Did Waraqa Ibn Nawfal Teach The Prophet?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Waraqa is one of the four men who left the pagan faith of Mecca as mentioned in this article in search for the Hanifite roots ( the religion of Abraham(P)) and returned as a Christian. Even he was claimed to be the source of the Qur’ân. Some missionaries depended on hadîths narrated in Sahih al-Bukhârî:
Narrated ‘Aisha(R): Volume 4, Book 55, Number 605:
“..The Prophet returned to Khadija while his heart was beating rapidly. She took him to Waraqa bin Naufal who was a Christian convert and used to read the Gospel in Arabic Waraqa asked (the Prophet), “What do you see?” When he told him, Waraqa said, “That is the same angel whom Allah sent to the Prophet) Moses. Should I live till you receive the Divine Message, I will support you strongly.”
The other hadîth is:
Narrated ‘Aisha(R): Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3
Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin ‘Abdul ‘Uzza, who, during the pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight.
Khadija said to Waraqa, “Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!” Waraqa asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” Allah’s Apostle described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, “This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.” Allah’s Apostle asked, “Will they drive me out?”
Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, “Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqa died.
Waraqa was an old man and died shortly after Muhammad(P) had received the revelation of the Qur’ân; as clearly can be read from the above hadîth. While the revelation of the Qur’ân continued for more than twenty years after the death of Waraqah bin Nawfal, the Prophet(P) was receiving the revelation in different places and even while he was among his Companions.
Also, he was answering direct questions raised later by the Jews in Madinah. In addition, the Jews and the disbelievers of Mecca would be very pleased if they knew for sure that there was a knowledgeable person who was teaching Muhammad(P) the Qur’ân.
And finally Waraqa himself announced in all of the hadîths reported in Sahih al-Bukhârî that he would support Muhammad(P) strongly if he lived long enough:
“Should I live till you receive the Divine Message, I will support you strongly.”
“if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.”
It is not surprising to see that when these points are brought together, Christian missionaries start to take refuge in the excuses that Waraqa was a heretic or on whose authority he said that he would support Muhammad’s(P) prophethood?
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