Understanding Sahih Bukharee ( Hadith No 3 )

Hadith NO 3

Narrated 'Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers) Radi Allahu anha :

The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read. The Prophet added, "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, 'I do not know how to read.' Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, 'I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?'

Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, 'Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists) has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous." (96.1, 96.2, 96.3) Then Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, "I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija replied, "Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones." Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza, who, during the PreIslamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to Waraqa, "Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!" Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" Allah's Apostle described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, "This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out." Allah's Apostle asked, "Will they drive me out?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, "Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly." But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while. Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah Al-Ansari while talking about the period of pause in revelation reporting the speech of the Prophet "While I was walking, all of a sudden I heard a voice from the sky. I looked up and saw the same angel who had visited me at the cave of Hira' sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth. I got afraid of him and came back home and said, 'Wrap me (in blankets).' And then Allah revealed the following Holy Verses (of Quran): 'O you (i.e. Muhammad)! wrapped up in garments!' Arise and warn (the people against Allah's Punishment),... up to 'and desert the idols.' (74.1-5) After this the revelation started coming strongly, frequently and regularly."



Commentary by Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer :


This hadiths discusses the starting of revelation on prophet Muhammad salal laho aliehi waslaam . A little background of this revelation is as follows:


Prophet Muhammad salal laho aliehi wasalam did not get any formal education during his childhood.He did not go to any madrassah and school so he did not have any worldly teacher.He was however a very honest and truthful person since his childhood and was also modest and noble in his character.This hadiths throw some light on his attributes before prophet hood.

The attributes possessed by him were as follows:
1 He used to keep good relations with his Kith and kin
2 He used to help the poor and the destitute
3 He used to serve his guests generously
4 He used to assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.

He was never attracted by the ways and customs of ignorant polytheists of Makkah.So avoided worshipping of idols and did not eat the meat which was being sacrificed in the name of these idols.As the whole Arabia was drowned in polytheism so prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam was not satisfied with the trends and life style of these pagan people of Arabia.He started focusing on the reality of this world and creation and tried to probe the objective behind the creation of this world.The purity and sincerity of his heart was due to blessings of Allah swt .Allah swt guided his upcoming prophet through spiritual dreams.This hadith tells that prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam saw the true dreams and these dreams were materialised afterwards in a way that he felt that he was seeing real life in his dreams.According to authentic sources prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam saw these dreams for 6 months and received revelation for 23 year. According to an authentic hadith the dream of a true believer are 46th pat of revelation .This 46th part is actually derived from the ratio of the period of true dreams with the period of revelation .This was a good and amazing sign for him so he thought to seek a place of isolation for further concentration. He only expressed this feeling with his loyal wife Khadija radi Allahu anha .Khadija radi Allahu anha was a very intelligent woman so she encouraged him to seek seclusion.

This hadith says that he chose cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise .This worshipping was very satisfying for him so after seeing his family for a while he used to came back to cave of Hira to continue his worshipping .One day while he was busy in his worhsipping the angel Gabriel came to him .The angel came in his true form so it was amazing for Rasool salal laho aliehi wasalam .Propeht salal laho aliehi wasalam also became anxious to see this unusual creation .Angel approached him and asked him to read prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam had not received any formal education so he replied that he did not know how to read . When he replied to angel that he did not know how to read angel approached near him and took him in his arms and pressed him hard against him and after releasing him asked him to read.Answer of Rasool salal laho aliehi wasalam was same that he did not know how to read.At this angel pressed him hard against him once more and after releasing him asked him to read prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam responded in the same manner that he did not know how to read.

The angel repeated it third time and than after realeasing him recited the verses of Surah Alaq:

Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous, (Al-'Alaq 96:1-3)

This unusal experience made prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam anxious about his current and future life.He rushed back to his house ,he was trembling and his heart was beating fast he after entering his house demanded Khadija radi Allahu anha to cover him.Khadija radi Allahu anha covered him. She was surprised to see him in that way because prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam never came back home in that way.But she was not asking him any thing and was waiting for his relaxation.After some time when he was relaxed and his fear was over he told Khadija radi Allahu anha about the incident that took place in cave of Hira .He said to her “I fear some thing may happen to me”.

Khadija radi Allahu anha was well aware of the great attributes of her great husband so she consoled him by reminding of his attributes .Khadija radi Allahu anha was a very wise woman and realised that her husband was going to get a supreme spiritual status in his coming life so she recommended prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam to accompany her to her cousin Warqa bin Nofal who had left the polytheism and was converted to Christianity and was a scholar of old scriptures.

When they reached the house of Warqa bin nofal prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam told him about the incident that took place in cave of Hira.After listening the whole incident Warqa immediately told that angel Gabriel had come to him and added that it was the same angel that had come to Moses and Jesus aliehis salam .In the light of his knowledge of old scriptures he also foretold that a time will come when prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam will be forced to migrate from Makkah .Prophet salal laho aleihi wasalam had a great love of Makkah in his heart so he asked him why the people of Makkah will force him to leave his land ? Waraqa said, "Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly”.

These sayings of Warqa bin Nofal mentioned in hadith are in accordance with the fact that has been revealed in the holy Quran :

Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e.Muhammad SAW) whom they find written with them in the Taurât (Torah) (Deut, xviii, 15) and the Injeel (Gospel) (John xiv, 16), - (Al-A'raf 7:157).

It was however the decision of Allah swt that Warqa bin Nofal died after few days of this meeting.It appears as his job was to confirm the revelation of Allah swt on Prophet Muhammad salal laho aliehi wasalam .And after this meeting the revelation of Allah swt was also paused for some times .And this gap was filled in the following way that While prophet salal laho aliehi waslaam was walking, all of a sudden he heard a voice from the sky. He looked up and saw the same angel who had visited me at the cave of Hira' sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth.

According to hadith he got afraid of him and came back home and said:

“Wrap me (in blankets).”

And then Allah revealed the following Holy Verses of Quran:

O you (Muhammad SAW) enveloped (in garments)! Arise and warn! And your Lord (Allâh) magnify! And your garments purify! And keep away from Ar-Rujz (the idols)!(Al-Muddaththir 74:1-5)

After this the revelation started coming strongly, frequently and regularly.