The Prophet’s Reaction to the Revelation

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was taken aback by the sudden appearance of a divine figure (Angel Gabriel) who delivered him his first revelation. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) slowly repeated the verses to Angel Gabriel and at once, the Angel was gone.

Hardly comprehending what had happened to him, the Prophet (SAW) rushed back to his wife Khadijah (RAA) , trembling with fear. “Cover me! Cover me!” he frantically told her. Never had Muhammad (SAW) seen and experienced something so powerful. Concerned over Muhammad’s (SAW) sudden state of shock, Khadijah (RAA) covered him as she was asked. When Prophet Muhammad (SAW) regained a sense of calmness and security, he recounted the miraculous incident that took place in the Cave, believing that he was becoming a soothsayer and going mad. Khadijah (RAA) , however, thought otherwise. “Allah forbid! He will surely not let such a thing happen,” Khadijah (RAA) replied reassuringly, “for you speak the truth, you are faithful in trust, you bear the afflictions of the people, you spend in good works what you gain in trade, you are hospitable, and you assist your fellow men.” Khadijah (RAA) knew that Muhammad (SAW) was a kind-hearted, honest man and believed that what he had experienced was something that went beyond reality, something that was destined for him.

She set out with Muhammad (SAW) to her cousin, Waraqa ibn Naufal bin Asad bin Abdul Uzza, who was old and blind and familiar with the scriptures of the Jews and Christians. “Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!” Khadijah (RAA) said. “O my nephew! What have you seen?” Waraqa asked Muhammad (SAW) . When Muhammad (SAW) recounted what had happened to him, Waraqa replied: “This is Namus (i.e., the Angel who is entrusted with Divine Secrets) that Allah sent to Moses. I wish I were younger. I wish I could live up to the time where your people would turn you out.” Muhammad (SAW) asked, “Will they drive me out?” Waraqa answered in the affirmative: “Anyone who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should be alive ‘till that day, then I would support you strongly.”

After the meeting with Waraqa, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) grew considerably worried about how he would get the people of Quraysh to listen to him and his newfound beliefs. What was even more troubling was that there was no sign of the Angel that had appeared to him at Cave Hira. Six long months passed by without a second revelation, and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) became severely distraught. He thought that he had displeased Allah (SWT) in some way, but it was then that Angel Gabriel came to him again:

“O you (Muhammad) enveloped (in garments)! Arise and warn! And your Lord (Allah) Magnify!” [Al-Qur’an 74:1-3].

It was Muhammad’s (SAW) destiny and the Will of Allah (SWT) to call his people to the straight path of righteousness and goodwill and to warn of the punishments that could befall them if they maintained their ignorant ways. When Muhammad (SAW) told Khadijah (RAA) of his revelation and prophetic duties, she immediately abandoned the idol worship of her people and was the first woman to accept Islam. She remained steadfast in her beliefs from then on and firmly supported Muhammad (SAW) on his journey to spread his message and call people to the oneness of God.

And so, Muhammad’s (SAW) mission as the last and final prophet of Islam began. After Khadijah (RAA) , Muhammad’s (SAW) adopted son Zaid ibn Harithah and cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib were the next people to convert. Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) venture to bring his people out of their polytheistic practices proved to be quite difficult, as it was deeply rooted within the history and generations of their ancestors and traditions, and it provided false attractions that Islam in its purity did not possess. For a time, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) strived to share his teachings with his family and close acquaintances, and after three years of work, thirty followers were secured.

It was then that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) began to spread the light of Islam, not just to the Quraysh and the people of Mecca, but ultimately, to mankind.