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Testimony 17 - 19

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Testimony: The Bodily ascent of the Prophet Muhammad

TESTIMONY 19 THE VERSE OF THE CHAPTER AL-NAJAM IN PROOF OF VISIONING ALLAH.

In Testimony 16, I have explained one aspect of the verses of the Quran from the chapter 'Al-Najam' (The Star). The facts therein give ample proof of the bodily ascent of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam- to Lote Tree and he saw Gabriel in his original form. From Testimony 16 to 18, replying all the objections and annulling suspicious, I have proved the visioning of Allah by the Prophet from his carnal vision.

It is preceded that Sahabas have two ways interpreted the verses from the Ch. 'Al-Najam'. Now I lay down the other aspect of the same verses which elaborate the honour, and the dignity held by our Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam), and his having been blessed by the sight of God by his ocular vision.

He was taught by one mighty in power. One most vigorous, and he grew clear to view. When he was on the upper most horizon. (53/5-7)

The first Arabic word (in the verse) is 'Allama' meaning taught. This word is used at many places in the Quran. After studying those verses, we find, to teach the prophets; to enlighten their chests with knowledge; to inform them of the apparent and hidden meaning of God's revelation, to get them memorized, to keep the revelation protected in their memory, to open their hearts and minds to fully understand the implication involved in the revelations and make them to teach the scriptures to their people is all done by God. That is to say, that God inspires the full meaning of the revelations. The angel only reveals the words of revelation to the prophets. To teach a prophet is not the work of an angel or angel is not the teacher of the prophets. It is God who teaches the prophets. I cite few citations from the Quran showing that God directly teaches the prophets and He taught our Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (sallallaho alaihi wasallam).

God said for Adam: And He taught Adam all the names. (2/31)

The angels said: Be Glorified! We have no knowledge save what thou hast taught us. (2/32)

God said for Jesus: And how I taught thee the Scripture, wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel. (5/110)

Joseph said: O My Lord! Thou hast given me (something) of sovereignty, and hast taught me the interpretation of events (dreams). (12/101)

This is of that which my Lord hath taught me. (12/37)

The Quran said: (God) The Beneficent is he who taught the Quran. (55/1-2)

God said about Khidr: We taught him knowledge from our presence. (18/65)

God addressing the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam- said: Allah has sent down to thee the Scripture and wisdom and taught thee that which thou knewest not. The grace of Allah toward thee hath been infinite. (4/113)

"Allah has sent down the Scripture, (Quran) and wisdom," means Gabriel the honest descended with the words of Scripture and Allah has 'Taught thee that which thou knewest not, The above verse mentions teaching of the Quran independent of its descent. It is Allah who inspired its meaning, in the heart of the Holy Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam). The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam- onward transmitted the teachings of the Quran as per inspiration to its meanings. It is why the Quran confirming to the Prophet's teaching as holy and sacred said:

Nor doth he speak of his own desire. It is naught save and inspiration that is inspired. (53/3-4)

The teachings of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) have the sanctity of inspiration. That is why the explanation of the Quranic revelation by ones own opinion is outright rejected. The living example of it is the commentary of Abdullah Yusuf Ali Al Bohri-Shia. (See the book, 'Errors of Yusuf Ali by Majlis Ulama of South Africa, Port Elizabeth. I have also pointed out his errors on various places see index. The Quran further speaking high of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) said: 'The grace of Allah toward thee hath been infinite. 'Certainly Allah excelled him over all the Prophets by favoring him by him bodily ascent to seven heavens and blessing him with His vision and giving him a perfect order. Moreover, God, the angels and the believers shall send him blessings till the Hour.

(C) The Apostle of Allah (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) fearing to forget the revelation at the time of its descent used to move his lips quickly. In a report of Bukhari, Ibn Abbas narrated: Allah's Apostle (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) used to bear the revelation with great trouble...Allah sent down on him:

And hasten not (O Muhammad) with the Quran ere its revelation hath been perfected unto thee, and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge. (20/114)

That is to say that O Muhammad! You keep silent at the time of the descent of the revelation. And when angel has recited, you read after him and beg your Lord to increase you in your knowledge.

(D) Concerning the descent of the verse: Stir not thy tongue concerning (the Quran) To hasten it herewith. (75/16) Ibn Abbas said: The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam- used to undergo great difficulty in receiving the revelation and used to move his lips... So Allah revealed him: 'Stir not thy tongue concerning (the Quran) to hasten it therewith,

Lo! upon us (resteth) putting it together (in your memory) its recital. And when We have recited it to you (through Gabriel) then follow you its recital. (Al-Bukhari)

Ibn Kathir explaining the aforementioned revelation said: "God the Great, and Almighty educating His Apostle (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) the manner to receive the revelation said that he should listen to the revelation when the angel came with it. God vouched for him to keep it in his chest (memory) and shall make it easy for him to promulgate it to its verbatim, and shall make him to elaborate and explain.

E) The above Quranic facts proved that it was the duty of Gabriel to convey the revelation to the Prophet and the Prophet used to listen it attentively. Gabriel was not his teacher. It is Allah who inspired the meaning of the words in the revelation and their exposition. It is He who made the Prophet to proclaim the revelations and shed light on their meanings before his people. There are many thousand of traditions from the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) which only explain the Quranic verses. Allah blessed him with eloquent speeches enriched with great knowledge.

In Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam), we get sagacity, ingenuity and fluency of speech. He stands only next to the Quran. None could parallel him, nor could equal him in Arabic literature. This is the bestowal of God Who favoured him with abundant everlasting knowledge.

The Quran upheld that Gabriel is not the teacher of the Prophet of God (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) but it is God the Creator of the land and seas, the Jinn and mankind Who taught him. He is that Omniscient Creator Who made His beloved slave Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) the most eminent among mankind, Jinn and angel and said it is God, "The Beneficent Who taught the Quran." (55/1-2) That is to say that it is the miracle of His Great Mercy that He taught the Quran to His Beloved slave who was totally illiterate. So:

One Mighty in power taught him,"

That it is Allah, the Beneficent and Mighty in power Who taught the

Quran to Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam-. The Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) said:

My Lord educated me and made me superior in education.

(F) Imam Ahmad Alqastallani has written the excellence of the prophets over the angels, he referring to the verses 'One mighty in power, and which the True Spirit hath brought down upon thy heart, (26/193-194) said: No doubt, the teacher excels the student, the reply is, that the education is from God the Exalted and the angels are the messengers." (Almawahib Alladunniya. Vol. II. P.45)

(G) Albaidhawi cited: "All the pronouns in the verses, 'One Mighty in power taught him to and He revealed unto His Slave that which He revealed." (53) are attributed to God, the Exalted and synonymous verse to 'One Mighty in Power' is, 'The Lord of Unbreakable Might' (i.e.)

Allah it is Who giveth (all) sustenance, the Lord of Unbreakable Might. (51/58)

(H) Hasan Basari said: "The words 'One Mighty in Power taught him, One Most Vigorous, 'purports to God the Exalted. He mentioned Himself with this great quality and the meaning are, 'God taught His Apostle (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) without any intermediary." (Rooh al Bayan)

(I) 'One Most Vigorous' means the Possessor of Power and Rigorous. He is the One with Tremendous Awe and having beautiful Aspect. All the above are the characteristics of God.

Imam Razi writes: "God intended His Power in knowledge when He said: 'One Mighty in Power taught him'. He explaining the verse, 'When he was on the uppermost horizon' said: We acknowledge that Gabriel showed himself in his real shape to the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) and he blocked the east (with his huge body) but it is not found in the tradition that God intended by this very verse Gabreil, till we dub one for opposing the interpretation."

However, we come to the conclusion that the verses: One Mighty in Power taught him, One most vigorous and He grew clear to view.

mean that he (Muhammad) was taught by One Mighty in Power i.e. God . One Most Vigorous i.e. God. 'Fastawa', this is an Arabic word. It has been used 8 times in the Quran. Seven times, it is used as an attribute of God, and the eighth time it is used in the aforesaid verse. The Ulemas (Scholars) have interpreted it. Few say it is used for Gabriel and few say it is used for both Muhammad and Gabriel (alaihima alsalam), while other says it is used for God. The dictionary meaning of 'Istawa' is to become even, to become straight, to become elevated, to take possession, to become stable. Pickthall translated it, 'And he grew clear to view,'

As preceded if we consider the citation of Al-Baidhawi that all the pronouns refers to God, then pronoun in 'Fastawa' refers to God, it shall mean that God (removing the veils) effulged His Glory and grew clear to view for His slave (Muhammad), who was on the uppermost horizon, i.e. utmost height of humanity specially after he reached to the Lote Tree in the seventh heaven.

(J) One Aspect of the commentary of the verse, 'Then He drew near and came closer, till He was at a distance of two bows length or even near,' has been discussed in Testimony 16. Now I quote the opinion of the second group of Sahabas on the above said verses.

Ibn Abbas explaining the verse, 'Then He drew near and came closer' said: He is Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) who drew near and came closer to his Lord, the Mighty and the Glorious. (Al-Tabrani and Ibn Mardaviya)

Imam Al-Baghwi referring to few scholars said: "The Lord, the Mighty, the Glorious, drew near to Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) and came closer, till he was at a distance of two bows length or even nearer. (Khazin/margin. Vol .II. p 213) Also see Testimony 18 para (d).

(K) In a report of Al-Baihaqui, Abu Saeed Alkhudri narrated, the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) said: I reached the Lote Tree, I was enveloped in 'noor' (=light_ and there between me and Him was two bows length or even closer. (Al-Dalail)

Who was at two bows length, Alkhudri himself explained it in another of his narration. He said: When the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) was taken on a night journey, he came close to his Lord, and he was at two bows length or even nearer. Didn't you see the bow? How close is it with its cord! (Ibn Almunzir, Ibn Mardviya)

The above elucidation of Abu Saeed Alkhudri further substantiated what was held by Ibn Abbas that it was not Gabriel but Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) who came very close to His Lord.

In a report of Al-Baihaqui, Thabit Albanani narrated, these words of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) from Anas, he said: Then he drew near and came closer, And He revealed unto His slave, that which he revealed.

In another narrative of Anas from Sharik we find the explanation of the above text. Imam Albukhari reports this. "...Till he reached to Lote Tree, the utmost boundary, and then the Irresistible, the Lord of Honour and Majesty drew near and came closer, till he was at two bows length or even nearer."

(M) In Testimony 11, I have fully discussed the narrative of Anas from Sharik. Other narratives also substantiate this text and with the explanation of Ibn Kahthir all the misgivings are razed from Sharik's narration.

Another narration corroborates the aforesaid narrative of Anas from Sharik. In a report of Ibn Jarir, Anas narrated, the Apostle of Allah (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) said: When I was taken above, I entered the Heaven with Gabriel. Then I was given the Kauthar *36. Then I departed and reached the Lote Tree, the utmost boundary. Then thy Lord drew near and came closer, till He was at two bows length or even nearer. (Al-Dur Al-Manthur)

In another report, Anas narrated, the Apostle of Allah (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) said: When I was taken on the night journey towards the Heaven, my Lord the Exalted drew me near till between me and Him was a distance of two bows length or even nearer. (Al-Dur Al-Manthur. Vol.IV .pp.157, 158)

The above reports prove that Sharik while relating from Anas did preserve his verbatim narrative and this report of Imam Al-Bukhari also enjoys the authoritative source like his other narratives. It stands established that the bodily ascent of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) was after his assignment to prophet-hood and not only he was taken bodily above the seven heavens but also he was blessed to look upon Allah's Aspect by his carnal eyes.

(N) "AND HE REVEALED TO HIS SLAVE THAT WHICH HE REVEALED."

In Testimony 18 (c) I have mentioned that the Prophet under went a heart operation and his heart was stuffed with belief and wisdom, only then he could have perfect resemblance with the people of the Heaven and became a perfect human. He reached to utmost horizon of servitude and devotion. No hindrance was left between the slave and his Lord. God, the Exalted and the Glorious inclined towards His slave, the best of all creations and He drew near and came closer, and making him foremost to vision His Aspect blessed him with what he would bless the people of the Heaven after the Day of Reckoning.

Having thus excelled and honoured, the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) fell in prostration before His Lord. This is what the Quran said: Prostrate thyself and come closer (to Allah). (96/19)

Imam Razi on the verse: 'And He revealed to His slave that which He revealed,' said: God revealed to Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallaqm) that which He revealed to him for his honour and esteem. He further writes: Allah revealed that which He revealed to him directly i.e. not by way of Gabriel.

Ibn Abbas said: In the verse 'And He revealed to His slave that which He revealed,' the word slave is for Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) (Al-Dur al Manthur).

Anas narrated, the Apostle of Allah (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) said: I saw the most magnificent light in front of me and the cushions decorated with pearls and rubies, God revealed me what he revealed. (Altabrani, Alhakim)

Explaining 'Which that He revealed,' Saeed bin Jubair said: Allah revealed him that the Heaven is forbidden for all the prophets till the Apostle of Allah (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam- enters in it and the Heaven is forbidden for the people of the other prophets till the people of Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam- enter in it. Thus, Allah excelled him over all the prophets and excelled his people over all the other peoples of the prophets.

(O) THE WORD SLAVE REJECTS GOD-HOOD TO A PROPHET

(P) And He revealed to His slave that which He revealed.

The word 'slave' in the aforesaid verse bears exquisiteness. It may be recalled that the 'slave' means combination of the body and soul. (See. Testimony 3). God the Exalted carried His slave Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam- in body and soul to Jerusalem and from there to seven heavens. The word slave refutes those who deny the bodily ascent and made it positive that Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam) after his bodily ascent to seven heavens; his Imamate of all the prophets and angels in congregation; after observing the marvels of seven heavens; and having been blessed with a look at Aspect of Allah yet he remained slave to his Lord. So that no one should doubt him for godhood as was done by the Christians with Jesus who made him a person in Godhead. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiyani also claimed godhood. (See, Qadiyani Pretender's Claim of Godhood and Makkah Conference Vol. 1).

(P) THE WORD SLAVE DENIES THE BELIEF OF PANTHEISM. *37

The word slave gives a fatal blow on the belief of pantheism. This belief was founded by Mohiuddin bin Arabi, and he mentioned it in his book 'Fusus al Hakam.' His pupil Sadruddin Qanowi fomented this against Islam. Balyani and Talmasani pursuing this belief openly acted against the tenets of Islam.

Mohiuddin bin Arabi said that the entity is one, there is no difference between the Creator and the created. The creature is the Creator. There is no difference between the entity of Lord and His slave. The slave is Lord and the Lord is slave. Talmasani used to say when the existence is one, there is oneness in everything then why should we bifurcate between Halal (=praise worthy) and the Haram (=blame worthy). He used to drink and commit adultery.

Imam Ibn Taimiah wrote strongly against the book of Mohiuddin bin Arabi. His work is known as 'Alradd al Aqwam ala Fusus Al Hakam'. Few of the pantheists were so much drowned in evil that they did not differentiate between mother and wife. They said when the entity is one, then why one is lawful and the other is unlawful. We invoke the protection of God from their evil. To them the Beneficent and the Satan did not have separate entity.

The word 'slave' proves that one is Creator and the other is created. One is Possessor and the other is possessed. One is worshipper and the other is worshipped. One is the salve and the other is his Lord. And the slave is dependent for his existence to his Lord.

The invitation of the Quran extends to all creatures. The pantheism substantiates the Christian belief of deification or anthropomorphism. On the other hand by saying: 'He revealed to His slave that what He revealed, 'leads to love and affection of God to His slave (Muhammad Sallallaho alaihi wasallam- and endowing him with such favour which no angel or prophet could achieve.

Allah made it known that though Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam) achieved the eminent rank of honour and everlasting love of God. Yet he is slave to Him. God appointed him the chief intercessor on the Day of Reckoning yet he controls not any harm or benefit for anyone. (72/21)

(Q) VISIONING OF ALLAH

The (Prophet's) heart lied not what he saw (by his eyes). Will you then dispute with him concerning what he saw? And verily he saw him at another descent. By the Lote Tree of utmost boundary. Near which is the garden of continual abode. When that which shroudeth did enshroud the Lote Tree. His sight never swerved nor did it go astray. Verily he (the Prophet) saw the greatest signs of his Lord. (53/3-18)

As soon as one reads the aforesaid verses of the chapter 'Al-Najam' (See. Testimony 19 from beginning), he learns that these verses are not only mentioning the bodily ascent of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam). But also describing its important details which include the few characteristics of our Prophet (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam), i.e. his power of observation; his visioning of greatest signs of his Lord; and the denial of infidels of Makkah when they belied him.

It is natural that when any person looks at something, which arouses wonder in him, then he looks again; he rubs his eyes then looks again and again to remove any suspicion as to his observation. But when his heart echoes what he saw, he gets satisfied. God mentioned the faculty of His Prophet's observation in this very style:

The (Prophet's) heart lied not what he saw.

God further said: His sight never swerved nor did it go astray.

The Arabic word 'Al-Basar' means eyesight. This is an instrument of seeing things by which a man looks in wakefulness.

Specifying the vision of the carnal eyes and affirmation of the heart to what he saw, God made it known to the infidels who were belying the Prophet that he was carried with body and soul. Had it been all in dream, neither the infidels had denounced him and nor the new Muslims relinquished Islam.

'The heart lied not what he saw.' This verse describes visioning from the heart and the eyes. That is Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam) saw his Lord from his heart and from his carnal eyes. It is reported from Al-Tabrani and Ibn Mardaviya that Ibn Abbas narrated: "Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam) saw his Lord twice, once from his eyes and once from his heart. (Al-Dur al Manthur Vol.VI.p.124)

34. The descent of Jesus will be before the Doomsday. (See. Vol. I. p.III)

35. A place from where the angels copy the order from the Preserved Tablet for implementation all over the world.

36. Kauthar a river in Paradise endowed specially to the Prophet of God (sallallaho alaihi wasallam). It is whiter then milk and sweeter than honey running on a bed of pearls and rubies and smelling musk.

37. The doctrine that God is transcendent reality of which the material universe and man are only manifestations. It involves a denial of God personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.

38. The power of the vision of angels should not be judged to our power of sight. Even on the Day of Judgement the people will be given such an amazing power that they will see everything happing among the billions.

39. Albaihaqui said in a report, the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam- while being carried to Aqsa Mosque saw Moses in his grave praying and then again in 6th Heaven, similarly he saw the prophets on land (Jerusalem) and the in the heavens. There can be no doubt to their presence in different places in different times as they are alive like martyrs (Vol.II p.135)

40. It is a temple mentioned in the Quran (52/4), which is visited by the heavenly beings for the adoration of their Creator. It is said to have been spiritual prototype of Kaaba in Makkah. (Ibn Kathir). A Yusuf Ali quite opposed to the agreed tradition gave his own explanation which denied its existence in the 7th heaven and derogated to Sunnah.

41. It was said that a more solid substance was crusted down to dust whereas Moses had only fallen senseless. The answer is the bodies of the prophets are like the bodies of the people of the Heaven which would never decay. See Testimony 18 a, b, c.

42. On the very gate of Hell, there is a bridge all over the Hell leading to the Heaven. It is sharper than a sword and thinner than a hair. The people of Heaven will pass over it to the tune of their good deeds. Some like the blinding lightening and some like the wind sent forth. The infidels will fall from over it into the Hell-Fire. The Fire will say to the believer: Pass thou over, for thy light is extinguishing my flame.