(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
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 '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
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).' (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 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 his faith).