The Fourth Paradise: The Sheltering Garden ( Jannat al-Ma’wa)

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani


Then Gabriel called for prayer and the Prophet led the prayer among all the inhabitants of Paradise. Then the Buraq moved for another five hundred thousand light-years during which they traveled towards the fourth heaven which is called Jannat al-Ma’wa: the Sheltering Garden. There they heard a voice mixing angels and spirits. The door of the Prophet was made of silver upon a floor of gold. Again, the voice behind the door asked: “Who is there?” and Gabriel answered, “Muhammad.”

“Has he been sent for?”

“Yes.” And the door opened.

The Prophet saw angels standing and sitting, lying and bowing, praising and saying: “Subhan al-malik al-quddus rabb al-mala’ikati war ruh,” : “Glory to the holiest King, Lord of the angels and the Spirit!” The Prophet asked Gabriel, “O Gabriel, is that not the prayer of my grandfather Abraham?” and Gabriel said, “Yes, this is how your grandfather Abraham used to pray, and God was so happy with that prayer that he created an entire host of angels and filled the fourth heaven with them. He ordered them to repeat the same prayer. If anyone recites that praising among human beings, God will give them rewards according to the number of these angels.”

Then the Prophet saw two angels, one of transparent crystal like spring water, and one denser like salt water. Gabriel said: “One is the angel of sweet waters. He carries all the oceans of this universe with his right thumb. The other is the angel of salty waters. He carries all the oceans of this universe in his left thumb. These are the angels responsible for supporting every creature in creation through water, sweet or salty. They meet without mixing, as God has said:

He hath loosed the two seas. They meet. There is a barrier between them. They encroach not one upon the other.[1]

Behind them the Prophet saw angels shaped like birds, standing on the bank of a great river of Paradise. When a human being on earth says: “There is no god but God,” one of these angel-birds opens his wings. If the person says: “Glory to God,” the angel-bird enters the river to swim in it. When the person says: “Praise be to God,” the angel-bird dives into the water. When the person says: “God is greatest,” the angel-bird comes out of the river. When the person says: “There is neither power nor might except in God,” the angel-bird will shake off the water from him, and seventy thousand drops of water will come from him, out of each of which God creates an angel that asks forgiveness for that person until Judgment Day. In addition to this, God orders forty thousand rewards written in the book of that one and keeps them for him until his resurrection.

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by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Then the Prophet saw a man who leaned against the Books of human beings, in which were inscribed all their deeds. The Prophet asked: “Who is this?” Gabriel said: “This is the Prophet Idris, Peace be upon him.” The Prophet approached Idris and greeted him. Idris greeted him back and said: “Welcome to the pious brother and perfect prophet.” Above him the Prophet saw a dome of light on which was written: “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is His Messenger.” The Prophet looked inside it and saw a venerable old man with a white beard filled with light and crowned with a white turban. He asked: “Who is that, O Gabriel?” He answered: “That is an angel representing the Prophet Idris.” The Prophet greeted him and said: “O my brother! God has elevated you and honored you, and you have entered Paradise before me and saw its pleasures.” Idris said: “O Beloved one! At first I did not enter Paradise nor see its pleasure. But when I left this world I entered a garden on which door I saw: ‘Beyond this door none may enter before Muhammad and his nation.’ And I asked God, ‘For the sake of my grandson Muhammad, let me in.’ God let me in, so now because of you I am in this place.”

Then Idris recited:

This Station sought by all for shelter,
This lofty place where all people bow subdued
And stands the noble Messenger
With wisdom and might endued,
Station of guidance and angelic light
Where gloom of night and orphans’ sadness
At once are effaced,
This is the Station of direct communication
And the firm foothold for those determined to reach.
The All-Merciful called him His beloved one
And he is the beloved one of the universe
And from his light came the light of all life.

[1] Surat ar-Rahman, 55:19-20

copyright 2017 Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani