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Aug 14 2012

Islamic fairy tale

Muhammad visited heaven and hell. He met Allah, the creator of the universe. It was 7th century. There was no space-shuttle or airplane or helicopter. He did not have wings to fly. Angle Gabriel brought a buraq, a white animal, smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey. Some people imagined buraq as kamdhenu, a beautiful winged animal with a face of a human and with a body of a horse. Muhammad rode buraq from Mecca to the Farthest Mosque in Jerusalem. After his prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque he was raised to heaven in the sky. Where the hell is heaven? We do not know, our astronauts also do not know anything about it. The Quarn says, ‘Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.’ (Qur’an 17:1), ‘Behold! We told thee that thy Lord doth encompass mankind round about: We granted the vision which We showed thee, but as a trial for men,- as also the Cursed Tree (mentioned) in the Qur’an: We put terror (and warning) into them, but it only increases their inordinate transgression!’ (Qur’an 17:60), ‘For indeed he saw him at a second descent, Near the Lote-tree beyond which none may pass:Near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!) (His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong! For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest!’(Qur’an 53:13-18).

Muhammad saw heaven.

He met Abraham, Moses, and Jesus in heaven.

Muhammad visited hell.

Muhammad met Allah. The bargaining part is the best part. After much persuasion, Allah reduced the number of prayers from 50 times to 5 times a day.

Narrated Abbas bin Malik: Malik bin Sasaa said that Allah’s Apostle described to them his Night Journey saying, “While I was lying in Al-Hatim or Al-Hijr, suddenly someone came to me and cut my body open from here to here.” I asked Al-Jarud who was by my side, “What does he mean?” He said, “It means from his throat to his pubic area,” or said, “From the top of the chest.” The Prophet further said, “He then took out my heart. Then a gold tray of Belief was brought to me and my heart was washed and was filled (with Belief) and then returned to its original place. Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me.” (On this Al-Jarud asked, “Was it the Buraq, O Abu Hamza?” I (i.e. Anas) replied in the affirmative). The Prophet said, “The animal’s step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal’s sight. I was carried on it, and Gabriel set out with me till we reached the nearest heaven. When he asked for the gate to be opened, it was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has Muhammad been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ The gate was opened, and when I went over the first heaven, I saw Adam there. Gabriel said (to me). ‘This is your father, Adam; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me till we reached the second heaven. Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel answered in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ The gate was opened. When I went over the second heaven, there I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and ‘Isa (i.e. Jesus) who were cousins of each other. Gabriel said (to me), ‘These are John and Jesus; pay them your greetings.’ So I greeted them and both of them returned my greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me to the third heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!’ The gate was opened, and when I went over the third heaven there I saw Joseph. Gabriel said (to me), ‘This is Joseph; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fourth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed, what an excel lent visit his is!’ The gate was opened, and when I went over the fourth heaven, there I saw Idris. Gabriel said (to me), ‘This is Idris; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fifth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked. ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is! So when I went over the fifth heaven, there I saw Harun (i.e. Aaron), Gabriel said, (to me). This is Aaron; pay him your greetings.’ I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me to the sixth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked. ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. It was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ When I went (over the sixth heaven), there I saw Moses. Gabriel said (to me),’ This is Moses; pay him your greeting. So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ When I left him (i.e. Moses) he wept. Someone asked him, ‘What makes you weep?’ Moses said, ‘I weep because after me there has been sent (as Prophet) a young man whose followers will enter Paradise in greater numbers than my followers.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me to the seventh heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked,’ Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ So when I went (over the seventh heaven), there I saw Abraham. Gabriel said (to me), ‘This is your father; pay your greetings to him.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.’ Then I was made to ascend to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) Behold! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr (i.e. a place near Medina) and its leaves were as big as the ears of elephants. Gabriel said, ‘This is the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) . Behold ! There ran four rivers, two were hidden and two were visible, I asked, ‘What are these two kinds of rivers, O Gabriel?’ He replied,’ As for the hidden rivers, they are two rivers in Paradise and the visible rivers are the Nile and the Euphrates.’ Then Al-Bait-ul-Ma’mur (i.e. the Sacred House) was shown to me and a container full of wine and another full of milk and a third full of honey were brought to me. I took the milk. Gabriel remarked, ‘This is the Islamic religion which you and your followers are following.’ Then the prayers were enjoined on me: They were fifty prayers a day. When I returned, I passed by Moses who asked (me), ‘What have you been ordered to do?’ I replied, ‘I have been ordered to offer fifty prayers a day.’ Moses said, ‘Your followers cannot bear fifty prayers a day, and by Allah, I have tested people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel (in vain). Go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers’ burden.’ So I went back, and Allah reduced ten prayers for me. Then again I came to Moses, but he repeated the same as he had said before. Then again I went back to Allah and He reduced ten more prayers. When I came back to Moses he said the same, I went back to Allah and He ordered me to observe ten prayers a day. When I came back to Moses, he repeated the same advice, so I went back to Allah and was ordered to observe five prayers a day. When I came back to Moses, he said, ‘What have you been ordered?’ I replied, ‘I have been ordered to observe five prayers a day.’ He said, ‘Your followers cannot bear five prayers a day, and no doubt, I have got an experience of the people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel, so go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your follower’s burden.’ I said, ‘I have requested so much of my Lord that I feel ashamed, but I am satisfied now and surrender to Allah’s Order.’ When I left, I heard a voice saying, ‘I have passed My Order and have lessened the burden of My Worshipers.” (Book: 8, Bukhari Hadith: 227)

After meeting with Allah Muhammad returned to Mecca. The end of the fairy tale. But the Quran and the Hadith claim Muhammad’s visit to heaven is a fact, not a myth. Islam says that he who does not believe in the Quran and the Sahih Hadith is not a Muslim. ‘Do Muslims really believe this fairy tale is a true story?’ I asked a friend. He said, ‘Of course they believe in Miraj, Muhammad’s night journey to heaven.’ I said, ‘How can they believe in such an weird thingy?’ He laughed, said, ‘Muslims believe in weird thingy exactly the way Christians believe that Jesus walked on water or Jews believe in heaven and hell or Hindus and Buddhists believe in reincarnation!’
I smiled and said, ‘It makes sense.’

27 comments

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  1. 1
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    While I was at the House in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness…

    It sounds like Mohammed was experiencing sleep paralysis.

  2. 2
    ildi

    It’s hard to read those walls of text…

  3. 3
    David Hart

    I’ve always found the image of Muhammad bargaining God down on the number of daily prayers to be hilarious. I suppose he is said to have been a merchant before he became a preacher:-)

    1. 3.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      True. : )

  4. 4
    Brian

    Revelation appears exactly like hallucination. And recapitulation of common beliefs. Bible says Eden had 4 rivers, one being the Euraphrates, Mohamad has a vision of a tree with 4 rivers one being the Euraphrates. No new knowledge here. Just nonsense that the Euraphrates flows from the sky.
    Now, if any hallucinator, I mean prophet, came out with something that wasn’t known about the Earth at that time or about the universe, and was very specific, that would’ve been interesting. But no. Mohamad thought both males and females produced sperm, and the stronger sperm determined the sex,which was a false Greek belief. And so on….but I agree that Christians believe bizarre crap too.
    Today’s prophets have a harder time in the west, into the insane facility for god’s messengers….

  5. 5
    a miasma of incandescent plasma

    All those heaven’s gates need to integrate their systems so they don’t have to ask the same questions over and over again.

    I kept waiting for Gabriel to answer the question of ‘Has he been called?’ with “Nah, but is it cool if we just visit and you not be a narc about it?”

    I guess Heaven’s gates were designed with the same version of omnipotence.0 program that was given to the creator of the universe. If they had a slogan for Abrahamic religions version of omnipotence, I think it’d go something like “God’s Omnipotence, it’s not perfect, but it’s the best we can do.”

    1. 5.1
      F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

      In the world of software, this is known as “good enough”. Whether it is or not.

  6. 6
    Brian

    God can change his mind? God allows himself to be bargained down from 50 to 5 prayers a day? Hmmm

  7. 7
    busterggi

    Basically at their cores religions are silly.

  8. 8
    Steve R

    Of course God can be bargained with! This may be called the Axiom of Prayer. Without it, the priests would have no divine favors to sell.

  9. 9
    Gregory in Seattle

    Oddly enough, I cannot find a translation of al-Maraj into English. I wonder if it is a cognate for the word “mirage.”

    1. 9.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      I do not think so. http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Miraj

    2. 9.2
      Winterwind

      I’ve always heard Miraj translated as Ascent/Ascension, or along those lines.

    3. 9.3
      Brian

      Mirage is French and related to words like mirror, Spanish Mirar ( to look) etc.

  10. 10
    Gordon Penny

    Dear Taslima,
    Firstly on wikipedia it says that your birthday is 25th August 1962, so best wishes for your 50th birthday on that day.

    Yes of course this vision is complete nonsense. It is even more ridiculous that people in this day and age can still believe every word that this foolish religion tells them as the complete truth. If there was a Creator of such immense power and knowledge, so much so that it could create all the universe…..then why would it choose such an evil man as ‘Muhammad’ ?…..makes no sense to me !!
    Following this Fairy Tale, well surely then, would this all knowing ‘Creator’ not have instructed its ‘Messenger’ on Earth to live a life of giving his people good guidence, to live lives which amongst other things would have avoided the local ‘Customs’ of the times, such as having child brides, polygamy,slavery,concubines, rape, murder and stealing, to name just a few of the awful things that Muhammad and his followers did ?
    Keep up your good work, you are a wonderful and inspiring woman !!

  11. 11
    Birger Johansson

    Bah! The late Fantasy author Roger Zelazny invented more interesting cosmologies in his coffee breaks (see his various Amber novels).
    And so did Philip José Farmer (see “A private Cosmos”, “To Your Scattered Bodies Go” et al).

    For more modern authors, check out Iain M. Banks -he even had a beleivable synthetic hell in one of his novels.
    -But these authors are well versed in avoiding logical self-contradictions and in creating interesting plots
    (I do not include Ron L. Hubbard among their number, he was a hack).

    To start a religion, you are apparently required to be a bad writer…
    — — — — — — — —
    In regard to tricksters bargaining with divine entities I rather prefer the stories of Loki tricking the giants in Nifelheim.

  12. 12
    Birger Johansson

    BTW, I assume some confused people in Britain and elsewhere will confuse my and your criticism of Islam with Racism.
    To those I say “I have the same disdain for non-Islamic rubbish, but the other sky pilots are not (yet) issuing fatwas about killing unbelievers”.

  13. 13
    Gordon Penny

    Perhaps after smoking the local pot of the time, Uncle Mo had had a nap in the cave and started having some very vivid dreams of Angels and flying chariots !! Or perhaps some Aliens whisked him off in a flying saucer and gave him some ”Star Trek” movies to watch !!

    1. 13.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      Thanks a lot. Uncle Mo made up a story to impress his followers. ‘See, I helped to lessen your burden!’ His followers did not believe his weird story.

      Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: That he heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “When the people of Quraish did not believe me (i.e. the story of my Night Journey),I stood up in Al-Hijr and Allah displayed Jerusalem in front of me, and I began describing it to them while I was looking at it.”
      —Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 226

      1. Gordon Penny

        Dear Taslima,

        Thanks for your reply. I have many theories about religion and gods etc, some of which you may not agree with, but there is a lot things that we do not know about or understand. One of my life ambitions is to meet you in person and talk about many things. You are such an inspiring, intelligent and interesting lady. Sometimes in life fate conspires to make our lives hard but in that process we often become a stronger and better person. Remember the saying ‘A solitary tree grows strong’
        I feel that in general mankind seems to like to have people like Mohammad and other strong characters to hero worship and follow. We see it today in various ways. I call it the ‘Combined Brain’. There seems to be in general 2 types of people, those like yourself who are free thinkers, outspoken and unswayed by what others think. The ability to be different and prepared to be unpopular because they dont follow the ‘Pack’ mentality. On the other side are the many, unable to forms their own opinions, looking to follow rather than lead We see it in todays life, the slavish adoration of people like David Beckham, film and pop stars, young girls not looking to get career jobs, instead wanting to be like models and pop stars. Many girls say that they would swop intelligence for better looks, how sad ! I am constantly surprised that when I talk to muslims, they seem unable to have any form of sensible debate, they just quote the quran etc. When Mohammads life is discussed, any negatives are dismissed as lies. As with other fanatical Christian type beliefs, all talk of evolution, eg Darwin is dismissed as ridiculous. I am told by these doorstep people that the moon is 10,000 years old and the Earth is 6,000 years old. Any evidence of life before is dismissed as the work of the Devil !!

      2. Gordon Penny

        A more modern version of Mohammad is perhaps David koresh !!

  14. 14
    Tim Riches

    The bargaining was indeed interesting. From fifty to five is pretty good. Because it was a bargaining session, we can infer that Allah wanted the original fifty prayers to be said, but was willing to reduce it to five because Mohammad was such a stand up guy. This story seems designed to quell any bitching that five prayers a day is too much, and even cause some overly zealous Muslims to exceed the five.

    I’m reminded of a Bill Maher joke where he made the observation that Islam seems to have been designed by merchants because of the 72 virgins. He wasn’t far wrong if he was wrong at all.

  15. 15
    Farid Jahed

    They say people religious people have no intelligence and intelligent people have no religion.
    I would say if people believe in such crap as winged horse then it is obvious they are no brainer.

  16. 16
    submit

    The question that most of us ask now, arose before during the time of Muhammad s.a.w; preaching the words of God onto Arabia. Was Muhammad mentioned? This was the question by inhabitants of Arabia towards Jews that embraced Islam. And if we refer to the claim by past Jewish converts, they had quote verses from Isaiah 42.

    If we look at the passages in Isaiah. God address His chosen servants with their names, and in the prophesied verse we see God mention clearly the prophet’s name. Some examples of God mentioning His servant by name.

    (My Servant Isaiah, My Servant Eliakim, David My Servant, Jacob My Servant, My Servant Israel, and so in Isaiah 42:1 , God specifically mention My Servant Ahmad)

    In Isaiah 42:1, it is deemed not a coincidence upon seeing the writing of both אתמך (Atmc) אחמד (Ahmd). And the word before אתמך (Atmc), is עבדי (Abdi~My Servant). For indeed, it is indicating Ahmad; Abdullah (Ahmad; Servant of God).

    Not to mention אתמך (Atmc) happen to be a special term foretelling the coming of a righteous man and is used only ONCE throughout the entire Book. [could this be a copying error or an intended error?]

    ~~
    The prophecy tells about Ahmad; ‘Servant of God’ whom will war to correct the wrongs and bringing judgement based on the law of God. He will liberate act of worshiping molten images and thus Arabia (wilderness desert, villages and cities) will glorify God since then. As can be seen today, Arabia are worshiping,praising God and singing words of God daily. Inhabitants from all around the world gather there and voice out aloud their praise to God.

    And we continue reading Isaiah 42:18 – 25; God remind the ‘blind and deaf’ about the wrath of God towards Children of Israel, who neglect the message brought by past Servant of God.

    And not to repeat; the same mistake upon the coming of the new Servant of God

  17. 17
    khan

    plz visit
    blasphemoussex.com

    a true religion

  18. 18
    Alanda

    Dear Miss Taslima.
    I just wanna to say, Prophet Muhammad should not be drawn. Why do you post images of the prophet Muhammad? I’m sorry if I offended you. Here I just want to say things that are important.
    thank you :)

  19. 19
    Rahmanita budi aisah

    Dear Miss Taslima.
    I just wanna to say, Prophet Muhammad and Allah should not be drawn. Why do you post images of the prophet Muhammad and Allah? I’m sorry if I offended you. Here I just want to say things that are important.
    Thank you :)

  1. 20
    Should women cover their hair? - Page 8 (politics)

    [...] about women being tortured eternally for the sin of letting men see their hair? 4th picture down.. http://freethoughtblogs.com/taslima/…ic-fairy-tale/ Reply With [...]

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