The burāq: Views from the east and West

Ron Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The burāq is the beast on which the Prophet Muh'ammad is said to have ridden on his night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem (the Isrā) and occasionally on his ascension through the heavens (the Miê¿rā ǧ). This article examines the notion of the burāq within both Muslim and Western non-Muslim sources. It shows the evolution of the relatively simple descriptions of the burāq as found in the early Muslim sources to the later embellished and colourful accounts. It also investigates the role the burāq plays in more general Muslim discussions concerning the Isrā and the Miê¿rāǧ. As for Western non-Muslim approaches, the article demonstrates how the burāq was initially used in anti-Islamic polemic, subsequently became an object of fascination, and in later times has become a topic of more impartial academic study © Koninklijke Brill NV,Leiden, 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-601
Number of pages32
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Burāq
  • Isrā
  • Miê¿rāǧ


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