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The learned possess a great number of versions
on this subject, but the best of all interpretations
is that of the lord rais, the wise Abu Ali Sina, who
declares :'c So said the prophet of God, Muhammed,
the selected (peace-be upon him):' " One night I
" slept in the house of my father's sister;2 it was a
*' night of thunder and lightning; no animal uttered
"a sound; no bird was singing; no man was awake;
" and I slept not, but was suspended between sleep

1  The ascent of Muhammed to Heaven has been mentioned (vol. II.
p. 339).   The prophet gave no explicit account of it in the Koran, yet
traditions of what he himself had related of it, although not without
various versions, are preserved, and believed with equal faith as the verses
of the sacred book themselves, in which frequent allusions occur to the
circumstances and events of which Muhammed's voyage to Heaven is
composed.   These, indeed, however absurd they may appear to unbe-
lievers, contain the fundamentals of the Muhammedan mysticism.    On
account of this importance, I shall add to the notice given above, byAvi-
senna, some particulars contained in the narration published from original
sources by the Baron of Hammer Purgstal Gemaldesaal moslimischer,
Heersher. Ulter $and. 1837, Seite 81, etc.)

2  Muhammed was sleeping in the house of Omm Hani, the daughter of
Abu Thaleb,in the sanctuary of the Kaba, when Jabril awakened him; the
angel called Mikail to bring him a cup full of water from the sacred well
Zemzem (see vol. III. pp. 14-15. note 1). ' Jabril cleft Muhammed's
breast, drew his heart out, washed it,  and, with three cups from the
sacred fountain, infused into him faith, knowledge, and wisdom.   He
then conducted him out of the sanctuary to a place between Safa and
Merva, where he made the prophet bestride Borak (see vol. II. p. 339),
which, as the Angel said, was mounted by Abraham.

v. in;                                                                           12