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Muhammad and
Divine revelation


He led an ethical and ordinary life. He was known for his fidelity, integrity and trustworthiness. He never worshipped idols when idol worship was rife in a polytheistic society. 
He always believed that the whole universe must have been created and controlled by one God. He used to worship God by retreating to a cave (634m above sea level) on a mount 4 km east of Mecca (Makkah). 
The cave is known as Hira cave which is on a mount called "Jabal Al Noor" (i.e. Mount of light). This is because Muhammad received the first revelation from God when he was meditating in this cave.

It wasn’t illusion and it wasn’t a dream

When Muhammad reached forty years old, he used to meditate frequently in Cave Hira. At the month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the lunar year, 610 CE approx), Archangel Gabriel appeared to him for the first time while he was in the cave and asked him to “Read”. Muhammad was frightened.

As he was illiterate, he could not read and did not know what to read. Archangel Gabriel repeated his word “read” again and again then he recited the following verses from God:

“Read in the Name of your Lord Who created (everything), He created man from a clot (clinging to the wall of the womb)…Read ! and your Lord is the All-Munificent Who taught man by the pen…He taught man what he didn’t know!” The Quran, 96:1-5

Archangel Gabriel disappeared after this short meeting.



He was extremely scared. He ran back to his home. He was trembling. He told his wife Khadijah what happened to him and asked her to cover him. She told him that God would not let him down or allow devils to touch him as he kept good relations with his relatives, helped the poor people and liked doing charity.


Muhammad was afraid that he was possessed by evil. He went with his wife Khadijah to tell the whole story to Waraqa Bin Nawfal (a relative of Khadijah) who was a religious Christian person and knowledgeable in the Bible. Waraqa predicted that Muhammad would be a Prophet and assured him that what he experienced was a divine revelation similar to what Moses the Prophet of Jews received. Waraqa wished to support Muhammad but he was very old at that time. He told Muhammad that he would be driven out of Makkah by his own people and would be treated with hostility by some people.



Muhammad needed a few days to settle down and didn’t return to the mount. After some time Archangel Gabriel came back to him and informed him that he would be a messenger of God (Allah The Glorified and Exalted) in order to convey His Divine Message to all people. Gabriel recited the following verses from God:

“O you cloaked (enveloped in your garments); Arise and warn; and glorify your Lord; and purify your clothing; and keep away from bad deeds and don’t consider your fulfillment of these orders as a favor to God or people; and be patient for the sake of your Lord” The Quran, 74:1-7

Gabriel continued to come to Muhammad over a period of 23 years. During this period, God’s Message to humankind (the Quran) was revealed.



Muhammad acted according to the revelation he received in year 610 CE. He invited the people in Arabia and outside Arabia to believe in one God (Allah) and obey His commandments as they are set for the wellbeing of the whole humanity.


The Message of Islam is based on “Aqidah” i.e. a declaration of faith in One God and “Shariah” which means God’s Law; the system and regulations that govern 

people’s day to day transactions, activities and practices. 

Shariah is divided into three main branches: (1) Worship: such as daily prayers, fasting, supplications, giving Zakat (alms), etc. (2) Life transactions and dealings with others such as rules of justice, people’s rights, commerce and business ethics, inheritance, etc. (3) Morals: such as right actions, etiquettes and values (honesty, sincerity, fidelity, love, cooperation, etc). 

After receiving divine revelation, Muhammad focused on teaching people monotheism (Aqidah) for thirteen years. After migration to Madinah, there was more focus on explaining and implementing Shariah.

A practical introduction of Muhammad's teachings in Abyssinia

Ja’far bin Abi-Talib was among eighty Muslims who fled for protection in the land of Abyssinia (currently Ethiopia in Africa). Speaking to the King of Abyssinia on behalf of the Muslims who sought asylum there, Ja’far said

“O King, we were once people living in ignorance (unawareness and lack of knowledge), worshiping idols, eating carrion, committing acts of abomination, neglecting our kith & kin, treating our neighbors badly and allowing the strong among us to oppress the weak. This is how we lived until God sent us a messenger from among ourselves, a man whose origin, honesty, integrity and chastity were well known to us. He called upon us to worship God alone and leave away the stones and idols which we worshipped as our forefathers had done. He instructed us to be truthful in our words, to fulfill our promises and to respect our obligations to our blood relations and he forbade us from committing abominations. So we trusted & believed him and followed the message he received from God. However, our people denounced us, tortured us and did everything in their capacity to turn us away from our religion. When they continued to oppress us, we came to your land choosing you above all others in order to get protection and be treated with impartiality.”

A Christian King acknowledged Muhammad’s religion:

After Ja’far delivered his talk, the King of Abyssinia (who was a religious and God fearing person) asked Ja’far to recite some verses from the "Book" revealed to Muhammad.

Ja’far recited a portion from the chapter “Mary”1, the Mother of Jesus. He continued recitation until the King wept and his beard was moist with tears. “The message brought by Muhammad and that which was brought by Jesus are from a single source.” The King then said:

“The message brought by Muhammad and that which was brought by Jesus are from a single source.”