What is the literal meaning of the phrase “opening of the chest” in the first verse of Surah Inshirah?
The literal meaning of the phrase “opening of the chest” is well known in the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). When he was a child and was being looked after by a wet nurse, Halima Saadiya, an incident occurred to him. While he was growing up, young Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) would tend the sheep and the goats which were owned by the family along with the other children of that family. On one occasion while he (ﷺ) was tending the goats an Angel came. The other children did not realise that it was an Angel. They just saw someone appear before them who put Muhammad (ﷺ) down on his back, opened up his chest, took out his heart, washed it and put it back in. The children looked at it as something strange and scary and ran back to their mother and informed her of the incident. When they came back to rescue Muhammad (ﷺ), they saw that he was okay. Halima and the others assumed it was just an imagination of the children. However, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) confirmed that this actually occurred to him when he was five years old. This incident is a part of the divine preparation of Muhammad (ﷺ) to carry the final message of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to mankind.< Back to Questions