Revelation is when God gives knowledge that He wants to those He seeks out. God gives them this knowledge so that they can convey it to those whom He determines.
All of God’s messengers have experienced the revelation. God says:
“Truly, We have revealed to you how We have revealed Noah and the Prophet after him. And We revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Tribes (Israel), Jesus, Job, Jonas, Aaron and Solomon; and we gave David a Zabur. ” (Quran 4: 163)
The possibility of divine revelation cannot be denied by anyone who believes in the existence of God and His Almighty. God receives His creation in every way that pleases him. The connection between the Creator and His Creation consists of the way of His messengers and these messengers only know what God wants from them, through the way of revelation, be it directly or indirectly. The rational mind cannot deny the possibility of revelation because nothing is too difficult for the Almighty Creator.
The nature of revelation
Revelation is not a personal experience that a prophet creates out of himself. It is not a spiritual state that a person can achieve by doing certain meditations or spiritual practices. On the contrary – revelation is a communication between two beings: one that speaks, commands and gives and another that is addressed, that is ordered and that receives. The Prophet Muhammad never mingled with the one who gave him the revelation, as was the case with every prophet. As a human being, he felt his weakness before his God, feared God’s curse if he disobeyed Him, and hoped for God’s grace.
He asked for help from God, submitted to what was ordered to him, and was occasionally severely rebuked by God. The Prophet admitted his absolute inability to change even a word on God’s book. God says:
“And when Our clear verses are read to them, those who do not expect to encounter Us say:“ Bring a Quran that is different from this or change it. “ Say: „I am not entitled to change it on my own initiative. I only follow what has been revealed to me. If I disobey my master, I fear the punishment of a mighty day.“ Say (O Muhammad): „If God had wanted it, I would not have read it to you, nor would He have made it known to you. I truly lived among you before (the Quran was there) do you not want to understand?“ ”(Quran 10: 15-16)
This should make the difference between the nature, characteristics, and nature of the Creator and his creation perfectly clear.
The Prophet took care to make a distinction between his own language (the hadith) and the direct language of God, although both were the result of revelation. For this reason, in the early period of Revelation, he used to prohibit anything he said from being written down except the Quran. This guaranteed the distinguishability of the Quran as the Word of God, unmixed with what people say.
The Prophet also made a distinction in his own language between his own views and what came from God as revelation.
He said: “I am just a human being like yourself. Views can be right or wrong. But when I tell you God said something, know that I would never presume anything wrong with God. ”
He had no influence on the revelation he received. Revelation is an external force that affects the existence of the Prophet. He was unable to manipulate her in any way. This is borne out by the fact that certain crisis situations afflicted the prophet or those around him and needed immediate resolution, but he did not find any verse from the Quran that he could have recited. He had to remain silent and wait, sometimes desperately, until God in His wisdom revealed what was needed.
A good example of this is the time when Aisha, the Prophet’s wife, was accused of adultery by some of the hypocrites, even though she was innocent. People started saying things that were painful for the Prophet until his heart almost burst. He couldn’t forbid this. All he could say was:
“O Aisha, I’ve heard this or that. If you are innocent, God will show your innocence, and if you have sinned, seek God’s forgiveness. ”
A whole month passed before the revelation came, declared Aishas innocent, and restored the honor of the Prophet’s household.
In short, revelation has nothing to do with the choices and desires of those who receive them. It is an extraordinary, external appearance. It is a power of knowledge because it gives knowledge. It is free from error. It only comes with the truth and leads to what is right.
How Revelation Comes to the Angels and the Messengers It
is mentioned in the Quran that God speaks to the angels. God says:
“Then your Lord gave the angels:“ I am with you; so make the believers stronger… ”(Quran 8:12)
The revelation to the angels is done by God speaking to them and the angels hearing from Him .
Revelation comes to God’s human messenger either directly or through an intermediary. In the case of the mediator, it is the angel Gabriel who brings the revelation. There are two ways of doing this:
1. The angel comes to him with a voice like the ringing of a bell. This is the most difficult way for Revelation to reach the Messenger. Such a harsh tone demands the full attention of those to whom it is directed. If the revelation came this way, it was extremely exhausting for all of the Messenger’s powers.
2. The angel came to him in the form of a man. This was easier than the previous type because the shape of the angel sent was more familiar to the human messenger and it was easier to speak.
These two types were described by the Prophet in his answer to al-Haarith b. Hishaam mentioned when he asked how the revelation came to him. The Messenger of God said:
“Sometimes it comes like the ringing of a bell, and that’s the hardest thing for me. It’s on me and I’m trying to remember what he’s saying. And sometimes the angel comes in the shape of a man and speaks to me and I try to remember what he says. ”
Revelation without mediator happens in two ways:
1. A good dream: Aischa reports:
“It started as a good dream while sleeping. He had no dream that wasn’t as clear as the day came true. ”
This was to prepare the Messenger of God to receive revelations when he was awake. The entire Quran was revealed while the Prophet was awake.
The story of Abraham when he was ordered to sacrifice his son shows how a dream can be a revelation to be acted upon. God says:
“Then We gave him the good news of a meek son. When he was old enough to work with him, he said. O my son, I see in a dream that I will slaughter you. Now look, what do you think? „He said:“ Oh my father, do as you are ordered; you shall find me – God willing – among the patient. „When they both surrendered (God’s will) and he lay him down on the floor with his forehead, we called to him:“ O Abraham you have already fulfilled the dream face „So we reward those who do good. Truly, this is obviously a difficult trial. And we set him off with a large animal for slaughter. And we kept his name among the future generations. Peace be to Abraham! So we reward those, doing good. He was one of our faithful servants. ” (Quran 37:
If this dream had not been a revelation, it would not have had to be obeyed, Abraham would not have gone to sacrifice his son, but the fact is that he almost did. He stopped only because God commanded him to stop and ordered him to sacrifice something else in his place.
The good dream is not just for the prophets. He remains for the believers even if it is not a revelation. The Messenger of God said,
„Nothing remains of the prophecy except good news.“ When asked what this good news was, he said, „Dreams.“
2. God speaks directly from behind a wall: this was the prophet Moses. God says,
“And when Moses came to Our appointment and His Lord spoke to him …” (Quran 7: 143)
God also says:
„… and God really spoke to Moses.“ (Quran 4: 164)
This happened to Prophet Muhammad on his night journey and ascension where his Lord spoke to him.
All of these kinds of revelations are mentioned in the Quran. God says:
“And no one is entitled that God should speak to him except by inspiration or behind a curtain or by sending a messenger to reveal what He wants by His command; He is sublime, wise. ” (Quran 42:51)