Thursday, 14 June 2012

A Visit to Bayt al-Ma’mur, The Heavenly House

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is from the teachings of Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.).  This is an account of the Visit to Bayt al-Ma’mur, The Heavenly House, by Rasulullah (s.a.w.).

The Bayt al-Ma’mur is a highly revered building in the Seventh Heaven.  It is of the same size as the revered Ka’bah, which stands upon the earth and it is situated right above it.  Were it to be let down from the Heavens, it would land right on top of the Ka’bah.  Allah (s.w.t.) Created it from red ruby stone and Gave it two doors made from green emerald.  Ten thousand lamps of pure gold illuminate it and it has a minaret of pure silver, which has a height of five hundred years’ traveling.  At the door of this building there is a minbar, and every day since their Creation up until the Last Day, seventy thousand angels come here to visit this house.

In front of it there is a sea of light in which they first bathe, then take thereof a veil of light each and wrap it around themselves.  This is their ihram.  Then they begin to circumambulate the Heavenly House in ihram, calling out “Labbayk,” ‘At Your service’, as the pilgrims do on earth.  Having once completed their tawaf, circumambulation, these angels do not return a second time until the Day of Judgment, and it is only the angels of the seventh Heaven who go there at all.  Jibril (a.s.) then took the Prophet (s.a.w.) by the hand and they went inside.

He said to Prophet (s.a.w.), “O Rasulullah, do lead us here in prayer too!”  Then he called the adzan, and all the inhabitants of the seven heavens followed him as he led them in two raka’at of swalah.

When the Prophet (s.a.w.) beheld the immense multitude, it came to his mind, “Oh if only my ummah were granted such a communal prayer.”  Thereupon, the Lord Who Knows all hidden thoughts, Realised his secret wish.

Allah (s.w.t.) Commanded, “O Muhammad!  Your ummah will be Granted such a communal prayer: it will be on a Friday, and it will be obligatory.”

It is written in some of the books of admonition that every Friday, the great angels assemble around the Holy House.  Jibril (a.s.) calls the adzan and Israfil (a.s.) delivers the khuthbah while Mikha’il (a.s.) leads the swalah as imam.  All the angels of the seven heavens follow his lead.  After the juma’ah prayer is complete, Jibra’il (a.s.) addresses the gathering as follows, “Oh gathering of angels, bear witness that I pass on the reward for this adzan to the muadzin of the ummah of Muhammad (s.a.w.)!”

Then Israfil (a.s.) rises and says, “Oh ye angels!  Bear witness that I donate the reward for this khuthbah to all the khuthaba’ of the ummah of Muhammad (s.a.w.)!”

Then Mikha’il (a.s.) steps forth and says, “Oh angels, I too have made over the merit of leading this prayer to the aimmah of the ummah of Muhammad (s.a.w.)!”  All the angels then present the merit for their swalah to those of the ummah of Muhammad (s.a.w.) who have prayed the swalah juma’ah.

Then there comes a call from the Highest Lord, Saying, “O Angels of Mine!  Do you seek to outdo Me in Generosity, whereas I am He Who Created all Generosity and Munificence!  Hear then My Decree: whoever honours the day of Juma’ah from among the ummah of Muhammad (s.a.w.), man or woman alike, I will Forgive them their sins and Free them from the torments of Hell!”  Thus He Almighty Grants us His Grace and Mercy.  We ask Allah (s.w.t.), to Make us also recipients of His Munificence and Ease our way to reach such a degree of merit, for the honour of the Trusted Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).

Then, they ascended to Sidrat al-Muntaha.  The Sidrat al-Muntaha is the Lote Tree of the Extreme Limit.  It is the end of all that is knowable, and nobody knows what is beyond it.  Some ‘ulama have explained whoever comes from above, arrives there and cannot pass on further down.  Whoever comes from below, reaches this point and cannot ascend further.  Therefore, it is called by this name.  Yet others try to explain that the world of spirits ends at this point, therefore it is called the Lote Tree of the Extreme Limit.”

ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) told us, “It is a tree which is made all of gold.  Some of its boughs are made of emerald, some are of ruby.  The tree measures a distance of one hundred and fifty years journey from its foot to its top.  Its leaves resemble the ears of the elephant, and they are very great: a single one of them would cover the entire world.  Its fruits are shaped like water jugs.  The whole tree is engulfed by light.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Upon this tree I saw such a number of angels that only Allah (s.w.t.) can know.  They enfolded all the leaves of that tree and glittered like locusts, flashing like stars.”  This Holy verse was Revealed concerning this vision:

For indeed he saw him at a second descent.  Near the Lote-tree beyond which none may pass: Near it is the Garden of Abode.  Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!)  (His) sight never swerved nor did it go wrong!  For truly did he see of the Signs of his Lord the Greatest! (Surah an-Najm:13-18)

The commentators interpret this verse as meaning that the whole tree was surrounded and embraced by the multitude of angels upon it.  It is related that there were as many angels upon the leaves of that tree as there are stars in the sky and grains of sand in the earth.  Some angels took the form of golden butterflies.  All of them came to greet the Prophet (s.a.w.), and when they beheld his saintly beauty, they all gave thanks to the Lord and gave to him the assurance of Allah’s (s.w.t.) Mercy.  They also made over all the merit of their devotional actions to the ummah of Muhammad.

Jibril (a.s.) too, had his place upon the branches of this tree, and his was a branch made of green emerald.  It was at a height of one hundred thousand years of journeying.  There is a leaf there, the breadth of which is that of the seven layers of the heavens and the seven beds of the earth.  Upon it, there is a carpet spread of light, and on it there is a mihrab made of red ruby.  This mihrab is the place of Jibril (a.s.).  Before it, was placed a seat of honour reserved for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) upon which no one had sat since the day it was set in place.

Each of these was surrounded by forty thousand stools upon which angels sat reciting the Injil.  To the left, there were also ten thousand stools made of beryl, and the angels seated upon them were writing out the Zabur.  Forty thousand other angels reciting the Zabur surrounded each seat.  Behind them, there were again ten thousand stools of red ruby.  The angels seated on these were writing out the Holy Qur’an, and around each stool there were seated another forty thousand angels reciting the Holy Qur’an.

This has been explained as follows: The wisdom of the Tawrah being placed before Muhammad (s.a.w.), the Injil to his right, and the Zabur to his left is this.  Before the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), the Choice of all humankind, had yet appeared in the world and begun fulfilling his mission, those Holy Scriptures had already been Revealed.  All of them contained descriptions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) to come and told of his characteristics and excellence, and of the pre-eminent position of his ummah among all other, previous nations.  The Holy Qur’an was placed behind him because its Judgment is to remain valid and unsurpassed until the Day of Judgment, and even the Day of Judgment would be conducted by its rulings.  It is a sign of its remaining free and safe from abrogation, substitution, alteration or corruption.

Jibril (a.s.) then said the Prophet (s.a.w.), “O Rasulullah, I have a request to make of you: that you would deign to pray two raka’at here, so that my maqam might gain blessings from it.’  The Prophet (s.a.w.) therefore prayed two raka’at there and all the angels of the Holy House and the Sidrat ul-Muntaha followed suit.  In this way the Prophet (s.a.w.) was honoured above the angels.

Rasulullah (s.a.w.) related in his account that below this tree there flowed four streams, two of which were evident and two of which were hidden.  Jibril (a.s.) told him, “The two hidden streams flow into the Gardens of Paradise, while the two visible ones flow down to the Earth.  One of them is the Euphrates, the other is the Nile.”

Then he beheld another stream, by the banks of which tents had been set up that were of ruby, pearls and chrysolite.  By their banks flew birds of emerald green whose necks resembled the necks of camels.  Jibril (a.s.) then said to him, “What you see here is the spring of al-Kawtsar.  Allah Almighty has Made you a Gift of it.”

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
To thee have We granted the Fount (Of Abundance).  Therefore to thy Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice.  For he who hateth thee He will be Cut Off (from Future Hope). (Surah al-Kawtsar:1-3)

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “This stream flowed along over pebbles of rubies and emerald and its waters were whiter than milk.  I took up a cup and drank from it.  Its taste was sweeter than honey, and its scent more pleasing than musk.”  The Prophet (s.a.w.) also said. “A spring gushed forth beneath that tree.  Jibra’il (a.s.) told me its name was Salsabil.  It was the source of two waters, one is al-Kawtsar; the other is ar-Rahmah.  Both streams flow before the gates of the Garden.  Those entering into Paradise drink from the waters of al-Kawtsar, and when they do so, all the calamities of the heart, base character and bad habits disappear and they become cleansed.  Then they bathe in the spring of ar-Rahmah (Mercy).  The men assume the dimensions of Adam, who measured sixty yards in height and seven yards in breadth.  They will all be thirty-three years of age and will have green moustaches.  As for the ladies, they will emerge as virgin girls of eighteen and their virginity will not be rent.  Thus they will enter into Paradise, and never again will they age and become old.  The spring of Salsabil is the source of these waters.”

He continued, “Then I saw groups of angels passing in rows before the Sidrah, and their rows were joined together.  They formed such a long formation, that were a bird of swiftest flight to fly along it for a hundred years, he would not reach its other end.  They moved faster than the wind, as swiftly as the arrow flies.  I then asked Jibril, ‘Whence comes this great multitude of angels, and whither are they going?  And when did they begin their passage?’

Jibril explained to me, saying, ‘They have been passing by since the time they were created, ceaselessly in passage.  I know not whence they come nor whither they are going.’”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) marveled at their great number, remarking on it under his breath.  Instantly, he recalled this verse Revealed to him through Jibril (a.s.):

…and none can know the forces of thy Lord except He…. (Surah al-Muddatstsir:31)

“Then they brought before me three bowls; one containing wine, one containing honey and a third containing milk.  I chose the one with milk and drank from it. Jibra’il then said to me, ‘You have chosen the natural disposition of Islam and your ummah will be firmly established in the religion of Islam.  Had you chosen the cup of wine, your ummah would have been a rebellious and fickle one.’”

And these were just some of the events at the Bayt al-Ma’mur before the Ascension to the Divine Presence.  The purpose of all this was to witness the Exalted state of the ummah and the exalted status of hajj and the thawaf.

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