The Qur’an and Sunnah explain to us the missions and tasks of the Messengers, as we shall see below.

1.     Conveying the message clearly


The Messengers are Allah’s ambassadors to his slaves, the bearers of His revelation. Their primary mission is to convey this trust to the slaves of Allah. Allah (swt) said:” O’ Messenger (Muhammad)! Proclaim (the message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message.” (Qur’an 5: 67)


Conveying the message needs a lot of courage but no fear from people when the message goes against their beliefs, telling them to do things which they find unacceptable and forbidding them to do things which they like and used to. Allah (swt) said:” Those who convey the message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none save Allah.” (Qur’an 33: 39)


Conveying the message may mean reciting the texts which Allah has revealed, without adding anything or taking anything away. Allah (swt) said:” Recite O’ Muhammad what has been revealed to you of the Book.” (Qur’an 29: 45)


If what is revealed is not a text that can be recited, then conveying the message means explaining the commands and prohibitions, ideas and knowledge which are revealed by Allah, without altering or changing anything.


Conveying the message also means that the Messenger explains the revelation which Allah (swt) has sent down to His slaves, because he is more able than anyone else to explain its meaning and objectives, and he knows better than others what Allah meant by revelation. Concerning this Allah said to His messenger:” And We have also sent down unto you (o’ Muhammad) the reminder and the advice (Qur’an), that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.” (Qur’an 16: 44)


The Messenger’s explanation of the divine revelation may the form of words. The Messenger (saw) explained many matters which his companions found hard to understand, as when he explained the meaning of the word zulm in the verse. Allah (swt) said:” It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him alone) and confuse not their belief with zulm (wrong), for them there is security and they are the guided.” (Qur’an 6: 82)


The Messenger (saw) explained that what was meant here was shirk, not a person wronging himself by sinning. He also explained the verses which speak of prayer, zakah, hajj etc. in words.


Just as the explanation may take the form of words, it may also take the form of actions. The actions of the Messenger (saw) – in prayer, charity, hajj and other things – explained the words of the Qur’anic texts.


If people turn away from the call of the Messengers and ignore it, the Messengers are not able to do more than convey the massage. Allah (swt) said:” But if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the message.” (Qur’an 3: 20)


2.     Calling people to Allah

The role of the Messengers is not limited only to explaining the truth and conveying the massage. They also have to invite people to follow their call and respond to it, to apply it to themselves in belief, word and deed. In this regard they all set out from the same starting point. They all tell the people, you the slaves of Allah, and Allah is your Lord and God. Allah has sent us to teach you how to worship Him, because we are the Messengers of Allah, sent by Him, so you have to obey us and follow us. Allah (swt) said:” And verily, We have sent among every ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming):’ Worship Allah (alone), and avoid taaghoot (all false deities).” Qur’an 16: 36)


The Messengers strove their utmost to call people to Allah. It is sufficient for you to read Surah Noah in order to understand the efforts which he made for nine hundred and fifty years, calling them night and day, in secret and openly, using all methods of encouraging and warning, promises and threat, trying to open their hearts to see the signs that exist in universe, but they turned away. Allah (swt) said:” Noah said:’ My Lord! They have disobeyed me, and followed one whose wealth and children give him no increase but loss.’” (Qur’an 71: 21).


(To be continued)


(Prepared by Umar S. Al-Ashqar)