Me'raj - The Night Ascension

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Me'raj - The Night Ascension Author:
Translator: Shaykh Saleem Bhimji
Publisher: Islamic Humanitarian Service (IHS)
Category: Holy Prophet
ISBN: 1-894701-12-7

Me'raj - The Night Ascension

Author: Mullah Faidh al Kashani
Translator: Shaykh Saleem Bhimji
Publisher: Islamic Humanitarian Service (IHS)
Category:

ISBN: 1-894701-12-7
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Download: 1126

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Me'raj - The Night Ascension

Me'raj - The Night Ascension

Author:
Publisher: Islamic Humanitarian Service (IHS)
ISBN: 1-894701-12-7
English

Mi’raj, The Night Ascension

Mi'raj in the Qur'an, physical ascension, traditions relating the events which occurred during Mi'raj

Compiler(s): Mullah Faidh al Kashani

Translator(s): Saleem Bhimji

Publisher(s): Islamic Humanitarian Service (IHS)

Miscellaneous information:

ISBN 1-894701-12-7 The full title of this book is Nawadir al Akhbar fima Yatal `aqu biusul ad Dini, written by Faidh al Kashani, research by Mahdi Ansari, printed by the Research Department of the Faculty of Humanities, Tehran, 1376

Contents

Preface 3

Qur’anic Roots of the Mi’raj 4

The History behind the Heavenly Journey 5

The Physical Ascension 5

Notes 8

Introduction 9

Ahadith, the Traditions 10

Hadith No. 1: The Location of Ascent 10

Hadith No. 2: Method of Mi’raj 11

Hadith No. 3: A Stone in Hell 13

Hadith No. 4: Prophet Adam 14

Hadith No. 5: Angel of Death 15

Hadith No. 6: People who Eat forbidden Food 16

Hadith No. 7: The Angel who was Supplicating 17

Hadith No. 8: Backbiters 18

Hadith No. 9: Those who take the Wealth of the Orphan or Take Interest 19

Hadith No. 10: Women Who Committed Indecent Acts 20

Hadith No. 11: Praising of the Angels 21

Hadith No. 12: Prophet Yahya and Prophet Isa 22

Hadith No. 13: Prophet Yusuf 23

Hadith No. 14: Prophet Idris 24

Hadith No. 15: Prophet Harun 25

Hadith No. 16: A Very Tall Man 26

Hadith No. 17: Commanded to Perform “Cupping” 27

Hadith No. 18: Prophet Ibrahim 28

Hadith No. 19: Rivers of Light and Darkness 29

Hadith No. 20: An Amazing Creation 30

Hadith No. 21: Angels with Feathers 31

Hadith No. 22: Bayt al Ma’mur 32

Hadith No. 23: At Sidratul Muntaha 33

Hadith No. 24: Discourse of Imam Ja’far as Sadiq 35

Hadith No. 25: Supplication 36

Hadith No. 26: Adhan 37

Hadith No. 27: Salat 38

Hadith No. 28: Returning from Mi’raj 40

Hadith No. 29: The Voice of ‘Ali During the Mi’raj 41

Notes 42

Preface

The Prophet of Islam (S) began his historical night journey, along with the trusted protector of the revelation, the Angel Jibra'il from the house of Umm al ­Hani, the daughter of his uncle and sister of Amir al- Mo'minin 'Ali (a.s.) in the blessed city of Makkah. With the aide of his steed al- Buraq, he traveled to Bayt al- Muqaddas, which (at that time) was located in the country of Jordan and is also known as Masjid al- Aqsa (the Furthest Masjid). He disembarked at this place and in a very short period of time, visited various places inside the Masjid- including Bayt al- Laham, the birthplace of `Isa al- Masih (a.s.), in addition to the houses and other important places of the various Prophets. In some of these places, he even recited a two Rak`at Salat.

In the next stage (of his journey) he traveled from this spot to the heavens, where he was witness to the celestial bodies and the entire universe. He spoke with the spirits of the (previous) Prophets and the Angels; he saw from very close both Paradise and Hell; and the various stages and levels of the people of Paradise and those in Hell. It was these unknowns of the creation, the secrets of the origin of the Universe, the expanse of the world of creation, and the unlimited power of Allah the Highest, that he was given complete knowledge of.

Subsequently, he continued on with his journey until he reached to the region known as Sidratul ' Muntaha, a place that was covered in grandeur and magnificence. It was from this same path that he traversed that he returned, and upon coming back, once again visited to Bayt al- Muqaddas, proceeded on to Makkah and then to his home. On the return trip, he came across a trade caravan from the tribe of the Quraish who during their journey had lost one of their camels which they were searching for. The Prophet (S) drank from the water that the people of the caravan had with them and by the rising of the morning sun, reached back to the house of Umm al- Hani.

Upon his return, the Prophet (S) told Umm al- Hani of the secrets (that he saw) and that evening, in a gathering of the people of the Quraish, lifted all the curtains of the secrets of the Mi’raj and his journey and opened their minds to this event. The word of his travels spread from mouth to mouth amongst all the groups, and now more than ever, the Quraish were upset (with him).

The Quraish, as was their old- time habit, belied the Prophet (S) and in the gathering, a man stood up and asked if there was anyone in Makkah who has seen Bayt al- Muqaddas so that he could ask the Prophet (S) in regards to the physical building. Not only did the Prophet (S) describe the physical particularities of Bayt al ­Muqaddas, rather, he even informed them of the event that took place between Makkah and Bayt al- Muqaddas- and it was not long after that the travelers (of that caravan) reported the exact events (as had occurred).

Qur’anic Roots of the Mi’raj

The Heavenly Journey of the Prophet of Islam (S) has been straight- forwardly explained in two Surahs of the Qur'an. In other Surahs as well, we see allusions to this journey.

In the Surah al- Isra (Sarah 17- also known as Bani Isra`il), it is mentioned:

   سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

"Glorified be He who carried His servant at night from Masjid al­ Haram to Masjid al - Aqsa, the precincts of which We have blessed so that We may show him of Our Signs. Verily He is the All­ Hearing, the All - Seeing. " 1

From this verse, we come to the conclusion that the Prophet of Islam (S) traveled with his physical body through the worlds of Ascension. Further, by the greatness of the Hidden Power, he was able to complete this journey in a very short span of time.

Allah (SWT) starts His speech with the phrase (سبحان ) which denotes the fact that Allah (SWT) is free from all deficiencies- but He does not stop here. Rather, He makes the ascension the reason for His greatness by saying `made to travel' (أسرى ) so that others do not imagine that the means of this journey was through causes of the natural world and with normal, ordinary means of transportation. This would have made his journey something that could have been denied. Rather, this journey was accomplished by relying upon the power of Allah (SWT) and His specific and special blessings.

Although this verse states that the start of the journey was from Masjid al- Haram and ended at Masjid al Aqsa, this does not contradict the fact that the Prophet (S) in addition to this trip, also had other trips towards the higher world, since another part of the journey of Ascension of the Prophet (S) is explained in verses of Sarah al- Najm.

Another important part of this verse is that the journey of the Prophet (S) was both bodily and spiritually, not just a spiritual pilgrimage, and this is confirmed by the word (بعبده ) meaning His servant which is used to mean both the body and the spirit. Had it not been so, He would have said (بروحه ) meaning his (Muhammad's) soul only. In Surah al- Najm, the event of the Mi’raj is explained in more detail.

From the time the Prophet Muhammad (S) told the Quraish, `I saw the angel of revelation (when he received the first revelation) in his original and pure state', all the Quraish rose up to mock him.

The Qur'an, in response to the thoughts of the ignorant people replies:

   أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَىٰ {12} وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَىٰ {13} عِنْدَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَىٰ {14} عِنْدَهَا جَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَىٰ {15} إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَىٰ {16} مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَىٰ {17} لَقَدْ رَأَىٰ مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَىٰ {18 {

"Will you then argue with him about what he saw? He certainly saw him (Jibra'il) during his other asc2ent to the Lote - tree (in the seven heavens) near which is Paradise. When the tree was covered with a covering, (Muhammad's) eyes did not deceive him, nor did they lead him to falsehood. He certainly saw the greatest (signs) of the existence of his Lord. " 2

The History behind the Heavenly Journey

The date of the Mi’raj of the Prophet of Islam (S) has been recorded by two major Muslim historians, Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham, as being in the 10th year of Bi`thah (appointment to Prophethood). The great Muslim historian, Baihaqi has recorded this event as occurring in the 12th year of Bi'thah. Others have mentioned it as occurring in the beginning of the Bi'thah, and some mentioned it as being between these two dates.

Sometimes, to rationalize between these different views, it is has been said that the Prophet of Islam (S) went on the Mi’raj more than once. However, it should be mentioned that that Mi’raj in which the daily Salat was made incumbent, without doubt, occurred before the death of Abu Talib, who passed away in the 10th year of Bi'thah. Unmistakably, from the ahadith and books of history, it is mentioned that on the night of Mi’raj, Allah (SWT) gave the order of the five daily Salat as being mandatory upon the Islamic Nation.

The Physical Ascension

It has been an on- going discussion and debate for hundreds of years concerning the method of travel of the Holy Prophet (S) during the Mi’raj. Many things have been said regarding this journey and its being physical or only spiritual even though from the Qur'an and the ahadith there is no doubt that it was a physical ascension.

However, one problem from the point of view of science prevented some people in believing the reality and thus, the Mi’raj of the Prophet of Islam (S) was recorded as being simply spiritual. Another group went a step further and believed that this complete event was simply a dream and that the Prophet (S) experienced the Mi’raj during his sleep!

However, the response of the Quraish, after hearing about the Mi’raj of the Prophet (S) clearly shows that the journey through the different worlds was not something that was seen in a dream because then it would have had no meaning and if the Quraish could have just called the dream of the Prophet (S) a lie and they would not have created all the commotion (that they did).

Others have said that the Mi’raj of the Prophet (S) was nothing more than spiritual in meaning and it was because his deep contemplation and thought for the creations of Allah (SWT), the witnessing of the greatness and beauty of His creations, and his being entirely submerged in the thought and remembrance of the Truth, and thus, the physical restrictions and spiritual closeness (that the Prophet (S) encountered) are beyond explanation.

However, this type of spiritual ascension and closeness is something that anyone with a clear conscience and pure heart can attain. Nevertheless, the Qur'an relates that this distinct ascension of the Prophet (S) is one of the peculiarities of the Noble Prophet (S) and this trip which he was taken through was something extra­ordinary, since many a nights did the Prophet of Islam (S) experience a state of spiritual ascension and closeness (to his Creator), whereas this physical Ascension was one that took place on a particular night.

It must be mentioned that the Greek hypothesis which was put forth by Bartholomew, who for close to two thousand years was well recognized in the scientific circles of the east and west, also fell into error. He was of the belief that all physical entities that exist in this world are of two divisions: elemental and celestial. By elemental he meant the four known elements which are: water, ground, wind and fire. The first sphere that comes to our attention is the sphere of the ground, which is the center of the universe. After that, it is the sphere of water, followed by that of the wind, and the fourth, is that of the fire. Each of these four spheres are related to the other. It is from here that the spheres come to an end and the celestial bodies start.

The meaning of the celestial bodies are the nine celestial planes, which just like the various skins of an onion, are related to one another but do not have the ability of tearing nor becoming united (as one). There is not a single creature which by its own leave is able to traverse within these boundaries, since this would call for the separation of the levels of the celestial bodies.

Since the physical Mi’raj involved travelling upwards from this world, and passing through the four levels of the elemental world and then piercing through the celestial boundaries- one after the other until all four had been split, and since this act was not correct according to the scientific beliefs of the Greeks, thus the physical Mi’raj too was not possible (according to the theory of Bartholomew).

In reality, this theory held weight for that time period in which the hypothesis of Bartholomew had strength and a following. Fortunately, his ideas which were completely baseless, have been made apparent today and have lost all of their value.

The same goes for the scientists who study Natural Science and try to find a tangible reason for everything that happens and for every event that occurs and who look for a natural or scientific consequence- their ideas too have lost their value. Similarly, those people who accepted the hypothesis of Bartholomew were at the forefront of denying the Mi’raj of the Prophet (S) and thought that the heavenly journey went against the scientific and natural laws of today- natural laws such as: the law of gravity of the earth; its speed of travel of 25,000 miles per hour; the weightlessness of an object that is outside of the airspace of earth; the fact that it is not possible to breathe the air that is outside our atmosphere; the various cosmic rays; meteorites and air pressure; and the speed of light that goes at the speed of approximately 300,000 kilometers a second; and other such examples.

Fortunately however, it must be known that through scientific research and investigation, the space scientists of the East and the West, by launching the very first rocket in the year 1957, named Sputnik, were able to demonstrate to mankind with ease, that they could overcome such problems as the gravitational pull, cosmic rays, problems with breathing in space, and others, through various technologically designed and built equipment and instruments.

Even today, the space science research is ever increasing and the scientists and researchers are confident that in a matter of time, they will be able to place life on one of the planets in our solar- system; just as today, they have opened up the exploration to the moon and the planet Mars.

These scientific progresses and advancements in technology and industry are a clear proof that such a celestial travel (that of the Prophet of Islam (S) on the night of Mi’raj) is possible and can not be classified as something that was impossible.

That which is certain and in which there can be no doubt is the fact that everything mankind can do today through various human­ created ways and means, the Prophets were able to perform by the grace of Allah (SWT) and without the apparent and external means.

Therefore, we see that the Prophet of Islam (S) by the will of Allah (SWT) was taken on the Mi’raj, and all that exists in it belongs to Him and He is the designer and fashioner of this amazing and perfectly arranged system. It is He who has given the earth its' gravitational pull, has given the sun its cosmic rays, and it is He who has given the air its various levels; and anytime He wants to, He is able to take all of these back and put a halt to them all. Also, it must be known that in reference to miracles, natural events and the power of mankind, all of these are independent issues and never can the infinite power of Allah (SWT) be compared to the limited power and ability of mankind.

Bringing alive those who are dead, converting a staff into a snake, splitting the moon, keeping alive the Prophet Yunus in the belly of a whale in the depths of the ocean, and many other miracles such as these which have been mentioned in other heavenly books, confirm the fact that no uncertainty can be placed on the Mi’raj of the Prophet (S).

Thus, all of the natural occurrences and all the external obstacles were demolished and conquered by the intention of the Maintainer of the Universe. His will and intention are not only limited to issues that are impossible- rather, any time that He wishes to perform any action, He is able to- whether mankind has the ability to perform it or not.

Further, that person, who in recognizing Allah (SWT) has reached to that level of true cognizance of his Creator and the attributes and characteristics which are exclusive to Him, and who recognizes Allah (SWT) as the One who is Eternal, Ever- Lasting and the All- Powerful Creator whose power and intention is above all things, will much more quickly accept (these facts and occurences). Other people (who have not reached to that level of cognizance of their Creator), through a little bit of study and research and with a deep and precise understanding along with the correct outlook on the world too will accept and acknowledge the truth.

The treatise of the Mi’raj according to the narration of Faidh al- Kashani, which is in your hands is a collection of traditions taken from the speech of Imam Ja'far as- Sadiq (peace be upon him) as compiled by the late Muhaddith and great Philosopher and Thinker Faidh al- Kashani as taken from his well known book,"Nawadir al - Akhbar" 3 which is a collection of ahadith on the topic of Usul ad­Din.

It goes without saying that the complete collection of ahadith in regards to the Mi’raj can be read in Bihar al- Anwar from `Allamah Majlisi, volume 18, page 282; volume 26, page 86; volume 36, page 162 and 245; volume 39, page 158; volume 70, page 6; volume 76, page 146 and 184, and volume 93, page 93.

Hawza `Ilmiyyah of Qum

Mahdi Ansari Qummi

Spring 1376 (1997)

Notes

1. Surah al-Isra’ (17), Verse 1

2. Surah al- Najm, Verses 12 to 18

3. The full title of this book is Nawadir al- Akhbar fima Yatal `aqu biusul ad- Dini, written by Faidh al- Kashani, research by Mahdi Ansari, printed by the Research Department of the Faculty of Humanities, Tehran, 1376

Introduction

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

   الحمد لله رب العالمين بارئ الخلائق أجمعين وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وأل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين سيَما الإمام المنتظر المهديِّ صاحب الزمان عليه أفضل التحية والسلام واللعن الدائم على أعدائهم أجمعين إلى يوم الدين .

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All praise belongs solely to Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds, the Fashioner of all the Creations. And prayers of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad and his family- the Righteous and the Pure, especially al- Imam al- Muntazar al- Mahdi, Sahib az- Zaman, may the best greetings and salutations be upon him and may the perpetual curse be upon all of their enemies until the Day of Resurrection.

And then, Allah the Highest has said in His Noble book and His established great speech:

   سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

"Glorified be He who carried His servant from Masjid al- Haram to Masjid al- Aqsa, the precincts of which We have blessed, so that We may show him of Our Signs. Verily He is the All- Hearing, the All- Seeing. "

One of the spiritual and soul inspiring events that took place during the lifetime of our distinguished Prophet Muhammad (S) was the Mi’raj. This incident is considered as one of the indisputable events of history and is a part of our religious belief. Every Muslim, in accordance with the clear verses of the Qur'an, in addition, to the reliable chains of history, believe in the Mi’raj.

In the Shi'a teachings, the belief in the Mi’raj is a part of the principal beliefs such that is has been narrated from Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad al- Sadiq and from Imam 'Ali ibn Musa al- Rida that:

   من أنكر ثلاثة أشياء فليس من شيعتنا - المعراج - المسئلة في القبر والشفاعة .

"One who denies (any of these) three things is not among our Shi`a (followers): the Me`raj, the questioning in the grave and ash­ Shafa`ah (intercession). "

The book that you have in your hands deals with the event of Mi’raj of the Final Prophet that this base servant, after research from various books, ahadith and reliable events of history has compiled in the form of a booklet.

My purpose for (compiling) this was to keep it condensed, since up until now, the Mi’raj of that great man (Muhammad) has not been presented in a summarized and beneficial manner. It is hoped that the dear readers will forgive the mistakes and slips of the pen.

   وعلى الله الإتكال وهو حسبي ونعم الوكيل نعم المولى ونعم المصير .

Muhammad Faidh al- Kashani

Ahadith, the Traditions

Hadith No. 1: The Location of Ascent

   الإسراء والمعراج

Among the writers of history and the elucidators of the Holy Qur` an there is a dispute in regards to the place of commencement of the Mi’raj of the Noble Prophet (S). Did it start from the house of Umm Hani (the sister of Amir al- Mo'minin 'Ali ibn Abi Talib) or from Masjid al- Haram- since the complete city of Makkah was called and referred to as Masjid al- Haram? From the apparent reading of the verse, it began from Masjid al- Haram. Thus, the Mi’raj journey of the Prophet of Allah (S) was from Masjid al­-Haram to Masjid al- Aqsa- the Bayt al- Muqaddas.

   سبحان الذي أسرى

This trip- meaning the Mi’raj of the Noble Prophet (S) took place at night and the meaning of Masjid al- Aqsa (the Furthest Masjid) is the same as the Bayt al- Muqaddas.

Allah (SWT) in the Noble Qur'an says:

   أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَىٰ {12} وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَىٰ {13} عِنْدَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَىٰ {14} عِنْدَهَا جَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَىٰ {15} إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَىٰ {16} مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَىٰ {17} لَقَدْ رَأَىٰ مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَىٰ {18 {

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

"By the declining star. Your companion is not in error nor has he gone astray. He does not speak out of his own desire. It is a revelation which has been revealed to him and taught to him by the Great Mighty One, the Strong One who appeared on the uppermost horizon. He then came nearer and nearer, until he was as close to Him as the distance of two bows, or even less. He revealed to Allah's servant whatever He wanted. His (Muhammad's) heart did not lie to him about what his eyes had seen. Will you then argue with him about what he saw? He certainly saw Him during his other ascent to the Lote - tree near which is Paradise. When the tree was covered with a covering, (Muhammad's) eyes did not deceive him, nor did they lead him to falsehood. He certainly saw the greatest (signs) of the existence of his Lord. " 1

Hadith No. 2: Method of Mi’raj

Some people say: the Mi’raj of the Prophet (S) took place during his sleep, while others say that the Mi’raj was simply spiritual. However, since the Noble Prophet (S) had mentioned that: "During the Me`raj, I met with the various Prophets; I saw the Angels; Heaven and Hell were shown to me; I was brought to the Arsh and reached to Sidratul Muntaha. I also met people in Heaven who were being showered with the blessings of Allah and also I saw people in Hell who were being punished by the harshest types of punishment; I was also informed as to why they were in such a state, "thus, it is not possible that the Prophet (S) went to the Mi’raj in the physical body made of clay (as it is not possible for the physical body to travel through these various stages).

It has been narrated from 'Ali ibn Ibrahim al- Qummi that Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad al- Sadiq had said:

"Jibra'il, Mika'il and Israfil brought Buraq2 to the Prophet (S). One of these (three) held the reigns of Buraq, while the other one held on the saddle and the third one held on to the clothing of the Prophet (S) while he was ascending it. When the Prophet (S) mounted onto the Buraq, its entire body started to tremble. Jibra'il pointed with his hand towards Buraq and told him, `O' Buraq! Keep calm! Before the Noble Prophet (S)- no other Prophet has ever ridden you and after him too no one like him will ever ride upon you again."

Buraq became tranquil and took the Prophet (S)  towards the heavens. Jibra'il accompanied the Prophet and pointed out the signs of Allah (SWT) in the heavens and the earth."

The Prophet of Islam (S) stated that: "We were continuing when I heard someone call me by name. I did not pay any attention to it and continued on our course. Another time, I heard someone else call me by name. Again I did not pay any attention to it. Then, I saw a woman whose hands were uncovered and all the beauties of the world were on her. She said, `O' Muhammad! Wait, I have something to say to you.' However, I paid no attention to her either. After this, I heard another sound, which really scared me. That sound too, I ignored."

"After some time, Jibra'il stopped and said to me, `Perform the Salat.' I dismounted from Buraq and performed my Salat. Jibra'il said to me, `Do you know where you just prayed?' I replied to him in the negative. He said, `In Tayyibah (Madinah), that place where your travellers will go.' After this, I got back onto Buraq and we continued on our journey."

"Once again, Jibra'il stopped us and said, `Perform the Salat.' I once again dismounted Buraq, and performed my Salat there. He asked me, `Do you know where you just prayed? It is the Mountain of Saina- the place where Prophet Musa spoke to Allah (SWT).'

"Once again, I ascended Buraq and continued on my way until Allah would decree something else. Shortly afterwards, Jibra'il said, `Get down and recite a Salat.' Then again he questioned, `Do you know where you just prayed?' I replied in the negative, to which he answered, `In Bayt al- Laham- the place which is near to Bayt al- Muqaddas- and this is the place where Prophet `Isa was born.'

We reached Bayt al- Muqaddas and I proceeded to tie the reins of Buraq to the same ring that the great Prophets (before me) used to tie their animal to. After this I entered the Masjid and it was here that I met Ibrahim, Musa, `Isa and the rest of the Prophets yes. They all gathered around me and we proceeded to get ready for Salat. I had no doubt that the Salat would be lead by Jibra'il, however when the lines for the Salat were being formed, Jibra'il placed his hand on my shoulder and pushed me forward.

Jibra'l also took part in the Salat behind me along with the various Prophets; however, this did not cause any pride or vanity in me. Following this, the custodian of the Masjid brought three vessels in front of me. In the first vessel was milk, in the second was water, and in the third one was wine. All of a sudden I heard someone say: `If he takes the vessel of water, he will perish, and his nation too will perish. If he takes the vessel of wine, he and his nation will all be lead astray. However, if he drinks the milk, then he has been guided and his nation too will be guided.' I proceeded to take the vessel containing the milk and drank from it. Jibra'il said, `Know that you have been guided and your nation too has been guided.'"

Then I was asked, `What did you see while you were on your journey?' I replied, `From my right side, I heard someone call out to me.' Jibra'il asked, `Did you reply him?' I said, `No, I did not reply.' Jibra'il told me, `That person who called you was a Jew.

Had you answered his call, then after you pass away, your nation would have changed to the religion of the Jews.'

Jibra'il then asked, `What else did you see?' I replied, `I then looked to my left and someone called me from that direction too.' Jibra'il asked, `Did you reply to that call?' I replied, `No, I did not pay any attention to him either.' Jibra'il replied, `He was one who was inviting people to the religion of Christianity. Had you paid any attention to him and replied to him, then after your death your nation would change their religion to Christianity.'

Jibra'il then asked, `Who welcomed you?' I replied, `I saw a woman whose arms were open (with no clothing on them), and upon them were various beauties of the world. She said to me, `O' Muhammad! Come near me so that I may speak with you.' Jibra'il asked, `Did you speak to her?' I replied, `No, I did not speak with her.' Jibra'il then said, `That woman was the physical manifestation of the world. If you would have answered or spoken to her, then your nation would have preferred this world over the next life.'

From Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 319-320, Bab 3 - Ithbaat al-Mi`raaj wa ma`anaahu wa kayfiyyatuhu wa sifatuhu wa ma jaraa feehi wa wasf al-buraaq, Hadith 34.

Hadith No. 3: A Stone in Hell

I said, "After that, I heard a sound that really frightened me. When I asked as to what it was, the reply came: `That sound was from a rock which had been thrown into the fire of hell seventy years ago, that just now landed in its spot and just settled.'"

It has been said that from that time on, the Prophet was never seen to laugh as long as he was alive.

"We continued our trip upwards until we reached the upper atmosphere of the world. There, I saw an angel named Isma'il. He was the custodian of Khitfah which the Qur'an explains as follows:

   إِلَّا مَنْ خَطِفَ الْخَطْفَةَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ ثَاقِبٌ

"Some of them who covertly steal words from the heavens are pursued by a glistening flame." 3

"Under the supervision of Isma'il was seventy thousand angels and under the supervision of each of these (seventy thousand) angels were another seventy thousand angels. He (Isma'il) asked Jibra'il, "Who is this person with you?" The answer was given that: "He is Muhammad" who has been raised up with The Message."

"That Angel opened the door and we entered into the heavens. I greeted him and prayed for his forgiveness. He too greeted me and prayed for my mercy. He said, `Welcome O' Brother and O' Great Prophet.' At that time a group of Angels greeted me. All of them were smiling and were cheerful; except for one of them who had a very hideous appearance (whose name is Khazin), who was upset and crying. No sign of happiness could be seen on his face.

"We were all awed by this Angel. Jibra'il said, `This Angel is the igniter of the fire of Hell. From the time that Allah (SWT) appointed him as the one who would ignite the fire of hell up until now, he has never smiled. Every day, his anger on the enemies of Allah (SWT) those who commit sins increases. It is through this Angel that Allah (SWT) will punish the sinners. If it was decreed that there should be a smile on his face, then because of you it would have been, but never has he smiled, nor will he ever- neither before you nor after you.' I greeted him and he replied my greeting and he gave me the glad tidings of paradise.

Khazin asked, `Do you give me permission to show (you) the fire of Hell?' Jibra'il replied, `Yes, show the Prophet the fire of hell.' Khazin lifted up the cover of the hellfire and opened the door. Flames from the fire shot up into the sky- flames that were boiling and continuously shooting up. I thought that soon the flames would come close to me. I said, `Jibra'il, tell the Angel to cover up the fire.' He gave the command and the fire went back to its place and Khazin closed the doors of hell and fire."

From Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 320-321, Bab 3 - Ithbaat al-Mi`raaj wa ma`anaahu wa kayfiyyatuhu wa sifatuhu wa ma jaraa feehi wa wasf al-buraaq, Hadith 34.

Hadith No. 4: Prophet Adam

"Jibra'il and I continued along. On the way, we met a strong, muscular man. I asked, `Who is this person?' Jibra'il replied, `He is your father, Prophet Adam- Abu al- Bashar.' Prophet Adam (a.s) introduced his children to me and said, `A pleasing aroma is coming from your pure body.' I read the following Surah to him:

   كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الْأَبْرَارِ لَفِي عِلِّيِّينَ {18} وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا عِلِّيُّونَ {19} كِتَابٌ مَرْقُومٌ {20} يَشْهَدُهُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ {21 { إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ {22} عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ يَنْظُرُونَ {23} تَعْرِفُ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ نَضْرَةَ النَّعِيمِ {24} يُسْقَوْنَ مِنْ رَحِيقٍ مَخْتُومٍ {25} خِتَامُهُ مِسْكٌ وَفِي ذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ الْمُتَنَافِسُونَ {26} وَمِزَاجُهُ مِنْ تَسْنِيمٍ {27} عَيْنًا يَشْرَبُ بِهَا الْمُقَرَّبُونَ {28 {

"However, the records of the deeds of the virtuous ones will certainly be in 1lliyin. Would that you knew what Illiyin is! It is a comprehensively written Book (of records). The ones nearest to God will bring it to public. The virtuous will live in bliss, reclining on couches, reviewing (the bounties given to them). You can trace on their faces the joy of their bliss. They will be given pure wine out of sealed containers which have the fragrance of musk. This is the kind of place for which one should really aspire. With the wine is a drink from a spring (Tasnim) - the nearest ones to God will drink from it. 4

I greeted Prophet Adam (a.s) and prayed for his forgiveness. He too greeted me, then prayed for my forgiveness and said, `Welcome O' Prophet and O' Righteous Offspring who has been designated at a good time.'

From Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 321-322, Bab 3 - Ithbaat al-Mi`raaj wa ma`anaahu wa kayfiyyatuhu wa sifatuhu wa ma jaraa feehi wa wasf al-buraaq, Hadith 34.

Hadith No. 5: Angel of Death

"We continued on our way until we saw an Angel sitting down and in his hand was a tablet of light. That Angel looked at what was written on the tablet with sadness and gloom on his face and paid no attention to what was happening around him except when someone came close to him.

I asked Jibra'il, `Who is this Angel?' Jibra'il said, `This is the Angel of Death (Malak ul- Mawt), and he is busy taking the souls (of people).' I said, `Take me closer to him.'

We went closer to him and Jibra'il introduced me to the Angel. I greeted him. He welcomed me, returned the greeting and sent salutations upon me. He said to me, `O' Muhammad give the glad tidings to your Ummah since I see good and moral works only from them.'

I thanked Allah (SWT) only because of this blessing and said to him that this was from the grace of my Lord. Jibra'il said, `The Angel of Death is the most diligent Angel when it comes to carrying out his responsibility.' I asked him, `Does `Izra'il (another name for the Angel of Death) take the soul of anyone who has died or anyone who will die?' Jibra'il replied, `Yes, it is so.'

I then asked the Angel of Death, `Do you see where the people are?' He replied, `Yes. I see then and (I also see) the entire universe which is in front of me.' The Angel of Death continued, `Allah (SWT) has given me the permission to have complete awareness over all of them. They are to me just like a dirham (coin) in the hand of a person, such that any way he wants to hold the coin, he can (so too, he has control and perception over all of Allah's creations). There is not a single house which I do not visit five times per day. I say to the people of each house, "Do not cry over your deceased because I will continuously come and go from your house, until the time comes when not a single person will remain there."'

"I asked Jibra'il, `Is death enough for the one who is facing trials and tribulations?' He replied, `After death, the trials are increased.'"

From Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 322-323, Bab 3 - Ithbaat al-Mi`raaj wa ma`anaahu wa kayfiyyatuhu wa sifatuhu wa ma jaraa feehi wa wasf al-buraaq, Hadith 34.

Hadith No. 6: People who Eat forbidden Food

We continued on our journey until we reached a group of people, in whose hands were dishes with both good and bad food in them. However, they were eating only from the bad meat.

I asked, `Who are these people that are leaving the good food and are busy eating only the bad and putrid food?' Jibra il replied, `These are the people of your Ummah who used to eat forbidden (haram) food.'

From Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 323, Bab 3 - Ithbaat al-Mi`raaj wa ma`anaahu wa kayfiyyatuhu wa sifatuhu wa ma jaraa feehi wa wasf al-buraaq, Hadith 34.

Hadith No. 7: The Angel who was Supplicating

After this, I saw an Angel whose physique was very interesting. One half of the body of this Angel was fire, and the other half of it was ice. Even stranger than this was the fact that neither the heat of the fire made the ice turn to water nor did the coldness of the ice put out the flames. With a very quiet voice he said, "I praise the One who is sufficent (to praise) such that the heat of this fire does not melt the ice, nor does the cold of the ice put out the fire. O' Allah! O' the One who has placed such a thing between the fire and ice! You (too) place agreement and love between the hearts' of Your servants!"

I asked Jibra'il concerning this Angel. He replied to me that "Allah, the Glorious and Most High, has appointed him as the Angel who will offer advice to the believers on earth and is the guardian of the heavens and earth- from the time this Angel was created, he has been praying for the people on earth.

There are also two other angels in this heaven, one of them supplicates as such, `O' Allah! Whosoever gives a contribution or donation (in your way), have Mercy upon him. The other one says, `O' Allah, destroy he who is stingy and miserly!'"

From Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 323, Bab 3 - Ithbaat al-Mi`raaj wa ma`anaahu wa kayfiyyatuhu wa sifatuhu wa ma jaraa feehi wa wasf al-buraaq, Hadith 34.

Hadith No. 8: Backbiters

Again, we continued on our way. During the journey, we approached a group of people whose lips were like the lips of a camel (large in size), and were being cut with scissors. The meat that had been cut was then forced into their mouths.

I asked, "Jibra'il, who are these people?" He replied, "These are the people who used to backbite and look for faults in their believing brothers."

I saw another group of people whose skulls were being crushed with rocks and whose brains were flowing out. I asked, ".Who are these people?" He said, "These are people who would go to sleep without having prayed Salat al- `Isha."

From Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 323-324, Bab 3 - Ithbaat al-Mi`raaj wa ma`anaahu wa kayfiyyatuhu wa sifatuhu wa ma jaraa feehi wa wasf al-buraaq, Hadith 34.

Hadith No. 9: Those who take the Wealth of the Orphan or Take Interest

I saw a group of people in which fire was being poured into their mouths and it was coming out of their rear- ends.

I requested an explanation on who they are. Jibra'il replied, "These were people who took the property of the orphans unlawfully."

Then I saw another group of people whose stomachs were so large that they could not even get up.

I asked a question regarding these people and the answer I was given was that they were people who used to take interest, were deceived by the Devil and followed the ways of the People of Fira'un. Every morning and evening, fire is given to them. They say, "O' Allah! When will the Day of Judgement take place so that we will have some respite from this life, which is taking away our strength?"

From Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 324, Bab 3 - Ithbaat al-Mi`raaj wa ma`anaahu wa kayfiyyatuhu wa sifatuhu wa ma jaraa feehi wa wasf al-buraaq, Hadith 34.

Hadith No. 10: Women Who Committed Indecent Acts

We came across a group of women during our journey who were being hung by their chest.

I asked Jibra'il, "Who are these women?" He replied, "These are women who lied and attributed children (that they had from someone else) to their husbands and therefore claimed that these children were their inheritors.'

The Prophet of Allah said, "The harshest punishment of Allah is on that woman who attributes a child to a family who is not really from that family, simply to take control of her husband's wealth."

From Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 324, Bab 3 - Ithbaat al-Mi`raaj wa ma`anaahu wa kayfiyyatuhu wa sifatuhu wa ma jaraa feehi wa wasf al-buraaq, Hadith 34.