The instances of Arabic words from the root: raa, seen and laam (ر س ل) occur 512 times in the Quran in 8 derived forms having similar meanings according to their morphological and grammatical forms, and the relationship between risaalat meaning “message” and rasuul meaning “messenger” is very straightforward to understand while to reflect message being messenger is difficult for many of us when God is our concern; and He has chosen messenger from humans and angels to guide humanity in right direction. The detailed review of these instances may help us to eliminate traces of personality cult in His given religion and to interpret His instruction appropriately in the guidance sent down for us. However, these 512 instances can broadly be grouped into 3 forms to review each group separately: 130 as the verb, 341 as the noun and 41 as the participle form as shown in the table below:
Note: The above table is populated with data obtained from the corpus.quran.com while 1 instance of rasuul in the verse, 9:128 has not been included in the table as the two verses, 128 and 129 of Surah 9 (Bara`ah) do not belong to the Quran even though these two verses still exist in the standard edition of the Quran.
Instances of arsala
Out of 130 instances of arsala in the verb form meaning “to send”, 62 instances in 61 verses across 17 surahs in the Quran has already been reviewed while 68 instances in 66 verses across 30 surahs are reviewed below:
[22:52] And we have not sent before yourself (Muhammad) any messenger nor a prophet except that when he has recited (wa-maa arsalnaa min qablika min rasuulin wa-laa-nabiyyin illaa idhaa tamannaa), the devil has cast in his recitation, while God nullifies what the devil casts. Then God establishes His revelations, and God is Knower, Wise.
[23:23] And certainly, we have sent Noah to his people, while he said (wa-laqad arsalnaa nuuhan ilaa qawmihi fa-qaala): “O my people, worship God, you have no god other than Him. So will you not fear?”
[23:32] So we have sent a messenger to them from them that (fa-arsalnaa feehim rasuulan min’hum ani) you shall worship God: there is no god for you other than Him. Will you then not fear?
[23:44] Then we have sent our messengers in succession (thumma arsalnaa rusulanaa tat’raa). Every time there had come to a nation its messenger, they denied him. So we have made follow one of them to other, and we have made them stories. So away are a people who do not believe.
[23:45] Then we have sent Moses and his brother Aaron with our signs and a clear authority (thumma arsalnaa muusaa wa-akhaahu haaruuna bi-aayaatinaa wa-sul’taanin mubeenin).
[25:20] And we have not sent before yourself of those who have been sent except that they ate the food and walked in the markets (wa-maa arsalnaa qablaka min al-mursaleena illaa layakuluuna al-ta`aama wa-yamshuuna fee al-aswaaqi). And we have made some of you as a test for others, will you have patience? And your Lord is Seer.
[25:48] And He is the One who sends the winds is a good news from His mercy (wa-huwa alladhee arsala al-riyaaha bush’ran bayna yaday rahmatihi) as we sent down from the sky pure water (wa-arsalnaa min al-samaa-I maa’an tahuuran).
[25:56] And we have not sent you (Muhammad) except a bearer of good news and a warner (wa-maa arsalnaaka illaa mubashiran wa-nadheeran).
[26:13] “And my chest may become tight and my tongue may not be able to express well; so send to Aaron (fa-arsil ilaa haaruuna).”
[26:17] “That send the Children of Israel with us (an arsil ma’anaa banee is’raa-eela).”
[26:27] He (Pharaoh) said: “Indeed, your messenger who has been sent to you is surely a mad (inna rasuulakumu alladhee ur’sila ilaykum la’majnuunun)!”
[26:53] So Pharaoh sent gatherers in the cities (fa-arsala fir’`awnu fee al-madaa-i-ni haashireena).
[27:45] And certainly, we had sent to Thamud their brother Saleh that you shall worship God while they became two disputing groups (wa-laqad arsalnaa ilaa thamuuda akhaahum saalihan ani u`buduu allaha fa-idhaa hum fareeqaani).
[27:63] Who guides you in darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds is a good news from His mercy (wa-man ur’sila al-riyaaha bush’ran bayna yaday rahmatihi)? Is there any god with God? The Most High is God what they associate.
[28:34] “And my brother Aaron is more eloquent in speech than me. So send him with me a helper to strengthen me (fa-arsil’hu ma`iya rid’an yusaddiquni-i). Indeed, I fear that they will deny me.”
[28:47] And if it were not that a disaster strikes them for what their hands had sent forth when they would say: “Our Lord, why not You sent a messenger to us that we could follow Your revelations (rabbanaa lawlaa arsalta ilaynaa rasuulan fa-nattabi`a aayaatika) and we would be with the believers.”
[29:14] And certainly, we had sent Noah to his people (wa-laqad arsalnaa nuuhan ilaa qawmihi), so he stayed among them one thousand years less fifty years. Then the flood seized them as they were the wicked.
[29:40] As each (community) we seized with its sins, so is of them whom we sent upon it a violent storm (fa-min’hum man arsalnaa `alayhi haasiban), and of them whom the awful cry seized it, and of them whom we caused the earth to swallow it, and of them whom we drowned. And God was not to wrong them but they were to wrong themselves.
[30:46] And among His signs is that He sends the winds is a bearer of good news (wa-min aayaatihi an ur’sila al-riyaaha mubashiraatin), and that you may taste of His mercy, and that the ships may sail by His command, and that you may seek of His bounty; so that you may be thankful.
[30:47] And certainly, we have sent messengers to their people before yourself (Muhammad) (wa-laqad arsalnaa min qablika rusulan ilaa qawmihim), so they had come to them with the clear proofs, then we took revenge of those who had committed crimes while it has been an obligation upon us to be help of the believers.
[30:48] God is the One who sends the winds (allahu alladhee ur’silu al-riyaaha), so they raise clouds, then He spreads them in the sky how He wills and He breaks them into fragments, then you see the rain drops come forth from their midst. Then when He makes them fall on whomever He wills of His servants, they rejoice!
[30:51] And if we send a wind (wa-lain arsalnaa reehan), then they see it turn yellow, surely, they continue to disbelieve after it.
[33:9] O you who have believed, remember God’s favor upon you when soldiers attacked you, then we sent a wind upon them (fa-arsalnaa `alayhim reehan) and soldiers you could not see them. And God is Seer of what you do.
[33:45] O prophet, indeed, we have sent you (Muhammad) a witness, and a bearer of good news, and a warner (innaa arsalnaaka shaahidan wa-mubashiran wa-nadheeran).
[34:16] As they turned away, so we sent upon them the devastating water (fa-a`raduu fa-arsalnaa `alayhim sayla al-`arimi), and we substituted for them two gardens producing bitter fruits with their two gardens as well as tamarisks and something like a few lote trees.
[34:28] And we have not sent you (Muhammad) a good news and a warner except for all the people (wa-maa arsalnaaka illaa kaffatan lilnaasi basheeran wa-nadheeran) but most of the people do not know.
[34:34] And we did not send any warner to any town (wa-maa arsalnaa fee qaryatin min nadheerin) except its wealthy ones said: “Indeed, we are disbelievers in what you have been sent with (illaa qaala mut’rafuuhaa innaa bimaa ur’sil’tum bihi kaafiruuna).”
[34:44] And we had not given them any scriptures to study, nor did we send to them before yours any warner (wa-maa arsalnaa ilayhim qablaka min nadheerin).
[35:9] And God is the One who sends the winds (wal-lahu alladhee arsala al-riyaaha); as it raises a cloud so we drive it to a dead land, then we revive the land with it after its death. Such will be the resurrection.
[35:24] Indeed, we have sent you (Muhammad) a good news with the truth and a warner (innaa arsalnaaka bil-haqqi basheeran wa-nadheeran), and no nation had passed without a warner in it (wa-in min ummatin illaa khalaa feehaa nadheerun).
[36:14] When we sent to them two (idh arsalnaa ilayhimu ith’nayni), but they denied both of them. So we supported (them) with a third one, while they said, “Surely, we are those who have been sent to you (fa-qaaluu innaa ilaykum mur’saluuna).”
[37:72] And certainly, we had sent to them the warners (wa-laqad arsalnaa feehim mundheerina).
[37:147] And we sent him (Yunus) to a hundred thousand or more (wa-arsalnaahu ilaa mi’ati alfin aw yazeeduuna).
[39:42] God takes the souls at the time of their death and the one who does not die in their sleep. Then He keeps the one whom He has decreed the death and He sends the others for a specified term (wa-ur’silu al-ukh’raa ilaa ajalin musamman). Indeed, in that are signs for a people to think about.
[40:23] And certainly, we sent Moses with our signs and a clear authority (wa-laqad arsalnaa muusaa bi-aayaatinaa wa-sultaanin mubeenin).
[40:70] Those who had denied in the scripture and in what we had sent our messengers with it (alladheena kadhabuu bil-kitaabi wa-bimaa arsalnaa bihi rusulanaa) that they will know soon.
[40:78] And certainly, we have sent messengers before yourself (prophet) (wa-laqad arsalnaa rusulan min qablika). Of them there are whoever we have narrated through you (prophet), and of them there are whoever we do not narrate through you (prophet). And it has not been for any messenger that he comes with a sign except by God’s leave. So, when has come God’s command, it has been decided with the truth, and there has lost the falsifiers.
[41:14] When had come to them the messengers before themselves and after themselves that you do not worship except God. They said: “If our Lord had willed, surely, He would have sent down angels. So indeed, we are disbelievers of what you have been sent with it (fa-innaa bimaa ur’siltum bihi kaafiruuna).”
[41:16] So, we sent upon them a violent wind in the days of misfortune (fa-arsalnaa `alayhim reehan sarsaran fee ayyaamin nahisaatin) that we can make them taste the retribution of disgrace in the worldly life, and that the retribution of the Hereafter is more disgracing while they will not be helped.
[42:48] So if they turn away, then we did not send you (Muhammad) a guardian over them (fa-in a`raduu fa-maa arsalnaaka `alayhim hafeezan); on you (your responsibility) is not except the conveyance (in `alayka illaa al-balaaghu). And indeed, when we cause to taste the human being mercy from us, he rejoices in it, and if adversity afflicts them for what their hands have sent forth, then indeed, the human being is ungrateful.
[42:51] And it has not been for human that God would speak to him except inspiration, or from behind a barrier, or He sends a messenger is to reveal by His permission what He wills (aw ur’sila rasuulan fa-yuuhiya bi-idh’nihi maa yashaau). Indeed, He is Most High, Most Wise.
[43:6] And how many of a prophet we have sent to a people of the previous generations (wa-kam arsalnaa min nabiyyin fee al-awaleena)!
[43:23] And it is thus that we have not sent any warner to any town before yourself (prophet), except its leaders had said (wa-ka-dhaalika maa arsalnaa min qablika fee qaryatin min nadheerin illaa qaala mut’rafuuhaa): “Indeed, we have found our forefathers on being a community, and indeed, we are guided on their footsteps.”
[43:24] He said: “Even if have I come to you with a better guidance than what you found your forefathers on it (a-wa-lam ji’tukum bi-ahdaa mimma wajadttum `alayhi aabaa-akum?)” They said: “Indeed, we are disbelievers in what you have been sent with it.”
[43:45] And ask him who we sent from before yours of our messengers (wa-sal man arsalnaa min qablika min rusulinaa): “Did we make gods other than the Most Gracious to be worshiped?”
[43:46] And certainly, we sent Moses with our signs to Pharaoh and his leaders when he said (wa-laqad arsalnaa muusaa bi-aayaatinaa ilaa fir’`awna wa-mala-i-hi fa-qaala): “Indeed, I am a messenger of Lord of the worlds.”
[46:23] He (Huud) said: “The knowledge is only with God and I convey to you what I have been sent with it (wa-uballighukum maa ur’sil’tu bihi). But I see you are an ignorant people.”
[48:8] Indeed, we have sent you (Muhammad) a witness, a bearer of good news, and a warner (innaa arsalnaaka shaahidan wa-mubashiran wa-nadheeran).
[48:28] He is the One who sent His messenger with the guidance and the true religion that He would make it prevail over any of the religion (huwa alladhee arsala rasuulahu bil-hudaa wa-deeni bil-haqqi liyuz’hirahu `alaa al-deeni kullihi). And God suffices as a witness.
[51:32] They (angels) said: “Indeed, we have been sent to a criminal people (innaa ur’sil’naa ilaa qawmi mur’jimeena).”
[51:33] “That we will send upon them stones of clay (linur’sila `alayhim hijaaratan min teenin).”
[51:38] And to Moses when we sent him to Pharaoh with a clear authority (wa-fee muusaa idh arsalnaahu ilaa fir’`awna bi-sul’taanin).
[51:41] And to ‘Aad when we sent upon them the disastrous wind (wa-fee `aadin idh arsalnaa `alayhimu al-reeha al-`aqeema).
[54:19] Indeed, we sent upon them (`Aad) a violent wind on a day of continuous misfortune (innaa arsalnaa `alayhim reehan sarsaran fee yawmi nahsin mus’tamirrin).
[54:31] Indeed, we sent upon them (Thamud) a single blast that they became like harvested hay used for a fence builder (innaa arsalnaa `alayhim sayhatan waahidatan fa-kaanuu kahasheemi al-muh’taziri).
[54:34] Indeed, we sent upon them stone storm except for the family of Lot, we saved them at dawn (innaa arsalnaa `alayhim haasiban illaa aala luutin najjaynaahum bisaharin).
[55:35] There will be sent upon you both (human and jinn) a flame of fire and metal while you will not be able to defend yourselves (ur’salu `alaykumaa shuwaazin min naarin wa-nuhaasun fa-laa tantasiraani).
[57:25] Certainly, we sent our messengers with the clear proofs (laqad arsalnaa rusulanaa bil-bayyinaati) and we sent down with theirs the scripture and the balance is to establish the people with the justice (wa-anzalnaa ma`a’humu al-kitaabi wal-meezaana li’yaquuma al-naasu bil-qis’ti). And we sent down the iron in which there is substantial strength and benefits for the people and that God may distinguish those who support Him and His messengers in the seen as God is Powerful, Mighty.
[57:26] And indeed, we sent Noah and Abraham, and we made in their descendants prophethood and the scripture (wa-innaa arsalnaa nuuhan wa-ib’raaheema wa-ja`alnaa fee dhurriyyatihimaa al-nubuwata wal-kitaaba) while some of them were guided but most of them were disobedient.
[61:9] He is the One who sent His messenger with the guidance and the true religion that He would make it prevail over any of the religion (huwa alladhee arsala rasuulahu bil-hudaa wa-deeni bil-haqqi liyuz’hirahu `alaa al-deeni kullihi) although the idolaters dislike.
[67:17] Or have you been secure from the One in the heaven that He will not send upon you a violent storm (aw amintum man fee al-samaa-i an ur’sila `alaykum haasiban)? Then you will know how was My warning?
[71:1] Indeed, we have sent Noah to his people that (innaa arsalnaa nuuhan ilaa qawmihi an) “Warn your people from before that a painful retribution comes to them.”
[71:11] He sends upon you abundance of the sky (ur’sili al-samaa-a `alaykum mid’raaran).
[73:15] Indeed, we have sent a messenger to you a witness over you, as we sent a messenger to Pharaoh (innaa arsalnaa ilaykum rasuulan shahidan `alaykum kamaa arsalnaa ilaa fir`awna rasuulan).
[83:33] And they had not been sent over them as guardians (wa-maa ur’siluu `alayhim haafizeena).
[105:3] And He sent upon them flocks of birds (wa-arsala `alayhim tayran abaabeela).
Here is summary of 68 instances of arsala meaning “to send” in the verb form found in 66 verses in the Quran across 30 suras:
- God did not send any messenger nor a prophet without interference of the devil in his recitation while He perfects His revelations.
- He sent Noah to his people, said: “O my people, worship God, you have no god other than Him” and he stayed among them one thousand less fifty years but flood seized them being wicked.
- He sent a messenger to them from among them who declares that worship God and you have no god other than Him.
- He sent His messengers in succession but every time there came to a nation its messenger, they denied him, which has been made a history.
- He sent Moses and his brother Aaron with His signs and a clear authority to Pharaoh to bring the Children of Israel back.
- He sent those who have been sent are human being ate the food and walked in the markets.
- He sends the winds as good news from His mercy and as a means of pure water from the sky.
- He has not sent him (prophet) or any other messengers except a bearer of good news and a warner.
- Pharaoh said to the people that your messenger (Moses) is surely a mad man, and sent gatherers in the cities.
- He sent to Thamud their brother Saleh: they shall worship God but became two disputing groups.
- He sent upon `Aad a violent wind of continuous misfortune and Thamud a single blast to make them like harvested hay.
- He sent stone storm upon the people of Lot while He saved the family of Lot at dawn.
- He guides in darkness of the land and the sea while messengers are not guardians over people.
- He has sent the winds as good news and benefits from His mercy and as retribution from Him.
- God sends the winds to raise clouds to drive it to a dead land and revives the land with it after its death and such will be the resurrection on the promised day.
- When a disaster strikes them for what their hands had sent forth when they would say: “Our Lord, why not You sent a messenger to us to follow Your revelations to be with the believers.
- The punishment was sent upon every community when it was seized with its sins and God did not wrong them but they had wronged themselves.
- When the soldiers attacked the believers, God sent a wind and the invisible soldiers upon them.
- O prophet, we have sent you a witness, and a bearer of good news and a warner.
- We have sent you (prophet) a good news with the truth and a warner as no nation had passed without a warner in it.
- God takes the souls at the time of their death and in their sleep while He keeps the one who has been decreed the death and sends the others for a specified term.
- They would come to know who had denied with the scripture and with what had been sent with the messengers.
- No messenger comes with a sign except by God’s leave while some of them are mentioned to you (prophet) by name and some of them are not mentioned to you by name, sent before you.
- Their messengers came to them from among them said: “You shall not worship except God.”
- We have not sent you (prophet) a guardian over the people while your only responsibility is to deliver the message.
- It is not to human that God would speak to him except inspiration, or from behind a barrier, or He sends a messenger is to reveal by His permission what He wills.
- We did not send any warner to any town before, except its leaders said: “We found our forefathers following a cult and we are the followers on their footsteps.”
- He (warner) said: “What if I came to you with a better guidance than what you found with your forefathers”, then they said: “Indeed, we are disbelievers with what you have been sent with it.”
- We sent Noah and Abraham, and made in their descendants prophethood and the scripture while some of them were guided but most of them were disobedient.
- He sent His messenger with the guidance and the true religion to prevail it over any other religion.
- He sent His messengers with clear proofs and revealed with them the scripture and the balance to establish people with justice, and to ascertain who supports Him and His invisible messengers.
If we could reflect to the gist that God has sent His messengers with messages and has preferably indicated His messages as witnesses, good news and warners, we would realize misinterpretation of many verses in the Quran and traces of personality cult in our beliefs and practices.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.