him and he returned the salute. Then he said, ‘Welcome to the good son and the good prophet.’" The story goes on with wearisome repetition of much the same account, telling us how Gabriel took Muhammad from heaven to heaven, being asked the same questions at each door, and answering them in precisely the same way. In the second heaven Muhammad was introduced to John the Baptist and Jesus, in the third to Joseph, in the fourth to Idris, in the fifth to Aaron, in the sixth to Moses. The latter wept, and when asked why, replied that the cause of his tears was the knowledge that more of Muhammad's followers than of his own people would enter Paradise. In the seventh heaven Muhammad met Abraham, and the usual greeting took place. "Afterwards I was carried aloft to the Sidratu'l Muntaha 1, and lo its fruits were like the pots of a potter, and lo! its leaves were like the ears of an elephant. He said, ‘This is the Lotus of the Boundary.’ Then lo! four rivers, two interior rivers and two exterior rivers. I said, ‘What are these two, O Gabriel?’ He said, ‘The two interior ones are two rivers in Paradise, but the two exterior ones are the Nile and the Euphrates.’"

The passage goes on to mention many other particulars of the journey, among others the

1 The Lotus of the Boundary," so called because even Gabriel must not pass it.

incident of Adam's weeping, which we have 1 already spoken of; but it is unnecessary to mention them all.

In the popular works 2 from which the great mass of modern Muslims obtain their knowledge of their prophet's life, the account of the Mi'raj is far more full of marvels. When he had reached the Lotus of the Boundary, beyond which Gabriel dared not advance with him, the angel Israfil took charge of Muhammad and led him to his own realm, whence the prophet advanced to the very Throne of God, being bidden by God's own Voice not to remove his sandals, since their touch 3 would honour even the court of God. After a few more details, which to ordinary minds seem both puerile arid blasphemous, we are told that Muhammad entered behind the veil 4, and that God said to him, "Peace be upon thee, and the mercy of God, and His blessing, O Prophet." In these later narratives of the Miraj we find mythology unrestrained by any regard for reason or truth.

We must now inquire what was the source from which the idea of this night journey of Muhammad was derived. It is very possible that the legend

1 pp. 206 sqq.
2 Such as the Qisasu'l Anbiya, the 'Araisu't Tijan, the Raudatu'l Ahbab, &c.
3 Qisasu'l Anbiya, pp. 337, 338.
4 Perhaps an invention to make him bear comparison with our Lord: cf. Heb. vi. 19, 20.