Muhammad's first revelation
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- This is a sub-article to Muhammad before Medina
Muḥammad - (محمد)
Muhammad's first revelation was the event in which Muhammad is said to have been visited by the angel Gabriel who revealed to him a verse from the Qur'an. It was after this event that he proclaimed himself to be a prophet of Allah.
According to Hadith and historical accounts from his companions, when Muhammad was nearly 40, he spent many hours alone in prayer and speculating over the aspects of creation. According to many Hadith, he was also concerned with the social unrest, injustice, widespread discrimination (particularly against women), fighting among tribes and abuse of tribal authorities prevalent in pre-Islamic Arabia, Muhammad went up the mountains to meditate and contemplate in seclusion (although this was not asceticism or monasticism as he did not completely desert his family or adopt seclusion from society).
His wife Khadija used to provide him with food and water if he didn't return after many days.. In particular a cave named Hira, in the Jabal al-Nur mountain, which was about 3 km from Mecca, 3.5 m long and 1.6 m wide, where he reportedly invited others to share his food.
The first revelation 
Sunni Muslims believe that around the time that he was staying in Hira (during Ramadan), the Qur'an was revealed to Muhammad in several parts. Shi'a Muslims believe that Muhammadt received the Qur'anic revelation both in its entirety and in stages, and that his prophethood began on 27 Rajab.
- Forerunners of the Revelation assumed the form of true visions that would strikingly come true all the time. After that, solitude became dear to him and he would go to the cave, Hira, to engage in devotion there for a certain number of nights before returning to his family, and then he would return for provisions for a similar stay. Unexpectedly, the angel Jibra'il came to Muhammad and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read". The Prophet added, "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, "I do not know how to read." Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, "I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?" Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said:
- Arabic Text: بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
- Translation: In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
- Arabic Text: اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ
- Translation: Read: In the name of your Lord Who created. Quran: 96:1
- Arabic Text: خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ
- Translation: Created man from a clot of blood. Quran: 96:2
- Arabic Text: اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ
- Translation: Read: And your Lord is the Most generous, Quran: 96:3
- Arabic Text: الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ
- Translation: Who taught [man the use of] the pen, Quran: 96:4
- Arabic Text: عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ
- Translation: and taught man that which he did not know. Quran: 96:5
- Then Allah's Apostle returned with the inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, "I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija replied, "Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.
Khadijah then reportedly went with Muhammad to her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal, who had embraced Christianity in the pre-Islamic period and used to read the Bible in Hebrew. Khadijah said: "My cousin! Listen to your nephew!" Waraqah said: "O my nephew! What did you see?" When Muhammad told him what had happened to him, Waraqah replied: "This is Namus (the angel who is entrusted with divine secrets) that Allah sent to Moses. I wish I were younger. I wish I could live up to the time when your people would turn you out." Muhammad asked: "Will they drive me out?" Waraqah answered in the affirmative and said: "Anyone who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should be alive until that day, then I would support you strongly." A few days later Waraqah died, and the revelations also allegedly paused for a while.
At-Tabari and Ibn Hisham reported that Muhammad left the cave of Hira after being surprised by the revelation, but later on, returned to the cave and continued his solitude, though subsequently he returned to Mecca. At-Tabari reported this incident, saying:
- After mentioning the coming of the revelation, the messenger of Allah said: I have never abhorred anyone more than a poet or a mad man. I can not stand looking at either of them. I will never tell anyone of Quraish of my Revelation. I will climb a mountain and throw myself down and die. That will relieve me. I went to do that but halfway up the mountain, I heard a voice from the sky saying "O Muhammad! You are the messenger of Allah and I am Gabriel." I looked upwards and saw Gabriel in the form of a man putting his legs on the horizon. He said: "O Muhammad you are the messenger of Allah and I am Gabriel." I stopped and looked at him. His sight distracted my attention from what I had intended to do. I stood in my place transfixed. I tried to shift my eyes away from him. He was in every direction I looked at. I stopped in my place without any movement until Khadijah sent someone to look for me. He went down to Mecca and came back while I was standing in the same place. Gabriel then left, and I went back home. I found Khadijah at home, so I sat very close to her. She asked: ‘Father of Al-Qasim! Where have you been? I sent someone to look for you. He went to Mecca and returned to me.’ I told her of what I had seen. She replied: ‘It is an auspicious sign, O my husband. Pull yourself together, I swear by Allah that you are a Messenger for this nation.’ Then she stood up and went to Waraqa and informed him. Waraqa said: ‘I swear by Allah that he has received the same Namus, the angel that was sent to Moses. He is the Prophet of this nation. Tell him to be patient.’ She came back to him and told him of Waraqa’s words. When the messenger of Allah finished his solitary stay and went down to Makkah, he went to Waraqa, who told him: ‘You are the prophet of this nation. I swear by Allah that you have received the same angel that was sent to Moses.
- Sahih Bukhari, Volume 001, Book 001, Hadith Number 003.
- Sahih Bukhari 1/2,3
- At-Tabari 2/207; Ibn Hisham 1/237,238
- The Sealed Nectar