Miracle #3; The 1st Vision
I do not know how but I fell asleep while invoking Allah, and it was then that I experienced the first of four visions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that I was to see during my stay in prison.
There in front of me, praise be to Allah, was a vast desert and camels with hawdahs [camel carrier seats] as if made of light. On each hawdah were four men, all with luminous faces. I found myself behind this huge train of camels in that vast, endless desert, and standing behind a great, reverent man. This man was holding a halter which passed through the neck of each camel I wondered silently: Could this man be the Prophet (peace be upon him)?
Silence has no safeguard with the Prophet, who replied:
'Zainab! You are following in the footsteps of Muhammad,
Allah's Servant and Messenger.'
'Am I, master! Following in the footsteps of Muhammad, Allah's Servant and Messenger?'
'You, Zainab Ghazali, are following in the footsteps of Muhammad, Allah's Servant and Messenger.'
'0 my Beloved! Am I truly following in your footsteps?'
'Zainab! You are on the right path. You are on the right path, Zainab! You are following in the footsteps of Muhammad, Allah's Servant and Messenger.'
Twice more I repeated my question, receiving the same response from the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam).
I woke up feeling I owned the world. Astonished, I had forgotten my whereabouts and what I was facing. Nor did I feel any pain nor see the wooden post near the window.
It seemed that I had been taken to another place whereof voices came from a far. Furthermore, I was also astonished for, although I am known as Zainab al-Ghazali, my recorded name at birth was Zainab Ghazali, and it was by this name that the Prophet had called me. Indeed, the vision had transported me beyond time and space. I did tayammum and began praying, thanking Allah for this gift. In one of my prostrations I found myself invoking:
'Lord! By what means am I going to thank You? There is nothing I can thank You with except by renewing my allegiance to You. 0 Allah! I pledge allegiance to die for Your Sake. 0 Allah! I pledge allegiance to You that none should be tortured because of me. 0 Allah! Hold me firm in following the truth that You are pleased with, and confine me within the limits of right that pleases You!'
Tranquillity and peace of mind were mine...
'If you face any resistance from her, use the whip!'
I beseeched Allah: '0 Allah! I am Your slave-girl, following Your path as much as I am able. I am calling You out of my weakness, despondency and inability to drive away the sins of these evil-doers. Protect me with Your Might, and help me surmount their injustice.'
I was awakened from my invocation by the voice of the surly brute who had been brought to rape me:
'Aunty!', he called.
I looked at him in amazement. His countenance had changed, resembling more that of a human being's.
'Don't be scared Aunty! I won't hurt you even if they tear me apart.'
'May Allah guide you my son. May Allah bestow His bounties on you!
The cell door opened violently and Safwat leapt on the man, beating and cursing him: 'You accursed dog! Now you've exposed yourself to the death penalty. Either get on with this job or it is a military court for you. I'll be
back in an hour to see what you've done. Save yourself, obey my orders.'
'0 Allah!', I called. 'This is Your mission and we are its soldiers and martyrs. Protect Your soldiers and their honour. Make us stronger than their injustice and torture.' I was also praying to Allah to guide this man. I had expected after the brutal reminder of his orders that he would be scared and turn into the monster they hoped for. But he was kindly and courageous.
'Why are they torturing you like this Aunty?', he asked with the innocence of a child.
'My son, we are calling people to Allah and want Islam's rule for this country. Don't misunderstand, for we don't want power for ourselves.'
I heard the Adhan of Zuhr, and made tayammum on the wall and prayed. The man asked me to pray for him, so I did. When I stood up to pray the sunnah, he said: 'Pray to Allah to help me begin my prayers, Aunty. You are good people, may the wrath of Allah be on you Nasir!'
'Do you know how to make wudu'?'
'Of course. I used to persevere in performing prayer, but had the army found out about it, I would have been jailed.'
'Pray, even if they jail you, my son.'
'I will', he said, the light of iman shining in his face.
At this juncture a soldier banged violently on the cell door. 'You son of a dog!', he shouted. 'What are you doing?'
'The lady has not finished praying yet.'
'Safwat is coming, he sent me to see what you've done.'
Safwat charged in like a rabid dog. He attacked my young saviour with the utmost savagery, hitting him until he no longer even groaned. Finally they picked him up and took him out. I was left alone to reflect on the suffering this young man would endure on my behalf. Allah had illuminated his heart such that he could not obey the unjust.
This is the case with many Muslims under the oppressive regimes. They are forced to join the armies, without being allowed to practise Islam even to its basic levels (i.e. they are prohibited even from the 5 daily prayers), and they are forced into sinful acts such as the above. All this is done to suppress Islam because the rulers fear that their authority will be lost if people begin to practise Islam. So they are forced to support oppression, otherwise they will be tortured too. Just as Allah’s Messenger prophesised. This is why we are narrating the story of Zainab and others like them.
Miracle #4: Second Vision