I know that Quran was revealed to the prophet but in what form and which form was more common over the other(if there were more than one forms). Were these different forms suited to the occasion about which a verse would be revealed? I am aware of a few types like

  • Gabriel will come to the prophet in a human form
  • the prophet would write it down at night (it was revealed)
  • the prophet would use a blanket and would shake heavily when Quran was revealed
  • It was a dream may be?

Can someone answer this in the context of Quran and Hadith? In short, "What were the different forms of revelation, and which form was more common, were different forms used in different occasions or situations?"

  • @ashes999, I think this question should be in one piece but it is is solid information for any one including a Muslim and non Muslim.
    – muslim1
    Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 10:09
  • @ashes999 this is not hypothetical question. As as Muslim we have the right to ask how Quran was revealed. If for some reason there is no reference or it has never been recorded, it is not really my fault. It is essential to Islam belief to know how Quran was revealed.
    – muslim1
    Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 20:58

3 Answers 3


عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّ الْحَارِثَ بْنَ هِشَامٍ، سَأَلَ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَيْفَ يَأْتِيكَ الْوَحْىُ قَالَ ‏"‏ كُلُّ ذَاكَ يَأْتِي الْمَلَكُ أَحْيَانًا فِي مِثْلِ صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ، فَيَفْصِمُ عَنِّي وَقَدْ وَعَيْتُ مَا قَالَ، وَهْوَ أَشَدُّهُ عَلَىَّ، وَيَتَمَثَّلُ لِي الْمَلَكُ أَحْيَانًا رَجُلاً، فَيُكَلِّمُنِي فَأَعِي مَا يَقُولُ ‏"‏‏

Narrated Aisha: Al Harith bin Hisham asked the Prophet, "How does the divine inspiration come to you?" He replied, "In all these ways: The Angel sometimes comes to me with a voice which resembles the sound of a ringing bell, and when this state abandons me, I remember what the Angel has said, and this type of Divine Inspiration is the hardest on me; and sometimes the Angel comes to me in the shape of a man and talks to me, and I understand and remember what he says." [Sahih al-Bukhari:3215]

‏A'isha added:

" وَلَقَدْ رَأَيْتُهُ يَنْزِلُ عَلَيْهِ فِي الْيَوْمِ الشَّدِيدِ الْبَرْدِ فَيُفْصِمُ عَنْهُ وَإِنَّ جَبِينَهُ لَيَتَفَصَّدُ عَرَقًا"

‏"I saw it coming down on him on an intensely cold day, and when it had left him his forehead was dripping with sweat."

[Muwatta Malik]

This hadith shows us how to Gabriel contact with Prophet peace be upon him to inform him of God's revelation to him whether the quran or not quran, which is two things:

1- The first case:

Gabriel remain to his spiritual situation, and connected with the messenger peace be upon him, and the Prophet then hear introductions arrival in like the ringing of a bell, because who around him knew situation of the revelation from the situation that the prophet suffered when is received.

Then after the separation of the revelation from the Prophet peace be upon him and his return to its normal state, reads to his companions what he received from the Koran by Gabriel ..

2- The second case:

including Previous hadeeth: It turns Gabriel from his case property to the human form, and comes to the Messenger of Allah and spoke to him as normal human speak.

Here's another hadeeth shows this case

* After talking about the ways of the revelation .. This verse from the Qur'an shows and restrict ways to the talk of God with human ...

"وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّـهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِن وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًا فَيُوحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاءُ إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ"

It is not given to man that God should speak to him except by suggestion or indirectly, or send a messenger to convey by His command whatsoever He please. He is all-high and all-wise. [Ash-Shura:51]

It mentioned three ways (with in mind that you want to speak telling):

  • By revelation: This includes inspiration even for non-prophets, and true dreams ..

  • Or indirectly: The intended to talk God to prophets without mediation, words they hear and do not see speakers, as happened to Moses when sent, which is in phase, and Mohammed (peace be upon him) when ascended to heaven (Mi'raj)

  • Or send a messenger: This applies to the descent of Gabriel to the Prophet peace be upon him in the two previous cases ..


The Prophet (May Allah's blessings and peace be upon Him) used to receive revelation in two ways:

  1. Revelation comes to him like the ringing of a bell
  2. Jibreel (Peace be upon Him) comes to Him with revelation in the form of a human being.


So these are the two ways the Prophet (May Allah's blessings and peace be upon Him), the first one was the hardest on Him (May Allah's blessings and peace be upon Him). The starting of revelation was in the form of True Dreams, for the Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon Him) when He saw a dream it came tue like the breaking of daylight. Source

There are three ways in which Allah talks to us:

  1. Through Revelation, either through a dream or inspiration.
  2. From behind a veil, like how Allah spoke to Musa (peace be upon Him).
  3. Or by sending a messenger, either Jibreel (peace be upon Him) or another angel.



•True visions

•Angel Jibrael cast into the prophet's heart invisibly

•Angel came like a toll of the bell

•Allah himself reveal to the prophet (pbuh) through a veil

  • Thanks for your contribution, please learn more about how our site works through the tour. Please support your answer with sources, especially since this person asked for references in Quran and Hadith. Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 20:30

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