بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين
The Light of Prophecy & The Preserved Tablet
At the very inception of time and the initiation of creation, Allah سبحانه و تعالی formed a Noor (Light) which transpired into the realm of creation. This light would be the key to the story of creation, a key that would connect the Khalq (Creation) back to Al-Khaaliq (The Creator of All). This light, was the Seal of the Prophecy, and the pinnacle of Allah’s creation ﷺ. (Rooh Al-Ma’aani, Zurqani, Mawaahib Al-Ladunniyyah, Madaarij An-Nubuwwah, Sharh Shifaa Li Mulla Ali Qari)
Amidst this inception, Allah سبحانه و تعالی created ‘Al-Qalam’ (The Pen of Divine Decree) and the ’Lawh Al-Mahfoodh’ (The Preserved Tablet), and ordered the decree of creation to be scripted in entirety from his infinite knowledge and wisdom. (Tirmidhi)
This tablet would be sanctified in the most preserved quarters above the highest heaven, heavily guarded by a host of celestial bodies created to protect it. Within its inscription were the details of every decree in creation, the names of every soul, every event, every birth, every death, every day and every night. It contained the details of every single one of over 224,000 Ambiya (Prophets) and Rusul (Messengers), their missions and their scriptures. Inscribed within this tablet was the blessed Seerah of the Seal of Prophets ﷺ, and the compendium of the greatest and most powerful speech of Allah سبحانه و تعالی to transpire in all of creation: The Glorious Qur’aan.
A Noor (Light), an ‘Aalam (Realm) and a Lawh (Tablet), whose reality and marvel is truly known only to the one who possesses the infinite power and might to initiate His creation by them: Allah سبحانه و تعالی
The Birth of Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام
During this early period of creation, before the inception of Jannah (Paradise), Jahannam (Hell), and before the jinn, Allah سبحانه و تعالی created a beautiful creature, whose very fabric was formed by light. His soul was instilled within him and he was named: “Jibra’eel” علیه السلام. He was the first of his kind and was made the leader of the Malaa’ikah (Angels), the legions of God’s decree throughout the universe. Many angels were created in innumerable measure, until a handspan of the heavens did not remain empty of them, but Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام was the Arch-Angel and the greatest of them all. He علیه السلام would live through the development of the universe, the creation of the Jinn, the rise and fall of Iblees (The Arch-Devil), the manifestation of darkness and evil in our universe, the birth of the Shayaateen (The Devil Race), the formation of the earth, the demotion of jinn kind as its successive rulers, the announcement of their substitution, and the creation of man.
Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام then became acquainted with the legacy of Nuboowwah (Prophethood), and as the arch-angel, was commissioned as the Ameen Al-Wahi (The Treasurer of Divine Revelation). From this moment onwards, he علیه السلام would be sent by Allah سبحانه و تعالی to initiate the prophethood of each mighty Prophet, and deliver the details of their mission through Wahi (Divine Revelation) and Suhoof (Divine Scripture). (Zurqani)
His علیه السلام mission was to assist the Prophets علیه السلام in their mission, as they strove to connect the creation back to Allah سبحانه و تعالی. His heart yearned for the day he could stand by the side of the greatest of all Prophets ﷺ, when he would not just be delivering physical scripture, but witnessing the direct revelation of the divine word of Allah سبحانه و تعالی as it enters into the heart of his greatest and Final Messenger ﷺ.
The Descent of The Qur’aan
As the billions of millenniums passed, the moment had finally arrived. It was the year when the Glorious Qur’aan would finally be unlocked from the Lawh Al-Mahfoodh (The Preserved Tablet), and descended from the loftiest heaven in an extremely guarded manner that befits its majesty and magnificence. The angels watched as the Qur’aan was transferred to the Bayt Al-‘Izzah (The Station of Honour) at the spatial borders of the first heaven. (Nasa’i, Bayhaqi, Ibn Abi Shaybah)
As this night came to pass, Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام watched this grand descent in elation, as he was about to embark his greatest mission yet: delivering the Qur’aan to the heart of the Prophet ﷺ.
The Night of Power, 610 AD
During the Night of Power, in Ramadhan 610 AD, Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام braced himself, as he bolted through the billions of lightyears – faster than the speed of light – with the rush of love and excitement. As he carried the first words of revelation from the Glorious Qur’aan, he approached the atmosphere of earth and headed for Makkah Al-Mukarramah. It was at this moment, the Du’aa of Sayyidinaa Ibraahim علیه السلام was about to be fulfilled by the decree of Allah سبحانه و تعالی:
رَبَّنَا وَٱبْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًۭا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
“Our Lord, raise in their midst a Messenger from among them, who should recite to them Your verses, and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and make them pure. Indeed You and You alone, are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:129)
As Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام flew through the skies at breakneck-speed, the Prophet ﷺ sat in the peaceful, serene silence of the Cave of Hira. This was the area where the Prophet ﷺ could focus deep within his pure heart and soul, and engage in reflection, decoding the truth behind the luminous force within his blessed heart. Then suddenly, this peaceful, dimmed cave became astonishingly illuminated as the Prophet ﷺ looked to see an absolutely startling and overwhelming sight.
SUBHAANALLAH! There he was – Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام – the Leader of the Angels, standing before the Leader of Mankind ﷺ, bringing the final and greatest message of Allah سبحانه و تعالی, to the final and greatest Messenger of Allah ﷺ.
This was an absolutely spectacular and overwhelming moment of awe for both Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام and Our Master Muhammad ﷺ. Allah سبحانه و تعالی alone knows how the heart of Jibra’eel علیه السلام rushed as he stood in front of the one most beloved to him in all of creation, witnessing the moment he had been anticipating for over a billion millenniums, yearning to embrace him since the day he kissed his innocent forehead as a child outside the home of Sayyidah Haleemah رضی الله عنها over thirty-five years ago.
Mean whilst the Prophet ﷺ watched this shocking and overwhelming sight, that was completely unperceivable. Allah سبحانه و تعالی alone knows how the heart of His beloved felt at that moment. For years he was hearing the overwhelming statements of his Prophecy and special status, words that were almost fearsome for a humble being who sincerely felt the gravity of being a Prophet of God. Yet this was no monk, nor a man, nor a woman, but an angel – and that too the arch-angel – who was unlike any other being he ﷺ had ever seen. A startling sight that instantly signified the nature of Prophecy.
Without a moment to absorb this enormous sight, the Prophet ﷺ suddenly heard Jibra’eel علیه السلام powerfully declare:
This sudden proclamation began adding to the rush of this experience, as the Prophet ﷺ started feeling something he had never felt before. These words were extremely perplexing for the Prophet ﷺ who was Ummiyy (Unlettered), and thus could not fulfil the powerful proclamation of this unknown being. He ﷺ innocently said:
مَا أَنَا بِقَارِئٍ
“I am not one who can read”
No sooner did he ﷺ say these words that suddenly he witnessed this unknown being rush towards him and instantly take hold of him in an extremely powerful embrace. As Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام held the Prophet ﷺ tight, Allah سبحانه و تعالی alone knows the reality of what transpired at this moment, and he سبحانه و تعالی alone knows how Jibra’eel felt finally embracing his most beloved Master Muhammad ﷺ!
However, this embrace was extremely difficult and physically exerting for the Prophet ﷺ, until he ﷺ felt he could no longer survive, when suddenly he was let go of and he heard this unknown being powerfully proclaim a second time:
Without even a moment to catch his breath from such an exerting and exhilarating experience, the Prophet ﷺ once again innocently replied:
مَا أَنَا بِقَارِئٍ
“I am not one who can read”
He ﷺ barely finished this sentence when he bore the startling sight of this being forcefully rushing towards him and powerfully embracing him in the same manner again. The Prophet ﷺ continued to persevere a second time and he once again felt he could no longer bear it, just before he was released a second time.
“RECITE!”, the angel powerfully proclaimed again in the same manner as the Prophet ﷺ once again innocently pleaded: “I am not one who can read”. The angel flashed forward again and powerfully embraced the Prophet ﷺ for a third time, completely exerting the Prophet’s ﷺ strength beyond human endurance, until the Prophet ﷺ felt lifeless and feared his soul was about to leave his body. Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام then released the Prophet ﷺ for a third and final time. Now the Prophet ﷺ watched – completely exhausted – as Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام powerfully declared:
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ ﴿١﴾ خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ ﴿٢﴾ اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ ﴿٣﴾
“Recite in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists), created man from a clot. Recite! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” (Surah Al-Alaq 96:1-3)
This time the Prophet ﷺ experienced something different, and began proclaiming these verses himself, word for word, letter by letter, as it suddenly felt like these words were etched in his blessed heart. (Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Sahih Al-Bukhari)
The Heart of the Prophet ﷺ
The Prophet ﷺ had just experienced the verbatim word of Allah سبحانه و تعالی being revealed and preserved in his heart. Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام witnessed this miraculous moment, as the weight of the mighty speech of Allah سبحانه و تعالی transferred into the very heart which he علیه السلام washed and held all those years ago. This was a momentous scene for Jibra’eel علیه السلام to see with his own eyes. No other vessel in creation was strong enough to yield the force of the direct revelation of the Qur’aan.
The Tajalliyy (Manifestations of Divine Glory) of Allah سبحانه و تعالی, are intensely powerful and majestic, beyond the limits of what creation can bear, and such was the Tajalliyy of Wahi (Divine Revelation). Sayyidina Jibra’eel علیه السلام was aware that when Sayyidinaa Musa علیه السلام earnestly begged Allah سبحانه و تعالی for the blessing of seeing his Lord, Allah سبحانه و تعالی showed Sayyidinaa Musa علیه السلام the inability of bearing the divine sight by manifesting his Tajalliyy upon a mighty mountain which instantly turned to dust and immediately made Sayyidinaa Musa علیه السلام unconscious. (Surah Aa’raf 7:143).
Yet he just witnessed the heart of Prophet ﷺ bear the intense Tajalliyy of the Qur’aan Al-Kareem, whilst remaining completely safe and sound. It is in reference to this that Allah سبحانه و تعالی tells us in the Qur’aan:
لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍۢ لَّرَأَيْتَهُۥ خَـٰشِعًۭا مُّتَصَدِّعًۭا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ وَتِلْكَ ٱلْأَمْثَـٰلُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
“If We had sent down this Qur’aan upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and splitting from fear of Allah. And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought.” (Surah Al-Hashr 59:21)
The pure heart of the Prophet ﷺ was the strongest and most-fortified vessel in all of Allah’s creation, which could solely bear the weight of the Qur’aan being revealed straight to it.
The Weight of The Qur’aan
The Prophet ﷺ felt such an exhilarating and exerting embrace from Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام, which initiated his heart for this task. In his ﷺ later years, the Prophet’s ﷺ heart continued to grow even stronger and bear even more powerful modes of direct revelation. The weight of these words was so mighty that the strongest of animals would suddenly buckle to the ground as soon as the Qur’aan began descending upon him whilst he was riding atop them. The heat of the glory and majesty that accompanied the verses of the Qur’aan was so intense that he ﷺ would sweat on the coldest of days. The stages of revelation continued to increase stronger and stronger until the Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said in regards to the first form of revelation:
وَهُوَ أَهْوَنُهُ عَلَیَّ
“And it was the lightest (form of revelation) upon me” (Sahih Abu Awaanah, Al-Itqaan)
This is what Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ would endure for a single verse of the Qur’aan, and yet, we have the audacity to abandon its recitation to the extent that Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ will say on the day of Qiyaamah:
وَقَالَ ٱلرَّسُولُ يَـٰرَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِى ٱتَّخَذُوا۟ هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ مَهْجُورًۭا
“And the Messenger has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’aan as [a thing] abandoned.” (Surah Al-Furqan 25:30)
May Allah سبحانه و تعالی adorn our hearts with the Qur’aan and guide us to fulfil its true right. Ameen!
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ
After witnessing this, Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام left the cave. The Prophet ﷺ watched as this unknown being disappeared, and he ﷺ had to stand up alone after experiencing such a bewildering and shocking experience. He ﷺ rushed outside the cave as his blessed heart was racing, when he ﷺ suddenly heard the words:
يا محمد ، أنت رسول الله، وأنا جبريل
“O Muhammad! ﷺ You are the Messenger of Allah, and I am Jibra’eel” (Ibn Ishaaq)
He ﷺ looked up to see the same unknown being over the horizon. Wherever he ﷺ turned, he saw him علیه السلام, repeating the same frightening statement over and over. The Prophet ﷺ quickly ran down the mountain as he rushed towards Makkah, whilst Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام watched the Seal of Prophecy, and the Leader of the Messengers ﷺ begin his journey of twenty-three years, with his heart now bearing the mantle of Prophethood, and the eternal words of his Lord…
Join us tomorrow as we continue with our next article: “The First Believer: Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها”