Interview

Angels and Revelations of the Future in the birth, life and death of the Prophet Muhammad

This lecture by Dr Stephen Burge explores aspects of the supernatural in Prophet Mohammed’s life, using material found in the biographies of the Prophet and in the hadithinfo-icon Literature. Dr Burge argues that the presence of angels and the supernatural form an important spiritual element within the narratives of the events in the Prophet’s life. He illustrates this using examples of events surrounding his conception and birth, the narrative of the first revelation on mount Hira, the Prophet’s night journey (isra’) and ascent (the mi‘iraj), and the stories about the Prophet’s death. These narratives highlight the Prophet’s interaction with the angelic world, showing the closeness of the divine and human worlds throughout his life.

More broadly, Dr Burge invites the audience to appreciate the significance of angels and revelation in the Prophet’s life from a religious and spiritual perspective, arguing that these phenomena are better understood as part of ‘Holy’ or ‘Salvation’ history, Heilsgeschichte, as opposed to the factual and political history of the world, Weltgeschichte - presenting examples of similar events from the Judeo-Christian traditions.