Encounters during the Mi'raj: The Prophet (s.a.w.) in the 6th Heaven

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

During the night of the Mi’raj, the Prophet (s.a.w.) and Jibril (a.s.) ascended to the Sixth Heaven.  Jibril (a.s.) asked for the gate to be opened.  Someone asked, “Who is this?”


“Who is with you?”


“Has he been Sent for?”


“Welcome to him, from his family!  May Allah Grant him long life, a brother of ours and a Deputy of Allah, and what excellent brother and deputy!  What an excellent visit is this!”  The gate was opened.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) passed by prophets who had with them less than ten followers in all, while others had a large company, and others had not even one follower.

Then he saw a huge, dark mass, sawad al-a’azhim, that was covering the firmament.  He asked, “What is this throng?”

He was told, “This is Musa and his people.  Now raise your head and look.”  He raised his head and saw another huge dark mass that was covering the firmament from every direction he looked.  He was told, “These are your ummah, and besides these there are seventy thousand of them that will enter Paradise without giving account.”

As they went in the Prophet (s.a.w.) saw Musa ibn ‘Imran (a.s.) again, a tall man with abundant hair.  If he had two shirts on him, still his hair would exceed them.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) greeted him and he returned his greeting and said, “Welcome to the righteous brother and the righteous Prophet!”  Then he invoked for goodness on his behalf and said, “The people claim that among the sons of Adam, I am more Honoured by Allah than this one, but it is he who is more Honoured by Allah than I!”

When the Prophet (s.a.w.) reached him, Musa (a.s.) wept.  He was asked, “What is it that makes you weep?”

He replied, “I weep because a child that was sent after me will enter more people in Paradise from his ummah than will enter from mine.  The Children of Israel claim that among the children of Adam, I am the one most Honoured by Allah, but here is one man among the children of Adam who has come after me in the world while I am in the next world and is more Honoured.  If he were only by himself I would not mind, but he has his ummah with him!”

This is the proof of the famous saying of the master, Shaykh Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q.s.), “We have crossed an ocean on the shore of which the prophets stood befuddled.”  That is, we, the last ummah, have been Granted, in the person of the Seal of Prophets (s.a.w.), levels of knowledge, Election, and Divine Favour which previous prophets have longed to receive.  This does not contradict the tenet of Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah expressed by Imam ath-Thahawi (r.a.) in his ‘aqidah whereby, “A single prophet is higher in rank than all awliya’ put together.”


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