Prophet Muhammad’s Meditation
It is known from historical accounts that before his prophetic illumination, the last Divine Messenger, Prophet Muhammad used to go to spiritual seclusions and extended retreats of meditation into Mouth Hira near Mecca. It is during one of such meditation retreats (in the holy month of Ramadan) in a defining moment of extra-cosmic enlightenment, Divine revelations started to reveal to him. The well-preserved collection of such Divine revelations later came to be known as Quran which literally means recitation because the Prophet following the inspirations, used to recite it to others including his companions.
Now, interestingly nobody surely knows about the exact method of meditation that Prophet Muhammad used in his very personal experience in Mount Hira. The aspect of meditation and its teaching was most probably passed down to very inner circle of elect companions such as Ali, Abu Bakr, Fatima etc. who are known for their more evolved and higher spiritual station. The validation of the previous statement can be derived from the historical fact that holy companions like Ali, Abu Bakr were able to reach elevated levels of intense concentration and super-conscious stages during their formal prayers, which signifies that they were taught the science of concentration (which basically meditation is).
Now Sufis or Muslim mystics preserved the tradition of meditation unlike the orthodox schools of Islam. Different Sufi groups have their different method of meditations transmitted from Prophet to his different elect companions. Prophet’s meditation was and still is one of my most fascinating area of interest. Once in a conference I had the courage to ask Shaykh Hisham Muhammad Kabbani, the current spiritual master of distinguished Naqshbandi Order, whether the methods of Prophet’s meditative experiences, specially in Hira mountain cave are recorded. The Shaykh replied, “nobody knows except Allah”.