53.18. Verily he saw one of the greater revelations of his Lord. (Pickthall)
53.18. Bestimmt hat er schon manches von den Zeichen seines Herrn gesehen, von den großen. (Ahmad v. Denffer)
53.18. Wahrlich, er sah von den Zeichen seines Herrn die größten. (Bubenheim)
53.18. Er sah manche große Zeichen Seines Herrn. (Azhar)
53.18. Gewiß, bereits sah er von den großen Ayat seines HERRN! (Zaidan)
53.18. Er hat doch (auch sonst) gar große Zeichen seines Herrn gesehen. (Paret)
53.18. Wahrlich, er hatte eines der größten Zeichen seines Herrn gesehen. (Rasul)
Tafsir von Maududi für die Ayaat 13 bis 18
And he saw him once again by the farthest lote-tree, nearby which is the Garden of Repose. ( 11 ) At that time the lote-tree was covered with that which covered it. ( 12 ) The sight was neither dazzled nor it exceeded the limit, ( 13 ) and he saw of the greatest Signs of his Lord. ( 14 )
Desc No: 11 This is about the Holy Prophet's second meeting with Gabriel (upon whom be peace) in which he appeared before him in his real shape and nature. The place where this meeting took place has been described as Sidrat-al-muntaha, along with which it has been said that nearby it is located Jannat al ma'va (Garden of Repose). Sidrah in Arabic means the lote-tree and muntaha the extreme edge or limit. Thus, literally, sidrat al-muntaha means "the lote-tree that is situated on the extreme edge or limit". 'Allama Alusi in his Ruh al-Ma'ani has explained it thus: "At this the knowledge of every learned man comes to an end; whatever is beyond it is known to none but Allah. " Almost the same explanation of it has been given by Ibn Jarir in his commentary, and by Ibn kathir in An-Nihayah fi Gharib alHadith wal-Athar. It is difficult for us to know what kind of a lote-tree it is that is situated at the farthest end of this physical world and what is its nature and state. These are the mysteries of the Divine Universe which are incomprehensible for us. In any case, it is some such thing for which there was no more appropriate word than "sidrah " in human language, in the sight of Allah. " Jannat al-ma'va' literally means "the Jannat (Garden) that is to be an abode. " Hadrat Hasan Basri says that this is the same Jannat which the believers and righteous will be given in the Hereafter, and from this same verse he has argued that that Jannat is in the heavens. Qatadah says that this is the Jannat in which the souls of the martyrs are kept; it does not imply the Jannat that is to be given in the Hereafter. Ibn 'Abbas also says the same but adds that the Jannat to be granted to the believers in the Hereafter is not in the heavens but here on the earth.
Desc No: 12 That is, "its Splendor and Glory exceeds all description. The Divine Glory and effulgence was such as can neither be conceived by man nor can any haman language depict it adequately.
Desc No: 13 That is, "On the one hand, the Holy Messenger of Allah was so firm and steadfast that even in the Presence of the great Divine Splendor and Glory his sight was not dazzled and he went on gazing at it with great composure. On the other, he was in such complete control of himself and so exclusively attentive that he kept his mind and his sight focused upon the object for which he had been summoned, and he did not let his sight wander to any side like a spectator's to have a glimpse of the wonderful objects present there. This can be understood by the example of a person who gets an opportunity to be present in the court of a mighty and powerful king, where he comes across such glory and splendor that had never cven been conceived by him before. Now, if he be a shallow person, he would be struck with amazement, and if he be un-initiated in the court coquette, he would become heedless of the royal presence and would turn his gaze to every side to look at the embellishments of the court. But a noble, reverent and dutiful person will neither be stupefied and confounded, nor will become lost in witnessing the court, but will present himself with full dignity and will keep his mind concentrated on the object for which he had been summoned in the royal court. This very virtue and quality of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has been esteemed in this verse.
Desc No: 14 This verse clearly starts that the Holy Prophet had not seen Allah but His wonderful Sings. Even according to the context, this second meeting also took place with the same being with whom the first meeting had taken place. Therefore, one will have to admit that neither the one whom he had first seen on the uppermost horizon was Allah nor he whom he saw afterwards by the farthest lote-tree was Allah. Had he seen Allah Almighty on either occasion it would have been a great thing and must certainly have been mentioned here explicitly. About the Prophet Moses it has been said in the Qur'an that he had besought to see Allah And the reply given was: Lan tarani "You cannot sec Me." (Al-A'raf 143). Now, obviously if this honour that was not granted to the Prophet Moses, had been granted to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings), it would by itself have been such an important thing which must have been stated in clear words. But we see that nowhere in the Qur'an has it been said that the Holy Prophet had seen his Sustainer and Lord. But in Surah Bani Isra'il also, where mention has been made of the event of Mi`raj (Ascension), it has been said that "We had transported Our servant...so that We may show him some of Our Signs" (li-nuriya -hu min ayat-i na), and here in connection with his visit at Sidrat al-muntaha also it has been said: "He saw of the greatest Signs of His Lord" (laqad ra a min ayat-i Rabb-i-hil kubra). In view of these reasons apparently there was no ground for the dispute whether the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) on both these occasions had seen Allah Almighty or the Angel Gabriel (on whom be peace). But, the reason that has given rise to this dispute is that the traditions of Hadith differ on this question. Below we reproduce in their sequence the Ahadith that have been reported from the different Companions in this regard: (1) Traditions of Hadrat `A'ishah: Hadrat Masruq has stated in Kitab at-Tafsir of Bukhari asked Hadrat 'A'ishah: O mother of the faithful! Had Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) seen his Lord and Sustainer? She replied: Your question has terrified me. Why do you forget that if a person lays claim to three of the things, he would lay a false claim ? (The first of these things that Hadrat `A'ishah mentioned was): Whoever among you says that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) had seen his Lord and Sustainer, tells a lie. Then Hadrat `A'ishah recited these verses: La tudriku-hul-absar "Eyes cannot comprehend Him; " and: Ma kana li-bashar-in anyyukallima-hullah-u ills wahy-an au min-wara-i-hijab- in au yursila rasul an fayu-hia bi-idhni hi ma yasha-u: "It is not given to any mortal that Allah should speak to him, face to face; He, speaks either through Revelation (secret instruction), or from behind a curtain, or He sends a messenger (an angel), who by Allah's Command, reveals whatever He wills." (Ash-Shura: 51). Then she said: ¦The Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) in fact had seen Gabriel (on whom be peace) in his real shape twice." A part of this Hadith is also found in Bukhari (chapter 4 of Kitab atTauhid) And in the tradition that Bukhari has cited from Masruq in Kitab Bida 'aI-Khalq, he states: "Hearing this thing from Hadrat `A'ishah, I asked: What would then Allah's words, Thumma dana fa-tadalla, fa-Kana qaba qausain-i au adha. mean ? She replied: This refers to Gabriel; he always appeared before the Holy Prophet in human shape, but on this occasion he had appeared before him in his real shape and nature and the whole horizon was filled with him. " In Muslim (Kitab al-Iman, Babu fi Dhikr Sidrat al-muntaha) this conversation between Hadrat `A'ishah and Masruq has been related in greater detail, its most important part being this: "Hadrat `A'ishah said: The one who claims that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) had seen his Lord and Sustainer imputes a lie to Allah. Masruq says: I was leaning back. Hearing this I sat up and said: Mother of the faithful, do not make haste: Has not Allah said: wa lagad ra'a-hu bi/-ufuq-i/ mubin? and lagad ra'a-hu nazlat-an ukhra '' Hadrat 'A'ishah replied: I was the first one in this Ummah who inquired of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) about this. He had replied: "It was Gabriel (on whom be peace). I have never seen him in his real shape and form in which Allah has created him except on these two occasions. On these two occasions I saw him descending from the heavens and his great presence was covering the whole space between the earth and the heavens." Ibn Marduyah has related this tradition of Masruq, thus: "Hadrat `A'ishah said: I was indeed the first person who asked the Holy Prophet: Did you ever sec your Lord and Sustainer? He replied: No, I had only seen Gabriel descending from the heavens." (2) Traditions of Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas`ud: Bukhari (Kitab at-Tafsir), Muslim (Kitab al Iman) and Tirmidhi (Abwab' at-Tafsir) contain a tradition on the authority of Zin bin Hubaish, saying that Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas`ud gave this commentary of fa-kana qaba qausain-i au adha: "The Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) saw Gabriel (on whom be peace) in the shape that he had six hundred wings." In the other traditions of Muslim, Zirr bin Hubaish has reported this very commentary of Ma kadhab al-fu adu ma ra'a and lagad ra a min ayat-i Rabbi-hil kubra from Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas`ud. In Musnad Ahmad this commentary of Ibn Mas`ud has been reported by 'Abdur Rahman bin Yazid and Abu Wail also besides Zirr bin Hubaish. Furthermore, in Musnad Ahmad two more traditions of Zirr bin Hubaish have been related in which Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas`ud commenting upon wa lagad ra a-hu nazlat-an ukhra, 'inda-sidrat-il muntaha stated: "The Holy Messenger of Allah said that he saw Gabriel by the lote-tree he had six hundred wings. "Imam Ahmad has cited a tradition on the same subject, on the authority of Shaqiq bin Salamah also, in which he states that he heard Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas'ud saying that the Holy Prophet himself had said that he had seen Gabriel (on whom be peace) in that shape at sidrat al-muntaha. (3) When 'Ata' bin Abi Rabah asked Hadrat Abu Hurairah the meaning of the verse lagad ra a-hu nazlat-an ukhra, he replied: "The Holy Prophet had seen Gabriel (on whom be peace).": (Muslim: Kitab al lman). (4) Imam Muslim has related in kitab al-Iman two traditions of `Abdullah bin Shaqiq on the authority of Hadrat Abu Dharr Ghifari, in one of which he says that he asked the Holy Prophet: "Did you ever see your Lord?" The Holy Prophet replied: Nur-un anna ara-hu; and in the other he says that the Holy Prophet gave this answer to his question: Ra 'aitu nur-an. Of the first answer of the Holy Prophet Ibn al-Qayyim has given this meaning in his Zad al-Ma ad: "Between me and the sight of my Lord there was Light," and of the second this: "I did not see my Lord but only a Light." Nasa'i and Ibn Abi Hatim have reported the saying of Hadrat Abu Dharr, thus: "The Holy Prophet had seen his Lord with the heart (mind), not with the eyes. (5 ) Imam Muslim in his Kitab al-Iman has related this tradition from Hadrat Abu Musa al-Ash`ari: "The Holy Prophet said: The sight of no one from among His creatures has reached Allah Almighty." (6) Traditions of Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbas: According to Muslim, when Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbas was asked the meaning of: Ma kadhab al-fu 'adu ma ar'a, wa lagad ra'a hu nazlat-an ukhra, he said: "The Holy Messenger of Allah saw his Lord twice with his heart. " This tradition is also contained in Musnad Ahmad. Ibn Marduyah has cited this saying of Ibn `Abbas, on the authority of 'Ata' bin Abi Rabah: The Holy Messenger of Allah had not seen Allah with the eyes but with the heart. " Nasa'i contains a tradition from `Ikrimah saying that Ibn `Abbas said "Do you wonder at this that Allah made the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) His friend, blessed Moses with His Word and honoured Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) with His sight?" Hakim also has cited this tradition and held it as authentic. In Tirmidhi, there is a tradition from Sha`bi to the effect that Ibn `Abbas said in a gathering: "Allah had distributed His Sight and His Word between Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) and Moses (upon whom be peace). He spoke to Moses twice, and Muhammad saw Him twice " Hearing these very words of lbn 'Abbas, Masruq had approached Hadrat `A'ishah with the question: "Had Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) seen his Lord?" She had replied: What you have said has made my hair stand on end." After this the same dialogue that we have cited above under the tradition of Hadrat 'A'ishah tool place between Hadrat 'A'ishah and Masruq. In one of the traditions reported in Tirmidhi from lbn `Abbas, he says: "The Holy Prophet had seen Allah Almighty." In yet another he says: "He had seen Him twice", and in a third one; "He had seen Him with the heart." In Musnad Ahmad a tradition from Ibn `Abbas is to the effect: "The Holy Prophet said: I saw my Lord, the blessed, the exalted. " In another tradition he says: "The Holy Messenger of Allah said: Tonight my Lord came to me in the best shape. " I think that by this the Holy Prophet meant that he saw Allah Almighty in a vision. Tabarani and Ibn Marduyah have related this tradition also from Ibn `Abbas: "The Holy Messenger of Allah had seen his Lord twice, once with the eyes and the second time with the heart. " (7) Muhammad bin Ka'b al-Qurzi states that when some of the Companions asked the Holy Prophet,: 'Did you ever see your Lord? he replied: I have seen Him twice with my heart." (Ibn Abi Hatim) Ibn Jarir has related this very tradition, thus: "He said: I have not seen Him with the eye, but with the heart twice. " (8) A tradition of Hadrat Anas bin Malik which Imam Bukhari has cited in his Kitab at-Tauhid in connection with the event of the Mi'raj, on the authority of Sharik bin `Abdullah, contains words to the effect: "When the Holy Prophet reached sidrat al-muntaha, Allah Almighty drew near him and hung suspended above him till there remained between the Holy Prophet and Him a distance equal to two bow-lengths or even Iess. Then, what Allah revealed to him included the Command for SO Prayers." But, besides the objections that Imam Khattabi, Hafiz lbn Hajar, Ibn Hazm and Hafiz `Abdul Haq (author of Al-Jam' bain al-Sahihain) have raised in respect of the authenticity and subject-matter of this tradition, the main objection against it is that it clearly contradicts the Qur'an, for the Qur'an mentions two separate occasions when the experience of the vision took place, the first initially at the uppermost horizon to which reference has been made in: Dane fa-tadalla, fa-kana qaba qausain-i au adna, and a second time near sidrat al muntaha. But this tradition mixes up the two occasions and presents them both as one occasion of the vision. Therefore, because of its being contradictory to the Qur'an, it cannot be acceptable in any case. As for the other traditions that we have cited above, the weightiest among them are those that have been related from Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas'ud and Hadrat `A'ishah, for both of them have unanimously reported this saying of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) himself that on neither occasion he had seen Allah but Gabriel (peace be on him), and these traditions fully conform to the explanations and allusions of the Qur'an. Furthermore, they are also confirmed by the sayings of the Holy Prophet which Hadrat Abu Dharr and Hadrat Abu Musa al-Ash'ari have reported from him. On the contrary the traditions that have been cited from Hadrat 'Abdullah bin `Abbas in the books of Hadith are self-eontradictory. In some he regards both the experiences as a vision with the eyes, in some both as a vision with the heart, in some one with the eyes and the other with the heart, and in some he wholly negates the vision with the eyes. In none of these traditions he has cited any saying of the Holy Prophet himself and where he has cited such a saying, it contains no mention of either of the two experiences stated in the Qur'an; besides, the explanation of one of his traditions givcn by the other indicates that the Holy Prophet at some time bad seen Allah Almighty not in the waking condition but in a vision during sleep. Therefore, in fact, for the commentary of these verses the traditions ascribed to Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas cannot be held as reliable. Likewise, although the traditions of Muhammad bin Ka'b al-Qurzi cite a saying of the Holy Prophet, they do not mention the names of the Companions who might have heard this thing from the Holy Prophet himself. Moreover, in one of them it has been said that the Holy Prophet had clearly denied having seen Allah with the eyes. "