return to our religion.' Then their Lord spake by revelation unto them,
saying, 'Verily we shall destroy the unjust.'
And we shall cause you to inherit the land after them; this shall be for him
that feareth my appearing and feareth my threatening.
So they asked assistance of the Lord and every tyrant and rebellious one was
destroyed. Sura Ibrahim (xiv) 16-18.
In the midst of all this silent and possibly dejected state, when the result
of thirteen years of constant work seemed likely to lead to nothing but
practical banishment, Muhammad dreamed a dream, and passed, at least in
imagination, to the temple at Jerusalem where angels, patriarchs and prophets
met him, and from thence to the highest heaven and the presence of God himself:
Praise be to Him who carried His servant by night from the sacred temple to
the temple that is more remote, whose precincts we have blessed, that we might
show him some of our signs. Sura Al-Isra' (xvii) 1.
And remember when we said to thee, verily thy Lord is round about mankind; we
ordained the vision which we showed thee and likewise the cursed tree. 62.1
This event has afforded to the imagination of poets and traditionists ample
scope for the most vivid descriptions of what the Prophet saw and heard.2
It is manifestly unfair to look upon these