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. The relationship between risaalat meaning “message” and rasuul meaning “messenger” is very straightforward to understand but to reflect message being messenger is difficult for many of us while God has chosen messenger from humans and angels to guide humanity in right direction. The detailed review of these instances may help us to eliminate any traces of personality cult in His given religion and misinterpretation of many verses in the guidance sent down for us.
However, these 512 instances are very critical to understand the duties of the messengers who are blessed with God’s messages can broadly be grouped into 3: 130 as the verb, 341 as the noun and 41 as the participle as shown in the table below to review each group separately to better understand the message coded in the relevant verses as well as to make distinction between the terms to avoid misinterpretation:
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 (Ultimatum) do not belong to the Quran even though these two verses are still found in the standard edition of Quran.
Thus, there are 7 instances of risālāt meaning messages and 3 instances of risālat meaning message, and 331 instances of rasūl meaning messenger occur in the Quran in the noun form having similar meaning are reviewed together to better understand both the terms being the root of personality cult in our religious faith and practices, even its presence found in the interpretation of many verses in the Quran to drive out us to different direction being satanic trick:
Instances of risālāt
There are 7 instances of risālāt meaning messages found in 7 verses across 3 surahs in the Quran are described below:
[7:62] “I (Noah) convey to you my Lord’s messages (risaalaati rabi-i) and advise to you, and I know from God what you do not know.”
[7:68] I (Noah) convey to you my Lord’s messages (risaalaati rabi-i) and I am a trustworthy advisor to you.
[7:93] Then he (Shuaib) had turned away from them, and said: “O my people, I have certainly conveyed my Lord’s messages (risaalaati rabbi-i) to you and have advised to you. So how could I grieve upon a people who are disbelievers?”
[7:144] He (God) said: “O Moses, indeed, I have chosen you for the people with My messages (bi-risaalaati) and with My words; so you shall take what I have given you and would be with the thankful ones.”
[33:39] Those who convey God’s messages (risaalaati allahi), and they fear Him and they do not fear anyone except God. And it has sufficed with God as Reckoner.
[72:23] “Except proclamation from God and His messages (wa-risaalaatihi), and whoever disobeys God and His messenger, then indeed, for him is fire of Hell as a dweller in it forever.”
[72:28] That He knows that certainly, they have conveyed their Lord’s messages (risaalaati rabbihum), and He has encompassed of what is with them and has counted number of all things.
Instances of risālat
There are 3 instances of risālat meaning message found in 3 verses across 3 surahs in the Quran are described below:
[5:67] O you the messenger, you shall convey what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not do, then you have not conveyed His message (fa-maa ballaghta risaalatahu). And God will protect you from the people. Indeed, God does not guide the disbelieving people.
[6:124] And when has come to them a proof, they said, “We will not believe until we are given like what has been given to God’s messengers.” God is best Knower of where He should place His message (haythu yaj’`alu risaalatahu). It will afflict those who have committed crimes – a humiliation from God and a severe punishment for what they have done to plot.
[7:79] So he (Saleh) turned away from them, and said: “My people, I have conveyed to you my Lord’s message (risaalata rabbi-i) and have advised you; but you do not like the advisers.”
Summary of instances of risaalaat and risaalat
- Noah conveyed God’s messages to his people as a trustworthy adviser and so did Shuaib, and said to his people how could I grieve upon a disbelieving people.
- God talked to Moses and gave him His messages (ten commandments that he would be with the thankful ones.
- They do not fear anyone other than God those who convey His messages. have delivered His messages and they did not fear anyone other than God.
- It has been a proclamation from God and His messages that whoever has disbelieved in God and His messenger would be in Hell as a dweller of it forever.
- God knows those who have conveyed His messages and has counted number of all things.
- He has made it a requirement for the messenger to convey His message while He will protect him for the disbelieving people.
- He knows best where to place His message being worthy of messengers while the disbelievers will be afflicted with a humiliation from Him and a severe punishment for committing crimes.
- Saleh turned away from the disbelieving people after conveying God’s message when they did not like the adviser.
Instances of rasūl
Out of 331 instances in the Quran, 33 instances in 26 verses across 2 suras are described below:
[2:87] And indeed, we have given Moses the scripture, and we have followed up with the messengers after him (wa-qaffaynaa min ba`dahi bil-rusuli). And we have given Jesus, son of Mary the clear proofs, and have supported him with the Holy Spirit. Is it that every time there has come to you a messenger (a-fa-kullamaa jaa-akum rasuulun) with what does not desire yourselves, you have been arrogant? So a party – you have denied, and a party – you kill.
[2:98] “Whoever has been an enemy to God and His Angels, and His messengers, and Gabriel, and Michael (man kaana `aduwwan allahi wa-malaa-i-katihi wa-rusulihi wa-jib’reela wa-meekaala); then indeed, God is an enemy to the disbelievers.”
[2:101] And when has come to them a messenger from God, confirming that which is with themselves (wa-lamma jaa-ahum rasuulun min `indi allahi musaddiqun limaa ma`ahum), has thrown a group of those who have been given the scripture, a scripture of God behind their backs as if they do not know.
[2:108] Or do you wish that you would ask your messenger as has been asked Moses before (aw tureeduuna an tasaluu rasuulakum kamaa su-ila muusaa min qablu)? And whoever would exchange the belief with the disbelief, then certainly, he has gone astray from an evenness of the path.
[2:129] “Our Lord; and raise up in them a messenger from them (rabbanaa wa-ib’`ath feehim rasuulan minhum) to recite to them Your revelations and to teach them the scripture and the wisdom and to purify them. Indeed, You are the Almighty, the Wise.”
[2:143] And thus that we have made you a middle nation that you would be witness over the people, and the messenger would be witness over you (wa-yakuuna al-rasuulu `alaykum shaheedan). And we have not made the direction of prayer that you have been on it except that we have made evident whoever follows the messenger from whoever turns back on his heels (man yattabi`u al-rasuula mimman yanqalibu `alaa `aqibayhi). And indeed, it has been surely a great (test) except for those whom God has guided. And God has not done that He should let go waste your faith. Indeed, Merciful God has Kindness for the people.
[2:151] As that we have sent a messenger among you from you (kamaa arsalnaa feekum rasuulan minkum) to recite our revelations to you, and to purify you, and to teach you the scripture and the wisdom, and to teach you what you would not know.
[2:214] Or do you think that you will enter the Paradise, while it does not come to you an example of those who have passed away before yourselves? It has touched them the adversity and the hardship and they have been shaken until say the messenger and those who had believed with him (hattaa yaquula al-rasuulu wa-alladheena `aamanuu ma`ahu): “When is God’s help?” Yes indeed, God’s help is near.
[2:253] That is of the messengers, we have preferred some over others (til’ka al-rusulu faddalnaa ba`dahum `alaa ba`din); of them to whom God has spoken, and He has raised some of them in rank, and we have given Jesus, son of Mary the clear proofs and we have supported him with the Holy Spirit. And if God had willed, those who of their after would not have fought after the proofs had come to them, but they had disputed, so of them whoever has believed and of them whoever has disbelieved. If God had willed, they would not have fought, but God does whatever He wishes.
[2:279] So if you do not do, then you shall be informed of a war from God and His messenger (fa-in lam taf`aluu fa-dhanuu biharbin minal allahi wa-rasuulihi); and if you have repented, then for you have back of your principal – you do not wrong nor will you be wronged.
[2:285] The messenger (al-rasuulu) has believed in what has been revealed to him from his Lord and the believers. Everyone has believed in God, and His angles, and His scriptures, and His messengers (rusuulihi) – we do not make distinction between any of His messengers (rusuulihi); and they said: “We have heard and have obeyed. Have Your forgiveness our Lord, and to You is the return.”
[3:32] Say: “You shall obey God and the messenger (atee`uu allaha wal-rasuula)”. So if they have turned away, then God does not like the disbelievers.
[3:49] And a messenger to Children of Israel (wa-rasuulan ilaa banee is’raa-eela): “Indeed, I (Jesus) have certainly come to you with a sign from your Lord that I can design like a form of the bird from the clay for you, then I blow into it when it would be a bird by God’s leave. And I can cure the blind and the leper, and can give life to the dead by God’s leave. And I can inform you of what you eat and what you store in your homes. Indeed, In that there is surely a sign for you if you have been believers.”
[3:53] “Our Lord, we have believed in what You have revealed and have followed the messenger (wa-ittaba`naa al-rasuula), so count us with the witnesses.”
[3:81] And when God has taken a covenant of the prophets: “Surely, what I have given you from scripture and wisdom, then has come to you a messenger confirming that which is with yourselves (thumma jaa-akum rasuulun musaddiqun limaa ma`akum). You must believe in him and must support him.” He (God) said: “Have you affirmed and taken My covenant on that?” They said: “We have affirmed.” He (God) said: “So, you shall bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.”
Note: A confirmation of a major covenant of God with the prophets that He will send a messenger upon delivery of all the scripture. All prophets and God Himself are made witnesses of this covenant so that we do believe in the messenger when the covenant is fulfilled. Here is a confirmation that the covenant has been placed in every scripture sent down to humanity for its guidance while the covenant is found in the Quran as mentioned in 33:7.
[3:86] How should God guide a people who have disbelieved after their belief, while they have witnessed that the messenger is truth (al-rasuula haqqun) and has come to them the clear proofs? And God does not guide the wicked people.
Note: Here there is a warning for those who have believed in the Quran but have disbelieved in the mathematical coding of it unveiled through the messenger mentioned in 3:81.
[3:101] And how can you disbelieve while is recited God’s revelations to you, and among you is His messenger (wa-feekum rasuulihi)? And whoever holds fast to God, then certainly, he has been guided to a straight path.
[3:132] And you shall obey God and the messenger (wa-atee`uu allaha wal-rasuula) that you may be given mercy.
[3:144] And Muhammad is not but a messenger (wa-maa muhammadun illaa rasuulun), certainly has passed the messengers before himself (qad khalat min qablihi al-rusulu). So if has he died or has he been killed, you have turned back on your heels? And whoever turns back on his heels, then he will not harm God in anything, while God will reward the grateful ones.
[3:153] When you ran while you did not look towards anyone, and the messenger called you from your behind (wal-rasuulu yad’`uukum fee ukh’raakum). So He had given you distress over distress that you do not grieve over what had escaped you, nor had what befallen you. And God is Cognizant of what you do.
[3:164] Certainly, God has bestowed favor upon the believers as He has raised a messenger among them from themselves (ba`atha feehim rasuulan min anfusihim) to recite His revelations to them, and to purify them, and to teach them the scripture and the wisdom, even though they have been before surely in far astray.
[3:172] Those who responded to God and the messenger (alladheena is’jaabuu lillahi wal-rasuuli) after what had befallen them the injury, there is a great reward for those who have done good among them and have feared God.
[3:179] God has not done that He leaves the believers on what you are on it until He distinguishes the evil from the good. And God has not done that He informs you of the unseen but God chooses of His messengers whomever He wills (wa-laakinna allaha yaj’tabi-i min rusuulihi man yashaa-u); so you shall believe in God and His messengers (fa-aaminuu billahi wa-rusulihi), and if you believe and fear, then for you there is a great reward.
[3:183] Those who said: “God has pledged to us that we should not believe in a messenger until he brings to us of a sacrifice consuming it the fire.” Say: “Certainly, has come to you messengers before myself with the clear proofs (qad jaa’akum rusulun min qabli-i bil-bayinaati) and with what you have mentioned. Then why have you killed them, if you have been truthful?”
[3:184] So if they have denied you (Muhammad), then certainly, has been denied messengers before yourself (faqad kudhiba rusulun min qablika), who had come with the clear signs, and the Psalms, and the enlightening scripture.
[3:194] “Our Lord, and give us what You have promised through Your messengers (wa-aatinaa maa wa-`adttanaa `alaa rusulika), and You do not disgrace us on a day of the Resurrection. Indeed, You do not break the promise.”
Summary of instances of rasuul
- God gave Moses the scripture while He had followed up with the messengers after him, and gave Jesus, son of Mary the clear proofs supported with the Holy Spirit, while a party had denied and a party had killed.
- Whoever is an enemy to God and His Angels, and His messengers, and Gabriel, and Michael, so is God to the disbelievers.
- When a messenger came to them from God, confirming what was with them, a group of those who were given the scripture threw away His scripture behind their backs as if they do not know it.
- If you they ask whatever had been asked to Moses, they exchange the belief with the disbelief, and have indeed strayed off from the right path.
- A messenger recites God’s revelations to the people to teach them the scripture and the wisdom and to purify them and to teach them what they do not know.
- Abraham prayed to his Lord to raise a messenger among his descendants to recite His revelations to teach them the scripture and wisdom and to purify them.
- The direction of prayer was to know whoever follows the messenger and whoever turns back on his heels, which has been a great test for those whom God has guided while He does not let go waste anyone’s faith.
- God has sent a messenger to us from us to recite His revelations to teach us the scripture and the wisdom, and to purify us and to teach us what we do not know.
- God would not allow anyone to enter Paradise until an example comes to them from the past when the adversity and hardship struck them, and they were shaken until the messenger and those who believed with him said: “When is God’s help?” Yes indeed, God’s help is certainly near.
- God has preferred some of them over others of them to whom God spoke, and He raised some of them in rank, and He gave Jesus the clear proofs and supported him with the Holy Spirit.
- A war from God and His messenger with those who do not observe Salat and refrain from the usury but if they repent, there is nothing wrong for them to back their money back.
- The believers obey God and obey His messengers and do not make a distinction between any of His messengers while those who turn away from them are the disbelievers.
- A messenger had come to children of Israel with a sign and it has been Jesus who could even give life to the dead, which was a sign for the believers.
- Those who have believed what is revealed to the messenger and have followed it prayed to their Lord to count them as witnesses.
- A confirmation of a major covenant of God with the prophets to send a messenger upon delivering all the scripture while all the prophets are made witnesses of the covenant, even God Himself is a Witness of it. Here there is also an indication that all prophets are messengers but all messengers are not prophets.
- God does not guide the disbelieving people who have witnessed the truth and the clear proofs came with the messenger while they have disbelieved after believing is the context when He has sent a messenger after the delivery of all the scripture given to prophets per covenant with His prophets.
- There is no way to disbelieve when God’s revelations are recited and the messenger among themselves while whoever holds fast to God has been guided to a straight path.
- God has made it clear that those who have obeyed Him and the messenger will receive mercy from Him.
- Muhammad was not but a messenger had passed the messenger before himself and those who turned away from the message given to him when he has not been among them will not harm God while He only rewards the grateful ones.
- God had given distress over distress the believers when they ran without looking towards and the messenger called them from their behind that they do not grieve over what had escaped them or what had befallen them.
- God had raised from them a messenger from themselves to recite His revelations in order to purify them as well as to teach them the scripture and the wisdom.
- Those who responded to God and the messenger after what had befallen them the injury – among them who have done good and have feared God there is a great reward.
- God does not let us know the future without choosing messengers whomever He wills among ourselves, so we must believe in God and His messengers, and those who believe and fear, for them there is great reward.
- Those who said that God has pledged to us not to believe in the messenger until he brings a sacrifice consuming it the fire, and certainly messengers came to them a clear proof and what they mentioned, them then they had killed them if they have truthful.
- People not only denied you (Muhammad) but also the messengers who had come before yourself with the clear signs, and the Psalms, and the enlightening scripture.
- Those who have believed in God and His messengers prayed to God to give them what He has promised through His messengers and not to disgrace them on a day of the Resurrection while God does break His promise.
Review of the above set of verses may help us to make a clear distinction between the closely related terms: risaalat, rasuul and mur’sal as well as their relationship while they are sometimes interchangeably used to avoid misinterpretation of certain verses in specific contexts. This review also sheds some light to make a distinction between the terms, rasuul and nabiy if we can reflect. God has made it a requirement for the people to believe in Him, and His messenger as well as His message making priority His message for all generations of people. Thus, those who have disbelieved will be punished while those who believe and follow His message to do the righteous deeds will receive a great reward from Him. He chooses rasuul meaning “messenger” and mursal meaning “sent one” to recite His revelations to people being bearer of good news for the believers and warner for the disbelievers, and if we can reflect that, we will focus on the message given to them to dedicate our praise and prayers to Him alone avoiding personality cult in our religion not to make us losers nullifying our all deeds.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.