Burk-E-Albani / البُراق / Al-Burāq The mythological steed of Mohammed the prophet
Above left Picture is a Brijbasi print – from Bombay or Mathura, from the 1990s Above right picture is a J. B. Khanna print from South India, from the early 2000s
Above left picture is not according to the Quran, the Al Buraq has a horse tail instead of a peacock tail. The right picture is according to the discription of the holy Quran, because Al Buraq is painted with a peacock tail (so often a symbol of India) which closely compares to Kamadhenu.
Buraq, the Prophet's steed during his Night Journey; a print by the Ravi Varma Press, 1910's
Is this the representation of the horse Harak, climbing which
prophet mohammed is supposed to have visited different worlds?
Or some other motif mentioned in Islamic books? I am amazed
at the ease with this artist from India (Ravi Varma Press) has blended motifs and icons from different
cultures and religions.
The Goddess Shri Kamadhenu is sometimes depicted as a cow, but sometimes also as a mystical winged cow with a peacock's tail and the head of a beautiful woman. This iconography is very similar to that of Al Buraq, the feminine angelic being who carried the Prophet Muhammad on Her back on the Night Journey, and who is an example of the Divine Feminine in Islam.
While mystic Kamadhenu is described as a winged cow, the Al-Buraq is described as a winged horse.
Al Buraq is an angelic female being with the head of a woman, the body of a horse and a peacock's tail, who carried the Prophet Muhammad, on the Miraj, the Night Journey, through the Seven Heavens to Jerusalem.
Like the Unicorn, Al Buraq - the winged Horse-like creature with the head of a woman desribed in the Koran - is an instance of the Feminine Divine in Islam and was the vehicle for Lord Muhammad's Nigth Journey (Miraj) throught the 7 heavens.
In the illustration above, the Prophet is shown surrounded by an aura of flame, and riding on Al Buraq, accompanied by angels.
There are obvious similarities to the Hindu Goddess Kamadhenu, who took the form
of a wish-fulfilling cow, often depicted with wings and a peacock's tail, like Al Buraq.
Al Buraq Kamadhenu
Muhammad the prophet rides Al-Burāq into Heaven
Al-Burāq (Arabic: البُراق al-Burāq "lightning") is a mythological steed, described as a creature from the heavens which transported the prophets. The most commonly told story is how in the 7th century, Al-Buraq carried the Islamic prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and back during the Isra and Mi'raj or "Night Journey", which is the title of one of the chapters (sura), Al-Isra, of the Qur'an.
The Al-Buraq is described as a winged horse, a fabulous sphinxlike mythical steed, with a woman's face, a mule's body, and a peacock's tail. The Burak has a woman's face with dark hair and earrings in the ears. Muhammad is dressed in plain gown and has a small turban. The style of the picture shows the influence of Far East art.
"...Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me." ... "The animal's step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal's sight. ..." — Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari.
Another description of the Buraq:
Then he [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.
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 mythological creature called the Buraq or Al-Buraq is mostly found in the mythology of the Islamic tradition and is mentioned in the Qur’an. There are many variations of the name, Al-Buraq based on the dialect and the pronunciation and region in which the story is being told.
Al Buraq is an angelic being with the body of a horse, the head of a woman, and a peacock's tail, who carried the Prophet Muhammad, on the Miraj, the Night Journey through the Seven Heavens to Jerusalem and got him back in the same night. According to Islam, the Night Journey took place 12 years after Muhammad became a prophet, during the 7th century.
The Al-Buraq is a mythical creature of transportation. It is described as white in color and the size between a donkey and a mule. It is to have the face of a woman and the wings of an eagle, as well as the tail of a peacock. The symbolism of the horse-like body and the eagle wings implies rapid movement and the ability to carry a passenger. The movement of one step is said to be equivalent to the distance of the vision of the creature. So not only can it carry a passenger on its equine body, but can move quickly due to the large wings on the sides of its body. This intensely rapid movement could also be attributed to the name. In the Arabic language the word of Al-Buraq, is al-buraaq, which in English means lightening (buraq).