Friday, May 23, 2008

The Beginning of Islam

After the Prophet saw Jabreel AS at Al Hirah cave he went back home to Khadijah and told her "Cover me, cover me". He was shivering and shaking from the cold weather and because he was afraid of what he saw.
The Prophet still did not know that he was a Prophet or that the creature he met was Jebreel AS.

When his wife asked him what's wrong, he told her what happened at the cave and she firmly reassured him that she believes him and boosted his morals.

Her response was quick and firm. She said, “No, By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you! You foster family relations; you bear the burden of the weak; you help the poor and the needy; you entertain the guests and endure hardships in the path of truthfulness”[2].
It's narrated that the Prophet upon hearing her words relaxed and calmed down. She then took him by the hand and said, "we are going to consult someone, I have a cousin, his name is Waraqa Ibn Nawfal, an old man near his ninety years, But he is an educated man, one who has studied the Torah and the Gospel very well'.

Waraqa Ibn Nawfal was a very old man, who had lost sight from excessive reading of the Torah and the Gospel. He was the only Christian in Makkah and wasn't interested in the idols of Quraysh. He believed in true Christianity, maybe Allah made him reach that old age just for him to meet the Prophet PBUH. Glory is to Allah who made Waraqa Ibn Nawfal learn so much to know the truth and say it.

Prophet Mohammed PBUH explained to Waraqa Ibn Nawfal what he saw, he told him about the strange creature he saw. He did not say he was an angel because he didn't know that yet. As he was talking, Waraqa was listening, sometimes amazed and sometimes smiling. He was listening to what he had read in the Holy books about the last prophet who was to come. When the Prophet PBUH finished, Waraqa responded with only four sentences. The meeting lasted about 20 minutes so that no Orientalist can claim that the Prophet learned about religion from Waraqa.

In the first sentence Waraqa said, “You are the prophet of the final age. You are this nation's prophet”.

The second sentence was, “You have been visited by the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Jebreel) whom God had sent to Musa ‘Moses”. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.”

The third sentence, “your people will bully you, hurt you, beat you, fight you and expel you”.

The fourth sentence, “I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would expel you.”

The Prophet interrupted him for the first time and asked, “Will they expel me?” Waraqa said, yes, anyone who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility, and if I see your day I shall help you wholeheartedly.

The Prophet engaged in deep thought about what Waraka told him and waited for Jebreel AS to descend again to confirm what Waraqa told him since he wasn't certain yet that he was right in his explanation.

However, Jebreel AS did not descend for a few days. God meant to let Mohammed think first and decide whether or not he was willing to take on this difficult mission. Having made up his mind to take on the mission and having longed to see Jebreel AS, Mohammed PBUH saw him one week later sitting on a throne between the earth and heavens filling the entire horizon and telling him, “Mohammed, you are Allah’s messenger and I am Jebreel from heavens.”

Having told him that, Jebreel AS came down to earth and took Mohammed outside Mekkah to give him the first lesson. He hit the earth with his wing and a spring of water came forth. Then, he started performing ablution and the prayers while Mohammed was watching and imitating him. Afterwards, Jebreel AS told him to pray two Rak3as (units of the prayer) in the morning and two Rak3as in the evening.

This is how prayers started based on the simulation (imitation) method before any modern theories in this regard were made.

The five pillars of Islam were set as follows:
“Narrated Ibn 'Umar, Allah's Apostle said, “Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):

1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Mohammed is Allah's Apostle.
2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.
3. To pay Zakat (mandatory alms-giving)
4. To perform Hajj. (Pilgrimage to Mecca)
5. Fasting during the month of Ramadan.”