Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Prophet Muhammad's (s.a.w.) Description of the Seventh Heaven
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from the teachings of Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.).
Our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) narrated of his visit to the Seventh Heaven thus: “Allah Almighty Created it from Light. Its name is Ghariba and the name of its guardian angel is Afra’il. Jibril requested entry at the keeper of the gates as he had done before, and after a succession of questions and answers, the gates swung open and we were admitted. I beheld Afra’il and the seven hundred thousand angels under his command. Each one of these had in turn seven hundred thousand helpers, and their glorification was this:
Subhaana al-ladzii sathaha as-samaawaati wa rafa’ahaa,
Subhaana al-ladzii basath al-ardha wa farashahaa,
Subhaana al-ladzii athlaa’ al-kawaakiba wa azharahaa,
Subhaana al-ladzii arsaa al-jibaala wa hayya’haa.
Glory be to Him Who has Fashioned the skies as a roof and Raised them aloft;
Glory to Him Who has Flattened the earth and Fitted it accordingly;
Glory to Him Who Brought Forth the stars and Made them to be adornments;
Glory to Him Who has Set Up the mountains and Fixed them in their places.
I greeted Afra’il and he received my greetings with pleasure. He gave me glad tidings of many spiritual gifts of grace and much reward for accepted good works.
Above the gate to this Heaven were written these words:
Laa ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur Rasuulullah, wa Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq.
There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and Abu Bakr is the Affirmer of Truth
There I beheld an angel whose head was at a level with the Throne, while his feet were placed firmly on the earth. He was so great that he might have swallowed up all the seven layers of Heaven with one gulp, had Allah Almighty Permitted him to do so. The tasbih of this tremendous angel was this:
Subhaana al-muhtajibi bi jalaalihi,
Subhaana al-muswawwiri fii al-arhaami maa yashaa’u.
Glory be to Him Who is Veiled by His Majesty,
Glory be to Him Who Forms in the womb whatever He Wills.
Then I saw an angel with seven hundred thousand heads, and each of these heads bore seven hundred thousand faces. On every single face there were seven hundred thousand mouths, and in every single mouth there were seven hundred thousand tongues and with each tongue he speaks seven hundred thousand different languages. This angel also has seven hundred thousand wings. Every day, this angel plunges seven hundred times into the Ocean of Light, which is in Paradise, and each time he comes up out of the water, he shakes himself. From every drop of light that flies off him, the Almighty Creates an angel, which glorifies the Lord as follows:
Subhaanaka maa a’azhama shaa’nuka,
Subhaanaka ma a’azhama maqaamuka,
Subhaanaka sayyidii maa arhamaka bi khalqika.
Be Thou Glorified, how immense is Thy Dignity;
Glory be to Thee, how High is Thy Station;
Glory to Thee, my Lord, how Great Thy Mercy on Thine creation.
After passing by this one, I beheld another angel, seated upon a throne. His head was beneath the Divine Throne, and his feet reached to the bottom of the earth. He was so great, that he could have swallowed up the world and what is within it in a single gulp. The tip of one of his wings touched the west, whereas the other touched to the east. Seven hundred thousand angels were at his service, and each one of these commanded another seven hundred thousand angels. ‘Who is this?’ I asked Jibril.
‘This is Israfil,’ he told me. I went up to him and gave him salam and he received them well and gave me great good tidings. His tasbih was this:
Subhaana as-samii’ al-‘aliim,
Subhaana al-muhtajibi ‘an khalqihi,
Subhaana Rabbinaa wa ta’alaa.
Glory be to Him, the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing,
Glory be to Him Who is Veiled from His Creation,
Glorified and Exalted be He, our Lord Almighty.
After this, I came upon a person all drowned in Light. He was seated upon a throne in an attitude of awesome dignity, and before him was a multitude of little children. I asked Jibril who was this person of such light, majesty and awe, and who all the children with him were.
The angel answered me, ‘This is your great grandfather, Ibrahim. He loves you and the entire nation that believes in you. He once prayed to the Lord of the Worlds that he might be of service to your nation, and the Lord Heard his supplication. He Gave him all these little children who are the little boys and girls from your nation who die before reaching adulthood. Allah Almighty has Entrusted Ibrahim with their upbringing and education. Until the Day of Judgement, he will be instructing them in proper behaviour and training their minds in the useful sciences. After having perfected their schooling, on the Day of Gathering, he will lead them forth and bring them to the site of Resurrection. There, before the Lord’s Holy Presence, he will entreat Him with these words: ‘O my Lord, here are the youngsters of the nation of Your Beloved Muhammad who died before reaching the age of maturity. According to Your Order and Command, I have taught and trained them in all useful branches of knowledge, and brought them before Thy Majestic Throne. Thine is All Kindness, Favour and Grace.’
At this invocation, the Almighty Lord will Reply with the Full Glory of His Majesty, ‘O children, go and enter the Gardens of Paradise.’
Thereupon, these children will reply, ‘O our Lord, by Thy Grace and Thy Munificence, let our parents enter with us!’
The Almighty Lord will again Direct His Divine Speech at them, and Say, ‘You have nothing to Answer for, go and enter into Paradise forthwith; as for your parents, they are Accountable and there are things they have to Answer for.’
Again, these children entreat the Lord, ‘During their lives in the material world, we caused them sorrow through our absence; now, by the vastness of Thine Mercy which Floods the universal expanse, let us be the cause of happiness for them.’
Upon this plea, the All-Merciful and Beneficent Lord Accepts the children’s supplications and Addresses them, Saying, ‘Go then and take from the wine of the spring of Kawtsar and give your parents to drink therefrom.’
Thereafter, Jibril turned to me and said, ‘Go ahead and give salam to Ibrahim.’
I stepped forth and greeted him, whereupon he honoured me and received me well. Then he spoke to me, saying, ‘Welcome to you, O virtuous son and righteous Prophet. Tonight, you are to be honoured in that you will witness the splendour of the Lord of the Universe, and you will be admitted to behold all manner of sacred displays. As for your nation, it is the last of all nations and it will be a very weak nation, so do not neglect to intercede with your Lord on their behalf.’
And he continued, ‘O Muhammad, give salam to your nation from me and convey to them my advice: the world is of a passing nature and rapid in its decline. In the eyes of the Eternal Lord it is but base and contemptible matter. He attributes to it not even the value of a fly’s wing. Tell them not to waste their lives in the pursuit of its vain beauties, its pomp and palaces; not to be deceived by its many and varied tastes, by promises of grandeur and large followings. For it is the world to come, which is lasting, and eternal. Therefore, let them busy themselves in following the pure ways of the shari’ah by night and by day, and the guidance contained in your Sunnah and thereby gain the Good Pleasure of the Almighty Lord. The Gardens of Paradise are vast, so let them plant there many, many trees.’
I asked him then, ‘How does one plant a tree in Jannah?’
He replied, ‘Through the recital of this tasbih:
Subhaana Allahi wa al-Hamdulillahi
Wa laa ilaha illa Allahu wa Allahu Akbar,
Wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billah al-‘aliyy al-a‘azhiim.
Glory be to Allah and Praise;
None is worthy of worship but Allah alone, and Allah is Most Great.
There is no Might and no Power save with Allah, the Exalted, Majestic.
Tell them to recite this du’a, for each time they recite it, a tree is planted in Paradise.’
Then Jibril called the adzan and made ‘iqamah; I then led the angels and inhabitants of the seventh Heaven in a prayer of two raka’at, then we ascended to the Bayt-al-Ma’mur.”