The Prophet Muhammad’s revelation

The Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr)

Muhammad spent a lot of his time in prayer and meditation. On one of these occasions, he received the first revelation of the Qur’an from Allah. Muslims know this as the Night of Power.

  • Muhammad was meditating in a cave on Mount Hira when he saw the Angel Jibril.
  • The angel commanded him to recite the words before him.
  • Muhammad had never been taught to read or write but he was able to recite the words.
  • In this way, Allah’s message continued to be revealed to Muhammad over the next 23 years.
  • Muhammad then recited the message to his people.
  • After Muhammad’s death, the Qur’an was compiled under the instruction of Abu Bakr, the successor of Muhammad.
Mount Hira, the location where Muslims believe Mohammad was meditating when he saw the Angel Jibril

Muhammad’s early messages instructed his people to worship only one God, Allah. The messages explained that, after the death of their bodies, God would judge each person to decide whether or not they should be let into Paradise.

When he first tried to preach the message of the Qur’an, Muhammad was not listened to and people turned against him. He spent a lot of time in the city of Madinah, where he became a political and religious leader.

Muhammad created the Five Pillars of Islam and ensured that the Ka’aba was used for the worship of Allah alone.

The book containing God's revelation to Muhammad, the Qur’an, is the main holy book for Muslims.

Respecting the Qur’an

Muslims believe that the Qur’an must be respected since it is the word of Allah. For example, it cannot touch the ground and it must be kept on a higher shelf than all other books.

Many Muslims perform ritual washing (Wudu) before handling or reading the pages of the Qur’an. In some situations, a Muslim must bathe before handling the Qur’an. If a person cannot wash before handling the Qur’an, then gloves or an alternative barrier may be worn.

Some Muslims believe that a non-Muslim must not handle the text if it is printed in Arabic, but it is acceptable for them to touch and read a translated copy.

The Qur’an was revealed in Arabic, and Muslims believe it should always be read in its original language so that no meaning is lost.

Over how many years was the Qur’an revealed to Muhammad?

23 years.