In Arabic, wahy means to inform secretly. It is used consecutively in religious vocabulary to indicate: the fact that Allah – tells the one whom He has elected among His servants of what He wants to make known to Him in terms of guidance and knowledge, and this, in a secret way, unfamiliar to humans.
Thus, the linguistic meaning includes the inspiration due to the natural disposition (fitrah) in the man. We find this in His Word – Exalted be He -: “And We inspired the mother of Moses [this]: ‘Breastfeed it'” And We inspired the mother of Musa (Moses), (saying): “Suckle him [Musa (Moses)], but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily! We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of (Our) Messengers.“. [28:7]
In the same way, does this meaning encompass the innate inspiration of animals, as in His Exalted Word Be It: ” And your Lord inspired the bee, saying: “Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. ” [16:68]
As for the divine inspiration – or revelation – to the Prophets, it aims to inform them of the Divine Instructions. This is a similar phenomenon for all of them because its origin is the same and its purpose is unique. Therefore, the revelation was defined as “Secret teaching from Allah for the Prophets peace be upon them.” Allah said, ” Verily, We have inspired you (O Muhammad SAW) as We inspired Nuh (Noah) and the Prophets after him; We (also) inspired Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya’qub (Jacob)], ‘Iesa (Jesus), Ayub (Job), Yunus (Jonah), Harun (Aaron), and Sulaiman (Solomon), and to Dawud (David) We gave the Zabur (Psalms). And Messengers We have mentioned to you before, and Messengers We have not mentioned to you, – and to Musa (Moses) Allah spoke directly. “[4:163-164]
The forms of revelation
In one verse, the Noble Qur’an has indicated three forms that revelation can take.
The first: projecting meaning into the heart of a Prophet peace be upon him.
The second: speaking to a Prophet from behind a veil, as Allah called Moses from behind the tree, and the latter heard His Call.
The third: the sending of an angel to a Prophet to transmit to him what he has been instructed to communicate. This form is the most common of all. All the revelation of the Quran is of this form called wahy jaliyy (clear and manifest revelation).
Allah said: “ It is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him unless (it be) by Inspiration, or from behind a veil, or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His Leave. Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise. “[42:51] And He said, Glorified be He: ”
Which the trustworthy Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] has brought down;
Upon your heart (O Muhammad SAW) that you may be (one) of the warners, [26:193-194].