In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.
1. Alif, Lam, Meem.
2. This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guide for the righteous.
3. Those who believe in the unseen, and perform the prayers, and give from what We have provided for them.
4. And those who believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, and are certain of the Hereafter.
5. These are upon guidance from their Lord. These are the successful.
6. As for those who disbelieve-it is the same for them, whether you have warned them, or have not warned them-they do not believe.
7. God has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. They will have a severe torment.
8. Among the people are those who say, “We believe in God and in the Last Day,” but they are not believers.
9. They seek to deceive God and those who believe, but they deceive none but themselves, though they are not aware.
10. In their hearts is sickness, and God has increased their sickness. They will have a painful punishment because of their denial.
This is the first message from Archangel Gabriel to Muhammad. “Alif Lam Meem” is the opening of the communication, nobody knows this meaning, but it is at the beginning of each Sura. It is said that an Angel came to visit Muhammad giving him these messages and gave him a book that he had Muhammad read even when he was illiterate and could not. With God all things are possible.
I imagine Muhammad sitting in a cave, contemplating what has gone wrong with his fellow people of Mecca! Why so many gods and rituals that cause so much bloodshed and confusion in wars. Why so much suffering and torment on this earth at this time? I can envision Muhammad opening up to the messages and taken aback in pure shock at the sheer justice and mercy found in these words as he received them.
Muhammad must have felt like kneeling down and crying in relief as I do when I just read these words, I can’t imagine how it was to be in the presence of such divine love and justice. When I first read the Quran, I had tears in my eyes as it answered so many of my questions and fears.
Here Muhammad is being told that there has been a great deception on earth in religion, and it is time to try to end it through another human messenger. Islam is here to restore the broken system of religion. The people who take these words to heart have chosen by their own Free Will, or their hearts have been open to God always. The ones who can not see the truth in the Quran are already blinded by lower emotions like hate, greed, envy, and have not yet been able to see the truth revealed to them. Allah/God has made them even blinder in their decision to mock and avoid these words that are about to be given.
So this is Arch Angel Gabriel telling Muhammad this will be a very tough journey for him, but he has a duty to help humanity, and in the End of the world, all justice will be had for the evil people who mocked and laughed at the ideas found in this text.
The way I see it, is that if you purposely avoid the messages of God, your heart has not been in the right place of seeking Him out in the first place, and God knows only the pure of heart will believe in these words given, at this time in history when pagan Arab tribes ruled over Arabia.
An ancient Persian artist’s rendition of Muhammad talking to Gabriel in the cave