Why did the second revelation not come after the first one quickly? Why did it delay? What was the time length between the first two revelations?

The Details of the Question
Why did the second revelation not come after the first one quickly? Why did it delay? What was the time length between the first two revelations?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Nabi (prophet) is derived from the word “naba” meaning news; it means a person who is given prophethood and who is informed about some divine decrees by Allah.  “Resul (messenger)” means a person who is sent by Allah to convey divine decrees to people. 1

To sum up, “rasul” is given a book and a shari’ah; “nabi” is given the duty of calling people to accept the shari’ah of the previous prophet. All rasuls are nabis but not all nabis are rasuls.

After this explanation, we will mention how revelation came to the Prophet (pbuh):

The first revelation came to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in the form of true dreams. Every dream he saw came true. After that, he loved loneliness. Therefore, he went to the Cave of Hira and started to worship based on the religion of Hz. Ibrahim.

Once, he went to the Cave of Hira again. Hz. Jibril came upon the order of Allah. He said to Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), “Read!..” He squeezed Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) until he felt very weak. Then, Hz. Jibril released him and said again, “Read!..” Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) said, “I do not know how to read.” Hz. Jibril squeezed Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) again until he felt very weak and released him. He said again, “Read!..” Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) said, “I do not know how to read.”  Hz. Jibril released him and said,

“Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created― Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful― He Who taught (the use of) the Pen―Taught man that which he knew not.”2

Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) got very excited and went home. He said to his wife, “Wrap me! Cover me!” She wrapped and covered his blessed body. He remained like that until his fear disappeared. 3

Thus, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) received the first revelation. He was forty years old then. After this revelation, he did not receive a revelation for a while. There are various narrations about how long this period lasted. It is said that this period lasted at least fifteen days, forty days or more but it is difficult to state a definite time. 4

The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following about the start of the revelation again:

“Once, I was walking and I heard a sound from the sky. When I looked up, I saw the angel that came to me in Hira. He was sitting on a throne between the sky and the earth. I was frightened. I returned home and said, ‘Wrap me! Cover me!’ Thereupon, Allah Almighty sent the following verses:

‘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!’5

Revelations did not cease after that. ” 6

The Prophet (pbuh) became a nabi when the first revelation came in Hira. For, he had not been given the duty of prophethood yet. He became a rasul when the revelation started to come after it ceased for a while. 7

It means it is true that Hz. Muhammad became a nabi first and a rasul after that. However, it is disputable whether three years passed between becoming a nabi and a rasul. As it is mentioned above, the time length between the first and second revelation is not definitely known. There are various narrations regarding the issue. 8

For more information please click on the link given below;

What kind of effect did the interruption of the revelation called, “the suspension of revelation” have on the Prophet (pbuh)? What is the wisdom behind the interruption of the revelation? - How did our Holy Prophet (PBUH) explain the resumption of the deliverance of revelation?

Footnotes:

1. Husayn Jisri. Risala al-Hamidiyya, p. 524-531.
2. Al-Alaq, 96/1-5.
3. Muslim, Iman; 73.
4. Tajrid Translation, II/13.
5. Al-Muddaththir, 74/1-5.
6. Muslim, Iman; 73.
7. Hak Dini Kur'ân Dili, VIII/5944.
8. Zekâi Konrapa, Peygamberimiz, p. 72.

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