In the previous discourse we perused and commented upon the marvelous vision of the Prophet Daniel (Dan. vii.). We saw how the four beasts that represented the four king- doms succeeding one another were the Powers of Darkness and how they persecuted the Jews and the early Church of Jesus, which was constituted of true believers in the One God. We also remarked that those Powers were pagan and allegorically described as ferocious brutes. Further, we saw that the "Eleventh Horn," which had eyes and mouth, which uttered blasphemies against the Most High had fought and overcome His Saints had changed the times and the Law of God, could be no other than the Emperor Constantine, who in AD. 325, promulgated his imperial rescript proclaiming the creed and the decisions of the Nicene General Council.
In this article let us follow our researches patiently with regard to the glorious BAR NASHA, or the "Son-of-Man," who was presented-upon the clouds to the Most High, to whom was given the Sultaneh (Sholtana in the original text, i.e. "dominion" or "empire") honor and kingdom for ever, and who was commissioned to destroy and annihilate the terrible Horn.
Now let us proceed forthwith to establish the identity of this "Bar nasha."
Before finding out who this Son-of-Man is, it is but essential that we should take into consideration the following points and observations: -
(a) When a Hebrew Prophet predicts that "all the nations and peoples of the earth shall serve him" (i.e. the Bar nasha) or "the people of the Saints of the Most High," we must understand that he means thereby the nations men- tioned in Genesis xv. 18-21, and not the English, the French, or the Chinese nations.
(b) By the phrase "the people of the Saints of the Most High" it is understood to mean first the Jews and then the Christians who confessed the absolute Oneness of God, fought and suffered for it until the appearance of the Bar nasha and the destruction of the Horn.
(c) After the destruction of the Horn the people and the nations that will have to serve the Saints of God are the Chaldeans, Medo-Persians, Greeks, and the Romans - the four nations represented by the four beasts that had trod upon and invaded the Holy Land.
From the Adriatic to the Walls of China all the various nations have either as Muslims received the homage or as unbelievers served the Muslims, who are the only true believers in the One God.
(d) It is remarkable to realize the significant fact that God often allows the enemies of His true religion to subdue and persecute His people because of two purposes. First, because he wants to punish His people for their lethargy, drawbacks and sins. Secondly, because He wishes to prove the faith, the patience and the indestructibility of His Law and Religion, and thus to allow the infidels to continue in their unbelief and crime until their cup is full. God in due time Himself intervenes on behalf of the believers when their very existence is on its beam-ends. It was a terrible and most critical time for all Muslims when the Allied Forces were in Constantinople during those awful years of the Armistice. Great preparations were made by the Greeks and their friends to take back the Grand Mosque of Aya Sophia; the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople went to London carrying with him a precious ancient patriarchal cope set in gems and pearls for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was strenuously advocating the restoration of Constantinople and the grand edifice of St. Sophia to the Greeks. On the eve of the celebration of Prophet Muhammad's night journey to Heaven - called al-mi'raj - the sacred building was crammed with a great multitude of the suppliant faithful who till the dawn most earnestly supplicated the Almighty Allah to deliver Turkey, and particularly the Sacred House, from those who "would fill it with ugly idols and images as before!" In connection with that patriarchal mantle or cope, I wrote an article in the Turkish paper the Aqsham, showing the existence of a schism between the Greek Orthodox and the Protestant Anglican Churches. I pointed out that the cope was not meant as a pallium of investiture and recognition of the Anglican orders, and that a reunion between the two Churches could never be accomplished unless one or the other of the parties should renounce and abjure certain articles of faith as heretical and erroneous. I also pointed out that the cope was a diplomatic bribe on behalf of Greece and its Church. The letter ended with these words: "All depends upon the grace and miracle which this bakhskish of a pontifical cope is expected to work!"
The result is too well known to be repeated here. Suffice it to say that the Patriarch died in England, and the Almighty, who sent the Bar nasha to crush the Horn and chase out the legions of Rome from the East, raised Mustapha Kamal, who saved his country and restored the honor of Islam!
(e) It is to be noted that the Jews were the chosen people of God until the advent of Jesus Christ. In the eyes of the Muslims neither the Jews nor the Christians have a right to claim the title of "the People of the Saints of the Most High," because the former reject Jesus altogether, while the latter insult him by deifying him. Moreover, both are equally unworthy of that title because of their refusing to recognize the Last Prophet who has completed the list of the Prophets.
We shall now proceed to prove that the Bar nasha - the Son-of-Man - who was presented to the "Ancient of Days" and invested with power to kill the monster, was no other than Prophet Muhammad, whose very name literally means "the Praised and Illustrious." Whatever other person you may try to invent in order to deprive the august Messenger of Allah of this unique glory and majesty bestowed on him in the Divine Court, you will only make yourselves ridiculous; and this for the following reasons: -
1. We know that neither Judaism nor Christianity has any particular name for its faith and its system. That is to say, neither the Jews nor the Christians have any special name for the doctrines and forms of their faith and worship. "Judaism" and "Christianity" are not Scriptural nor authoriz- ed either by God or the founders of those religions. In fact, a religion, if true, cannot properly be named after its second founder, for the real author and founder of a true religion is God, and not a Prophet. Now the proper noun for the laws, doctrines, forms and practices of worship as revealed by Allah to Prophet Muhammad is "Islam," which means "making peace" with Him and among men. "Muhammadanism" is not the proper appellation of Islam. For Prophet Muhammad, like Prophet Abraham and all other Prophets, was himself a Muslim, and not a Muhammadan! Judaism means the religion of Judah, but what was Judah himself? Surely not a Judaist! And similarly was Christ a Christian or a Jesuit? Certainly neither of them! What were, then, the names of these two distinct religions? No names at all!
Then we have the barbarous Latin word "religion," meaning "the fear of the gods." It is now used to express "any mode of faith and worship." Now what is the equivalent word for "religion" in the Bible? What expression did Moses or Jesus use to convey the meaning of religion? Of course, the Bible and its authors make no use of this word at all.
Now the Scriptural term used in the vision of Daniel is the same as applied repeatedly by the Qur'an to Islam, namely, "Din" (and in the Qur'an, "Din"), which means "recompense on the Day of Judgement." And the tribune is the "Dayyana" or the "Judge." Let us read the description of this celestial Court of Judgement: "the tribunes are set, the books are opened, and the 'Dina' - recompense of judgment - is established." By the "Books" is to be understood the "Preserved Tablets" wherein the decrees of God are inscribed from which the Qur'an was revealed by the Angel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad; and also the books of accounts of every man's actions. It was according to the decrees and laws of God contained in that "Preserved Tablet," and the wicked actions of the Horn, that the Great "Dayyana" - the Judge con- demned it to death and appointed Prophet Muhammad to be "Adon," i.e. "Commander" or "lord," to destroy the monster. All this language of Daniel is extremely Qur'anic. The religion of Islam is called "Dinu 'I-Islam." It was according to the decrees and laws of this "Dina" that the "Bar nasha" destroy- ed the Devil's religion and his lieutenant the Horn. How can it, then, be at all possible that any man other than Prophet Muhammad could be meant by the appearance of a "Son- of-Man" in the presence of the Most High? Islam is, indeed, a "judgment of peace," because it possesses an authen- ticated Book of Law, with which justice is administered and iniquity punished, the truth discerned and the falsehood con- demned; and above all, the Oneness of God, the eternal rewards for good deeds, and eternal damnation for wicked actions are clearly stated and defined. In English a magistrate is called "Justice of Peace;" that is to say, a "judge of peace." Now this is in imitation of a Muslim Judge, who settles a quarrel, decides a case, by punishing the guilty and rewarding the innocent, thus restoring peace. This is Islam and the law of the Qur'an. It is not Christianity nor the Gospel, for the latter absolutely forbids a Christian to appeal to a judge, however innocent and oppressed he may be (Matt. v. 25, 26, 38-48).
2. The Son-of-Man, or Bar nasha, is certainly Prophet Muhammad. For he came after Constantine, and not before him as Jesus or any other Prophet did. The Trinitarian regime in the East represented by the Horn, which we rightly identify with the Emperior Constantine, was permitted to fight with the Unitarians and vanquish them for a period described in the figurative, prophetical language as "time, times and half a time," which phrase signifies three centuries and a half, at the end of which all the power of idolatry on the one hand and the Trinitarian dominion and tyranny on the other were eradicated and swept away entirely. There is nothing more absurd than the assertion that Judah the Maccabaeus (Maqbhaya) was the Bar nasha on the clouds, and the Horn Antiochus. It is alleged that (if I remember aright) Antio- chus, after desecrating the Temple of Jerusalem, lived only three years and a half - or three days and a half - at the end of which time he perished. In the first place, we know that Antiochus was a successor of Alexander the Great and King of Syria, consequently one of the four heads of the winged Tiger and not the eleventh Horn of the fourth Beast as stated in the vision. In the eighth chapter of the Book of Daniel, the Ram and the He-goat are explained by a Saint as representing the Persian and the Greek Empires respec- tively. It is expressly explained that the Greek Empire immediately succeeded the Persian and that it was divided into four kingdoms, as stated in the first vision. Secondly, the Horn with the speech indicates that the person who blasphemed and changed the Law and holy days could not be a pagan, but one who knew God and associated with Him purposely the other two persons whom he had equally known, and perverted the faith. Antiochus did not pervert the faith of the Jews by instituting a trinity or plurality of Gods, nor did he change the Law of Moses and its festival days. Thirdly, it is childish to give such a magnitude and importance to local and insignificant events which took place between a petty king in Syria and a small Jewish chief, so as to compare the latter with the glorious man who received the homage of the millions of angels in the presence of the Almighty. More- over, the prophetical vision describes and depicts the Bar nasha as the greatest and the noblest of all men, for no other human being is reported in the Old Testament to have been the object of such honor and grandeur as Prophet Muhammad.
3. It is equally futile to claim for Jesus Christ this celestial honor given to the Son-of-Man. There are two main reasons to exclude Jesus from this honor; (a) If he is purely a man and prophet, and if we consider his work a success or failure, then he is certainly far behind Muham- mad. But if he is believed to be the third of the three in the Trinity, then he is not to be enlisted among men at all. You fall into a dilemma, and you cannot get out of it; for in either case the Bar nasha could not be Jesus. (b) If Jesus was commissioned to destroy the fourth Beast, then instead of paying poll-tax or tribute to Caesar and submitting himself to be bastinadoed or whipped by the Roman governor Pilate, he would have chased away the Roman legions from Palestine and saved his country and people.
4. There has never lived upon this earth a Prince - Prophet like Muhammad, who belonged to a dynasty that reigned for a long period of about 2,500 years, was absolutely independent and never bent its neck under a foreign yoke. And certainly there has never been seen on earth another man like Prophet Muhammad, who has rendered more material and moral service to his own nation in particular and to the world in general. It is impossible to imagine another human being so dignified and so worthy as Prophet Muhammad for such a magnificent glory and honor as depicted in the prophetical vision. Let us just compare the great Prophet Daniel with the Bar nasha he was beholding with awe and wonder. Daniel was a slave or captive, though raised to the dignity of a vizier in the courts of Babylon and Susa. What would, in the presence of the Almighty, be his position when compared with Prophet Muhammad, who would be crowned as the Sultan of the Prophets, the Leader of mankind, and the object of the angels' homage and admiration? Small wonder that the Prophet David calls Prophet Muhammad "My Lord" (Psa, c. 10).
5. It is no wonder to find that on his night journey to Heaven Prophet Muhammad was received with the highest honors by the Almighty and invested with power to extirpate idolatry and the blasphemous Horn from countries given by God to him and to his people as an everlasting heritage.
6. Another most amazing feature in this prophetical vision is, according to my humble belief, that the sight of a Barnasha upon the clouds and his presentation to the Almighty corresponds with and is simultaneous with the Mi'raj - or night journey of the Prophet Muhammad; in other rds, this second part of the vision of Daniel is to be identified with the Mi'raj! There are, indeed, several indications both in the language of Daniel and in the "Hadith" - the quotations of the Prophet of Allah - which lead me to this belief. The Qur'an declares that during that night- journey God transported His worshiper from the Sacred Mosque at Mecca to the Father Temple of Jerusalem. He blessed the precincts of that Temple, then in ruins, and showed him His signs (chap. xvii).
It is related by the Holy Prophet that at the Temple of Jerusalem he officiated in his capacity of the Imam, and con- ducted the prayers with all the company of the Prophets following him. It is further related that it was from Jerusalem that he was carried up unto the Seventh Heaven, being ac- companied by the spirits of the Prophets and Angels until he was taken to the presence of the Eternal. The modesty of the Prophet which forbade him to reveal all that he saw, heard and received from the Lord of Hosts is made good by Daniel, who narrates the decision of Gods Judgement. It appears that the Spirit which interpreted the vision to Daniel was not an Angel, as thoughtlessly remarked by me else- where, but the Spirit or the Soul of a Prophet, for he calls "Qaddish" (in the masculine gender) and "Qaddush" (iv. 10; viii. 13 ), which means a Saint or a Holy Man - a very usual name of the Prophets and Saints. How glad must have been the holy souls of the Prophets and the Martyrs who had been persecuted by those four beasts especially more so when they saw the decree of death being pronounced by the Almighty against the Trinitarian regime of Constantine and the Seal of the Prophets being commissioned to kill and annihilate the uttering Horn! It will also be remembered that this vision was seen as well during the same night in which took place the journey of the Son of Man nasha from Mecca to the heavens!
From the testimony of Daniel we, as Muslims, must admit that Prophet Muhammad's journey was corporeally performed - a thing of no impossibility to the Omnipotent.
There must exist a law in physics according to which a body is not controlled by the main body to which it belongs, or by the law of gravitation, but by the law of velocity. A human body belonging to the earth cannot escape from it unless a superior force of velocity should detach it from the force of gravitation. Then there must also exist another law in physics according to which a light body can penetrate into a thick one and a thick body into an even still thicker or harder one through the means of a superior force, or simply through the force of velocity. Without entering into the details of this subtle ques- tion, suffice it to say that before the force of velocity the weight of a solid body, whether moved or touched, is of no concern. We know the rate of the velocity of the light from the sun or a star. If we discharge a bullet at the rate, say, of 2,500 meters a second, we know it penetrates and pierces a body of iron plate which is several inches thick. Similarly, an angel, who can move with an infinitely greater velocity than that of the light of the sun and even the thought in the mind, could, of course, transport the bodies of Prophet Jesus, to save him from the crucifixion, and Prophet Muhammad in his miraculous challenge of the Ascent Journey (Miraj) with an astounding facility and rapidity, and set at nought the law of gravitation of the globe to which they belonged.
Paul also mentions a vision he had seen fourteen years before of a man who had been taken up into the third heaven and then unto Paradise, where he heard and saw words and objects that could not be described. The Churches and their commentators have believed this man to be Paul himself. Although the language is such as to convey to us the idea that he himself is the man, yet out of modesty it is that he keeps it a secret lest he should be considered a proud man! (2 Cor. xii. 1-4). Although the Qur'an teaches us that the Apostles of Jesus Christ were good people, their writings cannot be relied upon, because the wrangling and disputant Churches have subjected them to interpolations. The Gospel of St. Barnabas states that Paul afterwards fell into an error and misled many of the believers.
That Paul does not reveal the identity of the person seen by him in the vision, and that the words which he heard in Paradise "cannot be spoken and no man is permitted to speak them," shows that Paul was not himself the person who was taken up to Heaven. To say that Paul, for reason of humility and out of modesty, does not praise himself is simply to mis- represent Paul. He boasts of having rebuked St. Peter to his face, and his epistles are full of expressions about himself which do rather confirm the idea that Paul was neither humble nor modest.
Besides, we know from his writings to the Galatians and the Romans what a prejudiced Jew he was against Hagar and her son Ishmael. The glorious person he saw in his vision could be no other than the person seen by Daniel! It was Prophet Muhammad that he saw, and dare not report the words which were spoken to him because on the one hand he was afraid of the Jews, and because on the other he would have contradicted himself for having glorified himself so much with the Cross and the crucified. I am half convinced that Paul was allowed to see the Barnasha whom Daniel had seen some six centuries before, but "the angel of satan who was continually pouring blows upon his head" (2 Cor. xii 7) forbade him to reveal the truth! It this an admission by Paul that "the angel of Satan," as he calls him, prohibited him from revealing the secret of Prophet Muhammad, whom he had seen in his vision. If Paul was a true righteous worshiper of God, why was he delivered into the hands of the "angel of the Devil" who was continually beating him on the head? The more one reflects on the teachings of Paul, the less one doubts that he was the prototype of Constantine the Great!
In conclusion, I may be permitted to draw a moral for the non-Muslims from this wonderful vision of Daniel. They should take to heart a lesson from the fate which befell the four beasts, and particularly the Horn, and to reflect that Allah alone is the One True God; that the Muslims alone faithfully profess His absolute Oneness; that He is Aware of their oppressions, and that they have their Caliph of the Pro- phets near to the Throne of the Most High.