Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Mera'aj un Nabi: A Miraculous Journey in which Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) travelled (through his Physical body in a wakeful state and not in a dream) beyond the 'Sidratul muntaha' and saw Allah(swt) through his "BODILY EYES" as well as through the "EYES OF THE HEART"


Mera'aj un Nabi: A Miraculous Journey in which Prophet Muhammad(Peace Be Upon Him) travelled (through his Physical body in a wakeful state and not in a dream) beyond the 'Sidratul muntaha' and saw Allah(swt) through his "BODILY EYES" as well as through the "EYES OF THE HEART"

"Mankind has wondered, how can Prophet Muhammad(Peace Be Upon Him), be raised in person to the heavens in an instant, I have been wondering how the beloved soul and Prophet of Allah spend 63 years of his life on the earth amongst sinners? His rank is too high and so close is He to Allah that it's a sin to call Him as one amongst ourselves"

ENGLISH VIDEO: Huzur(saw) is the only Prophet who went Physically and Spiritually on Meraj and saw Allah | 3 MINS 18 SECS

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The Holy Ascension of Prophet Muhammad (from the Dalail-al-Khayrat Sharhi of Kara Da’ud, d. 1541)

Did Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) see Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) on the night of ascension?

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Did Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) see Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) on the night of ascension?

This article shall have abundant proofs from Qur'an but first we would like to reveal to the world a false translation of hadith in Sahih Muslim. Many people read translation of this hadith and start believing that it was actually what Prophet (Peace be upon him) said without verifying the original Arabic and how Muhaditheen read the word "أَنَّى "

False Translation of hadith in Sahih Muslim

Book 1, Number 0341: (Sahih Muslim - online version)

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Dharr : I asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him): Did you see thy Lord? He said: He is a Light, how could I see Him?

Next Hadith: 

Book 1, Number 0342: (Sahih Muslim - online version)

Abdullah b. Shaqiq reported: I said to Abu Dharr: Had I seen the Messenger of Allah, I would have asked him. He (Abu Dharr) said: What is that thing that you wanted to inquire of him ? He said: I wanted to ask him whether he had seen his Lord. Abu Dharr said: I, in fact, inquired of him, and he replied: I saw Light.

First one (#0341) is a severely false translation. If we accept it on face value then the very next hadith (#0342) will contradict the previous one. Remember Imam Muslim (rah) was an expert in hadith sciences let alone he not knowing that he has narrated 2 totally contradicting hadiths adjacent to each other in his magnificent Sahih collection.

False translation of first hadith (#0341) states: “:He is a Light, how could I see Him?

Here the translation claims that Allah is a light so how could He be seen?!

Now the next hadith (#0342) says: "I, in fact, inquired of him, and he replied: “I SAW LIGHT”

Let us now move towards the Arabic of first hadith which actually proves without doubt that Prophet (Peace be upon him) actually said that "He saw Allah"

حدّثنا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ : حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ قَتَادَةَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللّهِ بْنِ شَقِيقٍ عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ ، قَالَ: سَأَلْتُ رَسُولَ اللّهِ: هَلْ رَأَيْتَ رَبَّكَ؟ قَالَ:«نُورٌ انى أَرَاهُ»؟.

Translation of Matn: Narrated by Abu Dharr (RA): I asked the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him): Did you see your Lord? The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied:He is Nur (نُورٌ) I Saw Him ( انى أَرَاهُ[Sahih Muslim, Hadith # 351, Hadith number from Sharh Sahih Muslim by Allama Ghulam Rasool Sa’eedi – Damat Barkatahum Alia]

This is the perfect translation which actually proves that Prophet (Peace be upon him) did indeed see Allah.

We will show word by word translation over here:

نُورٌ =    He is light
انى =    I, me, myself
أَرَاهُ =    saw Him

However if we do not take this translation then Sahih Muslim will contradict itself as right in the next hadith it says:

رَأَيْتُ نُوراً I saw Light (i.e. for Sure I saw Allah)

In Light of Qur'an

وَهُوَ بِالْأُفُقِ الْأَعْلَىٰ  ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّىٰ  فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَىٰ  فَأَوْحَىٰ إِلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَىٰ  مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَ‌أَىٰ  أَفَتُمَارُ‌ونَهُ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَ‌ىٰ

Translation: (7): While he was in the highest part of the horizon.(8): Then he approached and came closer (9): And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer. (10): So did (Allah) convey the inspiration to His Servant- (conveyed) what He (meant) to convey. (11): The (Prophet's) (mind and) heart in no way falsified that which he saw. (12): Will ye then dispute with him concerning what he saw? [Al Qur'an, Chapter 53, Verse 7-12]

In the 12th verse our Lord Almighty is challenging the whole world that “WILL YE THEN DISPUTE WITH HIM CONCERNING WHAT HE SAW”, had it been seeing Gabriel only then that would not have been a great challenge because previous Prophets like Musa Kaleem-Ullah (Peace be upon him) had the privilege to talk “DIRECTLY WITH ALLAH” and Ibrahim (alaih salam) was shown the kingdoms of Heaven which was a far superior thing than seeing Gabriel, hence from Nass of Qur'an it now becomes established that vision of Allah was finally reserved for Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as hadith of Ibn Abbas (RA) and many others prove it (Which shall come in the hadith section of this article)

Let us see the detailed Tafsir of these verses by Imam Ibn-ul-Jawzi (rah),  he explains the 8th and 9th verses in light of Sahih ahadith and Aqwaal

وفي المشار إليه بقوله: «ثُمَّ دنا» ثلاثة أقوال.

أحدها: أنه الله عز وجل. روى البخاري ومسلم في «الصحيحين» من حديث شريك بن أبي نَمِر عن أنس بن مالك قال: دنا الجبّار ربُّ العِزَّة فتدلَّى حتى كان منه قابَ قوسين أو أدنى. وروى أبو سلمة عن ابن عباس: «ثم دنا» قال: دنا ربُّه فتدلَّى، وهذا اختيار مقاتل. قال: دنا الرَّبُّ من محمد ليلةَ أُسْرِي به،، فكان منه قابَ قوسين أو أدنى. وقد كشفتُ هذا الوجه في كتاب «المُغْني» وبيَّنتُ أنه ليس كما يخطُر بالبال من قُرب الأجسام وقطع المسافة، لأن ذلك يختص بالأجسام، والله منزَّه عن ذلك.

والثاني: أنه محمد دنا من ربِّه، قاله ابن عباس، والقرظي.

والثالث: أنه جبريل. ثم في الكلام قولان.

Translation: There are three famous sayings regarding the saying of Allah i.e. Then he approached and came closer

First: That is Allah Azza wajjal as it is narrated by Bukhari and Muslim in “Sahihayn” the hadith from Sharik bin Abi Numayr who heard from Anas bin Malik (ra) who said: The Irresistible, the Lord of Honor and Majesty approached and came closer till He was about two bow lengths or (even) nearer [Sahih Bukhari Hadith # 7518, Sahih Muslim Hadith # 162]

...and It is narrated by Abu Salama from Ibn Abbas (ra) that {He approached} refers to Allah coming near,this is adopted by Maqatil (rah) who said: Allah came near to Muhammad (Peace be upon him) on the night of Isra And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer, however It is written in the book Al Mughni that this coming nearer does not refer to coming closer in sense of bodies nor distance as that is the case with bodily creations and Allah is High of such thing being attributed to him.

The Second: That It was Muhammad (Peace be upon him) who went near Allah, this is said by Ibn Abbas (ra) and Qurzi(ra) too.

The Third: It was Gibril and there is Kalaam in this Qawl.. (Then Ibn Jawzi shows the opinion of Sahaba like Sayyidah Aisha - RA who were of the opinion that Prophet - Peace be upon him did not see Allah, why Sayyidah Aisha - RA believed such and how other Sahaba differed with her shall be explained in detail Insha'Allah)

Reference: Imam Ibn Jawzi in Zad al Maseer fi Ilm at Tafsir, Volume No. 8, Page No. 65-66

Hence From Qur'an and Sahih hadiths of Bukhari and Muslim which give best sharh of 8th and 9th verses It is proven that Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw Allah (Anas bin Malik R.A who is claimed to have rejected sight of Allah is proving in these ahadith that Prophet - Peace be upon him did see Allah, It is fundamental Usool of Hadith that If same sahabi says 2 contrary things then “Masbat (proof)” takes over “Nafi (i.e. rejection)”, so according to this Usool itself it is soundly established that the Prophet Peace be upon him did indeed see Allah and the Nafi of this has to be rejected)

Qur'an states at another place:

وَلَمَّا جَآءَ مُوسَىٰ لِمِيقَاتِنَا وَكَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِيۤ أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ لَن تَرَانِي وَلَـٰكِنِ انْظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ

مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي فَلَمَّا

تَجَلَّىٰ رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكّاً وَخَرَّ موسَىٰ صَعِقاً فَلَمَّآ أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِي

Translation: And when Musa (Moses) came at the time and place appointed by Us, and his Lord (Allah) spoke to him; he said: "O my Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You." Allah said: "You cannot see Me (Qur'an states: LAN TARANI NOT LAN URA), but look upon the mountain; if it stands still in its place then you shall see Me." So when his Lord appeared to the mountain , He made it collapse to dust, and Musa (Moses) fell down unconscious. Then when he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to You, I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of the believers."[Al Qur'an, Surah 7, Verse no 143]

In the world renowned Tafsir al Jalalyn (written by 2 great scholars Imam Jalal ud-din Suyuti and Imam al-Muhalli) it states: 

أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ لَن تَرَٰنِى } أي لا تقدر على رؤيتي، والتعبير به دون «لن أُرَى» يفيد إمكان رؤيته تعالى { وَلَٰكِنِ انْظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ } الذي هو أقوى منك { فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ } ثبت { مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَٰنِى } أي تثبت لرؤيتي، وإلا فلا طاقة لك { فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّىٰ رَبُّهُ } أي ظهر من نوره قدر نصف أنملة الخنصر كما في حديث صححه الحاكم
Translation: {You shall not see Me},which means you do not have the capability to see me THE USE OF THE WORDING (LAN TARANI) RATHER THAN LAN URA (I.E. I SHALL NOT BE SEEN) IMPLIES THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO SEE ALLAH {But gaze at the mountain} which is stronger than you are, {And if it stands still in its place} then you shall see Me’, that is, [then] you shall remain fixed [able] to see Me, otherwise, you will not have the capacity [for it]. {And when his Lord revealed (His) glory to the mountain} i.e. When he manifested his light, equivalent to half a nail of little finger as this is mentioned in the sahih hadith of Hakim

Reference: Tafsir al Jalalyn, Page No. 167, Published by Dar Ibn Kathir, Damascus

In the Ayah Musa (a.s) said in the end: And Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe."(7:143)

Tafsir ul Qurtubi

Imam al-Qurtubi (rah) explains it as:

وأجمعت الأمة على أن هذه التوبة ما كانت عن معصية؛ فإن الأنبياء معصومون. وأيضاً عند أهل السنة والجماعة الرؤيةُ جائزةٌ.
Translation: The Imams are unanimous that (Musa a.s) asking for Tawba does not refer to sins because theAnbiya are infallible/Masoom, and in the opinion of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah the Sight of (Allah) is possible

Reference: Tafsir-ul-Qurtubi, Under 7:143

Hence it is decisively proven from Qur'an itself that Anbiya never ask for something Impossible, had sight of Allah not been possible then Musa (a.s) would not have asked for it and nor would have Allah linked it to the condition of mountain staying at its place. So the Vision was reserved only for Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) and not for Musa (alaih salam)

In Light of Hadith

We have Qawl of Ummul Momineen (Mother of All Believers) Hadrat Ayesha Saddiqa R.A and Verdict of leading authority over Tafsir of Qur'an amongst Sahaba i.e. Ibn Abbas R.A  who differed with Sayyidah Ayesha r.a in this regard. This difference has been wrongly understood by Salafis whereas in reality the rejection of Sayyidah Aisha (ra) is of "IDRAAK (COMPLETE COMPREHENSION OF ALLAH)" which we Ahlus Sunnah also reject, but rejection of Idraak does not mean Prophet did not see Allah at all.

Secondly Sayyidah Aisha (ra) was a child when al-Isra Wal Mi'raaj took place, remember it took place in the Meccan period before Hijrah and Sayyidah Aisha (ra) was married to Prophet (Peace be upon him) 1 year "AFTER HIJRAH" and the Marriage took place when she was only 6 (consummated when she was 9). Hence Sayyidah Aisha (RA) was less than 4 years of age when incident of Mi'raaj took place, hence the opinion of senior Sahaba shall be taken into account as they understood the incident more properly. We would like to clarify that we accept the valid difference of opinion over this issue but the Istadlal of Wahabiyyah is null and void because they are people of Hawa (desires) and they do not follow a school of Jurisprudence nor do they follow the schools of Ahlus Sunnah called Ash'ari/Maturidi, hence even if they reach a valid opinion It will for sure stand rejected in sight Allah and his Apostle (Peace be upon him)

Below is the Sharh of the hadith from Aisha (RA) in words of the great Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (rah) whom the so called "Muqalid Salafis claim to follow. This is cited by the leading commentator of Bukhari i.e. Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah)

Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (Rahimuhullah) says in his magnificent Fath ul Bari Sharh Sahih ul Bukhari:

عن المروزي قلت لأحمد إنهم يقولون إن عائشة قالت من زعم أن محمدا رأى ربه فقد أعظم على الله الفرية فبأي شيء يدفع قولها قال بقول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم رأيت ربي قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أكبر من قولها
Translation: Maruzi (rah) asked Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (rah): People say that Aisha (ra) used to exclaim that whosoever says the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw his Lord has attributed a lie to Allah, so how shall this be answered? (Imam Ahmed) replied: From the saying of Prophet (Peace be upon him) [himself] when he said:  “رأيت ربي” i.e. I saw my Lord, this will be an answer to Aisha (ra)’s Qawl because the saying of Prophet (Peace be upon him) is far superior than saying of her (i.e. Aisha ra)

Reference: Best commentary over Sahih Bukhari called Fath ul Bari, Sharh Sahih ul Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Page No. 494

Imam an-Nawawi (rah) the leading commentator of Sahih Muslim sheds more light on this, as he explains:

‏وإذا صحت الروايات عن ابن عباس في إثبات الرؤية وجب المصير إلى إثباتها فإنها ليست مما يدرك بالعقل , ويؤخذ بالظن , وإنما يتلقى بالسماع ولا يستجيز أحد أن يظن بابن عباس أنه تكلم في هذه المسألة بالظن والاجتهاد . وقد قال معمر بن راشد حين ذكر اختلاف عائشة وابن عباس : ما عائشة عندنا بأعلم من ابن عباس , ثم إن ابن عباس أثبت شيئا نفاه والمثبت مقدم على النافي
Translation: When it is proven from Sahih hadiths of Ibn Abbas (ra) then we cannot assume that he said it according to his own assumption, definitely he said this after hearing it from Prophet (Peace be upon him), Ma’mar bin Rashid (rah) said regarding the difference between Aisha (ra) and Ibn Abbas (ra) that Aisha (ra)was not aware about this (completely) whereas Ibn Abbas (ra) was, So when Ibn Abbas (ra) is proving it while some others are doing Nafi of it then It is a (Principle) that Masbat (Proof) takes over Nafi (rejection)

Reference: Sharh Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Iman, Chapter in meaning of :He saw him at the second descent

Proof # 1

Ibn Shihab said: Ibn Hazm told me that Ibn 'Abbas and Abd Habba al-Ansari used to say that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Thereafter he ascended with me till I was taken to such a height where I heard the scraping of the pens (of Taqdir) Ibn Hazm and Anas told that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Allah then made fifty prayers obligatory for my Ummah and I returned with that and passed by Moses. Moses, (peace be upon him) said: What has thy Lord enjoined on thy people? I said: Fifty prayers have been made obligatory on them. Moses (peace be upon him) said: Return to thy Lord(‏فراجع ربك), for thy Ummah would not be able to bear this burden. Then I came back to my Lord(فراجعت ربي) and He remitted a portion out of that. I then again went to Moses (peace be upon him) and informed him about it He said: Return to thy Lord(‏راجع ربك),, for thy Ummah shall not be able to bear this burden. I then went back to my Lord(فراجعت ربي) and He said: They are five and at the same time fifty, and what has been said will not be changed. I then returned to Moses and he said: Go back to thy Lord. whereupon I said: I feel ashamed of my Lord(قد استحييت من ربي) [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 313 – Agreed upon]

This hadith decisively proves that Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw Allah because every time Musa (a.s) told him to “RETURN TO HIS LORD” and finally the Prophet said: “I FEEL ASHAMED OF MY LORD”

Proof # 2

‏ عن ‏ ‏ابن عباس ‏ ‏قال ‏

رأى ‏ ‏محمد ‏ ‏ربه قلت أليس الله يقول ‏
لا تدركه الأبصار وهو يدرك الأبصار ‏

قال ويحك ذاك إذا تجلى بنوره الذي هو نوره وقال أريه مرتين ‏
قال ‏ ‏أبو عيسى ‏ ‏هذا ‏ ‏حديث حسن
Translation: Ibn Abbas (ra) said that Muhammad (salallaho alaihi wasalam) saw his Lord, (Ikrama) asked: Hasn’t Allah said that Eyes cannot “COMPREHEND” him, at this (Ibn Abbas) replied: Strange (Arabic wording is more strict but we have translated it to Strange) that you have not understood, this is when Allah shows glimpse of his own Nur (which cannot be comprehended), so Prophet (Peace be upon him) indeed saw Allah twice

Reference: Sunnan Tirimdh, Tafsir of Surah al-Najm, Hadith No. 3201] – Imam Tirimdhi declared this hadith as “Hassan”

Proof # 3

Sheikh Muhadith Haq Dhelvi (rahimuhullah) writes: Ibn Umar(ra) turned to Ibn Abbas (ra) regarding this matter and asked whether the Prophet (Peace be upon him) has seen his Lord, Ibn Abbas replied in affirmative, Ibn Umar (ra) accepted this and did not reject it [Ashaat ul Lamaat, Volume No. 4, Page No. 431]

Now It is proven from yet another Mujtahid Sahabi i.e. Ibn Umar (ra) that Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw Allah!

Proof # 4

Imam Badr ud din Ayni (Rahimuhullah) the commentator of Bukhari said:

روى ابن خزيمة بإسناد قوي عن أنس قال رأى محمد ربه وبه قال سائر أصحاب ابن عباس وكعب الأحبار والزهري وصاحب معمر وآخرون وحكى عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن الحسن أنه حلف أن محمدا رأى ربه وأخرج ابن خزيمة عن عروة بن الزبير إثباتها
Translation: Ibn Khuazaima (rah) narrated with “strong chain” from Anas bin Malik (ra) that he said:Muhammad (salallaho alaihi wasalam) saw his Lord, same is narrated from Ibn Abbas (ra) and his disciples like K’ab al Ahbar (ra), Zuhiri (rah) and Ma’mar (rah), Imam Abdur Razzaq (rah) narrates from Ma’mar who quotes Imam Hassan Basri (rah) who used to say: I take an oath that Muhammad (salallaho alaihi wassalam) saw his Lord, Ibn Khuzaima (rah) has also proven it (sight of Allah) from Urwa bin Zubayr (ra) [Umdat al Qari, Sharah Sahih al Bukhari, Volume No. 19, Page No. 198]

Taking an oath by Imam Hasan al-Basri (rah) is not a minor thing. Those who do not know the standing of Imam Hasan al-Basri (rah) in narrating hadiths does not understand even the basics.

Proof # 5

Imam Badr ud din Ayni (rah) also explains:

وروى الطبراني في (الأوسط) بإسناد قوي عن ابن عباس قال رأى محمد ربه مرتين ومن وجه آخر قال نظر محمد إلى ربه جعل الكلام لموسى والخلة لإبراهيم والنظر لمحمد فظهر من ذلك أن مراد ابن عباس ههنا رؤيا العين
Translation: Imam at-Tabarani (rah) narrates in his (Al Awsat) with “Strong chain” from Ibn Abbas (ra) who said that Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw his Lord twice, the reason for this saying is that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) saw his Lord with his eyesight, because Musa (a.s) talked to Allah directly, Ibrahim (a.s) was taken as His friend and Muhammad (salallaho alaihi wasalam) was chosen for sight (no other Prophet was), apparently what Ibn Abbas (ra) means to say is that Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw Allah with his eyes [Umdat al Qari, Sharh Sahih ul Bukhari, Volume No. 17, Page No. 30]

Proof # 6

Imam an-Nasai’i (Rahimuhullah) and al-Hakim (Rahimuhullah) narrate with Sahih Isnad:

أخبرنا إسحاق بن إبراهيم قال أخبرنا معاذ بن هشام قال حدثني أبي عن قتادة عن عكرمة عن بن عباس قال أتعجبون أن تكون الخلة لإبراهيم والكلام لموسى والرؤية لمحمد صلى الله عليه وسلم
Translation: Ibn Abbas (ra) narrates: Are you surprised at friendship of Ibrahim (a.s) [with Allah], The Speech of Musa (directly with Allah) and Sight of Muhammad (Salallaho alaihi wasalam)? [Sunnan Nasai’i al Kubra in Amal al Yawm wal Laylah , Volume No.6, Hadith No.11539, Mustadrak ala Sahihayn, Volume No. 1, Hadith No. 216]

Imam al-Hakim (rah) after narrating it said:

هذا حديث صحيح على شرط البخاري

Translation: This Hadith is Sahih on the criteria of Bukhari [ibid, Hadith No. 216]

Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (Rahimuhullah) said:

ما أخرجه النسائي بإسناد صحيح وصححه الحاكم أيضا من طريق عكرمة عن بن عباس قال أتعجبون أن تكون الخلة لإبراهيم والكلام لموسى والرؤية لمحمد
Translation: It is narrated by Nasai’i with “Sahih Isnad” and Hakim also declared it “Sahih” the narration with the chain from Ikrama (rah) who heard Ibn Abbas (ra) say (and he quoted the above hadith) [Fath ul Bari, Sharah Sahih al Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Page No 493]
So O Muslims do not be surprised after knowing this reality because the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) indeed saw his Lord and this is one of the major differences between us Ahlus Sunnah and misguided Mutazayli sect who used to reject it (today representation of Mutazayli sect is done by Shi'ites)

Proof # 7

Imam an-Nawawi (Rahimuhullah) writes under the hadith of Ibn Masud (ra) that (Prophet Peace be upon him)’s heart did not lie of what it saw means that he saw Jibril (a.s)

هذا الذي قاله عبد الله رضي الله عنه هو مذهبه في الآية , وذهب الجمهور من المفسرين إلى أن المراد أنه رأى ربه سبحانه وتعالى
Translation: This is the saying of Abdullah Ibn Masud (ra) and his Madhab, but the Madhab of vast majority of Mufasireen (including Ibn Abbas) is that Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’la

Reference:Sharah Sahih Muslim by Imam Nawawi, under Kitab al Iman, The mention of Sidra til Muntaha, Hadith No. 254]

Imam an-Nawawi further states:

فالحاصل أن الراجح عند أكثر العلماء : أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم رأى ربه بعيني رأسه ليلة الإسراء لحديث ابن عباس وغيره مما تقدم . وإثبات هذا لا يأخذونه إلا بالسماع من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم هذا مما لا ينبغي أن يتشكك فيه
Translation: The result of all (proofs which have been shown) is that it is pre dominantly established amongst many ulama that Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw Allah with his eyes on the night of Ascension as the hadith from Ibn Abbas (ra) and others have been mentioned before, the proof of which comes from Prophet (Peace be upon him) hence there should be no doubt about it [Sharah Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Iman, Chapter in meaning of :He saw him at the second descent]

Proof # 8

Imam an-Nawawi (rah) also said about Aisha (ra) hadith:

‏فأما احتجاج عائشة بقول الله تعالى : { لا تدركه الأبصار } فجوابه ظاهر , فإن الإدراك هو الإحاطة والله تعالى لا يحاط به , وإذا ورد النص بنفي الإحاطة لا يلزم منه نفي الرؤية بغير إحاطة

Translation: The Proof which Aisha (ra) took (to reject sight of Allah) i.e. {Eyes cannot comprehend him} the apparent answer to this will be that there cannot be Idraak (i.e. complete comprehension, to gather all around, to see all aspects) of Allah, so the Nass (of Quran) does Nafi of Al-Ihaat but this does not do Nafi of sight without Ihaata (i.e. complete comprehension) [Ibid]

Proof # 9

Imam Ibn Jarir (rah) writes under: The (Prophet's) (mind and) heart in no way falsified that which he saw. (53:11)

عيسى بن عبيد، قال: سمعت عكرِمة، وسُئل هل رأى محمد ربه، قال نعم، قد رأى ربه.

Translation: Isa bin Ubaid (rah) said: Ikrama (rah) was questioned about Muhammad (salallaho alaihi wasalam) seeing the Lord? He said: YES! HE SAW HIS LORD [Tafsir at Tabri under 53:11]

Proof # 10 (Marfu Hadith)

Imam Tabri proves from Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself as:

عن عطاء، عن ابن عباس، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: " رأَيْتُ رَبِي فِي أحْسَنَ صُورَةٍ

Translation: From Ata (rah) who narrated from Ibn Abbas (ra) who said that Prophet (Salallaho alaihi wasalam) said: I saw Allah in his  best of form (which Allah and Apostle know best) [Tafsir at Tabri under 53:11]

We Would like to conclude with the detailed extract from the best book of Seerah ever written i.e. Ash-Shifa ash-Shareef of Imam al-Qadhi Iyaadh (rah)

رؤيته لربه عز و جل و اختلاف السلف فيها

و أما رؤيته ـ صلى الله عليه و سلم لربه جل و عز ـ فاختلف السلف فيها ، فأنكرته عائشة .
حدثنا أبو الحسن سراج بن عبد الملك الحافظ بقراءتي عليه ، قال حدثني أبي و أبو عبد الله بن عتاب الفقيه ، قالا : حدثنا القاضي يونس بن مغيث ، حدثنا أبو الفضل الصلقي ، حدثنا ثابت بن قاسم بن ثابت ، عن أبيه وجده ، قالا : حدثنا عبد الله بن علي ،
قال : حدثنا محمود بن آدم ، حدثنا وكيع ، عن ابن أبي خالد ، عن عامر عن مسروق ـ أنه قال لعائشة رضي الله عنها ـ يا أم المؤمنين ، هل رأى محمد ربه ؟ فقالت : لقد قف شعري مما قلت . ثلاث من حدثك بهن فقد كذب : من حدثك أن محمد اً رأى ربه فقد كذب ، ثم قرأت : لا تدركه الأبصار وهو يدرك الأبصار وهو اللطيف الخبير ، و ذكر الحديث .
و قال جماعة بقول عائشة رضي الله عنها ، و هو المشهور عن ابن مسعود .
و مثله عن أبي هريرة أنه [ ا ] : إنما رأى جبريل . و اختلف عنه . و قال بإنكار هذا و امتناع رؤيته في الدنيا جماعة من المحدثين ، و الفقهاء و المتكلمين .
و عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أنه رآه بعينه . وروى عطاء عنه ـ أنه رآه بقلبه .
و عن أبي العالية ، عنه : رآه بفؤاده مرتين .
و ذكر ابن إسحاق أن عمر أرسل إلى ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما يسأله : هل رأى محمد ربه ؟ فقال : نعم .
و الأشهر عنه انه رأى ربه بعينه ، روي ذلك عنه من طرق ، و قال : إن الله تعالى اختص موس بالكلام ، و إبراهيم بالخلة ،و محمداً بالرؤية و حجته قوله تعالى : ما كذب الفؤاد ما رأى * أفتمارونه على ما يرى * ولقد رآه نزلة أخرى [ سورة النجم /53 ، الآية : 11 ، 13 ] .
قال الماوردي : قيل : إن الله تعالى قسم كلامه و رؤيته بين موس ، و محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم ، فر آه محمد مرتين ، و كلمه موس مرتين .
و حكى أبو الفتح الرازي ، و أبو الليث السمرقدي الحكاية عن كعب .
و روى عبد الله بن الحارث ، قال : اجتمع ابن عباس و كعب ، فقال ابن عباس : أما نحن بنو هاشم فنقول : إن محمد اً قد رأى ربه مرتين ، فكبر كعب حتى جاوبته الجبال ،
و قال : إن الله قسم رؤيته و كلامه بين محمد و موس ، فكلمه موسى ، و رآه محمد بقلبه .
و روى شريك عن أبي ذر رضي الله عنه في تفسير الآية ، قال : رأى النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ربه .
و ح كى السمرقندي ، عن محمد بن كعب القرظي ، و ربيع بن أنس ـ أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم سئل : هل رأيت ربك ؟ قال : رأيته بقؤادي ، و لم أره بعيني .
و روى مالك بن يخامر ، عن معاذ ، عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ، قال : رأيت ربي ... و ذكر كلمة ، فقال : يا محمد ، فيم يختصم الملأ الأعلى الحديث .

و حكى عبد الرزاق أن الحسن كان يحلف با الله لقد رأى محمد ربه
Translation: Chapter about Sight of Allah and the difference of opinion on it from Salaf-as-Saliheen:

In regards to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) seeing his Lord, the early Muslims differed on this. Sayyidah Aisha(ra) rejected it and when Masruq (ra) asked her: O Umm ul Momineen (Mother of believers) did Muhammad (Peace be upon him) see his Lord? She replied: “My hair is standing on end at what you have asked” and she reported it three times “Whosoever told you that has lied. Whoever told you that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) saw his Lord has lied. Then she recited: “The eyes do not comprehend Him but He comprehends (all) vision. He is the Subtle, the Aware (6:103), some people agree with what Aisha (ra) said and it is well known that Ibn Masud (ra) and Abu Hurraira (ra) said similar things, stating that it was Jibril (a.s) he saw. However this is disputed.

Jamaah (great group) of the hadith scholars, fuqaha and theologians reject this statement and the prohibition on the Prophet of seeing Allah in this world. Ibn Abbas (ra) said: He saw Him with his eyes, while Ata related from him that he saw him with his heart. Abu’l Aliyya said that he saw him with his heart (and mind) twice. Ibn Ishaq mentioned that Ibn Umar (ra) sent to Ibn Abbas (ra) to ask him whether Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had seen his Lord? He replied: “Yes” The best known opinion is that he saw his Lord with his eyes. This is related from him by various paths of transmission. He said that Allah singled out Musa (a.s) for direct speech, Ibrahim (a.s) for close friendship and Muhammad (peace be upon him) for the (direct) vision. 

The Proof of it lies in the words of Allah: “The heart (and mind) did not lie about what it saw, What will you dispute with him about what he sees? He saw him another time (53:12-13)

Al-Mawaradi said: It is said that Allah divided his vision and His speech between Musa and Muhammad (Peace be upon them both). Muhammad (Peace be upon him) saw Him twice and He spoke to Musa (a.s) twice.

Abul Fath ar-Razi and Abul Layth as-Samarqandi relate this from Ka’b al-Ahbar (rah) and Abdullah ibn al Harith (rah) said that Ibn Abbas and Ka’b agreed on this point. Ibn Abbas (ra) said: As for us, the Banu Hashim,we say that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) saw his Lord twice., Ka’b said: Allah hu Akbar until the mountains echoed him. He further said: Allah divided his vision and speech between Muhammad and Musa (Peace be upon them both)
Sharik relates that when Abu Dharr (ra) commented on this ayat, he said: “The Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) saw his Lord. Imam Samarqandi [of the Islaaf] relates from Muhammad bin Ka’b al-Qurdhi and Rabi’ Ibn Anas that the Prophet was asked: Have you seen your Lord? He said: I saw Him with my heart, but I did not see him with my eye (Footnote by A: This chain is not authentic and does not reach the Prophet plus it has been established above that Prophet saw Allah with his eyesight, we the Ahlus Sunnah do not fabricate classical literature like Salafis do so our honesty asks us to relate things as they are without altering them). Malik ibn Yukhamir related from Mua’dh bin Jabal that the Prophet said: I saw my Lord and he asked me, Muhammad about what did the higher Assembly disagree [Absolutly sahih hadith on criteria of Bukhari]

Abdur Razzaq ibn Hammam [The sheikh of Imam Bukhari, the best ever Muhadith as said by Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal] related that Hassan al Basri [He requires no introduction] used to take an oath (By Allah) that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) saw his Lord.

[End Quote , Ash Shifa by Qadhi Iyaadh, Chapter on "Sight of Allah"]

Also see this following Fatwa from Ahlus Sunnah Dar-ul-Ifta

Rendered into English:

Question: Did the Prophet (Peace be upon him) see his Lord? (On the incident of Layla tul-Mi'raaj). I have heard some scholars that Prophet (Peace be upon him) has seen his Lord.

Answer: On the Night of ascension the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was blessed with the Sight of Allah and "THIS IS THE AQIDA OF AHLUS-SUNNAH WAL JAMM'AH" [Dar ul Ifta Jamia Nizamia, Dated: 14-05-2008]

In Depth Analysis of the two most famous Narrations

Narration of Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him)

Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that: Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) himself said:

رأيت ربي تبارك وتعالى
I saw my Lord, (Allah) Tabaraka Wa Ta'ala.

[Al Musnad-Imam Ahmad Bin Hambal, 386/4, #2634]

Narration of Sayyedah Aisha (Allah be pleased with her)
Narrated by Masruq:
Sayyedah Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) said, "If anyone tells you that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) has seen his Lord, he is a liar, for Allah says: 'No vision can grasp Him.'
[Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]

Analysis of narration of Sayyedah Aisha (Allah be pleased with her)
By The Grace of Allah we say:

- Narration of Sayyedah Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her) is authentic. 
- Narration of Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) is also authentic and all narrators are narrators of Bukhari and Muslim. And Imam Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him) also Accepted that narration as authentic (continue reading to the end of this article).

- Most important point to understand is: When we compare both narrations we see that the stance of Sayyedah Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her) is her own personal view/ijtihad. This can be seen as she is using an Ayah (verse) of Quran to explain her stance where as Hazrat Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) is narrating directly from Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) without using his opinion. Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) also has different interpretation of the same verses quoted by Sayyedah Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her).

- Did Sayyedah Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) also do ijtihad on other issues like we are claiming here?
Yes, we will show evidence of this further below in this article In sha ALLAH which will help us to develop our understanding of the issue.

Rule: When two authentic reports apparently contradict each other. We Should try to reconcile them. If not, superiority is sought.

Note: Emotional arguments academically are not acceptable e.g, saying that She is Wife of PROPHET (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) and She is mother of believers, how can she not know about it? Why are you rejecting her statement etc are not gona work. We can also reply with: Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) is the one about whom Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, O Allah! Bestow on him the knowledge of the Book (Qur'an). So why you are rejecting Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him)?
And if you think we are disrespecting Mother of Believers (Allah be pleased with her), then you should wash dishes at some hotel. That is a better place for you !

Comparison of Opinions/Ijtihaad of Sayyedah Ayesha Siddiqah (Allah be pleased with her) with other narrations

Hazrat Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said: I traveled with the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Uthman (Allah be pleased with them all); they would pray Zuhr and Asr as two Rak'ah and two Rak'ah (because of journey), not praying before them nor after them. [Sunan Tirmizi, Taqseer fi Safar, No 544; Sahih Ibn Khuzaima, 2/72 No 947; Musnad Bazzar, 12/141 No 5724; Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al Taqseer No 1102]

But it is reported from Sayyedah Ayesha Siddiqah (Allah be pleased with her) that she didn't use to pray Qasar during journey. Zuhri said he asked 'Urwa why 'A'isha prayed in the complete form during journey, and he replied that she interpreted the matter herself. [Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al Taqseer No 1090; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Musafireen wal qasariha No 685; Sunan Nasai, Kitab ul Salah No 455]

Sayyedah Ayesha Siddiqah (Allah be pleased with her) said: Offer prayer in the complete form (during journey). People said: Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
used to offer Two Rak'ah during journey. She replied: He used to be in the state of war and danger that those who are unbelievers may afflict. Are you also in the same state of war/danger? [Ibn Jareer Tabar i, Tafseer Jaame al Bayan, 9/129 No 10317Suyuti, Tafseer Durr al Mansoor, 2/656]

Wwhere as Yahya b. Umayya said: I told Hazrat Umar b. al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) that Allah had said: "You may shorten the prayer only if you fear that those who are unbelievers may afflict you" (Qur'an, iv. 101), whereas the people are now safe. He replied: I wondered about it in the same way as you wonder about it, so I asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) about it and he said: It is an act of charity which Allah has done to you, so accept His charity. [Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Musafireen wal qasariha, No 686;  Sunan Abu Dawud, Kitab Salatul Safar, No 1199]

And Ibn 'Abbas (Allah be pleased with him): Allah has prescribed the prayer by the tongue of your Apostle (ﷺ) as two rak'ahs for the traveler, four for the resident, and one in danger. [Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Musafireen wal qasariha No 687Sunan Abu Dawud, Kitab Salatul Safar No 1247;  Sunan Nasai , Kitab ul Salah No 456] 

By the Grace of ALLAH we Say:
- This clearly proves that she had her own opinions on certain issues as some of the other learned companions had.
- But preference will be given to the Saying/Sunnah of Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
- For people of intellect, This example is enough to nullify the bunch of emotional arguments.
- There is no such rule that if some Sahabi/Sahabiyyah is narrating something with his/her own ijtihad, it will be accepted without any ifs and buts even if it contradicts the saying of Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
Still Do not believe? Read the book of the person you hold high in authority, Ibn e Taymiyyah, Majmu Al Fatawa, 97-98/24

Authenticity of the Marfu (The Raised) Narration of Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him)

Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that: Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
 himself said: I saw my Lord, (ALLAH) Tabaraka Wa Ta'ala. [Musnad Ahmad]

Some People say that the narration attributed to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is weak and authentic report is the one which is Saying of Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) and not the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) (means Mauqoof):

By the Grace of ALLAH we Say:
- All narrators of the hadith are reliable.
- For its authenticity it is enough that Imam of Sunnah Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) used this Hadith as a Proof and Imam ibn e Hajr Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) Recorded it in Fathul Bari.

Narration of Imam Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him):
Maruzi (rah) asked Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (rah): People say that Sayyedah Aisha (Allah be pleased with him) used to exclaim that whosoever says the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saw his Lord has attributed a lie to Allah, so how shall this be answered? Imam Ahmed (rah) replied: From the saying of Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) [himself] when he said: “رأيت ربي” i.e. I saw my Lord, this will be an answer to Sayyedah Aisha's (Allah be pleased with her) Qawl because the saying of Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is far superior than saying of her (i.e. Aisha RA) [Fathul Bari]

Importance of Fathul Bari commentary on Sahih Al Bukhari:
Imam Ibn e Hajr 'Asqalani (rah) writes:
I have mentioned additional narrations (in commentary of Bukhari) to explain the texts and chains (of Bukhari).... And I have selected those additional narrations from the authentic primary Sources of hadith with the conditions of Sahih or Hasan.
[Muqaddamah-Imam Ibn e Hajr Asqalani, 4/1]

- Further below we will discuss The Mauqoof narration of Ibn e Abbas RA (i.e. his own saying) and we will try to understand some important rules about it.

Mauqoof Narration of Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him)

Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said: 
"Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
 saw his Lord."

- We Will see different wordings of this report further in this article below.
- With respect to chains, this report is not Solitary (ghareeb) ie not single chain.
List of some of those who heard it directly from Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him).
1. 'Ikramah.
2. 'Ata.
3. Abu 'Aaliyah.
4. Abu Salmah.
5. Shu'bi.
6. Yousuf Bin Mihraan.
7. Ad-Dahaak.

And From Each of them many other narrators took this narration. Therefore, if someone attempts to attack the authenticity of the saying of Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) will never succeed.

- Although Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) have reported it directly from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
 but if still some people are overly reluctant to accept the saying of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) then lets discuss it as Ibn e Abbas's (Allah be pleased with him) own saying.

Two important rules we should keep in our mind.

Rule 1: When a companion says something which does not concern his independent thought (ijtih d) will also be considered as marf u‘ (i.e. Prophet's Peace Be Upon him) own saying as mentioned by Imam Ibn e Hajr (rah) and many other Hadith masters:
Imam Ibn e Hajr (rah) writes in Nuzhatun Nazar:
(it is very important to understand that) when a companion says something which does not concern his independent thought (ijtih d) and has no reference to an ambiguous word or commentary of a rare word. [For 
instance] informing of past events like the beginning of creation and the occurrences of the [previous] prophets (peace be upon them), or informing of future events, like the [forthcoming] calamities and events, and the descriptions of the Day of Judgement. And likewise, [when the Companion gives] information of an act which results in a specific reward or specific punishment, [this too will also be considered as marf u‘ implicitly].

Rule 2: The one confirming is higher and more acceptable than one negating.

These two rules will help us to develop a deeper understanding of narrations that come into this category.

Opinion of Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him)
- We discussed that Sayyidah Ayesha Siddiqah (Allah be pleased with her) had her ijtihad about the issue and as her proof she used ayah (verse) of the Quran.

Imam Nawawi (rah) said: Sayyedah Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her) Didn't say that She heard it from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
 that "He didn't see his Lord" but what she said was as interpretation of verses of Quran (with her own understanding). 
Imam Nawawi (rah) further states: And If a companion say something and other companions oppose it (with stronger proofs) then the saying of first companion will not remain Hujjah i.e. valid argument. [Sharah Sahih Muslim by Imam Nawawi]

- On ther other side Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) didn't use his ijtihad and clear proof of it is he is not using any ayah to support his view and it is something which he cannot attribute it to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) without having its knowledge from Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and such narrations comes under category of Rule 1.

Imam Nawawi states:
When it is proven from the authentic narrations of Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that he (Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saw his Lord then its something one cannot assume by his own understanding and assumption, definitely he (Ibn Abbas ra) said this after hearing it from Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and its not allowed for someone to think that Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said it according to his own assumption and ijtihad. [Sharah Sahih Muslim-Imam Nawawi]

Summary of this discussion is:
According to First rule even Mauqoof narration of Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) goes back to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and becomes Marfu' and the saying of Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is far superior than saying of Hazrat Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) as mentioned by Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal (rah) which we discussed earlier in this article. Hence superiority must be given to report of Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him).

Interpretation of verses Quoted by Ayesha Siddiqah (Allah be pleased with her) according to Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him)

- What about the interpretation of those verses Quoted by Sayyedah Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her) as proof of her view?
By The grace of Allah We Say: Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) is the one about whom Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
 said, "O Allah! Bestow on him the knowledge of the Book (Qur'an)" and he interpreted those verses in a very different way. 

Imam Tirmidhi narrates and also declared it Hasan: Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said that Sayyedena Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
 saw his Lord, (Ikrama) asked (and quoted proof of Ayesha RA that): Hasn’t Allah said that Eyes cannot “COMPREHEND” him, at this (Ibn Abbas ra) replied: Strange (Arabic wording is more strict but we have translated it to Strange) that you have not understood, this is when Allah shows glimpse of his own Nur (which cannot be comprehended), So Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) indeed saw Allah twice.

Another good report will help us to understand the Meaning of "COMPREHEND"
- Ikramah reported that Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said: "Sayyedena Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saw his Lord." Someone asked him Hasn’t Allah said that Eyes cannot “COMPREHEND” him, at this 'Ikramah replied to the person: Can you see the sky? He replied: Yes I can. Ikramah Said: Can you "COMPREHEND' it?
(by which he means one can have sight of Allah but cannot comprehend it and it is interpretation of verse that "Eyes cannot “COMPREHEND” him"
[Tafseer Dur Al Manthur- Imam Suyuti]

Imam Nawawi (rah) states: The Proof which Sayyedah Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) took (to reject sight of Allah) i.e. {Eyes cannot comprehend him} the apparent answer to this will be that there cannot be Idraak (i.e. complete comprehension, to gather all around, to see all aspects) of Allah, so the Nass (of Quran) does Nafi of Al-Ihaat but this does not do Nafi of sight without Ihaata (i.e. complete comprehension)

- Moreover it is also supported by the fact that on the day of Judgment Saliheen will have sight of Allah. If HIS sight is not possible at all then it should be the same on the Day of Judgment but Imam Bukhari and Muslim narrates: 

During the lifetime of the Prophet (ﷺ) some people said, : O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?" The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Yes; do you have any difficulty in seeing the sun at midday when it is bright and there is no cloud in the sky?" They replied, "No." He said, "Do you have any difficulty in seeing the moon on a full moon night when it is bright and there is no cloud in the sky?" They replied, "No." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "(Similarly) you will have no difficulty in seeing Allah on the Day of Resurrection as you have no difficulty in seeing either of them.
Which narration is more preferred - Narration of Sayyedah Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her) or Narration of Hazrat Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him)

What we have discussed already is enough for the proof that narration of Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) is preferred over narration of Sayyedah Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her). But it can also be proven by Rule 2 (Which we mentioned above) that "The one confirming is higher and more acceptable than one negating"

It is a simple Usool that we sometimes use in hadith literature. (But is also sometimes misused by people such as al-lalbaani who have no ground in fiqh and its Usool).

This rule that "The one confirming is higher and more acceptable than one negating" is specifically used in the context of ahadith or incidents where for example a companion says "The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
 said 'he will go to jannah' and some other companion says "The Prophet didn't speak about him".

In this case, the one who says "He said" is above and more acceptable than the one who says "He didn't", because the latter says this because of his 'Laa 'Ilmi" and lack of knowledge or lack of presence."

After understanding this rule lets read Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him). Imam Nawawi (rah) states that:

"Ma’mar bin Rashid (rah) said regarding the difference between Hazrat Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) and Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that Hazrat Aisha (ra) was not aware about this (completely) whereas Ibn Abbas (ra) was, So when Ibn Abbas (ra) is proving it while some others are doing Nafi of it then It is a (Principle) that Masbat (Proof) takes over Nafi (rejection).

The result of all (proofs which have been shown) is that it is pre dominantly established amongst many Ullamah that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saw Allah with his eyes on the night of Ascension as the hadith from Ibn Abbas (ra) and others have been mentioned before, the proof of which comes from Prophet (Peace be upon him) hence there should be no doubt about it." [Sharah Sahih Muslim, Imam Nawawi]

By the grace of Allah Almighty we Say:
By All means, Hadith of Ibn e Abbas (ra) is preferred over the opinion of Hazrat Ayesha RA and it is Madhab of vast Majority of Ummah that Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saw Almighty Allah.
If someone says saying of Sayyedah Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her) is in Sahih Bukhari that is why it is more preferable than Hadith of Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him). Then our challenge to such individual is to prove from any saying of the Hadith Masters where they have stated that 'Sahih is the one which is also practicable'

Conclusion - Different texts from Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) about Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) Saw ALLAH.

We get three different texts from Ibn e 'Abbas (Allah be pleased with him):
1. He said that Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
 saw (Allah) with his heart. [Sahih Muslim]
2. He said that that Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saw (Allah) with his eyes. [Suyuti]
3. He said Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saw Allah once with his eyes and once with his heart. [Tabrani]

By The Grace of Allah Almighty we say:
- When we get different apparently contradicting reports, instead of rejecting one and accepting other we should try to reconcile them. (Usool ul Hadith 101)

As far as reports of Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) is concerned, Hadith of Tabrani is self explanatory that He (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
 saw Allah once with his eyes and once with his heart.
And this meaning is more close to the verse of Quran:

"(His) heart did not take it contrary to what (his) eyes beheld. Do you argue with him about what he saw? And assuredly, he saw Him (Allah Unveiled) the second time (again and you argue only about seeing Him once)."
[Surah an-Najm, 53:11-13]

Now If someone says that seeing him is baatni (spiritual) seeing not in reality. 
We say:
- Reports of Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) we mentioned are already very clear. But lets look at some other narrations:

"Ibn 'Abbas met Ka'b at Arafat, so he asked him about something and he kept on saying the Takbir until it reverberated off of the mountains. So Ibn 'Abbas (finally) said: 'We are Banu Hashim.' So Ka'b said: 'Indeed Allah divided His being seen and His speaking between Muhammad and Musa. He spoke to Musa two times, and Muhammad saw Him two times. [Tirmidhi] 

- Ibn Abbas (ra) narrates: Are you surprised at friendship of Ibrahim (a.s) [with Allah], The Speech of Musa (directly with Allah) and Sight of Muhammad (Salallaho alaihi wasalam)? [Nasaai And Haakim]

We say:
Analyze the narration with open and neutral mind.
- Ibn e Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) is comparing The Speech of Musa (directly with Allah) and Sight of Muhammad (Salallaho alaihi wasalam).
If Speech of Musa (Alayhissalam) with Allah was not real and it was all Batni (spiritual) thing then you can say the same about Sight of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).
But if Speech of Musa (Alayhissalam) was real (obviously which was) then Sight of Sayedena Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was also likewise. 

And in our concluding comments we quote here Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him). He writes in Sharah Sahih Muslim:
"The result of all (proofs which have been shown) is that it is pre-dominantly established amongst many Ulama that Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saw Allah with his eyes on the night of Ascension as the hadith from Ibn Abbas (ra) and others have been mentioned before, the proof of which comes from Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) hence there should be no doubt about it."

So we must be very careful from Bid'ati monkeys qouting bukhari without even knowning its meaning and context. May Allah protect us all from their innovations. Aameen.
Alhamdolillah We have completed our detail discussion about narration of Ibn e Abbas (RA) and Sayyedah Ayesha (RA).  All praises belong to Allah Almighty and Salat o Salalm on Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)
By Wajahat Hussain Al-Hanafi

The Holy Ascension of
Prophet Muhammad 

(from the Dalail-al-Khayrat Sharhi of Kara Da’ud, d. 1541)

The 178th name of the Prophet, on whom be peace, is Sahib-al-Mi’raj (he who was granted ascent to Heaven). Oh Allah, Thy Benediction be upon the owner of this name. The word ‘Mi’raj’ signifies an instrument that facilitates ascent, such as a flight of stairs. Our Holy Muhammad {s} ascended to the heavens on a stairway of precious gems beginning at al-Quds (‘the holy’, i.e. Jerusalem) during his lifetime and in his pure physical form. Among all the prophets and messengers, it was a privilege reserved for the Holy Muhammad {s} alone to be granted such an experience. Therefore the appellation Sahib-al-Mi’raj was appended to his name.
Now we shall set forth in full the account of the Mi’raj that the Holy Muhammad {s} was honored to experience.
When the Prophet Muhammad {s} had reached his fortieth year, he was sent with mercy for the whole world as a prophet and messenger of God to all people. He began to preach his message and invite people to faith. It was in the twelfth year of his calling, on the twenty-sixth day of the month of Rajab that the Muhammad{s} went to the Baytullah (the Kaba) and sat by himself in front of one of the pillars. There he engaged in remembrance and meditation of the Lord Almighty.
Just then, Abu Jahl came in to meet with his helpers and henchmen. He saw Muhammad {s} sitting there all on his own, engaged in the worship of his Lord. Seeing him thus, he thought to himself, “I will play him a prank,” and going up close to him, he bent down and asked him, “Oh Muhammad {s}, are you a Prophet?” Muhammad {s} answered him directly, saying, “Yes, I am a Prophet.” Abu Jahl went on to say, “How can you be a prophet whilst you sit here all alone? Where is your following, where are your helpers? Had there been any necessity for a new prophet, the call to prophethood certainly would have come to me. Look at my following, look at the number of my retainers!” And, striking an arrogant pose, he turned around and left. After Abu Jahl had gone, another one of his party came by with his group of followers.
He, too, approached the Holy Muhammad {s} sitting there on his own, with the intention of doing something hurtful to Muhammad {s}. He spoke as Abu Jahl had spoken, then he turned and left. In this way, no less than seven of the notables of Quraysh came by with their accomplices and they all spoke the same words as Abu Jahl, as if they had previously devised a plan. As a result, the Holy Muhammad {s} became very dejected and his spirits fell. He thought to himself, “It is now twelve years that I am calling them to Islam and to the belief in the Unity of Allah Almighty. However, far from accepting the Truth, they don’t even understand the concept of the Messenger. A Prophet has no need of a following of servants and retainers. All that is needful to a prophet is Divine Revelation and the order to make known His Divine Command.” Thus the Holy Muhammad {s} grew sad.
That night was the twenty-seventh night of the month of Rajab, a Monday night. He proceeded to the house of Umm Hani who was the daughter of Abu Talib, the sister of Ali. She lived in her father’s house, which was situated between Safa and Marwa. The Muhammad {s} arrived at her house, and finding him downcast and dispirited, she asked him for the reason of this. The Muhammad {s} explained to her what had happened and why he felt as he did. Now, Umm Hani was an intelligent and resourceful woman. She comforted the Holy Muhammad {s} and said, “These men undoubtedly know that as a Prophet of Allah bringing the message of Truth you are not in need of servants and accomplices. But as they are a stubborn, envious and ill-tempered lot, they spoke these words with the sole purpose of insulting you and wounding your spirit.” These words served to comfort the Muhammad {s} somewhat, but he still remained distraught. It is reported that soon after praying the night prayer (Salat-al-‘Isha), he fell asleep in Umm Hani’s house in a saddened state of mind.
Then the Lord of all Created Beings who had created Rasulullah {S} before anything else, destining him to be a Messenger of many miracles and gifts of mercy to all the people in the world and endowing him with perfection and the ability to awaken love in the hearts of men; the Lord Almighty whose Glory reaches from end to boundless end, other than whom there is no God, in His aspect of Majesty and Might, addressed Himself to the angel Jibra’il u, saying, “My Beloved whom I have chosen from amongst all My Creation, the Best of them all, lies sleeping in the house of Umm Hani, aggrieved by the hurtful words of the unbelievers. Let your piety and obedience be an invitation to My Beloved.
  • Go, adorn your dazzling wings with the gems of Paradise and enjoy the dignity of being at his service.
  • Go and tell Mikha’il to leave off the weighing out of provisions this night,
  • tell Israfil to abandon his trumpet for one hour, and tell
  • Azra’il for this one night to refrain from taking any souls.
  • Tell the angels of the lights and luminaries to festoon the heavens with lamps;
  • tell Ridwan to embellish the gardens of Paradise, and admonish the angels to keep the gate to the pits of Hell firmly fastened and the demons of Hell not to move from their places.
  • “Tell the Huris to bedeck themselves and to set about scattering precious gems, preparing all the Paradise mansions.
  • Say to the Throne-bearing angels: ‘Wrap the sphere of the skies in its blessed robes and equip yourselves each with seventy thousand angels.’
  • You, Jibra’il, repair to Paradise and there select a Buraq steed, then descend to the face of the earth.
  • All the punishment in the graves shall be lifted for the duration of this night. Go to My Beloved who fell asleep of sad and dejected mind in Umm Hani’s house, and be his companion. Awaken him gently and explain to him that this night he is to be shown his great destiny and the
  • station of nearness (qurb) that excels all other stations of elevation and honor. Invite him to come along with you.”

Buraq is Dispatched to His Noble Mount 5

Jibra’il u then went to the Paradise gardens where he beheld forty thousand Buraqs as they were grazing. Each one had the name of Muhammad {s} written across its forehead. Among them was one Buraq, which seemed sad and dejected; its head was bowed and tears were streaming from its eyes. Jibra’il uapproached that Buraq without hesitation and asked him the reason for its distress. The Buraq then said, “As I was prancing about in Paradise Gardens, a voice suddenly came to my ear, which said, ‘Oh Muhammad {s}!’ No sooner had I heard this name spoken than I became enamored of the bearer of this name. For forty thousand years now I have been burning with the fire of separation and the hope of attaining union. Ever since I am weeping, in the sway of intense longing.”
Jibra’il u had pity on the state of this Buraq and said to him, “Your beloved Muhammad {s} has this very night been invited to ascend to the Heavens. He needs to be transported from the Masjid-al-Haram (Mecca) to the Masjid-al-Aqsa (Jerusalem) by a Buraq steed. It is you I will select, so come now and attain fulfillment.” Then he saddled the Buraq with a saddle of light and placed a bit in his mouth of green chrysolite. Next he went to the chamber, where the spiritual king of this world and the world to come, the Messenger to both mankind and Jinn, lay sleeping.

Muhammad {s} Narrates His Mi’raj 5

Now, the compilers of Hadith have narrated in six collections of Hadith the story of the Prophet’s Mi’raj as it was told to them by no less than twenty of the venerable companions who heard it as the King of Prophet's {s} told it to them himself. This then was his narrative:
“I had fallen asleep in Umm Hani’s house, my eyes were closed, but my heart was wakeful. Suddenly, I heard the voice of Jibra’il u in my ear, and rising from my slumber, I sat up, finding myself face to face with the angel Jibra’il u. He spoke to me, saying, ‘The Lord Almighty sends you His greetings of peace and invites you to come with me. I will carry you along, for the Lord wishes to shower upon you the diversity of His munificence. Of those that have gone before you, none has ever attained to such munificence, nor will any who are to come after you ever attain to it.’’
“I rose and wished to perform my ablutions. Water was ordered to be brought from the heavenly stream of Kawthar. Before I had even uncovered my hands and feet, preparing to take ablution, Ridwan had already brought two jugs full of water from the stream of Kawthar in pitchers of red ruby. He also brought a bowl of green emerald that had four corners to it. In each corner there was a gem that shone like the sun and lit up the night sky. I washed with this blessed water, and they clad me in a wrap of pure light and set upon my head a quilted turban of light.
  • “The story of this turban is this: eight thousand years before the creation of Adam,
  • the angel Ridwan wound this turban in my name. Since that time up until now, forty thousand angels stand about this turban reciting praises and glorifying the Lord.
  • After every single one of their glorifications, they recite blessings (Salat-wa-Salam) upon me.
  • That turban has forty thousand folds, and in every one of these folds there are four lines of writing.
In the first line is written: Muhammad {s} is the Messenger of Allah.
In the second line is written: Muhammad {s} is the Prophet of Allah.
In the third line is written: Muhammad {s} is the Beloved of Allah.
In the fourth line is written: Muhammad {s} is the Friend of Allah.
“After this, Jibra’il u covered my back with a cape of light and fastened around my waist a belt of red rubies. He placed in my hand a whip made of green emeralds, which was embellished with four hundred pearls, each of which shone like the morning star. He clad my feet in a pair of slippers crafted from green emerald. Thereafter he took me by the hand and led me to the Haram.”
In another narration, the Muhammad {s} continues his account as follows:
“I made my ablution with the waters of the Zamzam well. Then I circled the Holy House seven times and prayed two Rak’ats at the Maqam Ibrahim.
  • I came to the place called the Khatm and there sat down for a bit to rest.
  • While I was sitting there, Jibra’il u split my chest asunder and brought two large basins filled with knowledge and wisdom, respectively.
  • Mikha’il brought three basins full of Zamzam water wherein they washed my entrails and my bosom.
  • Then he opened up my heart and took from it the small black clump of clotted blood, while saying, ‘This bit of clotted blood is the reason why men feel fear when they behold an awesome sight.
  • I have taken it from you, for tonight you will behold the Heavens and the Lote Tree, the Divine Throne and Divine Court and the many strange and wonderful things they contain, and many great angelic creatures.
  • Therefore I have cleansed you of this clot, so that you might gaze at whomever you will and speak what needs to be said without fear or constraint.’ He then took from the basin the knowledge and wisdom contained in it and placed it within my heart.
  • He tucked it in and closed my chest again, so that there remained no trace or scar.
“Jibra’il u then took me by the hand and led me to a place outside of Mecca. I saw there the other great archangels, Mikha’il, Israfil and Azra’il, each surrounded by seventy thousand angels of their company. When they beheld me, they all stood to respectful attention and I gave them my greetings of peace. In answer to my greetings, they proclaimed the boundless graces of the Lord.
“Presently, Jibra’il u said to me, ‘Oh Prophet of Allah , I have brought you this Buraq from the Gardens of Paradise. Mount it now, for the Lord on High awaits your coming.’ I turned and saw the Buraq, which was as bright as the sun and as swift as a flash of lightning. As soon as he lifted his foot to take a step he had already reached as far as the eye could see. In addition, this Buraq had two wings by his side, which he used whenever he wished to fly through the air.”
The wise and learned have this to say about the Buraq: his body is smaller than that of a mule, but larger than that of a donkey. He speaks pure, intelligible Arabic. The Lord has created each of his limbs from a different set of precious materials. His hooves are made of corals; his feet are of gold. His chest is of red ruby stone, while his back is made pearls. The wings at his side are of ruby red. His tail resembles the tail of a camel. According to a different narration, his tail resembles that of a peacock and is of extreme comeliness. His mane was that of a horse while his feet resembled those of a camel. He was saddled with a saddle from Paradise, and his stirrups were of red ruby, beset with jewels.
“The angel Jibra’il u held the stirrups for me, saying, ‘Mount!’ As I made ready to mount him, the Buraq stirred restively. Jibra’il u addressed him, ‘Oh Buraq, are you not ashamed of yourself? How dare you dare behave with such insolence? By the Grace of Allah Almighty whose Glory is vast and whose bounties are all-encompassing, beside whom there is no other Lord, never will you see a rider of greater merit and excellence!’ At the angel’s words, the Buraq blushed with shame and began to tremble all over. Large drops of sweat trickled from his brow and he said, ‘Oh Jibra’il u, I have a request to make, and it was from this urgency that I behaved thus, not because I am reluctant to fulfill my duty. Now you have put me to shame.’”
The Holy Muhammad {s} then turned to the Buraq and asked him what his request was and how it might be fulfilled. “Oh my Muhammad {s},” replied the Buraq, “I have been stricken with love for you since before time began. For untold eons, I was immersed in yearning, submerged in an agony of love. Now, by the Grace of Allah, I have been granted the boon of beholding your light and perceived your blessed scent. My love now has blossomed forth and increased thousand fold. On the Day of Gathering, when you rise from your blessed resting-place, you will be brought to the place of gathering on a Buraq steed. The request of my love is this: that you will mount no other steed than me on that tremendous day, thereby completing my happiness and filling my heart with the light of joy.” The Holy Muhammad {s} answered and said, “I granted the Buraq his request and promised that I would mount no other than him on that day.”
After hearing from the Buraq that he would be brought to the Site of Judgment on back of a Buraq, the Muhammad {s}, the Glory of all Creation, the Quintessence of all Being grew thoughtful as he pondered the fate and state of his nation on that day. The Lord Almighty who is aware of every hidden thing then made the angel Jibra’il u ask Muhammad {s} the reason for his sudden sadness. The Holy Muhammad {s} replied:
“I have been informed by the Buraq of the honor that will be shown to me on that mighty day in that I will be fetched and mounted on a Buraq. It occurs to me to reflect on the state of my nation on that day: they are but weak, far from perfect, sinful mortals; how, on the Day of Judgment, will they go on foot to the place of assembly which is at a distance of fifty thousand years bearing the weight of all their sins? How will they manage to cross the bridge of Sirat, which is a stretch of three thousand years’ wayfaring?
“I was then informed by Divine inspiration that Divine Grace would reach every single one on that day. Just as the Lord would send a Buraq to fetch me from my grave, so every single soul belonging to my nation would be sent a Buraq to bring him to the Site of Judgment. They would cross the Bridge of Sirat in a flash and they would traverse a road of fifty thousand years as if in a single moment. ‘This is a Favor and Grant of Kindness to your nation, oh Muhammad {s},’ I was told, ‘therefore, let your mind be easy on this account.’
There is a verse in the Holy Quran relating to these events:
On that day that We shall muster the God-fearing to the All-Merciful with pomp. (Mary, 85)
The Holy Muhammad {s} then continued in his narrative:
“Learning of the promise of the Lord’s Favor and Kindness, I mounted upon the Buraq filled with joy. Jibra’il u and a following of seventy thousand angels were at my right stirrup, Mikha’il u with seventy thousand angels was at my left stirrup, and every one of these angels held in his hand a candelabrum of light. Behind me went Israfil u with seventy thousand angels and on his shoulder he bore the saddlecloth of the Buraq. I begged his pardon for its great size and that he was made to carry it, since it nearly covered him entirely, but he answered me, ‘Oh Rasulullah {S}, how many thousands of years have I been praying for the favor of being permitted to bear this weight of your Buraq’s covering! At last the All-Gracious Lord has heard my pleas and granted me this favor!’ ‘Why did you pray for this?’ I asked him. Israfil u answered, ‘For how many thousands of years did I worship the Divine Throne!’
“At last there came a voice addressing me, saying, ‘What is it that you long for? Your prayer has been accepted.’ I replied, ‘Oh my Lord, when his time on earth has come, I pray that I might be granted one hour in the service of the intercessor for his sinful nation,
  • whose name the King on the Day of Judgment has deigned to write on the base of the Divine Throne beside His own Blessed Name.’
  • To this the Almighty Lord replied, ‘I grant you your prayer.
  • There will come one night during his lifetime in which I will grant him the experience of My Nearness.
  • I will bring him from his lowly station on earth up to the highest Heaven.
  • I will open for him the gates of My treasure houses with the Key of Witnessing.
  • I will lead him from Mecca to the Bayt-al-Maqdis (Jerusalem), and until he arrives there, you will have the honor of carrying the saddle cloth of his mount.’”
The Holy Muhammad {s} then continued:
“That night, the Buraq’s feet did not touch the ground. All the way from Mecca to Jerusalem were spread the fine, flowered silks from Paradise, on which the Buraq trod. On my way, suddenly one Ifrit (demon) appeared before me and leaned towards me, with flames leaping from his mouth. Jibra’il u then said to me, ‘Oh Rasulullah {S}, let me teach you a few words to say, which will extinguish the fire of this Ifrit and undo his existence.’ ‘Do teach me, please!’ I replied and he taught me these words:
A’udhu bi-wajhi-llahil-karim wa bi-kalimati-llahi-t-tammat-allati la yujawizuhunna barrun wa la fajir, min sharri ma yanzilu min-as-sama’i wa ma ya’ruju fiha wa min sharri ma yakhruju minha wa min fitan-il-layli wa-n-nahari wa min tawariq-il-layli wa-n-nahari illa tariqan yatruku bi-khayrin, ya Rahman!
(I seek refuge in the gracious nature of my Lord Allah, and in the perfection of the Divine Word which neither the righteous nor the transgressor is able to breach, from the evil which descends from the sky and that which rises up to it; and from the evil which comes forth from the sky; and from the tribulations of the night and the day, and from all the calamities of night and day, except for those that result in benefit, oh Lord of Mercy!)
“When this Du’a was recited, the fire of this Ifrit died down and the creature ceased to exist. A voice then came from my right side, saying, ‘Oh Muhammad {s}, stay for a moment and linger; for there is something I wish to ask you...’ This voice called me three times, but I paid it no heed and went on. Then I heard a voice calling me from my left side, and it said, ‘Oh Muhammad {s}, wait awhile, I need to ask you something.’ But again I listened not to it and passed on.
  • Then I beheld a woman, magnificently bedecked in costly robes and lavishly bejeweled.
  • When I passed close by her, I saw that she was a very old woman.
  • Thrice she spoke to me, saying, ‘Stop!’ but I heeded not her call and passed on.
  • “Ahead of me I saw an old man, bent over his staff and trembling in every limb. He, too, requested me thrice to stop and stay with him. ‘Look at me and pity my condition,’ he said, ‘let me enjoy your beauty, for I have something I want to ask you.’
  • But I passed him by, not heeding his pleas.
  • After a while, I beheld a fresh youth of surpassing beauty whose face shone with light, ‘Stay, oh Muhammad {s},’ he addressed me, ‘for I have things to ask of you.’
“At his words, the Buraq halted, and I gave him Salams. After responding to my greetings, he said, ‘Good tidings to you! All good is in you alone and in your nation.’ To this I rejoined, ‘Alhamdulillah!’ and Jibra’il u echoed my words. I then asked him who these people were whom I had just seen. He answered,
  • ‘The voice coming from the right was the voice of the unbelievers. Had you stopped there, your nation would have been overpowered by them, and reduced to contempt after your time.
  • The voice coming from your left was that of the Christians; had you paused to stop there, your nation would have been overpowered by the Christian peoples after your time and subjugated by them.
  • The woman you saw was this world, the dunya. She appears finely decked out and attractive to those who wish to possess her. Her decorations and fine robes are meant to fool and deceive mankind.
  • ‘The fact that she appears to be an old woman indicates that the Last Day has drawn nigh.
  • Had you been swayed by her appeal, your whole nation would have become obsessed with the goods of this world and would have worshipped them.
  • The old man you saw was the accursed devil, Shaytan himself. He knows how kind and merciful you are by nature, so he tried to ensnare you by appearing pitiful to you.
  • It was nothing but a guile to stay you.
  • Had you been fooled by his words, your nation would never have been saved from his wiles, up to the very last drop of their blood, he would have gained the upper hand over very many of them.
  • As for the young lad you saw, he is the religion of Islam.
  • It was there that you stopped; therefore, after your time, your entire nation will be safe from the machinations of the enemy and the religion of Islam will endure.
‘You had been concerned with a number of questions regarding your nation, such as,
  • ‘What will happen when they go out at night into the desert and run into a company of malevolent Jinn?
  • What will be their state after I am gone?’
  • Allah Almighty who knows all that is hidden and what is manifest then made that Ifrit appear to you and taught you the means of salvation.
  • After your time, there will be no religion that will overcome this religion of Islam.
  • The nation of Muhammad {s} will live according to the Divine Law of the Shari’a. Thus, in the final end, they will be saved from the wiles of Shaytan and reach to safety.
  • Islam will remain on earth until the Day of Judgment. All that you have seen are signs from Allah who wishes to awaken you and relieve you of your fears and doubts.’ And thus, Jibra’il u explained to me these visions.
“After some time we reached a place where date palms were plentiful. Jibra’il u told me to dismount there and to pray, so I did. When I had finished praying, Jibra’il asked me whether I knew this place where I had prayed and he told me that it was called Tayyiba (which is one of the names for Madinah al-Munawwara). And he told me that before long I would migrate to this place. Next we came to a place, which was all white. Again Jibra’il u told me to dismount and to pray there. Then he asked me if I knew the place, and when I did not he explained that this was the tree beneath which Musa had prayed when he came to the land of Madian.
“When Musa was fleeing from Pharaoh, he came to this land. Outside the city of Madian he saw some shepherds watering their flocks, and he saw two girls who were standing at a distance from the well, waiting for their turn. Musa felt sorry for the girls and went up to them to inquire why they waited. Learning their story, he said to himself, ‘Herein lies great reward,’ and disregarding his own fatigue, he went and watered their sheep for them. Then he withdrew to a tree and prayed beneath it. This very tree is the tree you have now prayed beneath, oh Muhammad {s}.’
“Afterwards we came to yet another place, and Jibra’il u said, ‘Dismount, and pray here!’ When I had done so and again did not know where it was that I had just prayed, he told me, ‘This is
Tur-i-Sina, Mount Sinai, where the Almighty Lord revealed Himself to His Prophet Musa and spoke to him, in answer to his supplication.’
“We continued apace and in time reached a grand mansion where again the angel bade me pray, explaining that this was the village where the Prophet ‘Isa was born. When I had done praying, I beheld a group of people who were planting a field. No sooner had they planted a seed than it yielded seven hundredfold. I asked the angel who these people were, and he told me, ‘These are the people who expend of their wealth in the way of Allah.’
“Then again, I beheld another group of persons, whose heads were being smashed with stones by the angels, but they grew back instantly, only to be crushed again. ‘Who are these people?’ I asked the angel Jibra’il u. He said, ‘They are those of your nation who abandoned the practice of prayer, and those who performed it negligently in that when rising from the position of Ruk’u or Sajda, they did not bother to straighten up completely, but fused the various postures and phases of the ritual prayer in heedless haste.’
“I then saw a certain group of people who were altogether hungry and naked. Around them grew weeds of fire and the angels were driving them to eat those fiery weeds just as animals are driven to pasture. I asked who they were and the angel said, ‘They are those belonging to your nation who did not give the Zakat they were obliged to pay, and who had no compassion with the poor and destitute, the homeless widows and orphans.’
“Then I saw another people: to one side there was a spread of the choicest foods anyone could dream of, to the other there was some dreadfully smelling, rotten meat. These people never looked or turned to the delicious foods, but ate only of the carrion meat. ‘Who are they?’ I asked. ‘They are men and women of your nation who engaged in all manner of unlawful sexual activities, while lawful spouses were available to them.’
“After these, I saw a group of men piling up wooden logs. They were trying to lift them up, but they failed at every attempt. Their strength was simply insufficient, yet they kept up their futile efforts. ‘And who are they?’ I asked. Jibra’il u told me, ‘They are people of your nation who were engrossed in the affairs of this world (dunya). Whereas they had more than they could possibly use up, they were forever dissatisfied and tried to amass more and more. They are in love with the world and what it has to offer and they are constantly seeking to increase their share.’
“Then I saw a great stone, which had a little hole in it. Out of the hole came a snake and began to grow. Then it turned around and tried to go back through the little hole, but, having grown so large, it could not fit through it, and began to circle round and round the stone in confusion. I asked the Angel what this was, and Jibra’il u told me, ‘This stone symbolizes the body of your nation, and the small hole within it signifies their mouths. As for the snake, it signifies all the lies, and bad, forbidden things, gossip and slander that issues from their mouths. Once these things have emerged from their mouths, it is impossible to swallow them again, and they will be punished for these things in this life and the life hereafter. They will hear worse than this and will be called to account. So exhort your nation to mind their words, and beware of speaking evil and hurtful things, so that they might find salvation.’
“Then I saw a person drawing water from a well. With great effort he drew the bucket up to the rim of the well, but he found no water in it, an empty bucket was all he got for his trouble. I asked about him and Jibra’il u told me, ‘This is the condition of those who performed good works without a pure intention. Their aim was not Allah alone but the acclaim of men. Hence, though they put themselves through great trouble in their worldly lives, they reap no reward for it in the afterlife, but expose themselves only to greater troubles.’
“I saw another people bearing great loads upon their backs. Although they could hardly carry the weight, they said to their companions, ‘Load me up with more!’ ‘Who are they?’ I asked the angel Jibra’il u who answered me, ‘These are the people who defrauded goods left in their safekeeping. Despite being weighed down with such great weight, they seek to increase their wealth by unrighteous methods.’
“Then I saw another group of people whose tongues and lips were distended and hung down loosely. Angels with shears of fire came and cut off these flapping appendages. But whenever they cut them, they would immediately grow back as they were before, and the angels would resume their cutting. ‘Who are these?’ I asked Jibra’il u and he replied, ‘These are such persons as denounced their own people to their rulers and tyrants, the sycophants and toadies who upheld all their commanders’ lies rather than trying to save their people from the injustice committed by their rulers.’
“Then I saw a people whose flesh was being cut by the angels and fed to them. ‘Eat!’ the angels ordered them. When they couldn’t do this from the disgust they felt, the angels whipped them and ordered them again, ‘Eat!’ until they did so. ’Who are these?’ I asked, and Jibra’il told me, ‘These are people who spread calumnies about their fellowmen.’
“Next I beheld a people whose faces were black and whose eyes were blue. Their lower lips reached down to their feet, while their upper lip was affixed to their forehead. Blood and pus dripped from their mouths. In one hand they held a carafe full of fire, in the other hand a glass of fire. The blood and pus oozing from their mouths drips into the bottle and begins to boil. The angels order them to drink this, and force them to do so. But every time they try to fill their glasses and drink from them, the liquid boils so strongly and its stench is so disgusting that they cannot stand it and begin to bray like donkeys. The angels then beat them and make them drink it by force. ‘Who are these people?’ I asked Jibra’il. ‘These are the wine-drinkers,’ he replied.’
“Then I saw another group of people whose tongues stuck out from the backs of their necks and whose faces had become like the faces of pigs. From above and from below they were being whipped and beaten. ‘Who are these people?’ I asked, and Jibra’il u told me, ‘These are people who bore false witness and gave false testimony, and in so doing wronged the servants of Allah.’
“Another group appeared whose stomachs were so bloated that they hung pendulously down and whose hands and feet were bound and fettered. They could not rise to their feet because of the weight of their stomachs, and fell rolling upon the ground. ‘Who are these people?’ I asked Jibra’il. ‘These are people from your nation your practiced usury and misappropriated other people’s property.’
“Next I passed some women whose faces were blackened and who were given robes of fire to wear. Angels were beating them with maces of fire so that they howled like dogs. I asked Jibra’il who they were and he said, ‘These are the women who committed adultery and who caused their husbands pain and torment.’” “Next I came upon a group that was being slaughtered by angels with knives of fire. They came back to life, only to have their throats cut anew. ‘Who are they?’ I asked Jibra’il. ‘Those are people belonging to your nation who killed a soul without justification.’
“Then I came by a group of people who were suspended in mid-air while fire issued from their ears and noses and mouths. Each one of them was attended by two terrible, vengeful angels, and each angel held in his hand a fiery stick of seventy knots. With these they were beating them continuously, without stopping, while they recited this very significant Tasbih:
Qadir, Muqtadir, Subhanallah.
Allah Almighty is the Mighty Avenger over His foes; Allah Almighty is the Most Powerful, Praised be He.
“I asked Jibra’il about these people and he told me, ‘These are the people who outwardly confessed their faith, while in their hearts there was nothing but hypocrisy and disbelief.’
“Then I saw another group of people who were imprisoned in a valley of fire. They were being burnt to death, but they instantly came back to life, only to be burnt alive once more. Their punishment seemed very severe to me. ‘Who are these people?’ I asked the angel. ‘These are people who failed to honor and obey their parents and who were rebellious and opposed them.’
“Next I came upon a people upon whose chests were placed bowls of fire, while the angels were beating them with big sticks. ‘Who are these?’ I asked, and Jibra’il u said, ‘These are the musicians who played the lute and sang songs to the people.’
“Then I heard a terrible noise and asked what it was. Jibra’il told me, ‘A stone has fallen into the pit of Jahannam from its rim. It has been falling for three thousand years, and now it has hit the bottom. That was the noise you heard.’
About this stone there is the following narration: If a stone the size of a man’s head is rolled down from the earthly skies, it will fall down to earth in twenty-four hours, even though it falls a distance of five hundred years. Consider this distance and then consider how far a stone of that size must fall if it falls for three thousand years! That is the depth of the pit of Hellfire; therefore, take refuge in Allah from its raging fires.
The Muhammad {s} continues:
“I then came to another valley from which issued the most noxious smells and dreadful sounds. ‘What are these smells?’ I asked, and Jibra’il answered me, ‘That is the stench of Hell. Listen to what it has to say!’ I listened and this is what I heard: ‘Oh my Lord, send to me those servants whom you promised to me. My chains, my spikes, my fetters, my Zakkum trees and boiling waters and cauldrons of pus are ready for them, and other punishments as well. My snakes and scorpions have become many, and my depths unfathomable. Send me the servants You have promised to me, that I may begin to punish them..’ This was the reply that the Lord Almighty gave in answer to this request of Jahannam: ‘Oh Jahannam, I leave up to you these works! I will leave to you all those who attribute partners to My Holy Name, who disbelieve in Me and My Prophets, all those who are wicked and. villainous, be they male or female, and who disbelieve in the Day of Resurrection – all those I shall throw into your fires!’ Jahannam was pleased with the Lord’s promise and said, ‘I am satisfied, oh my Lord!’
“After this we reached a valley in which blew a gentle breeze and sweet smells wafted all around. A pleasant and melodious air struck the ear. I asked, ‘What is this most pleasing sound, where does it come from and what are these voices saying? What is this gentle wind and from where do these sweet smells come?’ Jibra’il then explained to me, ‘This is the smell and the breeze of Paradise. Just listen to what it says, and you will understand.’
“The breeze from Paradise spoke as follows, ‘Oh my Lord, send to me Thy servants whom Thou hast promised to me. All the delights I have in store for them are ready: the pavilions, fine and heavy brocades and silks, carpets and wraps, the pearls, jewels, silver and gold; the amber and musk; the spreads and jugs and vessels; all the varied foods of Paradise, the rivers of milk, honey, wine and water; the Huris, Ghilman and Wildan and all the unspeakable delights of Paradise are stocked in abundance and overflowing plenty. Send Thou Thy promised servants to me so that I might present them with these untold pleasures and shower them with gifts of goodness.’
“The Lord replied to this lovely supplication of the Jannah: ‘Oh Paradise, I shall send to you what you desire. I shall send you the men and women who believed in Me and worshipped Me alone, who recognized and honored My Messengers, engaged in beneficial actions and associated no partners to My Divinity. Whoever is in fear of Me and My Punishment, him I shall free and make safe from it. Whoever turns to Me in his need and invokes Me in extremis, to his need I shall hearken and his intent I shall see through.
Whoever grants Me a loan, I shall repay him manifold.[1] Whoever leaves all his cares up to Me, who entrusts all his affairs to Me, I shall take over for him all his labor. For I alone am Allah; there is no god beside Me. I fulfill all My vows; not do I turn back from My promises. All the believers have come to success. The Glory of the Creator outshines that of all His Creation.’
“To these words of Grace, Paradise replied, ‘I am well satisfied, oh my Lord!’

Bayt-al-Maqdis 5

Now the Holy Muhammad {s} saw a great many wondrous sights on the way to the Masjid-al-Aqsa, but these are the best known of them all, and we shall content ourselves with this much.
The Holy Muhammad {s} continues his narrative:
“After this, we came to the Bayt-al-Maqdis. There I saw the angels descending down to earth. They came to meet me and give me the glad tidings of abundant blessings and boons that the Lord of Holiness and Grace was to send to me. They greeted me with these words: ‘Salams to you, who are the first, Salams to you, who are the last, Salams to you, who are the assembler of men.’ With this address they honored me greatly, still I asked Jibra’il, ‘What kind of greeting is this - the First, the Last, the Assembler of Men is the Lord of the Worlds, Allah Almighty?’ Jibra’il u then told me, ‘Oh Rasulullah, on the Day of Judgment your tomb will be the first to open up, and then that of your nation. Therefore, they addressed you as the Gatherer. On that day, you will be the first to make intercession and yours will be the first intercession to be accepted. Therefore, they addressed you as the First. Of all the prophets in this world, you are the last to be sent, therefore they addressed you as the Last.’
“I then passed by them and came to the gates of the Masjid-al-Aqsa. I dismounted from the Buraq and Jibra’il tied him to a ring there. This was the ring to which the prophets and messengers always tied their mounts. The prophets and messengers came to greet me there and gave me much honor.”
Now there are two accounts of the meeting of the prophets and messengers with our Holy Muhammad {s}. One of them maintains that the Lord Almighty called the prophets back to life just for the sake of receiving the Holy Prophet Muhammad {s} with due formality; this implies that He resurrected them in their physical forms. The other, more commonly accepted version is this: that He Almighty called only their unblemished spirits to this meeting with the Prophet Muhammad {s}.
Let us continue with the Prophet Muhammad’s r narrative:
“They appeared to me as exceedingly great, honorable and enlightened personalities. I ask Jibra’il who they were and he told me, ‘They are your fathers and brothers, the prophets and messengers. Give them your Salams and salute them.’ I greeted them accordingly and entered the Masjid-al-Aqsa together with them. The Iqama was called and I thought to myself, ‘I wonder who will be the Imam of this gathering?’ While I was yet pondering this point, Jibra’il took me by the hand and said, ‘Go ahead up front, you are to be Imam, for you are the most excellent and the most highly esteemed.’ So I stepped out in front of them all and led all the prophets and messengers in a prayer of two Rak’ats.’”
The scholars have proffered various views concerning this prayer, which was prayed here. If it were categorized as ‘nafila’ (supererogatory), this is contradicted by the fact that it was prayed in congregation, for it is not permissible for nafil prayers to be prayed in congregation. It also could not have been the ‘Isha prayer, for this consists of four Rak’ats, while only two Rak’ats were here prayed. The most authoritative opinion on this is the following: the prayer, which Rasulullah led in the Masjid-al-Aqsa, is of the same kind as that which he led and prayed in each level of the heavens to which he ascended. And the one he prayed in the Bayt-al-Ma’mur and at the Sidratul Muntaha, in which he led the entire assembly of angels, and it partakes of its characteristics. It was performed upon the command of the Lord of the Worlds, Allah Almighty.

Meeting the Prophets 5

To continue in the words of the Holy Muhammad {s}:
“After completing the prayer, I turned my back to the Mihrab and my face to the assembly of prophets, on all of whom be peace, and I spoke to them. Every single prophet engaged in praise of the special gifts the Highest Lord had graced him with, and I also joined in the praise of Allah who equipped me with such outstanding gifts.
“Ibrahim praised the Lord and said, ‘Praise and glory to the Highest of the High who made me His intimate friend and gave me great possessions.’
“Musa praised Him Almighty and said, ‘Praise and glory be to Allah Almighty, the Highest of the High who spoke to me without intermediary, who caused Pharaoh and his henchmen to drown in the waters at my hand and who saved the Children of Israil. He made my nation a people guided to the Truth, judging by the Truth and striving for the good pleasure of Allah Almighty.’
“Next the Prophet Da’ud came forth and praised the Lord, saying, ‘Praise and Glory to the Divine Lord who made me king over such a great realm and who revealed to me the scripture of the Zabur. Who made iron to be as soft as beeswax in my hand, and who placed the birds and the mountains under my command, so that they all joined me in the praises of the Lord, who gave me knowledge of the law and the gift of sweet speech.’
“After him, his son Sulayman stepped forth and glorified the Lord thus: ‘Praise and Glory be to the Lord, the Mighty, the Enduring, who gave me power over the winds, and made the Jinn and the demons subservient to me, so that they did whatever I wished. He taught me the languages of the birds and the beasts and gave me greater excellence than many of His servants. He gave me such an incomparably vast kingdom, which no other mortal can ever hope to attain.’
“Then ‘Isa stepped forth and glorified his Lord, saying, ‘Praise and Glory be to the Almighty Creator who, as He created Adam from clay, brought me into existence without the contribution of an earthly father. He created me solely through His Creative Word, ‘Be!’ He taught me the wisdom of the Torah and the Injil and the knowledge of the law. He granted healing to the sick, seeing to the blind through my supplication, and by means of me, He brought the dead back to life. He made me and my mother safe from the wiles of the accursed devil and he lifted me up into the heavens in my living, physical body.’
“After they had spoken, I said to them, ‘You have now all voiced your glorification of the Lord; it is now my turn to glorify Him,’ and I began by saying, ‘Praise and Glory be to the Lord, the Forgiving, the Merciful the Abundant, Munificent, the Lord of Might and Honor who has sent me as a Mercy for the Worlds and as a Messenger of Joy to all humankind and as a Warner. He has sent a book to me that makes clear all things, and He has given my nation excellence over every previous nation. He has made my nation to be a people of the middle way. He split open my bosom and removed from it all sin. He has made my reputation to be blameless and He has given me victory over all created beings and made me the last and final of all prophets.’
“After I had completed my glorification, Ibrahim got up and said, ‘You have been made more meritorious than all the other Prophets with regard to your being victorious and being the last and final of the Prophets.’”
Some authorities relate the meeting of the Prophets as follows:
When Rasulullah {S} came to the Bayt-al-Maqdis, all the Prophets and Messengers rushed up to greet him. They saluted and praised him in many ways and sprinkled upon him showers of light. They marched out ahead of the Buraq as far the Masjid-al-Aqsa. There, the Holy Muhammad {s} dismounted from the Buraq, Jibra’il tied the halter of the Buraq and everybody halted. Then they addressed the Holy Prophet Z and said, “Oh Habibullah Z, it is for you to enter the Masjid ahead of us,” and the Prophet Muhammad {s} answered, “You were sent before me as Prophets, you therefore have the right of precedence over me. Therefore, proceed into the sanctuary ahead of me.” Then the Almighty Lord Himself addressed the assembly, “Oh My Beloved, you have attained a special station in this world by appearing with your message of Truth after all those present had gone before; but you are the one who has precedence over everything else that was in the hidden world before the Creation, for all was created from your light. Therefore, it is your right to proceed ahead of them all; enter now!”
At this command, the Holy Muhammad {s} together with the angel Jibra’il u entered and all the Prophets and Messengers followed them. Then Jibra’il called the Iqama, and the Prophet Muhammad {s} led the entire assembly of Prophets, Messengers and angels of the Muqarrabin in a prayer of two Rak’ats.
The Holy Muhammad {s} resumes the narrative:
“After we had prayed, I received an inspiration in my heart of hearts that it was now time to make supplication for my nation. I therefore raised my hands towards the heavens and began to plead for my weak and inadequate nation. I prayed for their salvation and safety, for grace and forgiveness, and for their release from Hell. All the assembled Prophets and Messenger and angels concluded my supplication by saying, ‘Amin!’
“At that very moment, I heard within me a voice which called to me, saying, ‘Oh My Beloved, you are seated in the Masjid-al-Aqsa, it is the night of your Mi’raj. You who are praying here are the Beloved of Allah and a much-honored Prophet; those answering to your supplication are all Prophets and Messengers and angels of the Muqarrabin, and He to whom you direct you supplication, He is the Most Merciful of the Merciful, the Most Bounteous of the Bountiful. He is Allah who leads all to the Light of His Guidance, the Sublime Lord of all Might and Glory. Beyond doubt, He will grant acceptance to your prayer, He will forgive the sins of your nation and grant them freedom from punishment. By My Might and Glory, I proclaim that I shall grant them of My Mercy. I shall clothe them with the honor of beholding the Sight of My Divine Beauty.’”
Oh Allah, grant us that our last breath might be one of faith, oh Lord of Mercy and Compassion! And grant us to behold Thy Divine Presence, for the sake and honor of Thy Prophet Muhammad {s}, Amin, ya Hannan, ya Mannan! (Oh Most Compassionate, Bounteous Lord!)
The Holy Muhammad {s} continues:
“After this, Jibra’il came out, holding in his hand three cups. One of these contained milk, one wine and the third water. He told me to choose one of these and to drink it. I chose the one that held milk and drank from it, but there was a little left over in the cup. When I handed the cup back to Jibra’il, he said to me, ‘You have chosen the natural disposition of Islam.’ Then I heard a voice from the unseen, which spoke to me, saying, ‘Oh Muhammad {s}, had you finished all the milk in the cup, not one of your nation would have had to go to Hell.’
“I then turned to Jibra’il and asked him to give the cup back to me so that I might empty it entirely. But Jibra’il said to me, ‘All that has been written must come to pass; what has been decreed from before the beginning of time, must take place, oh Rasulullah {S}.’”
The scholars make this comment: There are seventeen benefits in the fact that the Holy Muhammad {s} did not proceed directly to the heavens from the Kaba at Mecca in the night of his Mi’raj, but rather stopped at the Bayt-al-Maqdis and ascended from there.
If we were here to expound on all the seventeen benefits, it would take us a very long time; therefore, we shall content ourselves with the mention of only two points.
The first is this: Had our Holy Muhammad {s} ascended to the heavens directly from Mecca on his Mi’raj and later told his people about it, it would have been very difficult for him to convince those among them whose minds were stubbornly set in opposition to him. However, the Holy Muhammad {s} reported that he first went to the Bayt-al-Maqdis (the Temple site in Jerusalem) and that from there he ascended to the heavens. Even then, some of the most stubborn denied that this could have happened, and they challenged him, saying, “If it is true that you have been where you say you have, then tell us about the shape and structure of the Bayt-al-Maqdis. We have visited there before and so we know what it looks like, but we know that you have not been there before. If your description accords with what we know, then we will believe in what you tell us. We will then believe that in this night you have been to al-Quds, in full waking consciousness.”
The Holy Muhammad {s} then gave them the appropriate answers and described to them the shape and form of the buildings there, and thus he silenced them. In this way, the reality of the Mi’raj was proven.
But let me dwell on this subject a little longer: The day after the Mi’raj had taken place, the Muhammad {s} told his people about it, but they called it lies, saying, “If you really went to the Masjid-al-Aqsa last night, then you must be able to describe it to us.” Faced with this demand for proof, the Holy Muhammad {s}experienced some confusion. He had been entirely engaged in holy converse with the assembled Prophets and Messengers that he had not so much as glanced at the building of the holy mosque there. But Jibra’il appeared to him just that moment and said, “The Lord Almighty sends His Salams upon you. He commands me to bring before you the Masjid-al-Aqsa for you to look at, so that you may give them the answers they desire.” With that he revealed to the Muhammad {s} the Masjid-al-Aqsa in its complete shape. Beholding the mosque in front of him, the Holy Muhammad {s} was very glad and confidently told them to ask what they would of him. He answered them, giving precise names and descriptions of the building.
For instance, when they asked him how many columns the mosque had, the Muhammad {s} described to them each single pillar in detail, singling out whether it was made of marbled stone or of real marble. For each detail he gave exact descriptions. He even told them the distance between every single pillar. At last they said, “There is no doubt that he actually went there and saw what he says he saw there. Although we have been there countless times, we could never have given such a close description of all this.” With this acknowledgment, they themselves silenced their own arguments and the reality of the Mi’raj was thus demonstrated.
Secondly, the site of the Bayt-al-Maqdis shall one day be the place of gathering. On the Day of Judgment all of Creation shall be assembled there. It was for this reason that the Lord Almighty brought His Beloved Muhammad {s} whom He has honored above all the other Prophets and all other men to this place in his pure physical body. He imprinted his foot upon that place while he dwelt in the world, so that on the Day of Judgment when all creatures are resurrected and gathered in that place, the terror of it should be lessened and safety be found from its dread for the sake of the Prophet Muhammad {s} who stepped in this place once before, during his life in this world. Thus it will be made easy for his nation to endure in that place and they will be protected from its awesomeness.
The Place of Gathering consists of fifty stations, and they will remain one thousand years in every station. Thus, that day will be as long as fifty thousand years. For the Holy Prophet’s r sake, the Lord Almighty makes the sojourn there easy for his nation and they will be protected from all the terror and fright of that tremendous day. Peace and Blessings from Almighty Allah be upon His Beloved and Chosen Prophet, Muhammad {s}, the Imam of the God-fearing, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Amin!
To return to the narrative of the Holy Muhammad {s}:
“After this, Jibra’il took me by the hand and led me outside. No sooner had we stepped out than I beheld a flight of steps one end of which was placed upon the flat ground while the other end reached up and up and disappeared from view into the skies. One of its poles was made of red ruby while the other was of green emerald. The treads were of gold, silver and pearls, and each tread was made of a different precious stone. There were five hundred steps in all and each was embellished and embossed in a different and marvelous way. Never had I seen a thing of greater beauty.
“This stepladder was the angels’ stairway, which they used to descend from Heaven down to the earth and to ascend up to the heavens again. The angel of death, Azra’il, uses this ladder when he comes to take home the souls of men. The spirits of men also climb up on that ladder when they leave this world. When a believer comes close to his death, the Lord shows him this stairway and he sees Azra’il descending upon it. He loses himself in the contemplation of that stairway and thus does not feel the agony of the throes of death. It is therefore that the eyes of the dead and dying are often found wide open and staring, gazing fixedly at the beauty of that staircase, which the souls must ascend. While he is yet gazing, his soul departs from him, and after the soul has gone, he can no longer close his eyes.”
Oh Lord, we pray that the pangs of death be made light and easy for us and that we might draw our last breath with our faith intact, Amin!
The Holy Muhammad {s} continued:
“The angel Jibra’il took me upon his wing. To the right and to the left the angels surrounded me and thus we ascended on that stairway straight towards the heavens.”
There is the following account concerning this:
The Holy Muhammad {s} stepped on a stone as he was attempting to affect his ascent. Under the pressure of the Holy Prophet's {s} blessed foot, this stone softened and became as soft as wax. Up to this very day, the imprint of the Prophet’s r foot can be seen upon this stone. When the Holy Muhammad {s} wished to raise his foot from the stone, by leave of the Almighty, this stone raised him aloft instead. At the same time, the steps of the heavenly ladder bent down and became one with the stone. The Holy Muhammad {s} then raised his foot off the stone and placing it upon the step of the stairs, said to it, “Stay, oh stone!” The step upon which the Holy Muhammad {s} trod then rose up and lifted the Muhammad {s} up. The next step then bent down and came to meet his foot, then it rose and carried him up with it. The next higher step then bent itself down to receive his foot, and raised it aloft when he him placed it upon it. In this manner the steps continued to bend and rise until they had carried the Prophet Muhammad {s} all the way up to the heavens.
The stairs to the pavilions and palaces of the lofty gardens of Paradise behave in a manner similar to that of these steps. When this stone heard the Prophet’s rcommand telling it to stay, it obeyed that very instant and remained suspended in mid air, and even so it remains to this very day. From it many useful lessons may be drawn:
While it is only a stone, its unquestioning submission and obedience to the Prophet’s r command continues into our own time. Therefore, is it befitting of this noble nation to disobey and oppose the Holy Muhammad {s}, having received the order from the Almighty to follow and obey his instructions, and having been cautioned and warned against all opposition to him? This is a point we must think about and take most seriously. To follow the Holy Prophet's {s} enlightened commands and to emulate the actions of his right guidance, to obey him in perfect submission will save us from disgrace and punishment in this world and the world to come. We must always strive to reach for the happiness and bliss of both worlds. May Allah Almighty grant us His Divine Aid and Support and help us achieve Supreme Success, Amin.
There is another tradition that tells us the story as follows:
From this stone, the Muhammad {s} mounted the Buraq and the Buraq carried him up into the heavens.
Yet another report has the Holy Muhammad {s} relate as follows:
“At the foot of those stairs, I beheld a great angel. Had this angel spread out both its hands, all the seven layers of the earths and the seven layers of the heavens would have disappeared in them. This angel greeted me and showed me courtesy. Then he spoke to me and said, ‘Oh Rasulullah {S}, I was created twenty-five thousand years before Adam. Since that time I have been waiting to receive you here, all the while reciting Salawat and blessings upon you in loving expectation of your advent. The Almighty be praised, for tonight I have attained my goal.’
“After I left that angel behind, I came to a sea, which had a depth of two hundred years’ wayfaring.
  • This sea remained suspended through the power of Allah Almighty and not one drop of its waters fell out from it.
  • Whatever creatures there exist on land and in the waters, they all were present in that sea. It was also exceedingly stormy and full of waves.”
  • It is said that the trembling of the air, which one sees when gazing into the sun is from the waves of that sea.
The Muhammad {s} continues:
“After this we reached the home of the winds. The wind is bound tightly with seventy thousand strong chains and seventy thousand angels hold on to it firmly and keep it under control.
“After this, we reached the earthly skies, which Allah Almighty has created from green emerald.”
According to a different narration, the Muhammad {s} is to have said:
“It is created from water and steam.”
  • The Muhammad {s} called this Heaven ‘Rafi’a’, or according to another version, ‘Raqi’a’.
  • The keeper of this Heaven was Isma’il, for he is among the Prophets of the angels.
The Muhammad {s} then proceeds to tell us of his journey through the heavens.

The Prophet’s Visit to Heavens 5

About his journey to the First Heaven, the Master of All Humankind and Jinn r narrated:
We then reached the first Heaven, Jibra’il u knocked upon its gate, crying, ‘Open up!’ The name of this gate is‚ ‘Bab al-Hifz’, the Gate of Protection, and it is made of red ruby stone, whereas its lock is made of pearls. From within the guardian of this gate, Isma’il, called out in a voice such as I have never heard before, ‘Who is this demanding entry?’
“Jibra’il thereupon answered, ‘It is I, Jibra’il.’ ‘And who is that with you?’ demanded the keeper of the gate. ‘That is Muhammad {s},’ replied Jibra’il. The keeper of the gate then asked, ‘Has he been given prophethood?’ ‘Yes,’ replied Jibra’il, ‘he has been given prophethood.’ ‘Has he been cited and invited to come here?’ Isma’il demanded to know. ‘Yes, he has been invited to come,’ Jibra’il replied. Then Isma’il said, ‘Welcome, welcome to you! What a delightful visitor!’ With these words he opened the gate.”
In another narration a differing version is related:
“Rasulullah {S} rose up to the heavens using the rock in the Masjid-al- Aqsa as a stepping-stone to mount the Buraq. The distance from the earth to the Heaven is five hundred years’ wayfaring. Each Heaven has a depth of five hundred years’ traveling, and between two heavens there is a space of another five hundred years’ travel.

Meeting Isma`il 5

The Holy Muhammad {s} resumes his narrative:
“When I entered this heavenly realm, I encountered Isma’il in his impressive aspect, seated upon a throne of light. One hundred thousand angels surrounded him, standing in front, in back, to his right and to his left. Each of these angels had another hundred thousand soldiers at his command.”
Isma’il and all those with him engaged in this Tasbih:
Subhana man laysa ka-mithlihi shay’in.
(Praise be to the Highest King; Glory to the High, the Mighty; Glory to Him who is unlike any other.)
I then saluted him and he returned my greetings and honored me. After this I beheld another group of angels, who stood in pious reverence in Qiyam, (the standing position of ritual prayer). They all were engaged in this Tasbih:
Subbuhun quddus Rabbuna wa Rabb-al-mala’ikati wa-r-ruh
(Praised be He with exalted praise, He who is holier than holy, our Lord and the Lord of the angels.)”
I enquired of Jibra’il about these angels’ form of worship, and he answered, ‘Since the day they were created they have been worshipping thus and so they will remain until the Day of Resurrection. Ask the Lord to grant this worship to your nation, too.’ So I made supplication and the Lord granted this kind of worship to my nation. That is how the Qiyam came to be included in our prayer.
Apart from these, I beheld a number of angels created from wind and water. The angel appointed as their head and overseer was called Ra’ad (which means thunder). He is responsible for the clouds and the rains.
The Tasbih they were engaged in was this:
Subhana dhil-mulk wal-malakuti
(Praise be to Him in whose Hand lies the entire creation and its dominion.)
“From this angel’s voice issued the sounds of thunder and lightning. In the heavenly sphere there remained not one empty space, angels were cramped even into the smallest corner, prostrating themselves and praising the Lord with manifold praises.
“Then I saw another angel who bore the shape of a man. Below his waist he was made of fire, while above the waist he was made of snow. The fire clung to the snow and although there was nothing separating these two elements, neither did the snow extinguish the fire, nor did the fire melt the snow. But tears were streaming down this angel’s face, and as he wept, he recited this glorification (Tasbih):
Ya man allafa bayna-th-thalji wa-n-nar, allif bayna qulubi ‘ibadikal-mu’minin.
(Oh Thou who hast joined the snow and the fire, unite Thou also the hearts of Thy believing servants.)
“I turned to Jibra’il and asked, ‘Who is this angel and wherefore does he weep?’ Jibra’il u explained, ‘He is an angel, Habib by name. He weeps for the sins of thy nation and prays for mercy and forgiveness on them.’
“Then I saw Adam in the form in which he appeared in the world. He was draped in wraps of light and seated upon a throne of light. The Lord Almighty presented to him the souls of the departed, and whenever he perceived the soul of a believer, he rejoiced and said, ‘A pure soul emerges from a pure body.’ After this, he asked for forgiveness and pleaded for mercy upon that soul. Then the angels came and carried that soul up to a high and lofty place, as it is written in the Holy Quran:
No indeed; the book of the pious is in Illiyun; and what shall teach thee what is Illiyun? A book inscribed, witnessed by those brought nigh[2]. (The Stinters, 18-21)
“Whenever the souls of departed unbelievers and hypocrites are presented to him, he is vexed and curses them, ‘An impure soul emerges from an impure body.’ The angels then take that spirit and place it in a place called Sijjin, as it is written in the Holy Quran:
No indeed; the Book of the libertines is in Sijjin; and what shall teach thee what is Sijjin?
A book inscribed. (The Stinters, 7-9)
“I then asked Jibra’il who was this person and he told me,’ This is your first forefather Adam, go towards him and extend to him your greetings.’ So I went to him and saluted him, and he replied to my salute, honoring me by saying, ‘Welcome to you, oh my righteous son, oh righteous Prophet! Praise be to the Lord who has given me such a son as you.’”
“In this way he received me well, and I replied to his complimentary speech with these words: ‘Praise be to the Lord who has given to me such a father as thou art one.’ Then again, Adam spoke, glorified the Lord and said, ‘Glory to the Almighty who has blessed you with such great wonders; who has brought you forth from my loins; may Allah always increase the blessings He showers upon you and make you steadfast and permanently grounded in them.’ In reply to this supplication and well wishing, I said, ‘Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Might and Bounty! He who created you from clay through His Divine Powers and who had you carried up to the heavens on the shoulders of angels. Who has made you the Qibla and commanded all the angels to bow down before you and who has made Paradise accessible for your sake.’
“To that Adam answered me as follows, ‘For all the bounteous gifts granted to me that you have mentioned, you are still more blessed than I. For all the miracles and gifts that I was granted were only given to me for the sake of your light upon my forehead, I was favored with all these honors only for the sake of that radiant light.’
“He spoke many more things to me, and ended his speech by saying, ‘From my time on until the time of your prophethood, only one in a thousand of my children were graced with entering Paradise, while nine hundred and ninety-nine were sent to Hell. When your time of prophethood came, only one in one thousand of your nation was sent to Hell and nine hundred and ninety-nine were admitted into Paradise. The Almighty placed your blessed name beside His very own Holy Name even before you appeared in this world and proclaimed your great worth to all of creation.’
Adam recited this Tasbih:
Subhana-llahi wa bi-hamdihi,
Subhana-llahil-azhim. Istaghfirullah.
(Glory to the Mightiest of the Mighty, Glory to the All-Embracing, All-Abundant; Praised be Allah and glorified be He! Praised be Allah, the All-Glorious I seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty.)
“Then I saw a door to the right of Adam from which issued the sweetest of scents. Just to look in the direction of that door filled the heart with gladness and serenity. To his left there was another door; to look at it sufficed to make a man weep and the heart to become heavy. I asked Jibra’il about these doors, and he said, ‘The door to the right opens upon Paradise. The souls of the blessed enter through that door, and whoever glances to the right, sees them and is gladdened. The door to the left leads to Hell, and the souls of the sinners must go through that door. Who looks to the left sees them on their way to Hell and is saddened by the sight.’
“Next I saw an angel who had the form of a cockerel. He was very large and his head touched up to the Divine Throne, while his feet were below the seven layers of the earth. He had two wings; when he spread these, they reached from the farthest east to the utmost west.
  • The station of this angel is the Sidratul Muntaha, which shall be described in detail later on, inshaAllah.
  • The angel’s body is created of white pearl, while the comb on its head is of red ruby.”
  • To rear a pure, white, unspeckled rooster in one’s home is of great usefulness and has very special advantages.
  • This is because of its resemblance to this angel, the Cockerel of the Divine Throne.
  • It benefits not just the owner of the white rooster, but it also protects the neighbors and the environment from many disasters and bad things.
The Holy Muhammad {s} is reported to have said about this:
  • “The white rooster is my sincere friend, and he is also the friend of my friend, the angel Jibra’il u.
  • He is also the enemy of my enemy, Shaytan. The white rooster protects the house in which he is raised and its owner and entire household, as well as nine neighboring houses and their inhabitants.”
  • There is only this condition attached to it: the rooster must be of a flawless white, without a speck.
  • He is of even greater value if his crest is forked, as the Holy Muhammad {s} says:
  • “The fork-crested white rooster is my dear and beloved friend.
  • He protects four houses to the right, four to the left, four in front and four in back, altogether sixteen houses and their inhabitants from disaster and calamity.” (Related by Abu ash-Shaykh from Anas.)
There is another Hadith related by Bayhaqi from ‘Umar who claims that the Holy Muhammad {s} said:
  • “This rooster makes known to Allah’s servants the times for prayer.
  • Whoever raises a white rooster in his house will be protected from three things: from the evil of Shaytan, the evil of the sorcerer, and the evil of the soothsayer.”
  • However, he who raises a white rooster must on no account slaughter him, as those who know about these matters inform us in the Fath-al-Qadir will have us know: “Sorrow will not depart from the side of him who slaughters a white rooster.”
Imam Tha’libi cites from the book entitled Hayat al-Haywan (The Life of the Animals) by Imam Dumayri:
“The Holy Muhammad {s} makes clear to us these pearls of spiritual wisdom when he says, ‘There are three things that Allah Almighty loves and is pleased with: the voice of him who recites the Holy Quran; the sound of the rooster’s call; the voice of him who prays for forgiveness in the time before the dawn.’”
To continue with the Holy Prophet's {s} narrative:
“This angel who has the form of a rooster descends to the earthly skies when it is night, and this is his Tasbih:
La ilaha ill’Allah-al-hayy-al-qayyum.
(Glory to the All-Holy King,
Glory to the Great and Exalted God,
There is no God but Allah, the Ever-Living, Eternally Abiding.)
  • “I then asked Jibra’il, ‘What is this?’ and Jibra’il answered me,
  • ‘This is the reason he is called, ‘the Rooster of the Divine Throne’, for when it is night on earth, he descends to the worldly skies.
  • After one third of the night has passed, he flaps his wings and says, ‘Oh you who would be worshippers, arise and pray!’
  • All of creation hears this call, all except mankind and Jinn. Therefore, when the roosters on earth hear the angels call, they too flap their wings and voice their call, saying,
  • ‘Oh you heedless ones! Arise and engage in remembrance of your Lord!’ When half of the night has passed, this angel again flaps its wings and calls,
  • ‘Let those who would perform the supererogatory night prayer (Tahajjud); rise and pray!’
  • “When the roosters on earth hear this call, they too sound their call to pass on to men the message of the angel.
  • When two thirds of the night have passed and only one third of it remains, the angel speaks up again and calls out,
  • ‘Where are they who would ask for forgiveness for their sins, whose sole hope and desire is the Lord of the Worlds?
  • Let them rise and pray for forgiveness and present their invocations!’
  • Again, the roosters on earth hear this call and pass it on to the people on the earth.
  • When at last dawn begins to break, this angel flaps its wings once more and calls, ‘Now let the heedless ones rise, though they be laden heavily with their sins.’
  • After this, he again ascends to his station in the Heavens. Again, the roosters on earth hear his words and inform mankind of the angel’s call.
  • This same sequence is repeated every night, up till the Day of Judgment.’
“And Jibra’il continued, ‘When the Day of Judgment is about to occur, this angel will want to call out his call as usual after the first third of the night has passed. But he is stopped by a call from on High, ‘Oh My angel, do not awaken My servants!’ In this way he is prevented from calling, and he and all the angels of the heavens with him realize that the Day of Resurrection is upon them. All at once they begin to weep.”
That night will be the length of three days and three nights, and in that night neither the cocks will crow, nor will the dogs bark. Mankind will lie in a deep sleep of forgetfulness for three full days and nights. Only those who were accustomed to rise and pray the prayer of the night (Tahajjud) will awaken and rise to pray their Tahajjud as usual. But they will wonder and say, “Yet there is no sign of morning breaking, have we risen too early?” Then they will lie down to sleep a bit longer, and when again they awaken, still it will not be day. Then they will understand that it is the longest night before the Last Day, and that indeed it has finally begun.
They will then set about trying to wake up their companions, who were not used to rising for the night prayer, but whatever they do, they will not succeed in waking them, it is impossible. Then they betake themselves to the mosques, gathering there and repenting of their sins, praying for forgiveness. There they will remain for those whole three days and nights, weeping copious and incessant tears, imploring the Lord for mercy.
  • When this period is over and the day dawns, the sun will be seen to rise in the west and the Gates of Repentance will be shut.
To continue with our Prophet's {s} narrative:
“I then came to a sea, which was whiter than milk and as viscous as the semen of men. Within it, I beheld things so exceedingly strange and unknown so as to defy all description. Their numbers were unaccountably great and beyond reckoning. I asked Jibra’il, ‘What sort of sea is this?’ and he answered me,
  • ‘This is the Sea of Life. On the Day of Resurrection, after every created thing has died its death, the Almighty will want to raise them all from their graves in order to mete out reward or punishment.
“He will then issue His Command and a rain will fall upon the earth from the waters of this sea. The rain waters will rise to a depth of forty yards upon the level earth and the ground will be drenched to its deeps. All the flesh and bones that have rotted in the earth will then be restored; all the skins and strands of hair and nerves will come together and appear once more. As soon as this water comes in touch with the earth, whatever is contained in it will instantly return to its former state. What has long been scattered will be assembled again, and all this will come to pass on account of the action of the waters of the Sea of Life.’
“After this, Jibra’il called the Adhan and Iqama, and I led all the angels and inhabitants in a prayer of two Rak’ats. Then I rose to the second level of the heavens.”

The Second Heaven 5

Regarding his journey to the Second Heaven, the Best of all Creation narrated:
“The Lord Almighty, praised be His Name, has created this Heaven from red coral and called it Qaydum.
  • The name of its gatekeeper is Mikha’il. This Heaven appeared to me to be especially full of light and splendor, so much so that I was blinded and had to squint. The door of this Heaven is of pearls and its lock is of light. Jibra’il knocked upon this door and requested entry. The keeper of the gate, Mikha’il, called from inside, ‘Who is it requesting the opening of this gate?’ ‘I am Jibra’il,’ replied Jibra’il, and again the angel asked, ‘And who is this with you?’ This is Muhammad {s},’ answered Jibra’il. Again the gatekeeper asked, ‘Has he been given prophethood?’ ‘Yes.’ Replied Jibra’il. ‘Has he come here upon invitation and request?’ asked Mikha’il. ‘Yes,’ said Jibra’il, ‘invitation and request have gone before.’ Then the gatekeeper said, ‘Welcome to you, oh welcome guest! How agreeable a visitor!’ With that, he opened the gate.
“I entered and beheld the guardian angel of this Heaven, Mikha’il. There were two hundred thousand angels at his service, each one of whom had another two hundred thousand helpers to assist him. I greeted him and he returned my greetings with reverence. He gave me the joyous news of the many honors and blessings the Almighty was to bestow on me.
“They were engaged in this Tasbih:
Subhana-llahi kullama sabbaha-llaha musabbihun,
wal-hamdu lillahi kullama hamid-allaha hamidun
wa la ilaha illAllahu kullama hallala-llaha muhallilun
wallahu akbaru kullama kabbara-llaha mukabbirun.
(Glory be to Allah whenever the glorifier glorifies Him;
And praised be He whenever the praiser praises Him;
There is no God but He each time this Tahlil is recited;
And Allah is Greatest each time this Takbir is affirmed.)
“I passed on and came upon another group of angels who stood in rows and were bowing in Ruk’u in perfect reverence and devotion. They remained always in this position and recited this Tasbih:
Subhanal-warithul-wasi’u-lladhi yudrikul-absar;
Subhana-lladhi la tudrikuhul-absar;
(Praised be He, the Heir Universal who sees, the All-Discerning;
Praised be He whom our eyes cannot perceive;
Praised be the Majestic, the All-Knowing.)

`Isa and Yahya (a) 5

“I asked Jibra’il, ‘Since when have they been in this position of Ruk’u?’ and he said, ‘Since the day they were created they have always been bowing in Ruk’u, and thus they will remain until the Day of Resurrection, bowed in Ruk’u, reciting their Tasbih. Pray to your Lord that He granted to your nation this form of worship in their prayer.’ I therefore prayed to Allah for this, and the Almighty granted it to my nation.
“After we passed on, I perceived two young men and I asked Jibra’il who they were. Jibra’il explained to me, ‘These young men are the Prophets Yahya and ‘Isa. They are related to each other, being cousins.’ I saluted them and they received my Salams with reverence and greeted me, saying, ‘Welcome to you, oh righteous Prophet, our righteous brother!’ Then they gave me tidings of the many Gifts of Grace the Highest and Holiest Lord had in store for me.
“The Tasbih of ‘Isa was this:
(Praised be to the All-Compassionate, the All-bounteous;
Praised be the Eternal, Never-Ending;
Praised be He who creates from nothing, then causes to die
and returns to its previous state.)
“After we had passed them, I saw a very great angel who had seventy thousand heads, and on every head there were seventy thousand faces. Every face had seventy thousand mouths and in every mouth there were seventy thousand tongues. Each tongue spoke a different language, which bore no resemblance to the next.
“Each tongue glorified the Lord as follows:
Subhanallahi wa bi-hamdihi;
Subhanallahil-azhim wa bi-hamdihi,
(Praise be to the Creator, the Glorious;
Praise be to the All-Powerful, All-Knowing;
Praise be to Allah and glorified be He;
Praise be to Allah the Magnificent and glorified be He,
I beseech Allah for forgiveness.)

The Angel of Provision 5

“Who is this?” I asked Jibra’il u, who told me, ‘This is the angel who is charged with the distribution of provisions, and his name is Qasim. He distributes to every single one his daily provision, no one receives more or less than his apportioned lot.’”
According to one narration, he is to have said, “If a person finds himself in straightened circumstances and in the morning prayer (Fajr) recites one-hundred times the last line of the Tasbih of this angel between the Sunna and the Fard Rak’ats, then Allah will supply him plentifully and make his provision bounteous.” This is the line of this Tasbih:
Subhana-llahi wa bi-hamdihi,
Subhana-llahil-azhim wa bi-hamdihi
wa istaghfirullah.
(Praise be to Allah and glorified be He;
Praise be to Allah the Magnificent and glorified be He,
I beseech Allah for forgiveness.)
To continue with our Prophet's {s} narration:
“After passing by this angel, I beheld an even greater, even more wondrous angel who was seated upon a throne of light. He was silent and of morose aspect. The throne he was seated upon had four corners and each corner was supported by seven hundred thousand pillars of gold and of silver. Around him were grouped such multitudes of angels, only the Omnipotent Owner of Might and Bounty, Allah Almighty alone knows their number. To his right angels were ranged row upon row, seventy thousand in all, dazzling in their light. All of them were clad in green and they gave off a lovely scent. Their words, too, were sweet, and their beauty was so great that it was impossible to gaze at them.
“To the left were another seventy thousand angels, ranged row upon row. Their aspect was of terrible and sinister portent, their faces were black as night and their speech was rude. Their clothing was ugly and the smells they emitted were noxious. When they began reciting their Tasbih, tongues of fire erupted from their mouths. They held before them fiery clubs and blades, and their eyes were so cruel, no one could stand to look at them for long.
“The angel seated upon the throne was covered with eyes from head to foot, which sparkled as Mars and Venus in the sky. He also had shimmering wings and in his hand he held sheet of paper, while before him there was a tablet. He gazed incessantly at that tablet and not once lifted his gaze from it. There was also before him a tree, and only Allah can know the number of its leaves. Upon each leaf was written the name of a certain person. Then there stood before him a type of vessel. At times he reached in it with his right hand and drew something out of it, handing it to the luminous and gentle angels to his right. At times he reached for something with his left hand and gave it to the pitch-black angels standing by his left side. As I looked at those dark angels, fear fell upon my heart and I began to tremble. I was seized by a weakness and prostration, and I asked Jibra’il, ‘Who is this?’ Jibra’il replied, ‘This is the Angel of Death, his name is Azra’il. There is no one who can bear to look at him. It is he who ends all delights, and cuts off from all community.’ He then went up to him and said, ‘Oh Azra’il, this visitor here is the Prophet of the Last Times r, he is the Beloved of Allah, the Lord of Mercy. Speak thou to him!’
“Upon these words, Azra’il lifted his head and he smiled. Jibra’il approached him and saluted him. I also went up to him and proferred my Salams. He received my greetings and showed me great honor. Then he spoke, ‘Welcome to you, oh Muhammad {s}! Allah has created no creature more honored than you, and to no nation has He given greater honor than to your nation. I am gentler and more compassionate towards your nation than to any nation that went before them.’ In response to these words, I said to Azra’il, ‘You have gladdened my heart, oh Azra’il, and cleared my mind of fear. Yet there remains one matter on my mind, for I have seen your state to be one of gloom and grief and I wonder wherefore.’
“Azra’il explained to me, ‘Oh Rasulullah {S}, since the time the Lord Almighty has appointed me to my post, I have been living in fear of not being able to discharge my duty and of not being able to fulfill my responsibility. That is why I appear gloomy and depressed.’ Then I asked him about the vessel he had before him, and he said, ‘That is the entire world; everything from east to west, from one end of the world to the other is contained in this dish. I dispose of it at will.’
“Again I asked him, ‘What is this tablet you are looking at?’ and he said to me, ‘This is the Lauh al-Mahfuzh, the Preserved Tablet, on which is inscribed the doom of those who are to die within the year. The angels write them down and hand the list to me. That is the Tablet.’ ‘And what is this page?’ I asked. ‘On this page is written the exact hour of time when these souls are to be taken away.’’ And what is this tree?’ I asked. He said, ‘It is the tree of the lives of those living in the world. When a man is born, a leaf unfurls upon that tree upon which his name is written. When his time to die approaches, his leaf begins to yellow and wither and his name appears on the Tablet. I give this leaf to the angels, and they take it and mix it in his food so that he eats it. When he has eaten it, by the leave of Allah he falls ill, and when his time is up, his name is erased from the Tablet. I stretch out my hand and seize his soul, whether he be in the east or in the west of this world. If he is among the blessed, I hand him to the angels on my right, for they are the angels of Mercy. But if he is one of the sinners, I hand him to the angels to my left, for they are the angels of Wrath.’ May Allah preserve us from the doom of the wretched sinners, Amin.
“Again I asked, ‘How many of those angels are there?’ and Azra’il replied, ‘I do not know their number, but whenever I seize a person’s soul, six hundred angels of Mercy and six hundred angels of Wrath are ready to do their duty. They wait expectantly to see to which group it will belong. These angels do their duty only once, the same angels never come twice, and so it will be until the Day of Judgment.’ After this, I asked again, ‘Oh Angel of Death, how do you take the soul of every single individual?’ He replied, ‘Since the time I was created, I have never moved from this spot. Seventy thousand angels are there to serve me, and each one of these has another seventy thousand helpers.
“Whenever I have to seize a person’s soul, I give my order to them and they go out and bring the person’s soul up into his throat. After that, I just stretch out my hand and grasp it from there.’ I said to him, ‘What I would wish for is that my nation, which is a weak nation, experience death in a mild and gentle manner.’ He replied, ‘By Allah, the Lord of Might and Majesty who has made you the Seal of the Prophets, He Almighty addresses me seventy times during one day and night, saying to me, ‘Take the souls of those belonging to Muhammad’s nation with lightness and ease, and judge their deeds kindly.’ Therefore, I am given to more compassion towards your nation than to any of those who went before them.
“After this, Jibra’il called the Adhan and Iqama and I led the angels and all inhabitants of the second Heaven in a prayer of two Rak’ats. Then I continued my ascent to the Third Heaven.”

The Third Heaven 5

The Mercy to all Humankind r continues in his narration, details of the Third Heaven:
“The Lord Almighty created this Heaven from copper and has named it Zaytun. The name of its guardian angel is Arina’il. Its gate is of white pearls and it has a lock of light. When Jibra’il knocked upon the gate, the guardian angel called from within, ‘Who is it requesting entry?’ Jibra’il answered, ‘It is I, Jibra’il.’ ‘And who is this with you?’ asked the keeper of the gate. ‘It is Muhammad {s},’ replied Jibra’il. Again he asked, ‘Has he been given prophethood?’ ‘Yes, he has,’ answered Jibra’il. ‘Has he received summons and invitation?’ ‘Yes, he has,’ replied Jibra’il. Then Arina’il opened the gates, saying, ‘Welcome to you, how pleasing a guest!’ I entered this Heaven and I beheld Arina’il to be a great and majestic angel.
“He had at his command three hundred thousand angels who engaged in this Tasbih:
Subhanal-mujibi liman da’ahu.
(Praise be to the Giver of all things, the generous Bestower,
Praise to the Opener of All Ways, the All-Knowing,
Praise to Him who answers all prayers.)”
“I greeted this angel and he responded with full reverence and gave me news of many and varied blessings and gifts that were to come to me. After that, I went on and came upon a large group of angels ranged in rows and all in the position of Sajda. While bowing thus, they were engaged in this Tasbih:”
Subhana-lladhi la mafarra wa la malja’a minhu illa ilayhi,
(Praised be the Almighty Creator,
Praise be to Him from whom there is no escape and no refuge but in Him; Praised be the Highest of All.)
“Jibra’il then said to me, ‘They are perpetually engaged in this form of worship. Pray that the Lord grant that also to your nation.’ Then I prayed to the Lord and He granted to my nation the Sajda in their prayer. This is the reason why the Sajda in our prayer is doubled: when I came and saluted them, they raised their heads from their Sajda to receive my salute, then they again bowed down. Therefore, my nation was obliged to perform the Sajda twice in their prayer.”

Tasbih of Yusuf 5

“I then passed on, and I saw Yusuf in all his great beauty. Of all existing beauty, Yusuf was given one half. I gave him my Salams and he returned them with dignity and bade me welcome. He informed me of many miracles to come and he prayed for me.
“His Tasbih was this:
(Praised be the Most Bounteous of the Bountiful;
Praised be the Greatest of the Great;
Praised be the Peerless, Unique;
Praised be Eternal, Never-Ending.)
“After we had passed him, I saw Da’ud and his son Sulayman. I greeted them both and they returned my Salams with respect. They gave me great good tidings and said, ‘Pray in this night that you might be given intercession for your nation and that the Lord grant them security.’ In this way they counseled me.”
“Da`ud’s Tasbih was this:
Subhana khaliqi-n-nur;
(Praised be the Creator of Light;
Praised be He who accepts Repentance
and the Bestower of All Good.).
“Sulayman’s Tasbih was this:
Subhana malikil-mulk ,
Subhana man ilayhi tasir-al-umur.
(Praise to the Lord of All Dominions,
Praise to the Compeller, the Imposing;
Praised be to whom all Things must return.)

Tasbih of the Tyrants 5

“After I left them, I came to an angel seated upon a throne. This angel had seventy heads and seventy pairs of wings, each pair spanning all the way from the east to the west. All around him I beheld enormous angels, each of which was extremely tall. These angels were punishing a certain group of sinners, beating them with sticks until they fell apart. Then they became whole again and the angels began beating them again. I asked whom this great angel was who I saw seated upon the throne. Jibra’il told me that he was the angel Soha’il and he told me that those I saw being punished were the unjust tyrants and cruel oppressors from among my nation. In this way they would be punished until the Day of Judgment.
“Their Tasbih was as follows:
Subhana man huwa fauqal-jabbarin;
Subhanal-musalliti fauqal-musallitin;
Subhanal-muntaqimi mim-man asahu.
(Glory to Him who is above all oppressors;
Glory to Him who attacks all attackers;
Glory to Him who takes revenge on whomever disobeys Him.)
“After this, I beheld a Sea of Fire surrounded on its shores by fierce and terrible angels. ‘What is this?’ I asked, and Jibra’il explained to me, ‘This sea is the ‘Sea of Sa’q’ (Lighting), and these angels here throw down thundering bolts of fire and lightning from the heavens onto the earth.’ As it written in this Holy Verse of the Quran:
He looses the thunderbolts, and smites with them whomsoever He will.
(Thunder, 13)

The Guardian Angel of Hell 5

“After this I beheld a door, which was made all of camphor wood. Its lower groundsill reached down to the lowest level of the earth, while its upper doorsill reached to just below the Divine Throne. This door was a double door, on which was mounted a lock as great as Heaven and earth together. I asked in amazement, ‘What is this door?’ and Jibra’il answered me, ‘The name of this door is ‘Bab al-Aman’, the Door of Safety.’ I asked why it was so called and Jibra’il told me, ‘The Lord Almighty created Hell and filled it with various torments. There came a breath out of Hell, and all the creatures on earth and in the heavens appealed to the Lord for help and protection. Then, the Lord of All Majesty created this door between Hell and the rest of all creation, so that all the creatures of the seven heavens and earths will find safety from it. Therefore, the name of this door is the Door of Safety.’
“I then asked to see what was behind that door and asked for it to be opened, but Jibra’il u said, ‘Behind this door you will find Hell, is that really what you want to see?’ ‘Yes, indeed, I wish to see it,’ I said. Thereupon a Divine Command was heard, saying, ‘Oh My Beloved, upon a sign of your finger, this door will open.’
“I then signaled with my hand and the door opened. I looked beyond it and this is what I saw: a great Minbar of iron, which had six hundred thousand pedestals. Upon it sat a great and terrible angel created from fire. He was busy twisting ropes of fire, making shackles and fetters of fire. His face was awesome and frightful to behold. His hand was powerful and his anger was plain to see.
“His head was bowed forward and he recited this Tasbih:
Subhana-lladhi la yajuru wa huwal-malik-al-jabbar;
Subhanal-muntaqimu min ‘ada’ihi,
Subhanal-mu’ti li-man yasha’a,
Subhana man laysa ka-mithlihi shay’un.
(Praised be He who commits not injustice
and He is the Almighty, Omnipotent King;
Glory to Him who triumphs in revenge over His foes,
Praised be He who bestows on whomever He wilt;
Glory to Him who is unlike anything.)
“Flames leapt from his mouth as high as mountains, and from his nose darted flares of fire. This angel was exceedingly angry and full of rage, and his eyes, each one of which was as great as the whole world, blazed with fury. As I beheld this angel in all his awesome aspect, I felt afraid. Were it not for the grace and generous support from the Lord Almighty, I would have perished from fear. I asked Jibra’il, ‘Who is this, the sight of whom makes me tremble?’ Jibra’il told me, ‘Be unafraid, for there is nothing there for you to fear. This is the Guardian of Jahannam (Hell) and his name is Malik. Allah Almighty has created him from His Wrath and since the day of his creation, he has never smiled yet. His fury increases with every passing moment. Go up to him now and salute him.’ Thereupon, I went up and gave him my Salams, but he was so engrossed in what he was doing that he lifted not even his head. Jibra’il passed in front of him and spoke to him, ‘Oh Malik, he who has just given you Salams is the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad {s}.’
“Jibra’il thus introduced me, and when he heard my name, this terrible angel rose to his feet and honored me with many compliments and respectful greetings, after which he spoke, saying to me, ‘Oh Muhammad {s}, good tidings to you! For the Lord has vouchsafed to you many miraculous doings; and He is pleased with you: He has forbidden your body to the fires of Hell. From love and respect for you, He has also forbidden the fires to touch those who follow you. He has ordered me to treat the disobedient from among your nation with mildness and restraint. I shall wreak my revenge on those who refuse to believe in you.’

Beholding the Inhabitants of Jahannam 5

“I then said to Jibra’il, ‘Ask him to show me Hell.’ When Jibra’il told him of my request, he opened a hole the size of a needlepoint through which I could look into Hell. At first, a thread of black smoke came wafting through the hole. Had that smoke come from the hole for the period of one hour, all the heavens and the earth would have been filled with it. The light of the sun and the moon and all other luminaries would have been occluded, all would have been steeped in darkness and laid waste. But Malik stopped up that hole with his hand and the smoke ceased pouring forth. Then he said to me, ‘Look through this hole and behold Hell.’
“I looked through the hole and I saw the seven layers of Hell stacked one upon another. The uppermost was the one reserved for the disobedient from among my nation and it is called ‘Jahannam ’. The punishments meted out here were less severe than in the deeper layers of Hell.
“I had not the strength to gaze at the extreme chastisements of those in the lower levels of Hell, so I only saw what went on in the first level in which were the unrepentant of my nation. I saw that in it there were seventy seas of fire along the shores of each of which was a city of fire. In each of these cities there were seventy thousand houses of fire and in each of the houses there were seventy thousand chests of fire. Each of these chests contained men and women, imprisoned therein, surrounded by snakes and scorpions. I asked the Guardian of Hell, ‘Oh Malik, who are these people locked in these chests?’ He told me, ‘Some of them are people who oppressed their fellows and unfairly enriched themselves through their belongings. Others are those who became proud, and appointed themselves to be leaders and tyrants and ruled by cruel oppression. Greatness and Pride are attributes of Allah Almighty and befit Him alone.’
“Then I beheld a people whose lips were as the lips of dogs and camels. Their bellies were bloated and the Zabaniya (demons of Hell; myrmidons) beat them with mallets of fire until their entrails were ripped up and trailed out from their rear ends. Each time this happened, their entrails were recreated and the Zabaniyatormented them anew, and thus it continues. I asked who were these people, and Malik told me, ‘These are the people who wrongfully took for themselves what belonged to orphans.’
“Then I saw another people whose bellies were swollen up like huge mountains. They were filled with snakes and scorpions that crawled about within and caused them great torment. Whenever they wished to rise to their feet, they could not do so for the greatness of their stomachs and the motion of the vermin in them, and they fell back down. I asked the angel, ‘Who are they?’ Malik replied, ‘These are the people of your nation who committed usury.’
“Then I came upon a group of women who were suspended by their hair. I asked who they were and Malik said, ‘These are the women who concealed not their hair and faces from unrelated menfolk and who revealed their beauty to men other than their husbands and caused their husbands pain and chagrin.’
“After them, I beheld a group of men and women who were suspended from their tongues by means of fiery hooks. Their fingernails were made of copper and with them they clawed and tore up their own faces. ‘Who are these?’ I asked, and Malik told me, ‘These are people who swore by false testimony, and who were talebearers, spreading slander and gossip.’
“Then I beheld a group of women some of whom were suspended by their breasts while others were tied by their feet, head down. They were yelling and screaming incessantly. I asked about them, and Malik said, ‘These are women who committed adultery, and such women who killed their children.’
“After these I saw a group of men who were tearing flesh from their own sides and placing it in their mouths. But they did not swallow it; they just hid it in their mouths. The Zabaniya were at them, forcing them to eat the flesh, and again, the same thing would take place: they tore of some flesh, placed it in their mouths and the demons of Hell would force them to eat it. This was their punishment. I asked who they were and I was told, ‘They are those from among your nation who openly criticize and belittle people, and who talk behind their backs and spread malicious gossip about them as well. And those who wink and poke fun at people, making signs of derision with their hands, lips, brows or eyes.’
“Then I came upon another people whose bodies resembled the trunks of pigs, whose faces were like the faces of dogs, and who emitted fire from their rear ends. Snakes and scorpions were biting them, their flesh being eaten by them. ‘Who are those?’ I asked the Angel of Hell, and Malik answered me, ‘They are those from among your nation who neglected to pray or perform their ritual ablutions, and who went about in a state of (ritual) impurity.’
“After that, I came to another group of people who were suffering from extreme thirst, and desperately crying for water. In response to their pleas, they were given goblets of fire filled to the brim with boiling water, and they were commanded to drink from these. Being forced to do so, as soon as the goblets came near to their lips, all the flesh of their faces began to bubble from the extreme heat of the water until it fell off and dropped into their goblets. When they had drunk the water, their intestines fell apart and emerged in tatters from their backsides. “Who are they?’ I asked and Malik told me, ‘These are people from your nation who used to drink wine and other intoxicants.’
“After this, I saw a group of women who were suspended from their feet, with their tongues protruding and hanging out. Angels with fiery shears clipped them off, but they grew back each time. All the while they were braying like asses and howling like dogs. ‘Who are they?’ I asked the angel, and he answered, ‘These are the wailing women who used to loudly bemoan the dead.’
“Then I passed a group of men and women who were seated in copper ovens that were set upon a raging fire, whose flames licked their heads and enfolded their entire bodies. A vile stench arose from here. I asked the angel about them and he said, ‘These are men and women who committed adultery.’ ‘And what is this terrible smell?’ I asked. ‘That smell comes from the discharge of their genitals.’
“Next I saw a group of women who were hung up while their hands were tightly bound to their necks. ‘Who are these?’ I asked. ‘These are women who deceived their husbands and spent their husband’s wealth without his knowledge,’ answered Jibra’il.
“Next I saw a group of men and women who were being punished in the fire and the demons of Hell set upon them, beating them with fiery rods. The more they screamed, the harder they beat them. They drove blades of fire into their stomachs and whipped them with whips of fire. Their chastisement appeared very severe to me. I asked about them and Malik said to me, ‘These are such as opposed and disobeyed their mothers and fathers.’
“Then I saw a people who wore great rings of fire around their necks. ‘Who are these?’ I asked the angel. ‘These are the ones who defrauded goods left in their safekeeping.’
“Then I came to a group who were being slaughtered by the Zabaniya with knives of fire, but instantly they came to life, only to be slaughtered anew. ‘Who are these?’ I asked, and Malik told me, ‘They are those who killed a soul without justification.’
“Then I saw people who were eating the most disgusting, stinking carcass. ‘Who are these people?’ I asked the angel. He told me, ‘These are the people who spread slanderous gossip, and thereby ate the flesh of their brethren.’
“Next I saw a place in Hell which had two divisions, one for the men and one for the women, and both were being punished in a terrible fashion. I asked Malik who they were and he said, ‘These are men who went out before their kings and rulers, beating with whips the weak and poor of the people, driving them away with cruelty. And these are women who seemingly dressed in a modest fashion, but in reality were naked and displayed themselves to strangers, for when they went about, they adorned themselves to make themselves appear attractive. Therefore, their heads have grown as big as a camel’s hump, and they cannot enter the peace and safety of Paradise.’
“After this, I saw another group of men and women, all being punished in different ways, each distinct from the other. They were made to suffer the worst castigations of all those punished on this level of Hell. For example: they were impaled on poles of fire on which their flesh began to boil and drop off until only their bones remained. But Allah Almighty caused their flesh to grow back forthwith and their torment began anew. Some others were bound with shackles and fetters of fire, and that was their penalty. ‘Who are these?’ I asked again, and Malik answered and said, ‘These are such people who whilst they were alive and well, neglected their prayers and abandoned worship.’
“Then I said to the Guardian Angel of Hell, ‘Oh Malik, shut the Gates of Hell, for I have not the strength to regard any more of its sights.’ Malik then said, ‘Oh Rasulullah {S}, you have witnessed the terrors of Hell with your own blessed eyes so that you might pass on what you have seen to your nation as a warning. And may it serve to increase their fear of Allah and keep them from rebellion and disobedience, and make them steadfast in their worship and submission to Allah.Jahannam has seven levels. What you have seen, is only its very first layer, and the punishments therein are light; they are as nothing compared to the deeper levels of Hell.’

Allah Grants the Prophet Intercession 5

The Holy Muhammad {s} then began to weep from pity for his nation and for the terrors that lay in store for it, and as he wept, the great angels Jibra’il and Mikha’il and all the Muqarrabin wept with him and joined in his appeal for mercy. At last there came a call from the Lord Almighty, saying, “Oh my Beloved, for the esteem you hold in the Divine Presence, your prayer is answered and your intercession is granted; so be easy, for on the Day of Judgment, I will give you a special station of intercession and I will spare as many sinners as you ask for, until you say: it is enough! For We have chosen your nation above all other nations, and I have made you their intercessor, so intercede for whomever you wish, I will accept your supplication.”

Other Guardians of Hell 5

Apart from Malik, there are eighteen other guardians of Hell, nineteen in all.
  • Their eyes are like flashes of lightning and from their mouths issue tongues of flame and they never once feel mercy or pity,
  • Their rage waxes continuously, for punishment and chastisement is their only task.
  • They are of huge stature, so great that with one hand they pick up and throw seventy thousand sinners into the fires of Hell.
  • Each of their teeth is big as Mount Uhud – so if one tooth alone is as great as a mountain, how great must their whole head, their entire body be!
  • The breadth of the shoulders is a distance of nine days’ traveling, and the thickness of their skin is a distance of three days’ traveling!
  • If he can grab seventy thousand sinners in the palm of one hand, how unimaginably immense must be the stature of this vengeful angel!
Each one of these angels of Hell commands a division of demons (Zabaniya) whose number is known to Allah alone. It is related that Allah described these angels to His Muhammad {s} in the revelation of the verse:
I shall surely roast him in Saqar; and what will teach thee what is Saqar? It spares not, neither leaves alone scorching the flesh; over it are nineteen. We have appointed only angels to be masters of the Fire and their number We have appointed only as a trial for the unbelievers, that those who were given the Book may have certainty.
(Shrouded, 26-31)
When the Holy Muhammad {s} received this revelation, concerning the nineteen guardians of Hell, he became distressed on account of his nation, and pleaded for them to be spared.
  • The Lord then addressed him, saying, “I have included in this Book (the Holy Quran) nineteen letters for your nation, oh Muhammad {s};
  • if your nation persists in constant recital and application of the words (comprising those letters), I will make them safe from the nineteen Guardians of Hell and their army of assistant demons.”
  • “What is this word of nineteen letters?” asked Muhammad {s}. “It is the phrase: Bismillahi-r-rahmani-r-rahim,” spoke the Lord.
May the Lord Almighty spare us all and reprieve us on the Day of Judgment from the punishment of Hell for the sake of His Beloved Prophet Abul-Qasim Muhammad {s}! Amin.
The Holy Muhammad {s} continued:
“The Guardian of Hell closed the hole to Hell and Jibra’il called the Adhan for prayer. I led the prayer as Imam and all the angels and inhabitants of the third Heaven prayed two Rak’ats behind me. After this we proceeded to the Fourth Heaven.”

The Fourth Heaven 5

The Seal of Prophethood r narrates, regarding his journey to the Fourth Heaven:
“The Fourth Heaven is created of raw silver or, according to a different narration, from white pearl. The name of this Heaven is Zahir. Its gate was of Light and the lock to the gate was of Light and written upon it were the words, ‘La ilaha illAllah, Muhammadan Rasulullah.’ The angel guarding the gate to this Heaven was the angel Salsa’il.
After we had knocked on the gate and had answered the same questions as before, we were admitted and the gates were opened to us. I beheld the angel in charge, Salsa’il. He was responsible for all that happened here. Under his command were four hundred thousand angels, and each one of these angels commanded another four hundred thousand angelic lieutenants.
“These angels praised the Lord in the following words:
Subhana khaliq-iz-zulumati wa-n-nur,
Subhana khaliq-ish-shamsi wal-qamar-il-munir,
(Praise be to the Creator of darkness and light,
Praise be to the Creator of the sun and the shining moon;
Praise be to the Highest of the High.)
“Among these angels I noticed a special group; some of them stood in Qiyam, some were prostrated in Sajda, their gaze unswerving from the place of their prostration, so rapt were they in devotion. Another party of those in Sajda were so entranced that they remained gazing at their noses.

The Tasbih of these three groups of angels was this: 5

Subbuhun quddus, Rabbun-ar-Rahman-ar-Rahim
illadhi la ilaha illa huwa.
(Glorified be our Lord, the All-Holy, the All-Compassionate,
The All-Merciful, besides whom there is no other god.)
“I then asked Jibra’il, “Is this their form of worship?’ Jibra’il replied, ‘Ever since they were created, they have remained in this pose of humility. Make supplication for your nation that they, too, might be given this form of worship.’ I prayed and asked this for my nation, and my nation, too, was given this attitude of humility during their prayer.
“Then I met the Prophets Idris and Nuh. I gave them Salams and they replied reverentially, saying, ‘Greetings to you, oh righteous brother, oh righteous Prophet of Allah r!’ and they gave me glad tidings of many good things to come.”

This was the Tasbih of Idris: 5

Subhana qabzil-jabbarin,
Subhana-lladhi ‘ala fa la yablughu ‘uluwwahu ahad.
(Glorified be He who answers those who ask of Him,
Praised be He who constrains the tyrants,
Praised be He whose lofty height none can reach but He.)

The Tasbih of the Prophet Nuh was this 5

(Glory be to God, the Living and Gentle,
Glory to God, the True and Munificent,
Glory to God, the Powerful and Wise.)

Mansions of Maryam, Buhayyid and Asiya 5

“Thereafter, I saw Maryam, the mother of ‘Isa, and the mother of Musa, Buhayyid, and the wife of Fir’ awn, Asiya – may Allah be well pleased with them. They all came to greet me. Maryam, the mother of ‘Isa, had seventy thousand mansions, all made of white pearls. The mother of Musa had seventy thousand mansions all made of green emeralds. Finally, Asiya had seventy thousand mansions made of red corals.
“After this, I came to a great sea, the water of which was white with snow. ‘What sea is this?’ I asked. Jibra’il told me, ‘This sea is called the ‘Sea of Snow’.’ After we had passed by there, we came to the sun.”
According to one narration, the size of the sun was one hundred and sixty times the size of the earth. According to Ibn ‘Abbas, the sun is as great as a distance of seventy years’ wayfaring.
After Allah Almighty had created the Sun, He created a boat of pure gold in which He placed a throne of red ruby. This throne stands on three hundred and sixty legs and an angel holds on to each one of them. In this way they place the Sun in this boat and every day three hundred and sixty angels guide the sun-boat from east to west, and every night they guide it back from west to east. Then these angels engage in worship and the following day, another three hundred sixty angels come and perform this duty, and so it will go on until the Day of Resurrection. Every group of angels will only perform this duty once.
In the Holy Quran this verse refers to the movement of the sun:
And the sun, it runs to a fixed resting-place; that is the ordaining of the All-Mighty, All-Knowing. (Ya Sin, 38)
The learned commentators, may Allah have Mercy on them, have said that the sun comes to rest beneath the Divine Throne. The angels take the sun to its place beneath the Throne every night where it bows and prostrates itself before the Almighty Lord. Thus it will continue until the Day of Judgment is nigh. Then a Divine Command will be heard, “Let the Sun stop in the west, and let it rise from there!” (A detailed interpretation of this vision is given in the work entitled ‘Ara’is-i-Salabi’.)
The Prophet’s r narration continues:
“Thereafter, Jibra’il intoned the Adhan and Iqama, and I led all the angels and inhabitants of the fourth Heaven in a prayer of two Rak’ats. Then we proceeded to ascend to the Fifth Heaven.”

The Fifth Heaven 5

The Beloved of Allah r narrates details of his visit to the Fifth Heaven:
Allah Almighty created this Heaven from red gold and its name is Safiya. The keeper of the gate is called Kalqa’il. As before, we requested entry at its gates. After a set exchange of certain questions and answers, the gates opened and we entered. Upon entering, I beheld the guardian of this Heaven seated upon a throne of light. I greeted him, and he returned my Salams with much respectfulness. Five hundred thousand angels are at his service, and each one of these has another five hundred thousand attendants at his disposal. They are constantly engaged in glorification of the Lord, and their Tasbih is this:
Quddusun quddus Rabb-al-arbab,
Subhana Rabbinal-‘alal-‘azham,
Quddusun Rabb-al-malaikati wa-r-ruh

(Holy, Holy, the Lord of All Lords!
Glory to our Lord, the Lofty, the Majestic!
All-Holy the Lord of the angels and the spirit.)
“Having passed by these angels, I came upon another flock, and Allah alone knows their number. These were seated in an attitude of perfect devotion in the posture of Qa’da, never raising their gaze from their knees as they recited this Tasbih:
Subhana Dhil-fadhlil-akbar
Subhanal-‘adl illadhi la yajur.
(Praise be to the Possessor of Greatest Grace.
Praise be to the Perfectly Just One who wrongs none.)
“I turned to Jibra’il and asked, ‘Is that their form of worship?’ He replied, ‘Yes, since the day they were created, they have busied themselves with their devotion. Entreat your Lord that He might grant your nation this form of worship as well.’ I prayed for this and the Qa’da (kneeling position) was thus included in our ritual prayer.

Prophets Isma’il, Ishaq, Ya’qub, Lut and Harun 5

“We passed on and met the Prophets Isma’il, Ishaq, Ya’qub, Lut and Harun. I gave them my greetings and they replied, ‘Welcome to you, oh righteous son, our upright brother and truthful Prophet!’ They greeted me with full honors and gave good tidings of great good things to be.
“Their glorification was the following:
Subhana man la yasiful-wasifuna ‘azhmatahu wa muntahahu
Subhana man hada’at lahu-r-riqab wa dhallat lahu-s-sifaq.
(Glory to Him before the Extremity of whose Majesty all attempts
at description must pale,
Glory to Him before whom princes bow their heads and the
brazen are humbled).
“Having passed by, we came to a sea the expanse of which is known to Allah Almighty alone, none but He can say aught about it. I asked, ‘What is this sea?’ Jibra’il answered, ‘This sea is called the Bahru-n-Niqam, the Sea of Vengeance. From here descended the waters of the flood of Nuh.’
“We passed on and Jibra’il called the Adhan and the Iqama, and I led all the inhabitants and angels of the fifth Heaven in a prayer of two Rak’ats. After this we ascended to the Sixth Heaven.”

The Sixth Heaven 5

“Allah Almighty has created this Heaven from a yellow gem and has called it Khalisa. Its guardian is Samkha’il. We came to its gates and requested their opening; the customary question and answering took place and the gates opened for us. As we entered, I beheld the angel Samkha’il. He had six hundred thousand angels at his command, and each of these had another six hundred thousand helpers under him. All were engaged in glorification of the Lord, chanting these words:
Subhanal-Karim, subhana-n-Nur-al-mubin,
Subhana-lladhi huwa ilahu man fi-s-samawati wa ilahu man fil-ard.
(Glory be to the Munificent, Glory to the Unmistakable Light,
Glory to Him who is God of all that is in the heavens and on the earth.)
“I greeted the angel Samkha’il and he returned my greetings with full appreciation and ceremony. Then he made this supplication: ‘May the Almighty bless your good works, your works of sanctity and the light within your heart!’ to which I rejoined, ‘Amin!’
“Then we passed on until we came upon a group of angels who are called the Cherubim (Karubiyun). Only Allah knows their number. Their chief is a great angel who is given seventy thousand angels in attendance. Each of these helpers had another seventy thousand angels to serve him. With loud voices, they are continuously chanting Tasbih and Tahlil. Passing by them, I met my brother, the Prophet Musa. I greeted him and he rose in response and kissed me between the eyes. Then he spoke and said, ‘Praise be to Allah who has sent you and shown you to me. The Lord has given me tidings of the great miracles about to be performed. Tonight, you are to be honored by meeting and conversing with the Lord of the Universe. However, do not forget your weak nation. Whatever bliss you are granted, also seek it for your nation. Should anything be made obligatory on them, ask for it to be reduced to a minimum.’
“The glorification of Musa was this:
Subhanal-Hadi man yasha’u.
Subhanal-Mudillu man yasha’u;
(Glory be to Him who leads to righteousness whomsoever He will;
Glory to Him who leads astray whom He will;
Glory to the All-Forgiving, the All-Merciful.)
“Passing on, we reached the angel Mikha’il who was seated upon a tremendous throne. In front of him was a great set of scales. Each scale of the balance was so great that it might have contained all the heavens and earths. A great many scrolls of paper were stacked in front of him. I went up to him and gave him my Salams. He received my greetings and rose to greet me in return. Then he made this supplication on my behalf: ‘May Allah increase your powers of sanctity and your bliss,’ to which I replied, ‘Amin!’ He then gave me these joyous tidings, ‘No nation has ever before received such goodness and munificence as the blessings with which your nation will be favored. Therefore their scales weigh heavier than those of all other nations. Happy is the man who follows you with love, and woe upon the man who turns against you and rebels.’
“There were so many angels surrounding Mikha’il that Allah alone can know their number. They all spoke to me and said, ‘We are all subservient to your command, and we constantly recite Salawat upon you. From twenty-five thousand years before the creation of Adam until this very moment, there has been one particular angel responsible for the delivery of every single drop of rain or snow. For all the growing plants and fruits and crops, there is an angel assigned to every single one of them, and he performs his duty perfectly. Having performed his duty once, he does not repeat his chore again until the Day of Judgment. From this you can gauge the immense number of angels that are created.’
“The Tasbih of these angels is this:
Subhana Rabbi kulli mu’minin wa kafirin,
Subhana man tada’u min haybatihi ma fi butunihal-hawamil.
(Glory be to the Lord of every believer and every infidel;
Glory to Him, from awe of whom pregnant women bring forth what is in their wombs.)”
“The glorification of the angel Mikha’il is this:
(Glory be to the Highest Lord.)”
According to one narration he r is to have said: “If a person perseveres along his life in reciting this Tasbih, ‘Subhana Rabbil-‘Ala’, when his time to die has come, the angel Mikha’il will send the Angel of Mercy to him with a gift. He who is visited in his grave by the Angel of Mercy is made safe from the punishment of the grave.”
On account of this vision, the Holy Muhammad {s} included this Tasbih in his Sunna, since Muslims recite this phrase in every Sajda, so that they may ultimately reach to this felicity.
The Holy Muhammad {s} then continued:
After this we reached a luminous green sea where there was a multitude of angels - Allah Almighty alone knows their number – and their Tasbih was this:
(Glory be to the Mighty, the All-Powerful;
Glory to the Most Generous of the Generous,
Glory to the Glorious, the Illustrious.)
“I then asked, ‘What sea is this?’ and Jibra’il told me, ‘The name of this sea is ‘Bahr-al-Akhdar’, the Green Sea.’ Then Jibra’il recited the Adhan and Iqama, and I led the angels and inhabitants of the sixth Heaven in a prayer of two Rak’ats. Then we rose up to the Seventh Heaven.”

[1] A loan here means the alms expended for Allah’s sake on the destitute and impoverished and needy, and all the goods given away in the way of Allah - fi sabil-illah.
[2] Illiyun: the uppermost Heaven, a word derived from the Arabic, meaning high, raised.

The Seventh Heaven

Our beloved Prophet continued r the narration of his visit to the Seventh Heaven:
“Allah Almighty has it created from Light. Its name is Ghariba and the name of its guardian angel is Afra’il. Jibra’il requested entry at the keeper of the gates as he had done before, and after a succession of questions and answers, the gates swung open and we were admitted. I beheld Afra’il and the seven hundred thousand angels under his command. Each one of these had in turn seven hundred thousand helpers, and their glorification was this:
Subhana-lladhi sataha-s-samawati wa rafa’aha,
Subhana-lladhi basatal-arda wa farashaha,
Subhana-lladhi atla’al-kawakiba wa azharaha,
Subhana-lladhi arsal-jibala wa haya’ha.
(Glory be to Him who has fashioned the skies as a roof and raised them aloft;
Glory to Him who has flattened the earth and fitted it accordingly;
Glory to Him who brought forth the stars and made them to be adornments;
Glory to Him who has set up the mountains and fixed them in their places.)”
“I greeted Afra’il and he received my greetings with pleasure. He gave me glad tidings of many spiritual gifts of grace and much reward for accepted good works.
“Above the gate to this Heaven were written these words:
  • La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah, wa Abu Bakr as-Siddiq.
  • There I beheld an angel whose head was at a level with the Throne, while his feet were placed firmly on the earth.
  • He was so great that he might have swallowed up all the seven layers of Heaven with one gulp, had Allah Almighty permitted him to do so. The Tasbih of this tremendous angel was this:
Subhanal-muhtajibi bi jalalihi,
Subhanal-musawwiri fil-arhami ma yasha’u.
(Glory be to Him who is veiled by His Majesty,
Glory be to Him who forms in the womb whatever He wills.)
“Then I saw an angel with seven hundred thousand heads, and each of these heads bore seven hundred thousand faces. On every single face there were seven hundred thousand mouths, and in every single mouth there were seven hundred thousand tongues and with each tongue he speaks seven hundred thousand different languages. This angel also has seven hundred thousand wings. Every day, this angel plunges seven hundred times into the Ocean of Light, which is in Paradise, and each time he comes up out of the water, he shakes himself. From every drop of light that flies off him, the Almighty creates an angel, which glorifies the Lord as follows:
Subhanaka ma ‘azhama sha’nuka,
Subhanaka ma ’azhama makanuka,
Subhanaka sayyidi ma arhamaka bi khalqika.
(Be Thou glorified, how immense is Thy dignity!
Glory be to Thee, how high is Thy station!
Glory to Thee, my Lord, how great Thy Mercy on Thine creation!)
“After passing by this one, I beheld another angel, seated upon a throne. His head was beneath the Divine Throne, and his feet reached to the bottom of the earth. He was so great, that he could have swallowed up the world and what is within it in a single gulp. The tip of one of his wings touched the west, whereas the other touched to the east. Seven hundred thousand angels were at his service, and each one of these commanded another seven hundred thousand angels. ‘Who is this?’ I asked the angel Jibra’il. ‘This is Israfil,’ he told me. I went up to him and gave him Salams and he received them well and gave me great good tidings. His Tasbih was this:
Subhanal-muhtajibi ‘an khalqihi,
Subhana Rabbina wa ta’ala.
(Glory be to Him, the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing,
Glory be to Him who is veiled from His Creation,
Glorified and exalted be He, our Lord Almighty.)
“After this, I came upon a person all drowned in Light. He was seated upon a throne in an attitude of awesome dignity, and before him was a multitude of little children. I asked Jibra’il who was this person of such light, majesty and awe, and who were all the children with him. The angel answered me, ‘This is your great grandfather Ibrahim. He loves you and the entire nation that believes in you. He once prayed to the Lord of the Worlds that he might be of service to your nation, and the Lord heard his supplication. He gave him all these little children who are the little boys and girls from your nation who die before reaching adulthood. Allah Almighty has entrusted Ibrahim with their upbringing and education. Until the Day of Judgment, he will be instructing them in proper behavior and training their minds in the useful sciences. After having perfected their schooling, on the Day of Gathering he will lead them forth and bring them to the site of Resurrection. There, before the Lord’s Holy Presence, he will entreat Him with these words: ‘Oh my Lord, here are the youngsters of the nation of Your Beloved Muhammad Zwho died before reaching the age of maturity. According to Your order and command, I have taught and trained them in all useful branches of knowledge, and brought them before Thy Majestic Throne. Thine is all kindness, favor and grace.’
“At this invocation, the Almighty Lord will reply with the full glory of His Majesty, ‘Oh children, go and enter the Gardens of Paradise.’
  • Thereupon, these children will reply, ‘Oh our Lord, by Thy Grace and Thy Munificence, let our parents go with us!’
  • The Almighty Lord will again direct His Divine Speech at them, and say,
  • ‘You have nothing to answer for, go and enter into Paradise forthwith; as for your parents, they are accountable and there are things they have to answer for.’
  • Again, these children entreat the Lord, ‘During their lives in the material world, we caused them sorrow through our absence;
  • now, by the vastness of Thine Mercy which floods the universal expanse, let us be the cause of happiness for them.’
  • Upon this plea, the All-Merciful and Beneficent Lord accepts the children’s supplications and addresses them, saying, ‘Go then and take from the wine of the spring of Kawthar and give your parents to drink therefrom.’
“Thereafter, Jibra’il turned to me and said, ‘Go ahead and give Salams to Ibrahim.’ I stepped forth and greeted him, whereupon he honored me and received me well. Then he spoke to me, saying, ‘Welcome to you, oh virtuous son and righteous Prophet! Tonight you are to be honored in that you will witness the splendor of the Lord of the Universe, and you will be admitted to behold all manner of sacred displays. As for your nation, it is the last of all nations and it will be a very weak nation, so do not neglect to intercede with your Lord on their behalf.’
“And he continued, ‘Oh Muhammad {s}! Give Salams to your nation from me and convey to them my advice: the World (dunya) is of a passing nature and rapid in its decline. In the eyes of the Eternal Lord it is but base and contemptible matter. He attributes to it not even the value of a fly’s wing. Tell them not to waste their lives in the pursuit of its vain beauties, its pomp and palaces; not to be deceived by its many and varied tastes, by promises of grandeur and large followings. For it is the world to come, which is lasting, and eternal. Therefore, let them busy themselves in following the pure ways of the Shari’a (Divine Law) by night and by day, and the guidance contained in your Sunna (practice of the Prophet {S}) and thereby gain the good pleasure of the Almighty Lord. The Gardens of Paradise are vast, so let them plant there many, many trees.’
“I asked him then, ‘How does one plant a tree in the Jannah?’ He replied, ‘Through the recital of this Tasbih:
Subhanallahi wal-hamdu-lillahi
wa la ilaha ill-Allahu wallahu akbar,
wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billahil-aliyyil-azhim.
(Glory be to Allah and Praise;
None is worthy of worship but Allah alone, and Allah is Most Great!
There is no Might and no Power save with Allah, the Exalted, Majestic.)
Tell them to recite this Du’a (prayer), for each time they recite it, a tree is planted in Paradise.’
“Then Jibra’il called the Adhan to prayer and made Iqama; I then led the angels and inhabitants of the seventh Heaven in a prayer of two Rak’ats, then we ascended to the Bayt-al-Ma’mur.

The Bayt-al-Ma’mur (The Heavenly House) 5

“This is a highly revered building in the Seventh Heaven. It is of the same size as the revered Kaba, which stands upon the earth and it is situated right above it. Were it to be let down from the Heavens, it would land right on top of the Kaba.
  • Allah has created it from red ruby stone and given it two doors made from green emerald.
  • Ten thousand lamps of pure gold illuminate it and it has a minaret of pure silver,
  • which has a height of five hundred years’ traveling. At the door of this building there is a Minbar (a pulpit), and every day since their creation up until the Last Day,
  • seventy thousand angels come here to visit this house.
  • “In front of it there is a sea of light in which they first bathe, then take thereof a veil of light each and wrap it around themselves.
  • This is their Ihram (ceremonial clothing of the pilgrimage).
  • Then they begin to circumambulate the Heavenly House in Ihram, calling out Labbayk (‘At Your service!’), as the pilgrims do on earth.
  • Having once completed their Tawaf (circumambulation), these angels do not return a second time until the Day of Judgment, and it is only the angels of the seventh Heaven who go there at all. Jibra’il then took me by the hand and we went inside.
“He said to me, ‘Oh Rasulullah {S}, do lead us here in prayer too!’ Then he called the Adhan, and all the inhabitants of the seven heavens now followed as I led them in a prayer of two Rak’ats. When I beheld the immense multitude, it came to my mind, ‘Oh if only my nation were granted such a communal prayer.’ Thereupon, the Lord who knows all hidden thoughts, realized my secret wish in that He commanded, ‘Oh Muhammad {s}! Your nation will be granted such a communal prayer: it will be on a Friday, and it will be obligatory.’”
It is written in some of the books of admonition:
“Every Friday the great angels assemble round the Holy House. Jibra’il calls the Adhan and Israfil delivers the Khutaba (sermon) while Mikha’il leads the prayer as Imam. All the angels of the seven heavens follow his lead. After the Jum’a[1] prayer is complete, Jibra’il addresses the gathering as follows, “Oh gathering of angels, bear
witness that I pass on the reward for this Adhan to the Muadhdhins [2] (callers to prayer) of the nation of Muhammad {s}!”
Then Israfil rises and says, “Oh ye angels! Bear witness that I donate the reward for this Khutba to all the Khatibs[3] of the nation of Muhammad {s}!” Then Mikha’il steps forth and says, “Oh angels, I too have made over the merit of leading this prayer to the Imam[4] of the nation of Muhammad {s}!” All the angels then present the merit for their prayer to those of the nation of Muhammad {s} who have prayed the Jum’a prayer.
Then there comes a call from the Highest Lord, saying, “Oh Angels of Mine! Do you seek to outdo Me in generosity, whereas I am He who created all Generosity and Munificence! Hear then My Decree: whoever honors the day of Jum’a from among the nation of Muhammad {s}, man or woman alike, I will forgive them their sins and free them from the torments of Hell!” Thus He Almighty grants us His Grace and Mercy. Oh Allah, make us also recipients of Your Munificence and ease our way to reach such a degree of merit, for the honor of the Trusted Prophet Muhammad {s}, oh Most Merciful of the Merciful, Amin!
“Then,” continued the Holy Prophet {S}, “we ascended to Sidratul Muntaha.”

The Sidratul Muntaha 5

Concerning the ‘Sidratul Muhtaha’, the learned ‘Ulama have proffered various differing opinions, particularly with regard to the statement: “It is called ‘Sidratul Muntaha’ (the lotus tree of the extreme limit) because it is the end of all that is knowable, and nobody can know what is beyond it.” Some others have explained: “Whoever comes from above, arrives here and cannot pass on further down. Whoever comes from below, reaches this point and cannot ascend further. Therefore it is called by this name.”
Yet others try to explain it in this way: “The world of spirits ends at this point, therefore it is called the Lote tree of the extreme limit.” Ibn ‘Abbas tells us:
  • “It is a tree which is made all of gold.
  • Some of its boughs are made of emerald,
  • some are of ruby.
  • The tree measures a distance of one hundred and fifty years journey from its foot to its top.
  • Its leaves resemble the ears of the elephant, and they are very great: a single one of them would cover the entire world. Its fruits are shaped like water jugs. The whole tree is engulfed by light.”
The Holy Prophet {S} continues:
“Upon this tree I saw such a number of angels that only Allah Almighty can know. They enfolded all the leaves of that tree and glittered like locusts, flashing like stars.”
This holy verse was revealed concerning this vision:
Indeed, he saw him another time by the Lote-Tree of the Boundary nigh which is the Garden of the Refuge, when there covered the Lote-Tree that which covered; his eye swerved not, nor swept astray. Indeed he saw one of the greatest signs of his Lord. (The Star, 13-18)
The commentators interpret this verse as meaning that the whole tree was surrounded and embraced by the multitude of angels upon it. It is related that there were as many angels upon the leaves of that tree as there are stars in the sky and grains of sand in the earth.
  • Some angels took the form of golden butterflies.
  • All of them came to greet the Prophet of Allah r, and when they beheld his saintly beauty, they all gave thanks to the Lord and gave to him the assurance of Allah’s Mercy.
  • They also made over all the merit of their devotional actions to the nation of Muhammad {s}.
  • Jibra’il, too, had his place upon the branches of this tree, and his was a branch made of green emerald.
  • It was at a height of one hundred thousand years of journeying. There is a leaf there,
  • the breadth of which is that of the seven layers of the heavens and the seven beds of the earth.
  • Upon it there is a carpet spread of light, and on it there is a Mihrab made of red ruby.
  • This Mihrab is the place of the Angel Jibra’il. Before it was placed a seat of honor reserved for the Holy Prophet {S} upon which no one had sat since the day it was set in place.
  • Each of these was surrounded by forty thousand stools upon which angels sat reciting the Injil.
  • To the left there were also ten thousand stools made of beryl, and the angels seated upon them were writing out the Zabur.
  • Forty thousand other angels reciting the Zabur surrounded each seat.
  • Behind us there were again ten thousand stools of red ruby. The angels seated on these were writing out the Holy Quran, and around each stool there were seated another forty thousand angels reciting the Holy Quran.
This has been explained as follows:
  • The wisdom of the Torah being placed before Muhammad {s},
  • the Injil to his right, and
  • the Zabur to his left is this:
  • before the Holy Prophet {S}, the Choice of all Humankind, had yet appeared in the world and begun fulfilling his mission, those Holy Scriptures had already been revealed.
  • All of them contained descriptions of the Prophet to come and told of his characteristics and excellence, and of the preeminent position of his nation among all other, previous nations.
  • The Holy Quran was placed behind him because its Judgment is to remain valid and unsurpassed until the Day of Judgment, and even the Day of Judgment would be conducted by its rulings. It is a sign of its remaining free and safe from abrogation, substitution, alteration or corruption.

The Holy Prophet {S} continues:
“Jibra’il then said to me, ‘Oh Rasulullah {S}, I have a request to make of you: that you would deign to pray two Rak’ats here, so that my Maqam might gain blessings from it.’ I therefore prayed a prayer of two Rak’ats there and all the angels of the Holy House and the Sidratul Muntaha followed suit.” In this way the Holy Prophet {S} was honored above the angels.

The Four Streams of Paradise 5

Rasulullah {S} continues his account:
“Below this tree there flowed four streams, two of which were evident and two of which were hidden. Jibra’il told me,
  • ‘The two hidden streams flow into the Gardens of Paradise, while the
  • two visible ones flow down to the Earth.
  • One of them is the Euphrates,
  • the other is the Nile.’
  • Then I beheld another stream, by the banks of which tents had been set up that were of ruby, pearls and chrysolite.
  • By their banks flew birds of emerald green whose necks resembled the necks of camels.
  • Jibra’il then said to me, ‘What you see here is the spring of Kawthar.
  • Allah Almighty has made you a gift of it.’
As it is written in the Holy Quran,
Surely, We have given thee abundance (Kawthar); so pray unto thy Lord and sacrifice. Surely he that hates thee, he is the one cut off. (Abundance)
“This stream flowed along over pebbles of rubies and emerald and its waters were whiter than milk. I took up a cup and drank from it. Its taste was sweeter than honey, and its scent more pleasing than musk.
  • A spring gushed forth beneath that tree. Jibra’il told me its name: Salsabil.
  • It was the source of two waters,
  • one is Kawthar (Abundance);
  • the other is Rahma (Mercy). Both streams flow before the gates of the Garden.
“Those entering into Paradise drink from the waters of Kawthar, and when they do so, all the calamities of the heart, base character and bad habits disappear and they become cleansed.
  • Then they bathe in the spring of Rahma (Mercy).
  • The men assume the dimensions of Adam, who measured sixty yards in height and seven yards in breadth.
  • They will all be thirty-three years of age and will have green moustaches.
  • As for the ladies, they will emerge as virgin girls of eighteen and their virginity will not be rent.
  • Thus they will enter into Paradise, and never again will they age and become old.
  • The spring of Salsabil is the source of these waters.
“Then I saw groups of angels passing in rows before the Sidra, and their rows were joined together. They formed such a long formation, that were a bird of swiftest flight to fly along it for a hundred years, he would not reach its other end. They moved faster than the wind, as swiftly as the arrow flies. I then asked Jibra’il, ‘Whence comes this great multitude of angels, and whither are they going? And when did they begin their passage?’ Jibra’il explained to me, saying, ‘They have been passing by since the time they were created, ceaselessly in passage. I know not whence they come nor whither they are going.’ I marveled at their great number, remarking on it under my breath. Instantly this verse was revealed to me through Jibra’il:
...and none knows the hosts of thy Lord but He. (Shrouded, 31)
“Then they brought before me three bowls; one containing wine, one containing honey and a third containing milk. I chose the one with milk and drank from it. Jibra’il then said to me, ‘You have chosen the natural disposition of Islam and your nation will be firmly established in the religion of Islam. Had you chosen the cup of wine, your nation would have been a rebellious and fickle one.’
“I saw an angel at the Sidra greater than all the other angels I had seen. He measured a thousand times thousand years’ wayfaring distance. This angel had seventy thousand heads. Every head had seventy thousand faces. On every face there were seventy thousand mouths. And each head was covered with seventy thousand cloths. Each one of these coverings was embellished with one thousand times thousand pearls. Each of these pearls was so great that there appeared a sea in its midst in which fish were swimming. Upon their backs was written the Kalimat-ut-Tawhid, the Declaration of Unity:
“This angel engaged in exaltation of the Lord, placing one hand upon his head and one hand behind his back. The beauty of his voice was such that it caused a commotion at the Divine Throne itself. I asked Jibra’il to tell me who that angel was and he said, ‘The Lord Almighty created this angel two thousand years before He created Adam.’ I then asked where he had been all this time and where was his place of dwelling. Jibra’il replied, ‘In Paradise there is a place to the right of the Divine Throne, that is the abode of this angel. From there he was brought here.’

Ramadan, the Blessed 5

“I went up to him and greeted him and he rose in answer to my Salams. Then he spread his wings, and all the heavens and the Earth were covered by their expanse. He then kissed my face and said, ‘Good tidings to you, and to your nation!
  • The Lord Almighty has decreed that your nation might have a singularly blessed month so that He might forgive them their sins.
  • This holy month is the month of Ramadan and it is meant as a gift for you and your nation.
  • For its sake your nation will find forgiveness. I have been sent here this very night to announce to you this great gladness.’
  • Then I saw two boxes standing before him.
  • On each of them there was a key of light.
  • I asked that angel what was inside of those boxes. He told me, ‘In one of these boxes there are the letters of release from Hellfire for those among your nation who fast the whole month of Ramadan until the new moon, up till the Day of Judgment.’
  • According to a different narration, the angel is to have said, “Every day of Ramadan,
  • at the time of Iftar (the breaking of the fast), the Lord Almighty frees from Hellfire six hundred thousand of His servants who have fasted.
  • When Jum’a (Friday) has come, He frees six hundred thousand prisoners every hour for twenty-four hours from Hellfire until the Night of Power has come.
  • On that blessed night, that is to say, during the twenty-four hours making up that night and day, at the beginning of every hour the Lord frees from Hell as many of His servants as He has freed since the beginning of the holy month, including the Jum’a days.
  • The last day of Ramadan, at the time of Iftar (the breaking of the fast), the Lord sets free as many of His servants as He has freed during the whole month, including the Jum’a days and the Night of Power.”
The Holy Prophet {S} continues:
  • “The angel told me that the other box contained this precious gift:
  • ‘On the Day of Judgment, seventy thousand persons of your nation will be granted entry into Paradise without questioning or reckoning.
  • Their release certificates are contained in this box. In addition to these seventy thousand, each one of them will be granted the release of another seventy thousand from among his friends and relations and other disobedient Muslims.
  • They, too, will be released without reckoning and granted accession to the heavenly gardens.
  • This box contains the letters of release for all of them. Tuba, glad tidings to you and your nation, oh Rasulullah {S}!’”
By the term “Tuba” he meant to say, “Oh Rasulullah {S}, among all the countless and unbounded pleasures of the People of Paradise, the delights of the Tuba tree are reserved for you and your nation.”
This expression is metaphorical; the part signifies the whole, and speaking about the Tuba tree, signifies the totality of delights in the entire heavenly realm. In the sense mentioned above, Tuba signifies a tree in Paradise. However, the word ‘tuba’ is also (grammatically) the feminine form of the word ‘atyab’, (which means better, more excellent). This can be interpreted as follows:
“I give tidings of gladness to you and your nation; those who pass their days in the world in a good way and spend their time in a commendable fashion, who perform good works all their lives, and when they reach the end of their days will return their trusts in the light of faith, uttering the words of unity; whose questioning in the grave by the angels Munkar and Nakir will be made easy and whose graves will resemble a Garden of Paradise in which they will be at ease; who on the Day of Gathering will be gathered under the Banner of Praise and who will receive many gratifications under the shadow of the Great Throne; who will be given their book of accounts into their right hand and whose reckoning will be light; who will cross the bridge of the Sirat along with those who are the first to cross it, and who will by the Grace of Allah be of those who enter Paradise freely, without questioning or Judgment; who will be granted the sweetest of all bliss in being privileged to gaze upon the Divine Beauty of the Lord and thus will have attained their ultimate desire – these are the tidings I give to you and your nation, oh Muhammad {s}.”
The Holy Prophet’s r report continues:
“I then beheld another angel who had the shape and form of a rooster and was created from white pearls. This angel had seventy thousand wings to his left and seventy thousand wings to his right. On each wing there were seventy thousand feathers made of pearls, and seventy thousand feathers made of rubies, and seventy thousand feathers of red gold, and seventy thousand feathers of silver, and seventy thousand feathers of pure musk, and seventy thousand feathers made of camphor, and seventy thousand feathers of ambergris, and seventy thousand feathers made of saffron. He reached in height from the Throne to the lowest of the seven layers of the earth. On each one of his wings were written these words:
Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim, La ilaha ill’Allah, Muhammadan Rasulullah.
Kullu shay’in halikun illa wajhahu, al-Wahid ul-Qahhar.
(In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate. There is no God but Allah; Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger. All must perish save His Divine Countenance, He who is One, the All-Vanquishing.)
“At every prayer time, this angel would raise his head and repeat the glorification:
Bismillahil-‘azhim wa bi-hamdihi
(In the Name of Allah, the Mighty and in Praise of Him.)
“His Tasbih was thus:
Subhanaka, ma a’zhama sha’nuka.
(Praise be to Thee, how great is Thy Glory!)
“After this, he would flap his wings together, and as he did this, wondrous sounds issue forth from this flapping. When these tones reach the Paradise Gardens, the boughs of the trees of Paradise would bend and sway against each other, and it would carry on to the ruby and garnet domes of Paradise which resound with melodious echo. These tones rouse the Huris and Ghilman of Paradise, and they say to each other, ‘Good news! The time for prayer has come to the nation of Muhammad {s}!’ Then, this great angel begins to move and his movement makes the Throne tremble. The Lord then asks him, ‘What makes you tremble?’ and the angel answers Him, ‘Oh my Lord, the nation of Muhammad {s} has risen for prayer, and yet there are among them such a great number of sinners. Therefore I tremble.’ The Lord thereupon says, ‘Oh angel, be unperturbed! I am obliged to dispense of My Mercy upon those who pray. Witness that I train upon them the Gaze of Mercy and that I have forgiven them. I have freed them from Hellfire, for the honor of My Beloved, I have granted them dwelling in the Paradise of Mawa.’ Thus the Lord proclaims His great Kindness and Munificence.”

The Angel Jibra’il’s Appearance 5

The Mercy to all the Worlds r continued his narration:
“Here, too, I beheld the angel Jibra’il in his very own shape and form. He had six hundred wings, which were made of various kinds of jewels and pearls. Whenever he would open up a pair of these wings. They filled all the space between east and west. The wings were embellished by all sorts of precious stones. It would have taken a swift-flying bird five hundred, or according to other sources, seven hundred years to measure the distance from one shoulder to the other.


“Then we came to an open space from where we could hear the sounds of the writing of the Divine Pen. I said to Jibra’il, ‘Go ahead’, but Jibra’il answered, ‘You go ahead, for in the eyes of Allah you are more honored than I and all the world.’ I then passed on ahead of him and Jibra’il went behind me. We came unto a veil of gold. Jibra’il shook the veil and a voice was heard from behind it, saying, ‘Who are you?’ Jibra’il answered, ‘I am Jibra’il, and Muhammad {s} is with me.’ From within the veil this angel intoned: ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.’ From behind the curtain came a voice which said, ‘My servant has spoken truly, I am indeed the Greatest, no Greatness is due to any but Me.’
“Then the angel called, ‘Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill’Allah.’ Again there was a call, ‘My servant has spoken truly, Ana la ilaha illa ana, I am He beside whom there is no other God.’ The angel repeated the words of the Shahada, ‘Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah, I bear witness that Muhammad {s} is the Prophet of Allah.’ Again there was a call, 'My servant has spoken truly, I have sent Muhammad {s} as My Messenger-Prophet. ’ Then I heard the angel say, ‘Hayy ‘ala-s-sala, Hayy ‘alal-falah.’ Another call was heard, ‘My servant has spoken truly; he calls My servants to come to Me, worshipful. I have invited them to My gate, and whoever answers My invitation, will be saved and meet with success.’ Thereafter I heard the angel say, ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.’ Another call came, ‘My servant has spoken the Truth: Ana Akbar, I am the Greatest.’ The angel then said, ‘La ilaha ill’Allah’. A call came, saying, ‘My servant has spoken truly, there is no God but I.’
“Then I heard another call, ‘Oh Muhammad {s}, Allah has honored you with perfect honor over all those who went before you and who are yet to come.’ I then asked Jibra’il, ‘Who is this angel?’ Jibra’il told me, ‘I swear by the Might and Glory of Allah who has sent you as His Messenger of Truth: I have never seen this angel, I do not know who he is or anything about him, but you are now about to find out.’ I then asked, ‘Are you not going any further then? Does a true friend leave his friend in midstream?’ Jibra’il then said, ‘Oh Rasulullah {S}, every angel has his place and station beyond which he cannot go. If I advance even the breadth of a finger, the Wrath of Allah will burn me. My ultimate station is the Sidratul Muntaha. Up to this very moment, I have never gone as far as this point. For your sake and honor, however, I have been given permission, and I have brought you here. But I can proceed no further than this.’
“Then I asked, ‘Is there anything you request of the Lord Almighty? If there is anything you desire, I will ask it of Him.’ Jibra’il answered, ‘My request of the Lord is that He permit me, when your nation is ordered to march across the Bridge of the Sirat, to spread my wing across that bridge and assist them in crossing it in safety in this way.’
“Then an angel stretched forth his hand from behind the veil, and in less time than the blinking of an eye, he pulled me through to the farther side. Then he said to me, ‘Oh Rasulullah {S}, proceed ahead of me.’ In a short while, he had brought me before a curtain of pearls. When he stirred the curtain, an angel’s voice was heard from behind it, asking, ‘Who is this?’ The angel accompanying me said, ‘I am the angel of the golden curtain and with me is the most-honored Prophet of the Lord.’ The angel behind the veil then said, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and, stretching out his hand from behind the veil, he pulled me across. In as little time as it takes for the eye to blink, I had traversed the curtain and found myself standing before him, where he greeted me with every mark of honor and respect.

Rafraf 5

“In this way I passed through seventy thousand veils, each one of them made of a different kind of jewel. The distance between each of these curtains was one of five hundred years’ wayfaring, and the thickness of each was that of another five hundred years. When I had passed through all of the veils, I remained all alone.Then Rafraf came to me and became visible in the shape of a green settee, which greeted me with greetings of peace. He spoke to me, saying, ‘Seat yourself upon me, for I will be your transport.’”
During the night of his Mi’raj, the Holy Prophet {S} journeyed upon five different conveyances: the first was the Buraq, which took him up to al-Quds (Jerusalem). The second was the Mi’raj (the steps) on which he ascended up into the earthly skies. The third was the angel Jibra’il ’s wing; on it he approached as far the veil. The fourth were the angels who pulled him from one veil to the next. The fifth was the Rafraf; with this he proceeded as far as Allah Almighty wished him to go.

Kursi 5

The Holy Prophet {S} continues:
“I mounted upon the Rafraf and it took me as far as the Kursi (Divine Courtyard). The Lord Almighty has created the Kursi from pearls, and it is very great, so great it is that it defies all description.”
In the Holy Quran, Allah says about the Kursi:
His Throne (Kursi) comprises the heavens and the earth; the preserving of whom oppresses Him not. (The Cow, 255)
The most excellent of commentators, Ibn ‘Abbas, says about this in his commentary:
“If the seven layers of the earth and the seven layers of the heavens were put together and spread out, next to the Kursi they would be as a tiny ring which has been lost in a desert.” Between the Kursi (Divine Court) and the ‘Arsh (Divine Throne) there are seventy veils. If not for these, the angels of the Kursi would be burnt from the Light of the Divine Throne (‘Arsh).
The Holy Prophet {S} continued his blessed narration:
“I passed beyond those veils. Between each of the veils, I beheld various thrones that were bedecked with fine throws studded with many gems. All around the thrones curtains were drawn, as if these thrones were still waiting for their occupants. An air of expectancy surrounded these bejeweled seats of honor. I asked the guardians of these thrones, ‘Who is to be seated upon them?’ and they answered me, ‘They will be occupied by the spirits.’
  • I asked, ‘The spirits of which prophets are they meant for?’ and I was told, ‘These are not for those ranking among the prophets; their ranks are far beyond that.
  • These thrones are intended for the spirits of two groups from among your nation.’ I asked again, ‘Whose are these spirits?’ And I was told,
  • ‘One group is made up of those who have learned by heart the words of the Holy Quran revealed to you, who understand its meaning and who act in accordance to its injections.
  • The other group comprises those who rise at night to worship their Lord when all the world lies fast asleep.’”
  • “Indeed, I beheld many wondrous marvels between the layers of these veils.
  • I saw numberless strange seas and within them strange and wondrous creatures.
  • I saw many angels of dreadful guise, but to comprehend them or describe or explain them exceeds all human means.

‘Arsh 5

“After passing through all the veils, I reached the Divine Throne.
  • Allah has created it of green emeralds and it has four legs of red ruby.
  • The Divine Throne has as many tongues as there are created beings, and each of these glorifies the Lord unceasingly.
  • An angel holds on to each one of the feet of the Divine Throne and holds it aloft until the Day of Judgment.
  • On that day, there will be two angels holding each foot of the Throne, eight angels in all.
  • The size of these angels is such that the distance between the heel and the ankles of each is that of five hundred years’ wayfaring, and from their earlobe to their neck is another five hundred years’ traveling distance.
  • “The Throne-bearing angels never once raise their heads to gaze upwards, for the dazzling gleam of the light of the Throne.
  • One of these angels has the form of a man, and he is always praying, interceding on behalf of humankind, that they may be granted their sustenance and provisions and that their sins may be forgiven.
  • The second one of these angels has the shape of an eagle and he is always praying for the provision of the birds and flying creatures.
  • The third of these angels has the form of a lion, and he prays for the beasts of prey to be given their provisions.
  • The fourth one is shaped like an ox and he prays constantly for the ruminant animals to be granted their provisions.
“Compared to the greatness of the Divine Throne, the entire Divine Court,
  • the seven heavens and the seven layers of the earth are as a single lamp suspended beneath the sky.
  • All around it are seventy thousand rows of angels circumambulating it at all times,
  • reciting Takbir (‘Allahu Akbar’) and
  • Tahlil (‘La ilaha illAllah’).
  • Behind them are again seventy thousand rows of angels standing upright and reciting Takbir and Tahlil. Behind them are one hundred thousand rows of angels who hold their right hands clasped over their left hands and each one of them recites a different Tasbih. Seventy thousand veils separate these angels from the Divine Throne.
“Then I beheld a single pearl of emerald green upon which was written this line of writing:
La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah,
Abu Bakr as-Siddiq wa ‘Umar al-Faruq
There is no god but the one true god (al-lah);
Muhammad is the messenger of allah.
Abu bakr ‑ the truthful, and ‘umar ‑ the one who distinguishes truth from falsehood.
  • “The Declaration of Unity (Kalimat-at-Tawhid) is written on the base that supports the Divine Throne, and upon the legs of the Throne itself, and
  • it is written over the gates of the Seven Heavens.
  • Sometimes, this phrase was added: ‘I have strengthened him through Ali.’
  • “When I reached the Divine Throne, I witnessed great events. One drop fell from the Throne into my mouth and the sweetness of it surpassed everything I have ever tasted.
  • When I had swallowed it, the Lord of the Universe enlightened my heart with the knowledge and wisdom of all that had gone before and was yet to come.
  • The light from the Throne surrounded me and I was engulfed by it. I was aware of nothing but that light. When faced with this light, I perceived everything through my heart’s eye as clearly as though I were looking through my eyes. I perceived what was behind me as clearly as that, which was before me, at a level with my chest.
“After all this occurred, I came into a state when I heard absolutely nothing, not the voices of the angels, nor the sound of any other thing. This state caused me to experience great terror. Then I suddenly heard a voice that seemed to be the voice of Abu Bakr saying to me, ‘Qif, ya Muhammad, inna rabbuka yusalli. (Stay your step, oh Muhammad {s}, for your Lord is praying blessing.’) When I heard this voice, all the terror departed from me completely, and I began to wonder, ‘What is Abu Bakr doing here? Has he surpassed me, I wonder? And what does this mean, the Lord is praying, the Lord Who is free from all exigence! What could be the meaning of all this?’”
This is a very important subject which needs to be well understood: the reason for the Holy Prophet {S} proceeding to the Divine Throne was not to see the Lord Almighty, for Almighty God is exempt from any particular place. The Holy Prophet {S}was taken to these stations in order to witness the entirety of creation, and to see the manifestation of the Divine Lord’s Supreme Majesty and Power, as He says in these verses of the Holy Quran:
Indeed, he saw one of the greatest signs of his Lord. (The Star, 18)
...that We might show him some of Our signs. (The Night Journey, 1)
Apart from this, there is another matter that it is crucial to understand: Let it not be imagined that the greatness of the things described in this account are exaggerated, as the Lord has described in the aforementioned verses.
Indeed, he saw one of the greatest signs of his Lord. (The Star, 18)
As the Lord of the Worlds Himself here describes a thing as being ‘great’; how great then must it be! For perhaps the Holy Prophet {S}has given us only a summary report of what he saw in accordance with our minds’ capacity; most of what he saw he did not reveal to us, for it is not possible to give a description of the greatest things that he witnessed, as the mind of man is not equipped to comprehend such things. Therefore, he did not mention those matters; this must be understood.

The Vision of the Divine Beauty 5

The Holy Prophet {S} continues his account:
“When I reached to the Divine Throne, I wished to remove my sandals, but the Throne spoke to me and said, ‘Oh Beloved of Allah r, step upon me with your blessed sandal, so that I might rub the dust from it on my face, and take pride in the fact that the dust from the sandal of the Beloved of Allah r has fallen upon me.’
“Again I tried to remove my sandals, but this time a call came to me from the Divine Person, saying, ‘Oh My Beloved, do not remove your sandals so that My Throne might be honored and blessed with the dust from the soles of your sandals.’
  • I then entreated my Lord, saying, ‘When You called the Prophet Musa to come to the mountain of Tur (Sina’i),
  • You ordered him to remove his sandals.’ Again this word came to me from the Divine Person, saying,
  • ‘In My view, you are more cherished and honored than he; Musa was My Word (Kalimullah), whereas you are My Beloved (Habibullah). Look ahead and see what you will see!’
“I looked and I saw a great sea, so great that there was no end to it, and no shore in sight. On its near side there was a tree, and upon that tree, there was a bird the size of a dove. In its beak this bird bore a piece of clay as big as a lentil. ‘Do you know what this is?’ I was asked. I answered, ‘My Lord knows best.’ And He Almighty told me, ‘You are forever entreating Me to forgive your nation their sins. This sea is the likeness of the Sea of Mercy. That tree signifies the world, the dove-like bird is the likeness of your nation and that bit of clay is the likeness of their sins. Now you have seen the relation of your nation’s sins to the vastness of My Mercy, so let your heart be at rest.’”
When the secret of that, which the mind is incapable of grasping, was revealed to the Holy Prophet {S} in this Holy Verse of the Quran:
He stood poised, being on the higher horizon, then drew near and suspended hung, two bows’-length away, or nearer, then revealed to His servant that He revealed. His heart lies not of what he saw; what, will you dispute with him what he sees?
(The Star, 6-12)
He, the Almighty, addressed him in the following words:
“Draw nearer to Me, oh you Best of all Mankind! Draw nigh, oh Ahmad, oh Muhammad, so that The Friend may be in intimate association with His friend!”
In this way, the Holy Prophet {S} was granted the unmediated vision of the Sublime Beauty of He who is beyond all space and time, free from all conditions or qualities, the Unmitigated Principal of all things.
This is the avowed preference of the Ahl as-Sunna wal-Jama’ah (People of the Sunnah of Prophet {S} and the Majority).

The Tahiyyat Prayer 5

To continue with the Holy Prophet's {s} account:
“When faced with the unparalleled honor of a glimpse of the Lord’s Divine Beauty, it came to me to express myself in the following words:
At-tahiyyatu li-llahi was-salawatu wat-tayyibatu.
(Salutations be to Allah, all praise and glory to Him; all worship and good works are due to Him Almighty) which is to say, ‘All praise, exaltation and worship in speech, all worship through actions and property is due to the Almighty alone, the only One to whom worship is due.’
After I had pronounced these words, the Lord of Might and Glory answered me, saying:
As-salamu ‘alayka ayyuha-n-nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu;
(And salutations to you, oh Prophet, and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings) which is to say, ‘Peace be upon you, oh Prophet; may you be safe from the trouble and difficulties of this world and the next, oh My glorious Prophet! May the Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.’
“In this way, He proffered very special greetings upon me. In response, I said:
As-Salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibadillahi-s-salihin;
(And peace be upon us and upon the righteous servants of the Lord), that is to say, ‘May the peace of this world and the next be upon us, for our answering and acceptance of these greetings, upon all us Prophets of the Lord, and upon His righteous servants, which is the name given to the nation of Muhammad.’
“Jibra’il was informed of this secret, and from his post he concluded:
Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill’Allah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh.
(I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and His Prophet.)
After this, Allah Almighty, the Possessor of Majesty and Glory, asked me, ‘Do you know, oh Muhammad, which actions the inhabitants of the heavens approve of and what they desire to be done?’ I replied, ‘Oh my Lord, I know nothing, and You know everything; moreover all that is hidden and secret.’ Again the Lord spoke to me and said, ‘Oh Muhammad, do you know what actions the heavenly hosts love and approve of?’ Again I replied, ‘Oh my Lord, I know it not, for You know all things, and you know all that is hidden.’ After this, He in His Grace and Infinite Kindness and Benevolence taught me all the knowledge I was in need of.
“Then again He asked me the same question, ‘Do you know what actions the heavenly hosts rejoice in and are happy to see performed?’ This time I answered, ‘They are happy with works that are performed in compensation for sins committed and with works that lead to raised stations in Paradise - those are the works the heavenly folk rejoice in.’ The Lord of Hosts continued to ask me, ‘And what are these works that are compensation for sins committed?’ I answered, ‘On a cold day, to perform one’s ablutions with cold water and in such a way that one’s limbs are wetted entirely; to walk the distance required to join the prayer in congregation; after having prayed one prayer, to wait for the next (that is to say, to make ready as the time approaches, and to wait in readiness); these are actions that are compensation for sins. Whoever performs such works, he will live his life in goodness and righteousness and only good will be his lot. He will be as pure as on the day his mother brought him into the world.’”
The meaning of these last two statements can be understood as referring to good works in general, but it can also be understood as supplication and incentive, in which case it would be read as follows:
“Whoever persists in these three actions, I pray and plead that his may be a goodly life. May he always be surrounded by goodness and remain as pure as on the day he was born.”
To pursue the Holy Prophet’s account:
“Then my Lord resumed His questioning and said, ‘Which are those actions that lead to high stations in Paradise?’ And I answered, ‘To share food with people and to show hospitality, to give Salams to a Muslim whom one encounters on the road, to rise for prayer at night when everyone is asleep ‑ these three actions lead to high stations in Paradise.’
“After this the Lord Almighty said to me, ‘Speak, oh Muhammad!’ ‘What shall I say, oh my Lord?’ I answered. He said, ‘Recite this Du’a:’
Allahumma inni as’aluka ‘amalan bil-hasanati wa tarkan lil-munkirati, wa idha aradta bi-qawmin fitnatan wa ana fi-him, fa-qbidni ilayka ghayra maftun.
(Oh my Lord, I ask of You to be granted good works and to be released from bad actions, and should You have decreed disaster for a people and I should be among them, then take me from their midst before calamity takes its toll.)”
The Leader of the World, the Foremost and Elect of all the Sons of Adam, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad {s} thus reached the Station of Nearness and was granted the vision of Divine Beauty. From the Station of the Knowledge of Certainty (‘ilm al-yaqin), he passed to the Station of the Witnessing of Certainty (‘ayn al-yaqin) through holding direct converse with the Lord of Majesty and Might. His blind faith in the unseen was turned into faith supported by direct witnessing. The Exalted Lord Almighty informs of this in the revelation of this verse of the Holy Quran:
The Messenger believes in what was sent down to him from his Lord.
(The Cow, 285)
Here the word ‘messenger’ (rasul) indicates Rasulullah, Muhammad our Prophet {S}.
The Holy Prophet {S} recounts:
“Concerning the above mentioned verse, I said, ‘Yes my Lord, I believe in all that has been revealed aforetime.’ The Lord then asked, ‘And who else believed in it?’ I said, ‘And the believers; each one believes in God.’ (The Cow, 285) The Lord then asked again, ‘And what else do they believe in?’ I replied, ‘’And His angels, and His Books and His Messengers. We make no division between any of His Messengers (The Cow, 285); we accept and confirm them all.’ The Lord then asked, ‘What did the believers say when the revelation came to them with the laws and injunctions from their Lord?’ I answered, ‘They said, ‘We hear, and obey (The Cow, 285) oh my Lord!’ The Lord then said, ‘You have spoken truly, oh Muhammad, for they have received My Word and pledged obedience to My Commands. Now ask of Me what you wish, it will be granted.’
“To this I said, ‘Oh Lord, grant us Thy Forgiveness; unto Thee is the homecoming. (The Cow, 285) Admit us to Your Divine Presence having granted us Your Mercy and Forgiveness.’ Thereupon the Almighty replied, ‘I have forgiven you and your nation.’ And after this, the Lord of Majesty and Might spoke:
God charges no soul save to its capacity, standing to its account is what it has earned, and against it what it has merited. (The Cow, 286)
“And after this, He said, ‘Oh Muhammad, this night is the night of gifts, ask therefore for whatever you wish, it will be granted.’ I then said,
Our Lord, take us not to task if we forget or make mistake. (The Cow, 286)

“The Lord then said, ‘I have forgiven you and your nation for whatever sins they have committed from heedlessness and forgetfulness. And I have forgiven them the sins that they were forced to commit. So ask again, it will be granted.’ I said,
‘Our Lord, charge us not with a load such as Thou didst lay upon those before us.’” (The Cow, 286)
The Holy Prophet {S} wished to express this: “Do not charge us with as heavy a load as that which You laid upon previous nations.” This alludes to previous injunctions, which required the giving away of one fourth of one’s possessions in Zakat, the cutting off of a defiled piece of clothing; swift punishment for crimes committed, and similar punishments. For instance, something that was permitted to them before was forbidden to them as a punishment for their crimes; if they committed a sin during the night, it would be written upon their foreheads or above their doors, in express letters, stating the crime and the punishment due to the perpetrator: “This man has committed a crime during the night and as a punishment, he must kill himself (for instance, by burning or by cutting off certain limbs).” Thus the sins they committed were out in the open and on that account they suffered public disgrace.
The obligation to always pray in their churches was also imposed on them; it was not lawful for them to pray in any other place. On a day of fasting, it was forbidden to them to take any food or drink after the onset of the night, or to approach their women after that hour.
To continue with the Holy Prophet's {s} narration:
“I made supplication for my nation that they might not be burdened with all the weight that previous nations had to bear. My Lord then said to me, ‘I have granted ease to your nation and made their burdens light. So ask of Me what you want, it will be granted.’ Then I said, (in reference to disasters and calamities):
Our Lord, do Thou not burden us beyond what we have the strength to bear.
(The Cow, 286)
“The Lord answered, ‘I will not place upon you and your nation burdens which exceed their strength to carry them. But ask more of Me, I will grant it.’ ‘I replied,‘Pardon us!’ (The Cow, 286); ‘ and He replied, ‘I have pardoned you and your nation.’ ‘Forgive us!’ (The Cow, 286).’ ‘I have forgiven you and your nation.’”
According to another version, the Holy Prophet {S} here explicitly asked for pardon for each and every act of disobedience, to each of which the Lord Almighty replied, “I have forgiven them.”
The Prophet {S} continues,
“At last I said, ‘Have mercy on us’, (The Cow, 286), and the Lord answered, ‘I have mercy on you.’ Then I said, ‘Thou art our Protector;’ (The Cow, 286) and the Lord said, ‘The Friend and Protector of all believers is Allah Almighty, Lord of Might and Glory; the unbelievers have no Protecting Friend.’ Then I said, ‘And help us against the people of the unbelievers’. (The Cow, 286) And the Lord replied, ‘Up to the Day of Judgment, I have made you and your nation to be victorious over the unbelievers.’ The Lord then asked again, saying, ‘Oh My Beloved, other than this, if there is anything you should wish for, ask it of Me, for I will grant it to you.’ Thereupon I said, ‘Oh my Lord, you have chosen Ibrahim to be Your intimate friend, and have spoken to Musa without intermediary. To Da’ud You granted great possessions, and made iron to be soft as wax in his hand; You have made the mountains and its stones and the birds of the air to be subservient to his command, so that they joined him in singing Your praises. Idris You have transferred to a high place. To Sulayman You gave a kingdom and such possession as no one after him will ever come to possess and enjoy. And You made subservient to him mankind and Jinn, the demons and wild beasts, the birds and the winds. And You also taught him the tongues of the birds and the beasts. To ‘Isa You gave knowledge of the Torah and the Injil, and by his prayer, You made the blind see, the afflicted whole, and the ailing to regain their health; You made him revive the dead, and You made him and his mother safe from the wiles of the devil and gave them protection. What will be the equivalent gift You will make to me?’
“The Lord Almighty replied to this in all His Grandeur and Majesty, saying, ‘Oh Muhammad, I have chosen you as My Beloved, just as I chose Ibrahim as My faithful friend. To be the Beloved of Allah is even more excellent than being His bosom friend. I have also privileged you with the vision of My Divine Beauty, and I have spoken to you without intermediary, even as I spoke to Musa.’
“‘Beyond this, I have given you the chapters of the Quran, ‘al-Fatiha’ (The Opening) and the end of ‘al-Baqara’ (The Cow), which are both from the treasure troves of My Divine Throne. These were not given to any Prophet before you, but reserved for you and your nation.’
“‘Also, I have sent you as My Messenger to all the peoples of the world, to mankind and to Jinn, be they black or white or of any other description; never before have I sent a Prophet with so universal a mission.’
“‘I have made the whole earth a means of cleansing for your nation. When you find water and are sound enough to perform your ablutions, make Wudu and take your Ghusl. But when you do not find water or you have not the strength to wash, you may perform tayammum and cleanse yourself by means of the dust of the earth.’
“‘I have made the whole Earth to be as a Masjid, a place for prayer, so that wherever you may find yourselves, you may pray and perform your worship.’
“‘I have made lawful to you and your nation the spoils of war, so that you may profit from them. To previous nations these were not lawful.’
“‘And I have strengthened you in that I have cast fear into the heart of your enemy, even if there is a distance of one month’s journey between you and them.’
“‘I have granted you the right of intercession for whomever you desire. I have sent down to you the greatest and most august of all revealed scriptures, the Glorious Quran. And I have split your breast and removed from you all sinfulness.’
“I have elevated your name, for wherever My Name is mentioned, there your name is pronounced as well.’
Did He not find thee an orphan, and shelter thee? Did He not find thee erring, and guide thee? Did He not find thee needy, and suffice thee? (The Forenoon, 6-8)
“When the Lord Almighty had spoken to me thus, all I could answer was, ‘Yes, my Lord, all these great favors You have bestowed upon me and honored me beyond all measure.’
“Then the Lord spoke again and said, ‘Among all the people belonging to your nation, I have made one group in whose hearts resides the Holy Quran. (The Holy Quran is easy to memorize, to be learned by heart and recited from memory.) This was not given to other nations before yours; they did not commit to memory the books their prophets brought to them. This privilege I have reserved for your nation alone. I have made your nation more excellent than all previous nations; your nation is a nation of the middle way, and a nation of justice.’
“‘You I have created before anything else, and I have sent you on your prophetic mission as the last of all the Prophets. I have given you to drink from the waters ofKawthar (abundance), and I have given you eight shares; these are: Islam, the Hijra (migration), war against ignorance, Salat (ritual prayer), Zakat (obligatory donations to the poor), the fast of Ramadan, enjoining good and discouraging evil (amr-bil-ma’ruf wa nahiy-’an-il-munkar).’’
“After the Lord stopped speaking, I asked Him, ‘Oh my Lord, after I had passed and seen all of creation, I experienced a moment of extreme terror. At that moment, I heard a voice that sounded to me exactly like the voice and inflection of Abu Bakr, and it said to me, ‘Oh Muhammad {s}, stay your step! For Allah is praying (raining His blessings).’ When I heard this, two questions arose in my mind. One was this: Has Abu Bakr overtaken me and come here before I have? The second question on my mind was this: My Lord has no need to pray, and yet I am told He is praying, what can that mean?’
“The Lord then answered me, ‘Indeed, I have no need to turn to any in prayer, but recite the verse which I have revealed unto you:
It is He who blesses you, and His angels, to bring you forth from the shadows into the light. He is All Compassionate to the believers. (The Confederates, 43)
This verse will teach you that the meaning of My prayer is nothing but Mercy for you and for your nation.’
‘As for Abu Bakr, oh Muhammad, it is as with the staff of the Prophet Musa, your brother among the Prophets. Musa always had his staff with him and it was for him something familiar and friendly. Therefore, when on the mountain of Tur (Sina’i) he was nearly overcome with awe as the Divine Call came to him, We addressed him, saying, ‘What is that in your hand, oh Musa?’ and Musa answered Me and said, ‘It is my staff.’ When he remembered the name of this familiar object, the excessive dread and awe he felt at the Divine Call departed from him. In this instance you are like Musa, oh Muhammad. The most familiar being in this world and the closest to you is your friend Abu Bakr. When you were in the grip of awesome terror, We created an angel for you in the shape and form of your familiar friend Abu Bakr and gave him his voice and tone with which to speak to you, so that you might feel the comfort of that familiarity when you heard him speak. Then the awesomeness and terror left you entirely, and so that you were not totally overcome by the majesty of this revelation and were able to ask what you wish from the Divine Essence. By means of this familiarity you were able to speak normally and without dread. I have in My Divine Majesty made Myself free from all defect and weakness, and My Mercy outstrips My Wrath. Therefore, state your wishes, and ask of Me whatever you need and desire.’
“After these words, the Lord added, ‘What of the Angel Jibra’il’s request, which he asked you to make?’ I replied, ‘Oh my Lord, You are the All-Knowing; there is no need to speak of it, as You know already, all Bounty and Munificence being Thine.’ The Lord replied to this, ‘I do grant his request and fulfill his wish. On the Day of Judgment when your nation prepares to cross the Bridge of Sirat, let them take a hold of his wing and cross with ease. Only the ones who loved you and your companions will cross with ease; I grant My Divine Sanction.’
“To this I rejoined, ‘Oh Lord, you have sent punishment upon the nations that went before mine in many and varied forms. There were some upon whom You sent a rain of stones to destroy them; while others you drowned in the waters. Some were destroyed by Jibra’il’s shout, and some You caused the Earth to swallow. Some perished when You sent against them a rain of fire, and others died in a harsh, bitter wind. Oh Lord, what will become of my nation after I have gone?’
“The Lord of Mercy and Munificence, the Lord of the Universe then intoned in all His Majesty and Splendor, ‘My Wrath has been spent on those nations before thine; upon your nation I will shower only Mercy. I will transform their badness into good actions. To the corrupt among them I will grant the gift of repentance, and bring them into a good state of being. I will deliver them from their bad traits and help them acquire good characteristics. I will rid them of their ignorance and change their minds to understanding and perfect knowledge. Whoever calls upon Me, saying, ‘Oh My Lord!’ and turns to Me with true humility in his heart, to him I will answer, ‘I am at your service, oh My servant; tell Me what it is that you desire, and I will create it.
‘To you I give the right of intercession for your nation, oh Muhammad, you may be the advocate on their behalf, and I pledge to accept all your intercession.’
“And then He Almighty said, ‘Oh Muhammad, I have not made your nation excessively wealthy, so that their accounts will not be overly long. And I have not made their bodies very great, so that they might not require much of worldly food and drink and dress. I have not made their lives to be exceedingly long, so that their hearts might not be blackened by pride in reliance upon a long lifespan and that they might always be aware of death and make their preparations for the afterlife that follows. I have not made death to come to them suddenly, but I have made illness precede it and provide a cause, so that they might not meet with a sudden death when they have plunged and sunk in the sea of heedlessness. When they fall ill, they repent of their sins, they pay their debts, they try to make up for past mistakes and shortcomings, and they make their last will and testament. I have brought them into the world after every other nation, so that their time in the grave might be of short duration; they will remain trapped in their tombs only until all the people of their nation have come and gone. When that is done, their time is up and they will attain to their blissful stations in Paradise, enjoying its undying delights.’
“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Oh Muhammad, sometimes your nation will be obedient to Me, at other times they will be rebellious. Their obedience to Me meets with My Pleasure, and to Me are acceptable all their works, which accord to My Good Pleasure; I forgive them their minor misdoings and accord to them generous recompense. For I am the All-Bountiful, and I show Myself to them in My aspect of Bounty. The disobedient among them are subject to My Judgment; but because it is the Judgment of past eternity, I forgive them their disobedience, for I am the All-Merciful, and I show them My Mercy.’
“And then He said, ‘Oh Muhammad, say to your nation: ‘The Lord Almighty says to you: just as you love a person for that he shows you loving kindness and generosity, I am much more deserving of your love and affection than any other in this world. For I have created you when you were naught and I have given you a pleasing form and fine limbs and I continue to ceaselessly shower you with innumerable blessings. Not a moment passes in which I do not bestow upon you a new form of goodness. Therefore you ought to love Me more than any other, obeying My Commands and submitting to My Law.’
“And again, He Almighty says to you, ‘If you are going to fear anything that dwells between Heaven and earth, it is I whom you ought to fear more than any, for My Power pervades all and everything. My chastisement is violent and swift, no one can flee or hide from it, or run to another master in order to save himself from Me, for no one has such powers. As this is the reality, you must beware of acting contrary to My wishes and commands.’
“And the Lord said, ‘If you are going to ask of any, I am most worthy of being asked, for it is I alone who accepts all prayers of need and fulfills all wants.’ And He says: ‘You feel shame and regret when you have ill-treated someone or been unkind, whereas I am the most deserving of your shame and remorse, for I have brought you into being when you were naught and to this very moment I have heaped upon you endless gifts and blessings. I have made you safe from all manner of affliction, and yet you disregard My injunctions and do what I have forbidden to you. Therefore, contrition is your due and restraint from actions that I have prohibited. Obey Me and My Commands!’
“And the Lord addresses Himself to you, saying, ‘If you choose for reasons of personal and covetous choice, I am the most deserving of your preference, for I am your Creator, and your Provider, and the only object of your worship. Therefore, turn to Me, worshipful, in your actions and with meritorious conduct.’ All this He Almighty commanded me to expound to you.’

Allah Complains About the Ummah 5

“Then Allah Almighty complained to me about my nation. One of His objections was this: ‘I do not ask of them to perform anything ahead of time, all I ask is for them to do what they should in its own time. But, by contrast, they ask of Me to provide them ahead of time. While I have provided them perfectly for so many years, they are not satisfied, even though they do not know whether their lives will last long enough to use up what they have been given. Even so, their greed for the things of this world is ever increasing, and they complain of not having the wherewithal of a livelihood, always asking for more. Do they not regard the birds in the skyways? Every morning the birds of the fields leave their nests with empty crops to return in the evenings having eaten their fill, though the whole world be covered in snow. Does not your nation take a lesson from this? While the whole world is covered in snow and not a speck of earth is to be seen, He who provides the birds with their shares, will He not provide them also with their own portions? Why does your nation not place their reliance on Him who has forever guaranteed their subsistence?
“‘The second complaint is this: ‘I do not give their provisions to any other than them; in spite of this, they perform actions for the sake of other than Me (that is to say, they behave hypocritically and occasion false appearances).
“‘My third complaint is this: While they are consuming the portions that I have provided for them, their gratitude goes out to someone else. They will say, for instance, ‘In my vineyard I had a harvest such an amount and from my fields such an amount, from my trade so much.’ But was it not I who caused the vines to grow in his vineyard and the crops in his field, and who gave him success in his commerce? Why do they remember Me not and mention not My Name when they speak of the yields of their vineyards and fields, and the profits of their trade? Wherefrom is this heedlessness; do they feel no shame?’
“‘And My fourth complaint is this: Mine is all Might and Glory; it is I who grants Honor in this world, in the grave and in the world to come. Even so, they still look to honors coming from other sources. They will say, for instance, ‘Were I only to occupy high office, I would surely grow very rich.’ Thus they expect honor to come to them through riches and high office, whereas all these are only of a passing nature. When death comes to them, all connection ceases. Does that signal true honor? It is My Command, by which they must abide, it is I who gives them Honor and Dignity in this world and the next.’
“‘My fifth complaint against them is this: I have created Hell for the unbelievers. Why is it that they persist in performing actions that will land them in Hellfire?’
“To these charges against my nation, I replied, ‘Oh my Lord, Your Word is true, my nation is guilty of all that You have laid against it. But You are He who covers all shame and forgives all sins; You are the Supremely Rich and Generous, the Clement and All-Forgiving Lord (ar-ra’uf wa-r-rahim). In Your Infinite Grace and Kindness, forgive them their failings, conceal their disgrace, and in Your Endless Benevolence, pardon their great and small sins! Let them be overtaken by Your Boundless Mercy and with Your All-Gracious Compassion lead them into the Paradise, oh My Lord!’
“In answer to this supplication, the Lord Almighty said to me, ‘Had your nation not been so sinful, I would have created a nation of sinners, so that I might make Myself known as the Forgiver of Sins in that I granted them forgiveness. Oh Muhammad, You are My Beloved, as you are My servant. All Creation I have brought into being for your sake alone. Because of your nation’s sins, I have created My Mercy Oceans. Oh Muhammad, regard the high station of honor and dignity you have been granted, in that you are honored by an encounter with My Divine Beauty. I have granted you direct intercourse with My Divine Person, without interpreter or intermediary. Whoever is acceptable to you is also acceptable to Me, and he who refuses you, is refused by Me, too.’
“Then He said, ‘Indeed, you will be the first of all the Prophets to enter Paradise, and no Prophet can enter it before you. Your nation will be the first nation to enter Paradise and no other nation will be admitted before they have gone in.’
“After this He said, ‘Oh Muhammad, set not your hopes on any nation of mankind, for they have nothing at all. Let your hopes always be pinned on Me and let your converse be with Me, for to Me is your return. Do not become attached to this world in your heart, for I have not created you for this world.’
“Then He Almighty said, ‘Oh Muhammad, of your nation I have forgiven one third for your sake; another third I will forgive on the Day of Judgment, so that the high regard and station you occupy in My Regard may become clear to all creation on the Day of Gathering, oh Muhammad.’
“After this, the Almighty informed me of a great many weighty and important matters, but He denied me permission to divulge this knowledge to you.
“It was made obligatory upon my nation to pray fifty times during one day and one night and to make ablutions for major impurity seven times, and to wash a defiled piece of clothing seven times. He commanded me to make these conditions known to my nation in His Name. I then replied, ‘Everyone who comes home from a journey, brings presents for those who remained at home; therefore, give me something to take back to my nation as a present.’ The Lord Almighty then said, ‘One of the gifts to your nation is this: as long as they reside in the world, I will be their Helper; I will protect them from disaster and calamity and I will grant success to their good actions. I will grant them various favors. When they pray to Me, I will accept their prayers, I will protect them from what they fear and I will grant them what they desire.
“‘Another gift to your nation is this: When their lives come to an end, I will be their Helper. I will protect them from the wiles of Shaytan and I will give them tidings of Paradise and show them their stations within it. I will make it easy for them to draw their last breath and I will help them pass over into the Hereafter in safety.
“‘Another gift to your nation is this: When they are placed within their graves, I shall be their only Helper. I will release them from the darkness and oppression of the grave; I will lighten their tombs and make them spacious and wide. I will assist them in answering the questions of the angels Munkar and Nakir and I will make their tombs to be as a Garden of Paradise.
“‘Another gift to your nation is this: When they arise from their graves, I will be their sole Helper. I will raise them from their tombs and make them light of face and clothe them in garments from Paradise. I will help them mount upon their steeds and lead them to the site of the Gathering with an entourage of angels in a display of splendor and grace. I will spare them the terror of that Dire Day. I will lead them underneath your banner and give them to drink of the waters of the Pool of Kawthar. I will make them to be close associates and companions of the prophets, messengers, saints and martyrs and the righteous whom I have favored with a place beneath the shadow of My Divine Throne. After having been given many special favors from Paradise, their books of reckoning will be placed in their right hands, and their accounts will be made light and their scales of the balance made heavy for them. I will help them cross the Bridge of Sirat with lightness and ease and lead them into the highest gardens of Paradise in the Boundlessness of My Grace.’”
May Allah Almighty gladden our hearts with these gifts, which He granted us all for the sake of His Holy Prophet Muhammad {s}, Amin! Oh Most Merciful of those who show Mercy!
The Holy Prophet {S} continues:
“The Lord then said to me, ‘Oh Muhammad, of all created beings, you are the one who has reached the highest honors. On the Day of Resurrection I will give you such great honors as will stupefy the whole world with wonderment. Oh Muhammad, do you wish to behold what I have prepared for your nation?’ I replied, ‘Oh Lord, I wish to see it, yes.’ He then said, ‘My trusted servant, the angel Jibra’il will show it to you.’
“As soon as I returned from there, Rafraf came into view. I seated myself upon him and he carried me down. I descended as far as the Sidrat-al-Muntaha where I met with Jibra’il who said to me, ‘Good tidings to you, oh Muhammad {s}, for you have been chosen as the best of all Creation and the foremost of all Prophets and Messengers. The Lord Almighty has greeted and honored you as He has not honored any other created being, neither from among His Prophets or His Messengers, nor from among His Angels brought Nigh.’
“Then Jibra’il said to me, ‘Come with me, for I am to show you Paradise.’”

[1] Friday is called jum’a, which is derived from a word denoting gathering, uniting in communal activity.
[2] Muadhdhin, more commonly rendered as muezzin, the caller of the Adhan, who calls to prayer five times a day.
[3] Khatib, the preacher of a khutba, sermon.
[4] Imam is he who leads the congregation in prayer.



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