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Message vs. Messenger

Many of us are not clear on the concept of the message and the messenger, and are confused whether they should focus on the message or the messenger, and the human figure becomes the central point in our religion being a satanic trick as the Satan is always active to make us losers acting like a best friend of us. We may have already learned that Satan being a temporary god on earth (2:30) has hired many learned people of religion to move forward his agenda: “I will possess all his descendants, except a few” (17:62) while God has respited Satan ensuring an equitable requital for Satan as well as his followers (17:63):
[2:30] Recall that your Lord said to the angels, “I am placing a representative (a temporary god) on Earth.” They said, “Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?” He said, “I know what you do not know.”
[17:62] He (Satan) said, “Since You have honored him (Adam) over me, if You respite me till the Day of Resurrection, I will possess all his descendants, except a few.”
[17:63] He (God) said, “Then go; you and those who follow you will end up in Hell as your requital; an equitable requital.

Note: All the above statements took place in the High Society before the descent of the human being on earth. Our awareness and attention may help many of us to avoid an equitable requital NOT being allies of Satan or just being with the majority (Ummah).

God sends down angels with His message to guide the humanity (16:2) according to His promise at the time of our descent from Heaven to earth and His promise is repeated twice in the Quran (2:38, 20:123). We also see in the promise that He would be the only source of guidance for the humanity to lead to the right direction. As such, He chooses messengers and prophets among us to deliver the message to guide the believers in the straight path (7:35) and has confirmed us that this is the case from the past that will continue until the end of the world (17:77):
[16:2] He sends down the angels with the Spirit (Gabriel) with His commands, to whomever He chooses from among His servants that you shall warn that there is no other god beside Me. Therefore, you shall reverence Me.”
Note: Many messengers but only one message to worship Him alone has been confirmed. The double negative is used to affirm the crucial statement “Laa-Elaha Ella Anaa”

[2:38] We said, “Go down there from, all of you. When guidance comes to you from Me, those who follow My guidance will have no fear, nor will they grieve. [20:123].
Note: God has used first person singular number in His promise, i.e., ‘Me’ and ‘My guidance’ to confirm that He is the only the source of guidance or message while angels are sent down with His message and commands.

[7:35] O Children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[17:77] This has been consistently the case with all the messengers that we sent before you, and you will find that our system never changes.

Note: This statement can be verified from the mention of Messenger of Covenant in (3:81 & 33:7) to confirm delivery of all scriptures and of Zul Qarnain just before the end of the world for assigning Zul Qarnain messenger-like duty to protect the believers from two corruptors of earth, Gog and Magog in the Quran (18:83, 18:86 & 18:94) after Muhammad.

There are many messengers but only one message to worship God alone while God sent down each scripture having appropriate details for each community. However, the Quran, the final testament has been sent down to guide the most advanced community from the time of prophet Muhammad to the end of the world containing clear instructions for us whether we should make focus on the message or the messenger, the human being that are detailed out below to confirm:

1. The Quran is the message of prophet Muhammad (21:10), and the messenger has no duty except delivering the message (5:99, 42:48) directs focus on the message:
[21:10] We have sent down to you a scripture containing your message. Do you not understand?
[5:99] The messenger has NO function EXCEPT delivery of the message….
[42:48] …You have NO duty EXCEPT delivering the message….

Note: The key role of the messenger is to deliver the message which has been confirmed with the double negative in the Arabic text to emphasize the focus on the message.

2. The message is recited (18:27, 29:45 ), followed (6:50, 6:106, 7:3) and preached (3:79, 6:51 & 16:2) by the messenger as revealed to him means the focus is on the message:
[18:27] You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord’s scripture. Nothing shall abrogate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it.
[29:45] You shall recite what is revealed to you of the scripture, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), for the Contact Prayers prohibit evil and vice. But the remembrance of God(through Salat) is the most important objective. God knows everything you do.
[6:50] Say, “I (Muhammad) do not say to you that I possess the treasures of God. Nor do I know the future. Nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I simply follow what is revealed to me.” Say, “Is the blind the same as the seer? Do you not reflect?”
[6:106] You shall follow what is revealed to you (Muhammad) from your Lord, there is no god except He, and disregard the idol worshipers.
[7:3] You shall all follow what is revealed to you from your Lord; do not follow any idols besides Him. Rarely do you take heed.
[3:79] Never would a human being whom God blessed with the scripture and prophethood say to the people, “Idolize me beside God.” Instead, (he would say), “Devote yourselves absolutely to your Lord alone,” according to the scripture you preach and the teachings you learn.
[6:51] And preach with this (Quran) to those who reverence the summoning before their Lord – they have none beside Him as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor – that they may attain salvation.
[16:2] He sends down the angels with the Spirit (Gabriel) with His commands, to whomever He chooses from among His servants: “You shall warn that there is no other god beside Me; You shall reverence Me.”

3. The believers reflect on the message before accepting the messenger indicates the focus on the message (7:75):
[7:75] The arrogant leaders among his people said to the common people who believed, “How do you know that Sãleh is sent by his Lord?” They said, “The message he brought has made us believers.”

4. There are many straightforward verses in the Quran that directly indicate focus on the message. The scripture – the Quran was revealed in order to lead the people out of darkness into light which means the focus is directly on the message:
[14:1] A.L.R. A scripture that we revealed to you, in order to lead the people out of darkness into the light – in accordance with the will of their Lord – to the path of the Almighty, the Praiseworthy.
[5:49] You shall rule among them in accordance with God’s revelations to you. Do not follow their wishes, and beware lest they divert you from some of God’s revelations to you. If they turn away, then know that God wills to punish them for some of their sins. Indeed, many people are wicked.
[6:50] Say, “I do not say to you that I possess the treasures of God. Nor do I know the future. Nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I simply follow what is revealed to me.” Say, “Is the blind the same as the seer? Do you not reflect?”

5. God has ordered us to “Obey God and Obey or follow the messenger” more than 25 times in the Quran but NOT a single time He has ordered us to “Obey God and Obey Muhammad”. The order to obey the messenger means to follow the message that is given to him, the Quran. So to obey the messenger is conditional on having the message that he has, is the Quran. Since Muhammad without the Quran is just another human being like us, God wants it to be very clear to obey the person that has the message, the Quran, for what he has, not for who he is (64:12 & 7:157-158):
[64:12] You shall obey God and you shall obey the messenger. If you turn away, then the sole mission of our messenger is to deliver the message.
[7:157] Those who follow the gentile the messenger prophet (Muhammad), whom they find written in their Torah and Gospel exhorts them to be righteous, enjoins them from evil, allows for them all good food, and prohibits that which is bad, and unloads the burdens and the shackles imposed upon them. Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow the light that came with him are the successful ones.
[7:158] Say, “O people, I am God’s messenger to all of you. To Him belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no god except He. He controls life and death.” Therefore, you shall believe in God and His gentile messenger prophet, who believes in God and His words. Follow him, that you may be guided.

6. There are also many verses in the Quran that are intricate but indicate the focus on the message:
[11:1] A.L.R. This is a scripture whose verses have been perfected, then elucidated. It comes from a Most Wise, Most Cognizant.
[11:2] Proclaiming: “You shall not worship except GOD. I come to you from Him as a warner, as well as a bearer of good news.
[11:3] “You shall seek your Lord’s forgiveness, then repent to Him. He will then bless you generously for a predetermined period, and bestow His grace upon those who deserve it. If you turn away, then I fear for you the retribution of an awesome day.”

Note: The opening statement (11:1) refers to the Quran consisting of perfected and well explained verses that has come to us from a Most Wise, Most Cognizant as a warner and a bearer of good news, and we can use it for our forgiveness being repented to God to avoid the retribution on Day of Judgment. So the later statements like “I have come to you from Him” or “I fear for you” refer to the messenger, the message instead of referring to the messenger, the human being.

[27:1] T. S. These (letters) constitute proofs of the Quran; a profound scripture.
[27:2] A guidance, and good news, for the believers.

Note: The letters T. S. are proofs of the Quran which is the message from God as guidance and good news for the believers. Since God has informed us that the scripture guides and brings good news the believers, the statement is as same as the order to follow the messenger.

[32:1] A. L. M.
[32:2] The book is, without a doubt, a revelation from the Lord of the universe.
[32:3] They said, “He fabricated it.” Indeed, this is the truth from your Lord, to warn people who never received a warner before you, that they may be guided.

Note: The letters, A.L.M. are proofs of the Quran that it is infallible and the truth from God. He has also ensured that it is not a fabrication of a human being who is blessed with prophethood. Since it is the revelation from God as a warner and guidance, such statement is same as the order to obey the messenger.

[34:6] It is evident to those who are blessed with knowledge that this revelation from your Lord to you is the truth, and that it guides to the path of the Almighty, the Most Praiseworthy.
Note: This revelation is from God, which is the truth from Him. Since this revelation (message) guides the people in the straight path, such statement is as same as the order to obey the messenger.
[42:52] Thus, we inspired to you a revelation proclaiming our commandments. You had no idea about the scripture, or faith. Yet, we made this a beacon to guide whomever we choose from among our servants. Surely, you guide in a straight path.

Note: The messenger, the human being who has been inspired with the scripture had no idea about it to guide the people in a straight path according to God’s will. Hence, the statement like “you guide in a straight path” is as same as the order to obey the messenger because of the message what has been inspired with.

7. God sent down the Quran through the Gabriel (2:97, 17:106 & 26:193).from the original master tablet preserved at Him (85:21-22). He has promised to preserve and protect the revealed Quran from any distortion as well (15:9, 41:42), and has provided with a method for us to verify the accuracy of the Quran (74:30 – 35). All these information without any doubt indicate that we must focus on the message (Quran), and we cannot link any of these facts to the messenger, the human being:
[85:21-22] Indeed, it is a glorious Quran. In a preserved master tablet.

[26:193] The Honest Spirit (Gabriel) came down with it.
[17:106] We have released the Quran in pieces, in order for you to read it to the people over a period of time, and it was sent down gradually.
[2:97] Say, “Anyone who opposes Gabriel should know that he has brought down this(Quran) into your heart, in accordance with God’s will, confirming previous scriptures, and providing guidance and good news for the believers.”

[15:9] Absolutely, we have revealed the reminder, and, absolutely, we will preserve it.
[41:42] No falsehood could enter it, in the past or in the future; a revelation from a Most Wise, Praiseworthy.

[74:30] Over it is nineteen
[74:31] And we made the angels to be guardians of Hell, and we did not make their number except: (1) to warn the disbelievers, (2) to make certain for those who were given the scripture, (3) to strengthen the faith of those who believe, and (4) to eliminate any doubt from those who were given the scripture and the believers. Those who have disease in their hearts as well as the disbelievers would say, “What did God mean by this allegory?” Thus, God misguides whomever he wills and He guides whomever He wills. None knows your Lord’s soldiers except He. And it is but a reminder for the humans.
[74:32-34] Absolutely, (I swear) by the moon, the night as it passes and the morning as it shines.
[74:35-37] This is certainly, one of the great (signs). A warning to the human race. Someone among you who wishes to advance, or regress.

8. God has called the Quran “Rasool” in many occasions to confirm the message to be the messenger to eliminate any confusion from our hearts. But it is a regret that these verses are misinterpreted to make most of us a figure worshiper under the disguise of prophet’s sayings and sunnah. However, let us confirm the meaning of the word “Rasool” with respect to the message and the messenger from Him who has sent down the message (Quran) to guide, warn and bring the believers out of darkness into light, and has also chosen the messenger among the people to do the same job:
[5:15] O people of the scripture, our messenger(rasoolunaa in Arabic) has come to you to proclaim for you many things you have concealed in the scripture, and to pardon many other transgressions you have committed. A beacon has come to you from GOD, and a profound scripture.
Note: The Jews and Christians are told to follow the messenger sent down from God as guidance informing what has been concealed in the previous scripture. The last part of the verse has clarified what has come to us is guidance. Hence, our messenger as mentioned in the above verse without any doubt is a profound scripture – the message (Quran) that has come to us in the oral form from God as guidance through the Gabriel.In addition, the messenger, the human being was not aware of what has been concealed as he was gentile (62:2). The word, gentile is translated from the Arabic word, “ummy” which means who do not know the previous scripture, is defined in (2:78).

[65:10] GOD has prepared for them severe retribution. Therefore, you shall reverence GOD, O you who possess intelligence and believed. GOD has sent down to you a message (dhikran in Arabic)-
[65:11] a messenger (rasoolan in Arabic) who recites to you GOD’s revelations, clearly, to lead those who believe and work righteousness out of the darkness into the light. Anyone who believes in GOD and leads a righteous life, He will admit him into gardens with flowing streams; they abide therein forever. GOD will generously reward him.

Note: The above verses are very straightforward as we know that the messenger has been chosen among the people while the message has been sent down. So the messenger here is the message (Quran) that recites God’s revelations to the people to lead them out of darkness into light until the end of the world as the final message from God.

9. When God teaches us to implore Him for His blessing as promised through His messengers, He informs us to make focus on the message instead of the messenger to be successful on the Day of Judgment:
[3:194] “Our Lord, shower us with the blessings You promised us through Your messengers, and do not forsake us on the Day of Resurrection. You never break a promise.”
10. Prophet had a direct contact with many contemporary people as well as the believers when the Quran was revealed to him. Hence, the order for them to follow the message (Quran) that we find in the following verse. But none can find any logic to interpret it to be an order from God for the contemporary believers or the believers of subsequent generations to follow his sayings or how he had led his family life:
[3:31] Proclaim: “If you love God, you should follow me.” God will then love you, and forgive your sins. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
Note: There should not be any doubt that this order from God for the believers to follow the prophet for the message what has been sent down to him i.e., the Quran when he had a direct contact with the people as well as for the believers of the subsequent generations when he is no more among them. Hence, the order for us now to follow the message (Quran) what he left for us.

11. Messengers are chosen by God from us to deliver His message. Thus, He teaches us how we should respect them for successful delivery of His message as long as they lived with us i.e., for the contemporary believers (49:1-4):
[49:1] O you who believe, do not place your opinion above that of God and His messenger. You shall reverence God. God is Hearer, Omniscient.
Note: Since the messenger delivered the God’s message and he strictly followed His commands, the believers should not have any opinion and plan other than God and His messenger.

[49:2] O you who believe, do not raise your voices above the voice of the prophet, nor shall you shout at him as you shout at each other, lest your works become nullified while you do not perceive.
[49:3] Surely, those who lower their voices at the messenger of God are the oneswhose hearts are prepared by God to become righteous. They have deserved forgiveness and a great recompense.

Note: Obviously, they could not possibly raise their voices above the prophet’s voice. In addition, respecting the prophet helps outsiders and visitors in coming to God’s message.
[49:4] As for those who call on you from outside the walls, most of them do not understand.
Note: As the prophet was a fatherly figure among the believers, it was not befitting for them to call him from the other side of the wall.

12. Prophet had to face strong opposition to deliver God’s message and he required both physical and financial support for spreading God’s message. As such, God ordered the contemporary believers to help and support him and to respect him as he should be respected that we find in (33:56). But there is no command for the believers to send blessings (Durut) for him at his lifetime or after his death as claimed. Hence, the order for us now is to follow the message (Quran) what he left for us:
[33:56] God and His angels help and support the prophet. O you who believe, you shall help and support (salloo) him (alayhi), and regard him as he should be regarded.
Note: The order in the above verse is the root of idolizing Muhammad while the order is only for the contemporary believers to support the prophet as well as to respect him as he should be respected at his lifetime. We know that he had to face strong opposition to deliver the God’s message, even he had to emigrate from Mecca to Medina and had to fight many battles in his lifetime. As such, both physical and financial support was required in spreading of God’s message. History indicates that many early Muslims including his first wife Khadija and her sons (prophet’s step sons), Abu Bakr, Omar and Ali et al are mention-worthy who supported him for the sake of Islam.

We also know that Muhammad was a messenger of God as well as a prophet but he has been consistently referred to prophet in about three dozen of verses in the Quran during his life not after his death. Hence, the interpretation of the Arabic word, “Salloo” to “send blessings” for the prophet instead of “help and support” is obviously a misinterpretation. However, when he is not among us we can respect him just to follow the message (Quran) that he left for us.

In conclusion, the key role of the messenger is to deliver the message as received from God through the Gabriel. When God has ordered us to follow the message we are clear what we need to do but when we have been ordered to obey the messenger or to follow the messenger we are confused. The Satan took this opportunity and diverted most of us to think and interpret it to follow the messenger as a person who has been chosen to deliver the message to make us idol worshippers. Since God is aware that we would be in such a situation, He has used the Arabic word “Rasoolan” that means both the message and the messenger to make His order very clear for us. Thus, He has focused on the message (Quran) to be the messenger in many instances in the Quran to strengthen our beliefs to remove any traces of doubts from our hearts to protect us from idol worshiping. In fact, the role of the messenger is as same as the role of the message being guidance, warner, reminder, bearer of good news, mercy and healing of the people for bringing the believers out of darkness into light as both are inseparable. When the messenger, the human being is dead, the message becomes the true messenger. However, the prophet was a leader and a commander-in-chief. He had dealt with war plans, captives and the distribution of war spoils as he had to fight many battles. As such, It was required for the contemporary believers to carry out his plans and commands to support the prophet to maintain discipline among the believers as well as to make success of his plans for the spreading of God’s message against strong opposition. Now those who reverence God should not have any confusion to follow the true messenger- the message (Quran) will reflecton its verses which come to us for understanding, accepting and following its message (19:64) to avoid an equitable requital NOT being the followers of Satan as well as his incumbents hired for moving his agenda forward:
[19:64] We do not come down except by the command of your Lord. To Him belong our past, our future, and everything between them. Your Lord is never forgetful.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (9/4/2015)