Hindu temple attacked in Bangladesh by Muslims

Dhaka: Idols of Hindu goddesses were destroyed when unidentified persons attacked a temple in southwestern Bangladesh on Saturday, the latest in a string of incidents against the minority community. godThe attackers ripped off the heads of idols of goddess Kali and Saraswati and threw them in the courtyard of the temple in Pirojpur district, Bdnews24 reported.

The idols were found smashed and destroyed this morning, a devotee was quoted as saying by the media.

A probe to find those responsible for the attack is already underway, said police official A Khalek.

“The attackers will be found and punished,” Mrinal Kanti Dey, chief executive of Nazirpur sub-district, told Bdnews24.

The attack on the temple was the latest in a string of incidents against Hindus, who make up about 8.4 per cent of Bangladesh’s population of 150 million.

Suspected opposition activists attacked Hindus in several districts during and after the January 5 election, accusing them of backing the Awami League which swept the polls following a boycott by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party.


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    Buraq The Red Nosed Donkey

    Buraq, the red-nosed Donkey
    had a very shiny nose
    and if you ever saw it
    you would even say it glows.

    All of the other Donkeys
    used to laugh and call him names
    They never let poor Buraq
    play in any Donkey games.

    Then one foggy Ramadan eve
    Muhammad came to say:
    “Buraq with your nose so bright,
    won’t you guide me to Heaven tonight?”

    Then all the Donkeys loved him
    as they shouted out with glee,
    Buraq the red-nosed Donkey,
    you’ll go down in history!


    No Muslim can deny the importance of Mohammed’s night journey in Islam, because this trip determined the Islamic rituals of praying five times a day, and performing ablution – or washing before prayer. In other words Mohammed’s night journey should impact the lives of 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world – five times – each and every day.

    Qur’an, sura 17.1

    “Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things)”.

    Mohammed’s alleged overnight trip covered the 1,000 miles from Mecca to Jerusalem, a trip to heaven, and a return to Mecca by morning, and is described in part as follows:

    Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0309:
    It is narrated on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I was brought al-Buraq Who is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place his hoof a distance equal to the range of vision. I mounted it and came to the Temple (Bait Maqdis in Jerusalem), then tethered it to the ring used by the prophets. I entered the mosque and prayed two rak’ahs in it, and then came out and Gabriel brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk.

    So Mohammed flew on al-Buraq to the temple in Jerusalem, tied it up to a ring “the prophets” had used in the past, and went on in to the Temple to pray. Because of the fantastic nature of Mohammed’s claims, some 21st century Muslims try to suggest that this was a vision or dream, but according to perhaps the most highly regarded historian of Islam:

    Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 228:
    Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
    The sights which Allah’s Apostle was shown on the Night Journey when he was taken to Bait-ul-Maqdis (i.e. Jerusalem) were actual sights, (not dreams). And the Cursed Tree (mentioned) in the Quran is the tree of Zaqqum (itself).

    Additionally, the rock enshrined in the Dome of the Rock on the temple mount, is supposed to be where Mohammed and Baraq launched from, for the leg of the trip to heaven. So it would be untenable to suggest that Mohammed’s journey was a dream or vision, while at the same time claiming that he launched from a very much physical and tangible rock, on the temple mount.

    Doubtless there were many skeptics when Mohammed recounted the details of his trip the morning after his night journey on the flying animal. As Dr. Rafat Amari points out in the introduction to “Islam: In Light of History”, Abu Bakar (the first assistant of Mohammed who became his first Caliph) confirmed Mohammed’s descriptions of the temple he had visited, because Abu Baker claimed he had once taken a journey to Jerusalem and had seen the temple himself, and remembered it to be just as Mohammed had described it.

    There is, however, a little difficulty with their accounts. The temple had been torn down over 500 years before their claims of personal visits to it. Indeed if Mohammed had actually hitched his flying animal anywhere near where the temple had been, as he claimed “the prophets” had hitched theirs, at the time in history that his night flight is supposed to have occurred, he would have found that the temple mount was being used as a garbage dump. The Muslim’s own Caliph Omar would have observed this when he marched into Jerusalem in 639 AD, not very many years after Mohammed offered his account detailed above.

    While Mohammed and Bakr didn’t need to be concerned about their largely illiterate followers traveling the 1,000 miles from Mecca to Jerusalem, to scrutinize their accounts, what excuse do today’s Muslims have in this 21st century information age?

    “In light of all this, we ask the following questions:

    * What Temple did Muhammad visit, enter and pray at before ascending to heaven?
    * Seeing that the Quran mentions a journey to a Mosque that did not exist during the lifetime of Muhammad, how can you consider the Quran to be 100% the word of God?
    * In light of the fact that both the Quran and the Islamic traditions contain this historical error, how can you trust either source to provide you with reliable information on the life of Muhammad and the first Muslims?
    * Does not the fact that the Quran mentions a Mosque which was only erected in AD 691 prove that there were Muslims who unashamedly and deceitfully added stories to the Quranic text and passed them off as revelation from God?
    * If you cannot find an answer to this historical problem within the Quran, why do you still remain a Muslim?”


    Flying camels, or baraqs, were nothing new to Islamic tradition. It was how they explained away the transportation impossibilities that resulted from the fictional history the Islamic “historians” had created.

    For example it was one of these mythical flying camels that enabled Abraham to pay visits to his son Ishmael in Mecca, a 1000 miles away. Islamic tradition also holds that it was a Baraq that enabled Ishmael to attend his father Abraham’s funeral in Hebron. Are we beginning to get the picture? Any time the thousand miles between Mecca and Israel presented the obvious geographical impossibility, of any suggestion of Abraham or Ishmael ever having been in Mecca, simply break out the flying camel! Hmmm

    But then the flying camel wasn’t invented by Muslim historians but had been in mythology from long before. It was utilized in Persian Zoroastrian mythology.

    Quoting Dr. Amari

    “The Pahlavi Texts of the book of Dinkard are Zoroastrian canonical comments on the Avesta, considered part of the Zoroastrian scriptures. It mentioned KaiKhusrois, a mythological prophet who transformed Vae, the god of the air, into the shape of a camel. He then mounted him and went where the immortal mythological Persians dwelt.”

    Indeed, when combined with the “Mecca” page, what we learn is that every Muslim on earth, bows toward and is supposed to travel to and circumambulate, the very same black stone moon god idol, that the pagans bowed toward and circumambulated before Mohammed. Now we learn that the reason that Muslims bow toward that black stone idol five times a day, and wash before doing so, is because Mohammed claimed to have taken a trip on a flying animal. Beyond the obvious questions about flying animals, that even an 8 year old might ask, Mohammed’s visit to and prayer in a temple, is also shown to be a physical impossibility. Some suggest it was a reference to the mosque that was built on the temple mount, but no “prophets” ever tied camels up to that mosque, let alone that it wasn’t built until 685 AD, long after Mohammed was dead and buried.

    The real reason Muslims pray five times a day and perform ablution, is likely because Mohammed became deeply involved in the second century occult cult of the Sabians, by way of four of his relatives. This cult apparently had so much influence over Mohammed’s daily life, that some in his own tribe referred to him as “the Sabian”. In the Quran Mohammed lists Sabians right alongside Christians and Jews.

    Qur’an, surah 2:62

    “Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day…”

    Qur’an, surah 5:69

    “Those who believe (in the Qur’an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the sabians and the Christians…”

    And guess what?

    The occult Sabian cult prayed five times a day and performed ablution.

    Excerpt from “Occultism in the family of Mohammed”

    “Waraqa was one of the founders of the group called Ahnaf. In the first narration of the life of Mohammed, written by Ibn Hisham in the 8th century A.D., we read:

    The Honafa’, or Ahnaf, was a small group started when four Sabians at Mecca agreed. Those four were Zayd bin Amru bin Nafil, Waraqa bin Naufal, Ubaydullah bin Jahsh, and Uthman Bin al-Huwayrith.[xxxi][31]

    The four founders of Ahnaf were all related to Mohammed. They were descendants of Loayy, one of Mohammed’s ancestors. Furthermore, Waraqa bin Naufal and Uthman Bin al-Huwayrith were cousins of Khadijah. We know this from Mohammed’s genealogy presented by Ibn Hisham.[xxxii][32] Ubaydullah Bin Jahsh was a maternal cousin to Mohammed. Mohammed married his widow, Um Habibeh. All this reveals the close connection between Mohammed and the founders of the group.”

    Before fundamental, Quran and Hadith following – true Muslims – received Western financing through oil purchase to expand their murder of innocent non-Muslims all around the world – with 2 million killed in the Sudan alone by the Islamic beast during this Islamic Second Jihad – the only thing I would have likely recalled knowing about Arabia would have been what I learned as a child. This would include stories like Aladdin’s lamp from which a genie emerged when it was rubbed, and Ali Baba and his magic flying carpet. Interesting now in adulthood to learn about Mohammed’s night flight that 1.5 billion people are not only expected to believe, but also to follow, five times a day.

    1. The Story of the Mi’raj in the Hadith.
    One of the most famous Islamic monuments in the world is the Dome of the Rock which stands on the site of the original Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. It is the third-holiest in the Muslim world after the Ka’aba in Mecca and Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and commemorates the alleged occasion of Muhammad’s ascent through the seven heavens to the very presence of Allah. It stands above the rock from which Muhammad is believed to have ascended to heaven. The narrative of this ascent is recorded in all the major works of Hadith in some detail, but there is only one verse in the Qur’an openly refer ring to the incident and in a limited context at that.
    The traditions basically report that Muhammad was asleep one night towards the end of his prophetic course in Mecca when he was wakened by the angel Gabriel who cleansed his heart before bidding him alight on a strange angelic beast named Buraq. Muhammad is alleged to have said:
    I was brought al-Burg who is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place his hoof at a distance equal to the range of vision. I mounted it and came to the Temple (Bait-ul Maqdis in Jerusalem), then tethered it to the ring used by the prophets. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, p. 101).
    Some traditions hold that the creature had a horse’s body and angel’s head and that it also had a peacock’s tail. It is thus represented in most Islamic paintings of the event. The journey from Mecca to Jerusalem is known as al-Isra, “the night journey”. At Jerusalem Muhammad was tested in the following way by Gabriel (some traditions place this test during the ascent itself):
    Allah’s Apostle was presented with two cups, one containing wine and the other milk on the night of his night journey at Jerusalem. He looked at it and took the milk. Gabriel said, “Thanks to Allah Who guided you to the Fitra (i.e. Islam); if you had taken the wine, your followers would have gone astray”. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p. 196).
    After this began al-Mi’raj, “the ascent”. Muhammad passed the sea of kawthar, literally the sea of “abundance” (the word is found only once in the Qur’an in Surah 108.1), and then met various prophets, from Adam to Abraham, as well as a variety of angels as he passed through the seven heavens. After this Gabriel took him to the heavenly lote-tree on the boundary of the heavens before the throne of Allah.
    Then I was made to ascend to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. the lote-tree of the utmost boundary). Behold! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr (i.e. a place near Medina) and its leaves were as big as the ears of elephants. Gabriel said, “This is the lote-tree of the utmost boundary”. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 5, p. 147).
    This famous tree, as-sidratul-muntaha, is also mentioned twice in the passage in Surah 53 describing the second vision Muhammad had of Gabriel (Surah 53.14,16) where he also saw the angel ‘inda sidrah, “near the lote-tree”. Gabriel and Buraq could go no further but Muhammad went on to the presence of Allah where he was commanded to order the Muslims to pray fifty times a day:
    Then Allah enjoined fifty prayers on my followers. When I returned with this order of Allah, I passed by Moses who asked me, “What has Allah enjoined on your followers?” I replied, “He has enjoined fifty prayers on them”. Moses said “Go back to your Lord (and appeal for reduction) for your followers will not be able to bear it”. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, p. 213).
    Muhammad allegedly went back and forth between Allah and Moses till the prayers were reduced to five per day. Moses then told him to seek yet a further reduction but Muhammad stopped at this point and answered Moses:
    I replied that I had been back to my Lord and asked him to reduce the number until I was ashamed, and I would not do it again. (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p. 187).
    Allah then said whoever observed the five times of prayer daily would receive the reward of fifty prayers. Muhammad then saw some of the delights of paradise as he returned to Gabriel and Buraq and then beheld the torments of the damned before going back to his bed in Mecca that same night. This, briefly, is the narrative of the ascent.
    2. The Night Journey in the Qur’an.
    As said already, the Qur’an has only one direct reference to this whole episode and it is found in this verse:
    Glory to (God) Who did take His Servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose precincts We did bless, – in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things). Surah 17.1
    The “Sacred Mosque” (al-masjidul-haram) is interpreted to be the Ka’aba at Mecca and the “Farthest Mosque” (al-masjidul- aqsa) the Temple at Jerusalem (also referred to as al-baitul- muqaddas – the “holy house”). The great mosque which presently stands next to the Dome of the Rock is accordingly known today as the “al-Aqsa” mosque.
    The verse is somewhat vague as it refers only to “signs” that Allah would show him. What is important, however, is the fact that the verse refers purely to the “journey by night” (asra), from Mecca to Jerusalem, and makes no mention of the ascent through the heavens (mi’raj) at all. Indeed the Qur’an nowhere directly refers to nor outlines the supposed ascent – a striking omission if it was a genuine experience. Some Muslim commentators have sought allusions to it elsewhere in the Qur’an but the passages quoted are too weak to be relied on with any certainty.
    Those who know how large a part the Miraj, or miraculous journey on the Borak, bears in popular conceptions of Mohammedanism will learn with surprise, if they have not gone much into the matter, that there is only one passage in the Koran which can be tortured into an allusion to the journey to heaven. (Bosworth Smith, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 186).
    There are some who say that the vision referred to in Surah 53.6-18 (see page 100) refers to the Mi’raj, but we have already seen that Muhammad recited this very Surah at the time of the first emigration to Abyssinia, and the passage must therefore refer to one of the very early visions as the Mi’raj is only said to have taken place some years later just before the Hijrah. Another hadith supports this conclusion by identifying this passage more clearly:
    Masruq reported: I said to Aisha: What about the words of Allah: Then he drew nigh and came down, so he was at a distance of two bows or closer still . . . (53.8-10)? She said: It implies Gabriel. He used to come to him in the shape of men; but he came at this time in his true form and blocked up the horizon of the sky. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, p. 112).
    The occasion Ayishah records is plainly identified as one of those where Muhammad had a vision of the approaching angel in the sky rather than a manifestation of the angel during their ascent through the heavens. If the verse had referred to the Mi’raj, Ayishah would have surely mentioned the fact, but it patently refers to an independent occasion.
    Furthermore the narratives in the Hadith expose a glaring anachronism. After proclaiming that he had been to Jerusalem Muhammad was allegedly asked to describe the Temple. He is said to have replied:
    I stood at al-Hijr, visualised Bayt al-Muqaddas and described its signs. Some of them said: How many doors are there in that mosque? I had not counted them so I began to look at it and counted them one by one and gave them information concerning them. (Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 1, p. 248).
    Another tradition states that when the Qurayah disbelieved him, Muhammad answered “Allah lifted me before Bait-ul-Maqdis and I began to narrate to them (the Quraish of Mecca) its signs while I was in fact looking at it” (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, p. 109). There is a real problem here for the structure had been destroyed more than five hundred years earlier and the site at that time had become a rubbish-dump and was so discovered by Umar when he conquered Jerusalem some years later. It cannot be said that Muhammad saw a vision of the Temple as it had been before it was destroyed for the Quraysh were asking him to describe contemporary Jerusalem as he saw it that very night. How could he have counted the doors of a building that no longer existed?
    The whole story of the Mi’raj as found in the Hadith may well be a pure fiction, a conclusion that will be reinforced through a study of its sources shortly. Here let it be said that it is not at all certain that Muhammad ever claimed that he actually ascended to heaven. It is possible that he merely related a striking dream, which he took as a vision, in which he imagined his journey to Jerusalem. Al-Hasan reported:
    One of Abu Bakr’s family told me that Aisha, the Prophet’s wife, used to say: “The apostle’s body remained where it was but God removed his spirit by night”. (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p. 183).
    These words clearly teach that Muhammad never left his apartment the whole night. Furthermore the Qur’an plainly restricts the journey to the Isra as we have seen. It is probable that what was originally nothing more than a dream of a journey to Jerusalem has been transformed into an actual physical event which was followed by an ascent through the heavens to the throne of Allah himself.
    The suggestion that even the Isra was only a dream is strengthened by the fact that the anachronism appearing in the Hadith is also found in the Qur’an for the latter also states that Muhammad was taken to the Temple in Jerusalem in Surah 17.1 quoted above. Although the Qur’an does not refer to the baitul-muqaddas but only to the masjidul-aqsa, it is clear that the same shrine is intended as the Qur’an in the same way describes the baitullah, the Ka’aba in Mecca, as the masjidul-haram. Furthermore the context establishes this interpretation for, only a few verses later, the Qur’an actually records the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem and here simply describes it as al-masjid (Surah 17.7 – the word today is only used of a Muslim mosque but in the Qur’an it is commonly used for any holy sanctuary).
    Although Muhammad obviously knew of the destruction of the second Temple, it seems he believed that it had been rebuilt like the first one. The fact that he first chose Jerusalem as his qiblah before turning to the masjidul-haram in Mecca adds considerable weight to this suggestion for he would hardly have chosen the former if he had known that no masjidul-aqsa stood on the site at that time, where the mosque of this name now stands, but only a compost heap.
    It seems appropriate to conclude that the experience Muhammad had was really only a dream which characterised his illusions about Jerusalem, and that the whole story of the Mi’raj is accordingly nothing more than a mythical fantasy imaginatively built upon it.
    3. A Literal Event or a Mystical Experience?
    Orthodox Muslims hold that the Mi’raj was a literal, bodily ascent to heaven, but others have suggested that it was purely a mystical experience. The distinction goes back to the early days of Islam and is summarised in the following quote:
    The belief in the Ascension of the Prophet is general in Islam. Whilst the Asha’ri and the patristic sects believe that the Prophet was bodily carried up from earth to heaven, the Rationalists hold that it was a spiritual exaltation, that it represented the uplifting of the soul by stages until it was brought into absolute communion with the Universal Soul. (Ali, The Spirit of Islam, p. 447).
    To this day those who believe that Muhammad actually went up to heaven and back remain overwhelmingly in the majority and the event is commemorated once a year during the lailatul-mi’raj, “the night of the ascension”, which falls on the 27th night of the Islamic month of Rajab. In more recent times, however, prominent Muslim authors have rejected the possibility of a physical ascent and have offered an assortment of alternative spiritual interpretations.
    Now, it is agreed by all that Muhammad’s Ascension was a matter of seconds or minutes instead of being days, months or years, and the words used for it by all biographers is Miraj, the same as used by God for the ascension of the angels or spirits who have no bodies . . . The Miraj is nothing but Inspiration or Revelation raised in degrees. (Sarwar, Muhammad: the Holy Prophet, pp. 119, 122).
    Since “faith” is an abstract concept, it is obvious that the Prophet himself regarded this prelude to the Ascension (the cleansing of his heart) – and therefore the Ascension itself and, ipso facto, the Night Journey to Jerusalem – as purely spiritual experiences. But whereas there is no cogent reason to believe in a “bodily” Night Journey and Ascension, there is, on the other hand, no reason to doubt the objective reality of this event. (Asad, The Message of the Qur’an, p. 997).
    Haykal has a novel view – he alleges that the discoveries of modern science, e.g. the reproduction of images on television and voices on radios, etc., proves that forces of nature can be transferred from one place to another, and so concludes:
    “In our modern age, science confirms the possibility of a spiritual Isra’ and Mi’raj . . . Strong and powerful spirits such as Muhammad’s are perfectly capable of being carried in one night from Makkah to Jerusalem and of being shown God’s signs” (The Life of Muhammad, p. 146).
    Quite what is meant by the latter statement, only the author can know. Nevertheless his interpretation is typical of modern attempts to cast the ascension into a mystical mould, reminiscent of the rationalistic interpretations of the “free-thinking” age of early Islam when similar attempts to explain the Mi’raj in rationalistic terms were made.
    In fact Haykal returns to the standpoint of the Mu’tazila, who also rejected the realistic understanding and denied that the ascent into heaven had occurred in the body. (Weasels, A Modern Arabic Biography of Muhammad, p. 84).
    The fanciful nature of the traditional story of the Mi’raj has made more educated Muslims realise that the orthodox interpretation is perhaps more consistent with the marvellous tales of the Arabian Nights than the world of reality. Even the early biographer Ibn Ishaq had his doubts about the narrative. In his introduction to the Sirat Rasulullah, Guillaume states:
    “In his account of the night journey to Jerusalem and the ascent into heaven he allows us to see the working of his mind. The story is everywhere hedged with reservations and terms suggesting caution to the reader” (p. xix).
    A famous biographer perhaps gets to the heart of the matter by suggesting that, as Muhammad was already looking northwards towards Medina for the future of his ministry and had decided to adopt Jerusalem as the qiblah, the imaginations of his mind by day probably became the fantasies of a dream by night: “The musings of the day reappeared in the slumbers of the night” (Muir, The Life of Mahomet, p. 117).
    At this stage we are bound to ask on what authority it may be suggested that the story of the Mi’raj, as recorded in all its details in the traditions, was purely a mythical adaptation of a simple dream. Did later scribes put it all together as a pious figment of their fertile imaginations? Not at all. Another modern Muslim author gives us a clear indication as to why much of it is an acute problem to recent scholars.
    The doctrine of a locomotive mi’raj or ‘Ascension’ developed by the orthodox (chiefly on the pattern of the Ascension of Jesus) and backed by Hadith is no more than a historical fiction whose material comea from various aourcea. (Rahman, Islam, p. 14).
    Let us now, in closing, examine these sources on which early traditionists relied for their details of the story.
    4. The Sources of the Alleged Ascent.
    Stories strikingly similar to the Mi’raj are found in various religious works predating the time of Muhammad and it is virtually certain that later scribes borrowed elements from these to create the story found in the Hadith.
    In these later narratives of the Mi’raj 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. (Tisdall, The Original Sources of the Qur’an, p. 225).
    Stobart refers to Surah 17.1 as Muhammad’s “simple account of what was probably only a dream prompted by his waking thoughts” and relieves him of responsibility for the fanciful narratives found in the Hadith:
    For the details of this revelation, with all its later embellishment of curious and extravagant fiction, drawn from the legends of the Haggidah, and the dreams of the Midrash and the Talmud, the prophet cannot, in fairness, be made responsible. (Stobart, Islam and its Founder, p. 141).
    Stobart refers to Jewish works where accounts similar to that of the Mi’raj are found, but perhaps the real origins of the Islamic account of Muhammad’s ascent to heaven are those stories found in Zoroastrian works which are strikingly parallel to the Mi’raj. Tisdall states that “The story may have incorporated elements from many quarters, but it seems to have been in the main based upon the account of the ascension of Arta Viraf contained in a Pahlavi book called ‘The Book of Arta Viraf”‘ (The Original Sources of the Qur’an, p. 226), where we find remarkable coincidences. Arta Viraf was a saintly priest who had a mi’raj of his own some four hundred years before the Hijrah:
    It is related that; when this young Arta Viraf was in a trance, his spirit ascended into the heavens under the guidance of an archangel named Sarosh, and passed from one storey to another, gradually ascending until he reached the presence of Ormazd himself. When Arta Viraf had thus beheld everything in the heavens and seen the happy state of their inhabitants, Ormazd commanded him to return to the earth as His messenger and to tell the Zoroastrians what he had seen. All his visions are fully related in the book which bears his name. (Tisdall, The Original Sources of the Qur’an, p. 227).
    There are numerous details in the narrative which correspond to those in the Hadith. Just as Gabriel guided Muhammad through the heavens, so Sarosh, one of the great Zoroastrian archangels, guided Arta Viraf. Likewise he came into the presence of Ormazd and visited paradise and hell as well.
    It is unnecessary to point out how great is the resemblance between all this and the Muhammadan legend of Muhammad’s Mi’raj. (Tisdall, The Original Sources of the Qur’an, p. 229).
    The Zoroastrians also teach that there is, in paradise, a marvellous tree called humaya in Pahlavi which corresponds closely to the sidrah, the lote-tree of Islam. Indeed the Zoroastrians even relate that their founder also passed through the heavens and visited hell.
    In the fabulous Zerdashtnama there is also an account of Zoroaster having ages before ascended to the heavens, after having received permission to visit hell, where he found Ahriman (the devil). (Tisdall, The Sources of Islam, p. 80).
    In his other book St. Clair-Tisdall comments that Ahriman, the Satan of Zoroastrianism, “closely corresponds with the Iblis of the Qur’an” (The Original Sources of the Qur’an, p. 230). It certainly seems that the whole account of the Mi’raj is a subtle adaptation done by Muslim divines sometime after the subjugation of Zoroastrian Persia during the Arab conquests in the early days of Islam.
    We may conclude that tradition has nonchalantly adorned the story of Muhammad’s dream with marvellous records of an ascent through the heavens. It is highly probable that Muhammad himself declared no more than that which we find in the Qur’an – that he had a vision or a dream in which he was carried to Jerusalem and there saw various signs. The isra of the Qur’an has been transformed into the mi’raj of the Hadith. In a very subjective way the former may well have been a vision or, more probably, a strange dream, but the latter does truly seem to be no more than a pious fiction drawn from the fables of other religious records and works.

    I read it in the paper just about a week ago
    It was on the back page and not many Muslims know
    Boy it made me feel bad when I picked it up and read,
    Buraq the wonder horse is dead

    Oh we rode the heavenly trails together at the Friday morning mosque show
    The heavenly trails’ are gone now but it hurts to hear it said
    Buraq the wonder horse is dead

    My memory goes back to when I was a little kid
    We believed in everything that Buraq ever did
    Will our kids have a hero half as brave or half as strong
    Buarq the wonder horse is gone

    Oh we rode the heavenly trails together…
    We believed that Buarq was the fastest horse alive
    If he outrun the wind itself we never were surprised
    In my childhood memory full of boys grow into men
    Buraq the wonder rides again

    Oh we rode the sandy trails together…
    Buraq the wonder horse is gone

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