It is but revelation revealed (to him). It is taught to him by one (angel) of strong faculties, the one of vigour. So he stood poised, while he was on the upper horizon. Then he drew near, and came down, so as he was at a distance like that of two bows (joined together), rather even nearer. Thus He (Allah) revealed to His slave what He revealed. (Surah Najm, Verse 4 – 10)
When on my ‘Umrah trip’, (Read here about it) I wasn’t able to visit ‘the Cave of Hira’ which had been on my mind for a long time. Upon returning, I went through available videos on it and found it intriguing to experience it first-hand. I was astonished at how narrow the cave was from within and it also had a huge opening above. Perfectly designed for the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon him) to meet Angel Jibril (AS).
Truly it was the perfect place for the Prophet to sit and ponder over issues his society and the world was facing. What it makes me realize, is that the only thing that helps people understand Allah’s plans is through seclusion. These days, people constantly feel the need to be around others or constantly expose themselves to some kind of noise so as to feel safe and connected. But to achieve everlasting security one needs to be close to Allah (swt). That is exactly what the cave provided. The entire incident of our beloved Prophet seeing and meeting angel Jibril for the first time, runs through the mind again and again.
As I continued watching the video (link to this video is provided at the end of the article*), many thoughts passed through my mind:
- The place where the first verses were revealed
The first verses are so capturing because out of over 77,000 words that the Quran has, Allah (swt) chose ‘Iqra’ (read, recite) to be the first one. This illustrates the importance of knowledge, learning, thinking, reflecting, and pondering.
Read with the name of your Lord who created (everything), He created man from a clot of blood. Read, and your Lord is the most gracious, who imparted knowledge by means of the pen. (Surah Alaq, Verse 1- 4)
- The place where Prophet (PBPH) met Jibril (AS) for the first time
In this cave, the angel who holds highest position infront of Allah(swt) met with the man who holds a special place near to the Creator of the worlds. What an honour this place has, to have the two most beloved ones to Allah meet here. To make the incident feel real, the Prophet was pressed before the message was delivered, because a physical experience can never be imagined.
Reported by Aisha (Peace and blessing be upon her), the Prophet (PBPH) narrated, ‘Angel Jibril pressed me to himself until all strength went out of me. ‘Read!’ the pleasant voice commanded again; then he released me…”
- The place where Khadija (peace and blessings be upon her) would bring food for the Prophet
Khadijah (PBPH) was very supportive of her husband, and it is reported that she used to climb the mountain and bring him food. It is because of this constant support that she provided to her husband, he turned to her first after receiving the revelation. He had his uncle and bestfriend in the same city, but instead he went directly to his wife and believed that only she could help him. Khadijah (PBPH) was the first to accept the message of Islam.
- Revelation received on the night of decree
Apart from seclusion, the strength that a mountain portrays is also emphasized.
‘If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, indeed you would have seen it submissive, sundered apart out of apprehension of Allah’ (Surah 59, Verse 21)
The revelation marked the night of decree. As for the revelation, if this is what would happen to a mountain upon receiving the Quranic message, we can only imagine the Prophet’s state of mind when this incident occurred. Allah chose his best creation to reach his best message to us. The best of angels, the best of mankind and the strongest aspect of nature to reveal the truth to us. So, how are we honouring this message and acting upon it?
Indeed We have made the Qur’ān easy for seeking advice. So, is there anyone to heed to the advice? (Surah Qamar, Verse 17)
(Dua: O Allah! I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qurān the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.)
(Do let us know how your experience was visiting the ‘Cave of Hira’, in the comment section below)
*Click here to view the video of the ‘Cave of Hira’