In the midst of pagan Makkah, the final Prophet of Allah Ta’aala, Nabi Muhummud sallAllahu alayhi wasallam was born. Early in his life, his pure character shone, and by the age of 25 he wedded.
His spiritual calling then took him to the outskirts of Makkah, where he wished to make a month long Ibadat in solitude. As he approached a cave for this solitary worship, the mountain called out, Ya RasoolAllah, please alight. I fear that you may become Shaheed on my back. I fear that you may be martyred on me. -Tafseer Roohul Bayaan-
The mountain knew that soon an incident was to happen in Nabi’s sallAllahu alayhi wasallam life. An incident so powerful that a mountain could crumble.
Another mountain, Jablun Noor called out ilayya Ya Rasool, ilayya Ya Rasool. Come to me Oh Rasool. Come to me Oh Messenger. -Tafseer Roohul Bayaan-
Many centuries before, Nabi Moosa alayhis Salaam requested to see Allah Ta’aala , to which Allah Ta’aala said that he could not see Him, however he saw a magnificent Noor which razed the mountain near him. A ray from this Noor formed the Cave of Hira in Jablun Noor. -Mawahibul Ladunya- Thus we find that whilst the other mountain declined to host RasoolAllah sallAllahu Alayhi wasallam , the Cave of Hira welcomed him, for it had the spiritual stamina to host him, his Ibadat and the historic incidents that followed.
Each year RasoolAllah sallAllahu Alayhi wasallam would carry some food with him and spend a month in solitary Ibadat. From the cave of Hira, he had a clear view of the Ka’aba. Looking at the Ka’aba pleased him, and it constituted part of his Ibadat.
At the age of forty, during one of his month long ‘Ibadat-in-solitude’ retreats, the Angel Jibreel alayhis Salaam came to him with the first revelation of the Quran from Allah Ta’aala. This marked a turning point in Man’s history. The next 23 years saw Islam establish the Ibadat of Allah Ta’aala in it’s pristine form.
The revelation of the Quran occurred during the month of Ramadhaan, whilst the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wasallam was in solitary Ibadat, eating little and worshipping much. Each year, during the month of Ramadhaan, Muslims change their lifestyle, so that they too eat little and worship much during this month. During the last ten days of the month, Muslims also take to ‘Ibadat-in-Solitude,’ known as I’tikaaf. In this way they commemorate emulate the spirit in which Prophet Muhummud sallAllahu Alayhi wasallam received the first revelation of the Quran.