Page images
PDF
EPUB

front of the Mosque. Then fastening up the beast of burden, we entered the Mosque: by the gate wherein the sun and moon set. There having prayed, I was seized with extreme thirst, the severest I ever suffered. Upon this, he brought me to two springs, one containing milk, and the other honey. I hesitated a long time between the two, thus being together, and thought them nearly of equal value. God, however, led the right way: so I chose the milk, and drank until I had sufficiently quenched my thirst. (In the traditions thé fountains are said to have been of wine, and milk ; and it is added, Then there appeared before me an old man leaning upon a stick, who said, Begin to magnify thy Lord, because he hath led thee in the right. way. After this, we were brought to the valley of Hinnom—the valley near the city, which appeared, when displayed, to contain small holes, (upon this one present said unto me, Apostle of God! how didst thou find them to the feet? I replied, Like furiously boiling fountains of hot water). After this, we passed by many camels of the Koraish tribe, in a place just like this, which were straying about; and certain persons were wandering with the flock, whom I saluted. Then one of them said, This is Muhammad's voice, After this, I came to my companions in Mecca, before the dawn of day; and Abu-Bekr came to me, saying, O. A postle! where hast thou been the night? for, truly, I sought thee, but could not find thee in thy usual place. Then I said, I have been to the Baitu-l-Mukaddas. He replied, How can that be? for that is a month's journey; therefore describe the route to me. Then he said, The whole road was openly shown to me, and perfectly known by me; nor can any one ask me any one circumstance relating thereto, but I will describe it unto him. Then said Abu-Bekr, I bear witness that thou art the Apostle of God. Nevertheless, the Pagans said, Look at Ibn-Abu-Kabshah ! he pretended that he went unto Jerusalem by night. Upon which the Prophet said, As a proof, I tell you that I passed by your camels--the camels of your tribe, wandering about in such or such a place (describing it). At that time you were dwelling in such a place; and on such a day there came to you, and came in front of you, a brownish red camel, with black streaks, and two bright white spots, and black legs: at that time the people were on the high ground, looking down, and it passed them no nearer than the middle of the river, going on, and leaving them behind. This, then, was the camel which the Apostle of God deséribed. Moreover, it was put forth by Abu-Hussain-Ali-IbnShabr, in the second of his Useful Compilations from the Consolidated Traditions, and in another portion of his ‘Faithful and reconciled Parts of the Traditions of Abu-Haraira,' (God's contentment be with him !) that the Prophet (the blessing, &c. !) said, The angel made me visible among the prophets, and the time of prayer was near, and I approached them; and, when I had finished my prayer, one said, O Muhammad! this is the angel, the master of Hell; therefore salute him. Upon this I turned round, and addressed a word of salutation unto him. That night we entered the Holy Abode : we found all the prophets were assembled; and Gabriel pushed me forward until I came near them. Then we ascended by steps unto the heavenly world.

From other traditions we learn that the Prophet was desired to alight, and perform two Rakás at two places; one being (said Gabriel) the tomb of thy father Abraham, and the other the birthplace of thy brother Jesus (peace be with him!). . After this, he came to the Rock (Sakhrá), and, having prayed thereon, ascended thence to heaven. From other traditions we are informed, that Gabriel remained in front of the Prophet until they arrived at the Syrian Gate of the Rock;that Gabriel cried out with a loud voice; and that some angels came down from heaven, and God assembled all the commissioned ones ;-that Gabriel prescribed a prayer, and the Prophet prayed among the angels

and commissioned ones;- that he then went on towards the right of the Rock; and Gabriel placed for him a ladder of gold and steps of silver, which constituted the means of the sacred ascent;-that then they went up to heaven ;-that Gabriel demanded admission. Upon this, it was said unto him, Who art thou ? · He replied, Gabriel. : And who is with thee? Muhammad. Wast thou sent unto him? Certainly, I was sent unto him; open therefore to us. Then said the Prophet, Adam came near, and welcomed me, and spoke good words to me. Then we mounted up to the second heaven; where, the same ceremonies taking place, we were admitted by the Prophet's cousin, Jesus son of Maria, and John son of Zacharias. In the third heaven we in like manner saw Joseph, who gave me one half of his beauty. At the fourth heaven we saw Idreus (Enoch), who welcomed us, and said, God is great, and hath exalted us to a lofty place of reward. At the fifth heaven we saw in like manner Aaron. At the sixth in like manner we saw. Moses. At the seventh, with the same ceremonies, we saw Abraham, his back resting against the re-established House of God; whereunto, every day, seventy thousand angels descend, who shall not return until the day of judgment. Then he conducted me to the lotus-tree-the utmost boundary of heaven, whose leaves possessed an articulate voice, like the voice of an elephant, and whose fruit was like immense water-buckets. This tree; by the command of God, of all God's creatures, is raised to the very highest splendour and perfect beauty that creatures can possibly possess. There God revealed to me what he revealed, and issued the divine injunction of fifty prayers, every day: After this I came down to Moses, (peace be with himi!) who said, What hath thy Lord enjoined upon thy followers? I replied, Fifty prayers. Upon this he said, Return unto thy Lord, and beseech him to lighten this burden, for thy people cannot endure this; for I myself have tried the sons of Israel, and I know them by experience. Therefore I returned unto my Lord, and said, O‘Lord ! lighten this imposed burdeni upon my people! Then he abated me five. I then returned to Moses, who sent me back again, saying as before. Thus I went on; going between my blessed Lord and Moses, until he said, O Muhammad! I finally fix upon five prayers every day, and every night ten in all; and these shall be accounted as fifty prayers. Also, Whosoever designs to do a good deed, and effects it not, I engage to give him that good deed's reward. Whosoever effects it, I engage to give him tenfold. Whosoever meditates an evil work, and effects it not, I promise to

« PreviousContinue »