approached and came closer, * And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or [even] nearer; * And thus did [God] reveal unto His servant whatever He revealed. * The [servant’s] heart in no way falsified what it saw. * Will you, then, dispute with him as to what he saw? * For, indeed, he saw him at a second descent, * Near the Lote-tree of the farthest limit, * Near it is to the Garden of Abode. * Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded in mystery unspeakable. * [His] eye did not waver, nor yet did it stray. * Truly did he see some of the most profound of his Sustainer’s signs.1
Since it is related to our question here, I shall expound two allusions –based on principles of the science of rhetoric– contained in the pronominal phrase for indeed He, which is part of the vast treasury of the first sublime verse mentioned above. It was also explained in the treatise about the Qur’an’s miraculousness.
After mentioning the journey of God’s Most Noble Beloved (Upon whom be the best of blessings and most perfect peace) from the mosque at Mecca to the mosque in Jerusalem, which was the beginning of his Ascension, the All-Wise Qur’an says: He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. This phrase, together with the pronoun in the phrase, for indeed He, which alludes to the furthest point of the Ascension indicated to by the verses from Sura an-Najm, refers either to Almighty God or to the Prophet (PBUH).
If it refers to the Prophet (PBUH), the rule of rhetoric and the relationship in the sequence of the words states the following: there is, within this particular journey a general one and a universal ascent during which the Prophet (PBUH) heard and saw the dominical signs and wonders of Divine art which his eyes and ears happened upon within the universal degrees of the Divine Names as far as the Lote-tree of the farthest limit and the distance of two bow-lengths. It indicates that his insignificant and particular journey was like the key to a journey that is both universal and an exhibition of marvels.
If the pronoun refers to Almighty God, it is thus: in order to invite one of His servants on a journey to His presence and to entrust him with a duty, after sending him from the Mosque in Mecca to that in Jerusalem, which is where the prophets gather, and causing him to meet with them and demonstrating that he was the sole heir of the principles of the religions of all the prophets, He took him on a journey through both the external face of the world of existence and the face that looks to its Creator as far as the Lote-tree of the farthest limit and the distance of two bow-lengths.
Certainly, he was a servant and the journey was a particular Ascension,