When Did the BiÝthah of the Prophet (ṣ) Take Place?

The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

صفحه کاربران ویژه - خروج
ورود کاربران ورود کاربران

LoginToSite

CAPTCHA:

Username:

Password:

LoginComment LoginComment2 LoginComment3 .
Sort by
 

When Did the BiÝthah of the Prophet (ṣ) Take Place?

Question: When was the Prophet (ṣ) commissioned with the duty of prophethood?
Concise answer:
Detailed answer: There is a difference of opinion amongst the Shia and Ahl al-Sunnah schools of thought in regards to the exact date when the Prophet (ṣ) was commissioned with this divine duty. Shia scholars are of the opinion that the BiÝthah of our Prophet (ṣ) took place on the 27th of the month of Rajab during the 40th year, also known as the ‘Year of the Elephant’ and this is something that has been agreed upon by all Shia scholars.[1]

The opinion of some Ahl al-Sunnah scholars is that the BiÝthah took place during the month of Ramaḍān of the 40th year, which is known as the ‘Year of the Elephant’. Amongst these scholars, some are of the opinion that it took place on the 17th of this holy month, while others believe it was the 18th, and yet others believe it was the 24th. There is also a disagreement as to whether it took place by day or by night.[2] Contrary to this group, there are another group of scholars from the Ahl al-Sunnah who believe that the BiÝthah took place on the 12th of the month of RabīÝ al-Awwal, while others say that it was on the tenth of that month.[3]

It is commonly held amongst Sunni scholars that the BiÝthah actually took place during the month of Ramaḍān and some ask the question as to why they hold this opinion. The reason behind this opinion is based on various issues which are controversial in nature. A large number of the Ahl al-Sunnah scholars believe that the BiÝthah of the Prophet (ṣ) took place with the revelation of the Quran, and since the revelation of the Quran took place during the month of Ramaḍān, they therefore believe that the BiÝthah happened in this same month. The Quran has mentioned the following in this regard: “The month of Ramadan is one in which the Qur’an was sent down as guidance to mankind…”[4]

Yet, when this idea is examined in detail, we realize that it is incorrect for several reasons. The first reason is that according to the scholars of Quranic commentary and grammar, the verses which use the term ‘Anzāl’[5] in the Quran use it in the sense of the complete revelation of the Quran and not that of a gradual revelation. Secondly, according to a large number of the Ahl al-Sunnah scholars, the complete revelation of the Quran took place in the ‘Bayt al-MaÝmūr’ and it was then later gradually revealed to the Prophet (ṣ). Suyūṭī has mentioned this in his Durr al-Manthūr in regards to the 185th verse of Surah Baqarah. He has narrated from Ibn ÝAbbas who said: ‘The blessed night, which is the ‘Night of Destiny’ (Laylat al-Qadr) took place in the month of Ramaḍān and the Quran was revealed all at once on that night…at the ‘Bayt al-MaÝmūr’; it was then gradually revealed in commanding something or forbidding something else, in showing what was allowed and what was forbidden, and in regards to the battles which took place for the Prophet (ṣ).’[6]

In another narration reported by Ḍaḥḥāk from Ibn ÝAbbās, it has been stated that ‘The Quran was revealed by God at once from the ‘Lawḥ al-Maḥfūẓ’ (the ‘protected tablet’ which has been mentioned in the Quran) to the ‘Honored Angels and Writers’… who then revealed it gradually, over a period of twenty nights to the Angel Gabriel, and then the Angel Gabriel gradually revealed the Quran over a period of twenty years to the Prophet (ṣ).[7]

The third point in this regard is that scholars of the Ahl al-Sunnah themselves have said that the revelation of the Quran was separate from the BiÝthah of the Prophet (ṣ). The vast majority of the historians and narrators of tradition from the Ahl al-Sunnah are of the opinion that the BiÝthah of the Prophet (ṣ) initially took place in the form of a dream while he was asleep. They have then narrated that after a period of time (some say it was a period of six months, others say three years, while others have even more varied opinions) the Quran was then revealed to the Prophet (ṣ) by Angel Gabriel while he was awake.[8] Suyūṭī has mentioned something similar in his book al-Itqān as well.[9]

In conclusion, according to what the scholars of the Ahl Sunnah themselves have said, we cannot say that the BiÝthah of the Prophet (ṣ) was at the same time as the revelation of the Quran and the evidence shows that it was on the 27th of the holy month of Rajab.

 



Peinevesht: [1] Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 18, p. 190; Tārīkh al-khamīs, vol. 1, p. 280 and 281.

[2] Sīrah al-nabawīyah, Ibn Athīr, p. 392.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Surah Baqarah, verse 185.

[5] This term means to come down or to descend.

[6] Durr al-manthūr, vol. 1, p. 189.

[7] Al-Itqān, vol. 1, p. 69.

[8] Sīrah al-nabawīyah, Ibn Kathīr, vol. 1, p. 388; Al-Itqān, vol. 1, p. 70 and 71.

[9] Al-Itqān, vol. 1, p. 70 and 71.
Published on: « 1393/02/16 »
CommentList
*Text
*Captcha http://makarem.ir
Visits : 941