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story of first revelation of quran

The Story of the First Revelation of the Quran

The first revelation of the Quran occurred in the Cave Hira on the Mountain of Light (Jabal al-Noor) near Makkah. This significant event marked the beginning of the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last messenger of Islam. It took place during the month of Ramadan, which holds special significance in the Islamic calendar.


Muhammad (PBUH), known as Al-Amin (the trustworthy) and Al-Sadiq (the truthful), used to retreat to the Cave Hira for spiritual contemplation and solitude. He would spend nights in deep reflection and distance himself from the polytheistic practices prevalent in Makkah at that time. It was during one such retreat in the year 610 CE that the angel Gabriel (Jibreel in Arabic) visited him with the first revelation.

The choice of the Cave Hira for this momentous event wasn’t arbitrary. Cave Hira symbolized seclusion, purity, and a departure from the hustle and bustle of Meccan society. Muhammad’s earnest quest for spiritual truth and his withdrawal from the prevalent idolatry set the stage for the divine encounter that was about to unfold.

Quranic References

The details of this event are found in several verses of the Quran, with Surah Al-‘Alaq (Chapter 96, Verses 1-5) being the first revealed chapter. The verses are as follows:

“Read in the name of your Lord who created – Created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood) – Read, and your Lord is the Most Generous – Who taught by the pen – Taught man that which he knew not.”

These verses emphasize the significance of knowledge and the process of learning, setting the stage for the revelation to continue over the next 23 years.

Upon receiving the revelation, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was initially overwhelmed by the experience. The angel Gabriel instructed him to “Read” or “Recite”. This emphasizes the importance of conveying the divine message to others.

After this initial revelation, there was a gap before the subsequent revelations resumed. The second revelation came after some time and was delivered in the Cave Hira as well.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was initially hesitant and unsure about the divine experience he had encountered. He sought reassurance from his wife Khadijah and her cousin Waraka ibn Nawfal, who was familiar with previous scriptures. Both Khadijah and Waraka affirmed the divine nature of the experience. This comforted and supported the Prophet.

The revelations continued over the next 23 years and cover various aspects of guidance for personal conduct, social relations, and worship. The collected revelations constitute the Quran.

The first revelation, with its emphasis on reading and knowledge, laid the foundation for Islam as a religion that encourages seeking knowledge and enlightenment throughout one’s life. It marked the beginning of a new era, heralding the final and complete guidance for humanity.

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Hafiz Ikram Ullah

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