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most beloved of all mountains is that whereon stands the Sakhrá. This also is the last country that shall be destroyed (in later times), by forty years. Again, This is one of the gardens of Paradise. Again, God says untó the Sakbrá of Baitu-lMukaddas, Thou art my strength; upon thee will I assuredly fix my friendship, that my people may assemble together upon thee. Surely the rivers that flow within thee shall be rivers of milk and rivers of honey and rivers of wine; for I this day am their Lord, who doth most surely love them.
Again, Al Mushrah told me, that Abul Pharaj assured him, that Ahmad-Ibn-Khalif-Al-Hamad asserted as follows: Abu-Mahomed-Abdallah-IbnMohamed-Al-Herzi, who was one of the monks, told me, I saw, as one sees when asleep, on the tenth day of the month. Muharram, the year 335, just as one sees when asleep, whilst I was in the inner dome of the Masjid of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, and was standing in front of that chapel wherein is the Sakhrá, when, lo! the chapel became magnified with glowing beams of light from above; and upon the summit was a great pearl : upon this I entered the chapel, in order to look upon the Sakhrá, when, lo! I found it to be of jacinth-stone, whence a brilliant light proceeded. Upon this I said, Praise be to God who hath made this stone visible to mortals, and shown that it is of jacinth. Then it was said to me, Go to meet the people with an account of this appearance of the rock. After this, I prayed upon the black pavement, when, lo! a light was diffused from the western side, and four rivers began to flow from beneath the rock. I said then, What are these streams? Then it was said unto me, These are from Paradise. Then I departed from the chapel, and, lo! there were trees of flame, extending from the gate of the Sakhrá as far as unto the gate of Misfortune, in front of the Tower of David. Then said I, What are these trees? And it was said unto me, This is the road for the believers in God to walk by unto Paradise. I said therefore, How will it be distinguished by them. It was replied, Look at the path ; it is black. Then I asked about the prophet of God, (the peace and blessing of God be with him !) about the night of his journey to heaven, and the footmarks of the road he walked. It was said then unto me, Look upon the ground; which I did; when I beheld a bright light whiter than the white of snow, which he had trodden with his feet, (may the peace and blessing of God be with him!) And in like manner appeared his entire path. Then I looked upon the chapel of the Prophet, (the peace and blessing of God be with him !) when it was said unto me, That is the spot whereon he prayed, in the midst of prophets and angels. Then I said,
The Chapel of the Chain, what is that? and where is the chain ? And it was said unto me, This is the spot wherein is the chain, and this is the light; but not one of the children of Adam shall ever see that chain.
Then I asked respecting the Gate of Remission; when it was replied, Whosoever shall enter that gate, or descend towards it, shall come forth free from all his sins, as completely as upon the day when his mother bore him, according to the word of God, “Enter ye the gate with adoration, and say
Remission,' for we have forgiven your sins.” Then I asked about the place of the nativity of Jesus, (peace be with him !) Upon this it was said unto me, Whosoever shall pray therein shall enter Paradise : whosoever shall enter therein shall receive the same benefits as if he were looking upon Jesus the son of Maria, (peace be upon them both!) In like manner also with respect to the Tower of Zacharias. Then I asked about the Gate of Compassion, when, lo! the gate appeared to be of fire on the side nearest the mosque, but of iron on the side nearest the valley (of Jehosaphat). Then it was said unto me, Every prophet of the prophets (the blessings of God be with them!) receives, as his allotted share, six cubits square; and the like quantity is allotted to each believer. Then I entered the mosque, nearly where the first row of columns begins; and it was said unto me, Look ! and, lo! there were certain beings swallowed up in the earth, with their heads protruding above the ground: I asked, therefore, who are these? and it was replied, These are some of the hated-ones of past ages. Then four (beings) began to address me; whom I asked, who were the princes of the angels? They replied, Gabriel, and Michael, and Seraphiel; and the fourth I know not. Then they informed me of the blessed greeting which Muhammad received; for all the holy ones met him before the mosque : and it was said to him, Preach that discourse which thou didst deliver before God; and thus did each one to him: and when he had concluded this, we prepared for him a throne of light in Paradise, that he niight be exalted thereupon, and raised up above all other men.
To the same purpose are the traditions directed of Abu-Bekr-Ibn-Alamah, and Abu-Mahmood-IbnAbdarrahmán of Cesarea, who all persist in the same story. To proceed : At this time there are seven pillars of the earth, who are seven Musalmáns, in the Baitu-l-Mukaddas : herein also the portion of the believers in God. Upon this I said, Where then is the portion of the heretics (or innovators)? And it was said unto me, In the valley of Gehenna. Then I looked down from above upon the valley; for I eagerly desired to behold; and, lo! there was Hell: there the wicked were shot at with burning coals, like palm-trees, and horribly cut with saws, (or with thrashing-fans, winnowing-fans.) O may God bring me safe therefrom, of his grace and bounty!