What kind of effect did the interruption of the revelation called, “the suspension of revelation” have on the Prophet (pbuh)?

Details of the Question
- What is the wisdom behind the interruption of the revelation? - How did our Holy Prophet (PBUH) explain the resumption of the deliverance of revelation?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) faced an incident called “the Suspension of Revelation” a short time after the first revelation.

It was evident that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was greatly saddened and distressed by this break in the deliverance of revelation, an incident whose wisdom we cannot fully grasp and which has been explained somehow. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was so distressed that the earth was becoming too tight for him and he wanted to be saved from its restraint. During this time, either Jibril (Gabriel) or Israfil appeared to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) in order to console him. 1

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was faced with sadness for an exact forty–day period.

Since the world is a center that is composed of an indefinite number of Divine wisdoms, everything that takes place within it undoubtedly has a purpose. Sometimes it is possible or impossible to catch the purpose behind these kinds of circumstances with the tiny measuring scales in our minds. However, not knowing their Divine wisdoms and reasons is not by any means proof that they are without wisdom and reason. Above all, it is not possible for a duty like prophethood, in which everything has been specially programmed by the pen of wisdom, to be insignificant. For this reason, there were many wisdoms and reasons behind the delay in the deliverance of revelation. However, we are not aware of them.

Nevertheless, there are many scholars who interpret this situation in various ways. Here is a summary of some of these views:

1) Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) greatly panicked in face of the first revelation and the heaviness of the situation had jolted his soul. This incident occurred so that his soul could find some peace, be rested and prepared for the forthcoming revelations.

2) Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) soul was being prepared for the burdens and tribulations that he was about to face.

3) The deliverance of revelation was delayed so that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) could long more deeply for the next revelation.2

- How did our Holy Prophet (PBUH) explain the resumption of the deliverance of revelation?

After a hiatus of forty days, revelations continued to be sent down to our Holy Prophet (PBUH). He explains its resumption as follows:

“One day, while walking, I suddenly heard a sound in the sky. When I raised my head and looked at the sky, I saw the angel who came to me (Jibril, Gabriel) seated on a throne that was in between the ground and the sky. I shuddered and collapsed to the ground. I returned to my home and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” Upon this, Allah the Exalted sent down this revelation:

“O thou wrapped up (in a mantle)! Arise and deliver thy warning! And thy Lord do thou magnify! And thy garments keep free from stain! And all abomination shun!”3

“From then on, the revelations began to come and there were no interruptions after that.”4

The discomfort in our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) ceased when revelation continued to be sent down; his inner realm reached peace and tranquility.

FOOTNOTES:

1. Tajrid Translation, 1/13
2. Abdullatif as-Subki, al-Wahyu Ilar-Rasul Muhammad (pbuh) , p. 89
3. al- Muddaththir, 1-5
4. Bukhari, 1/7; Muslim, 1/98; Musnad, (h. 2846); Tirmidhi, 5/592

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