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An introduction to the mythology of muhammads night journey and ascension into heaven

By the 608 the main shrine in pagan Arabia, the Kaaba in Mecca, was erected. After receiving profound revelations supposedly from an angel, and stirred by the polytheistic paganism and disorder at the Kaaba, the prophet went forth, rejected by his people, on his Hijra migration from Mecca to Medina. The Hijra of Mohammed in 622 marks the beginning of the Islamic era. The prophet died in 632 and was succeeded by Abu Bakr as the first caliph.

The official version of the Koran was established in 650 during the reign of Uthman, 18 years after the prophet's death. By 656 there was considerable civil war within Islam among the "descendants" of Mohammed - disputes of all kinds about who was the legitimate, appointed heir to the faith. Shi'ite extremism in Iraq was part of this revolution and began in 685.

These root disputations persist to the present day - Islam is a divided religion in many ways. In the 633-637 Arabs conquer Syria and Iraq, followed by Egypt, then Persia in 640-643 - as part of the charge they believe was given to them by Allah through his prophet Mohammed. Arab armies moved into the Holy Land and were in full control there by 638. Historian Steve Runciman recounts the conquest of Jerusalem: On a February day in the year A.

He was dressed in worn, filthy robes, and the army that followed him was rough and unkempt; but its discipline was perfect. At his side was the Patriarch Sophronius, as chief magistrate of the surrendered city. Omar rode straight to the site of the Temple of Solomon, whence his friend Mahomet had ascended into heaven.

Watching him stand there, the Patriarch remembered the words of Christ and murmured through his tears: Because the holy site had been neglected, he made the Christian Patriarch Sophronius grovel in the muck. Afterward Omar set about clearing the site. He built a wooden mosque on the compound. Most scholars believe the mosque was built on the foundations of an early Christian church. One well-known historical account contains the following details: The great mosque of Jerusalem, Al Masjid al Aksa, the " Further Mosque," derives its name from the traditional Night Journey of Muhammad, to which allusion is made in the words of the Kuran xvii.

  • It is not a place to which they pray, not once mentioned by name in prayers, and it is connected to no mundane events in Muhammad's life;
  • While becoming complacent in a land not ours, we have forgotten Jerusalem; we have not taken it to heart;
  • They open up his body and purify his heart by removing all traces of error, doubt, idolatry, and paganism and by filling it with wisdom and belief;
  • Barclay in the mid 19th Century wrote about the barring of those from the Mount who were not of the Islamic faith:

According to the received account, Muhammad was on this occasion mounted on the winged steed called Al Burak "the Lightning" and, with the angel Gabriel for escort, was carried from Makkah Meccafirst to Sinai, and then to Bethlehem, after which they came to Jerusalem. And he tied up Al Burak to a ring, to which the prophets of old had also tied their steeds. From the Sacred Rock Muhammad, accompanied by Gabriel, next ascended, by a ladder of light, up into heaven; and, in anticipation, was vouchsafed the sight of the delights of Paradise.

Passing through the seven heavens, Muhammad ultimately stood in the presence of Allah, from whom he received injunctions as to the prayers his followers were to perform. Thence, after a while, he descended again to earth; and, alighting at the foot of the ladder of light, stood again on the Sacred Rock at Jerusalem.

The return journey homeward was made after the same fashion - on the back of the steed Al Burak and the Prophet reached Makkah again before the night had waned. Such, in outline, is the tradition of the Prophet's Night Journey, which especially sanctifies the Rock and the Haram Area in the sight of all true believers.

After the capitulation of Jerusalem to 'Omar in 635 A. H 14that Khalif caused a mosque to be built on what was considered to be the ancient site of the Temple or Masjid of David. The traditional position of this site, 'Omar as it is stated verified, by the re-discovery of the Rock concealed under a dunghill from the description that had been given to him, 'Omar, by the Prophet, of the place where he had made his prayer prostrations in Jerusalem on the occasion of his Night-Journey.

The Dome of the Rock In A. The Caliph's new shrine was deliberately built as a political, economic, and religious counter attraction to Mecca. Medina and Mecca, the two cities holy to Islam, were under the control of a rival Caliph. The holy spot of Judaism was now to be identified with the spot where Mohammed's horse ascended to heaven. Another indication that Jerusalem was not considered of great importance to the Muslim armies is the fact that it was one of last cities taken by the Syrian Muslims after the death of Mohammed.

It was conquered by a mediocre commander, and not by Omar himself. An early Muslim proverb says, "One prayer in Mecca is valued as ten thousand prayers; a prayer in Medina is valued at one thousand prayers; and a prayer in Jerusalem at five hundred prayers. Pilgrims over the centuries have whittled off pieces of the rock---the Crusaders especially were known to chip "holy souvenirs" from it. Mount Moriah is a long, extended hill in Jerusalem, extending north from the City of David and extending beyond the present North wall of the Old City.

That same hill is the traditional site of Abraham's sacrificial altar for Isaac, the an introduction to the mythology of muhammads night journey and ascension into heaven floor or Araunah, and the site of the First and the Second Temple.

The Foundation Stone is not solid, beneath it lies a cave and a well known as "the well of souls.

  • Some of them said;
  • There are numerous details in the narrative which correspond to those in the Hadith;
  • There he saw Adam, the father of mankind; he greeted him with salaam and he welcomed him and returned his salaam, and acknolwedged his Prophethood;
  • I count it as my privilege to help you fight your battle.

Within the hollowed out chamber of under the rock are the "places of prayer" of Elijah, Abraham, David, and Solomon. The Muslims call this cave the "well of souls" where they believe the dead meet twice a week to pray. Since the rock under the Dome of the Rock, where the cave is shows the effects of quarrying above the level of the cave, it is logical to hold that the rock stood higher originally and that the threshing floor surrounded the rock and the cave.

The exterior of the Dome is covered with tiles from Persia as well as marble. The "Golden Dome" is not made out of gold but rather anodized aluminum. The original dome was wooden, later covered with brass, and then lead sheathing in 1448. The excess weight of the lead-clad dome caused grave concern for the entire building because of periodic severe earthquakes in Jerusalem and finally the anodized aluminum dome.

Most recently, in 1993, a million dollars in gold foil was provided by the government of Saudi Arabia as a gift. As of this writing the installation of the gold leaf has now been completed and the dome is today resplendent in brilliant pure gold.

During the seventeen centuries of the Dome's existence it has undergone many repairs but it has not been substantially changed in overall appearance since its completion in A. After one of the earliest renovations in A. D 820, Caliph al-Mamun removed the name of Caliph Abd el-Malik from the dedication plate and inserted his own name instead. However he neglected to change the dates and his fraud is there for all to see. The Dome's beauty Writing about A. D 985, Mukadassi, the famous Muslim traveler born in Jerusalem, wrote: At the dawn, when the light of the sun first strikes on the cupola and the drum catches the rays, then is this edifice a marvelous site to behold and one such that in all Islam I have never seen its equal; neither have I heard tell of aught built in pagan times that could rival in grace this Dome of the Rock.

The inscriptions are seven hundred and thirty-four feet long in all, amongst the lengthiest inscriptions in the world. There is a great amount of repetition and many quotations from the Koran.

The following extracts are relevant: In the name of Allah the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no God but Allah alone; he has no co-partner. He is the Kingship and His the praise. He giveth life and He causeth to die, and He hath power over everything.

Verily Allah and His angels pronounce blessing upon the Prophet.

  • Please advise us, may Allah reward you with good;
  • The ephod and teraphim were vestments of the priest;
  • These words clearly teach that Muhammad never left his apartment the whole night;
  • His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine;
  • O ye who have pronounced blessings upon Him and give Him the salutation of peace.

O ye who have pronounced blessings upon Him and give Him the salutation of peace. O, People of the Book i. So believe only in Allah and of his messenger, but do not say "Three" Trinity and it will be better for you. Allah is only one God. Far be it from His glory that he should have a son. The Messiah will not deign to be in the service of Allah nor will the angels who stand in his presence. O Allah; pray upon Thy messenger "the servant Jesus - N-W Wall the son of Mary and peace be upon him the day of his birth, the day of his death and the day of his being raised alive.

It is not for Allah to take for Himself any offspring, glory be to Him. There is no God but He, the Almighty and All wise. Verily, the religion in Allah's sight is Islam. West and North-West Walls.

In the name of Allah the Merciful and Compassionate. There is no God but Allah alone. Praise be to Allah who hath not taken to himself offspring. To Him there has never been any person in the sovereignty. Mohammed is the messenger of Allah, may God pray upon Him and accept his intercession. Praise be God who has not taken unto himself a son and who has no partner in sovereignty nor has He any protector on account of weakness.

If religious Jews are offended by the presence of this Islamic shrine on their holy mountain, Christians have even more reasons to take offense at the offense to their God, and the deliberate insults to Biblical revelation that the interior inscriptions clearly intend.

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It is the seventeenth Sura, entitled "The Night Journey. Islamic tradition identifies the first temple as Mecca and the second as Jerusalem.

Mohammed's journey was with the Archangel Gabriel. Muslim belief says they rode together on a winged steed called El Burak "lightning".

An introduction to the mythology of muhammads night journey and ascension into heaven

El Burak is not mentioned in the Koran, its first mention is two centuries after Mohammed's death in a document called Hadith, a collection of oral traditions.

After they arrived at the Temple Mount, Mohammed and horse ascended through the seven heavens into Allah's presence.

Various spots on the Mount were later indicated as the place where El Burak was tied up before the ascent into the presence of Allah. A later account of the night journey states: The prophet of God said: He kicked me then once more, and I sat up and did not see a thing, so I lay back on my bed.

He then kicked me a third time and I sat up, whereupon he pulled me by the arm and I rose, and went to the door of the temple. There was standing a white beast, between a mule and an ass in size, with two wings on its thighs, digging its hind legs in and placing its forelegs as far as it can see. Gabriel carried me on the beast, and we went together at the same speed. He found there Abraham, Moses and Jesus, among other prophets, and he led them in prayers.