Revelation to the Messengers
Allaah to Messengers, through a waasitah [واسطة](intermediary – angel) and not through a waasitah.
- When there is no intermediary:
- Through dreams that would come true, this is a form of inspiration from Allaah. Hadeeth narrated by ‘Aaishah [radiAllaahu ‘anhaa] recorded in Bukhari and Muslim: “The first way the Prophet’s revelation began was through seeing good dreams that would come true and he would never see a dream except that it would come true like the day light would appear.” What is benefit of these dreams? To prepare him for what is to come.
A note to remember, none of the Qur’aan was revealed through dreams. Though he received inspirations through dreams, these revelations were not in the Qur’aan. There is some dispute amongst the scholars regarding this, because some scholars say Surat al Kawthar was revealed to Rasuulullaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in a dream. Hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim narrated by Anas bin Maalik (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) “One day we were with the prophet, he was with us in the mosque and he dozed off. Then he raised his head smiling, and then I asked ‘What made you laugh O RasuulAllaah? He said, ‘A Surah was just revealed to me, then he revealed Surat al Kawthar.”
Some say based on this hadeeth, the Surah was revealed in his dream. But we say no, the term used in hadeeth al ighfaa-a [الاغفاء] does not necessarily mean sleep, not necessarily a dream – rather it’s a form of slumber, but we can’t really say it’s a dream. Or it’s a special state he used to go in when he would receive revelation.
As we know, many Prophets of Allaah acted upon the dreams that they had, for example Prophet Ibrahim (‘alayhis salaam), the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also acted upon dreams many times, e.g. the treaty of Hudaybiyyah – what led to this treaty? The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) seeing in a dream that he had shaved his head and he did ‘umrah. But how could he do this when the mushrikuun were occupying Makkah and he was in Madeenah? Despite this, he and some others went unarmed to Makkah in order to make ‘umrah.
**An important note to make**
We as humans don’t act upon our dreams; we don’t take any law from it. E.g. if someone in your dream says recite this surah 1 million times and propagate it to people. And tell people to do so and the khilaafah will be established – don’t act upon these dreams; we don’t base our law on these dreams.
- The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would hear the words of Allaah from behind a veil, this also happened with Musa (‘alayhis salaam) 4:164.
4:164. And Messengers we have mentioned to you before, and Messengers we have not mentioned to you, – and to Musa (Moses) Allaah spoke directly.
This was also the case for the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) during the night journey. He spoke to Allaah directly but through a veil. However, none of the Qur’aan came in this form.
- When there isan intermediary. This used to happen in one of two ways:
- The most severe way: the revelation used to come in the form of a ringing bell. It was physically hard for Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) to bare this kind of revelation. The scholars differ about the noise of the ringing of the bell, where did it come from? Some scholars said that it was the wings of the angels striking one another; others say it was the voice of the angel itself. ‘Aaishah (radiAllaahu ‘anhaa) mentioned that this revelation used to be so hard on him that even on a cold day he would break a sweat. What’s the wisdom behind him receiving revelation this way? Going through this difficulty you will appreciate the revelation being taken in and given to you. Even when Rasuulullaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) first received revelation, what did Jibreel do? He squeezed him, to make him realise he was not dreaming. In a dream, you don’t go through physical pain. And to make it clear to him that this was a serious matter that was going to descend upon him.
In the Qur’aan in Surat Al Muzzammil, verse 5 the revelation is referred to as being “qawlun thaqeelah” The scholars interpret this word in both ways, heavy as in physically and heavy in terms of the importance.
Once Zayd bin Thaabit (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) mentioned, once Rasuulullaah was resting his head on his thigh, and he started to receive revelation – he felt his leg was about to break due to the pressure.
- The angel Jibreel came to the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in the form of a man, and he will speak to him and he would teach him. Hadeeth Jibreel is a beautiful example of this.
- There is a third way which some scholars mention, an inspiration coming to his heart. Hadeeth: “Verily the Holy Spirit, he breathed into my soul. That no person will die until they complete their rizq and their lifespan.” – Many scholars disagreed saying in reality; this is another way of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) expressing it through the first method.
End of Class 1