The Second Addendum to the Twenty-Fourth Letter: It is a short explanation about the Ascension (Miraj) of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) and his Birth. The meaning of Mawlid and the necessity of reciting Mawlid.
The Second Addendum
to the Twenty-Fourth Letter
[This is about the Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)]
In His Name!
And there is nothing but it glorifies Him with praise.
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
For, indeed, he saw him at a second descent; * Near the Lote-tree of the farthest limit; * Near it is to the Garden of Abode. * Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded in mystery unspeakable! * [His] eye did not waver, nor yet did it stray; * Truly did he see some of the most profound of his Sustainer’s signs.1
[We shall explain in Five Points, the section on the Ascension in the ‘Mevlid’ of the Prophet.2]
Süleyman Efendi, in the ‘Mevlid’ which he wrote, recounts a sad love story about Buraq, brought from Paradise. Since he was one of the saints and it is based on narrations, it must surely express a truth in that respect.
The reality must be this: the creatures of the Eternal Realm are closely connected with the light of Allah’s Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace). For it is through the light which he brought that Paradise and the world of the hereafter will be inhabited by mankind and the jinn. If it had not been for him, eternal happiness would not have been, and man and jinn who are capable of benefiting from all the varieties of the creatures of Paradise, would not have dwelt in it; in one respect it would have remained empty, a wasteland.
As is explained in the Fourth Branch of the Twenty-Fourth Word, in order to proclaim the intense need -and passion even- of the animal species for the caravans of plant species which, proceeding from the treasury of mercy, bear their provisions, a sort of nightingale has been chosen from every species. The foremost of these are the nightingale and the rose. The songs of these dominical orators, and the love-song of the nightingale for the rose, are a welcoming, an applause, glorifying Allah, before the most beautiful of the plants.
Similarly, Gabriel (Upon whom be peace), one of the angels, served with perfect love Muhammad the Arabian (Upon whom be blessings and peace), who was the reason for the creation of the spheres, the means to the happiness of both worlds, and the beloved of the Sustainer of All the Worlds, thus demonstrating the obedience and submission of the angels to Adam (Upon whom be peace) and the reason for their prostrating before him. So too the people of Paradise -and even some of its animals- felt a connection with that Being, and this was expressed by the passionate feelings of Buraq, whom he mounted.
One of the adventures during the Ascension concerned Almighty Allah’s transcendent love for His Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), which was expressed by the phrase: “I am your lover.” In its common meaning, such words are not fitting for the holiness of the Necessarily Existent One and His essential self-sufficiency. Süleyman Efendi’s Mevlid has enjoyed great popularity; it may be understood from this that since he was one of the people of sainthood and reality, the meaning he alludes to is surely correct. The meaning is this:
The Necessarily Existent Essence possesses infinite beauty and perfection, for all the varieties of the beauty and perfection dispersed throughout the universe are the signs and indications of His beauty and perfection. Like those who possess beauty and perfection self-evidently love their own beauty and perfection, so the All-Glorious One greatly loves His own beauty. And He loves it in a way fitting to Himself. Furthermore, He loves His Names, which are the rays of His beauty. Since He loves His Names, he surely loves His art, which displays the beauty of His Names. In which case, He also loves His creatures which are mirrors to His beauty and perfection. Since He loves those which display His beauty and perfection, He certainly loves the fine qualities of His creatures which point to the beauty and perfection of His Names. The All-Wise Qur’an alludes to these five sorts of love with its verses.
Thus, since the Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) was the most perfect individual among creatures and the most excellent of beings;
And since he displayed and applauded Divine art with a clamour of glorification and recitation of Allah’s Names;
And since he opened through the tongue of the Qur’an the treasuries of beauty and perfection in the Divine Names;
And since he expounded brilliantly and cogently through the tongue of the Qur’an the evidences to the Maker’s perfection of the creational signs of the universe;
And since through his universal worship he acted as a mirror to Divine dominicality;
And since through the comprehensiveness of his essential nature he was a complete place of manifestation to all the Divine Names;
It surely may be said that since the All-Beauteous One of Glory loves His own beauty, He loves Muhammad the Arabian (Upon whom be blessings and peace), who was the most perfect conscious mirror to His beauty. And since He loves His own Names, He loves Muhammad the Arabian (Upon whom be blessings and peace), who was the most brilliant mirror to the Names, and He loves according to their degree those who resemble him.
And since He loves His art, of a certainty He loves Muhammad the Arabian (Upon whom be blessings and peace), who proclaimed His art to the whole universe with reverberating voice, making it ring in the ears of the heavens, and who with a tumult of glorification and recitation of the Divine praises, brought to ecstasy the land and the sea; and He loves too those who follow him.
And since He loves His artefacts, He loves living beings, the most perfect of His artefacts, and intelligent beings, the most perfect of living beings, and human beings, the most superior of intelligent beings, and He surely loves most of all Muhammad the Arabian (Upon whom be blessings and peace), who as is agreed by all was the most perfect of human beings.
And since He loves the moral virtues of His creatures, He loves Muhammad the Arabian (Upon whom be blessings and peace), whose moral qualities were at the very highest degree, as is agreed unanimously, and He loves too according to their degree those who resemble him. This means that like His mercy, Almighty Allah’s love also encompasses the universe.
Thus, it was because among all those innumerable beloveds, tèe very highest degree in every respect of the above-mentioned five aspects was unique to Muhammad the Arabian (Upon whom be blessings and peace) that the name of ‘Allah’s Beloved’ was given to him.
It was for this reason that Süleyman Efendi expressed this highest rank of being beloved of Allah with the words: “I am your lover.” The expression is a means to reflective thought, a most distant allusion to this truth. Nevertheless, since it conjures up meanings unfitting to the attributes of dominicality, it is best to say: “I am pleased with you” in its place.
The adventures of the Ascension cannot express those sacred and transcendent truths through the meanings that we understand. Those exchanges are rather each like observation posts, means to reflective thought, indications to profound and elevated truths, reminders for some of the truths of belief, and allusions to certain inexpressible meanings. They are not adventures in the sense that we know. We cannot reach those truths through our imaginations; we rather receive a pleasurable excitement connected with belief through our hearts, a luminous joy of the spirit. For just as Almighty Allah has no like or match or peer in His Essence and attributes, so He has no like in the functions of His dominicality. And His love does not resemble the love of creatures, the same as His attributes do not resemble theirs. So, taking these expressions as metaphors, we say this:
In a manner fitting to His necessary existence and holiness and in a form appropriate to His essential self-sufficiency and absolute perfection, the Necessarily Existent One possesses certain qualities like love which are recalled through the adventures in the section in the Mevlid about the Ascension. The Thirty-First Word about the Prophet’s Ascension ex-plains and expounds the Ascension’s reality within the bounds of the principles of belief. Deeming that to be sufficient, we leave the present discussion at this.
The words, “He saw Almighty Allah beyond seventy thousand veils”3 expresses distance, whereas the Necessarily Existent One is free of space; He is closer to everything than anything else. What does this mean?
T h e A n s w e r : This truth has been explained in detail and with proofs in the Thirty-First Word, so here we only say this:
Almighty Allah is utterly close to us, while we are utterly distant from Him. The sun becomes close to us by means of a mirror we hold in our hand, and all transparent objects on the earth become a sort of throne for it and a sort of dwelling. If the sun had consciousness, it would converse with us by means of our mirror, although we are four thousand years distant from it. And so, not that any comparison can be made, the Pre-Eternal Sun is closer to everything than anything else, for He is the Necessarily Existent, he is free of space; nothing at all can be a veil to Him. But everything is infinitely distant from Him.
Thus, the mystery of the long distance of the Ascension together with the absence of distance expressed by, And We are closer to him than his jugular vein,4 gave rise to the fact that Allah’s Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) went on the Ascension, and went traversing a vast distance, yet returned in a single instant. The Ascension was the Messenger’s spiritual journeying, an expression of his sainthood. For through their spiritual journeying from forty days to forty years, the saints advance to the degree of ‘absolute certainty’ among the degrees of belief.
Similarly, Allah’s Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), the lord of all the saints, opened up a mighty highway with his Ascension, which lasting forty minutes rather than forty years, was the supreme wonder of sainthood, and which he made not only with his heart and spirit, but also with his body, and his senses, and his subtle faculties. He rose to the very highest degrees of the truths of belief. He mounted by the steps of the Ascension to the Divine Throne, and at the station of “the distance of two bow-lengths” witnessed with his own eyes with the ‘vision of certainty’ belief in Allah and belief in the hereafter, the greatest of the truths of belief; he entered Paradise and saw eternal happiness. Then he left open the highway he had revealed through the door of the Ascension, and all the saints of his community travel on their spiritual journeyings under the shadow of the Ascension, with the spirit and heart, in accordance with their degrees.
The recitation of the Prophet’s ‘Mevlid’ and its section about his Ascension is a most beneficial and fine custom and admirable Islamic practice. It is a pleasant, shining, and agreeable means of fellowship in Islamic social life; gratifying and pleasurable instruction in the truths of belief; and an effective and stimulating way of demonstrating and encouraging the lights of belief and love of Allah and love for the Prophet. May Almighty Allah cause this custom to continue to eternity, and may He grant mercy to the writers of ‘Mevlids’ like Süleyman Efendi, and make their dwelling Paradise. Amen.
Since the Creator of the universe created in every species a perfect individual, including in it all the perfections of the species and making it the cause of the species’ pride, through the manifestation of the Greatest Name in all His Names, He will surely create an individual who is exceptional and perfect in relation to the universe. As there is a Greatest Name among His Names, so there will be a perfect individual among His creatures in whom He will gather together all the perfections dispersed throughout the universe, and through whom He will draw gazes on Himself.
Such an individual will surely be from among living creatures, for among the species and realms of beings in the universe, the most perfect are living beings. And among the species of living beings, that individual will be an intelligent being, for among living beings the most perfect are beings with intelligence. And certainly, that exceptional individual will be a human being, for among intelligent beings, the one capable of endless progress is man. And among men, that individual will certainly be Muhammad (Upon whom be blessings and peace). For no time in history, from the time of Adam to the present, has shown an individual like him, and cannot and will not show such an individual. For taking half the globe of the earth and a fifth of mankind under his spiritual rule, he has continued his rule with utter magnificence for one thousand three hundred and fifty years, and for all who seek perfection has become like a universal master in every sort of truth and reality. As agreed by friend and foe alike, he possessed moral qualities of the very highest order. At the start of his mission, he challenged the whole world on his own. The one who presented the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition, which is constantly recited by more than a hundred million men, is surely that excellent individual; it could be none other than he. He is both the seed, and the fruit, of this world.
Blessings and peace be upon him to the number of the species of the universe and all their beings!
You may understand then what a pleasurable, honourable, luminous, joyful, auspicious, and elevated religious entertainment it is for believers, who consider that Being to be their chief and master and leader and intercessor, to listen to his ‘Mevlid’ and Ascension; that is, to hear of the beginning and end of his progress; that is, to learn the story of his spiritual life.
O our Sustainer! In veneration of Your Most Noble Beloved (Upon whom be blessings and peace) and for the sake of Your Greatest Name, make the hearts of those who publish this treatise, and those of their companions, manifest the lights of belief, and make their pens disseminate the mysteries of the Qur’an, and establish them on the Straight Path! Amen.
Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise!
The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One!
S a i d N u r s i
1. Qur’an, 53:13-18.
2. A Mevlid is a recitation by special singers of the long poem depicting the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) written by Süleyman Celebi, who died in Bursa 780H/1378.
3. See, al-Qastalani, al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya (Sharh: al-Zarghani) vi, 93-100.
4. Qur’an, 50:16.
- The Thirty-First Word: The reality, necessity and occurrence of the miracle of the Ascension (Miraj) of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
- The Third Addendum to the Miracles of Muhammad (PBUH): The answer to a question about Miraj (Ascension)
- How was divine wisdom related to Hz. Muhammad (pbuh)'s being sent as a prophet take place?
- First Sign: Allah, the Owner of the Universe, spoke to Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), the most perfect of mankind, and made him the guide to the humanity.
- The First Addendum to the Miracles of Muhammad (PBUH): The Nineteenth Word is about the messengership of Muhammad (pbuh) and the miracle of the splitting of the moon.
- Fifth: The answer to the following question: “How can Mahdi improve the world in a few years at a time when religious feelings weaken and the society corrupts so much.
- Nineteenth Sign: Hz. Muhammad's (pbuh) veracity and its indication of oneness.
- Why we pray five times a day?
- Seventh Point: Which of the narrations about the belief of Hz. Muhammad’s (pbuh) parents and grandfather is the most authentic?