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All You Want to Know About Quran Revelation

Allah, the Creator, has not only brought about the creation, but continues to sustain and direct it. He has provided many forms of guidance, indeed, a system of guiding principles, a part of which are the laws of nature.

But Almighty Allah has also granted a special form of guidance for mankind from the outset of its occupancy of the earth. He promised Adam and his descendants,

{Go down, all of you, from hence. But verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance, and whoso follow My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. } (Al-Baqarah 2:38)

This guidance comes through the prophets that were continuously sent by Allah to mankind until the final messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), received His final guidance.

Guidance Through Revelation

We call a man to whom Allah, in His own way, grants His guidance, a prophet (nabi) or messenger (rasul ). Prophets receive the word of Allah through revelation, and then communicate it to their followers. In the Quran, Allah says,

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{Surely We have revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the Prophets after him, and We revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes and Jesus and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms, and Messengers We have mentioned unto you before and Messengers We have not mentioned unto you, and Allah spoke directly unto Moses — Messengers of good cheer and of warning, in order that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the Messengers, and Allah is Ever Mighty, Wise. } (An-Nisaa’ 4:163–165)

The word revealed refers to the Arabic root wahi, which means inspiration.

Meaning and Forms of Wahi

The Arabic verb awha (revealed), from which the noun wahi (revelation) is derived, occurs in a number of shades of meaning in the Quran, each of them indicating the main underlying idea of inspiration: directing or guiding someone. The following examples show some of these types of wahi.

  • Guidance in natural intuition, Almighty Allah says, {And We inspired the mother of Moses} (Al-Qasas 28:7).
  • Guidance in natural instinct. Almighty Allah says, {And your Lord inspired the bees, [saying,] “Choose you habitations in the hills and in the trees and in that which they thatch. } (An-Nahl 16:68).
  • Guidance by signs. Almighty Allah says, {Then he (Zakariyah) came forth unto his people from the sanctuary, and signified (inspired) to them, “Glorify your Lord at the break of day and the fall of night.” } (Maryam 19:11)
  • Guidance from Allah. Almighty Allah says, {(Remember) when your Lord inspired the angels, (saying), “I am with you.”} (Al-Anfal 8:12)
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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.