The Condition of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) prior to Receiving Nubuwwah – The Seerah of Rasullullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) – Part Twenty-One

As the time drew close for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to be bestowed with nubuwwah, Allah Ta‘ala blessed Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) with true dreams. He would not see any dream at night except that whatever he was shown in the dream would transpire before him as clear as the break of dawn.

أول ما بدئ به رسول اللّٰه صلى اللّٰه عليه وسلم من الوحي الرؤيا الصالحة في النوم فكان لا يرى رؤيا إلا جاءت مثل فلق الصبح

“Divine revelation upon Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) originated with pious dreams. He would not see any dream except that it would come to pass as the break (light) of dawn.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #3)

Similar was the condition of all the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam), that prior to them receiving nubuwwah, Allah Ta‘ala blessed their hearts with true dreams as an introduction to receiving wahy. Hazrat Alqamah bin Qays (rahimahullah), the student of Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), mentioned that all the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam), are initially shown true dreams by Allah Ta‘ala prior to them receiving wahy. Thereafter, when their hearts are ready to receive the wahy, they are blessed with nubuwwah and revelation begins to come to them. (Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah 3/4)

Ibnu Abi Jamarah (rahimahullah) mentioned the following in regard to the above Hadith of Hazrat Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha):

“The reason for the dreams of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), which he was shown prior to receiving nubuwwah, being compared to the light of dawn is that till this point, the sun of prophethood had not yet risen in the world.

Hence, just as the light of dawn indicates towards the imminent rising of the sun, similarly the true dreams which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was shown prior to him receiving nubuwwah were an indication towards the imminent advent of the sun of prophethood rising in the world.” It was as though the ‘dawn’ of pious dreams was proclaiming: “The sun of prophethood is soon to rise.”

Just as the brightness of the morning continues to increase gradually, similarly the light of these true dreams continued to increase until the sun of prophethood extended to entirely light up the mountains of Faaraan (in Makkah Mukarramah).

People such as Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) who possessed the spiritual vision of the heart came before this sun and immediately benefited from its brilliance, while people like Abu Jahal, whose hearts were blind, closed their eyes like bats as soon as this sun rose, as they were unable to endure the radiance of this brilliant sun of prophethood.

The poet says:

“If the bat is unable to see during the day, what is the fault of daylight? The face of the sun is naturally radiant, ill-fated is the bat.”

The remainder of the people of that era were between the ranks of Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and Abu Jahal. Each and every person benefited from this sun of prophethood according to the level of his spiritual vision and the luminance of his heart. (Fat-hul Baari 12/409)

Hazrat Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) further relates about Rasulullah’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) condition before being blessed with nubuwwah, “Thereafter, solitude was made dear to him. He would often go into seclusion in the cave of Hira where he would remain engaged in ibaadah for many nights at a time before returning to his family. He would take provisions with him for the period he remained in seclusion in the cave. When the provisions would deplete, he would return home to Hazrat Khadijah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) and take more provisions, and then return to the cave.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #3)

When Allah Ta‘ala intends to shower His special mercy upon a person, He instils the yearning for solitude and seclusion within his heart to remember Allah Ta‘ala. This does not mean that a person will receive prophethood through remaining in solitude, as prophethood is not something which a person can earn through his own effort. Rather, prophethood is based on the divine selection of Allah Ta‘ala. Whomsoever Allah Ta‘ala wishes to appoint as His Nabi, Allah Ta‘ala grants him nubuwwah.

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