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

1 Muhammad 'Ali says that the ascension was spiritual not bodily. The cursed tree is called Zaqqum in Sura xxxvii. 60 and is the food of sinners in hell. This commentator then makes the curious deduction that this vision shows the triumph of Islam and the defeat of its enemies.
2 For a full description of these marvels, see Koelle, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, pp. 304-14; also, Deutch, Literary Remains, pp. 99-112.

extravagant embellishments as matters of necessary belief. The most intelligent members of the modern school of Indian Muslims look upon the Mi'raj as a vision, though the orthodox utterly condemn such a view. 1

When the next period of the pilgrimage came round, Mus'ab brought a full report of the great success he had met with in Madina. On the last night of this pilgrimage Muhammad met his Madina converts. Seventy-three men and two women were present. Muhammad gave them an address and asked them to pledge themselves to defend him. This they did, and this pledge is known as the 'Second pledge of Aqaba.' The nature of the compact will be seen from what follows. Muhammad said,2 'Swear that you will preserve me from everything from which you preserve your own wives and children.' One of the leaders replied, 'Yea, by Him who hath sent thee, a Prophet with truth, we shall protect thee as our bodies: receive our allegiance, O Prophet of God ! By Allah ! we are the sons of war and men of arms which we, the valiant, have inherited from the valiant.' Another said, 'O Apostle of God, there

1 'All that Muhammadans must believe respecting the Mi'raj is that the Prophet saw himself,. in vision, transported from Mecca to Jerusalem and that in a such a vision he really beheld some of the greatest signs of his Lord.' Syed Ahmad, Essays, vi. p. 34.
Muhammad 'Ali's view is that it refers to the flight from Mecca, i.e. from the Ka' ba to the Mosque about to be built at Madina. Holy Qur'an, p. 561.
The orthodox view is that he who denies the actual bodily migration from Mecca to Jerusalem is a Kafir (infidel), as he denies the statement of a
نص or plain statement of the Qur'an; he who denies the further ascension to heaven and the account recorded in the traditions is a فاسق (sinner), though he is still a Muslim. See The Faith of Islam (4th ed.), p. 309.
2 Mirkhund, Raudatu's-Safa, Part ii, vol. i, p. 229.