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Sidrat al-Muntahā (Arabic: سدرة المنتهى) is a Lote tree that marks the end of the seventh heaven, the boundary where no creation can pass, according to Islamic beliefs. During the Isra and Mi'raj, Muhammad, being the only one allowed, travelled with the archangel Gabriel to the Sidrat al-Muntaha where it is said that Allah assigned the five daily prayers to all Muslims.
A modern, eminently straightforward Qur'an Commentary entitled Taisīr al-karīm al-raḥman fī tafsīr kalām al-manān by `Abd al-Rahman ibn Nāṣir al-Sa`dī (d. 1376/1956) puts the matter simply when commenting on Qur'an 53: 14 (= "nigh the Sidrat al-Muntahā", Lote-Tree of the Extremity) :
"It [the Sidrat al-Muntahā] is a very large Tree (shajarat) beyond the seventh heaven. It is named the Sidrat al-Muntahā because there terminates at it whatever ascends from the earth and whatever descends [from heaven] including what comes down from God, including waḥy (divine inspiration) and other things besides. Alternatively, [it might be said that this name is due to the fact that] it is the Uttermost Extremity [Boundary] (intihā') for the knowledge of the creatures approaching it, relative, that is, to its Existent Being [as located] above the heavens and the earth. So it is al-Muntahā (the Extremity, Boundary) with respect to [all human] modes of knowledge (`ulūm) or other things besides. And God is best informed [of this matter]. Thus [it was that] Muhammad saw Gabriel in that location (al-makān) which is the domain of the pure and beautiful, elevated [celestial] Souls (maḥall al-arwāḥ al-`uluwiyya al-zakiyya al-jamīliyya)... "—(As-Sa`di, Tafsir, 819).
In the Bahá'í Faith
The Sidrat al-Muntaha is sometimes named in the short form as sidra tree. It is used as a symbol for example by the Qatar Foundation: “The Sidra tree, growing strong and proud in the harshest of environments, has been a symbol of perseverance and nourishment across the borders of the Arab world. What is the significance of this glorious tree? With its roots bound in the soil of this world and its branches reaching upwards toward perfection, it is a symbol of solidarity and determination; it reminds us that the goals of this world are not incompatible with the goals of the spirit.” The evergreen tree Ziziphus spina-christi is representing this symbol in natural form.
- Quran 53:14
- El-Sayed El-Aswad. Religion and Folk Cosmology: Scenarios of the Visible and Invisible in Rural Egypt. Praeger/Greenwood. United States: 2002. p. 84. ISBN 0-89789-924-5
- Macias, Shirley: Verse of Light, the Sadratu'l-Muntahá, and the Unfoldment of Allah's Plan, The (1991)
- Lambden, Stephen. (2009). The Sidrah (Lote-Tree) and the Sidrat al-Muntaha (Lote-Tree of the Extremity): Some Apects of their Islamic and Bābī-Bahā'ī Interpretations.
- The Sidra Tree Story, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Qatar Foundation Chairperson, 13 October 2003
- Ayoub, Mahmoud. The Qur'an and Its Interpreters: The House of 'Imran. SUNY Press. Albany, NY: 1992. ISBN 0-7914-0993-7