Fourth principle: What are the Ascension’s fruits and benefits?
ANSWER: Out of the numerous fruits of the Ascension, which is like an elaborate tree of Paradise in meaning, we will mention only five as examples.
First fruit: The vision of the original forms of the pillars of belief or the truths from which they originate, as well as seeing angels, Paradise, and the Hereafter, and even the vision of the All-Majestic Being (beyond all features of quality and quantity), resulted in a vast treasury, an eternal light, and a gift for the universe and humanity. Through it, the universe could no longer be seen as a disordered heap of things doomed to destruction, for its reality was revealed: It is the harmonious collection of the Eternally Besought’s sacred writings and the lovely mirrors where the Single One’s Grace and Beauty are reflected. It has pleased and caused the universe and all conscious beings to rejoice.
It also freed us from our confused state of misguidance, in which we considered ourselves wretched, helpless, and destitute beings entangled in infinite need and hostility and doomed to eternal annihilation. It showed us our reality as beings of the fairest composition and creation’s best pattern, miracles of the Eternally Besought’s Power, a comprehensive copy of His writing, and beings addressed by the Sovereign of Eternity. It also revealed that we are His private servants appreciating His Perfections, His friends beholding His Beauty in amazement, and His beloved and honorable guests designated for Paradise. It implanted infinite joy and enthusiasm in those who are truly human.
Second fruit: The Ascension brought to jinn and humankind as a gift the essentials of Islam, including primarily the prescribed five daily Prayers, which comprise whatever is approved by and pleasing to the Ruler of Eternity, the Maker of creatures, the Owner of the universe, and the Lord of the worlds. To perceive the things that are pleasing to Him are so curiosity-exciting and brings such happiness that it cannot be described. For everyone wants to know the wishes of a renowned benefactor or a benevolent king, and so wishes that they could talk with him directly to know what he asks of them and what pleases him.
All creatures are in the grasp of His Power, and their grace, beauty, and perfections are but dim shadows when compared to His Beauty, Grace, and Perfection. See to what degree humanity, who needs Him in infinite respects and receives His boundless bounties every moment, should be curious about and want to know His will and what pleases Him. One of the Ascension’s fruits was that after passing through “seventy thousand” veils, Prophet Muhammad heard what pleases the King of Eternity directly from Him with absolute certainty, and then relayed this information to us as a gift.
Humanity is very curious about the moon and other planets. We hope that someone will go there and tell us what they see, and are ready to make great sacrifices for this end. But the moon travels in the domain of the Master Who makes it fly around the earth like a fly. The earth flies around the sun like a moth, and the sun is only one of thousands of lamps and functions as a candle in a guest-house of the All-Majestic Master’s Kingdom. During the Ascension, Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, observed the essential Characteristics of such an All-Majestic Being, as well as the originals of His Acts, His Art’s wonders, and His Mercy’s treasuries in the eternal world. The observed these and returned to tell us about them. How contrary to reason and wisdom it would be if humanity did not listen to him with utmost curiosity and in perfect amazement and love.
Third fruit: The Prophet saw the hidden treasury of eternal happiness during the Ascension and brought its keys to humanity and jinn as a gift. He saw Paradise, observed the everlasting manifestations of the Majestic All Merciful One’s Mercy, and perceived eternal happiness with absolute certainty. He then gave humanity and jinn the glad tiding that the eternal happiness exists (in an everlasting world).
The great happiness that surged in the mortal, wretched human beings and jinn, all of whom before this event had considered themselves condemned to eternal annihilation, cannot be described. They learned of this at a time when all creatures were pouring out heart-rending cries at the thought of being in a flux amid the convulsions of death and decay in an unstable world, entering the ocean of non-existence and eternal separation through time’s flow and atoms’ motion. Consider how happy such people become when they learn, just before they are to be hanged, that the king has given each of them a palace near his own palace. Add together the joy and happiness of all human beings and jinn, and then you will understand the value of this good tiding.
Fourth fruit: Prophet Muhammad received the fruit of the vision of God’s Beautiful “Countenance,” and brought it to humanity and jinn as a gift so that every believer may be honored with the same vision. You can understand how delicious, fine, and beautiful that fruit is by the following comparison: Anyone with a heart loves a beautiful, perfect, and benevolent one. This love increases in proportion to the extent of beauty, perfection, and benevolence; expands to adoration and self-sacrifice; and increases to the point that one may sacrifice possessions and life for a single vision of the beloved one.
When compared to His, all beauty, perfection, and benevolence in creation do not even resemble a few flashes of the sun in comparison to the sun itself. Understand from this what a pleasant, beautiful, rejoicing, and blissful fruit it is to receive in eternal happiness the vision of an All Majestic One of Perfection, Who is worthy of infinite love, the sight of Whom deserves to inspire an infinite eagerness.
Fifth fruit: Another fruit is that this event made it understood that humanity is a valuable fruit of the universe and a darling beloved of the Maker of the universe. Though outwardly an insignificant creature, a weak animal, and an impotent conscious being, humanity has risen through this fruit to a position so far above all other creatures that it is the cause of pride for us. The joy and happiness it gives is indescribable. If you tell an ordinary private that he has been promoted to the rank of field-marshal, he will feel infinite joy. While being a mortal, helpless, reasoning, and articulating animal knowing only the blows of decay and separation, we were told unexpectedly through the Ascension: As you may realize all your heart’s desires in an everlasting Paradise, enveloped by the Mercy of an All-Merciful, All-Compassionate, and All-Magnificent One, and in recreation, in traveling with the speed of imagination and in the broad sphere of the spirit and the mind, you also may see His All-Beautiful “Countenance” in eternal happiness.
Imagine the great joy and happiness one who is truly human will feel in his or her heart upon hearing this. O unbelievers, tear the shirt of denial and irreligion and put on the ears of a believer and the eyes of a Muslim. Consider the following two comparisons.
First comparison: Suppose we are in an unfriendly land in which everything and everyone is hostile and strange to us and to each other. Dreadful corpses are everywhere. All we hear are cries of orphans and laments of the oppressed. While there in that situation, if one goes and brings the good news from the king, which somehow changes hostility into friendship; enemies into friends; dreadful corpses into worshippers occupied with praising and glorification, in veneration and humility; cries and wailings into shouts of approval or acclamation; and death, killing, and robbery into discharges from life’s duties— and if we somehow share the joy and happiness of others, while experiencing our own joy and happiness, you can understand how joyful that tiding is.
Prior to the light of belief, a fruit of Prophet Muhammad’s Ascension, all creatures seemed to be strange, harmful, troublesome, and frightening objects. Mountain-like bodies seemed like dreadful corpses, death cut off everyone’s head and threw it into the well of eternal non-existence, and all voices were cries of lament coming from death and separation. At a time when misguidance presented everything in such a way, the truths contained in the pillars of belief, a fruit of the Ascension, showed every creature as a friend or sibling, something that mentions and glorifies its All-Majestic Maker, death as a discharge from life’s duties, and voices as praises and glorifications of God. If you want to comprehend this truth perfectly, refer to the Second and Eighth Words.
Second comparison: Suppose we are trapped at night in a desert sand storm. We cannot see even our hands and are hungry, thirsty, hopeless, and exposed. Just then, someone appears unexpectedly with a car and takes us to a Paradise-like place, where an extremely merciful lord welcomes us and extends his protection to us. Our future has been secured, and a banquet has been prepared for us. You can well imagine our great happiness.
The desert is the world, and the sandstorm is the violent disturbances of time and events. All of us are anxious about our future. Since we look at it through the view of misguidance, we see it in a thick darkness. No one we know can hear our cries. Moreover, we are very hungry and thirsty. But thanks to the pillars of belief, ways of worship and principles of good conduct that Prophet Muhammad brought as a fruit of the Ascension, the world is the guest-house of an extremely Munificent One and we are His guests and officers. In such a guest-house, the future appears as beautiful as Paradise, as lovely as mercy, and as brilliant as eternal happiness. Given this, understand how lovely, pleasant, and beautiful that fruit is.
The unbeliever remarks: “Boundless praise and gratitude be to Almighty God! I am convinced and reject my unbelief. I am a believer.” We congratulate you, and may God Almighty include us in His Messenger’s intercession.
O God, bestow blessings from the beginning of the world until the end of the Day of Judgment, on him by whose sign the moon split, and from whose fingers water gushed forth like the spring of Paradise; who made the Ascension and whose eyes did not swerve— our master Muhammad, and on his Family and Companions.
All-Glorified are You! We have no knowledge save what You have taught us. Surely You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
O Lord, accept from us (all our good deeds); surely You are the All Hearing, the All-Knowing. Our Lord, take us not to task if we forget or make mistakes. O Lord, do not let our hearts swerve after You have guided us. O Lord, complete our light for us and forgive us. Surely You have full power over all things. The conclusion of their call will be: “All praise and gratitude are for God, the Lord of the Worlds.”
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi