Adonis Diaries

The mainstream Islam story: How the message was handed over to prophet Muhammad?

Posted on: March 5, 2012

The mainstream Islam story: How the divine message was handed over to Prophet Muhammad?

I am recounting the stories of early Moslems on how the Prophet Muhammad received the grace to spread the message of Islam, delivered by Ibn Hisham, Wahb bin Kaissan, and Bukhara.

Muhammad used to join his uncle, (the Patriarch of a Christian-Jewish sect in Mecca), during Ramadan and fast and pray for 30 days every year in the cave of Ghar Hira2. Muhammad visited this cave for 15 years, in the company of his Patriarch uncle Warkat bin Nawfal bin Abd 3ezza.

One day, Muhammad was about 40 in age, and as he was heading alone to the cave, he started hearing “al salam 3aleika ya rasul allah” (peace be with you, o messenger of God). Muhammad would look around in disarray and see only rocks and small trees. As Muhammad sat listening and looking, Archangel Gabriel (Jibreel) appeared saluted Muhammad.

Archangel Gabriel said: “Read

And Muhammad would reply “I am not reading”.  This conversation was repeated three times and Gabriel said: “Read in the name of your God (rabbika) who created, created man from mud, read and your God is the most benefactor…” Read means spread the message in this sentence.

Muhammad returned home shivering and demanded from his wife Khadija to cover him tight.

After Muhammad regained his composure, he told Khadija what has happened and said that he got scared for his life.  Khadija replied: “Do not worry. God is on your side and seeks your safety, and God expects from you to shoulder the burden and keep helping the downtrodden…”

Khadija accompanied Muhammad to Patrirach Warkat who was studiously transcribing from the “Hebrew New Testament” to the Arabic Kuraich dialect. The Patriarch listened and said: “What you heard is the identical message that Moses (Moussa) heard. No one else received that glory and I am fully supporting you new message...”

The Patriarch lived for another 4 years and continued translating the Bible particular to his sect, and Muhammad aided him in the translation and also receiving the message from Gabriel.

Gabriel showed up or handed down the verses 20 years to Muhammad: 13 years while Muhammad was in Mecca and 7 years during his stay in Medina (yathreb) where Muhammad established the first Islamic City-State.

In the last couple of months before Muhammad’s death, Gabriel ceased to appear to Muhammad.

The Prophet used to revise and edit the Surats on Ramadan every year and edit and shuffle around the verses within the Surats.

As one major tribe allied to his message, Muhammad translated the verses to the particular Arabic dialect of the tribe so that the tribe members feel comfortable reading and listening to the message. All in all, it is reported that the verses were translated to seven various Arabic dialects, until the third caliph Othman bin Affan codified and unified the Coran into the Kuraich dialect, whenever that was appropriate.

Note 1: Khadija was a close relative to the Patriarch who encouraged her to marry Muhammad who was 25 year-old, and about 7 years younger than her.  Khadija was twice widowed from rich traders and she was very wealthy and dispatched caravans to Damascus and Iraq.  Muhammad was orphaned since the age of 10 and his uncle Abi Taleb (father of Ali) adopted him. As a member of Khadija clan, Muhammad worked for Khadija and lead caravans.

Note 2: The early refusal of Muhammad to engage into spreading a new message is understandable: He was a respected rich member in Mecca, had three daughters and his son died at the age of two. Muhammad didn’t see the reason for instituting a new message since his uncle Warakat had already the message, written in a holy book that Muhammad believed in it and all its stories.

Note 3: The verses in the Coran in the first 13 years are practically transliteration of the holy book that Muhammad was very familiar with.  The remaining verses of the Medina period focused on the laws, the administrative, and management responsibilities for a community of Moslems and the endeavor of disseminating the message to all the Arabic Peninsula.

Note 4: The Empire of Byzantium had banned all versions of the New Testaments around the year 325, except four.  The scores of Christian-Jewish sects in Syria, Egypt, and Palestine had to flee to Iraq (under the Persian Empire) and beyond, and to the Arabic Peninsula, and read in their particular holy books.

Note 5: Among the close scribs who followed the Prophet and recorded the verses and wrote their own version of the Coran are: Salem Bin Ma3kal, Abdullah Bin Abbas, 3akaba bin 3amer, Mekdad bin Omar (disseminated his version in Homs), Abi bin Abi Taleb, Abi Moussa Ash3ary (disseminated his version in Basra), Ubay bin Ka3b (disseminated his version in Medina), Abdullah bin Massoud, Aicha (the most beloved wife and daughter of first caliph Abu Bakr), Hafsa (wife of the Prophet and daughter of second caliph Omar bin Khattab)…

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March 2012

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