The master of all creation begins receiving revelation – II

The master of all creation begins receiving revelation – II
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When reflecting over the Hadeeth mentioned in the previous article, the researcher could deduct important issues that are related to the biography of the beloved Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). We mentioned the first two in the previous article and add the following:

1- “Until, suddenly, the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hiraa’. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) replied: “I do not know how to read.”… Thereupon, he caught him for the third time and pressed him, and then released him and said, {Recite in the Name of your Lord Who created - Created man from a clinging substance. Recite, and your Lord is The Most Generous - Who taught by the pen.} [Quran 96:1-4]
 
These honorable and blessed verses were the first part of the Quran that was revealed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). In these verses, it was mentioned that man was created from a clinging substance and honored when Allah The Almighty taught him what he does not know. In other words, Allah The Almighty honored man with knowledge, which is the merit that distinguished Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, from the angels. Knowledge may be found in minds, tongues and writings. These verses marked the beginning of the prophethood of Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). This event, is described by Sayyid Qutb  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him in the following words,
 
]This event] was limitlessly immense, huge and great. No matter how hard we try to comprehend it completely, there will always be many of its aspects beyond our comprehension. Indeed, it was a very remarkable event in terms of its reality, significance and effects on human life. The moment that this event took place was truly the greatest moment that has ever been witnessed on earth throughout its long history. However, what is the reality of this event that took place at that moment? This event meant that Allah The Almighty, The Magnificent, The Powerful and The Subduer, who possesses the whole universe wanted to honor and have mercy upon the type of creatures known as mankind who live in an almost invisible corner of the universe known as the earth by choosing one of them to receive His Divine Light and, thus, be the repository of His wisdom, the receiver of His words, and the representative of the fate that He wills for this creation.
 
The beginning of the Divine Revelation lauded the pen and its importance as well as knowledge and its role in building peoples and nations. This also indicates that knowledge is one of man’s foremost characteristics.
 
This enormous event shows the status of knowledge in Islam, as the first word revealed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was a Divine command to read and recite. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Recite in the Name of your Lord Who created} [Quran 96:1]
Islam encourages seeking knowledge and distinguishes the people of knowledge from others. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
  • {Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.} [Quran 58:11]
  • {“Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.} [Quran 39:9]
 
Allah The Almighty is the source of beneficial knowledge, as He is the One who taught by the pen and the One who taught man what he does not know. Hence, when humanity deviates, and its knowledge no longer complies with Divine methodology, this knowledge will be a curse on it and will cause its destruction.
 
2- The great difficulty that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) faced in receiving the Divine Revelation and its description: Jibreel, may Allah exalt his mention, caught and pressed the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) against himself forcefully, several times, to the extent that he could not bear it any longer. Later on, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) continued suffering this difficulty when receiving the Divine Revelation throughout his life, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.} [Quran 73:5]
 
There was great wisdom behind this difficulty, which may include showing the importance and greatness of this religion and informing the Ummah (Muslim nation) that the religion which it enjoys only reached it with difficulty and hardship.
 
The phenomenon of the Divine Revelation is a miracle that does not follow the normal laws of nature. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) received the speech of Allah The Almighty (i.e., the Quran) via Jibreel, may Allah exalt his mention. Hence, there is no relationship between the phenomenon of revelation and inspiration or internal contemplation. Rather, the revelation sprang from outside the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) whose task was to preserve and convey it. In addition, he interpreted and explained the Quran in his Hadeeths.
 
The reality of the revelation represents the basis of all facts of this religion with its beliefs, laws and ethics. Hence, the orientalists and the atheists before them were (and still are) keen on raising doubts about the reality and authenticity of the revelation. They tried to explain this phenomenon in such a way that contradicts its reality as stated in the books of the authentic Sunnah and as reported by reliable historians. Some of them alleged that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) learned the Quran and the principles of Islam from Baheera the monk, while others alleged that he was suffering from epilepsy.
 
Nonetheless, the reality is that, in the cave of Hiraa’, Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was taken by surprise when he saw Jibreel, may Allah exalt his mention, who grabbed him saying, “Read!” The purpose of this was to make the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) know that the phenomenon of revelation was not an intrapersonal issue caused by self-dialogue; rather, it was a reception of an external truth that has nothing to do with the soul. The fact that the angel caught and pressed him thrice saying, “Read!” left no doubt that this revelation did not originate from intrapersonal imagination. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was horrified by what he heard and saw, and thus, he ran back to his house shivering. This proves that he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was not longing for the mission with which he was about to be commissioned with all its burdens and the difficulty of conveying it to all of mankind. Allah The Almighty confirmed this meaning, Saying (what means):
  • {And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path - The path of Allah, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Unquestionably, to Allah do [all] matters evolve.} [Quran 42: 52-53]
  • {And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, “Bring us a Quran other than this or change it.” Say, [O Muhammad], “It is not for me to change it on my own accord. I only follow what is revealed to me. Indeed I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous Day.” Say, “If Allah had willed, I would not have recited it to you, nor would He have made it known to you, for I had remained among you a lifetime before it. Then will you not reason?”} [Quran 10:15, 16]
All skeptical opinions regarding the reality of the revelation could not stand up to the authentic Hadeeth that was narrated on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her. From this moment and until the end of the life of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) the revelation continued in such a way that proves its truthfulness, contrary to cynical allegations.
 
Dr. Al-Booti summarized these indications in the following points:
1- The clear differentiation between the Quran and the Hadeeths. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would command his Companions to record parts of the Quran immediately after their revelation, while he sufficed by depositing his Hadeeths in their memories. This in no way means that the Hadeeths have not related to prophethood, but because both the wording and meaning of the Quran were revealed to him via Jibreel, may Allah exalt his mention, it was only the meaning of the Hadeeths that was revealed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) who expressed them in his own words. Thus, he was extremely cautious for fear of mixing his speech with that of Allah The Almighty that he received from Jibreel, may Allah exalt his mention.
 
2- Whenever the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was asked about something, he would wait, sometimes for a long period, until he received a Quranic verse stating the answer. Furthermore, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) might have behaved in a certain manner regarding particular issues, and then the Quranic verses would come commanding him to behave differently. It was probable that some of these verses admonished the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) for certain actions and decisions of his.
 
3- The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was illiterate; moreover, it was impossible for any person to have known about specific historic facts such as the story of Yoosuf (Joseph), may Allah exalt his mention, and that of the mother of Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention, when she threw her son in the river and the story of Pharaoh through intrapersonal contemplation. This was part of the wisdom behind the illiteracy of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And you did not recite before it any scripture, nor did you inscribe one with your right hand. Otherwise the falsifiers would have had [cause for] doubt.} [Quran 29:48]
 
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) spent forty years adhering to truthfulness with his people until he became famous for this, which necessitates his being truthful with himself. Thus, he must certainly have studied the phenomenon of revelation in such a way that eliminates any doubt regarding it. The following verse was revealed in response to his first study about revelation, Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters.} [Quran 10:94] Hence, it was reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said after the revelation of this verse: “I shall neither doubt”.
 

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