Home In English History THE SECRET of the MIRACULOUS MIHRAJ ( Part - 1 )
THE SECRET of the MIRACULOUS MIHRAJ ( Part - 1 ) PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 August 2008 15:22
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The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi vasallam) went on the Mihraj (Ascent). For what purpose did he go on this Mihraj? For what purpose was this miraculous mihraj? The purpose was to show to the whole nation of Muhammed that by following the Prophet (sal) that they also should be able to reach to it. When Jibril (alai) brought Buraq u Sheriff to the Prophet (sal), the Prophet asked him ?Is this only for me or also for my Ummah (nation)?. Jibril answered ?It is for you and also for your nation and the only condition is that they should follow in your steps, and they should also be able to reach to this.?

The Buraq that was brought to the Prophet (sal) was in a grass field in Paradise, and there were so many other Buraqs with it. But this one was specially taken to the Prophet (sal) because when it heard the name of the Prophet Muhammed (sal), ?Ya Muhammed? ? Oh Muhammed (sal), a feeling of love came over that Buraq and it fell in love with the person who was named Muhammed. It stopped eating because of this and also started crying. Then Jibril (alai) gave it good tidings and took it to the Prophet (sal).

To the Prophet?s (sal) question as to whether Mihraj (the ascension) was only for him, Jibril answered ?It is for your Ummah also and there are Buraqs waiting for them also. Those who are following you may also join after you. If they do not follow you they shall always remain on earth and under the ground.? When all the Sahaba reached to their destinations through the heavens everyone else also reached to their heavenly stations.

The Mihraj of the Prophet Muhammed (Sal)

(from the Dalail-i-Khairat Sharhi of Kara Da?ud, d. 1541)

The 178th name of the Prophet on whom be Peace: Sahib-ul-Mihraj, he who was granted ascent to heaven. Oh Allah, Thy Benediction be upon the owner of this name. The word ?Mihraj? signifies an instrument facilitating ascent, such as a flight of stairs. Our Holy Prophet (Sal) ascended to the heavens on a stairway of precious gems beginning at al-Quds (Jerusalem) during his lifetime and in his pure physical form. Among all the prophets and messengers, it was a privilege reserved for the Holy Prophet (Sal) alone to be granted such an experience. Therefore the appellation ?Sahib-ul-Mihraj? was appended to his name.

Now we shall set forth in full the account of the Mihraj that the Holy Prophet (Sal) was honoured to experience.

When the Prophet Muhammed (Sal) had reached his fortieth year, he was sent with mercy for the whole world and the prophet and Messenger 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 Prophet (Sal) went to the Baytullah (the Kaaba) 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 Muhammed (Sal) sitting there all on his own, engaged in the worship of his Lord. Seeing him thus, he thought to himself, ?I will play a prank,? and going up close to him, he bent down and asked him, ?Oh Muhammed (Sal), are you a Prophet?? Muhammed (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) sitting there on his own, with the intention of doing something hurtful to Muhammed (Sal). He spoke as Abu Jahl had spoken, and 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 Prophet (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) 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 Imam Ali. She lived in her father?s house, which was situated between Safa and Marwa. The Prophet (Sal) arrived at her house, and finding him downcast and dispirited, she asked him for the reason of this. The Prophet (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) somewhat, but he still remained distraught. It is reported that soon after praying the night prayer (Salat-ul-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 (Sal) 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 Jibreel, 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 Mikhail to leave off the weighing out of provisions this night, tell Israfil to abandon his trumpet for one hour, and tell Israil 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, Jibreel , 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 honour. Invite him to come along with you.?

Jibreel then went to the Paradise gardens where he beheld forty thousand Buraqs as they were grazing. Each one had the name of Muhammed (Sal) 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. Jibreel approached 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 Muhammed (Sal)!? No sooner had I heard this name spoken than I became enamoured 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.?

Jibreel had pity on the state of this Buraq and said to him, ?Your beloved Muhammed (Sal) has this very night been invited to ascend to the Heavens. He needs to be transported from the Masjid-ul-Haram (Mecca) to the Masjid-ul-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.

Now, the compilers of Hadith have narrated in six collections of Hadith the story of the Prophet?s (Sal) Mihraj as it was told to them by no less than twenty of the venerable companions who heard it as the King of Prophets (Sal) 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 Jibreel in my ear, and rising from my slumber, I sat up, finding myself face to face with the angel Jibreel. 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: Muhammed (Sal) is the Messenger of Allah.

In the second line is written: Muhammed (Sal) is the Prophet of Allah

In the third line is written: Muhammed (Sal) is the Beloved of Allah.

In the fourth line is written: Muhammed (Sal) is the Friend of Allah.

?After this, Jibreel 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 Prophet (Sal) 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, Jibreel 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.?

?Jibreel then took me by the hand and led me to a place outside of Mecca. I saw there the other great archangels, Mikhail, Israfil and Israil, 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, Jibreel said to me, ?Oh Prophet of Allah (Sal), 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.

Our Holy Prophet?s (Sal) narration continues as follows,

?The angel Jibreel held the stirrups for me, saying, ?Mount!? As I made ready to mount him, the Buraq stirred restively. Jibreel 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 Jibreel, 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 Prophet (Sal) then turned to the Buraq and asked him what his request was and how it might be fulfilled. ?Oh my Prophet (Sal),? 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 thousandfold. 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 Prophet (Sal) 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 Judgement on the back of a Buraq, the Prophet (Sal), 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 Jibreel ask Muhammed (Sal) the reason for his sudden sadness. The Holy Prophet (Sal) replied, ?I have been informed by the Buraq of the honour 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 Judgement, 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 Judgement. 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 Our Favour and Grant of Kindness to your nation, oh Muhammed (Sal),? I was told, ?therefore, let your mind be easy on this account.?

There is a verse in the Holy Qur?an relating to these events:

On that day that We shall muster the godfearing

to the All-Merciful with pomp..

(Sura Mariyam,85)

The Holy Prophet (Sal) then continued in his narrative, ?Learning of the promise of the Lord?s Favour and Kindness, I mounted upon the Buraq filled with joy. Jibreel and a following of seventy thousand angels were at my right stirrup, Mikha?il 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 with seventy thousand angels and on his shoulder he bore the saddle cloth 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 (Sal), how many thousands of years have I been praying for the favour 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 favour!? ?Why did you pray for this?? I asked him. Israfil 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 of the Day of Judgement 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-ul-Maqdis (Jerusalem), and until he arrives there, you will have the honour of carrying the saddle cloth of his mount.?

The Holy Prophet (Sal) 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. Jibreel then said to me, ?Oh Rasulullah (Sal), 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-llahi-l-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 Muhammed (Sal), 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 Muhammed (Sal), 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 Muhammed (Sal),? 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, ?Al-hamdulillah!? and Jibreel 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 Jews. 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 upperhand 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. Muslim forces will overcome the nations of the Jews and the Christians. The nation of Muhammed (Sal) will live according to the Divine Law of the Shari?a. Thus, in the final end, they will be saved from the wiles of Shaitan and reach to safety. Islam will remain on earth until the Day of Judgement. All that you have seen are signs from Allah who wishes to awaken you and relieve you of your fears and doubts.? So Jibreel explained to me these visions.?

?After some time we reached a place where date palms were plentiful. Jibreel told me to dismount there and to pray, so I did. When I had finished praying, Jibreel 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 Medina-t-ul-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 Jibreel 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 Muhammed (Sal).?

?Afterwards we came to yet another place, and Jibreel 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 Jibreel. 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. Jibreel 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 Jibreel 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 slanders 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 Jibreel 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 Jibreel 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 Jibreel 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 commander?s 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 Jibreel 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 Jibreel. ?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 Jibreel 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 Jibreel. ?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 Jibreel 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 Jibreel. ?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 Jibreel 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 honour 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 Jibreel 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. Jibreel 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 Prophet (Sal) continues:

?I then came to another valley from which issued the most noxious smells and dreadful sounds. ?What are these smells?? I asked, and Jibreel 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?? Jibreel 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 Janna: ?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 honoured 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 labour. 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!?

Now the Holy Prophet (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) continues his narrative:

?After this, we came to the Bayt-ul-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 honoured me greatly, still I asked Jibreel, ?What kind of greeting is this - the First, the Last, the Assembler of Men is the Lord of the Worlds, Allah Almighty?? Jibreel then told me, ?Oh Rasulullah, on the Day of Judgement 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 Jibreel 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 honour.?

Now there are two accounts of the meeting of the prophets and messengers with our Holy Prophet (Sal). One of them maintains that the Lord Almighty called the prophets back to life just for the sake of receiving the Holy Prophet Muhammed (Sal) 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 Muhammed (Sal).

Let us continue with the Prophet Muhammed?s (Sal) narrative:

?They appeared to me as exceedingly great, honourable and enlightened personalities. I ask Jibreel 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-ul-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, Jibreel 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-ul-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-ul-Ma?mur and at the Sidratu-l-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.

To continue in the words of the Holy Prophet (Sal):

?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 Honour 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 came to the Bayt-ul-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-ul-Aqsa. There, the Holy Prophet (Sal) dismounted from the Buraq, Jibreel tied the halter of the Buraq and everybody halted. Then they addressed the Holy Prophet (Sal) and said, ?Oh Habibullah (Sal), it is for you to enter the Masjid ahead of us,? and the Prophet Muhammed (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) together with the angel Jibreel entered and all the Prophets and Messengers followed them. Then Jibreel called the Iqama, and the Prophet Muhammed (Sal) led the entire assembly of Prophets, Messengers and angels of the Muqarrabin in a prayer of two Rak?ats.

The Holy Prophet (Sal) 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-ul-Aqsa, it is the night of your Mihraj. You who are praying here are the Beloved of Allah and a much-honoured 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 honour 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 honour of Thy Prophet Muhammed (Sal), Amin, ya Hannan, ya Mannan! (Oh Most Compassionate, Bounteous Lord!)

The Holy Prophet (Sal) continues:

After this, Jibreel 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 Jibreel, 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 Muhammed (Sal), 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 Jibreel and asked him to give the cup back to me so that I might empty it entirely. But Jibreel 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 (Sal).?

The scholars make this comment: There are seventeen benefits in the fact that the Holy Prophet (Sal) did not proceed directly to the heavens from the Kaaba at Mecca in the night of his Mihraj, but rather stopped at the Bayt-ul-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 Prophet (Sal) ascended to the heavens directly from Mecca on his Mihraj 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 Prophet (Sal) reported that he first went to the Bayt-ul-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-ul-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 Prophet (Sal) 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 Mihraj was proven.

But let me dwell on this subject a little longer: The day after the Mihraj had taken place, the Prophet (Sal) told his people about it, but they called it lies, saying, If you really went to the Masjid-ul-Aqsa last night, then you must be able to describe it to us.? Faced with this demand for proof, the Holy Prophet (Sal) 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 Jibreel 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-ul-Aqsa for you to look at, so that you may give them the answers they desire.? With that he revealed to the Prophet (Sal) the Masjid-u-Aqsa in its complete shape. Beholding the mosque in front of him, the Holy Prophet (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) 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 Mihraj was thus demonstrated.

Secondly, the site of the Bayt-ul-Maqdis shall one day be the place of gathering. On the Day of Judgement all of Creation shall be assembled there. It was for this reason that the Lord Almighty brought His Beloved Muhammed (Sal) whom He has honoured 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 Judgement 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 Muhammed (Sal) 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 (Sal) 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, Muhammed Mustafa (Sal), the Imam of the God-fearing, sallallahu ?alayhi wa sallim. Amin!

To return to the narrative of the Holy Prophet (Sal):

After this, Jibreel 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, Israil, 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 Israil 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 Prophet (Sal) continued:

The angel Jibreel 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 Prophet (Sal) stepped on a stone as he was attempting to affect his ascent. Under the pressure of the Holy Prophet?s (Sal) blessed foot, this stone softened and became as soft as wax. Up to this very day, the imprint of the Prophet?s (Sal) foot can be seen upon this stone. When the Holy Prophet (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) trod then rose up and lifted the Prophet (Sal) up. The next step then bent down and came to meet his foot, and 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 placed it upon it. In this manner the steps continued to bend and rise until they had carried the Prophet Muhammed (Sal) 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 (Sal) command 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 (Sal) command continues into our own time. Therefore, is it befitting of this noble nation to disobey and oppose the Holy Prophet (Sal), 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 (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) mounted the Buraq and the Buraq carried him up into the heavens.

Yet another report has the Holy Prophet (Sal) 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 (Sal), 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 Prophet (Sal) 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 Prophet (Sal) is to have said, ?It is created from water and steam. The Prophet (Sal) called this heaven ?Rafi?a?, or according to another version, Raqia?. The keeper of this heaven was Ismail, for he is among the Prophets of the angels.

The Prophet (Sal) then proceeds to tell us of his journey through the heavens.