Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Commissioning Muhammad as Prophet

Commissioning Muhammad as Prophet

By Ben Al-Hussaini.

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger 

Description: The pause of the revelation and the Commissioning as Prophet with mighty command.

Ibn Sa’ad reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu’anhum) that the Revelation paused for a few days, [1]. Meanwhile, the Prophet (
Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was caught in a sort of astonishment and confusion. In the Book of Dreams, Al-Bukhari recorded that the paused and Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) returned to the Mount An-Nur. Angel Gabriel would appear before him and said:

“O Muhammad! You are indeed Allāh’s Messenger in truth”

These words made Prophet Muhammad (
Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  assured of the the divine aspirations. After sometime Gabriel would reappeared before him and assured with the the same words.

Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) said: That was to relive the Prophet Muhammad (
Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) of the fright he experienced and make him long for Revelation [2]. When the confusion diminished, the truth was prevailed. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) now realised that he had been the Messenger of Allāh. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  was also certain what had come to him was the messenger of inspiration and Revelation and constituted a good reason for steadfastness on the future arrivals.

Al-Bukhari (rahimahullah) reported on the authority of Jabir bin ‘Abdull
āh (radiyallāhu’anhu) that he heard Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said about the period of pause as follow:

“While I was walking, I heard a voice form the sky, I looked up, and surely enough, it was the same angel who had visited me in the cave of Hira’. He was sitting on a chair between the earth and the sky; I was very afraid of him and knelt on the ground. I went home saying:” Cover me! Cover me! Allāh revealed to me:

“O you (Muhammad) enveloped (in garments)! Arise and warn! And your Lord (Allāh) magnify! And your garments purify! And keep away from Ar-Rujuz (the idols)!

[Al-Muddathir 74: 1-5]

This revelation carries two categories of clearly explained of Prophet Muhammad's (
Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mission:

1. Conveying and Warning: This was the first of his duties as Allāh Subhanahu wa ta’ala said :

“Arise and Warn!” [Al-Muddathir 74:2].

It is clearly defined that he is to warn the people against the punishment of All
āh if they do not revert from their tyranny and associating others with Him. His Attributes, His Rights and what He does.

2. Adhering to the Commands of Allāh: This was the other duty, as Allāh said:

“And your Lord (All
āh) magnify” [Al-Muddathir ,74:3]

Meaning revere Him alone, without partners.

“And your garments purify” [[Al-Muddathir, 74:4]

The apparent objectives of this is that he should purify his garments and body, since one who stands before Allāh to praise His Greatness does not do so in filthy state.

Yet if this it is the kind of purification that is desired, then the purification from the filth of associating partners with All
āh, and repulsive deeds and behavior is more worthy of being the desired objective.

“And keep away from Ar-Rujuz (the idols)” [Al-Muddathir, 74:5]

Meaning stay away from causes that earns All
āh wrath, by abiding in obedience and refraining from acts of disobedience.

“And give not a thing in order to have more” [Al-Muddathir, 74:6]

Meaning does not behave kindly to people merely for reward from them or some portion of benefit in this life.

As for the last verse, it indicated the harms to expect from his people when religious separation begins, when he is calling them to All
āh alone and warning them against His punishments and force. He said:

“And be patience for the sake of your Lord” [Al-Muddathir, 74:7]

These Verses began with the exalted call in the resounding voice commissioning the Prophet (
Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  with this mighty command, taking him from his sleep and his comfort, to struggle and continue hardship:

“O you enveloped in the garments! Arise and warn! [Al-Muddathir, 74: 1-2]

The Revelation continue to accelerat after this command. The verses and pieces of Surah revealed were short with wonderful strong pauses and quite fascinating rhythms full of harmony with the delicate whispering setting. The central topic running through them focused on purifying the soul, and preventing the Muslims from falling prey to the deceptive glamour of life. The early verses used to give as well a highly accurate account of the Hell and the Paradise, leading the believers down a new course diametrically opposed to ill practices widespread among their compatriots

The Ways of Revelation.

Ibn Al-Qaiyim (rahimahullah) clearly laid down the forms of the Revelation as follows:

The First: The period of true vision, it was the starting point of the Revelation to Allāh’s Messenger, Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

The Second: What the angel invisibly cast in the Prophet’s mind and heart, without being seen. Allāh Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “The Noble Spirit revealed to me, No soul will perish until it exhausts its due cause, so fear Allāh and gently frequent Him. Never get impatient to the point of disobedience of Allāh. What Allāh has can never be acquired but through obedience to Him.”

The Third: The angel used to visit Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  in the form of a human being and would speak to him directly. This would enable him to fully understand what the angel said. The angel was sometimes seen in this form buy Prophet’s Companions [Sahabah]

The Fourth: The angel came to him like the toll of a bell and this was most difficult form because the angel used to seize him firmly and sweat would stream from his forehead even on the coldest day. If the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  was on his camel, the camel would immediately kneel down on the ground. Once the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  had such a revelation when he was sitting and his thigh was on Zaid’s thigh, Zaid bin Harithah (radiyallāhu’anhu) felt the pressure that almost injured him.

The Fifth: The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  met the angel in his actual. The angel would reveal to him what Allāh had ordered him to reveal. This, as mentioned in Surah An-Najam, 53. This happened twice.

The Sixth: What Allāh Himself revealed to him in heaven that is when he ascended to heaven and received Allāh Order for Solat [the five daily prayers].

The Seventh: Allāh Words to His Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  at first hand without the mediation of an angel. It was a privilege granted to Moses (‘alayhissalam) and clearly attested in the Qur’ān, as it is attested to our Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  in the Surah Al-Isra’, 17, the Journey by Night.

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.


1. Quran, 96:5: “Has taught man which he knew not.”
2. Fathul-Bari. 1/27

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