Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Method of Revelation

Hadeeth No. 2 - The Book of Revelation

كتاب بَدء الوَحي إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

۲. عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِي اللهُ عَنْهَا: أَنّ الحَارِثَ بْنَ هِشامٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ سَأَلَ رَسُولَ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ, كَيْفَ يَأْتِيكَ الْوَحْيُ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: (أَحْيَانًا يَأْتِينِي مِثْلَ صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ, وَهُوَ أَشَدّهُ عَلَيّ, فَيَفْصِمُ عَنّي وَقَدْ وَعَيْتُ عَنْهُ مَا قَالَ, وَأَحْيَانًا يَتَمَثّلُ لِيَ المَلَكُ رَجُلًا, فَيُكَلّمُنِي فَأَعِي مَا يَقُولُ).قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْها: وَلَقَدْ رَأَيْتُهُ يَنْزِلُ عَلَيْهِ الْوَحْيُ فِي الْيَوْمِ الشّدِيدِ الْبَرْدِ, فَيَفْصِمُ عَنْهُ وَإِنّ جَبِينَهُ لَيَتَفَصّدُ عَرَقًا. رواه البخاري: ۲

Narrated Aisha (ra): (the mother of the faithful believers) Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah's Apostle "O Allah's Apostle! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?" Allah's Apostle replied, "Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says." 'Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over).

This hadeeth deals with the way that revelation would occur to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).The hadeeth mentions the companion Harith bin Hisham ((رضى الله عنه) who was the blood brother of Abu Jahl.


This is the method of revelation to the Prophets of Allah (عليهم السلام), and there are three types of Wahy. The first is to the heart of the messenger the second is behind a veil and the third is through an angel to the Prophets (عليهم السلام).

It is interesting to note that in the second category there are two Prophets to whom this method applies. The first is the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the second is Musa (عليه السلام), however there is a difference. In Miraj, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) in a manner that befits Him, but this was not the case with Musa (عليه السلام) when the mountain crumbled (see the opening verses of Surah Najm).

In this particular hadeeth, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) mentions two forms of wahy. There is a description of wahy as a bell ringing, and this form of revelation was particularly burdensome on Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The second form that is mentioned is the angel momentarily leaving the angelic realm and coming in the form of a man to Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Jibraeel (عليه السلام) used to come in the form of a companion to Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and this companion was Dhiya al Qalbi (رضى الله عنه) - he was well known amongst the companions for his beauty. This hadeeth also indicates the weight and importance of the Qur’an, that it’s revelation was at times physically burdensome on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as Aisha (رضى الله عنها) mentions at the end of the incident, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would be perspiring even on a cold day due to the revelation.