THE FIRST PARADISE: THE ABODE OF PEACE
Muhammad (pbuh) arrived at the hundredth step where he heard the angels praising and glorifying their Rabb (Lord) in the first heaven. It is called Dar as Salaam, the Abode of Peace, and has one hundred and twenty-four thousand doors. Each door represents a prophet. Jibraeel knocked at the door reserved for Muhammad (pbuh). A voice said from inside: "Who is it?" Jibraeel replied: "It is Jibraeel and Muhammad (pbuh)." The voice said: "Has he been sent for?" Jibraeel said: "Yes, he has been called to the Divine Presence." The door was opened. The angel Ismaeel came on a horse of light, covered in a cloth of light, holding a staff of light. In his right hand, Ismaeel carried all the deeds of human beings performed during the day, and in the other, all that they had done during the night. One thousand processions of angels accompanied him.
Ismaeel said: "Jibraeel, who is with you?" He replied: "The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)." Ismaeel said: "Has he been sent for?" Jibraeel replied yes. Then the buraq was invited to land on the first paradise, the nearest paradise to the world. It is also called As Samaaad-Dunya: the nearest heaven. This paradise can be compared to a rolling wave held in mid-air; Allah spoke to it and said: "Be a red emerald," and it was. The praising of its inhabitants is: Subhana zilMulki wal Malakut: "Praise be to the Possessor of the earthly and the heavenly dominions."
Then Muhammad (pbuh) looked at the first heaven and found an angel formed like a man. All the actions that belong to human beings are displayed to him. If the spirit of a believer comes to him he sends it to paradise; if the spirit of an unbeliever comes to him he asks forgiveness for it. When forgiveness is granted he sends it to paradise. He has a tablet made of light which hangs from the throne to the first heaven. He writes on it the names of those who are sent to paradise. Then Muhammad (pbuh) saw a man with an angelic power towards whom he felt a great attraction. When he asked who that man was, Jibraeel said: "This is your father, Adam." Adam greeted him and said to Muhammad (pbuh): "Welcome to the good son and the righteous Prophet."
There are two doors to the right and the left of Adam. When he looks at the right side he is happy and when he looks at the left he weeps. Muhammad (pbuh) asked what these two doors were. Jibraeel said: "The door to the right is the door to paradise and rewards. When Adam sees his children entering it he smiles and is happy. The door to the left leads to punishment and the fire. When Adam sees his children entering it he weeps and is sad for them. Out of each of his tears Allah creates an angel who asks forgiveness until the day when forgiveness is granted and they are allowed to enter into paradise."
Then the angels began to recite: "I yearn to see the one whom Allah created To be unique in creation! No beloved one is purer nor more elevated than that one, Allah's beloved is His servant, the Praised One (Ahmad)Whose name was cut out from the name Of the Most Glorious One. His are the attributes that no eloquence can express. It is enough honour that for him the moon split in two.What more do you ask than Allah's perfecting of his beauty?And truely Allah endowed him with the best character.And truely Allah created his light to be the greatest blessing, And He called him "Beloved" before He created creation. And because of his light the sun was clouded over, Because of his overwhelming light filling the firmament.The clouds showed a great miracle and moved Like a wild herd,And thunder clapped and rain poured Upon his mere request.What more do you want than the softening of the rock When he walked upon it with his sandalled feet, Although you did not see its marks When he tread on the sand?Allah has elevated him to His presence And the angelic world.Were it not for him, there would never be paradise, Nor heavens, and no earth.What an honour Allah bestowed upon him when He gave Ten salutations to those who would Send to him only one!"
They moved for five hundred thousand light-years within the radius ofthe first paradise. The buraq moved faster than the speed of light, for each of its steps could reach wherever his sight did. The entire distances they travelled were filled with angels whose number is known only to the Creator, praising Him and glorifying Him with all kinds of praises. There was not one handful of space but it was occupied by an angel in prostration. They were all sizes, big and small. A voice came saying: "My beloved Muhammad! all these angels are glorifying Me, and I am sending all this praise as waves upon waves of angelic blessings to support human beings through their daily life. These blessings will guide them towards everything that concerns them, and open for the mall kinds of physical and spiritual knowledge that will help them progress in their ways of life, materially and spiritually. I will raise them through this angelic power and enable them to enter My paradise when they come to My Divine Presence."
THE SECOND PARADISE: THE ABODE OF CONSTANCY
Then Jibraeel ordered the buraq to take Muhammad (pbuh) to the second paradise, whose name is Dar al Qarar, the Abode of Constancy. He then knocked at one of the doors of the second paradise. It was made of a heavenly element that has no name in our language. The angel Jarjaeelcame with one thousand processions of angels who made an even greater and happier music than the angels of the first paradise. A voice said:"Who is it?""Jibraeel.""Who is accompanying you?""Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy."Then the door was opened. Muhammad (pbuh) saw angels whose faces werelike the disk of the sun, riding horses and girded with spiritual swords and lances. Muhammad (pbuh) asked: "Jibraeel! who are these?"Jibraeel answered: "These are angels whom Allah created to support humans against devils. Their praising is: Subhana zil `Izzati walJabarut: 'Glory to the Rabb (Lord) of Force and Might,' and they are wearing yellow turbans on their heads. When they praise Allah their turbans move and radiate a yellow light that supports the light of thesun. They radiate another light also, which makes the devils run away and chases out gossip from the heart of believers." Then Muhammad(pbuh) saw two very handsome men sitting on a throne made of ) was of a reddish complexion as if he came out of the bath. Then angels came to Muhammad(pbuh) in battalions, greeting him one by one. Allah extended time insuch a way that one second was enough to greet all of the angels and pray with them, for the time of prayer had come. Isa (Jesus) and Yahya(John) greeted Muhammad (pbuh) farewell, and Jibraeel ordered the buraq to go to the third paradise.
THE THIRD PARADISE: THE ABODE OF ETERNITY
Muhammad (pbuh) moved in space for another five hundred thousand light-years until they reached the third paradise. It is called Dar ulKhuld: the Abode of Eternity. As they approached their destination they heard great voices that thundered all around them. "That is the sound of angels praising their Rabb (Lord)," said Jibraeel. As they approached they heard the music of the angels by which everything moves in the orbits of the heavenly worlds. Jibraeel stopped at a door made of a pure, burnished heavenly copper, and he knocked. "Who is there?" said a voice behind the door. "Jibraeel, bringing Muhammad.""Has he been sent for?" "Yes." And the door was opened.
Muhammad (pbuh) entered and he saw an angel who changed from one shape to another in every moment. As he changed, his colour changed also. He seemed as one moving in a flash and yet immobile like a moving series of pictures and yet each picture is fixed in its place. Behind the angel Muhammad (pbuh) saw seven hundred thousand angels, all of them moving like the first angel, from one colourful image into another, like countless kaleidoscopes. Their feet reached the seven earths.Their musical praise was: Subhan al Hayy ul Qayyum al lazi la yamut:"Glory to the Living One, the Self-Subsistent who never dies!" The melody of their praise moved the entire heavens to unutterable joy which showered mercy on the earth and its inhabitants. Muhammad (pbuh) asked Jibraeel to ask the angel whether human beings could hear that music and if it were possible for them. The angel said: "Anyone who opens his angelic power and connects himself to us will hear that melody and he will receive the reward that we receive for uttering this praise." Then the angel recited:
Secret Reality! Angelic heart of light, Kingdom of power, shining in steadfast light, Firm in foundation, in beauty all complete, Its essence descended from Adam's heart enthroned, Just as the All Merciful descended on His Throne. Essence of angels' light in Adam manifest, And yoked with it Allahs' trust fulfilled, The grant He made to all mankind. Here appeared knowledge of Allah's light Known only to chosen saints who alone can see.Where His knowledge glows imperfection flees And all worldly cares dim and disappear. Here ends and begins the place of drawing near Where the pure ones settled, similar to light upon light.
As they moved forward they saw a handsome man before whose beauty everything paled. "This is Yusuf (Joseph), the Prophet," said Jibraeel. Muhammad (pbuh) approached him and greeted him, and Yusuf(Joseph) greeted him back with the best greeting of heaven. Jibraeel said: "Out of the beauty of Yusuf (Joseph) came the beauty of all human beings. His is the beauty of the full moon, the sun and thestars." Yearning for angelic beauty will melt the hearts of the stone hearted. The faint hearted cannot hope to approach its secret, for they will immediately fall under its power and extinguish themselves in it. That is the meaning of the sweetness of painful yearning inlove: the approach of beauty in its absence is sweeter still than its embrace and possession. For possession of the beloved entails the satisfaction of the lower self, while to remain in pain because of the beloved is better than comfort and contentment.
Behind Yusuf, Muhammad (pbuh) saw a great human crowd, all of them wearing radiant angelic dresses. Muhammad (pbuh) asked, "Who are these people, Jibraeel?" He answered: "Behind Yusuf (Joseph), Allah created seven hundred thousand posts in paradise; on each post there are seven hundred thousand red jewels; each jewel contains seven hundred thousand palaces; in every palace there are seven hundred thousand rooms, and in every room there are seven hundred thousand windows.These rooms are inhabited by human beings who carry angelic powers and spend their lives in love of each other and nature. Their hearts are filled with love of Me and devoid of low desires. They pine for Me and I pine for them. Every day these human beings appear at their windows and look at the people of paradise. From their beauty a great light shines forth, in the same way that the sun appears in the windows ofthe sky and sheds its light over the people on earth. Then the people of paradise say: 'Let us run towards the Lovers of Allah.' As soon as they reach them these Lovers adorn them with all kinds of rainbows and showers of light. They give them a dress made of green silk which symbolizes the qualities of those made perfect and agreeable to Allah."
Blessings and Peace on Muhammad, his Family, and his Companions.