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They shall supplicate thee in praise, O God ! and live in thanksgiving.” And again, “ They shall pray, glory to God, Lord of the Universe ! ” for Paradise is not a place of constrained obedience, since this verse bears upon the face of it Spontaneous Intuition. Thus will it be with the Pilgrimage and Prayers of Prophets. Others say that the Apostle only meant to refer to the conduct which they pursued whilst they were in life, and brought them forward as giving the portraiture of their deeds; meaning, whilst they did live, they did so and so. Others assert, that Muhammad was only describing a revelation at that time made unto him, revealing that Moses, &c. did so act.
Respecting the existence of the prophets in their tombs, we have the following :-Muhammad said, I saw Moses praying upon a dark-coloured sandy heap, in his tomb. He was standing. Whence it is evident that Moses is alive within his tumb. It is plain also that Muhammad, when he saw this, was in the body; for his night-ascent was corporeal.
Two men, again-a Musalman and a Jewcame to high words about the election and rank portioned out by God to Muhammad and Moses. The Muhammadan asserted that Muhammad was the most elect and pure: the Jew said, that it
was Moses. Hereon the Moslem lifted up his hand, and, giving the Jew a box on the ear, carried him to Muhammad, and told him the affair. Then said Muhammad, Do not make comparisons, or prefer me to Moses; for when men shall be terrified, be overthrown by an earthquake, cry out with terror, and faint away; then I shall be the first who shall be raised up. But Moses will then be quite strong, and by the side of the Great Assembly. I know not, therefore, whether he will then have fainted away at all, and have been raised up before me, or whether God will raise him up second to me. For I do not know whether he will be before or after me in the Fainting of Sinai. Now this is a powerful proof that Moses, and Muhammad, and the prophets, will all be alive ; and this is corroborated by the fact, that the departure of Moses was intercepted and unknown; and that the fainting, which shall seize upon all men at the blast of the trumpet on Sinai, applies only to those then living in the world. But they who died before, do not swoon away; for that would be an absurd conclusion. Whence it may be taken for a truth, that Moses will be alive, living like the martyrs, but more gloriously. This argument is confirmed by the assertion of Muhammad, that he saw Moses standing and praying, and also by the
verse, “God forbids the earth to eat up the bodies of prophets.” For they had said unto him, How shall we present our prayers before thee?
Now, however, I perceive an expedient which may reconcile these learned men. The death of prophets is not like the death of other men; but they are merely translated from one state to another, and depart from us, whither we know not. Thus they continue to exist in a state of being, just as the angels live and exist; yet no one of our race beholds them but he unto whom God grants that especial blessing. Thus it is true that God allows them to melt away from this world, and to taste of death, as Abú Bekr said to the Prophet, Truly, death is written down for thee by God, and thou shalt taste it. If, then, they live, they are made alive by God after their deaths. But in this case it will be necessary that they die twice over; a second death being inflicted when the trump sounds in Sinai; and thus they will taste a greater death than others. To this it may be answered, that when the trumpet sounds, all beings, both in heaven and earth, will faint away; and there can be no doubt but that all besides the prophets will then have fainted away with the fit of death. But the fainting-fit of prophets is merely a temporary failure of sensation. It is that fainting-fit which has the appear
ance of death in others; so it needs not that they die twice. It is merely an externally visible fit. Thus the two Imáms, Al Babaki and Al Kurtubí, and others, have decidedly adopted the opinion that the fit on that day shall only be a swoon, not a cessation of the soul. This is proved by the Prophet's expression, “I know not whether Moses be raised up before me.” He does not say, be revivified before me.
From all this we may finally determine, that the trump will sound twice, and will raise up all who are lost in the trance, and revivify all who are absolutely dead. The result is, that our Prophet spake truth in asserting that he should be brought out of the tomb first, before all other men and prophets, except Moses.
except Moses. With regard to him, some discrepant difficulty results, whether he be raised from the dead before Muhammad, or, whether he remain in the same state in which he was before the sound of the trump, and the trance. This, then, is all that is fit to be said upon this part of the tradition. No controversy exists as to any but Moses ; nevertheless, God knows.
With regard to that expression of Muhammad's, " Do not exalt me above Moses,” learned men (God be satisfied with them !) view the matter under different lights. One is, that he said this before God informed him of his overflowing su
premacy above others; for when God informed him of this fact, he cried out with a loud voice, saying, Truly I, the son of Adam, am Lord. Another is, that Muhammad forbade any contention about pre-eminent supremacy in the prophetical office, for this reason,-because that is a degree of rank absolutely single, one, and indivisible. No superiority can herein exist.
Another is, that this is all to be referred to the Prophet's good manners and humble-mindedness. This view of the case gains the palm. It may itself be regarded in several points of view :One, that the Prophet forbade this discussion, because that a comparison of the varying supremacies of prophets by no means determines the just claim of any one; for we cannot point out distinctions between the Excellent and the Most Excellent, the Perfect and the Most Perfect; whereas most men, in determining relative superiorities, chiefly rely upon some diminution, or loss, or lowering, sustained by one, when assiinilated or compared with another. But the supreme excellence of some prophets over others, exists in such sort, as that each is to be regarded as having attained unto the utmost limit of supremacy, which is not a whit diminished when one is placed by the side of another. The Prophet then abstained from this controversy, lest he should aid