METHODS OF WAHY (REVELATION) TO NABI SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM.
Wahy was sent down to Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam through different means…
1. Sound of ringing bells
The first method was that He used to hear a sound similar to the ringing of bells. Since the narration mentions only this much, we cannot say with certainty in what sense this kind of Wahy has been similar to the sound of bells. However, some scholars think that it was the voices of angels while some others think that it was the flutter of its wings while bringing down the Wahy. Allamah Khattabi Rahimahulla is of the opinion that the similarity does not relate to the tune of the sound but its continuity. Just as the sound of a ringing bell is continuous and it does not break, the sound of Wahy (revelation) was also continuous.
2. Angel coming in human disguise
Another method of Wahy was that the angel used to appear in a human form and convey the message. In such a situation, generally Jibraeel Alaihis Salaam came in the form of the renowned companion of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, Dihyah Kalbi Radiyallahu Anhu. Allamah Ainy Rahimahulla states that the selection of Dihyah Kalbi Radiyallahu Anhu was probably because he was the most handsome person of his time. He was so handsome that he used to wrap a cloth around his face when coming out. However, In a narration of Umar Radiyallahu Anhu, It is mentioned that sometimes Jibraeel Alaihis Salaam came in other appearances too.
3. Angel coming in his original form
The third method of Wahy was that Jibraeel Alaihis Salaam came in his original appearance but this happened only three times in the life of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. First, when he himself wished to see the angel in his original form. Secondly, at the time of ascension (Miraaaj) of the Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam to the heavens, and the third time in the very early days in Makkah. The first two sightings are authentic but the last one is doubtful.
4. True dreams
The fourth method of Wahy was that Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam used to have dreams before the revelation of the Quraan had started. Whatever he saw in a dream happened in exactly the same manner when he awoke. Also, when a hypocrite of Madinah had performed a spell on him, it was in his dream that he was informed of it and also informed of the method of breaking the spell.
5. Discourse with Allah
Like Musa Alaihis Salaam, Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam also had the privilege of direct discourse wth Allah Ta’aala. While awake this happened only on the night of ascension (Miraaj). Apart from this he once had a direct talk with Allah in a dream.
6. Inspiration in the heart
The sixth method of Wahy was that, without appearing before him in any shape, Jibraeel Alaihis Salaam used to inspire something in the heart of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. In one narration Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam is reported to have said: “The Holy spirit (Jibraeel Alaihis Salaam) inspired this in my heart” And the words of the narration of Mustadrak – Haakim are: “Jibraeel Alaihis Salaam infused in my heart that none of you would depart from this world until he has earned all his sustenance.”
“An Approach to the Quranic Sciences” (Summarised)
~Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani~