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Seerah episode 30: Divine Revelation and Inspiration: Its Nature, Protection, Preservation, Types, and Interaction July 2, 2014

Filed under: Seerah — visitor74 @ 4:04 am

— Hifdhul Wahil – the Protection of Revelation

  • Allah opened the doors of limitless treasure, an endless gift, an ocean without an end – these are the nature of revelations
    • When you have something of such value, it needs to be protected
  • What do Allah’s revelations need to be protected from?
    • When the jinn met & interacted with the Prophet, they told him that there are believers & disbelievers among them. The evil, troublemaking jinn are known as shayatin, the army of Iblis. The shayatin would eavesdrop on the malaikat (angels) who would be carrying the qadr (will) of Allah
    • Shayatin were given the ability to eavesdrop on the angels. If an angel had a command to provide, to allow, or to facilitate a certain command of Allah onto the people, then the shayatin would bring this information to the soothsayers. People would come to these soothsayers to have their fortune told, & they would know that a certain event would happen at a certain town. The test for the ummah was, to not fall into reading or seeking out their fortunes to be told
    • As the time of Muhammad & divine revelation came closer, the angels would hurl rocks from the heavens to drive out the eavesdropping shayatin
  • There’s a narration of the Prophet & some of his Sahaba went to the marketplaces at Ukaaz, which is right outside Makkah. They stopped to do Fajr prayers. A group of jinn passed by, & when they heard the Prophet recite the Qur’an, they stopped to listen. The jinn said, “This is what has come between us & the news of the heavens.” They went back to the rest of the jinn & told them, “We heard a remarkable Qur’an. It guides us to that which is good. We believed in it. We will never associate anyone with our Lord today.”
    • That’s when Allah revealed to the Prophet the ayat of the jinn
  • Another narration said this event transpired earlier. Iblis sent the shayatin to find out what’s going on. He sent them to Jerusalem & Bilad as Shaam, where the Prophets of the Past had generally lived. The shayatin came back to Iblis with no new information. Then Iblis went to Makkah, & he saw the Prophet coming down from the Cave of Hira after he received his first divine revelation. Iblis also saw Jibril (as) in the sky. That’s when Iblis knew exactly what happened

— In the Hadith Al-Ifk (Slander of Aisha by hypocrites to discredit her), Aisha (ra) narrated, “Never did the Prophet ever leave a sitting, nor did anyone from the family of the Prophet ever leave the house, except that he would receive revelation”

  • In English: Whenever the Prophet sat down somewhere for a decent amount of time, he would receive revelation. Whenever someone would come & go to the Prophet’s house, the Prophet would receive revelation – this is a way of saying that the revelations were frequent

— The divine revelations were so heavy that the Prophet would sweat profusely

  • He would sweat whenever receiving the revelations, even if it was a very cold night
  • Sweat would fall from Prophet like pearl beads dropping from a broken necklace – this expression shows that it is a nice kind of thing. Not like when we sweat. When we sweat, it is hedious.

— For 23 years, the Prophet was the filter between us & the words of Allah

  • What reached us from Allah’s words are the wisdom, the beauty, & the sweetness
  • The Prophet was the filter who caught all the weight, the heaviness, & the burden
    • So acknowledge & appreciate the hardship that the Prophet went through to deliver us Allah’s message

— Also, whenever revelation would be sent down to Prophet, people could hear the sound of buzzing of bees close to his face. His face would get red as well, because of the pressure he was feeling

  • This is important to note, because the people who speak ill of the Messenger would try to claim that his divine revelation experiences were a sign of psychological instability
  • The people around him could feel & sense that the Prophet was getting the revelations
    • Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) recalls that he could hear the sound of bees buzzing around the Prophet’s face

— Abdullah bin Umm Maktum, a blind Sahabi who was also a muezzin, came to the masjid & sat down next to the Prophet

  • Abdullah had heard the ayah, “Not equal are those believers remaining [at home] – other than the disabled – and the mujahideen, [who strive and fight] in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred the mujahideen through their wealth and their lives over those who remain [behind], by degrees. And to both Allah has promised the best [reward]”
  • Abdullah was devastated when he heard that ayah. He could not participate in battles or take as much of an active part as the rest of the Sahaba because of his blindness
  • When you’re sitting Indian style in crowded area, sometimes your leg is over another person’s knee. Zayd ibn Thabit, the Prophet’s scribe, was sitting Indian style with the Prophet’s knee over Zayd’s thigh. Zayd was recording the ayahs that the Prophet was receiving that moment. When the revelations were coming down, Zayd felt as though his leg was being crushed from the pressure
  •  “But Allah has preferred the mujahideen over those who remain [behind, due to a disability or legitimate excuse] with a great reward” (Surat An-Nisa, 4:95)

— In another incident of the Prophet receiving revelations, the Prophet had taken a cloth & draped it over his head; he had his head lowered (like he was trying to keep a low profile). They were at Je’erana, which is little bit outside of Makkah on the road to Tai’f

  • Umar ibn al-Khattab had recently accepted Islam after having opposed it so much before. He was invited to witness the Prophet receive his divine revelations
    • Umar lifted the cloth from one side of the Prophet’s head. That tells you a couple of things. Umar had the guts to actually do that, & that the Prophet was very down to earth. The Prophet was sent as a leader to all of mankind & the Sahaba had the utmost respect for him, but at the same time, they were very comfortable around him.
  • Sometimes, the Sahaba, who felt such a close relationship & bond with the Prophet, would be so casual (not disrespectful) with him that Allah would have to remind the Sahaba of their boundaries.
    • “Don’t call out to the Messenger like you call out to each other. Don’t raise your voices above the voice of the Messenger.”
    • Even when the Prophet would go home, the Sahaba would sometimes yell, “Ya Muhammad! Ya Rasullillah, we need to talk to you!” from outside his house. The Prophet would oblige, & Allah would tell the Prophet, “Don’t be upset. They don’t know any better.”
  • Allah would tell the Sahaba, “If you would wait until the Messenger came out of his house of his own accord, then it would be better for you. When you go to the house of the Messenger, don’t enter unless you have been invited. When you have been invited into the house of the Prophet & once you have eaten & taken care of business, then go on your way. Don’t hang around & chill out. The Prophet is not going to kick you out of his house. You’re actually causing him quite a bit of discomfort, but he’s too shy to say anything to you. He’s too kind, too compassionate.”
    • This is how Allah called out the Sahaba, to remind them not to overstep their boundaries & take advantage of the Prophet’s kind & generous nature. Allah lets you know how it is
  • Anyway, Umar lifts the cloth from the Prophet’s head, & he sees that the Prophet’s face was completely red

— When the ayat of hijab came down, Sawda bint Zam’a, the Prophet’s wife, went outside at night to relieve herself. At the time, the Sahaba were persecuted by the non-Muslim tribes around Medina, who would harass the Muslims & the family of the Prophet

  • Umar was outside, kind of standing guard, & he saw Sawda. He called her out for going by herself at night when there was so much danger
    • Umar said to her, “If I can recognize you at night, then someone else can also. You’re the Mother of the Believers. If someone of ill intent was nearby, something bad could have happened to you.”
  • Sawda went back to the Prophet & told him what happened
  • At the time, the Prophet was having dinner. He was holding a bone with meat on it, when Allah sent down an ayah (the bone was still in his hand)
    • “Allah has given you permission to fulfill your needs.”
  • Aisha notes that this tells us that divine revelation didn’t take away the consciousness of Prophet. He still was holding the bone, meaning he didn’t lose control of his body or pass out & then come to while getting revelations

— The Sahaba narrated that the Prophet’s eyes would remain open when he received divine revelation

  • The Prophet’s eyes would remain open, but his hearing & his heart would become devoted to what was coming down. If you spoke to him at that time, he would not respond to you. He was completely immersed in memorizing & internalizing Allah’s words

— Another narration mentions that Aisha was holding the rope of Asba, the she-camel of Prophet. The Prophet was riding Asba when Surat Al-Ma’idah was revealed in its entirety

  • Because divine revelations are so heavy in nature, it weighed down the camel
  • The camel could not even move

— During the time of the earlier revelations, when Muhammad was new in his Prophethood, he would move his lips very rapidly. As Jibril is reciting the Qur’an to the Prophet, the Prophet would read it back. The Prophet would do this so that he could retain all the ayahs in his memory

  • He did that because the Prophet understood the weight of his responsibility. He understood the magnitude of the trust he was given by Allah to deliver His message to mankind, & he did not want to come up short in living up to that responsibility, so he would rapidly read back the ayahs that Jibril was reciting
  • While Jibril was reciting Surat Al-Qiyamah to the Prophet, the first few verses were about warning mankind about the Day of Resurrection & the sins that we will be held accountable for. The Prophet was of course, repeating these verses under his breath as Jibril was saying them, when these ayahs were revealed to the Prophet:
    • “Move not your tongue with it, [O Muhammad], to hasten with recitation of the Qur’an. Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation. So when We have recited it [through Gabriel], then follow its recitation. Then upon Us is its clarification [to you]” (Surat Al-Qiyamah, 75:16-19)
  • In the above ayahs, Allah was telling the Prophet not to repeat back the ayahs quickly to grab on to them, because Allah is saying that it’s solely upon Him to compile it. Allah is guaranteeing the Prophet that he will not forget when the revelations are complete, & that he will be able to recite it when it’s done
    • 18th ayah: Allah is also instructing the Prophet, that after He’s finished revealing the verses to the Prophet, he should follow it up, & recite them to someone else
    • 19th ayah: After the Prophet recites those ayahs to someone else & the ayahs have been transcribed, then once again it is solely Allah’s responsibility to give the explanation & understanding of those verses to the Prophet. Allah will take care of the tafseer; that’s the Raab’s guarantee
  • Thus, the Prophet was the first hafidh of the Qur’an. As soon as he received it, he had it memorized
    • He could read it back to someone else with ease. The scribes of the revelations would be called upon (keep in mind that very few people in the Arab society were literate at the time) to record the Prophet’s recitation
    • “So high [above all] is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad] do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, ‘My Lord, increase me in knowledge.’” (Surat Ta’ha; 20:114)


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