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Ascensions To Heavens

 

At this time God the Most High in the most beneficent and glorious manner honored the Holy Messenger. God showed him all that was in heaven and the universe in a vision. He met all the earlier Messengers and led them in prayer. He saw the Glory and the Light of God. This was the greatest favor that God could bestow upon any human being. The Messenger received forgiveness for sinners if they repent and do good. This most radiant vision, physical, as well as spiritual, is known as the Ascension, which means 'having reached the highest point', or as the 'Vision of ascension'. It gave strength to the Messenger at the darkest moment of his mission when he most needed it. 

For five years the sufferings of the believers multiplied day by day. In spite of these trials, however, more persons joined them each day. Abu Talib, the Messenger's uncle, and Khadijah, his beloved wife, his two greatest supporters, died. The Quraish, now finding Muhammad left without this support, increased their persecutions. By this time the people of the city of Medina, who used to visit Mecca each year, had heard of the Messenger's message. Many of them embraced his teachings and they urged the Messenger to come to Medina, sincerely pledging to stand by him at the cost of their lives if necessary. It was in the thirteenth year after the Messenger received the message that the Quraish became desperate enough to decide to assassinate him and end his mission permanently. But God revealed their evil design to the Messenger, and he was able to escape unharmed. When the Messenger and Abu Bakr arrived in Medina, they were welcomed with great joy by the believers, both the Medinites and the many emigrants from Mecca, who, prior to the Messenger's departure, had slipped away to Medina. In Medina the mission of the Messenger entered into its second and final phase, that of an organizer of a community based on the Divine law. While the revelations he received in Mecca were primarily concerned with the matters of faith, the revelations which were given to the Messenger at Medina cover a broad range dealing with all aspects of human conduct, pertaining to food and drink, marriage and family life, morals and manners, trade and commerce, peace and war, crime and punishment. The religion was a way of life for the individual and for the community, and every aspect of life is bound by its laws and practices. 

While the community was welded together into a solid brotherhood by their common belief and the way of life, which it brought them, the opponents still threatened them. In addition, from time to time the Quraish brought their armies to fight them. 

Although toward the end of his life the Messenger was the head of a large nation, still his way of life was extremely simple and austere. At times he and his household lacked even basic necessities. In all his words and deeds he was a living example of the teachings of divine decree, drawing men and fixing their hearts firmly on God through his teaching and his perfect upright life. We are fortunate that many of sayings and his actions have been recorded through his companions in the collections called hadith or the traditions of the Messenger to serve as a guide to us. 

 

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