When Muhammad (s.a.w) was 38 years of age, he spent most of his time in meditation and solitude. The cave of the mount Hira was his favorite place. It is there that he used to retire with food and water and spend days and weeks in remembrance of Allah. Nobody was allowed to go there except Khadijah and ‘Ali. He used to spend the whole month of Ramadhan therein.
The period of waiting had come to a close. His forty years of life had varied experiences, and from the world’s point of view, he had developed a maturity of mind and judgement, although in reality he was the embodiment of perfection from the very beginning. He has said: “I was a prophet when Adam was between water and clay.” His heart was overflowing with profound compassion for mankind and a pressing urge to eradicate wrong beliefs, social evils, cruelty and injustice. The moment had arrived when he was to be allowed to declare his prophethood. One day, when he was in the cave of Hira, Jibril (Gabriel) came to him and conveyed to him the following message of Allah:
Read in the name of thy Lord Who created, created man from a clot (of congealed blood): Read and thy Lord is most Bountiful, no taught with the pen, taught man that which he knew not. (Qur’an, 96:1-5)
These were the first ayats to be revealed, and the date was the 27th of Rajab, 40th year of elephant (610 C.E.).
The flow of the Divine message which continued for the next twenty-three years had begun, and the Prophet had arisen to proclaim the Unity of God and the Unity of Mankind, to demolish the edifice of superstition, ignorance, and disbelief, to set up a noble conception of life, and to lead mankind to the light of faith and celestial bliss.
Commencement of the Mission
The task was stupendous. The Prophet, therefore, started his mission cautiously, confining it initially to his own close relatives and friends. He was met with immediate success. His wife Khadijah testified to his truth as soon as she heard the news of the revelation from God. Then his cousin ‘Ali, and his liberated slave and adopted son Zaid, readily accepted the new faith, Islam, “submission to the Will of God.” The fourth was Abu Bala.
Justice Ameer Ali writes in his Spirit of Islam:
“It is a noble feature in the history of the Prophet of Arabia, and one which strongly attests the sincerity of his character, the purity of his teachings and the intensity of his faith in God, that his nearest relations, his wife, beloved cousin and intimate friends, were most thoroughly imbued with the truth of his mission and convinced of his inspiration. Those who knew him best, closest relations and dearest friends, people who lived with him and noted all his movements, were his sincere and most devoted followers.”
John Davenport writes in his Apology for Muhammed and the Koran:
“It is strongly corroborative of Muhammed’s sincerity that the earliest converts to Islam were his bosom friends and the people of his household, who, all intimately acquainted with his private life, could not fail to have detected those discrepancies which more or less invariably exist between the pretensions of the hypocritical deceiver and his actions at home.”Download