11. Adam's joy and grief in Heaven.

In Surah XVII., Al Asra', 1, we read a brief account of Muhammad's mythical journey to heaven, which occupies a very extensive place in Muhammadan Tradition. The words of this verse may be rendered thus:—

"Praise be to Him who caused His servant to journey by night from the Sacred Mosque 1 to the Farther Mosque 2, whose enclosure We have blessed, that We might show him of Our signs."

Regarding this Miraj of Muhammad, as it is called, we shall have to treat at some length in the next chapter 3. Here we refer to it in order to introduce a Tradition concerning one part of Muhammad's experience on that famous journey. In the Mishkatu'l Masabih we are told of a scene which he saw on entering the lowest of the seven Heavens:—

"Then 4 when He opened to us the lowest heaven, lo! a man seated: at his right hand were black figures and at his left hand were black figures. When he glanced towards his right he laughed, and when he glanced towards his left he wept. ... I said to Gabriel, ‘Who is this?’ He said, ‘This is Adam, and these black figures on his right hand and on his left hand are the souls of his

1 The Ka'bah at Mecca.
2 The Temple at Jerusalem!
3 pp. 218 sqq.
4 Op. cit., p. 521.

children; and those of them that are on the right are to be the people of Paradise, and the black figures which are on his left are to be the people of the Fire. Therefore when he looked towards his right he laughed, and when he looked towards his left side he wept.’"

This Tradition also may be traced back to the apocryphal "Testament of Abraham," as the following extract proves:—

"Michael 1 turned the chariot and carried Abraham towards the East, at the first gate of Heaven. And Abraham saw two ways; the one way strait and narrow and the other broad and wide; and there he saw two gates, one gate broad, corresponding to the broad way, and one gate strait, corresponding to the strait way. And outside of the two gates there I saw a man seated upon a throne covered with gold: and the appearance of that person was terrible, like unto the Lord. And I saw many souls being driven by angels and being led through the broad gate; and I saw other souls, a few, and they were being borne by angels through the strait gate. And when the marvellous man who was seated on this golden throne saw few entering through the strait gate but many entering through the broad gate, immediately that marvellous man seized the hair of his head and the sides of his beard and hurled himself from the throne to the ground, weeping

1 Testament of Abraham", Recension A, cap xi.