October 25, 2012
Aisha the mother of mūmins –God be pleased with her- Narrated:
The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to God’s Messenger was in the form of glad tidings in his sleep. He never had a glad tiding but that it came true like bright daylight. He used to go in seclusion in [the cave of] Hira where he used to worship [God] continuously for many [days and] nights. He used to take with him the food for that [stay] and then come back to [his wife] Khadīja to take more food for another period, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira’. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read.” [The Prophet added], “The angel caught me [forcefully] and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, I do not know how to read, whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time ‘till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, I do not know how to read [or, what shall I read?]. Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created [all that exists]. Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous who has taught [man] the use of the pen, taught man what he did knew not. [Qur’ān: al-‘Alaq:-96:1-5]”[Bukhāri]
The mūmins should ponder over the remark of Aisha -God be pleased with her-: “The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to God’s Messenger was in the form of glad tiding in his sleep. He never had a glad tiding but that it came true like bright daylight.”
It should now be possible for us to understand the true importance of the statement of the Prophet -God bless him and grant him peace- that glad tidings are a part of Prophethood: Narrated Anas bin Malīk: God’s Messenger said, “A glad tiding of a mūmin is one of forty-six parts of prophethood.”[Bukhāri]
The Prophet -God bless him and grant him peace-, himself, attached such importance to glad tidings, during his own lifetime, that he warned that: those who did not believe in glad tidings did not possess imān. We are told that every morning, after the morning prayer, he would enquire from those who had performed the prayers as to whether anyone “had seen anything last night?” Abu Hurayrah reported: When the Messenger of God -God bless him and grant him peace- finished his morning prayer he used to ask whether anyone had seen a glad tiding, and used to say: After me all that will be left of Prophethood is a glad tiding.”[Muwaṭṭa’]
After the construction of the masjid in Madina, the search began for an appropriate way of calling the faithful to prayer. A companion approached the Prophet -God bless him and grant him peace- and informed him that he had a glad tiding of the adhān [call to prayer]. The Prophet -God bless him and grant him peace- immediately recognized it as a glad tiding from God Most High and decided to adopt the adhān as the Muslim call to prayer:
“When the Messenger first came, the people gathered to him for prayer at the appointed times without being summoned. At first the Messenger thought of using a trumpet like that of the Jews who used it to summon to prayer. Afterwards he disliked the idea and ordered a clapper to be made, so it was duly fashioned to be beaten when the Muslims should pray. Meanwhile ‘Abdullah b. Zayd b. Tha‘laba b. ‘Abdu r-Rabbihi, brother of al-Ḥārith, heard a voice in a glad tiding, and came to the Messenger saying: A phantom visited me in the night. There passed by me a man wearing two green garments carrying a clapper in his hand, and I asked him to sell it to me. When he asked me what I wanted it for I told him that it was to summon people to prayer, whereupon he offered to show me a better way: it was to say thrice: “Allah-u- Akbar. I bear witness that there is no god but God I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Come to prayer. Come to prayer. Come to divine service. Come to divine service. Allah-u-Akbar. Allah-u-Akbar. There is no god but God”. When the Messenger was told of this he said that it was a true glad tiding if God so willed it, and that he should go with Bilāl and communicate it to him so that he might call to prayer thus, for he had a more penetrating voice. When Bilāl acted as muezzin, ‘Umar heard him in the house and came to the Messenger dragging his cloak on the ground and saying that he had seen precisely the same glad tiding. The Messenger said: ‘God be praised for that!