Page 31 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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When Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was nearly forty, he had been wont to pass long
hours in retirement meditating and speculating over all aspects of creation around him. This
meditative temperament helped to widen the mental gap between him and his compatriots. He used
to provide himself with
(barley porridge) and water and then directly head for the hills and
ravines in the neighbourhood of Makkah. One of these in particular was his favourite resort — a
cave named Hira’, in the Mount An-Nour. It was only two miles from Makkah, a small cave 4 yards
long and 1.75 yard wide. He would always go there and invite wayfarers to share him his modest
provision. He used to devote most of his time, and Ramadan in particular, to worship and meditation
on the universe around him. His heart was restless about the moral evils and idolatry that were
rampant among his people; he was as yet helpless because no definite course, or specific approach
had been available for him to follow and rectify the ill practices around him. This solitude attended
with this sort of contemplative approach must be understood in its Divine perspective. It was a
preliminary stage to the period of grave responsibilities that he was to shoulder very soon.
Privacy and detachment from the impurities of life were two indispensable prerequisites for the
Prophet’s soul to come into close communion with the Unseen Power that lies behind all aspects of
existence in this infinite universe. It was a rich period of privacy which lasted for three years and
ushered in a new era, of indissoluble contact with that Power.
When he was forty, the age of complete perfection at which Prophets were always ordered to
disclose their Message, signs of his Prophethood started to appear and twinkle on the horizons of
life; they were the true visions he used to experience for six months. The period of Prophethood was
23 years; so the period of these six months of true visions constituted an integral part of the forty-
six parts of Prophethood. In Ramadan, in his third year of solitude in the cave of Hira’, Allâh’s Will
desired His mercy to flow on earth and Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was honoured with
Prophethood, and the light of Revelation burst upon him with some verses of the Noble Qur’ân.
As for the exact date, careful investigation into circumstantial evidence and relevant clues point
directly to Monday, 21st. Ramadan at night, i.e. Au, 10, 610 A.D. with Prophet Muhammad (Peace
be upon him) exactly 40 years, 6 months and 12 days of age, i.e. 39 Gregorian years, 3 months and
22 days.
‘Aishah, the veracious, gave the following narration of that most significant event that brought the
Divine light which would dispel the darkness of disbelief and ignorance. It led life down a new course
and brought about the most serious amendment to the line of the history of mankind:
Forerunners of the Revelation assumed the form of true visions that would strikingly come true all
the time. After that, solitude became dear to him and he would go to the cave, Hira’, to engage in
(devotion) there for a certain number of nights before returning to his family, and then
he would return for provisions for a similar stay. At length, unexpectedly, the Truth (the angel)
came to him and said, “Recite.” “I cannot recite,” he [Muhammad (Peace be upon him)] said. The
Prophet (Peace be upon him) described: “Then he took me and squeezed me vehemently and then
let me go and repeated the order ‘Recite.’ ‘I cannot recite’ said I, and once again he squeezed me
and let me till I was exhausted. Then he said: ‘Recite.’ I said ‘I cannot recite.’ He squeezed me for a
third time and then let me go and said:
“Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists), has created man from
a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! and your Lord is the Most Generous.’”
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) repeated these verses. He was trembling with fear. At this stage,
he came back to his wife Khadijah, and said, “Cover me, ... cover me.” They covered him until he
restored security. He apprised Khadijah of the incident of the cave and added that he was horrified.
His wife tried to soothe him and reassured him saying, “Allâh will never disgrace you. You unite
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