Photo: Men from the Empty Quarter in the Arabian Peninsula taken by the explorer Wilfred Thesiger; between 1945 and 1950.
Muḥammad was the first to present himself at the Divine Court and he pre-existed the rest of the created world. When Adam was created by God from clay and water, a light was placed in his heart and this light was Muḥammad. The whole universe, once created, bowed down before him in the same way that the Angels would bow down before Adam. He is the object of desire and love of everyone and everything from the stone to the Holy Spirit, and he brings harmony to the world, so that living next to him is like living in the Paradise. The Ascension of the Prophet (Miʿrāj) is subsequently reread in a specific light: not only the Prophet travels towards God, but he also brings with him the whole world, and so elevates it above its initial condition.
'And Muhammad Is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety'
by Annemarie Schimmel (Author)
The important role of the Prophet Muhammad in the everyday lives of Muslims is usually overlooked by Western scholars and has consequently never been understood by the Western world. Using original sources in the various Islamic languages, Annemarie Schimmel explains the central place of Muhammad in Muslim life, mystical thought, and poetry. She sees the veneration of Muhammad as having many parallels in other major religions. In order to understand Muslim piety it is necessary to take into account the long history of the veneration of Muhammad. Schimmel discusses aspects of his life, birth, marriage, miracles, and heavenly journey, all of which became subjects for religious devotions. By using poetic texts and artistic expressions and by examining daily Muslim religious practices, Schimmel shows us the gentler side of Islamic religious culture, providing a much-needed understanding of religion as it is experienced and practiced in the Islamic world. This is the first book in English to deal with all aspects of the veneration of the Prophet Muhammad. It is an expanded version of Schimmel's Und Muhammad Ist Sein Prophet, originally published in German in 1981.