The second incident of the opening of the chest of Prophet (ﷺ) – (Tafseer of Surah Inshirah)

What was the other incident of the opening of the chest of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)?

The Prophet ’s (ﷺ) chest was opened twice during his lifetime. The Qur’an mentions neither of the two incidents, rather we find their references in the Hadeeths (statements and actions of the Prophet recorded by his companions). The Prophet (ﷺ) explained to us that the second time when his chest was opened was during the year of sorrow when he  lost his beloved wife Khadijah (رضى الله عنها) and his uncle Abu Talib who protected him and raised him as a child. The Prophet (ﷺ) had spent more time with his uncle than his own father who died even before he was born. The Angel opened his chest and poured into his heart the "strengthening of the faith".  Also, the Prophet  was taken up into the heavens and this also strengthened his faith further as it was a difficult phase of his life. His beloved uncle died without accepting Islam. Though he knew the veracity of the message, he rejected the message due to pride. This hurt the Prophet  a lot but Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) informs the Prophet (ﷺ) and the believers,‏

“You cannot guide whom you love but  Allah guide whom He wishes..." [1]

It means if a person accepts Islam, as much as they may want their wife or husband to accept Islam, no matter how they try simply because they love their spouse, there is no assurance that they will be guided. They will only be guided if they seek guidance. Only then does Allah guide them. The ascension was a form of sympathetic, kind and divine gesture to relieve some of the burden from the Prophet (ﷺ). During the ascension the Prophet (ﷺ) did not meet Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) or see Him, but Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) spoke to him directly. This was the one occasion during his Prophethood that revelation came to him directly from Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) without any intermediary. Normally Angel Jibril would have been the intermediary but on this occasion there was no intermediary. Direct revelation was the main way that Prophet Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ)received revelation whereas for the other Prophets the main way that revelation came was through the agency of Angel Jibril.


[1] [Qur’an 28:56]

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