Here is a link to the first verse to be revealed by the angel Jibril to the prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in Mecca in 610 CE – high up in a cave on mountain just outside the city.
I was first told this story of what happened by my mum – she told me about the angel coming to see the Prophet (PBUH) and ordering him to read. The Prophet replied he could not read – he had never learnt. The angel again said read. The Prophet said again he could not. The third time Jibril said “read, in the name of Allah” and the rest of the verse was revealed. I always feel very strongly about the fact that the first instruction given to the man chosen to deliver the message of Islam was associated with education, seeking knowledge and that the use of the pen was mentioned. I am very proud to be a Muslim on many fronts but this area is one of the main reasons.
All those sceptics out there wondering why I am talking about angels and revelations -things that Dawkins & Co will call ‘fairy tales’ – well it boils down to this. Over the last few years a number of debates and discussions have surfaced in association with Islam such as to wear hijab or not, to fast or not, are you an extremist or not, do you support the Muslim brotherhood or not, your thoughts on jihad…blah blah blah. It all kind of deviated from the fundamentals of faith. It reduces down to basic beliefs. And yes I believe in angles, in heaven and hell and most of all I believe in Allah and his Messenger, Muhammed (PBUH).