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Page last edited on 23 April, 2003

Muhammad's Prophethood

Intimations of Prophethood 

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was forty when the first glimpses of light and of his future happiness appeared. The time of his mission approached. It had always been the Divine practice that whenever the darkness had become too intense and the wickedness widespread, a Messenger appeared. 

The Messenger of Allah's distaste for what he saw reached a peak. It was as if he was being guided towards a certain spiritual destination. He loved going into retreat. He was always content when he could be on his own. He used to walk away from Makkah until he was well out of sight of the houses. He got to know all the paths, the flat areas and the valleys outside Makkah. From every rock or tree he passed he heard, 'Peace be upon you, Messenger of Allah.' But when he looked around, to his right, to his left and behind him, he could see nothing but trees and rocks. 

The first intimations of the future came in the form of dreams, so vivid that they were as clear as the break of day. 

The Cave of Hira 

The Messenger of Allah usually went to the Cave of Hira. He would remain there for several nights in a row, having taken along with him enough food to last for that time. He used to worship and pray in the manner of his ancestor, Ibrahim, the Hanifiyyah, and followed the pure human need to turn to Allah. 

The mission begins 

The Messenger of Allah was alone in the Cave of Hira on the day destined for the start of his prophetic mission. He was forty-one years old and it was the seventeenth day of Ramadan, the sixth of August 6~O C.E. Suddenly an angel appeared and said to him, 

'Read!' 

'I cannot read,' he replied. 

Later, the Messenger of Allah, when recounting what had happened, said, 'He seized me and squeezed me as hard as I could bear and then let me go and said, 

"Read !" 

'I said, "I cannot read." 

'Then he squeezed me as hard as I could bear a second time and let me go. Again he said, "Read." 

'I cannot read.' 

'Then he squeezed me a third time and let me go and said: 

"Read in the name of your Lord' Who created, created man of a blood-clot. Read, and your Lord is the Most Generous, Who taught by the Pen, taught man what he did not know."'(96: 1-5) 

This was the first day of his prophethood and these were the first verses of the Qur'an to be revealed. 

Khadijah's reaction 

Naturally, the Messenger of Allah was alarmed by the experience. He had not known what was happening and he had not heard of anything like this ever happening before. It had been a long time since there had been a Prophet. In any case, the Arabs had only a remote connection with prophethood. He was very frightened and returned to his house trembling. 

'Wrap me up! Wrap me up!' he said. 'I fear for myself! ' 

When Khadijah asked why, he told her what had happened. She was an intelligent lady and had heard of prophethood, prophets and angels. She used to visit her cousin, Waraqah ibn Nawfal, who had become a Christian. He had read many books and had learned much from the People of the Torah and the Evangel. 

Khadijah knew the character of the Messenger of Allah better than anyone because she was his wife and close to his thoughts. She was well aware of his noble character and enviable qualities. She realised that he had always been given success and support by Allah, he was a man chosen from among His creation, whose life and conduct He was pleased with. 

No one with a character like his need ever be in fear of Satan or of being affected by the jinn. That would be incompatible with what Khadijah knew of the wisdom and compassion of Allah and His way of dealing with His creation. She declared with trust and belief, strongly and forcefully, 

'No! Allah would never disgrace you! You maintain close ties with your relations, you bear others' burdens and give people what they need. You are hospitable to your guests and help those with a just claim to get what is due to them.' 

Khadijah's Islam and her character 

Khadijah hated the behaviour of the people of Makkah, as anyone of sound mind would have detested the atrocities committed by them. She was the first to believe in Allah and His Messenger. She was always at her husband's side helping him through difficult times. She used to lighten his burden and offer him comfort while assuring him of her confidence in his Message. 

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* pbuh - Peace be upon him; It is a Muslim practise to convey prayers of peace whenever the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and other prophets is taken.


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Last updated on 13 March, 2003

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Hate Hurts. Love Cures. Conjecture Fails. Truth Prevails.
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Seek Understanding from Knowledge/ Information
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