Topic

Read The Story (Find Suitable Word Meanings in The Vocabulary List)

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It was a quiet, peaceful night as the stars twinkled in the clear skies above. Muhammad (pbuh) looked over the horizon from the cave of Hira as he sat thinking and meditating. He would often come to this cave in the mountains outside Makkah, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

As Muhammad (pbuh) sat ever so still he could sense that something was very different tonight. Although the cave was dim and cold, heat and warmth seemed to fill the space around him. Suddenly without warning a dazzling light filled the cave. Muhammad jumped up, startled. He could hear a sweet, melodious voice urging him to read. “Read!” the voice said.

It was the angel Jibra’il [a], the angel from Allah, the Lord of the worlds. The angel was so huge that it covered the skies from the east to the west. Even when Muhammad looked up, there was the angel, and when he looked down, there he was as well. Muhammad had never before seen anything quite as huge. In fact the whole world seemed to be no more than a speck of dust on the tip of the angel’s wing.

“Read!” commanded Jibra’il [a].

“I cannot read!” stammered the Prophet, for like many people at that time, he could neither read nor write.

Then the angel grabbed him, holding him so tightly that Muhammad thought he would faint. Just when he thought he could bear it no longer, the angel released him, and commanded, saying to him again, “Read!”

“But I cannot read,” Muhammad repeated.

A second time, the angel held Muhammad and commanded him to read, but the reply was the same.

Then after a third embrace, the angel said, “Read, in the name of your Lord, Who creates.

”Muhammad repeated these words. They had become engraved on his heart and he knew that he would never forget them.

As suddenly as it had come, the light vanished and the cave was dark again.

But he was very afraid, and as soon as he thought he was alone again, he ran from the cave and rushed towards the city. As he ran, he heard the voice once more, “Oh, Muhammad,you are the Messenger of Allah, and I am Jibra’il.”

He stood still, and looked up again. Angel Jibra’il stood on the horizon before him, so huge that his figure filled the sky. And whichever way Muhammad turned, the Angel towered before him.

Muhammad was no longer an ordinary man. He had now been chosen as the last and final Prophet of Allah. He was now Muhammad, Rasulullah, the Messenger of Allah.

In later years, the Holy Prophet [s] would often recount the story of the beginning of revelation to his Companions [r]. Once Harith bin Hisham [r], a Companion, asked the Prophet [s], “How exactly does revelation come to you, O Prophet of Allah?”

“Revelation is something you cannot altogether understand but I would say that it sometimes sounds like the ringing of a huge bell. This is the most difficult form of Wahi of them all, but once it is over the Revelation is as if inscribed on my heart. At other times the angel Jibra’il appears in the form of a handsome man who teaches me what I have to know.”

‘A’ishah [r], the beloved wife of the Prophet [s] said, “I was once with the Prophet [s] when revelation came to him. It was very cold at that time but despite the cold weather the forehead of the Prophet [s] used to be full of perspiration … His head was on my lap at the time and it felt as if I was being crushed.”

In fact, the revelation of the Qur’an used to be such that, if the Prophet [s] was mounted on a camel, the animal would be forced to the ground owing to the unbearable weight of revelation descending on the Blessed Prophet [s]. The Prophet would often say, “I experience so much pain and exhaustion at the time of revelation that it feels as if the throes of death have come over me.”

But despite the great difficulty of receiving revelation, Allah had made it bearable for his beloved Prophet [s]. If Allah had to utter his words directly to man then, not just man, but all of creation would be reduced to dust by the power of his words. After all, Allah is the All-Mighty, All-Powerful Lord of the Worlds.

Vocabulary

Horizon

Meditating

Hustle Bustle

Sense

Dazzling

Melodious

Urging

Stammered

Released

Engraved

Vanished

Recount

Perspiration

Mounted

Unbearable

Descending

Exhaustion

Throes