The Second Era of Revelation
After the initial revelation of verses in the cave of Heera, the revelation of the Qur'an was suspended for a time. Allah (SWT) in His wisdom decided to stop the revelation for a limited time so that after the appearance of the Angel in the cave responsibility upon Rasulullah (SM) of him having become prophet and messenger of Allah (SWT) should sink into his mind properly and so that the preparedness and capability should be properly instilled in his mind, so that the new responsibility should not remain foreign to him. This suspension ofrevelation is called the period of 'fatrat' of revelation.
However after the initial distress caused by revelation, there came a period of ease and calm and the spiritual effects of it was so pleasurable that Rasulullah (SM) found it difficult to be without it and this time the loss of it caused him greater distress and unrest. At various times the Angel Jibreal (A) appeared to encourage him towards patience and calm and to re-assure him that the office of prophethood and messengorship has become connected to him and that the suspension of revelation is merely temporary. Only then did e ecome restful in waiting for resumption of revelation.
After that revelation was resumed and the first verses of Surah Muddaththir were revealed:
"O you who are wrapped up (in a mantle).
Arise and deliver your warning!
And magnify your Lord
And keep your garments free from any stain!
And shan all abominations
Nor expect in giving any increase (for yourself)
But for your Lord’s (Cause) be patient and constant." (74:1-7)
In these verses the object of man's life has been completed. In the first verses of Surah al-'Alaq it was indicated that man requires correct knowledge for him to become a true human being. Without man is nothing. Here it is stated that in spite of the great position of correct knowledge, man's position will not reach the required heights, until such time that with that correct knowledge, there is added correct actions and deeds. For if knowledge is correct but correct deeds are missing, it is not of much use and benefits are lost therefore for his proper guidance both must be present. Then man will be able to reach to the rank of a proper human being.
In other words just as in Surah Al-'Alaq there is an indication of the need for beneficial knowledge, there is in Surah Muddaththir an indication towards beneficial deeds. These verses gives an exhortation towards recognition of Allah's Lordship, towards internal and external cleanliness, towards unstained character, towards steadfastness upon righteouness, and towards acceptance of truth and towards pious deeds and patience. These are the things which should be mixed with correct knowledge. Further this verse also indicated to Rasulullah that this was going to be the responsibility expected of him in his new office as a messenger and in the near future will be the first priority of his divine mission.