First revealed verses of Quran
Fatwa No: 336370

  • Fatwa Date:14-12-2016 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 15, 1438
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Question

Yahya reported, “I asked Abu Salama what was revealed first from the Quran. He said, ‘O the shrouded one.’” (Muslim)
Does this narration not contradict the fact that the verses of Surah Al-‘Alaq were the first ones to be revealed (and not the above-mentioned verse of Surah Muddaththir)?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

According to the most preponderant opinion, Soorah Al-‘Alaq [Quran 96] was revealed first, as it was narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

The beginning of the Revelation that came to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was true dreams; he never saw a dream but that it came true like bright daylight. Then seclusion was made dear to him, and he used to go to the cave of Hiraa’ and worship there ... until the angel came to him and said, ‘Read!’ The Prophet said, ‘I am not a reader,’ then he took hold of me and squeezed me until I could not bear it any more, then he released me and said, ‘Read!’ I said, ‘I am not a reader.’… He took hold of me and squeezed me a second time until I could not bear it any more, then he released me and said, ‘Read!’ I said, ‘I am not a reader.’ He took hold of me and squeezed me a third time until I could not bear it any more, then he released me and said, ‘{Read in the name of your Lord Who created - created man from a clinging substance. Read, and your Lord is the most Generous - Who taught by the pen - taught man that which he knew not.}’ [Quran 96:1-5]

As regards what Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from Jaabir, that the first thing that was revealed was {O you who covers himself [with a garment]} [Quran 74:1], then the scholars gave precedence to the hadeeth by ‘Aa’ishah, which we mentioned above, because ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported directly what the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said about himself in this regard.

Also, the hadeeth by Jaabir is explicit regarding the fact that the angel came to him  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) first before the revelation of {O you who covers himself [with a garment]}. An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim:

(His saying that) "the first thing that was revealed was {O you who covers himself]} is weak; rather, this saying is unsubstantiated. The correct opinion is that the first thing that was revealed at all was {Recite in the name of your Lord}, as is explicitly mentioned in the hadeeth by ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her. As regards {O you who covers himself}, it was revealed after some interruption in revelation; as explicitly stated in the narration by Az-Zuhri from Abu Salamah from Jaabir, and the indication is explicit in it in parts such as while speaking about the interruption of revelation until he said: then Allah revealed {O you who covers himself}. Another proof is the saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): ‘…then there came the angel who had come to me in Hiraa'...’ and then he said that Allah revealed on him: {O you who covers himself}. Further evidence is that the revelation ‘resumed’, i.e. after an interruption. So the correct view is that the first thing that was revealed was ‘Recite’ and that the first that was revealed after a period of discontinuation was {O you who covers himself}.” [End of quote]

Ibn al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Zaad Al-Ma’aad fi Hady Khayr Al-‘Ibaad,

The first thing that was revealed to him was: {Recite in the name of your Lord Who created}; this is the saying of ‘Aa’ishah and the view of the majority of the scholars. Jaabir said that the first thing that was revealed to him was: {O you who covers himself}, but the correct view is the saying of ‘Aa’ishah… and Allah knows best.” [End of quote]

Allah knows best.

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