Why and when Revelations stopped
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
As salaam alaikum Burhan!
My question is on the revelation of Allah Subhanahu`s Glorious Book - Al Qur`aan. Sometime during Prophet Muhammad`s (saws) prophethood the wahye had stopped for a period of 40 days. Would you know at what stage the inspiration stopped, what was the last ayat before the revelation stopped and the first ayat immediately the revelation started again?
Shukran and looking forward to hearing from you.
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Why and when Revelations stopped
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Israa verse 106: (It is) a Qur'an which We have divided (into parts from time to time) in order that thou mightest recite it to men at intervals: We have revealed it by stages.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 25 Surah Furqaan verses 32-33:
32 Those who reject Faith say: "Why is not the Qur'an revealed to him all at once?" Thus (is it revealed) that We may strengthen thy heart thereby, and We have rehearsed it to thee in slow well-arranged stages gradually.
33 And no question do they bring to thee, but We reveal to thee the Truth and the best explanation (thereof).
The All-Wise, All-Knowing Lord did not reveal the Glorious Quran all at once, but rather in His Wisdom and Mercy revealed it in stages over a period of 23 odd years, so that the believers might truly digest and ponder over its contents upon Revelation, or whenever the disbelievers asked a question to the Prophet (saws) regarding the unseen, Allah Subhanah would reveal the answers in Truth.
The Prophet Mohamed (saws) nor Hadrat Jibrael (a.s.) had absolutely no control over the stages, times, contents, or the volumes of when and how many of the Aayahs were revealed. This control was in the absolute control and power of the Lord All-Mighty.
The Muslim Ummah is almost unanimous in their opinion that the first verses of the Quran which were revealed to Prophet Mohamed (saws) in the cave of Hira on the Night of Qadr in the month of Ramadan were the first five Aayah of Surah Al-Alaq:
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 96 Surah Al-Alaq verses 1-5:
1 Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher Who created!
2 Created man out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
3 Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful
4 He, Who taught (the use of) the Pen
5 Taught man that which he knew not.
After the Revelation of the above five verses of Surah Al-Alaq, it is established by authentic tradition that no Revelation came down for quite some time.
Ibn Jarir in his commentary states: Revelation to the Holy Prophet (saws) remained suspended for quite some time, and it was such a period of deep grief and distress for him (saws), that he started going to the top of the mountains.
Hadrat Jabir ibn Abdullah (r.a.) reported that the Messenger of Allah (saws) describing the period of fairat al-wahi (break in Revelation) said: One day when I was passing on the way, I suddenly heard a call from heaven. I raised my head and saw that the same Angel (Jibrael (a.s.)) who visited me in the Cave of Hira was sitting on a throne between the heaven and the earth. This struck terror into my heart, and upon reaching home quickly, I said (to his wife Hadrat Khadijah (r.a.)), Cover me up! Cover me up!. So the people of the house covered me up with a quilt. At that time, Allah sent down the Revelation: Yaa Ayyuhal Muddaththir. (the first seven verses of Surah 74). From then on the Revelations became intense and continuous.
Narrated by Al Bukhari, Muslim, Musnad Ahmad.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 74 Surah Muddaththir verses 1-7:
1 O thou wrapped up (in a mantle)!
2 Arise and deliver thy warning!
3 And thy Lord do thou magnify!
4 And thy garments keep free from stain!
5 And all abomination shun!
6 Nor expect in giving any increase (for thyself)!
7 But for thy Lord's (Cause) be patient and constant!
Sometimes there would be such a huge time gap between two Revelations, that the Messenger of Allah (saws) would get greatly distressed and disturbed at the intervals, thinking that maybe he had not fulfilled his duties as Allahs Messenger, and the All-Mighty Lord had thus been displeased and forsaken him! On one such occasion the Merciful Lord sent down these Aayah to console the Prophet (saws) of his anxiety, and inform him that neither the Lord was displeased nor had He forsaken Him; but the suspension was because that was within the Plan of the All-Knowing, All-Wise Lord of the Worlds.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 93 Surah Ad-Dhuha verses 1-5:
1 By the Glorious Morning Light.
2 And by the Night when it is still
3 The Guardian-Lord Hath not forsaken thee, Nor is He displeased.
4 And verily the hereafter will be better for thee than the present.
5 And soon will thy Guardian-Lord give thee (that wherewith) thou shalt be well-pleased.
This state of anxiety at the suspension of Revelations was experienced by the Holy Prophet (saws) in the initial stage of the Prophethood when he was not yet accustomed to the intensity of Revelations.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,