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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Islamic Perspective: Ascension & Dimension

Do you know what this is? Its called a tesseract. It exists in 4th dimension.

"In physics and mathematics, a sequence of n numbers can be understood as a location in an n-dimensional space. When n=4, the set of all such locations is called 4-dimensional space, or, colloquially, the fourth dimension.
Such a space differs from the familiar 3-dimensional space that we live in, in that it has an extra dimension, an extra degree of freedom. This extra dimension may be interpreted either as time, or as a literal fourth dimension of space, a fourth spatial dimension."
It is actually studied in Geometry and Astronomy. To get a better grasp of this "4th Dimension", I will allow Carl Sagan to explain it to you (lol, no really). Now if your Muslim, or familiar with Islamic concepts....tell me what the topics in this video remind you of???

This video reminded me of Mi' raj (the ascension) of the Prophet (saw). It sounds just like the ability of Allah's angels. I mean can't you imagine the design of beings (the unseen) being explained by this concept of the 4th dimention!? I don't mean to cross any religious sensitivities because, surely Allah knows best.

11:123 To Allah do belong the unseen (secrets) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him goeth back every affair (for decision)...
But, I just find it amazing how we are so limited in our thinking and knowledge of things. We should never come to a point in our search of knowledge where we feel we have mastered a particular subject or particular field. Even one with a Master's degree or Ph.D. has to be humbled at the fact that he or she cannot find the ceiling of knowledge within their field.

Yesterday, I went to a halaqah (Islamic study group) that discussed primarily the future of Islam in America. There was a brother there who kept arguing that Saudi, Yemen, Syria, etc. will always be the source of the highest levels of Islamic knowledge. Even in the future, we could only reach a certain level of Islamic knowledge or scholarship by studying in the states. Now, this topic is a whole 'nother post in itself, but just to point out one thing:

I could not help but think of Imam W. D. Mohammed. (the brother actually mentioned him and his program to send his students to Syria for study.) Imam Mohammed was not taught by any scholar and whether you choose to recognize him as one the most learned individuals or not (which many Saudi Sheikhs have), he brings a NEW insight and a NEW tafsir to the Qur'an and life of the Prophet (saw).

America may or may not become the hub of Islamic knowledge in the future. Honestly, to me, it doesn't matter. What I envision (and surely Allah knows best) is a NEW perspective that will be born out of Islamic studies in the states. A perspective that will be a direct result of Muslims experiences, environment, and demand for Islamic life. I can't say that this will be a New Fiqh, a New Mathhab, etc. but I see Muslims coming to America, in the near future, to study an Islamic Science that is unique to the perspective and experience of Muslims in America. And I think it will be spawned by Imam W. D. Mohammed's community!

I will leave you with the Imam's commentary on the Night Journey (Mi' raj), a NEW perspective born out of America. Imam has said that the ascension represents the 7 elevations of Prophet Mohammed's soul from Adam to Abraham. The Imam said the ascension is also connected to the Night of Power (see last comment).

Imam Mohammed after mentioning the Prophets at the various levels of ascension stated the following:
"So it was an ascent. That's vertical isn't it? He went straight up from where? He went straight from the Kabah, from the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca into the heavens. So the vertical mustaqeem is the path of uprightness. The development of the soul in virtues, purity and high principles, etc., that is the ascent. Then he travels. That's horizontal. Now you tell me that isn't a cross? If the ascent is vertical and the travel is horizontal you have a cross. So see how the mysteries are addressed in so many ways to educate the blessed ones? Praise be to Allah.

So the horizontal is the important relationships that man has with man, families have with families, industry has with industry, communities have with communities. That's the horizontal. So he was taken to the place that was the symbol of the glorious time for the Jews, to Jerusalem where there was the kingdom of Solomon and the ruins are still there. When they go to the Wailing Wall they are weeping on what is left of that great kingdom. What are they weeping for? "We lost this, enemies conquered us"; not the Muslims. Before the Muslims it was the Romans. Really the Muslims did not want to conquer them. The Muslims never wanted to conquer them. The Muslims just wanted to have their rights like they wanted to have their rights.

Madinah established after the Ascent and night travel

Allah took him to the great peak for excellence in the life of those people symbolized as the government under Solomon, the wise, upon him be peace. And you know what happened. Later, almost right away, he decided to go to Madinah to answer the invitation of the people of Madinah. And with the experience and knowledge that Allah gave him in that ascent and that travel, night visit, he was prepared to go and establish the first Muslim world in Madinah. It was a world he was to establish. So he went to Madinah. We say government but it was a world. It was a new world. He went there to Madinah and he became the leader for the establishment of the ummah, the new world of Islam."
-IWDM 2006


DC said...

As Salaam 'Alaikum,
Very insightful commentary from the Imam.

That halaqah you went to sounds interesting. Being one of the students sent to Syria from Imam Mohammed's community, I can definitely understand where the brother is coming from. There are ahadith that speak about the significance of these places. But I believe, when you look at the other ahadith, particularly the Prophet's (pbuh) saying a sign of the last day is the sun rising from the west, you can see something more. In order for the sun to literally rise from the west, the orbit of the entire planet would have to be reversed. If this were to literally happen, the earth would be destroyed/torn apart by force produced in reversing its orbit. Imam Mohammed and other scholars took as one of the meanings to be that the religious light, the moral light, the guiding light for humanity will come from the west. This is what the early Muslims believed. This was their spirit when they spread Al-Islam to Morrocco and named Morrocco Al-Maghrib or "the west."

May Allah bless us to share your spirit and think deeply about our life, our religion, the scripture and guidance from Allah, our relationship to the creation and the world. Ameen

DC said...

I just watched the video last night. It sounded as if Carl Sagan was specifically talking about the mi'raj without a doubt. Very very insightful.

thelegacymaker said...

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

Excellent point about the hadith regarding the sun rising in the west. I can't remember if IWDM spoke about this specifically or not but I've followed this logic for some time now.

Always look forward to your comments brother, shukran.

Anonymous said...

As Salaamu 'Alaikum,

Imam Mohammed (RA) wrote a book a long time ago, titled. "As the Sun riseth from the West" or something of that nature. I remember reading it years ago. It was written I beleive in the early 80's and reflects his tafsir on various concepts.

Anonymous said...


DC, may I contact you please? I have been looking for students of the Imam that studied in Syria and have some questions.

Jazaka Allahu Khair.

DC said...


I have that book. "As the light shineth from the east" by Imam W D Muhammad.

My email address is

HotConflict said...

Listen to the Story of Truth that discusses the other realms and the concepts of Ascension in Islam.

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