without any change of the body. By night, i.e. in darkness surrounding the physical frame; for the ascent could only be carried out spiritually through the inner senses of the body. From the holy Masjid; that is, from the centre of a sacred heart, free from bodily corruption and sensual coverings. To the further Masjid; that is, the fountain of the spirit, far removed from the corporeal world, and close to the manifestation of the Almighty's glory, in order that he might the better understand that which, We might shew him some of our signs, even if they be within the heart, which can only be done in all their glory and grandeur by spiritual discernment within the soul; namely, that we can shew him of our Nature and perfection.

Hence, if we accept the above, together with the witness of Ayesha, and what the Prophet himself is reported to have said, — the ascent was not in body, but in spirit. But the view of others is altogether different. Thus Ibn Ishac tells us that, according to what Muhammad said, Gabriel awoke him twice; but he went to sleep again:—

And he came to me the third time, and made me stand up and go with him to the gate of the Mosque, where, lo! there was a white steed, in appearance between a pony and an ass . Then with his hand he helped me upon it, neither of us preceding the other. (Then follows a quotation from Cotāda.) The Prophet said: When I tried to mount on Burāc he became refractory; then Gabriel touched his mane and said: Burac, "knowest thou what thou art doing? for, by the Lord! no servant of the God hath ever mounted thee more blessed from heaven than Muhammad." Whereupon Burac became so ashamed that sweat poured like water from him. Then he stood still, and I mounted him. After that (Hasan tells us) the Prophet went forward and Gabriel with him, till they reached the Holy temple at Jerusalem, and there found Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, with a company of Prophets, — whom the Prophet led in prayer. Then were brought two vases, in one was wine and in the other milk. So the blessed Prophet took that with milk, and


drank of it, and left the vase of wine alone. Then Gabriel said:— Guide unto temperance, and teach thy people so, O Muhammad, for wine is forbidden unto you. Then the Prophet returned to Mecca; and in the morning, meeting the Coreish, he told them all that happened. "By the Lord!" said the people, "what a marvellous thing. It takes our caravans a whole month to reach Syria from this, and a whole month to return; yet Muhammad has gone it all in a single night, and in the same returned!"1

The following is another account given by the Prophet of his night Journey, as heard by Cotāda:—

While I was asleep, to one came to me, close as the hair is to the skin, and took out my heart. He then brought a golden vase filled with Faith, in which my heart was placed, and my stomach cleansed in the water of Zemzem, so that I was filled with Faith and Wisdom. Thereupon Gabriel mounted me upon Burāc (as in the previous account), and having carried me upwards to the Lowest heaven called out to open the gate. "Who is this?" one cried. — It is Gabriel. And who is with thee? — It is Muhammad. Was he summoned?— O yes! was Gabriel's answer. Then welcome to him; how good it is that he hath come. And so he opened the gate. Entering, Gabriel said, Here is thy father Adam, make thy salutation to him. So I made to him my salaam, and he returned it to me; on which he said, Welcome to an excellent son and to an excellent Prophet. Then Gabriel took me up to the Second heaven, and to there were John (the Baptist) and Jesus.2  In the Third heaven there was Joseph; in the Fourth ldrees; in the Fifth Aaron; and in the Sixth Moses. As he returned the salutation of the Prophet, Moses wept, and on being asked the reason said: "I mourn because more of the people of him that was sent after me do enter Paradise than of mine." Then we ascended the Seventh heaven;— This is thy father Abraham, said Gabriel, and salutation was made as before. At the last we made the final ascent, where there were

1 Sirat Ibn Hishām.
2 At each ascent the same salutation is repeated, but it has been left out here in all but the first.