The angels coined likenesses for the Messenger (saw) which explain his role and his task.

According to a hadith:” I saw in a dream that Jibreel (Gabriel) was standing at my head and Mikaa’eel was standing at my feet. One of them said to the other, ’Coin a likeness for him.’ He said,’ Listen and understand. The likeness of you and your ummah is like that of a king who has a house, in which he builds a room, where he places a table filled with food. Some of them respond to the Messenger and others do not. Allah is the King, the house is Islam, the room is Paradise, you O’ Muhammad, are the Messenger. Whoever responds to you enters Islam, and whoever enters Islam will enter Paradise, and whoever enters Paradise will eat of whatever is there.’” (Bukhari and Tirmidhi)


3. Bringing glad tidings and warnings


The call of the Messengers to Allah is always accompanied by glad tidings and warnings, because there is very strong connection between the call to Allah and glad tidings. Therefore, the Qur’an limits the mission of the Messengers to these two things in some verses. Allah (swt) said:” And We send not the Messengers except as givers of glad tidings and warners” (Qur’an: 18: 56)


The glad tidings and warnings which the Messengers bring apply both to this world and the Hereafter. In this world they bring glad tidings to the obedient of a good life:” Whoever works righteousness-whether male or female-while he (or she) is a true believer verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision).” (Qur’an 16: 97)


And they promised them glory, power and security. Allah (swt) said:” Allah has promised those among you who believed and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rules) in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely, give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me.” (Qur’an 24: 55)


They seek to scare the sinners with loss in this world. Allah said:” But whoever turns away from My reminder verily, for him is a life of hardship.” (Qur’an 20: 124). And they warn them of punishment and doom in this world. Allah said:” But if they turn away, they say:’ I have warned you of a saa’iqah (a destructive awful cry, torment, hit, thunderbolt) like the saa’iqah which overtook ‘Aad and Thamood (people).’” (Qur’an 41: 13)


And they give glad tidings to the obedient of Paradise and its blessings in the Hereafter. Allah said:” Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and that will be the great success.” (Qur’an 4: 13)


They scare the evildoers and sinners with warnings of Allah’s punishment in the Hereafter. Allah said:” And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment.” (Qur’an 4: 14)


Whoever studies the calls of the Messengers will find that their call is characterized by glad tidings and warnings. It seems that glad tidings and warnings, as they were brought by the Messengers, are the key to the human soul. The human soul has a natural desire to seek good for its own sake, and to ward off evil from itself. When the Messenger explain to people the great good which they could attain through faith and righteous deeds, then human souls strive to attain that, when they explain the great harm that befalls man as a result of kufr (disbelief) and misguidance, then people try to keep away from such things.


The joy and blessings of Allah, of which the Messenger gave glad tidings, is a joy that is immense and wondrous. Listen to what Allah says, describing the blessed state of the believers in the Paradise of delight. Allah said:” They will be on thrones woven with gold and precious stones. Reclining thereon, face to face. Immortal boys will go around them (serving), with cups, and jugs, and a glass of flowing wine, wherefrom they will get neither any aching of the head nor any intoxication. And with fruit that they may choose. And with the flesh of fowls that they desire. And there will be hoor (fair females) with wide lovely eyes (as wives for the pious). Like unto preserves pearls. A reward for what they used to do. No dirty talk will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech (like backbiting). But only the saying of: Salaan! Salaam! (greetings with peace)!” (Qur’an 56: 15-26)


(Prepared by Umar S. Al-Ashqar)