“Say: ’O mankind, I am the Messenger of God to you all, of Him to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth. There is no god but He. He gives life, and causes death. Believe then in God, and in His Messenger, the Prophet of the common folk, who believes in God and His words, and follow him; haply so you will be guided.”
I read the following passage of the Quran and it made we wonder about the possible meanings of this verse. I wanted to see what scholars understood by this verse so I headed for the exegeses.
In the book Islam: religion of life (A. Wadud) the author translates part of this as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “I am the Messenger of God now sent to you, and to humanity at large.” Now let us take a glimpse at other commentaries.
Al-Tabari states in his Jami Bayan fi Tasfir Al-Quran, “The Exalted informs the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), O Muhammad say, to all mankind, “I am the Messenger of God to you all.” Not to just some, excluding others, like the previous messengers who were sent to some not others. As truly his message was not for some excluding others rather his message was for everyone."
Ibn Ajibah states in Al-Bahr Al-Madeed fi Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Majeed, “The Truth mighty and majestic proclaims, “Say,” O Muhammad, “I am the Messenger of God to you all.” To the red, the black, non Arab , the Arab, the peoples and the jinn are specified in this call.” See later note for the meaning of red and black."
Al-Shanqiti states in Adowa Al-bayan fi Tafsir Al-Quran, “The Exalted ordered him to say, “O Mankind, I am the Messenger of God to you all.” This blessed passage clarifies that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sent to mankind and there are many passages which clarify this further."
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Allah sent Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to the red and the black.” What this means is all the colours of all the nations not specific to one nation and one colour, all colours and creeds. Ibn Kathir confirms this and adds that the Arabs and the non-Arabs are also addressed here.
These are more Quranic Passages for you to ponder
Sura Saba 34:28
“And We have not sent thee (O Muhammad) save as a bringer of good tidings and a warner unto all mankind; but most of mankind know not.”
Sura Criterion 25:1
“Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures.”
Tafsir Jalalaan confirms that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is being addressed here.
I wish to now turn to the prophetic narrations that were included in some of the commentaries that we have previously read.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever of my nation hears about me, be they Jewish or Christian and does not believe in me; will not enter paradise.” Muslim
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “I was given five things that no one was given before; I was sent to the red and the black, the Earth was purified place of prostration for me, I was given victory over my enemy through fear over a month’s travelling distance and I can partake in the spoils of war. It was said, ask and it is given and my intercession is concealed from my nation.” (Muslim 521 and Ad-Dayrami 2468)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “I am the master of humanity on the Day of Judgement.” (Bukhari 4812, Muslim 194)
Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Am I not the beloved of Allah and I do not boast. I am the bearer of the flag of praise, on the Day of judgement that Adam and others will be underneath and I do not boast. I am the first intercede and the first intercessor on the Day of judgement and I do not boast. I am the noblest of the first and the last and I do not boast.” (Al-Tirmidhi 3616)
Doha Al-Ma’ali states that, “He was the first Prophet created and the last one testified.”
All the evidence is clear that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the first and the last prophet. He is a prophet for all nations, all colours, all races, all nationalities, all tribes. He is not a Prophet confined to neither people nor place, he is a prophet for all times and all places. The time in which we will find out how important he is on the day of judgement.
All his nations will beg for him to intercede for them this is when we shall truly know the meaning of his prophethood. We shall see the one who shall forgo his own concerns for us the believers, he wants us to be safe. This is a day so terrifying that the mother will drop their children and the children’s hair will turn white. On that day he will help us and come to help us when we cannot even help each other. This is the meaning of the Quranic passage,
“We have not sent you, save as a mercy unto all beings.” (The Prophets 21:107)
During the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Jews and Christians became Muslim, why? Those religions became abrogated when Islam came and this lead to the end of those messages. Islam is the completion of the prophetic legacy, prophethood began and finished with the same name. As all the Prophets began in the name of Allah and finished in his praise.
We should now consider that we are around people of who are not Muslim and we must know that we have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam. Many of us have failed in this, we have failed to reach them. The fact we are Muslim means we have to deliver this message to the people, no matter who they are.
There are two groups of his nation the people of the call and the people who are to be called. We must begin to call those who are in need of this religion more than then could possibly imagine.
Every meeting with any non-Muslim we must ask ourselves are we presenting Islam in it best light. One of the worst things a Muslim can do is curse a non muslim, in pride out their Islam and contentment, their disbelief is something that a Muslim should never be happy about. Yet, we walk the streets and curse the people for the way they dress or what they say, is this the Sunna? Would the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) do this, did he do this? Did he ever have so much pride that he was happy and content in others disbelief? Never.
This action is not coming from him, it is coming from us and this is the worst thing. We pretend to be representing Islam yet we act worse than non Muslims, how will they ever see the beauty of Islam when we do this? How will they see the beauty of the character of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when we do follow it ourselves? All we do is increase the gap between them and Islam. Then whose fault is it? Our fault, we did not portray Islam as it should be and we have more than one sin upon us. There is a ruling in the principles of Jurisprudence, contentment of disbelief is disbelief. So who are the disbelievers when we are happy about their disbelief? How dangerous is this?
Am I presenting Islam correctly? Whether we like it or not, people will get an impression of Islam and Muslims from meeting us.
We must help those people who have made a sometimes long, arduous journey to Islam and not look at these people as different, because it does not matter who we insult, we insult a member of the nation of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
If I was to speak about myself then I would be able to fill books about the times that I put people off Islam. This is due to my ignorance, anyone can be Muslim and it does not matter who or where they come from. May Allah forgive me for limiting the religion, when Allah opened his religion for everyone. I should have had more insight, I think about it everyday, how I put someone off Islam. May Allah forgive me.
All praise is for Allah mighty and majestic and may peace and blessings of Allah be upon his final messenger Muhammad.