021 The sole duty of prophets is to proclaim the divine message
In my previous articles, prophets that appear in the Quran were listed. It should have drawn your attention. Almost all of Allah’s prophets that are elected to notify the divine mercy are males. For some reason, women are not assigned as prophets. This situation is stated in the verse from Quran as:
"And before thee We sent none but men, to whom We granted inspiration." [Nahl, 43]
But throughout history, some female figures appear such as Rabia al-Adawiyya who was spiritually and morally superior. She was a saintly dame who was raised in Basra.
One day, Rabia al-Adawiyya tells to a praying person who asks Allah to open the doors to grace and mercy: “Oh ignorant, why do you ask Allah to open the doors to mercy? They are already wide open. But, not every heart is open to enter there. Pray for your heart to be open for it”.
Dear readers; truthfully, the door to grace and mercy of Allah (s.w.t) are always open. Yet, only those who are predestined are granted to this.
Many people are interested in reading the tabloid news and gossip topics of magazines every day, but they never care to read even two verses from the Quran in which the word of Allah is preached. Many people are not curious about the word of Allah who created us; who provides us with the air we breathe; who gives us our daily bread and grants us our welfare and well-being with tens of thousands of physiological events that occur to our body. Many people usually skip TV channels in which a religious conversation is going on, and instead prefer to watch entertainment shows in another channel that lasts for hours and hours.
Dear readers; “faith” is what guides us towards our Rab and towards His divine mercy. If you are reading these lines right now, be assured that you are faithful. Those who do not have faith in them turn their face and leave the place right away once Allah (s.w.t) is being mentioned as if an ordinary commodity was in question. It is ordered in the verse of Quran that:
"Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts," [Anfal, 2]
Nobody, including our Prophets, can help those who lack "faith" as can be recalled in the cases of Noah (a.s.) to his son, David (a.s.) to his wife, Rasulullah (s.a.w.) to some of his uncles. Therefore, Allah (s.w.t) ordered to our Prophet who exerted every effort for the salvation of the people around him:
"If thou art anxious for their guidance, yet Allah guideth not such as He leaves to stray, and there is none to help them." [Nahl, 37]
"It is true thou wilt not be able to guide every one whom thou lovest; but Allah guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance." [Qasas, 56]
Dear readers; salvation comes from Allah. Nobody can help those who are not granted salvation by Allah. The duty of our prophets are not to grant salvation to people, but to tell them about Allah (s.w.t) and spread them His word by letting know of the divine grace; in short, to notify Islam. It is ordered in the verses from the Quran that:
"O Messenger! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission." [Maida, 67]
"But if they turn away, thy duty is only to preach the Clear Message." [Nahl, 82]
"Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and beware (of evil): if ye do turn back, know ye that it is Our Messenger's duty to proclaim (the message) in the clearest manner." [Maida, 92]
"The Messenger's duty is but to proclaim (the message)." [Maida, 99]
"Thy duty is to make (the Message) reach them: it is Our part to call them to account." [Rad, 40]
The term “Prophet” refers to “Paigambar” in English. This term also has the meaning of “diviner”. As I have noted earlier, prophets of Allah born with extraordinary qualities; but they are not diviners as Englishman regard. They are the Man of Haq (Truth). Whatever Allah (s.w.t) reveals to them from the Truth, they know it and they explain it to people. It is ordered in the verses from the Quran that:
"Say: I tell you not that with me are the Treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden, nor do I tell you I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me." [Anaam, 50]
"They say: Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord? Say: The Unseen is only for Allah (to know), then wait ye: I too will wait with you." [Yunus, 20]
"Say: None in the heavens or on earth, except Allah, knows what is hidden." [Naml, 65]
Dear readers; Al-Ghaib refers to the knowledge about the spiritual organization of Allah or about the past and present that mankind cannot reach to as well as to visible and invisible realms that Allah (s.w.t) has created. This knowledge can neither be learned through observation and experimentation nor can be calculated through quantitative data. Knowledge about the invisible and visible realms is only limited to what Allah (s.w.t) grants us.
It is ordered in the verse from the Quran that:
"He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth." [Bakara, 255].
Just like other man, our prophets do not know more than Allah (s.w.t) allows us to apprehend. It is ordered in the verses from the Quran that:
"Say: I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as Allah willeth. If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have multiplied all good, and no evil should have touched me: " [Araf, 188]
"Nor will He disclose to you the secrets of the Unseen. But He chooses of His Messengers (for the purpose) whom He pleases. " [Al Imran, 179]
"He (alone) knows the Unseen, nor does He make any one acquainted with His Secrets. Except an messenger whom He has chosen:" [Jinn, 26-27]
It is ordered in the Hadith that:
"None has the knowledge of the unseen but Allah” [Tabarani].
Again in another hadith narrated by Khalid al-Madani Abu Husain (r.a) it is transmitted that the daughter of Muauwidh, ar-Rubai has claimed:
“Rasulullah (s.a.w.) was with me on the mid-morning of my wedding day. In the meantime, some girls were beating the tambourine and recalling the memories of their fathers who were martyred in the Battle of Badr. One of them said: “There is a Prophet among us who knows what will happen tomorrow”. After that Rasulullah (s.a.w.) ordered: “Do not say so. Because nobody knows what will happen tomorrow except Allah”. [Bukhari, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
Dear readers; it is understood that nobody can know "the Unseen" except Allah who has the ultimate and infinite knowledge about everything, including the prophets. But Allah (s.w.t) has enlightened His elected messengers through revelations. The divine revelation is only a small drop that is granted for us from the unknown, from the Creator’s sea of infinite knowledge. Human knowledge is limited, but Almighty Allah keeps extending the limits of knowledge to the caliphs He appointed. The developing man, with the will of Allah, figures out many dark and complicated questions in life. With the development of information technologies, the level of human knowledge pushes the limits of libraries. But still, this knowledge is nowhere near to this sea of infinite knowledge that Allah holds.
We live in a material world. Our sense organs have the mechanism to work accordingly in this material world. But attributing meanings to these perceived senses is totally another issue. And everybody perceives these senses in accordance with their own spiritual values such as personal history, accumulation of knowledge, level of intelligence, evaluation of the world and worldview etc. An avaricious man perceives everything in relation with material wealth and money. A dervish like Yunus Amra perceives everything by looking through meaning… Indeed, perception and their meanings are formed through these approaches.
Human is in a material world. Emerging perception through the sense organs are based on the material mechanisms, but they become ideas and convictions of that person by being processed in his brain. These signification and interpretations are formed the essence of human's spiritual life. Our hearts are a passage in the midst of material and meaning, where these spiritual values are reformed with religious knowledge.
The material world is a realm in which everything occurs with certain reasons, where tangible objects, situations and events occur under the certain rules. For this reason, everybody who lives in this world, whether it be scholars or ignorant, are conditioned to find a reason behind everything. Because people witness all the time that any occurrence emerges as a result of certain causes. Any occurrence that takes place against the rules of the material world is extraordinary. These extraordinary occurrences always interests people. This is the reason behind why many people go after fortune-tellers and sorcerers that claim to be revealing the unknown.
In history, people have mistaken prophets (who were the people of truth and were calling people to truth, justice, honesty and morality) to fortune-tellers and sorcerers as these prophets were giving news from the future with the permission of Allah and most of the time they have asked for extraordinary things in order to believe in prophets.
"They said: Thou art only one of those bewitched! Thou art no more than a mortal like us: then bring us a Sign, if thou tellest the truth!" [Shuara, 153-154]
"Say those without knowledge: "Why speaketh not Allah unto us? or why cometh not unto us a Sign?" So said the people before them words of similar import." [Baqarah, 118]
Dear readers; Allah (s.w.t) has, most of the time, supported his prophets with extraordinary miracles, but the unfaithful still did not believe.
"He said: "Here is a she-camel: she has a right of watering, and ye have a right of watering, (severally) on a day appointed. Touch her not with harm, lest the Chastisement of a Great Day seize you." But they ham-strung her: then did they become full of regrets. But the Chastisement seized them. Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe." [Shuara, 155-158]
Similar requestes were also made to Rasulullah (s.a.w.).
"Ye they say: Why are not Signs sent down to him from his Lord? Say: The signs are indeed with Allah: and I am indeed a clear Warner." [Ankabut, 50]
"And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book which is rehearsed to them?" [Ankabut, 51]
Yet the deniers will resist to believe even though they witness miracles. The situation of these deniers are summarized in the following verse from the Quran:
"Even if every Sign was brought unto them,- until they see (for themselves) the penalty chastisement." [Yunus, 97]
Dear readers; miracles of the prophets are epitomized in the Quran. It is unnecessary to make a list of these miracles here. These miracles of Allah are extraordinary cases that sometimes happen within the limits of the rules of the material world, and sometimes happen by exceeding those limits. The miracles of prophets are true. A true believer should believe, acknowledge and approve these miracles to have an absolute faith. Allah (s.w.t) has created the universe from nothingness. The Creator has given qualities to the every living and lifeless things and has organized them in his own will. In this order, He changes, develops and organizes the universe at any moment with quadrillions of events whose number can only be known by Him. That being said, is He incapable of creating some extraordinary phenomena like in the example of a small drop from the oceans? Can you not see; even His impotent servants are in the capacity to be able to do wonders in electronic devices invented by them by doing little changes on their softwares? Is Allah (s.w.t), who taught them everything and created them as well as their deeds, more impotent and incapable than his servants??!!
Be entrusted to Allah.
Dr. Ismail Ulukus