(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
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
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas:
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 amongst you?'
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) before him?'
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 increasing.'
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 Statement:)
'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).' (3:64).
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
(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
(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 his faith).