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Episode 6 : The First Week After The Revelation

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On the Path of the Beloved


Episode 6 : The first week after the Revelation




Before we proceed to the Prophet's Seerah, I would like to ask you how you are doing in Ramadan? Are you happy? Do you feel closer to Allah? What about the night prayers and your supplication? How about reading the Qur’an? How many


times do you intend to complete it? We are now on the 6th of Ramadan, which means that one quarter of it is already gone.




I can imagine Ramadan talking to us saying, “I will come and go, whether you like it or not, whether you worshiped Allah or disobeyed Him. But when I leave, I will take a part of your life with me. I will come every year and take a part of your life until you die. Then I will be one of the reasons of either your success or your remorse.”




One young man moved me to tears when he wrote to me saying that he imagined that Ramadan is like a last chance for him. He said he imagined that he told Allah that he knew he was bad, but he asked for one month as a last chance, and he imagined that Allah has given him the month of Ramadan as that last chance. Why don't we imagine that we also were given this last chance to worship Allah as we never did before!




Now let us go back to our episode. Today, our episode is made of only one section;


the first week after the revelation. I would like to ask you today to use your imagination, and visualize what the Prophet (SAWS) did in that first week. I want you to see him running down the mountain in fear, shivering with cold. He reached home tired and sweating and told his wife, "Cover me, cover me"! Can you imagine what the Prophet was feeling? I want you to keep visualizing his state. He felt both cold and fear. This only proves that he had not yet known that he was a Prophet or that the creature he met was Jibril (AS) “Gabriel”. He did not even know whether what happened to him was good or bad. He was scared because our master Jibril came to him in his angelic form. He did not come in his human shape. It must have been truly fearful for him especially when we remember the ayah in which Allah says what can be translated as " 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;" (TMQ,59:21)[1]




When his wife asked him what had happened, he told her,” I was afraid for my self” and he started relating to her the strange story he lived. How did Lady Khadijah respond? Her response was quick and firm. She said, “No, By Allah, Allah


will never disgrace you! You foster family relations; you bear the burden of the weak; you help the poor and the needy; you entertain the guests and endure hardships in the path of truthfulness”[2].




It was reported that the Prophet upon hearing her words relaxed and calmed down.




There is a beautiful meaning in these words. I want to tell the ladies about a recipe consisting of three attributes to keep your husbands to your side. As you know, there are so many temptations in the world and life is difficult. Therefore, if you want to keep your husband, and make him never want to leave you, do as your mother Khadijah did.




What did lady Khadijah do, though she did not have a solution for him? She firmly reassured him; she boosted his morals. Although men are strong, if a man faces some problems, or if he does something wrong, he would need his wife to comfort him, although she may be weak herself. Then, she would be the arms he would always seek shelter into. When a man feels the support of his wife, you can not imagine the surge of energy he would feel. Glory be to Allah who created such integration. Allah says what can be translated as " O you mankind, be pious to your Lord, Who created you of one self, and created from it its spouse," (TMQ,4:1).




The second thing lady Khadijah did after she encouraged him and pointed out his great attributes was to listen to him. Please mind that a lot of women, if faced


with a similar situation, they would cry and lament their husbands’ misfortune, which will add to his worries. No, you should first reassure him. Then, second, listen to him.




Lady Khadijah listened to him. You know, ladies, that a man at the end of the day is tired from work, and he would want to talk to someone close to him. Who is closer than one’s wife? He would want to talk to you, and you should listen without any reproach. If he finds himself criticized by his wife every time, he would stop telling her about his troubles or his feelings, and would seek someone away from home to talk to, and you know where that can lead him.




Lady Khadijah listened and never criticized, and that is why he came to her when he


could have gone to his uncle or his best friend as many men do today. These men are


wrong. You are not giving your wife the chance to get close to you; you do not talk to her.




The third thing she did was to share his interests. How can you get closer to your husband when you do not have anything in common? When he was in the Cave of Mt. Hira', she could have sent him food with the slaves instead of going herself, but she wanted to share with him this experience. Therefore every ten days, she would go and stay with him two or three days. She did not want the gap between them to get larger.




Yet, she used to stay only for a day or two and not the whole period, she wanted to share his experience, to get closer, but not to intrude. Some women would keep treating their husbands as they used to since their early days of marriage. They don’t realize that their husbands are changing, so they keep treating them the same way. Thus, the gap widens until they can no longer communicate. These are the three traits of the recipe. I firmly believe that if you decided to imitate your mother Khadija, you would be like her by first encouraging your husband, second, by listening to him and third by sharing his interests with him.




Compare Lady Khadijah’s reactions towards her husband, and your reactions towards yours. Find out your position compared to Lady Khadijah. You might say “but Lady Khadijah’s husband was the Prophet (SAWS).” I can reply by saying: be to your husband as she was to the Prophet, so that he would be as the Prophet was to Lady Khadijah. Just try and you will see that your husband, in the end, needs you. He needs to talk to you and needs you to listen to him.




Note that the Prophet loved Khadijah long after her death because of these traits. Note on what she focused when she praised the Prophet (SAWS). She did not insist on the fact that he was religious, but rather that he was good mannered. Good manners are very important.




Today people in the Arab world are of two types. They are either religious but bad mannered, or good mannered but not religious. Both are not good. The religious one will put people off religion by his bad manners. The second will give people a wrong impression and make them believe that religion is not important as long as manners are good. Why can't we be both; religious and good mannered?




There are many Ahadith on good manners. In one of them, the Prophet (SAWS) said, “The heaviest deed in the believer's scale on the Day of Judgment is his good manners.”[3] In another he said, “The most perfect in faith among you are those who have the best manners.”[4] In another he said, “The most common thing which leads people to Paradise is piety and good conduct" (Tirmidhi) and yet in another he said, “The most beloved to me and the closest to me on the Day of Judgement will be those of you who have the best attitudes.”[5]




Now, Look at the confidence Lady Khadijah had in Allah. “No, Allah would never disgrace you,” she said. Where did she get that confidence from? She knew that good deeds are never lost. If ever you go through hard times in your life, remember the


words of your mother Khadijah, and you will know that Allah will never disgrace


you if you did some good deeds. Do as much good as you can, and be sure that He will never disgrace you.




The prophet (SAWS) told her, “I was afraid for myself” and she replied “By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you”. Why? Because he has good attributes.




Do you know now who was Lady Khadijah? What did she do next? Did she calm him down and that was all? No, a narration tells us that 'she took him by the hand,


and said, 'we are going to consult someone”. Do you see how positive she was?


But to whom did she take him? “I have a cousin, his name is Waraqa Ibn Nawfal, an old man near his ninety years, But he is a learned man, one who has studied the Torah and the Gospel very well'. She wanted to consult with him.




Waraqa Ibn Nawfal was a very old man, who had lost sight from excessive reading of the Torah and the Gospel. He was the only Christian in Makkah. He was not interested in the idols of Quraysh. He believed in true Christianity. May be Allah made him reach that old age just for him to say the words he was about to say to the Prophet (SAWS). Glory is to Allah who has made him learn so much to know the truth and say it. Glory is to Allah Who made the first man to give the prophet the glad tidings of prophethood, be a Christian!




Let us stop for a moment and see to whom Lady Khadija went. She went to an expert who was trustworthy. I would like to say this to the youths who ask the advice of people who are not trustworthy; persons who can lead them to the path of loss and violence. I would like to say it to the youths who do things without knowing whether they were good or bad. Did you consult any trustworthy persons?




Learn to consult, learn from your mother Khadijah.




Lady Khadijah went with the Prophet to her cousin Waraqa Ibn Nawfal and said, “O cousin, listen to your nephew.” The Prophet started to relate what had happened. He


told him about the strange creature he saw; he did not say he was an angel because he did not know that yet. As he was talking, Waraqa was listening, sometimes amazed and sometimes smiling. He was listening to what he had read in the holy books about the last prophet who was to come. When the Prophet (SAWS) finished, Waraqa responded with four sentences only! The meeting lasted about 20 minutes, that's all. It was a short meeting so that no Orientalist can claim that the Prophet learned about religion from Waraqa. Let us hear what he said.




I want you to imagine how the Prophet felt when he heard it. In the first sentence Waraqa said, “You are the prophet of the final age. You are this nation's prophet”.


The second sentence was, “You have been visited by the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Musa ‘Moses”. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.” The third sentence, “ your people will belie you, hurt you, beat you, fight you and expel you”. The fourth sentence, “I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would expel you.” The Prophet interrupted him for the first time and asked, “Will they expel me?” Waraq said, yes, anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility, and if I see your day I shall help you wholeheartedly.




Let's analyze what Waraqa Ibn Nawfal said. His words are very serious, and deserve to be written in gold as the saying goes.




'You are the Prophet of the final age. You are this nation's prophet'. I want you to


imagine the Prophet and how he felt upon hearing those words. 'I? I? I am the one whom Allah Chose to be a prophet? I am the last among prophets, and therefore the best one? I? I am the one who will be responsible to reform the earth?




Why? He must have asked himself this question, 'why me? And the answer would soon be coming in the ayah where Allah SWT says what can be translated as "Allah knows best where He makes His Message." (TMQ, 6:124).




Note that our master Jibril had not yet told him that he was a prophet. Why? Because the Prophet would not have been able to bear it coming from an angel. It has to be told by a human like him, for him to absorb it. If you ever find someone getting ahead of you in a job or anything, don't feel angry or frustrated, just remember that ayah.




The second sentence, 'The one you saw was Jibril'. The one I saw and who held me so tight was an angel? Yes, that was an angel, and he will stay with you for 23 years. You will be communicating.




The third sentence: 'Your people will belie you, hurt you, beat you, fight you and turn you out ' .They will harm you and try to assassinate you several times. Do you know how many times they attempted to kill the prophet (SAWS)? 9 times! But how can Waraqa say this with such certainty? He knew that the path of truth is like that. The path of truth simply crosses the interests of the oppressors. They will not let truth and good prevail, you are bringing the truth, therefore they would not leave you.




The fourth sentence “I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out '' and the Prophet asked 'would they turn me out?' Why would they turn me out of my homeland? What did I do? What wrong did I do? Waraqa answered, “Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility'. To the youth who are saying they wish to have a revival. The road to reform is full of sacrifice, patience and giving. This is the rule, and this is exactly what Waraqa Ibn Nawfal said to the Prophet. But how did he know all that? Because he knew the prophets’ history was that way. He also understood how politics worked. He understood the policy of Quraysh. He knew that Quraysh placed 360 idols around the Ka’ba not for religious reasons but to serve its own interests with the various tribes. Quraysh had economic interests with the tribes of Yemen and Shaam. That is why it brought their idols and placed them around the Ka'aba; .in order for its caravans to be protected by those tribes on the way to Shaam and Yemen. If those idols were to be removed, Quraysh would lose its religious leadership and, therefore, lose its alliances and roads would no longer be safe. The answer was of course to deny that there is no god except Allah. Wraqa understood all those dimensions. For this reason, he told the Prophet what would happen. The Prophet left Waraqa and left. I want you to imagine how his mind was running with thoughts. I would be harmed, I would be fought, and I would be turned out. The Prophet left first, and Waraqa told Lady Khadijah something strange. He told her 'Tell him to stay firm!' He told this to her and not to him because he knew she is capable of helping him to stay firm. In addition, he knew that the road ahead needed patience and sacrifice. Today, I have a message for you similar to that of Waraqa.




Note that Waraqa Ibn Nawfal said this to the Prophet when the world was living in darkness; and today I say that we are living in a similar situation like it was during the time of Waraqa Ibn Nawfal. You must have heard about the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Do you think that the persons who lived those days knew they were living the 1st and 2nd World Wars? No, they knew there were wars and battles here and there, but they did not call those periods as the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Who then named them as such? The historians did. When everything ended, they called them world wars. Don’t you think we are living through the 3rd World War without us realizing it? Would someone come after 20 years and call it as such, starting from 11 September to Iraq, etc? We are going through a difficult time. We have to work hard to have a revival. We are living through abnormal times. We need to wake up; it is time to wake up. You should know that the road to reform needs sacrifice and patience. These are the same words Waraqa said. You should know that Allah has chosen you to make this happen. I want you to feel that you are going through similar times as the prophet was living.


We have a major problem; please feel that you are responsible to bring reform to earth. Learn how to do good, no matter how little it may be. This will make you stand before Allah with and tell Him that you have done what you could. We must know how to do our best.




This was the same message Waraqa was conveying to the Prophet. “Tell him to stay firm!". Please stay firm, all of you, men, women, and youth. Do all you possibly can for your religion and your country. In these times we need to remember the words of Waraqa, 'Tell him to stay firm', 'your people will harm you and fight you'.


'I wish I were young and strong'. Did you notice something in these words? It was as if Waraqa was telling the Prophet that his message needed the youth.


'I wish I were young and strong'!




Notice one more thing. Waraqa said, “I wish I were young and strong.” His words meant that this mission required youth to stand by Muhammad (SAWS) and support the cause. The amazing thing is that, Waraqa died a few days later, as if Allah made him live that long (90 years) only to explain to Muhammad what was to come. He fulfilled the purpose assigned to him by Allah and his death was necessary so that no one would claim that he was the one who taught Muhammad anything; they only met for a few minutes.




However, we should not forget that Waraqa had sincere intentions to support Muhammad’s message, as he told him, “If I see your day I shall help you wholeheartedly.” This sincere intention raised Waraqa to the level of the Prophet’s companions and Muslim martyrs. One sincere word was all he needed to reach that level. Thus, if you undertake this sincere intention now to help the Ummah, your country, and Islam as much as you can, the same way the companions did, you will reach their level even if you die tomorrow. Say these words with your lips while Allah is witnessing the sincerity in your heart. Say “I will steadfast on the right path and live for it.” Remember, if you live afterwards, you have to prove what you did before Allah.




Notice another thing. Waraqa lived all his life learning and looking for the truth, and the first word revealed to Muhammad was “Recite!” This clearly states that knowledge is highly valued in Islam.




After Waraqa died, Muhammad was waiting for Jibril to descend again to confirm what Waraqa had told him since he was not yet certain that he was right in his explanation. However, Jibril did not descend for a few days. Allah meant to let Muhammad think first and decide whether or not he was willing to take on this difficult mission. Having made up his mind to take on the mission and having longed to see Jibril, Muhammad saw him one week later sitting on a throne between the earth and heavens filling the entire horizon and telling him, “Muhammad, you are Allah’s messenger and I am Jibril from heavens.”


Notice how Allah prepared him gradually to receive the message! Subhan Allah (Glorified be Allah).




Having told him that, Jibril came down to earth and took Muhammad outside Makkah to give him the first lesson. He hit the earth with his wing and a spring of water came forth. Then, he started performing ablution and the prayers while Muhammad was watching and imitating him. Afterwards, Jibril told him to pray two Raka’as (units of the prayer) in the morning and two Raka’as in the evening. This is how prayers started based on the simulation (imitation) method before any modern theories in this regard were made. Following the incident of Al-Israa and Al-Mi’raj (the night journey of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) from Makkah to Jerusalem and his ascension to the seventh heaven), Allah enjoined the prayers on the Muslims five times a day but still in the form of two Raka’as at a time. It was only following the Hijrah (the immigration from Makkah to Madinah) that the number of Raka’as became adjusted to what we know now (two, four, four, three, and four).




Do you realize now the importance of prayers? It is a very significant pillar in Islam as the Prophet (SAWS) said in the following Ahadith:




“Islam is the head of the matter; and prayer is its pillar.”[6]




“Narrated Ibn 'Umar, Allah's Apostle said, “Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):


1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle.

2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.

3. To pay Zakat (mandatory alms-giving)[7]

4. To perform Hajj. (Pilgrimage to Mecca)

5. Fasting during the month of Ramadan.”[8]




I am saying this because whoever does not pray has to realize that he is knocking down the pillar of the house that connects him to Allah. Imagine this: if someone enters your house and breaks a couple of things or the windows, you might forgive that. However, if he goes to the foundation wall and starts knocking it down, will you forgive this? Hence, even though Allah is All-Merciful, there is still a line which no one should cross. Otherwise, he will incur Allah’s wrath. This line includes two rules: not performing prayers and abusing parents. Thus, even if you commit other great sins, please do not ever cross this line. Not offering the prayers simply means that worshipping Allah for a few minutes everyday is a very burdensome task on your heart, even though you still find time to watch TV, go out with friends, or talk on the phone. If you don’t perform the prayers, or if you abuse your parents, and you die before you sincerely repent, you will be in a very difficult position before Allah. Therefore, commit yourself to the prayers as soon as you hear their call.




The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Narrated 'Abdullah: I asked the Prophet "Which deed is the dearest to Allah?" He replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times." I asked, "What is the next (in goodness)?" He replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents." I asked again, "What is the next (in goodness)?" He replied, “To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's cause." 'Abdullah added, "I asked only that much and if I had asked more, the Prophet would have told me more.”[9]




Furthermore, the first three verses which were revealed to the Prophet after “Recite,” provide us with insight into the significance of the prayers:




- Surat Al-Muzzammil (Enwrapped): “O you enwrapped (in your raiment). Rise up (to pray during) the night, except a little, A half of it, or diminish a little thereof, Or increase thereto; and recite the Qur’an (in a distinct) recitation.” “…but no one knows its true meanings except Allah” (TMQ, 73:1-4).




- Surat Al-Muddaththir (shrouded): “O you shrouded (in your mantle), O you shrouded (in your mantle), And so your Lord magnify, And so your clothes purify, And so defilement forsake! And be not bountiful, (hoping) to gain more, And to your Lord (endure) patiently!” “…but no one knows its true meanings except Allah” (TMQ, 74:1-7).




- Surat Al-Fatihah (The Opening): “In The Name of Allah, The All-Merciful, The Ever-Merciful. Praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. The All-Merciful, The Ever-Merciful. The Possessor of the Day of Doom. You only do we worship, and You only do we beseech for help. Guide us in the straight Path. The Path of the ones whom You have favored, other than that of the ones against whom You are angered, and not (that of) the erring. (It is customary to say “amîn” “amen” at the end of this Surah).” “…but no one knows its true meanings except Allah” (TMQ, 1:1-7).






These verses state the requirements for the great reform Muhammad was going to do: knowledge (Recite), spiritual power (Al-Muzzammil), work and motion (Al-Muddaththir), then, the way or the path to which he should steadfast to gain salvation in the two worlds (Al-Fatihah).




Having informed Muhammad of these requirements, the revelation stopped for two months in order for Muhammad to set a plan for his mission since this was his task not Jibril’s. During these two months, the Prophet got really worried thinking that he had done something wrong and that Allah had abandoned him. Hence, Allah’s kind words were revealed to comfort him in Surat Ad-Duha, in which Allay says what can be translated as: “And (by) the forenoon, And (by) the night when it (comes) with its dark stillness! In no way has your Lord disregarded you, and in no way has He disfavored you. And indeed the Hereafter will be more charitable (i.e., better) for you than the First (i.e., the present life). And indeed your Lord will eventually give you so that you will be satisfied. Did He not find you an orphan, so He gave (you) an abode, And He found you erring, so He guided (you), And He found you in want, so He enriched (you)? Then, as for the orphan, then do not subdue (him), And as for the beggar, then do not scold (him); And as for your Lord’s favor, then discourse about it! (i.e., proclaim it).” “…but no one knows its true meanings except Allah” (TMQ, 93:1-11).




The Prophet used to pray all night until his feet became swollen. I am taking this opportunity to ask you to try to read the whole Qur’an at least once during the Taraweeh prayers this Ramadan. Try to tread in the footsteps of the Prophet and fulfil the same four requirements: knowledge, prayers, work and follow the path. Without these requirements, there will never be a revival for the Ummah. These are the essential pillars by means of which Muhammad was able to set his plan. Similarly, if you have no knowledge, go and learn; plan well and get to work.




Do you know how the Prophet started? He did not start with knocking down the idols around the Ka’ba. These, he knew, were going to be knocked down eventually after establishing Islam. He did not start by declaring the message off a mountain. No one would have listened. His plan was to choose among every family in Quraysh those who were successful in their practical life (committed people but not necessarily rich or descendants of great families) and known for their moral conduct. Here, I would like everyone to ask himself/herself this question: if you were there at that time, would he have chosen you? If you fail in your studies, he never would have. In short, his plan was to form a nucleus of distinguished people who would be committed to the message and who would support him. One of these people was Abu-Bakr, a 38 years-old successful trader, who was cherished by Quraysh and was an expert in the genealogies of the Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula. Another person was Khadijah, not because she was his wife, but because she was distinguished. The third person was Ali Ibn Abu-Taleb (RA), a 10 years-old thoughtful boy, who was living in Muhammad’s house at that time and who asked the Prophet about this religion when he saw him praying, then asked for a chance to think it over before he embraced Islam. Even better, the following day, when the Prophet asked him what his decision was, Ali answered, “Repeat what you said yesterday.” Having thought it over, he embraced Islam and uttered Al-Shahada (declaration of faith). Note the difference between this distinguished 10 year-old boy and many 20 year-old young men nowadays, who still do not know what goal they have in life! Two days later, Abu-Taleb saw Ali praying and asked him about it. Ali answered, “I followed Muhammad and committed myself to the true way. This is the true way.” Abu-Taleb said, “Stay as you are. Muhammad would never command you except with what is right.”




Reconsider this: Islam started with Muhammad, one man, one woman, and a child. Four people were the nucleus of all this success. Tomorrow, we will talk about all the suffering and the difficulties they had to go through with Quraysh.




Now, I would like to repeat the two questions I asked you in this episode and I want you to post your truthful answers on the website:


1) Are you able to undertake the commitment Waraqa made to support the Prophet if Allah enables you to live?


2) If you were there, at the time when Muhammad formed the nucleus, would he have chosen you? Would you have been distinguished enough to be chosen in those first three years of his prophetic call? In other words, are you successful in your practical life and adhering to morality? This question is not only addressed to the youth, but also to the mature and elderly.




[1] TMQ= Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.


[2] Sahih Bukhari, Book 1: Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3.


[3] Reported by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad. also by Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and Al-Baihaqi on the authority of Abi Al-Darda', Sahih Al-jami' Al-Saghir, No.135.


[4] Reported by AI-Tirmidhi on the authority of Abu Huraira and he said: it is a good sound Hadith.


[5] Reported by Tirmidhi, 4/249, in Abwab al-birr, 70. He said it is a good Hadith.


[6] Authentic Hadith, Ibn-Al-Qayem. Al-Salah and Hukm Tarikha (The prayer and how to judge who leaves it), page or number 34.


[7] A proportion of the wealth (2.5%) of every Muslim to be paid annually for the benefit of the needy in the Muslim community.


[8] Authentic Hadith, Sahih Al-Bukhari. Volume 1, book 2, Number 7.


[9] Authentic Hadith, Sahih Al-Bukhari, volume 1, book 10, number 505.

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