AL-HAQIQATU ‘L MUHAMMADIYAH الحقيقة المحمدية
The original essence of Muhammad, the Nur i-Muhammadiyah, or the Light of Muhammad, which is believed to have been created before all things. (Kitab l-Tarifat in loco.)
The Wahhabis do not believe in the preexistence of their Prophet and the doctrine is most probably and invention of the Sufi mystics in the early states of Islam.
According to the Imam Qastalani (Muwahib-i-laduniya, vol. i, p 12), it is related by Jabir ibn ‘Abdi’llah al-Ansari that the Prophet said “The first thing created was the light of your Prophet, which was created from the light of God. This light of mine roamed about wherever God will, and when the Almighty resolved to make the world, he divided this light of Muhammad into four portions; from the first he created the Pen (qalam); from the second, the Tablet (laah), from the third, the highest heaven and the throne of God (‘arsh); the forth portion was divided into four sections: from the first were created the Hamalatu l-‘Arsh, or the eight angels who support the throne of God; from the second, the kursi, or lower throne of God; from the third, the angels, and the forth, being divided into four subdivisions, from it were created: (1)the firmaments or seven heavens, (2) the earth, (3) the seven paradises and seven hells, (4) and again from a forth section were created (1) the light of the eyes, (2) he light of the mind, (3) the light of the love of the Unity of God, (4) the remaining portion of creation.”
The author of the Hayutu ‘l-Qulub, a Shiah book of traditions (See Merrick’s translation, p. 4) says the traditions respecting the creations from this Light of Muhammad are numerous and discordant, but that the discrepancies may possibly be reconciled by referring the diverse date to different eras in the process of creation. “The holy light of Muhammad,” he says “dwelt under the empyrean seventy three thousand years, and then resided seventy thousand years in Paradise. Afterwards it rested another period of seventy thousand years under the celestial tree called Sidratu ‘l-Munlaha,and, emigrating from heaven to heaven, arrived at length in the lowest of these celestial mansions, where it remained until the Most High willed the creation of Adam.”
(A very curious account of the absurd belief of the Shiahs on this subject will be found in Merrick’s edition of the Hayutu ‘l-Qulub; Boston 1850.)
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam