that come true
As prophethood was no easy mission
the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had to go through a preparatory
stage. This began in the form of dreams. Dreams were a form
of early revelation to him.
The Cave of Hira
Being exposed to the vices and
evil ways of the pagan Arabs, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi
Wasallam preferred the solitude of the cave of Hira where he
remained for days at times spending his time meditating and
worshipping Allah. It was the 17th of Ramadhaan and he was now
forty years of age. He lay wide-awake when the angel, Jibraeel
Alaihis Salaam, suddenly appeared before him and said, "Read".
He answered truthfully, "I cannot read." The Angel
pressed him until he felt the pain after which he let him go
and said again, "Read." The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi
Wasallam replied for the second time, "I cannot read."
Jibraeel again pressed him tightly until he felt the pain and
then letting him go, said, "Read." When he replied
again, "I cannot read," he pressed him a third time
and let him go. He then said:
"Read! (0 Muhammad!) In the
name of your Lord who created.
Created man from a clot.
Read! And your Lord is the Most Bountiful,
Who teaches by the pen,
Teaches man that which he knew not." (Surah Al-Alaq) (Click
here for a detailed commentary of this chapter)
Frightened by the strange experience
he ran back home to Khadija Radhi Allahu Anha exclaiming: "Cover
me, cover me!" He explained to her what had happened. Khadija
Radhi Allahu Anha was an intelligent woman. She was most conversant
with the noble character of her husband and knew that Allah
would never deceive him. She assured him with words of confidence:
"I swear to Allah that He would never shame you. You join
the ties of relationship. You speak the truth, you bear people's
burdens, you help the destitute, you entertain guests and you
endure the pains and grief suffered for the sake of truth."
Prediction of Waraqa Ibn Naufal
Khadija Radhi Allahu Anha wanted
to know and confirm exactly what had happened to her husband.
She took him to her cousin, Waraqa Ibn Naufal who, she knew,
could be of help. When the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam
explained to him what had transpired, Waraqa cried out : "Verily,
by Him in whose hands is Waraqa's soul, you are the prophet
of this people. The archangel, Jibraeel, who came to Musa has come to you. A time will come when you will be called a
liar. Your people will ill-treat you, cast you out and fight
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam
was surprised because people had always respected him. "What!
Will they expel me?" he asked. Waraqa replied, "Yes,
for no man has ever brought anything like what you have brought
without being opposed and fought by his people. This has always
been so. If I live to see that day, I will support you."
Khadija Radhi Allahu Anha was the
first to accept Islam. Ali Ibn Abi Talib Radhi Allahu Anhu,
a boy of ten, accepted Islam next. Abu Bakr Radhi Allahu Anhu,
a reputable and wealthy person accepted Islam early on as well.
He had 40 000 dirhams when he embraced Islam. Those who later
accepted Islam at the invitation of Abu Bakr Radhi Allahu Anhu
included the elite of the Quraish like Uthman Ibn Affaan, Zubayr
Ibn Awwam, Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf and Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas Radhi
Allahu Anhum. Slowly the mission of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi
Wasallam began spreading to others who had open minds and were
in search of the truth.
The early converts were pure and
virtuous by heart before Islam came to them. Many of them were
in search of the truth and had given up idol worship. Many of
them had no status in society. They were poor and humble.