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Waraqah ibn Nawfal

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Waraqah ibn Nawfal, Waraqah ibn Nawfal ibn Assad ibn Abd al-Uzza ibn Qusayy Al-Qurashi (Arabic ورقه بن نوفل بن أسد بن عبد العزّى بن قصي القرشي died circa 610) was the parental cousin of Khadija, Muhammad's first wife.


Waraqah was a "Christian" Ebionites priest[1] living in Mecca, and had knowledge of the previous scriptures. When told of Muhammad's first revelation (when he received the first five verses of surat Al-Alaq), he immediately recognised him as a prophet.[2]

According to hadith, Al-Haakim reported with a saheeh (authentic) isnad from Aisha that Muhammad said, "Do not slander Waraqah ibn Nawfal for I have seen that he will have one or two gardens in Paradise."[3]

Waraqah according to the Sira

According to the Sirah Rasul Allah, the traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad, which speak highly of Waraqah, he was a pious and knowledgeable person who had knowledge of the previous prophetic scriptures such of that of Jesus. He recognized the signs of prophethood soon after Muhammad received the first of the revelations. Some Muslims regard this as a specific fulfillment of Isaiah 29:11-18.

During the reception of the first revelation, Muhammad was distressed at seeing the vision of an angel. He was consoled by Khadija who took him to Waraqah, who then told Muhammad that the angel he had seen, Gabriel, was the same one God had sent to Moses. Waraqah also told Muhammad that - as had happened to the previous prophets - his people would drive him out into exile, and that (if he lived long enough, for he was old) he would support Muhammad in the cause. However, Waraqah died a few days after this meeting.


  1. Ibn Hisham, The Life of Muhammad, 3rd ed., vol. 1, pt. 2, p. 73.
  2. Reading What Really Happened Up There?
  3. Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 6/1534, no. 7197

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