(the mother of the faithful
believers) The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle
was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light,
and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go
in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone)
continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used
to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to
(his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again till suddenly the
Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel
came to him 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, 'Read
in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists) has created
man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous." (96.1, 96.2,
96.3) 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."
Khadija then accompanied
him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza, who,
during the PreIslamic Period became a Christian and used to write the
writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew
as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost
his eyesight. Khadija said to Waraqa, "Listen to the story of your nephew,
O my cousin!" Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" Allah's
Apostle described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, "This is the same
one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses.
I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would
turn you out." Allah's Apostle asked, "Will they drive me out?" Waraqa
replied in the affirmative and said, "Anyone (man) who came with something
similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if
I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then
I would support you strongly." But after a few days Waraqa died and
the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while.
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah
Al-Ansari while talking about the period of pause in revelation reporting
the speech of the Prophet "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 Hira' sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth.
I got afraid of him and came back home and said, 'Wrap me (in blankets).'
And then Allah revealed the following Holy Verses (of Quran):
'O you (i.e. Muhammad)!
wrapped up in garments!' Arise and warn (the people against Allah's
Punishment),... up to 'and desert the idols.' (74.1-5) After this the
revelation started coming strongly, frequently and regularly."
Narrated 'Abdullah bin
Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed
me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying
a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria,
Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), at the time when Allah's Apostle had
truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan and his companions
went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the
court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called
for his translator who, translating Heraclius's question said to them,
"Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?"
Abu Sufyan replied, "I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group)."
Heraclius said, "Bring
him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and make his companions stand behind him."
Abu Sufyan added, Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions
that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (The Prophet)
and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me."
Abu Sufyan added, "By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions
labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet.
The first question he asked me about him was:
'What is his family status
I replied, 'He belongs
to a good (noble) family amongst us.'
Heraclius further asked,
'Has anybody amongst you ever claimed the same (i.e. to be a Prophet)
I replied, 'No.'
He said, 'Was anybody
amongst his ancestors a king?'
I replied, 'No.'
Heraclius asked, 'Do
the nobles or the poor follow him?'
I replied, 'It is the
poor who follow him.'
He said, 'Are his followers
increasing decreasing (day by day)?'
I replied, 'They are
He then asked, 'Does
anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased and
renounce the religion afterwards?'
I replied, 'No.'
Heraclius said, 'Have
you ever accused him of telling lies before his claim (to be a Prophet)?'
I replied, 'No. '
Heraclius said, 'Does
he break his promises?'
I replied, 'No. We are
at truce with him but we do not know what he will do in it.' I could
not find opportunity to say anything against him except that.
Heraclius asked, 'Have
you ever had a war with him?'
I replied, 'Yes.'
Then he said, 'What was
the outcome of the battles?'
I replied, 'Sometimes
he was victorious and sometimes we.'
Heraclius said, 'What
does he order you to do?'
I said, 'He tells us
to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with
Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to
pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with
our Kith and kin.'
Heraclius asked the translator
to convey to me the following, I asked you about his family and your
reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact all the Apostles
come from noble families amongst their respective peoples. I questioned
you whether anybody else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply
was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would
have thought that this man was following the previous man's statement.
Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply
was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would
have thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom.
I further asked whether
he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and
your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does
not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I, then
asked you whether the rich people followed him or the poor. You replied
that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact all the Apostle have
been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether
his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were
increasing, and in fact this is the way of true faith, till it is complete
in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who,
after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion.
Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is (the sign of) true
faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely.
I asked you whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative
and likewise the Apostles never betray. Then I asked you what he ordered
you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah
alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and forbade you to
worship idols and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and to be
chaste. If what you have said is true, he will very soon occupy this
place underneath my feet and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he
was going to appear but I did not know that he would be from you, and
if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him
and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet.' Heraclius
then asked for the letter addressed by Allah's Apostle
which was delivered by
Dihya to the Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read.
The contents of the letter were as follows: "In the name of Allah the
Beneficent, the Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of
Allah and His Apostle to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be
upon him, who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam,
and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your
reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing
a sin by misguiding your Arisiyin (peasants). (And I recite to you Allah's
'O people of the scripture!
Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none but Allah and
that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall
take others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear
witness that we are Muslims (those who have surrendered to Allah).'
Abu Sufyan then added,
"When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter, there
was a great hue and cry in the Royal Court. So we were turned out of
the court. I told my companions that the question of Ibn-Abi-Kabsha)
(the Prophet Muhammad) has become so prominent that even the King of
Bani Al-Asfar (Byzantine) is afraid of him. Then I started to become
sure that he (the Prophet) would be the conqueror in the near future
till I embraced Islam (i.e. Allah guided me to it)."
The sub narrator adds,
"Ibn An-Natur was the Governor of llya' (Jerusalem) and Heraclius was
the head of the Christians of Sham. Ibn An-Natur narrates that once
while Heraclius was visiting ilya' (Jerusalem), he got up in the morning
with a sad mood. Some of his priests asked him why he was in that mood?
Heraclius was a foreteller and an astrologer. He replied, 'At night
when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice
circumcision had appeared (become the conqueror). Who are they who practice
circumcision?' The people replied, 'Except the Jews nobody practices
circumcision, so you should not be afraid of them (Jews).
'Just Issue orders to
kill every Jew present in the country.'
While they were discussing
it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the news of Allah's
Apostle to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he (Heraclius)
ordered the people to go and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was
circumcised. The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius that he was
circumcised. Heraclius then asked him about the Arabs. The messenger
replied, 'Arabs also practice circumcision.'
(After hearing that)
Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the 'Arabs had appeared. Heraclius
then wrote a letter to his friend in Rome who was as good as Heraclius
in knowledge. Heraclius then left for Homs. (a town in Syrian and stayed
there till he received the reply of his letter from his friend who agreed
with him in his opinion about the emergence of the Prophet and the fact
that he was a Prophet. On that Heraclius invited all the heads of the
Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he
ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out
and said, 'O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right
guidance and want your empire to remain then give a pledge of allegiance
to this Prophet (i.e. embrace Islam).'
(On hearing the views
of Heraclius) the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers
but found the doors closed. Heraclius realized their hatred towards
Islam and when he lost the hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered
that they should be brought back in audience.
(When they returned)
he said, 'What already said was just to test the strength of your conviction
and I have seen it.' The people prostrated before him and became pleased
with him, and this was the end of Heraclius's story (in connection with