First Revelation is Sent Down
The 16th night of the month of Ramadan had passed.
The 17th of Ramadan was a Monday night.
The mount of Nour and everything around it were covered with a deep and significant quietness to be able to hear and listen to what would be said soon. Maybe, out of respect to the ones who would speak and listen to.
It was past midnight and almost dawn. The exceptional time when nightingales sing and roses give out pleasant scents with all their beauties. The extraordinary time when those who mention the names of God are enthused and attain endless pleasure!
Gabriel (may God be pleased with him), the angel of divine revelation, took the shape of a most beautiful human being and was quite delighted. The environment smelled wonderful. The manifestations of fear and hope, and excitement and peace were intertwined.
Gabriel (may God be pleased with him) was very joyful because he would meet the last Prophet, the Prophet of the prophets and he would talk face to face with the Sultan of Lawlaka, who would deserve the title, “the Beloved of God” with his belief, worship, contemplation and struggle.
The expected moment finally came.
Gabriel (may God be pleased with him) appeared before the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in his human form, sending out divine radiance around in the dark night. He spoke to him in a loud but calming voice: “Read!”
The heart of the Master of the Universe was filled with wonder and fear. His heart shivered!
He answered: “I do not know how to read.”
Gabriel hugged him and held him tight; then, Gabriel released him, saying, “Read!”
The Master of the Universe gave the same answer, “I do not know how to read.”
Gabriel hugged him for the second time and held him tight; then, Gabriel released him, saying, “Read!”
The Master of the Universe said, “I do not know how to read. Tell me! What shall I read?”
Thereupon, the angel recited the first verses of the Surah of Al-Alaq from the beginning to the end, which, through God Almighty’s ordering, he was in charge of conveying to the Prophet (pbuh):
“Read in the name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot. Read: And your Lord is the Most Bounteous, Who taught (to write) with the pen, taught man what he knew not.” (Al-Alaq Surah, 96:1-5) (1)
The Master of the Universe (pbuh) was at the heights of excitement and amazement and recited what he heard word by word. The verses that came down became established both in his tongue and in his heart.
Gabriel, who fulfilled his task, disappeared suddenly.
The Messenger of God (PBUH) shook with awe and excitement at having received a Divine revelation, left the cave, and went straight towards Mecca.
He encountered many peculiarities on the road. The mountains, rocks, and trees greeted him by saying, “Assalamu Alaykum Ya Rasullulah” (May peace be with you, oh Messenger) and congratulated him on his exalted duty.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) arrived home. He had lost his breath in the face of the magnificence of this situation.
All he could say to his faithful wife, Hazrat Khadija Kubra, who anxiously greeted him was, “Cover me! Cover me!” (2)
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) who sought solitude at mount Hira was now in his home and was now alone with his thoughts.
He woke up a while later. Even if it was a very small amount, it was obvious that he had reached some level of comfort and peace. He narrated what had happened to Khadijah al-Kubra in detail and said,
“I am scared, O Khadijah! I am scared that I will be harmed!”
Those words of our Prophet definitely originated from his desire to feel safe regarding reaching the eternal happiness and honorable duty.
Hazrat Khadija possessed eminent capabilities as well as a level of understanding and discernment that qualified her to be the first wife of the most esteemed Prophet, whom she fully trusted. She affirmed the Master of the Universe’s (PBUH) wish about feeling safe with these words:
“There is no reason for you to feel any kind of fear or worry. Do not be sad, God will never embarrass a servant like you. I know that you always speak the truth. You perform duties that have been given to you and safeguard that which has been entrusted to you. You interact closely with your relatives. You treat your neighbors in a very kind and caring manner. You help the poor. You open your doors to strangers and entertain them as guests. You help the community during disasters and tribulations! Oh my Uncle’s Son, persevere. By God, I hope that you are this community’s prophet.” (3)
What did Waraqa say?
Doubtlessly, everything that had happened was not insignificant and did have some meaning.
It was up to Hazrat Khadija to learn by inquiring.
Whom could she go to? Who could understand these affairs? And whom could he trust in?
Hazrat Khadija thought for a long time and finally determined the person whom she would consult with: Her uncle’s son, Waraqa bin Nawfal.
Waraqa bin Nawfal was an elderly man and a Christian in the pure sense. His eyes could not see yet his heart was enlightened. He read the Bible and Torah and had learned many things from them both.
Without wasting time, Hazrat Khadija went to go see her uncle’s son with our Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Waraqa first listened to our Master (PBUH). As our Holy Prophet (PBUH) explained what had happened to him, Waraqa’s face was changing color. When our Master (PBUH) finished speaking, Waraqa exclaimed: “Quddus! Quddus! The angel that you saw is the Holy Spirit, Namus al-Akbar, that the Exalted Lord sent to Prophet Musa. You are this nation’s Prophet. Ah! If only I were younger so that I could be with you when you invited the community to the truth. And if only I could live long enough to be of help when the tribe expelled you from your homeland.” (4)
These expressions comforted both Hazrat Khadija and our Holy Prophet (PBUH) to some degree. However, there was one thing that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not understand: Why would the tribe expel him from his homeland?
Waraqa answered his question: “Yes, they are going to expel from you from here since whoever has received a revelation has been the recipient of hostility. If I am able to reach the day when you will invite the community to truth then I will help you in every way I can.” (5)
Waraqa bin Nawfal was speaking the truth - a reality that had to be exposed…
After this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Khadija left Waraqa bin Nawfal’s home.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) faced an incident called “the Suspension of Revelation.” after a while. It was evident that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was greatly saddened and distressed by this break in the deliverance of revelation, an incident whose wisdom we cannot fully grasp and which has been more-or-so described in the following way: Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was so distressed that the earth was becoming too tight for him and he wanted to be saved from its restraint. During this time, either Jibril (Gabriel) or Israfil appeared to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) for the purpose of consoling him. (6)
The Messenger of God (PBUH) was faced with sadness for an exact forty–day period. Since the world is a center that is composed of an indefinite number of Divine wisdoms, everything that takes place within it undoubtedly has a purpose. Sometimes it is possible or impossible to catch the purpose behind these kinds of circumstances with the tiny measuring scales in our minds. However, not knowing their Divine wisdoms and reasons is not by any means proof that they are without wisdom and reason. Above all, it is not possible for a duty like prophethood, in which everything has been specially programmed by the pen of wisdom, to be insignificant. For this reason, there were many wisdoms and reasons behind the delay in the deliverance of revelation. However, we are not aware of them. There are many scholars who interpret this situation in various ways. Here is a summary of some of these views:
1) God’s Messenger (PBUH) greatly panicked in face of the first revelation and the heaviness of the situation had jolted his soul. This incident occurred so that his soul could find some peace, be rested and prepared for the forthcoming revelations.
2) Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) was being prepared for the burdens and tribulations that he was about to face.
3) The deliverance of revelation was delayed so that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) could long more deeply for the next revelation. (7)
After a hiatus of forty days, revelations were continued to be sent down to our Holy Prophet (PBUH).
He explains its resumption as follows:
“One day, while walking, I suddenly heard a sound in the sky. When I raised my head and looked at the sky, I saw the angel who came to me (Jibril, Gabriel) seated on a throne that was in between the ground and the sky. I shuddered and collapsed to the ground. I returned to my home and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” Upon this, God the Exalted sent down this revelation:
“O thou wrapped up (in a mantle)! Arise and deliver thy warning! And thy Lord do thou magnify! And thy garments keep free from stain! And all abomination shun!” (8) From then on, the revelations began to come and there were no interruptions in between. (9)
The discomfort in our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) ceased when revelation was continued to be sent down; his inner realm reached peace and tranquility. By appointing our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was adorned with perfection and moralistic beauties from head to toe, to prophethood, God elevated him to the position of being the most distinguished and eminent individual among human beings. Thus, an extant law of the universe meaning, “every species has a distinguished and superior constituent that is the pride and joy and source of admiration for its kind”, which also applies to the circle of humanity.
“One of the names of God among asma al-husna is the greatest; similarly, there needs to be a perfect man among God’s creatures; God gathered and assembled all kinds of perfection that had been dispersed in the Universe in him, and made him His pride and joy.
“That perfect entity had to be a living being since the most impeccable creation among every species in the universe is a living being. That being had to be a conscious being since a conscious being is the most glorious among every species. That entity that had no and will not have a replicate had to be a person since humans have the unlimited ability to advance among conscious beings.
“That human being had to be Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) since not a single historical account, from the beginning of Hazrat Adam till now, shows nor can show an individual who is similar to him; that remarkable individual has encompassed half of the Earth and one out of five types of people under his holy dominion, has continued to rule his dominion with his spiritual sultanate for 1350 years (now it has been 1,400 years), and has attained the authority of being the Ultimate Master.
“By uniting his friends and enemies, he attained the highest degree in good manners and challenged the entire world at the beginning of his prophethood. This individual, who has shown more than a 100 million people the Quran (whose declaration leaves everyone weak) at every given minute, was without a doubt the most distinguished being among all creatures; it cannot be anyone else other than him.
“He is both the seed and fruit of this universe.” (10)
 aL-Alaq, 1-5.
 Bukhari, Sahih, V. 1, p. 7.
 Bukhari, ibid, V. 1, p. 7.
 Ibn Hişam, ibid, V. 1, p. 254; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, V. 1, p. 404.
 Bukhari, Sahih, V. 1, p. 7; Muslim, Sahih, V. 1, p. 97-98.
 Tajrid Translation, V. 1, p. 13.
 Abdullatif as-Subki, al-Wahyu Ila’r-Rasul Muhammad (pbuh), p. 89.
 al-Muddaththir, 1-5.
 Bukhari, Sahih, V. 1, p. 7; Muslim, Sahih, V. 1, p. 98; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad (h. 2846); Tirmidhi, Sunan, V. 5, p. 592.
 Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektûbat, p. 284-285.
- How did the first revelation affect the Prophet (pbuh)? How did Waraqa bin Nawfal explain the incidents that took place during the first revelation?
- The Prophet goes to Damascus for the second time
- Prophet’s (PBUH) marriage to Hazrat Khadija
- The First Muslim: Hazrat Khadija
- How did Hz. Khadijah become a Muslim?
- The Prophet is Taken to his Mother
- How did the Prophet (pbuh) marry Hz. Khadijah? What was their marriage ceremony like?
- How did the first divine revelation come to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
- How did the second trade journey of the Prophet (pbuh) to Damascus take place? What were the extraordinary incidents that were signs of prophethood during this journey?
- Khadija bint Khuwaylid (r.anha)