— Prior to Prophethood, every Prophet would receive dreams & those dreams would come true (usually in a time period of 6 months)
- This was so that the Prophet would trust his heart. This is so that when people would say to them, “No, no, what you think you have seen is not true at all. It’s just your mind playing tricks on you.” But when it happens so many time, it would teach the Prophet to believe in it already without doubt.
- So when Muhammad (saw) met Jibril (as) & spoke with the angel, he knew it was for real because he was already accustomed to the dreams that he had received for the past 6 months.
— Majority of scholars say that Muhammad was 40 years old when he received his first revelation
- However, there is a minority who say that he was 36-37 years old or 42-43 years old
- The reason that there is this minor debate over the Prophet’s age is that immediately following his first revelation, there were 2-3 years of a time period where it was silent – no revelation being sent down to Prophet.
- There was not a lot of active preaching/da’wah or even any revelations, because the Prophet was given this time to completely embrace his role & this experience of Prophethood
— The Prophet’s first revelation occurred on a Monday
- The Prophet was very particular about fasting on Mondays. He said, “That’s the day I was born on, & that’s the day I received revelation”
- Most scholars say that the first revelation was in the 21st night of Ramadan, though others say it was the 14th or 27th night
- Ibn Ishaq & most scholars heavily lean toward 21st night of Ramadan
— The Prophet was meditating in the Cave of Hira when Jibril suddenly appeared before him, commanding the Prophet to “Read.”
- The Prophet replied that he did not know how to read, whereupon the angel squeezed the Prophet, completely engulfing Muhammad in his embrace until the Prophet just gave up resisting
- Then the angel let the Prophet catch his breath for a little bit, before again telling him, “Read.” The Prophet gave the same reply as before, & again the angel embraced him tightly.
- The angel again let go of the Prophet & told him to read. The Prophet, for the 3rd time, said that he didn’t know how to read. Jibril again hugged the Prophet tightly, leaving him completely breathless before releasing the Prophet again
- Jibril then said, “Read, with the help of the name of your Lord. The One who Created. Created the human being from a clot of blood. Read, and your Lord is the Most Dignified. The One who taught using the Pen. He taught the human being that which he did not know.”
— From the beginning, after receiving the revelation, Muhammad felt a huge burden of responsibility – “Can I serve this cause properly? Can I live up to this expectation? I would rather kill myself than abuse what responsibility that has been given to me.”
- As soon as he left the cave of Hira, the Prophet started having these doubts. As he was climbing a mountain & thinking these thoughts, he heard a voice from above him
- “Ya Muhammad, anta Rasulillah. Innaka Rasulillah, wa ana Jibril.”
- Meaning: “O Muhammad, you are the Messenger of God. And I am Jibril.”
- Prophet looks up to see where the sound is coming from
- This was one of the two occasions when Prophet got to see Jibril (as) in his true form
- Jibril’s feet were slightly above the ground and his head was all the way up in the clouds. He had 600 wings; when he opened 2 of his wings, it covered the entire horizon from the east to the west
- The Prophet recalls, “I looked to the left, and all I could see is Jibril. I looked to the right, and all I could see is Jibril. I felt so overwhelmed that I wanted to see the open sky; but everywhere I looked, all I saw is Jibril – he covered everything.”
- Jibril said, “You are the Messenger of Allah. Don’t have any doubts about yourself. I was there when you received the message.”
- This was Jibril comforting & reassuring the Prophet. As overwhelming as that experience was for Muhammad, Jibril’s words had a calming effect on him
— Muhammad then returned home to Khadijah, but still, he was shaken up from the experience
- He told his wife, “Zammiluni, zammiluni” – “Cover me up, cover me up.”
- Khadijah immediately covered up the Prophet in a blanket & sat down next to him, holding his hand. “What happened?”
- After a few deep breaths, Muhammad tells Khadijah what transpired
- The Prophet said, “I feared for my life”
- What Khadijah said was very amazing. That shows the stature of Khadijah. Khadijah comforts her husband, “Under no circumstances should you fear for your life. Wallahi. Allah will not ruin you. Allah will not disgrace you, because you maintain very good relationships with your family. You honor your guests. You carry the weight & burdens of the people. You take care of people who are less fortunate. You are always looking for any good cause to aid in.”
- These amazing words had a very calming effect on Muhammad. Khadijah strengthen the Prophet through her words. Khadijah really was a very amazing woman.
— Khadijah went to see her cousin Waraqah bin Nawfal
- Waraqah was among the Hunafa, the handful of people who worshipped as purely as possible & stuck closely to the teachings of the Prophets of the Past
- Waraqah had traveled to ash-Shaam (modern-day Syria) & learned Christianity. He spent a good part of his life translating the Tawrat & Injeel to Arabic
- Khadijah knew that Waraqah always spoke of these types of things – the prophecies, so she went to him
- Some narrations that Khadijah went to Waraqah by herself & told him what happened. Other narrations say that both Muhammad & Khadijah went together to see Waraqah
— At this time, Waraqah was a very old man. He had gone blind in his old age
- When told of what had happened to Muhammad, Waraqah jumped up in excitement. He said, “This is the truth! This is the truth! This is the same namoos (a carrier of the message/truth – referring to Jibril) that used to come to Musa.”
- Waraqah is just so overwhelmed by what he hears that he says, “I wish that I have life to witness this all comes to fruition. I want to be around. I want to take a part in the establishment of this truth. I pray that I am alive when your own people will kick you out.”
- When the Prophet hears this, he is shocked. “They are going to kick me out?! This is my family, these are my neighbors! These people love me; they have nothing against me. They would really kick me out of my city?”
- Waraqah confirms, “Yes, they will. Whenever anyone came with the type of message that you’ve come with, that person was always opposed. Never did a person ever bring what you are bringing, except that they were opposed. They were made an enemy of their people. If I am still around that day, I will help you with everything I got.”
- Waraqah didn’t live long after that meeting
— This wasn’t Waraqah’s only meeting with Muhammad
- Shortly after receiving Prophethood, Muhammad had a daily practice of sitting in Ka’bah in deep reflection
- One day, Waraqah is there at the Haram, worshipping. He saw the Prophet & went up to him. Waraqah tells the Prophet, “I believe in what you’re saying & I hope I have the opportunity to stand by & help you.” Then he kissed the forehead of Prophet.
- Shortly after that, Waraqah passed away
— The Prophet saw Waraqah (the Priest) in a dream few times
- “I saw the Priest wearing silk garments in Paradise because he believed in me.”
— When Prophet returned from Cave of Hira, he felt like the revelation was written directly onto his heart. He remembered every word, every sound, every instance of that moment
- There was a brief pause after that first revelation
— al-wahi, divine revelation, is in 5 forms
- The 1st form is when Jibril presents himself in his true physical form to inform Muhammad of his Prophethood. This was very overwhelming for Muhammad – he had seen Jibril in true form twice
- The 2nd form of divine revelation was when Jibril would bring the divine message to Prophet for the rest of his life, he’d come in the form of a human being to make it easier for Prophet
- The form of human being Jibril would take was of a real Sahabah named Dihya from the tribe of Al-Kalbi. Dihya was an actual human being, and an actual Sahabah who would visit the Prophet rarely. This is why Jibril would take Dihya’s form, who was a very handsome man
- The 3rd form was when Muhammad would receive his message in a dream
- The 4th fom is that Allah’s words would be directly inspired in Muhammad’s heart – this is what it means when the Quran says that from behind the curtain/screen/barrier.
- The 5th & the harshest form of divine revelation was this long continuous ringing of a bell, which would pierce Prophet’s mind. It would weigh down on him heavily, so much so that if he was riding a camel at the time, the camel would be forced to sit.
- One time, the Prophet was resting his head on Aisha’s lap, and divine revelation came. Aisha recalls that she felt as though her leg would be crushed
- The Prophet would be exhausted after he was done receiving the divine revelation. He would sweat profusely. Even if it was a very cold day, the Sahaba could see that the perspiration would be so hot, that it would be steaming
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