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Testimony 9 - 12

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Testimony: The Bodily ascent of the Prophet Muhammad

TESTIMONY 9 A QUEST IN THE NARRATION ‘THE BODY DIDN’T DEPART.

It is preceded that the renegades in order to deny the bodily ascent produce those narrations, which relate to the Prophet’s spiritual ascensions. They put forth the following report.

Ibn Ishaque reported: Some men from the family of Abu Bakar narrated that Aesha the wife of the Prophet (S.A.W) used to say: The body of the Apostle of Allah did not depart but he was spiritually carried on a night journey. (Al Sirah Al Nabwiyyah for Ibn Hisham)

If at all, Aesha the mother of the believers related the above narration. It certainly did not relate to his Makkan journey by night (=Isra) and Ascension (=Miraj). The reasons are:

1) In testimony 8 we have seen that the mother of the believers Aesha (radiallah anha) herself stated the conversion of the new Muslims to apostasy after they listened to the journey by night of the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W) in body and soul and she also said that her father Abu Bakar testified to it. All the Muslim scholars are unanimous that if the Prophet (S.A.W) had not mentioned his journey having been made bodily, the Muslims would not have apostatized. Moreover, the very fact that Syedah Aesha (radiallah anha) related this narration testifies to her confirmation of the bodily ascent.

2) Masruq said: I came to Aesha (radiallah anha) and said: Did Muhammad see his Lord?

She said: You said something, which made my hairs to stand on their end. I said slowly reciting, ‘Verily he saw the greatest signs of the Lord?

She said: What are you leading to? Lo! he is Gabriel. Whoever tells you that Muhammad saw his Lord, or he did anything revealed to him or that he knew of the five things (32) which God had said, he fabricated a great lie. But he saw Gabriel, he did not see him save twice, once near the Lote Tree and once at Jiyad with six hundred wings filling the horizon. (A) Dur al Manthur Vol. VI. p. 124)

This narration proves the visioning of Gabriel. It was once at the beginning of the revelation at Jiyad (Makkah) and secondly at Lote Tree.

3) ‘And verily he saw him at another descent.’ (53/13)

Few commentators are of the opinion that the aforesaid verse refers to the visioning of the Lord. (See Testimony 17), but few commentators mention that it refers to the (second) real sight of Gabriel at Lote Tree. The Prophet’s first seeing of Gabriel is referred in verse: ‘He grew clear to view, when he was on the upper most horizons. (53/7)

According to the mother of the believers Aesha (radiallah anha) this visioning of Gabreil occurred at Jiyad. The Arabic words ‘Ind sidrah’, ‘Ind’ means by. This word in Arabic is for denoting place or time. Here it denotes place, and means, the looker and the one looked at were both present at ‘Sidrah’ (=Lote Tree). Over and above the narration of Aesha (radiallah anha) there is a chain of traditions which second this fact mentioned by the Quran.

4) I have written in Testimony one that there were two night journeys along with ascents. Ibn Kathir writes: “Ibn Abi Safra in his commentary of ‘Al Bukhari’ mentions that a group of scholars holds that there were two night journeys, one spiritual in a dream and the other in awakening with body and soul. (Al Bidaya wa al Nihaya Vol.3. p. 115). Therefore, mother of the believers narration related by Ibn Ishaqu is about night journey happened at Medinah in a dream. At that time, she was under wedlock with the Prophet (S.A.W) and could mention it. But she was not wedded to the Prophet at the time. The Prophet (S.A.W) was blessed with the night journey in body and soul at Makkah and she was not with the Prophet to watch and mention that his body did not depart. Therefore, her narration cannot overweight those narrations who testify as witness and among them is her father Abu Bakar.

TESTIMONY 10 THE BODY DID DEPART UMME HANI.

Among the narrations of the bodily ascent of the Prophet, the narrative of Umme Hani the daughter of Abu Talib is of great importance and significance because her report stands as eyewitness.

Ibn Ishaque has reported a narrative of Umme Hani. Commenting on this report Ibn Kathir writes that from among the narrators of the report Muhammad Alkalbi is abandoned being totally unreliable. Then he cited another narrative of Umme Hani, which is reported by the traditionists Abu Yala and Al Tabrani. Both of them have exhibited their own chain of evidence. The tradition is:

Umme Hani said: The Apostle of Allah (S.A.W) was in my house to pass very night; he was taken to a journey. Then (waking up) in a part of night, I could not find him (in his place). My sleep vanished, as I was scared for him being teased by some of the Qureyshites. (on return) The Apostle of Allah (S.A.W) told: Lo! Gabriel (alaihi alsalam) came and taking me by hand escorted me. At door, I found an animal smaller than a mule and bigger than an ass. He made me to ride on it. Then it departed till it reaches Jerusalem. I was shown to Abraham (alaihi alsalam) who resembled me in appearance, then to Moses, tall with curly hair. He matched in appearance with the people of Azd Shanoah, then to Chirst son of Mary, square built, red and white complexion and he looked like Urwa bin Masood Thaqfi. I was shown Antichrist, blind in right eye, he resembled to Qutun bin Abd al Azza. The Prophet (S.A.W) said: I intend to go to Qureysh and inform them what I saw.

Umme Hani said: I caught him by his garment and said: For Allah I request you, if you go to your people, they will disbelieve you and deny to acknowledge what you say and I fear an assault on you from them. She said: But he twitched off his garment from me and then went towards them. He came to Qureysh who were sitting and he told them what he had told to me. Jubair bin Mutim stood up and said: O Muhammad! If you were the same (i.e. truthful) as you were, you would not have said that (i.e. you have been carried in a journey by night) because you are now before us.

In the same tradition, the Prophet (S/.A.W) gave the account of caravans, which was found to be true.

In a report of Imam Al Tirimizi, we find a narration from Shaddad bin Aous about the journey by night of the Prophet (S.A.W) giving details of this great event. Finally, it expresses:

He (the Prophet) said: Abu Bakar came to me and said: O Apostle of Allah! Where had you been tonight? I sought you at your place.

He said: Did you know I went to Jerusalem tonight?

He said: O Apostle of Allah! It is on a one-month journey, you specify it to me.

He (the Prophet) said: a way to it (Jerusalem) was opened to me as if I am looking at it. Whatever is asked, I replied.

Abu Bakar: I testify you are the Apostle of Allah...”

The Prophet also gave an account of caravan, which was found to be true.

The above narrations prove the departing of the body. Umme Hani was perturbed to an extent that her sleep vanished. Then after listening to the Prophet (S.A.W), she tried to stop him from going to Qureysh. So this is the concrete proof of his bodily ascent. The other narration of Shaddad bin Aous also confirms the report of Umme Hani as Abu Bakar the father of Aesha (radiallah anha) and Umme Hani stand as eyewitness. When these two say the body did depart, then Aesha’s report that the body did not depart refers to the spiritual night journey at al-Madinah.

The above fact did proof that whatever the mother of the believers Aesha (radiallah anha) said was about his spiritual night journey. At that time, she was under wedlock with the Prophet and could testify her observation.

31 b. Abu Huraira narrated. The Apostle of Allah (S.A.W) said: The night I was made to ascent the sky, whenever I passed through a sky I found written ‘Muhammad the Apostle of Allah and Abu Bakar the Righteous my successor.

32. 'Lo! Allah! With Him is the knowledge of the hour. He sendeth down the rain, and knoweth that which is in the wombs. No soul knoweth what it will earn tomorrow and no soul knoweth in what land it will die. Lo! Allah is the Knower and the Aware. (31/34)

33. The Prophet (S.A.W) was sleeping with two other persons. They were his uncle Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib, and his cousin Jafar bin Abi Talib.