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In surah 74, we read that the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.) asked his wife Khadija to cover him in a cloak repeatedly after he heard the words of the Angel Jibreel telling him to "Recite!" Did he ask to be covered in a cloak namely because he was initially afraid of the Angel? Or was the angelic presence too bright for his mortal being? Or was this just the process by which he received revelation?

I am a neophyte when it comes to learning about Islam, but I earnestly desire to know more, but I apologize if this is a "duh" question. However, you guys have been extremely helpful so far regardless of my basic questions so I appreciate your help and your very kind community. Thank you very much!

  • What makes you think it's speaking of a "cloak" ? – user19208 Sep 23 '16 at 22:38
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The context

Source

The Arab nation consisted of various tribes, sundered by conflicts and enslaved by passions. Each tribe gloried in wars with its neighbour, capturing the women folk, killing the chieftains and pillaging the land. Greed inspired these perpetual battles. With the decay of belief went every sort of evil. So low did the Arabs' intelligence sink that they even made sugar idols and worshipped them, and ate them when they were hungry. In their helpless degradation they slew their girl children to be rid of the disgrace of them or to be free of the burden of keeping them alive. Chastity had no worth in their eyes, so far were they gone in moral turpitude. In a word, all the bonds of the social order in every people and community were slackened and dis­solved

But that wasn't the case of Muhammad peace be upon him, even before the revelation came to him.

Muhammad was reared among his cousins and the boys of the tribe, different only in his being orphaned of both parents and by the fact of a poverty that afflicted alike both ward and guardian. He had no tutor for his education, no teacher to care for his instruction. His contem­poraries had grown up in the days of ignorance and his companions were sworn idolaters...Nevertheless he grew into a fine character, both morally and mentally, so that he became known among the people of Mecca in his youth as Al-Amin, the trustworthy. Thus he had a Divine good-breeding, quite unusual among poor orphan...He came to a ripe maturity, nobly acknowledging the Divine unity among a people who were deprived and depraved and idolatrous. He was quiet among dissidents, of sound belief among the deluded, with an innate goodness among a people in ignorance, ill-discipline and delusion.

Who is the "Muddaththir" ?

From the context above, you can see how Muhammad, before the revelation was alone in the land of mischief and injustice and paganism. Being one of the few who rejected these and believed in the Oneness of a Higher Power. Beyond the stones that his fellows used to worship. He found his refuge in thinking and reflecting in the world and in the Oneness of the Higher Power that created Him, specially in the cave of Hiraa. It was no fairy tale.

Did God call Muhammad the muddathir as a state of being or a wearing ?

Muddaththir: root word: dvr


1 دَثَرَ دثار دثر , (T, S, M, K, &c.,) aor. دَثُرَ , (M, Msb,) inf. n. دُثُورٌ, (T, S, M, K, &c.,) said of a trace, or mark, of a house; or of what remains, cleaving to the ground, marking the place of a house; (S, Msb, K, TA;) or of a place of abode, (T, A,) &c.; (T;) or of a thing; (M;) It became covered with sand and dust blown over it by the wind: this is the primary signification: (TA:) or it became effaced, or obliterated, (T, S, M, A, K, TA,) by the blowing of the winds over it; (TA;) as also ↓ تداثر , (S,) or ↓ اندثر : (M, K:) and it became old; (M, K;) as also ↓ اندثر , (M,) or ↓ تداثر . (K.) By one of the poets it is metaphorically said of a man's reputation, meaning (tropical:) It became worn out of regard or notice; became effaced, or obliterated. (M, TA.) ― -b2- And, said of a man, (assumed tropical:) He became overcome by old age and emaciation. (T, TA.) ― -b3- Also, said of a garment, (T, K,) inf. n. as above, (T,) It became dirty. (T, K.) ― -b4- And, said of a sword, (T, A, K,) inf. n. as above, (A,) (tropical:) It became sullied from remaining long unfurbished; (A;) it became rusty.

Dathara definition, Hans


The Divine words & Final meaning.

93:3 Thy Sustainer has not forsaken thee, nor does He scorn thee

93:6 Has He not found thee an orphan, and given thee shelter?

93:7 And found thee lost on thy way, and guided thee?

74:1 O THOU [in thy solitude] enfolded! (The muddaththir)

74:2 Arise and warn! (Notice the "Arise", in opposite of "enfold", in the previous verse)

  • Translation: Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran) at quranix.org

I hope I clarified the issue and made the answer clear.

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"Did he ask to be covered in a cloak namely because he was initially afraid of the Angel?"

Short answer:

  • Yes

A little detailed answer:

  • At the beginning, people was believing that Allah is the creator of every creature, however they used to worship other Idols believing they intercedes for them to Allah.

  • prophet Muhammad was used to sit alone in a cave called "Hiraa" spending his time thinking and worshiping Allah without doing what people at that time used to do by praying to Idols because he was not convinced that those Idols can cause any benefit or harm to people.

  • That meaning is briefly mentioned in the Quran:

    And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path - The path of Allah , to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Unquestionably, to Allah do [all] matters evolve.`(42:52-53)

  • When Jibreel showed up unexpectedly and starting talking to prophet Muhammad he got afraid like any human being.

It's clearly mentioned in the Quran that prophet Muhammad just like ALL other prophets is only a human who can't do anything special without the will of Allah:

Say, "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone."` (18:110)

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