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The Paradox Of Proximity To The Infinite: An Exploration Of Sidrat Al-Muntaha, "The Lote Tree Beyond Which None May Pass"

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Chapter Summary

Sidrat al-muntaha, typically translated as the lote tree of the boundary or the the lote tree beyond which none may pass, is a mysterious threshold described in Islamic tradition as the tree that the Prophet Mohammed encountered at the climax of the miraj, his legendary nocturnal ascent through the seven heavens. This chapter examines the Prophets experience of the lote tree, it is necessary to place it in the context of the entire miraj. Because there are so few Quranic references to the lote tree, it is in the hadith were the Prophets night journey is fully developed and elaborated upon. Much like The Cloud of Unknowing of medieval Christian mysticism, the ultimate theophany occurs after the covering, or in this case overwhelming, of normal perception.

Keywords: hadith; lote tree; miraj; Prophet Mohammed; Sidrat Al-Muntaha; theophany



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