A review of 512 instances of arsala meaning “to send” in the verb form, risaalat meaning “message” in the noun form, rasuul meaning “messenger” in the noun form and mursal meaning “the sent one” in the participle form found in more than 400 verses in the Quran are summarized below supporting with the vital verses:
There are messengers from angels and humans
It is one of the God’s established methods to communicate with humanity by sending the angel messengers to the human messengers (42:51) and also to other persons who are not messengers but have been chosen for a specific purpose (19:19). The human messengers are sent in succession (23:44) to recite His revelations to the people of their respective eras:
[42:51] And it has not been for a 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. Indeed, He is High, Wise.
[22:75] God chooses messengers from the angels and from the humans. Indeed, God is Hearer, Seer.
[2:98] Whoever has been enemy for God and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael; then indeed, God is enemy for the disbelievers.”
[17:94] And what has prevented the people that they do not believe when has come to them the guidance, except they said: “Has God sent a human messenger?”
[17:95] Say: “If there had been in the earth angels would walk being secure; surely, we would have sent down to them an angel messenger from the heaven.”
[14:11] It has said to them their messengers, “We are not except a human like yourselves, but God blesses whomever He wills among His servants. And it has not been for us that we can bring of an authority except by God’s permission. And upon God that he should put trust of the believers.”
[25:20] And we have not sent before yours of those who have been sent except that they ate the food and walked in the markets. And we have made some of you as a test for others, will you have patience? And your Lord is Seer.
[13:38] And certainly, we have sent messengers from before yours and have made for them wives and offspring. And it was not for a messenger that he comes with any sign except by God’s leave. For every time it is a decree.
[19:19] He (angel) said: “Indeed, I am a messenger of your Lord that I am giving for you (Mary) (a news of) a pure son.”
Messengers are bearers of witness, good news and warner for the people
God has clarified for us in the Quran to make our appropriate reflection as well as to avoid any confusion that He has sent messengers with the truth as bearers of witness, good news and warner for the people, and those who believe and reform them have no fear nor will they grieve:
[4:165] Messengers are bearers of good news and warners that there will not have any excuse for the people with God after the messengers, and God is the wise Almighty.
[6:48] And we did not send those who are sent except bearers of good news and warners. So whoever believed and reformed, then there is no fear for them nor will they grieve.
[17:105] And with the truth we have revealed it (Quran) and with the truth it has descended. And we have not sent you (Muhammad) except a bearer of good news and a warner.
[18:56] And we do not send those who have been sent except bearers of good news and warners. And those who disbelieved argue with the falsehood to disapprove the truth with it. And they took My revelations and what they have been warned as mockery!
[25:56] And we have not sent you (Muhammad) except a bearer of good news and a warner.
[33:45] O prophet, indeed, we have sent you (Muhammad) a witness, and a bearer of good news, and a warner.
[34:28] And we have not sent you (Muhammad) a good news and a warner except for all the people but most of the people do not know.
[34:34] And we have not sent a warner in any town except its wealthy ones said: “Indeed, we are disbelievers in what you have been sent with it.”
[35:24] Indeed, we have sent you (Muhammad) a good news with the truth and a warner, and no nation had passed without a warner in it.
[43:23] And it is thus that we did not send from before yours (Muhammad) any warner to a town, except its wealthy ones said: “We found our forefathers following a cult, and indeed, we are followers on their footsteps.”
[48:8] Indeed, we have sent you (Muhammad) a witness, a bearer of good news, and a warner.
Believe in God and His messenger
Whoever believes in God, His messenger, the scripture and what He has revealed to His messenger is in a straight path but whoever disbelieves in God, and His angels, and His scriptures, and His messengers, and the Last Day; has strayed a far astray:
[2:285] The messenger has believed in what has been revealed to him from his Lord and the believers. Every one has believed in God, and His angles, and His scriptures, and His messengers – we do not make distinction between any of His messengers, and they said, “We have heard and have obeyed, Your forgiveness our Lord, and to you is the return.”
[3:53] “Our Lord, we have believed in what You have revealed, and we have followed the messenger, so count us with the witnesses.”
[4:136] O you who have believed; believe in God and His messenger, and the scripture what He has revealed to His messenger and the scripture what He revealed before. And whoever disbelieves in God, and His angels, and His scriptures, and His messengers, and the Last Day; has strayed a far astray.
[4:152] And those who have believed in God and His messengers and do not make a distinction between any of them, those in a little while He will give them their reward as God is merciful Forgiver.
[4:170] O people, the messenger has certainly come to you with the truth from your Lord that you believe to be better for you. And if you disbelieve, then to God belongs what is in the heavens and the earth. And God is Possessor of knowledge being wise.
[7:75] The arrogant leaders among his (Saleh) people said to those who believed among the prevented ones, “How do you know that Saleh is the sent one from his Lord?” They said, “What is sent with him has made us believers.”
[17:59] And we have not stopped that we send with the signs except that the previous people denied with them. And we gave Thamud the camel as sign while they wronged with her. And we do not send with the signs except a warning.
[9:84] And do not pray for any of them who dies nor stand by his grave as they disbelieved in God and His messenger and died while they were wicked.
[9:86] And when a sura was revealed that you shall believe in God and strive with His messenger, those possessing wealth among them ask your permission and said: “Leave us to be with those who remain behind.”
[9:88] But the messenger and those who believed with him have strived with their wealth and their lives, and those – for them are the good things and those – they are the successful ones.
[9:99] And of the Arabs who believes in God and the Last Day, and takes what he spends as a means of nearness with God, and of supporting the messenger. Behold! Indeed, it is a means of nearness for them. God will admit them into His mercy; Indeed, God is Forgiving, Merciful.
[10:103] Then we save our messengers and those who have believed. Thus, it is a commitment from us to save the believers.
[24:62] The true believers are those who believe in God and His messenger and when they are with him for a matter of group action, they do not leave without asking his permission. Those who ask your permission do believe in God and His messenger. So when they ask your permission for some of their affairs, then give permission to whomever you wish of them, and ask forgiveness of God for them as God is Forgiving, Merciful.
[48:9] That you (people) can believe in God and His messenger, and can honor Him, respect Him, and glorify Him morning and evening.
[48:13] And whoever does not believe in God and His messenger, then we have certainly prepared for the disbelievers a Blazing fire.
[49:15] The believers are only those who have believed in God and His messenger, then they do not doubt while strive in the cause of God with their wealth and their lives. Those of them are the truthful ones.
[57:7] Believe in God and His messenger, and spend of what He has made you successors to wherein. Those who have believed among you and have spent, for them there is a great reward.
[57:8] What is for you not to believe in God while the messenger invites you that you should believe in your Lord as He has certainly taken your pledge if you are believers?
[57:19] And those who believed in God and His messengers are the truthful and martyrs whom with their Lord there are their reward and their light for them. But those who disbelieved and denied our revelations, these are the dwellers of the Hellfire.
[57:28] O you who have believed, you shall fear God and shall believe in His messenger, He will give you double (reward) from His mercy, and He will make for you a light, you can walk with it, and He will forgive you as God is Forgiving, Merciful.
[61:11] You shall believe in God and His messenger and shall strive in God’s path with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you if you have done to know.
[64:8] So, you shall believe in God and His messenger, and the light which we have sent down while God is Cognizant of what you do.
Obey God and obey messenger
Those who have believed are required to obey God and His messenger reflecting to that the sole responsibility on the messenger is to convey the message. It is a law that the messenger to be obeyed as the messenger has come to us with God’s authorization and message. Hence, whoever obeys God and His messenger will have His mercy but whoever disobeys God and His messenger, there is a severe retribution for him clearly indicating the message, which is often directly referred to the messenger to avoid misinterpretation as well as personality cult in our beliefs and practices:
[3:32] Say: “Obey God and the messenger” and if they have turned away, then God does not like the disbelievers.
[3:132] And obey God and the messenger so you may receive mercy.
[4:13] These are God’s limits that whoever obeys God and His messenger, He will admit him to gardens flowing rivers underneath them, will abide therein forever, and that is the greatest victory.
[4:59] O you who believe, obey God and obey the messenger and those entrusted among you. But if you disagree in anything, then refer it to God and the messenger if you believe in God and the Last Day. That is better and more appropriate for resolution.
[4:64] And we have not sent any messenger except to be obeyed with God’s authorization. And if they were that when they
wronged themselves had come to you and asked God’s forgiveness, and the messenger asked forgiveness for them, they would have surely found God merciful Redeemer.
[4:69] And whoever obeys God and the messenger will be with those whom God has blessed are of the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the righteous, and those are the best companion.
[4:80] Whoever obeys the messenger has surely obeyed God; and whoever has turned away, then we have not sent you a guardian over them
[5:92] And obey God and obey the messenger, and beware. So if you turn away then know that our messenger has obligation of conveyance of the clear message.
[8:13] That is because of that they have opposed God and His messenger, and whoever opposes God and His messenger, then God is indeed severe in the retribution.
[8:20] O you who have believed, obey God and His messenger, and you are not to turn away from it while you hear.
[8:46] And obey God and His messenger, and do not dispute lest you lose your courage and your strength would depart, and be patient as God is with the patient ones.
[9:63] Do they not know that whoever opposes God and His messenger that he will surely be in the Fire of Hell being a dweller of it? That is the greatest humiliation.
[24:52] And whoever obeys God and His messenger, and fears God and is conscious of Him, are those who are the winners.
[24:54] Say: “Obey God and obey the messenger.” While if you turn away, then upon him is only what is placed on him, and upon you what is placed on you. And if you obey him, you are guided. And not is on the messenger except the clear conveyance.
[24:56] And you shall observe the Contact Prayer and give the Obligatory Charity, and obey the messenger that you may receive mercy.
[47:33] O you who have believed, obey God and obey the messenger, and do not render your works in vain.
[58:20] Surely, those who oppose God and His messenger, those will be with the humiliated ones.
[59:4] That is with them that they oppose God and His messenger, and whoever opposes God, then indeed, God is severe in the retribution.
[64:12] And you shall obey God and obey the messenger, but if you turn away, then our messenger is only responsible for the clear conveyance.
Messengers sent to humanity
God has sent many messengers with the clear proofs but He has not let us know their number while their people did not believe them or denied them, which was made a history by the destruction of the criminal people that we may reflect to find our right way to get closer to Him.
[23:44] Then we sent our messengers in succession. Every time there came to a nation its messenger, they denied him. So we made follow of them each other and made them history (of the disbelievers with consequences). So away are a people who do not believe!
[4:164] And messengers we have mentioned to you from before, and messengers we have not mentioned to you; and God spoke to Moses directly.
[40:78] And certainly, we have sent messengers from before yours. Some of them we mentioned to you, and some we did not mention to you. And it was not for any messenger that he comes with a sign except by God’s leave. So, when God’s judgment is issued, the matter will be decided with the truth, and the falsifiers will lose.
[40:22] That was because of that their messengers had come to them with the clear proofs, while they disbelieved. So God seized them as He is Mighty in severe punishment.
[10:13] Certainly, we have destroyed the generations from before yours when they transgressed, and their messengers came to them with the clear proofs, and they were not to believe. Thus, we recompense the criminal people.
[10:47] And there is messenger for every nation that when their messenger comes, has been judged between them with the justice while they had been not to be wronged.
[10:74] Then, after him (Noah) we sent messengers to their people as they came to them with the clear proofs. But they did not believe in that they had denied it before. Thus, we have placed shield around hearts of the transgressors.
Messengers deliver and follow what are sent to them
No messengers had their own mission except to achieve nearness of God through reciting His revelations to their people as well as following them, and there was no exception of it for any messengers including prophet Muhammad (46:9 also found in 11:31 and 6:50):
[2:119] Indeed, we have sent you (Muhammad) good news and warner having the truth. You will not be questioned about the people of the blazing Fire.
[2:129] “Our Lord, and raise up in them a messenger from them to recite to them Your revelations and teach them the scripture and the wisdom and purify them as You are the Wisest Al-mighty.”
[2:151] As we have sent to you a messenger from you to recite our revelations to you, and purify you, and teach you the scripture and the wisdom, and teach you what you did not know.
[3:164] God of course bestowed favor upon the believers as He 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, while they were certainly in far astray before that.
[5:15] O people of the scripture, our messenger has certainly come to you to clarify for you many of that you have concealed from the scripture, and to overlook of many. Surely, a light and an enlightening scripture have come to you from God.
[5:19] O people of the scripture, our messenger has come to you to clarify for you upon an interval of messengers lest you say: “No bearer of good news or a warner has come to us.” But a bearer of good news and a warner have come to you, and God is supreme over all things.
[5:67] O messenger, deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not then you have not delivered His message and God will protect you from the people but God does not guide the disbelieving people.
[5:99] The messenger has no obligation except the conveyance. And God knows what you reveal and what you conceal.
[7:79] So he (Saleh) turned away from them, and said: “My people, I had delivered to you my Lord’s message and advised you; but you do not like the advisers.”
[7:93] Then he (Shuaib) turned away from them, and said: “O my people, I have certainly delivered my Lord’s message to you and advised you. So how could I grieve for a people who are disbelievers?”
[28:59] And your Lord has not done any destruction of the towns unless He had sent a messenger to its capital for reciting our revelations to them. And we have not done any destruction of the towns unless while its people are wicked.
[29:18] And if you deny, then certainly, the communities of before yours had denied while the messenger has no responsibility except the clear conveyance
[33:39] Those who deliver God’s messages and fear Him, they do not fear anyone other than God, and with God has reckoning.
[46:9] Say (Muhammad): “I am not different from the other messengers, and I do not know what will happen to me or to you. I do not follow except what is revealed to me and I am not but a clear warner.”
[65:11] A messenger recites God’s clear revelations to you, that he may bring out those who believe and do righteous works from the darkness into the light. And whoever believes in God and does righteous works, He will admit him into gardens flowing rivers underneath it wherein they abide forever. Indeed, God has provided a good provision for him.
[72:28] That He knows that who have delivered their Lord’s messages, and He has encompassed of what is with them and has kept number of all things.
Messenger sent with guidance and balance and true religion
God has sent His words including guidance, balance and true religion to His messenger chosen from us to lead a righteous life as well as to establish justice through practicing His given religion, and has also informed us that He has sent as many words as we need to do that indicating that we should not look for any other words from any other sources to make idol worshipers (18:109 and 31:27):
[9:29] You shall fight those who do not believe in God nor the last day, nor forbid what God and His messenger have forbidden, nor admit the religion of truth of those who have been given the scripture; until they pay the fine willingly even being despondent.
[9:33] He is the One who has sent His messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth that He would make prevail it over any other religions, even if the idolaters dislike.
[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 other religions. And God is sufficient as a witness.
[57:25] Certainly, we have sent our messengers with the clear proofs and we sent down with theirs the scripture and the balance is to establish the people with the justice. 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.
[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 other religion although the idolaters dislike.
No god other than God
God has created humans and jinns to worship Him (51:56) what has been confirmed us by sending His messengers that there is no other god except Him not to be deceived by the Satan and his allies:
[7:158] Say: “O people, I (Muhammad) am a messenger of God to you all, the One to whom is sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no god except He, who gives life and causes death.” So you shall believe in God and His messenger, the gentile prophet, who believes in God and His words, and follow him so that you may be guided.
[13:30] Thus, we have sent you (Muhammad) to a community from before it’s (many) communities have passed away, that you may recite to them what we revealed to you while they disbelieve in the Most Gracious. Say: “He is my Lord, there is no other god besides He. I put trust on Him, and to Him is my return.”
[21:25] And we did not send any messenger from before yours (Muhammad) except we inspire to him that “There is no god except I, so you shall worship Me.”
[23:32] So we sent a messenger to them from them that ‘you shall worship God, there is no god for you other than Him. Then will you not fear?’
God’s message is often referred to be His messenger
Even the message is coded in every instance of rasuul, but certain instances of it directly refer to God’s message to be His messenger. Muhammad has been mentioned by name as a messenger of God in 3:144 and 48:29 while the message, the Quran given to him has been mentioned as a messenger of God and a seal of the prophets in 33:40 indicating the end of prophethood, which also conforms to a major covenant of God with all the prophets confirming in the Quran of coming a messenger upon the delivery of scripture given to them (3:81):
[33:40] Muhammad has not been a father of anyone of your men but has had a messenger of God and seal of the prophets, and God has done being Knower of everything.
[33:45] O you prophet, indeed, we have sent you (Muhammad) a witness, and a bearer of good news, and a warner.
[34:28] And we have not sent you (Muhammad) a good news and a warner except for all the people but most of the people do not know.
[3:81] And when God has taken a covenant from the prophets: “Surely, whatever I have given you of scripture and wisdom, then a messenger has come to you confirming that which is with yourselves. You must believe in him and must support him.” He said: “Have you agreed and taken My covenant on that?” They said: “We have agreed.” He said: “Then you shall bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.”
In conclusion, the review sheds some light on the commonly used Arabic word, “rasuul” referring to the message being a messenger is guidance, balance, true religion, witness, mercy, good news and warners for the worlds to avoid personality cult in its interpretation. Thus, the core message in 33:40 as coded in the phrase of the verse, wa-laakin rasuula allahi wa-khaatama al-nabiyeena is the message, the Quran given to Muhammad is a messenger of God and a seal of the prophets informing us the end of prophethood but not of messengership (3:81) as Quran is an instruction in the scripture. Hence, the review may open the door for the open-minded believers to help them find what is right for them to believe, obey, follow and practice for their own good preventing them from arguing with misinterpretation and falsehood to defeat God as well to make themselves losers.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.