By Nurul Saadah
The month of Ramadan is special to all Muslims across the globe. It is one of the most important months in the Hijrah calendar not only due to fasting but also during this month the holy book, the Al-Quran was first revealed.
“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” [2:185]
This noble and meaningful event is known as the Nuzul Quran. It is such an important event in the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as he received the revelation of the first verses of the Al-Quran, which is Surah Al-Alaq verses 1 to 5 that emphasises reading.
The event took place on Friday night, Ramadan 17th, 610 C.E., 13 years before the Prophet migrated (hijra) to Medina. He was visited by the Angel Jibril while performing ibadah in a small cave of Mount Hira’ (Jabal Hira). The mountain is also known as Jabal Noor (the Mountain of Light).
When Prophet Muhammad first began to have revelations in the form of good dreams that came true, he began to like solitude. He spent a number of days and nights, meditating in the cave of Hira’ for a month and contemplate his life and the world around him. He was thinking about the sign of Allah’s greatness and doing passionate devotions of long vigils and prayers. Prophet Muhammad also wanted to stay away from Arab Jahiliyyah who were ignorant, who keep doing chaos and sins.
One night, Angel Jibril came to Prophet Muhammad in the form of a man. The angel commanded him to recite the first revelation of the Quran.
“Recite!” “I cannot read,” the Prophet PBUH replied.
The angel took hold of him a second time and pressed him until he could not endure it any longer. After letting him go, the angel again said, “Recite!”. Again the Prophet replied, “I cannot read”.
The angel further embraced him again until he had reached the limit of endurance and said: “Recite!” For the third time, the Prophet again said, “I cannot read”.
The angel released him and said: “Read in the name of your Lord, the Creator. He Who created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Bounteous. Who taught by the Pen, taught man what he knew not.” (96:1-5)
He recited those words after the angel, and he said, “It was as though the words were written in my heart.”
When the Prophet left the cave and was halfway down the slope of the mountain, he heard a voice above him saying: “O Muhammad, thou art the Messenger of God, and I am Jibraeel (Gabriel)”. He stood gazing at the angel, then he turned away from him. However, whichever direction he faced, the angel was always there on the horizon, whether it was to the North, East, South, or the West. Finally, the angel turned away. The Prophet was terrified and his heart was pounding hard. He returned home to Khadija and said, “Cover me!” Khadija covered him and helped him calm down.
This event not only indicates how the first verses of the Quran were revealed to him but the beginning of his Prophethood as the last messenger of Allah as well.
After this first revelation, the Prophet (PBUH) received daily revelations of the Quranic text until before his death, 23 years later.
If we were to summarise the process regarding the revelation of Al-Quran, it was executed in three main stages. At the first stage, Al-Quran was kept safely in Luh Mahfuz, also known as the ‘protected sheet’. Moving on to the second stage, the Al-Quran was revealed completely to Baitul Izzah that is found in the first heaven. Finally, Al-Quran was sent to Prophet Muhammad SAW through Jibreel for a period of 23 years, divided into 13 years in Makkah and 10 years in Medina.
Literally, the meaning of Nuzul is going down or moving to the bottom from above and the Al-Quran means a set of readings or collections. Inside the Quran, there is a collection of sentences explaining everything, that covers every aspect, from the religion to science.
According to the Quran, Allah has laid down the solution to every human problem in the Quran very clearly.
Qur’an says: “and We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything.” (16:89)
The Quran is a miracle and a priceless gift from Allah that contains no flaws and issues. The Al-Quran is not merely a book or a set of compositions that should be recited with correct tajwid, but it explains the roles, functions, and responsibilities of all human beings in this world not only towards Allah, Rasul, Islam, oneself, but also towards all mankind. Thus, those who hold rightly onto it, they will not go astray.
Prophet Muhammad once said:
Nuzul Al-Quran in the holy month of Ramadan is truly a meaningful event that we must remember and appreciate. It emphasises on the importance of not only reading the Quran but also to understand thoroughly the meaning behind each verse narrated by Allah SWT. Therefore, we will be able to implement the content and message delivered by Him towards human beings.
The revelation of the Al-Quran also shows the proof of the existence of Allah SWT and reading and understanding the Quran is a devotion to Him. In everything we do, our thoughts, actions and speeches, we must remember that Allah knows every single of it. Not only during Ramadan but in other months as well, we should always have the time to read the Quran, explore the knowledge inside it and let Al-Quran always be the guidance for us.***