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I know Christian lore well, but not Muslim. Hussein Kanji replies to my question about the Prophet's ascent from Jerusalem to Heaven. He did indeed come back to earth. Hussein says:
That is one of the miracles that God gave the Prophet (peace be upon him). He ascended to heaven and came back to lead the community. The ascent (in Arabic, the al-miraaj) was made in 621 AD. The Archangel Gabriel took the Prophet (pbuh) from Mecca to Jerusalem where the ascent to heaven was made. Here the Prophet met with previous prophets (Moses, Jesus, Abraham and others) and led them in prayer. The five daily prayers that Muslims perform were also prescribed here. The Miraaj is mentioned in the Qur'an in the first verse of Chapter 17, "The Children of Israel".
The Prophet (pbuh) did not pass away until 632 AD, which is eleven years after the Hijra - the pilgrimage from Mecca to Medina - and the 11th year in the Islamic calendar.
My comment: Note that Jesus is reduced to just another prophet, with THE Prophet ("the seal of the prophets") leading the group in prayer. At least that shows deep respect for Jesus. A sign of Western decadence is a play showing in England. It depicts Christ as a homosexual who committed suicide because he was abandoned by a lover. An Iranian fatwa has condemned the actor to death, which would cut short the career of a young man who might have made it big in show business. The fatwa is unnecessary, since Western civilization itself is doomed unless it comes to its senses.
I doubt if it will. In the fight between faction and fiction, fiction is gaining a great victory in the new Hollywood techniques to which a TV program was devoted today. The spectator is conveyed to a never-never world full of fearsome electronic thrills. Just right for children preparing to face the real world.
Ronald Hilton - 10/31/99