The Qur'an is, for Muslims, the literal word of God "sent down" from the Heavens on to the "heart" of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in “plain Arabic speech” by the “True Spirit” i.e. the Angel Gabriel (Qur’an 26:193-195). Although eternally preserved in the Protected Tablet (Qur’an 85:21-22), it was revealed piecemeal over a period of twenty three years (Qur’an 25:32 and 17:106), as its absolute and infinite origin, in a conspicuously dialectic manner, must address human issues and developments, and particularly those that transpired during the course of the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) mission in Arabia.
It was the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) habit to seclude himself in a cave months at a time reflecting on the troubles of his society and its petty polytheism. The revelation of the Qur’an began in the Cave of Hira in the Mountain of Light when the Angel Gabriel visited the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during one of these private moments of seclusion and related to him the words of God which became imprinted on his heart (Sahih al-Bukhari). The revelations arrived gradually addressing the spiritual, individual, familial, societal and political problems of his new community. The ordering of the revelations into a Book was undertaken under the direction of the Prophet (peace be upon him), completed upon his death. The Book is Islam, complemented only by the example of the bringer of the message, Muhammad (peace be upon him).