Straight from the Heavens
Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad was the last of the prophets, as the Koran clearly states. Prophet Muhammad didn't know he was a messenger of Allah until his unexpected encounter with Angel Gabriel. Muhammad was in his forties at the time of the encounter, which marked the first revelation of the Koran.
According to the Koran, Allah gave direct instructions to Angel Gabriel, assigning him as the carrier of the words sent down to Prophet Muhammad. Angel Gabriel flew down from the Heavens to Muhammad on various occasions, delivering divine instructions that shaped the Sunnah, and divine words composing the Holy Book. Muslims completely believe that the words that make up the Koran were bestowed upon Muhammad and that they are the actual, literal spoken words of Allah.
Yet, what was revealed that first night was merely a flash—nothing more than a few words. The remainder of the Koran was revealed to Muhammad over the following twenty-three years. Before his death, Prophet Muhammad presented his people with the complete text in the same form that it is in today. (More on this story is found in Chapters 2 and 3.)