Story No. 151 – Descent of the first revelation (Wahy) on Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw)
By the time Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) reached the age of 40, he was ready for his divine mission. Finally the day dawned which was to change the history of the world. On 27th of Rajab, in 610CE, Archangel Gabriel [one of the four superior angels who was ordered by Allah (SWT) to convey revelation to prophets] descended to him, while he sat in cave of Hira (Ghare Hira), in the al-Noor mountain near the city of Makkah, Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation, said, ‘Recite!’ He said in surprise, ‘what shall I recite?’ Again the divine voice very clearly and openly called out, ‘Recite, O Muhammad!’
And a third time angel Gabriel (Jabra’il) repeated, ‘Recite in the Name of Your Lord Who created. He created the human being from a clot. Recite and your Lord is Most Honourable, Who taught (to write) with the pen, taught the human being what he knew not’ (96:1-5).
With these verses, angel Gabriel (Jabra’il) announced to Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) that Almighty Allah (SWT) had formally chosen (al-Mab’ath) him to be His last and final Messenger to humankind. When Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) was appointed, he had become responsible for a great mission (Risalat and Nabuwat). Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) felt dignity of Almighty Allah (SWT) more than before. An indescribable excitement and eagerness overcame Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw), for he had come into contact with a supreme supernatural world. His high spirit had now found a sacred support and an eternal refuge. He saw in himself the power of prophecy. No longer was any worry or agitation to be found in his blessed being. There was now just peace and confidence within him.
The appointment of Muhammad (saw), the Prophet of Islam and his selection as the Messenger of Allah (SWT) can be considered the most significant event in the history of Islam. Descent of the Noble Qur’an began at this time.
Clarification: Messenger of Allah (SWT), he was at his very birth but the prophethood was declared only after forty years. The Noble Qur’an was already there treasured in the blessed heart of Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) at his birth but the divine decree for its revelation/proclamation to the people came 40 years later. As we already know from Noble Qur’an (19:30), Prophet Jesus/Isa (pbuh) brought the book with himself and he was a prophet at his birth. Now if we accept Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) as the prophet only after 40 years then, Prophet Jesus/Isa (pbuh) emerges as a greater Prophet than our Prophet. But this is certainly not the case.
Some great events happened at the time of Prophet of Islam, Muhammad’s (saw) appointment. For instance, a groan was heard. Imam Ali (as) says about that: “I heard Satan’s groan when the first revelation was descended. I asked Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw): “What was that?” He answered: “it was Satan, who got disappointed by not being obeyed.” He also said: “You hear what I hear and see what ever I see; except you are not a prophet.”
As mentioned before, Imam Ali (as) accompanied Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) in different cases such as his seclusion periods. This narration, written in Nahj al-Balaghah, implies that he was with Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) when revelation was descended for the first time. It is inferred through the history that he was the only person with Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) at that time. Nobody else has claimed to be with Him then.