An otherworldly voice thundered, calling into Mount Hiraa’ – where Muhammad (PBUH) raised his head in shock and terror to bear witness to that which only a select few had ever seen before.
“Read!” Six hundred wings buffeted the horizon, fashioned from pure Noor (light), almost too beautiful and too overwhelming to look at directly.
“Read! Read, in the Name of your Lord!” A powerful command from above the seven heavens, impossible to resist, demanding submission from the most perfect of all Allah’s Creation, he who was created solely to obey and to guide others to obedience.
With these words brought from the Lord of the Worlds by His angelic messenger Jibreel (peace be upon him) to the most perfect of all creation, Muhammad ibn Abdullah was transformed into the Seal of Prophethood.
And yet… and yet, he was still human.
His entire body trembling with the weight of Divine Revelation, Prophet Muhammad sought sanctuary in the home and arms of his beloved. “Zammilooni, zammilooni!” he called out to Khadijah . “Cover me up!”
Immediately perceptive, Khadijah wrapped him in a cloak and held him until his shaking ceased. Desperately, he told her what had just transpired, his eyes dark with anxiety over his own sanity.
Khadijah’s steadiness never wavered. “No, by Allah!” she said fiercely. “Rejoice! Allah will never disgrace you, for you uphold the ties of kinship, you speak only the truth, you protect the poor and the destitute, host your guests with generosity, and support those who have been struck by calamity.”
Her words, though merely human and not divine, were both comforting and reassuring. Nor were her statements hollow – as the single person who knew Muhammad (PBUH) best, who lived with him during times of both ease and hardship, she spoke only with the utmost honesty.
It was Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) who took the initiative to seek further answers to the questions raised by this extraordinary incident. Who was the otherworldly creature? What was the meaning of his visit?
She knew that the best person to ask would be her elderly relative, Waraqah ibn Nawfal – the monotheistic scholar with whom she had previously studied. Despite his blindness and old age, his mind was as sharp as ever. Listening to Muhammad relate his story in detail, Waraqah nodded in recognition.
“Indeed, this is the same angel who used to visit Musa (peace be upon him),” he confirmed. “Would that I were stronger, and that I would live to see the day your people drive you out.”
“They would drive me out?” Muhammad (PBUH) questioned in disbelief. Waraqah nodded again. “Yes. Whomsoever has brought forward a message such as yours in the past was treated with hostility and hardship. Should I live to witness the day that you declare your Prophethood, I will be of those who stands with you and supports you.”
Muhammad (PBUH) himself could scarcely believe that he had been visited by the ethereal messenger of Allah; truthfully, he doubted his own sanity. Seeing the uncertainty in his eyes, Khadijah clasped his hands in her own and said, “I swear by Allah that you are the Messenger of Allah.”
Laa ilaaha illAllah, Muhammadun RasulAllah. (There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).
In a humble home in Makkah, between husband and wife, the nubuwwah (prophethood) was established upon the greatest man to ever live; first shahaadah was declared upon the tongue of one of the greatest women… and thus began a new era that would forever change the world.
To be continued…