This area, on the side of the Bab-e-Abdul Aziz gate is believed to have been the location of the house of Umme Hani (may Allah be pleased with her), the cousin of the Prophet (ﷺ) and the daughter of Abu Talib. It was from here that the Prophet (ﷺ) was summoned by Jibraeel (upon him be peace) and taken to Bayt Al-Maqdis in Jerusalem. This incident is known as ‘al-Isra’ (the night journey) and occurred around 621 CE.
- The event of the night journey to Jerusalem is mentioned in Surah al-Isra (also known as Surah Bani-Israeel) in the Quran:“Glory be to the One who took His Slave for a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the furthest Mosque, whose precincts we have blessed. “ [17:1]
- The Prophet (ﷺ) had prayed the evening prayers with Umm Hani and her family, then they all went to sleep. At dawn he said to them,“I prayed the evening prayers with you in this valley, then I went to Jerusalem where I prayed, and here I am praying the dawn prayers with you.”“Messenger of Allah,” said Umm Hani, “do not tell people this lest they reject and injure you.”. “Indeed I shall tell,” said the Prophet.
- The Prophet (ﷺ) went to the Ka’bah where he began to recount his miraculous journey and ascension to heaven. The Makkan pagans, of course, ridiculed his claim. Some ran to Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and told him the story, thinking that it would shake his faith in the Prophet. “If he said so,” Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “it must be true.” Abu Bakr’s answer as to why he believed is inspiring to all generations of Muslims. Since he had believed Prophet was indeed a prophet, one to whom an angel brought revelations from Allah, Lord of the worlds, why should he not also believe the Prophet’s account of his travel through space and time? From that day onwards, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was called ‘Siddeeq’, one who believes.
- In an attempt to prove that the Prophet (ﷺ) was lying, those Makkans who were familiar with Jerusalem and the Sacred Mosque (al-Aqsa) quizzed him about his journey. The Prophet (ﷺ) described everything in detail, and no one could fault his description. Additionally, the Prophet (ﷺ) told the Makkans about a caravan travelling from Jerusalem to Makkah, mentioning the number of camels, their condition, and the time that they would arrive in Makkah. The caravan from Jerusalem appeared exactly when the Prophet (ﷺ) said it would, and everyone saw that his description was accurate. But the pagans remained fettered to their disbelief.
- Some scholars are of the opinion that the Prophet (ﷺ) went to sleep at night in the house of Umme Hani (may Allah be pleased with her), then rose after a brief while and went to the Ka’bah, for he loved to visit it during the night hours. While he was there, the desire to sleep came over him again and he lay down in the Hijr. It was from here that Jibraeel (upon him be peace) awoke him.
- Umme Hani’s real name was Fakhita. She grew up with the Prophet (ﷺ).
References: When the Moon Split – Shaikh Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Muhammad: his life based on the earliest sources – Martin Lings, The Life of Muhammad – Tahia Al-Ismail