Al Miraj: Conversations with the Custodian of Hell & the Angel of Death; Seas of shining bright light, Al-Bayt al-Maʿmūr & Two rivers

Mālik, the custodian of hell:

The Angels received me while smiling with delight until I was received by an angel that was greater than anything that I had ever seen, with an unpleasant countenance, and visibly angry. He said the same prayer for me as the others angels, except that he did not smile and I did not see the delight of the other angels in him. I asked: “Who is this, Gabriel? Indeed I am terrified of him.”

He replied: “It makes sense to be terrified of him—we are all terrified of him—because this is Mālik, the custodian of hell. He has never laughed and has remained so ever since God put him in charge of hell. He gets angrier and more infuriated every day at God’s enemies and the people of disobedience, for God takes revenge on them through him. If he were to smile at anyone ever, it would have been you.”

I then greeted him. He greeted me back and gave me glad tidings of heaven.

I asked him [Gabriel]: “Will you not tell him to show me hell?” So Gabriel said to him: “O Mālik! Show Muḥammad hell.” He uncovered it to me and opened one of its gates. A flame blazed out in the sky from it, flared up and rose until I thought that it is going to catch me.

I said: “Gabriel! Tell him to cover it up again.” He told him and he said to the fire: “Go back!” It then returned to its place from which it had come.

The angel of death:

I asked: “Who is this, Gabriel?” He said: “This is the angel of death, who is relentless in capturing the souls.”

I said: “Gabriel, take me close to him so that I can speak to him.” He took me close to him,

I greeted him and Gabriel said to him: “This is Muḥammad, the Prophet of Mercy whom God has sent to His servants.” He welcomed me, prayed for my longevity in peace, and said: “Rejoice, O Muḥammad, for indeed I see that all good is in your nation.” I said: “Praise be to God, the Benefactor, Who has blessed His servants with bounties. This is of my Lord’s blessing and mercy upon me.”

Gabriel then said: “He is the most hardworking angel.” I asked him [the Angel of Death]: “Are you the one who has taken the life of everyone who has ever died or will ever die from now on?” He replied: “Yes.”

I asked: “Do you see them wherever they are and witness them by yourself?”

He replied: “Yes.” The angel of death then added: “God has placed the entire universe under my authority and power just like a dirham in the hand of a person, where he can flip it as he pleases. There is not a single home which I do not peruse five times every day. I say when the family of a deceased weeps over the deceased: Do not cry for him because I will keep visiting you over and over again until none of you shall remain.”

God’s Messenger then said: “Death is enough of an overwhelming catastrophe (O Gabriel.”

Gabriel replied: “And what comes aſter death is a much much greater catastrophe than death.”

Seas of shining bright light, Al-Bayt al-Maʿmūr & Two rivers:

God’s Messenger said: I saw in the seventh heaven seas of shining bright light, with such glitter that could snatch away one’s sight. There were [also] seas of darkness there and seas of snow that were thundering. Whenever I was appalled and saw something frightening I inquired Gabriel [about it] and he would tell me: “Rejoice, O Muḥammad! Give thanks for your Lord’s blessing upon you, and thank God for what he Has made for you.”


Gabriel said: “O Muḥammad! Do you think what you see is great? This this but one creations of your Lord’s creations. What about the Creator Who has created what you see? And what you do not see of your Lord’s creation is greater than this. There are seventy thousand veils between God and His creation. I and Israfil are the closest creatures to God. Between us and Him are four veils: a veil of light, a veil of darkness, a veil of cloud and a veil of water.”

I then passed onwards with Gabriel and entered al-Bayt al-Maʿmūr, where I prayed two units (rakʿah) of prayer.

I then went out and found two rivers flowing before me, one called al- Kawthar (lit. “Abundance of Good”) and another called al-Raḥmah (lit. “Mercy”). I drank from al-Kawthar and washed up from al-Raḥmah.

They both opened up the way for me so I entered al-jannah (the Garden, Paradise). Its earth was like musk, and lo, on its two sides were the houses of me and my household (ahlī).

There I saw a servant-girl dipping in the Garden’s rivers. I asked her: “To whom do you belong, O servant-girl?” She replied: “To Zayd b. Ḥārithah”—I gave him the glad tidings of her when I woke up in the morning.

Its birds were like Bactrian camels (al-bakht), and its pomegranates were like great buckets.

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Then Prophet (sm) had a conversation with Allah SWT, that was discussed in this blog.

Reference: Allamah Tabatabai, Tafsir Al Mizan, Vol 25.