God’s communication with humans is not as clear as it should be to many of us except that He sends messengers and prophets from time to time to guide humanity in the right direction while His communication with His creations other than the human and the Jinn is a mystery to us. However, He has designed the universe with seven heavens and the same number of earths. He has created what is in the heaven and what is in the earth as well as what is in between. He has established means and ways to communicate with His all creations to receive knowledge from Him so that they can recognize Him as their Lord as well as to remember and worship Him, and to obey His commands and laws to be thankful to Him being obedient to Him.
Divine communication methods with humans
[6:103] None of the visions can encompass Him, but He encompasses the visions. He is the Compassionate, the Cognizant.
[42:51] And it has not been for a human that God would speak to him except inspiration, or from behind a barrier, or He sends a messenger that he reveals by His permission what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High, Most Wise.
Hence, God has not given us strength and vision to see Him, even He does not talk to people directly but He has established three methods to reach His chosen individuals through which humans receive knowledge from Him to find their right way to remember and worship Him to be grateful to Him:
Inspiration is not a word which is heard by the person but the message or the idea that enters the heart of anyone of God’s chosen individuals. Thus, this method is an opportunity for all of us to have an idea or guidance from Him to establish appropriate beliefs in our hearts to be His allies and to practice His religion to stay in the straight path to be the winners in the Hereafter. There are many references of this method in the Quran but below is the summary from referring to the instances of “awhaa” in the Quran to have an explicit definition of inspiration as a method of communication of God with His chosen ones:
- God inspired the disciples of Jesus to believe in Him and His messenger, who believed and bore witness that they were submitters.
- He inspired to Muhammad to follow what was revealed to Him as well as there is no god except He turning away from the idol worshipers.
- He inspired to Joseph to inform of the matter related to him but his brothers did not know it when they took him and agreed to put him at the bottom of the well.
- He inspired to Moses to throw down his staff that swallowed what the magicians fabricated.
- He inspired Moses and his brother to settle in Egypt with their people and to make their houses a place of worship to establish the Contact Prayer.
- He has inspired the bee to make their houses in the mountains and trees as well as to build their product therein.
- He inspired Moses’ mother to cast him in the river and returned him to his mother.
- He inspired to Noah to build the ship and put into it two from each pair and his family except those upon whom the punishment of drowning was due.
- He inspired to Moses to travel by night with his people and to strike the sea with his staff to make a dry path in the sea to drown Pharaoh and his people but save the people of Moses.
- He inspired to the descendants of Abraham to do the righteous works as well as to establish the Contact Prayer, to give the Obligatory Charity, and they were the worshipers of God.
- He inspired to Muhammad to the religion of Abraham who was not an idol worshiper.
- He inspired to Muhammad to say that he was a human being like others and there is only One god and none should associate partners with Him in the worship to do righteous works.
- He inspired to Muhammad to say that I am a human being like you and he shall take a straight path to His Lord and ask His forgiveness.
- He created the seven heavens in two days and inspired to each heaven its matter.
- He inspired to Muhammad and decreed for him the religion what was enjoined for Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
- He took Muhammad by night and inspired to His servant the Quran in the farthest place nearby the eternal Paradise.
Here is at a glance of the mathematical confirmation with the instances of “awhaa” and “wah” that refer to inspire and inspiration found in 37 instances in 34 verses across 22 suras of the Quran to make accurate difference of inspiration from revelation being same the Arabic word.
Note: This mathematical confirmation is an explicit proof to understand that the inspiration is a revelation but the revelation is not an inspiration, and we can cite an analogy to better understand it that all prophets are messengers while all messengers are not prophets.
It is noteworthy that God’s inspiration is guidance required for everyone whom He wills to go to the straight path to become winners while the satanic inspiration is misguidance to go to the wrong path to become losers. Thus, God has warned us about satanic inspiration mentioned in the instances of “awhaa” in 6:93, 6:112 and 6:121 to avoid such inspiration that should be taken very seriously to stay in the straight path being aware of the difference between divine and satanic inspiration:
- Someone who says that God has inspired to him anything while He has not inspired anything to him will suffer the severest punishment even starting at the moment of his death.
- God has permitted the enemies of every prophet, the devils from the human and the Jinn to inspire fancy words in order to deceive us, and He wants us to disregard them as well as what they fabricate.
- He has made a requirement for us to mention His name when we eat something but the devils inspire to their allies to argue about what is lawful and what is unlawful to eat to make them idol worshipers.
(2) Speaking to from behind a barrier
What we know from the Quran that God speaks to His chosen even though human has no vision to see Him and this conversion takes place from behind a barrier. In this method of communication the word is heard by the person spoken to but the person does not see God. However, it is a historical event that God spoke to Moses when he came to an appointment with God at Mount Sinai has reflected in the following verses of the Quran:
[4:164] Messengers we have told you about, and messengers we never told you about. And God spoke to Moses directly.
[7:143] When Moses came at our appointment, and his Lord spoke with him, he said, “My Lord, let me look upon You.” He said, “You cannot see Me. Look at the mountain; if it stays in its place, then you can see Me.” Then, his Lord manifested Himself to the mountain, and He made it to crumble. Moses fell unconscious. When he returned to normal, he said, “Glory be to You. I repent to You, and I am the first of those who believe.”
[7:144] He said, “O Moses, I have chosen you, out of all the people, with My messages and by speaking to you. Therefore, take what I have given you and be appreciative.”
[20:11] When he (Moses) came to it, he was called, “O, Moses.
[20:12] I am your Lord; take off your sandals. You are in the sacred valley of Tuwa.
[27:9] O Moses, this is Me, God, the Almighty, Most Wise.”
[27:10] “Throw down your staff.” When he saw it moving like a demon, he turned around and fled. “O Moses, do not be afraid. My messengers shall not fear.”
[2:55] And when you (Children of Israel)) said, “O Moses, we will not believe in you (Moses) unless we see God, physically.” Then the lightning struck you while you were just looking.
[2:56] Then we revived you from after your death so that you may be appreciative.
(3) Revelation (mediated by the angels)
Revelation what we usually mean God’s word which is delivered to His chosen individuals mediated by the angels. The message sent from God through the message bearing angels including archangel, the Gabriel is delivered to His chosen individuals. This method is well known to us as the prophets and messengers usually receive their messages from God to share them with their contemporaries while certain things may also be inspired to them as well to support them to stay in the right path for the successful delivery of their messages. It is used to guide humanity in the right direction from time to time for its deviation and disgrace. There are many references of this method in the Quran but below is the summary from referring to the instances of “awhaa” in the Quran to have an explicit definition of revelation as a method of communication of God with His chosen ones:
- We reveal to you (Muhammad) from the past that you were not present when a raffle was drawn to take the guardianship of Mary.
- We have revealed to you (Muhammad) what we revealed to Noah and the prophets after him while He has given David the Psalms.
- God is a witness between me (Muhammad) and you that the Quran was revealed to me to warn contemporary people as well as whomever reaches it. You (idol worshipers) testify that there are other gods with God but I (Muhammad) testify that there is only One God being free from associating what you do.
- I (Muhammad) do not possess the treasures of God nor do I know the unseen nor do I say to you that I am an angel rather I do not follow except what is revealed to me.
- I (Muhammad) do not see in what is revealed to me forbidden to eat except: (1) dead, or (2) free blood, or (3) the meat of pig due to its contamination, or (4) blasphemously dedicated to other than God. But there is no disobedience or transgression for him whoever is forced because of hunger.
- I (Muhammad) only follow what is revealed to me from my Lord. This is enlightenment from my Lord, and guidance and mercy to a people who believe.
- Those who do not believe in the Hereafter nor expect to meet their Lord asked him (Muhammad) to bring something other than the Quran while he was said to let them know that it is not for me (Muhammad) that I can change it (Quran) of my own but I only follow what is revealed to me.
- The disbelievers ignored of what is revealed to you (Muhammad) saying that we would believe if either the treasures or the angels are sent with you while you are only a warner.
- It was revealed to Noah that none of your people will believe except those who have already believed.
- That is the news from the past that we revealed to you (Muhammad) while neither you nor your people knew before this Quran. So be patient and the end is good for the righteous.
- We narrated the best history in what is revealed to you (Muhammad) even though you were unaware.
- We reveal to you (Muhammad) from the past the story of Joseph’s brothers when you were not with them that they planned and plotted to cast Joseph into the well.
- We have not sent before you (Muhammad) except men, we revealed to them from the people of the different communities, and if you traveled in the earth you will see the consequences of those who were heedless to what was revealed to them.
- You (Muhammad) shall recite what is revealed to you to those who disbelieve in the Most Gracious to let them know that He is my Lord and there is no other god besides Him and I put my trust on Him and to Him is my return.
- They (the idol worshipers) almost diverted you (Muhammad) from which we revealed to you to fabricate something to consider you their friend. Then we would take away from you that we revealed to you and you would not find any protector against us.
- You (Muhammad) shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord’s scripture and none can change His words.
- When Zachariah came out from the prayer house, he conveyed to his family to glorify God morning and evening for a good news of a son.
- We have revealed to you (Moses and Aaron) that the retribution will be upon him who denies and turn away.
- We did not send before you (Muhammad) except men, we revealed to them and ask the people of the reminder to be sure about it.
- You (Muhammad) shall recite what is revealed to you of the scripture, and observe the Contact Prayer as the Contact Prayer prevents from vice and evil deeds but the remembrance of God through it is the greatest.
- We have revealed to you (Muhammad) of the scripture is the truth confirming what was before it.
- It has been revealed to you (Muhammad) and to those before you and if you associate partners, your all works will be nullified and you will be with losers.
- We have revealed to you an Arabic Quran to warn the people of the central town and whoever around it about the Day of Gathering when a party will be in Paradise and a party will be in Hell.
- God does not speak to humans except inspiration nor from behind a barrier while He reveals what He wills by sending messenger.
- You (Muhammad) shall hold fast to that which is revealed to you to be on a straight path.
- I (Muhammad) am not an exception from other messengers, and I do not know what will be done with me or with you, and I only follow what is revealed to me and I am a clear warner.
- It is not but an inspiration what was revealed in the ultimate point.
- A group of Jinns heard a wonderful Quran which has been revealed to me (Muhammad).
- Do not hasten with the Quran before its revelation is completed to you (Muhammad) say that my (Muhammad) Lord, increase my knowledge.
- I (Muhammad) have warned the people with the revelation given to me but they do not hear the call behaving like a deaf.
God uses three methods to communicate with humans so that they can receive knowledge from Him. The first one is the inspiration which is not a word which is heard but the message or the idea that can enter the heart of the chosen individuals. The second one is the word heard by the person spoken to but from behind a barrier. The third one is the revelation sent from God through His angels to deliver particular messages to His chosen individuals, which is a basis of guiding humanity in the right direction because of its deviation and disgrace.
Inspiration is an idea or guidance from God that enters the hearts of His allies to render them righteousness. It is the basis of finding the right path for all of us to establish appropriate beliefs in our hearts as well as to practice His religion to stay in the straight path to be the winners in the Hereafter. There are many references of inspiration while Inspiration of disciples of Jesus to believe in God and His messenger, Inspiration of Moses to make a dry path in the sea to save his people, inspiration of Muhammad to worship One god turning away from the idol worshipers, to say he is a human being like us and not to associate partners with Him, to follow the religion of Abraham as well as inspiration of Quran to him at the ultimate point are mention-worthy.
Speaking to from behind a barrier is a historical event as God spoke to Moses when he came to an appointment with Him at Mount Sinai. He inspired to him certain things as well as He revealed to him certain things at this appointment.
God sent His angels with His particular messages to certain chosen individuals including Virgin Mary and Zachariah to give them news of a son. There are many references of revelation with His chosen ones centering the instances of “awhaa” especially focusing on what is revealed to Muhammad. However, if we can understand that religion has been inspired to Muhammad while Quran has been both inspired and revealed to him, we can avoid many misconceptions around us.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.