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Two major experiences of the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) in the caves


There were two major experiences the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) had in his life firstly, the awarding of prophethood in the cave of Hira in 610 AD, and secondly, his stay in the cave of Thaur in 622 AD during his emigration to Madina.

1. Awarding of Prophethood 610 AD:

The Holy Prophet (ﷺ)used to spend a long time in the cave of Hira, in the mount of Light or Jabal-al-Nur meditating and pondering over his relationship with Allah. By the age of 40, this exercise became more frequent and more intense. It was during such meditation that the archangel Jibril appeared before him and commanded him to read/recite. The Holy Prophet (ﷺ), who did not know about Jibril, was shaken with fear and expressed his inability to read in reply to Jibril's twice command. With his third command, Jibril recited:

"Read in the name of your Lord who created. Created man out of a clot of congealed blood. Read and your Lord is Most Bountiful. He who taught the use of the pen. Taught that which he knew not." (96; 1 5).

These were the first five verses of the Quran revealed to the Holy Prophet (ﷺ). While reciting the verses Jibril would press the Holy Prophet's chest hard. In a state of fear, the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) rushed to his home and saw Jibril again in his mighty form. He narrated the experience to his wife Khadija, who consoled and reassured him.

She later took the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) to her scholarly cousin, Warqah bin Naufal who fully interpreted the episode and told the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) that Jibril was the same holy spirit (Namus) who had earlier brought divine revelation to other prophets including Prophet Musa, by that way, Muhammad bin Abdullah was no more an ordinary man but a man chosen by Allah for a special prophetic mission.  He further warned the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) that the Makkans would drive him out of his town in future years.

2. Stay in the cave of Thaur 622 AD:

After suffering setbacks and persecutions for about 13 years in Makkah, the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) was divinely permitted to migrate to Madinah. Accordingly, he left Makkah, accompanied by Abu Bakr  (رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ) in Safar, in 622 AD. Both went southward towards Taif to hide in the cave of Thaur. Both stayed there for 3 days and 3 nights till the 1st Rabi-ul-Awal. Abu Bakr's children, Abdullah and Asma served both during this period.

Asma would bring food while her brother would keep an eye on the Makkans who had been tracking down the Holy Prophet (ﷺ). Some of them even managed to reach the cave but were deterred by divine intervention. They saw a spider web at the mouth of the cave with pigeon eggs on it and so, abandoned the idea of any further pursuit.

Abu Bakr took great pains to protect the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) and was bitten by a scorpion/snake that had attempted to bite the Holy Prophet (ﷺ). A specially hired shepherd, Aamir bin Fujairah, would bring goat milk for both every evening. The Holy Prophet (ﷺ), throughout their stay in the cave, kept consoling his comrade Abu Bakr, expressing his faith in Allah's support and security. Finally, both left for Madinah on the 4th day, accompanied by Aamir bin Fuhairah and a special guide, Abdullah bin Uraiqit.

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