.