The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) narrated: When I was taken to the heavens….(then) Jibrail said – Go ahead, I went ahead till the magnificence of My Lord manifested itself as He wished.
Then my Lord ordered – Come close, I drew close till the distance between my Lord and me was less than ‘two bow-lengths or even nearer’ (Surah Najm (53): 9).
Allah – O Muhammad who did you appoint as your successor on the earth?
Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – Ali (a.s.)
Allah – Do you wish to see him?
Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – Yes, My Lord.
Allah – O Muhammad look at the veil on your right.
Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – I looked to my right and saw Ali (a.s.) bowing to Allah, the High. I said – O Lord, this is Ali bowing.
Allah – Look at the earth.
Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – Then I looked at the earth and saw Ali (a.s.) standing in worship. I said – O Lord, this is Ali (a.s.) standing in worship.
Allah – Look below the Arsh. Then I looked below the Arsh and saw Ali (a.s.) prostrating. I said – O Lord, this is Ali (a.s.) prostrating.
When I descended on the earth, I informed Ali (a.s.) about what had transpired.
Ali (a.s.) said – O Prophet of Allah, I am but a servant of Allah and under His Control. He transforms my condition as He wishes and desires.
Al-Manaaqib of Alawi – Al-Kitab al-Ateeq p 116-117