Part 2 - Witnessing the Sublime Beauty of the Divine Countenance of Allah
-BY MOULANA SHEIKH NAZIM
There is the heaven of the world, that is our sky, also called space. Allah Almighty has ornamented this first heaven with stars, most of them being galaxies. Beyond that are the Seven Heavens. We are not inside. The three dimensions within we see and hear are necessary. If we had 4, we would not be able to see. Also if we had 5, 6 or 7, we wouldn't be able to. Everything which we are reaching with telescopes only belongs to the heaven of the world. It is like the roof of this world. We cannot see beyond that until we spiritually enter the heaven of 4 dimensions. If it is necessary, we can enter in such a way the 5th, 6th and 7th dimension. After that there are no more dimensions. Nothing! That is beyond our imagination, because it is the limit of our intellect. The Angel which is representing the intellect is Sayidina Gibril, Archangel Gabriel. When he stopped on the Night Journey, it meant that from that point on the intellect could not move anymore. It means that from then on it belongs to the eternity of the Lord Almighty, the Creator. You cannot move in it.
This limit is called Sidratul Muntaha (The Lote Tree).
Archangel Gabriel was the Prophet's guide up to Sidratu l-Muntaha which is the limit that is given to human perception. It is the limits of the universes, of creation, after which that there is no creation. That is the limit that our knowledge reaches. After that it is beyond the mind's understanding. After that, no one knows except Hu (He). Beyond that there is the manifestation of Allah Almighty's Essence! They call it " 'Alam Lahut ".
There the Archangel Gabriel stopped.
Then the command came from the Divine Presence, calling, inviting, Muhammad, p.b.u.h., to come forward (beyond the point of Sidratul Muntaha), and Muhammad said to Archangel Gabriel, who was the greatest of the angels, "Come with me." And Gabriel, p.b.u.h., said, " No, I cannot. Our limit is up until here. We are not allowed to go beyond this. If we go beyond this the light of Allah Almighty's greatness will burn me and turn me into ashes. There is no way for a second creation. He will throw me into nothingness.
And beloved Muhammad, p.b.u.h., said, "No worry; let divine lights burn me. I give myself to my Lord. I have no need of anything; I have given myself to Him." And he went into as-Saraiy at-Tauhid, the Mansion of Unity in which there is no ithnainiyah, duality; finished. Archangel Gabriel feared that he would be nothing. But the Prophet, beloved Muhammad, p.b.u.h., said, "I agree to be nothing," and went into the endless Oceans of Greatness of Allah Almighty, went into endless Power Oceans, and went into the endless Beauty Oceans of Allah Almighty, going as a drop in oceans. A drop comes on the ocean from the skies and when it reaches the ocean you can't find it; finished, but endless pleasure.
Witnessing the Divine Countenance of Allah
The Prophet, p.b.u.h., was the only one who passed the limit of created beings toward the Creator of the universes, to His Divine Presence. No one may pass except him; the one exception among creatures is for beloved Muhammad, p.b.u.h.
So Muhammad , the most Perfect of the Perfect, continued alone. Driven by his love for Allah’s Divine Presence he approached closer and closer, achieving the State of Complete Annihilation. From one stage to another the Prophet moved into Allah’s Divine Secrets. He passed through these vast Divine Oceans of Knowledge, which Allah Almighty and Exalted has created, until he was completely dissolved in Allah’s Existence, seeing nothing except Him.
Then the Prophet , having reached the State of Complete Annihilation, was called by Allah by his name, to return to existence, appearing anew. Allah Said:
“Draw nearer to Me, oh you Best of all Mankind! Draw nigh, oh Ahmad, oh Muhammed, so that the Friend may be in intimate association with His friend!”.
In this way, the Holy Prophet (Sal) was granted the unmediated vision of the Sublime Beauty of Him who is beyond all space and time, free from all conditions or qualities, the Unmitigated Principal of all things.
And when Allah asked,
“Who are you?”
Our Prophet (sal) said,
“I am You.”
“Who are you?”
No one else except You is here.” (Oh Allah Almighty)
Absolute Unity Oceans! There is only place here for one.” Only room for one! That is the way, if a person approaches that station. And everyone has an ascension. You should reach that station, all of you. When you reach that station, Allah says, “I am their eyes for seeing and their ears for hearing and their hands for touching.” They are reaching the real station of deputies (now we are candidates for being deputies). They have been clothed in divine attributes. The Prophet was able to see from the front, the back, right, left, up, down, but he saw only Allah.
Allah (swt) was saying, “O My beloved one, come to Me.” “O my Lord, no one is here, only You." "Are you Me?""You know my Lord, who I am. Only You are here, no one else.” That is Haqeeqat al-Tawhid, the Reality of Oneness. (Lailaha illallah – meaning there is no existence but Allah) Saying, “Who are you? Welcoming you.” “Only you.” “Welcome to you,” is saying, “Welcome to Me.”
Allah, pleased by his beloved servant Prophet Muhammad (sal) said to him,
"I will make you a mirror of me!"
This is why we are saying, "La illaha illa'Llah, Muhammadur Rasul Allah!" (mirror which contains the image of the entire creation)
A television would be nothing without a screen, without it nothing can be seen. If you would change the material of the screen it also would not show. In the same way. Muhammad sws is the only one who can serve this purpose. Without his creation nothing could be in existence.
“When faced with the unparalleled honor of a glimpse of the Lord’s Divine Beauty, it came to him to express himself in the following words:
At-tahiyyatu li-llahi wa-s-salawatu wa-t-tayyibatu. (Salutations be to Allah, all praise and glory to Him; all worship and good works are due to Him Almighty;)
After He had pronounced these words, the Lord of Might and Glory answered him, saying,
As-salamu ‘aleyka ayyuha-n-nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu;(And salutations to you, oh Prophet, and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings)
In this way, He proffered very special greetings upon hime. In response, our Prophet (sal) said:
As-Salamu ‘aleyna wa ‘ala ‘ibadillahi-s-salihin; (And peace be upon us and upon the righteous servants of the Lord;)
And Jibreel was informed of this secret, and he from his post (below the Siddatul Muntaha) concluded:
Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammedan abduhu wa rasuluhu. (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammed is His Servant and His Prophet.)”
For this reason it is ordered to this nation to recite this Tahiyyat in prayers (5 times obligatory prayers). Allah Almighty is giving that blessing of Mi'raj when we recite tahiyyat after 2 rakaats. It is as if we are standing in the station of Mi'raj. Allah Almighty gives us such honour during prayer. If you pray knowing this honor your spirituality will bloom like a rose. You will feel relief, feel lighter.
When Allah invited Prophet (sas) to His presence He let him see His beauty and spoke to him without words and letters, He spoke to him voiceless, a thousand words! Allah Almighty spoke to him in a way no human mind can understand. He gave him good tidings that way.
On that night Allah Almighty told His Beloved, from the knowledge of the past and the knowledge of the future. With His divine blessings and said "My Beloved. You can tell your nation some of this knowledge I granted to you. That knowledge is for common people. Let them know, there is no hindrance. Some parts are only for your Companions to know. The other part is only for you, do not tell anyone. It is for you." In Mi'raj what is told to Prophet (sas) is special for him. The knowledge ordered to be given to Awliyas are special to them. Some of the Mi'raj knowledge is permitted to be told to all humanity at large. He, alaihi s-salatu wa s-salam, also told that knowledge. Yes.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur'an to His Holy Prophet, beloved Muhammad, p.b.u.h., "I sent you, O My beloved Muhammad, that Book, and I also sent you nūr, light (IV:174; V:17 (v:15 in Pickthall's translation); VII:157; XXXIII:46; LXIV:8). And people may be inheritors of that Book, the Holy Qur'an, and at the same time they may be inheritors of that light. Yes, you may learn meanings of the Holy Qur'an, it is possible for anyone who is interested in the Holy Qur'an. But the lights that Allah Almighty gave to the Prophet, p.b.u.h., to his heart -that only goes from heart to heart, not coming through the pages of a book. No, that is something that goes from heart to heart. Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h., brought those lights from his Lord. The Angel Gabriel brought the verses of the Holy Qur'an from his Lord to Muhammad, p.b.u.h., but for all those lights, Allah Almighty invited His Holy Prophet, p.b.u.h., to His Divine Presence during the Night Journey, an honor which no one ever accepted except beloved Muhammad, p.b.u.h., and He filled his heart with those lights, with that nur.