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A pause in revelation

Sunday 21/06/2009

The early scholars of Seerah (prophetic biography) discussed the pause in revelation, which is defined by Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy on him, as the cessation of the Divine Revelation for a period of time. The wisdom behind this was to eliminate the fear that was experienced by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and to make him wish for the resumption of the revelation.

Jaabir bin ‘Abdullaah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:While I was walking, all of a sudden I heard a voice from the sky. I looked up and saw the same angel who had visited me at the cave of Hiraa' sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth. I was afraid of him, returned home and said, ‘Cover me’. Thereupon, Allah The Almighty revealed (what means): {“O you [Muhammad ] enveloped [in garments]! Arise and warn! And your Lord [Allah] magnify! And your clothing purify! And uncleanliness avoid!”} [Quran 74:1-5] After this, the revelation started coming strongly, frequently and regularly”. [Al-Bukhari]
 
Safiyy Ar-Rahmaaan Al-Mubaarakpoori  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him maintained that scholars differ as to the period during which the revelation was paused. The most preponderant opinion is that it lasted for some days. Ibn Sa‘d  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him narrated on the authority of Ibn Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, a tradition that supports this opinion. It is certainly not correct that it lasted for three years or two and a half years. The narrations that say that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) became saddened when the revelation stopped and wanted to jump from mountains and Jibreel, may Allah exalt his mention, appeared to him every time and assured him that he was the Messenger of Allah are rated as Mursal, or Dha’eef (defective or weak) narrations, especially knowing that they contradict the infallible nature of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).

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