Islam

There are many legends surrounding Muhammad, the prophet and founder of Islam.  One of them is of Muhammad’s father, Abdula, who had a dream before his son was born. In the dream he saw a tree growing from his child’s back, which climbed upward, and emitted a light that illuminated the world.

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Ascent of Muhammad to Heaven (ca. 1539–1543), ascribed to Sultan Muhammad. From the Khamseh of Nizami.

621 AC – Muhammad did not became aware of his true purpose as a prophet until he was forty years old.  In one of his journeys the Archangel Gabriel flies him from Mecca to Jerusalem and introduces him to the angels and prophets that reside within the seven heavens of the Lote Tree or Tree of Life. The Isra and Mi’raj are the two parts of the Night Journey that happened during a single night. It has been described as both a physical and spiritual journey

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Ascending the Seven Heavens of the Heavenly Lote Tree.

As he entered the seventh heaven, the place where God/Allah resides he saw a beautiful luminous tree with multi-colored leaves. The Lote tree marks the end of the seventh heaven, the boundary where no creation can pass, and beyond which is the Throne of Allah, according to Islamic beliefs. It was in this presence that he learned of humanity’s higher potential and of the universal spirit within each of us.

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The Dome on the Rock. – Jerusalem.

692 AC – The Dome of the Rock represents the place of the Prophet Muhammad’s ascension into heaven and stands over the rock that Solomon’s Temple was built on. The Dome’s mosaics exclude any representations of human or animal forms, instead featuring Arabic script and vegetal patterns intermixed with images of items such as jewels and crowns. Arabic religious inscriptions run around the octagonal arcade. The original function and significance of the Dome of the Rock are uncertain. The building is not a mosque and does not fit easily into other categories of Muslim religious structures.

Dome of the Rock interior and Foundation Stone
Interior of the Dome on the Rock.

705 AC – In Islam, the term “al-Aqsa Mosque” refers to the entire Noble Sanctuary.  The specific passage in the Quran reads “Praise be to Him who made His servant journey in the night from the sacred sanctuary to the remotest sanctuary.” Muslims traditionally identify the “sacred sanctuary” as the Masjid al-Haram and the “remotest sanctuary” as the al-Aqsa Mosque, it stands near the Dome on the Rock in Jerusalem.

Muslims get ready to pray at Haram Mosque, Saudi Arabia.
The Kaaba in Mecca.

Kaaba , small shrine located near the centre of the Great Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is considered by Muslims to be the most sacred spot on Earth. The cube-shaped structure is roughly 50 feet high, and it is about 35 by 40 feet at its base. Constructed of gray stone and marble, it is oriented to the points of the compass. The interior contains nothing but the three pillars and suspended silver and gold lamps. Located in the eastern corner of the Kaaba is the sacred black stone, which pilgrims coming to perform the Hijra revere as coming from heaven and represents the ovum of the universe.

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The Tree of Immortality, Palace of Shaki Khans, Azerbaijan

In the Quran Allah does not refer directly to the tree of life or immortality. He only referred to it as the tree; Satan was the one who called it the tree of immortality to trick Adam and Eve.

“Asking good questions is half of learning.” – Mohammed

“None of you is a believer until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” – Mohammed

“Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden paradise whose width is that of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous – Those who spend freel, whether in prosperity or in adversity, who restrain their anger and pardon all men – for God loves those who do good.” – Quran, 3:133-134

“And among His signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts; verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”  – Quran, 30:21

“Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein, and whoever recommends and helps an evil cause shares in its burden.”  – Quran, 4:85

“Show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant.” – Quran, 7:199 

“Only from the heart can you touch the sky.” – Rumi

“Christian, Jew, Muslim, Shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.” – Rumi

“You think the shadow is the substance.” – Rumi

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

 “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” – Rumi

“When all your desires are distilled
 you will cast just two votes to love more and be happy.”
 – Hafiz

“Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.” – Rumi

“We rarely hear the inward music, but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless.” – Rumi

“The sun never says to the earth, 
’You owe me.’ 

Look what happens with a love like that. 
It lights up the whole sky.”  – Hafiz

“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” – Rumi

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi

“Silence is an ocean. Speech is a river.” – Rumi

“Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent.” – Rumi

“I died a mineral, and became a plant. I died a plant and rose an animal. I died an animal and I was man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?” – Rumi

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?” – Rumi

“When all your desires are distilled
you will cast just two votes to love more and be happy.”
 – Hafiz

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
- Rumi

“Come out of the circle of time
. And into the circle of love.” – Rumi