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All You Want to Know About Quran Revelation

All You Want to Know About Quran Revelation

Means of Revelation

Wahi, in the sense of revelation, refers to Allah’s guidance for people that was sent down via the prophets, who received it through one of the means mentioned in the following Quranic verse:

{It is not fitting for any man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger to reveal, with Allah’s permission, what Allah wills, for He is Most High, Most Wise. } (Ash-Shura 42:51)

From this verse, it is obvious that any prophet must have received the revelation through one of the following means:

1. Inspiration, for example, in a dream as that which Ibrahim received while asleep, to sacrifice his son.

2. Speech hidden away, as Allah spoke to Moses.

3. Words (speech) sent from Allah through a special messenger as the Angel Gabriel was sent to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). That is the common way of wahi.

The Quran Revealed to Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), the last of Allah’s messengers, received the revelation of the Quran through a special messenger sent by Allah for this purpose: the Angel Gabriel, who recited to him Allah’s exact words.

The Descent of the Quran

According to many Muslim scholars like As-Suyuti on the basis of three reports from `Abdullah ibn `Abbas, in Al-Hakim, Al-Baihaqi, and An-Nasa’i, the Quran descended in two stages:

• From Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz (the Well-Preserved Tablet) to the lowest of the heavens (Bayt-ul-`Izzah) of the world, all together, on Laylat Al-Qadr (the Night of Power).

• From the heavens to earth in stages throughout the 23 years of Muhammad’s prophethood, starting on Laylat Al-Qadr of Ramadan, through Angel Gabriel.

Beginning of Revelation

The revelation of the Quran began on Laylat Al-Qadr of Ramadan, after the Prophet Muhammad had passed the 40th year of his life (that is around the year 610), during his seclusion in the cave of Hiraa’ on a mountain near Makkah.

This is the account, as reported in Al-Bukhari:

`A’ishah, the Mother of the Believers, narrated, “The commencement of the divine inspiration to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) started in the form of good dreams which came true like bright daylight, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him.

He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hiraa’ where he used to worship Allah alone continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take enough food for many nights and then come back to (his wife) Khadijah to take his food likewise again. Suddenly the truth descended upon him while he was in the cave ofHiraa’.

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 (forcibly) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more.

He then released me and again asked me to read. 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 created, created man from a clot. Read! And Your Lord is the most bountiful. }”

The narration goes on to tell us that the Prophet went back to his wife Khadijah and recounted to her his dreadful experience. She comforted him and both of them consulted Waraqah ibn Nawfal, Khadijah’s relative and a learned Christian, about it. Waraqah told Muhammad that he had encountered the very one whom Allah had sent to Moses, and that he would be driven out by his people.


About Ahmad Von Denffer

Ahmad Von Denffer was born in Germany in 1949. He is working for the Islamic Center, Munich, Germany. He has various publications in different languages.

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