THE FURTHEST-TREE OF THE FURTHEST BOUNDARY
Muhammad (pbuh) and Jibraeel travelled once more until they reached the absolute limit of the created intellect, named Sidrat al Muntaha:"The Furthest-Tree of the Furthest Boundary." There they saw nothing which the tongue could describe. The effect of the sight they beheld on Muhammad (pbuh) is a secret which took place in his heart. A sound came to them from above which dissipated some of Muhammad's (pbuh) astonishment. At that time he saw a large tree which does not resemble any of the trees of paradise, a tree without description, covering all the paradises, heavens, and universes. The trunk of the tree was a huge angel named Samrafeel. Muhammad (pbuh) could see nothing else besides it. It grew from an infinite, unimaginable, indescribable ocean of musk. The tree had an infinite number of branches, created from a heavenly element that has no name in a created language. Thedistance between one branch and another was five hundred thousand light-years. On every branch there was an infinite number of leaves. If all the created universes were placed on a single one of these leaves they would disappear, like an atom disappears inside an ocean of water. On every leaf sat a huge angel in a multi-coloured light. On his head was a crown of light and in his hand a staff of light.Written on their forehead was the inscription: "We are the inhabitants of the Furthest-Tree." Their praise was: "Praise be to Allah Who hasno end." Their names are the Sarufiyyun, "The secret ones," because they are created from the absolute secret of their Rabb (Lord).
From the trunk of the tree four absolute springs issued. The first was a pure, transparent, crystal water; the second was a river of white milk; the third was a river of pleasurable, untarnished wine that elevates without abasing; the fourth was a river of pure honey mixed with gold. Inside the trunk was the prayer-niche of Jibraeel, and his constant words of praise are: Allahu Akbar: Allah is Great! to which the reply always comes from above: Ana Akbar: I am Greater! Ana Akbar:I am Greater!
Jibraeel entered his prayer-niche and he called for the prayer. Allt he Sarufiyyun stood in rows and Muhammad (pbuh) led them in prayer.The prayer finished and all the Sarufiyyun were ordered to give their greetings to Muhammad (pbuh) one after the other. After this, a great angel came out from behind Jibraeel's prayer-niche and asked Muhammad(pbuh) to approach.
Muhammad (pbuh) and Jibraeel entered the trunk of the tree and reached in a glance the entire sight of creation. On the top of the tree they saw Adam and Hawwa and Nuh, Ibraheem, Musa, Isa, and all the other prophets whom they had just visited. With them they saw all their respective nations, sitting with them in spirit together with those of Muhammad's nation who had already left this world. All were sitting there together, happy, basking in the love and beauty of their Rabb's(Lord's) mercy and praising Him.
That Furthest-Tree carries the knowledge of all of Allah's creation from the beginning of its sequence in time. Whatever is created ispart of it and contained in it. It was called the tree "of the further most boundary" because everything ends in it and after it begins a new life. Allah decorated it with the light of His own essence. It has three characteristics: a continuous shade of light extending over every creation, a continuous pleasure reaching everyone from the fruit of its branches, and a continuous fragrance from its flowers scenting with beauty the life of creation.
Then Muhammad (pbuh) and Jibraeel moved forward. A stern and severe angel appeared and covered the horizon before them. Jibraeel said:"Muhammad! This is the angel of death, Azraeel." The angel of death said: "Welcome, Muhammad! You who bear goodness, and welcome to all the prophets and their nations. This is the place from which I gaze atthe destinies of every person and seize the spirits of those whom I am commanded to bring to eternal life."
Muhammad (pbuh) asked: "Tell me how you take the souls of the dying."The angel of death revealed to Muhammad (pbuh): "When Allah orders me to take the spirit of a human being at the last hour of his life and the first hour of his after life, I send to him my deputies who carry with them the smell of paradise and a branch from the tree of paradise which they put between his eyes. When that sweet smell reaches him andhe catches a glimpse of that heavenly branch, his spirit is attracted and his soul begins to ascend to paradise, until it reaches his
throat. At that time, I descend from my place and I take his spirit with the greatest care, because Allah wants this moment to be easy on His servant. I then carry his soul to paradise. On the way, whenever I pass by angels, then angels will greet this soul and salute it until it reaches the presence of its Rabb (Lord). Allah the Exalted says to that soul at that time: "Welcome to the good spirit which I created and placed in a good body! My angels! Write the upper layer ofparadise as a reward for that person." Then angels take him up toparadise, where he will see what Allah has prepared for him and he will be happy to stay there. However, Allah orders the spirit to go back to his body on earth, where he can see thepeople washing him, crying for him, and all those who love him standing around him until they take the body to the grave. There the soil says to him: "Welcome, my beloved one! I was always yearning for you when you were above me. Now you are in me and I will show you what I am going to give you." Immediately, his grave will be enlarged beyond sight, until the two angels of the grave come and ask him about his Rabb (Lord) and about his belief. He will give them the correct answers by Allah's permission. At that time they will open for him adoor leading to paradise and his spirit will go back upward to the same place where Allah first called him to His presence."
"I remember when death had separated us.I consoled myself with the thought of the Beloved Prophet.I said: All of us go on this way one day.Who does not die today, he will die tomorrow.Be happy, my soul, because your Rabb (Lord) is waiting for you And the beloved one is calling you."
Then Jibraeel moved forward another five hundred thousand light-years, mounted on the buraq, until they reached a place where Jibraeel began to slow down. Muhammad (pbuh) said: "Jibraeel! Why are you slowing down? Are you leaving me?" Jibraeel replied: "I cannot go further."Muhammad (pbuh) said: "Jibraeel, don't leave me alone." "Muhammad!"Jibraeel said, "You now have to step down from the buraq and move to a place which no-one has entered before you." At that moment the buraq stopped and was unable to move further. Muhammad (pbuh) stepped downand moved hesitantly. Jibraeel said: "Muhammad, move forward without fear. If I were to continue with you I would be annihilated for the greatness of the Light."
Muhammad (pbuh) moved, and moved, and moved. He saw Mikaeel standing ahead of him, afraid and trembling. The light of his face was changing quickly from one colour to another. Muhammad (pbuh) asked: "Mikaeel, is this your station?" "Yes," Mikaeel answered, "and if I were to trespass it I would be annihilated. But you go on and don't stop."Muhammad (pbuh) moved, and moved, and moved. Then he found Israfeel with his four huge wings, one of which covered his face to veil him from the light which came from the horizon of everything. Muhammad(pbuh) asked him: "Is this your station, Israfeel?" Israfeel said,"Yes. If I trespass it, that light would burn me. But you move on anddo not fear." And Muhammad (pbuh) moved, and moved, and moved. He sawthe Spirit to whom Allah gave the power of earth and the heavens. From the top of his head to the bottom of his feet and from every cell ofhis there were faces with traits of subtle light, the number of which no-one knows but Allah, and from the each of which Allah creates anangel-spirit which looks like the Spirit, whom He then takes to himself as the spirit-angels of the Divine Presence.
Every day the Spirit looks into hell three times, and because of the cool light of his angelic gaze the fire of hell melts until it becomes as a rainbow. The Spirit also looks into paradise three times everyday and extends to it the divine light which Allah gives him. If Allah gathered the tears of the eyes of the Spirit it would flood all the created universes and make Nuh's (Noah's) flood seem like the drop gathered by a needle dipped into the ocean. This is the Spirit whom Allah mentioned in the Quran:
"The day when the Spirit and the angels rise, no-one shall speak except with permission from His Rabb (Lord)."
Muhammad (pbuh) said: "Spirit! Is this your station?" The spirit replied: "Yes, and if I trespass it I will be annihilated by the light which I am receiving. Muhammad! Move forward and do not be afraid. You are invited and you have permission." Muhammad (pbuh) moved forward.Allah inspired his heart with the following discourse: "I the Rabb(Lord), have veiled myself from the inhabitants of paradise, as I have veiled myself from the inhabitants of the earth. As I veiled Myself from their minds, I veiled myself from their vision. I am never in anything, and I am never away from anything."
Muhammad (pbuh) then moved through one veil after another until he passed through one thousand veils. Finally he opened the Veil ofOneness. He found himself like a lamp suspended in the middle of adivine air. He saw a magnificent, great and unutterable matter. Heasked his Rabb (Lord) to give him firmness and strength. He felt thata drop of that presence was put on his tongue and he found it cooler than ice and sweeter than honey. Nothing on earth and the seven paradises tasted like it. With this drop, Allah put into Muhammad's heart the knowledge of the First and the Last, the heavenly and theearthly. All this was revealed to him in one instant shorter than the fastest second. He was ordered to move forward. As he moved he found himself elevated on a throne that can never be described, now or later. Three additional drops were given to him: one on his shoulder consisting in majesty, one in his heart consisting in mercy, and an additional one on his tongue which consisted in eloquence. Then avoice came from that presence, which no created being had heard before: "Muhammad! I have made you the intercessor for everyone." Atthat moment Muhammad (pbuh) felt his mind enraptured and taken away tobe replaced with an astonishing secret. He was placed in the fields of Allah's Eternity and Endlessness. In the first he found no beginning and in the second he found no end. Then Allah revealed to Him: "My endis in My beginning and My beginning is in My end." Then Muhammad(pbuh) knew that all doors were absolutely closed except those thatled to Allah, that Allah cannot be described within the confine of aplace in speech, and that Allah encompasses the everywhere of all places. This is a secret that no tongue can be stirred to express, nodoor opened to reveal, and no answer can define. He is the Guide to Himself and the Rabb (Lord) of His own description. He is the Beautyof all beauty and the speech by which to describe Himself belongs to Him alone.
Allah my Creator, in Your infinity do I stand amazed. In Your ocean of unity do I drown submerged. Allah, at times You are close to me in familiar intimacy.At times You leave me without, veiled and strange, Hidden in Your sovereign Majesty. Give me to drink the wine of Your love,For only drunk from it am I able to say: My Rabb (Lord)! Let me see You.
Muhammad (pbuh) then looked on his right and saw nothing except His Rabb (Lord), then on his left and saw nothing except his Rabb (Lord), then to the front, to the back, and above him, and he saw nothing except his Rabb (Lord). He hated to leave that honoured and blessed place. But Allah said: "Muhammad, you are a Messenger to My servants as all Messengers, if you stay here you would never be able to communicate My Message. Therefore descend back to earth, and communicate My message to My servants. Whenever you want to be in the same state as you are now, make your prayers, and I shall open state for you." This is why Muhammad (pbuh) stated: "Prayer is the apple of my eyes," and he called it also: "Our rest."
Then Muhammad (pbuh) was ordered to go back to earth, but he left theself in heaven and his spirit at the Furthest-tree, and his heart inthe unutterable divine presence while his secret was left suspendedwithout place. His self wondered: "Where is the heart?" And the Heartwondered: "Where is the spirit?" And the spirit wondered: "Where isthe secret?" And the secret wondered where it was. And Allah revealed:"Self of Muhammad (pbuh)! I granted you the blessing and the forgiveness, and spirit! I granted you the mercy and the honour, and heart! I granted you the love and the beauty, and secret, you haveMe." Allah then revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) the order to recite: "Heis the one who sends blessings on you, together with His angels, inorder to bring you out from darkness into light" (33:43). "Muhammad! Ihave ordered the angels of all My heavens, those created and those yet uncreated, to send blessings on you and My creation unceasingly, with My own praise. I am your Rabb (Lord) Who said: My Mercy has taken over My anger. And all My angels I have created for you human beings." And Allah ordered Muhammad (pbuh) to descend with this angelic message back to earth.
Blessings and Peace on Muhammad, his Family, and his Companions.