The Philosophy of Prophethood

What is the purpose of the Divine religions and what is the philosophy of "prophethood" which conveys the Divine messages of such religions? What is the meaning of ··prophet­ hood and what is its relation to the “prophetic mission."

What are the goals of prophethood and the prophetic mission? What is the starting point of the prophets and what is the fruit of their endeavors? These questions and the like are fundamental subjects of “prophethood” which every true believer must be aware of. The Holy Our'an has given short perfect and clear answers to all these questions.

Prophethood is essential for man's senses and instincts and even his knowledge are not enough to lead him to salvation. So he needs something superior to his intellectual power i.e. guidance through heavenly revelation. This heavenly revelation originates from God who is the Creator of man and aware of all his imperfections, needs, sufferings and the treatment for them. This is the logic of all religions of the world and the philosophy of "prophethood.”

Due to this need (heavenly guidance) the prophets are called to prophethood in order to bring into action programs which can meet it.

The above-mentioned points can be clearly found in some verses of the Qur'an as follows:

كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

"The people were one nation; then God sent forth the prophets, to hear good tidings and warning and He sent down with them the Book with the truth. That He might decide between the people touching their differences; and only those who had been given it were at variance upon it, after the clear signs had come to them. Being insolent one to another; then God guided those who believed to the truth, touching which they were at variance, by His leave and God guides whomsoever He wills to a straight path". (2:213)

يُسَبِّحُ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ الْمَلِكِ الْقُدُّوسِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَكِيمِ هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ وَآخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

"All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies God, the King, the All-holy, the All-mighty, and the All-wise. It is He Who has raised up from among the common people a Messenger of their own, to recite His verses to them and to purify them, and to teach them the Book and Wisdom, though before that they were in manifest error, and others of them who have not yet joined them. And He is the All-mighty, the All-wise. That is the bounty of God; He gives it to whom He wills, and God is of abounding bounty." (62:1-4)

Calling to Prophethood

Prophethood is a prophetic mission (bi'thah). It is a resurrection after a period of immovability and tranquility. Initially this resurrection affects the prophet's spirit and then his environs.

The prophet, enjoying extraordinary knowledge and background, is ready to accept the great responsibility. Of course, before being called to prophethood, this potential power is not carried into effect and he, as an ordinary man of his society, is engaged in daily efforts. The Divine inspiration revolutionizes the prophet and moves his spirit. Then, he is appointed to prophethood.

The following verses remind one of the beginning of this resurrection in the spirit of the Prophet of Islam:

وَالضُّحَىٰ وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَىٰ مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ وَمَا قَلَىٰ وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِنَ الْأُولَىٰ وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَىٰ وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَىٰ وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَىٰ

"By the early morning and the night when it falls! Thy Lord has neither forsaken thee nor hates thee and the Last shall be better for thee than the First. Thy Lord shall give thee, and thou shalt be satisfied. Did He not find thee an orphan, and shelter thee? Did He not find thee wandering and guide thee? Did He not find thee needy and suffice thee?'' (93:1-8)

This inner resurrection which had considerable physical influences on the appearance of the Prophet (P.B. U .H.), begins with the following verse:

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ خَلَقَ الْإِنْسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ عَلَّمَ الْإِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ كَلَّا إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَيَطْغَىٰ أَنْ رَآهُ اسْتَغْنَىٰ إِنَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ الرُّجْعَىٰ

"Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created; created man of a blood-clot, Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous, Who taught by the Pen, taught man that he knew not. No indeed; surely man waxes insolent for he thinks himself self-sufficient surely unto thy Lord is the returning. (96:1-8)

The following verses also indicate the same change in the Prophet's spirit.

وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَىٰ مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَىٰ وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَىٰ ذُو مِرَّةٍ فَاسْتَوَىٰ وَهُوَ بِالْأُفُقِ الْأَعْلَىٰ ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّىٰ فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَىٰ فَأَوْحَىٰ إِلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَىٰ مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَىٰ أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَىٰ

"By the star when it plunges, your companion is not astray, neither errs and nor speak s out of desire. It is naught but a revelation revealed, taught him by one of mighty powers very strong, he stood poised, being on the higher horizon, then drew near and suspended hung, two bows' length away, or nearer, then revealed to His servant that He revealed .His heart lied not what he saw; what, will you dispute with him what he sees?" (53:1-12)

It is, however after the acquisition of this inner and spiritual motive that the Prophet's way of life undergoes basic change. This is very the "responsibility of prophethood".

Social Resurrection of Prophethood

Prophets appear in chaotic and deviated social conditions to establish a perfect human order conforming to man's nature. In this way, "'truth" replaces "falsehood".

Man , whose nature is in harmony with the world's nature, will find his way to evolution when he conforms to an order which is inspired by the world's and man's nature and to its rules which ate in proportion with his spiritual and physical structure. It is in this manner that he advances towards evolution.

Throughout history, ignorance and prejudice have reversed the way of humanity and by imposing inhuman systems have taken man out of his natural course (falsehood). Thus, the prophets are to lead him to the straight path. It is therefore understood that the prophet has to make his mis­led and ignorant society undergo a basic and complete change, and to establish a righteous system. This is the social resurrection which happens after the prophet is appointed to prophethood. In fact, through this great resurrection all the superficial and empty traditions and systems are overthrown, and a valid and correct system which is the religion of God replaces them.

In the following verses, we clearly see some general points about the inhuman system of pharaoh1' and the Divine and natural system of Moses which had to replace it.

تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ نَتْلُو عَلَيْكَ مِنْ نَبَإِ مُوسَىٰ وَفِرْعَوْنَ بِالْحَقِّ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائِفَةً مِنْهُمْ يُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ وَنُرِيدُ أَنْ نَمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ وَنُمَكِّنَ لَهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنُرِيَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنْهُمْ مَا كَانُوا يَحْذَرُونَ

“Those are the signs of the Manifest Book. We will recite to thee something of the story of Moses and Pharaoh truthfully, for a people who believe. Now Pharaoh had exalted himself in the land and had divided its inhabitants into castes, abasing one party of them, slaughtering their sons, and sparing their women; for he was one of the mischief-makers. Yet We desired to be gracious to those that were abased in the land, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors, and to establish them in the land, and to show Pharaoh and Haman, and their hosts, what they were dreading from them." (28:2-6)

In some verses of the Quran , the necessity of making the religion of God conquer all other religions, i.e. , establishing a Divine order instead of an unheavenly one has been emphasized with similar words (in the Surahs) : Repentance, Victory and the Ranks). A few verses from the Surah 'The Ranks' read as follows:

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُوَ يُدْعَىٰ إِلَى الْإِسْلَامِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ

"And who does greater evil than he who forges against God falsehood, when he is being called unto al- 'Islam? And God guides never the people of the evil-doers. They desire to extinguish with their mouths the light of God. But God will perfect His light, though the unbelievers be averse. It is He Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may uplift it above religion, though the idolaters be averse.”

The Aims of Prophethood

It was discussed before that the prophet brings about a resurrection in the social order and overthrows all the idolatry foundations of the society. But what is the aim of this action?

The most supreme aim of the prophets is to make man get rid of abomination and evilness and achieve the highest degree of exaltation.

Man is created with a rich background of goodness and virtue, but only through a proper education he will be able to bring this potential power into action and achieve a higher degree of evolution. The aim of the prophets is to provide such an education. The Qur'an mentions this idea with the words "purification" and teaching". In fact, through the proper education of the prophets. Man achieves humane characteristics and gets rid of inhumane ones, and in this way the ultimate aim of creation is fulfilled.

But what a way should man choose in order to bring his potential gifts into action and achieve exaltation? Among different answers, the answer of the prophets is to provide man with an intact environment which fits his natural structure. This environment is a monotheistic and divine society". In such a society man's way towards his ultimate and natural aim is rendered easy and accelerated and with a natural speed he paces in the straight path.

Therefore, the prophets in their way towards the ultimate aim have a short term aim and that is "to establish an Islamic and monotheistic society", a society based upon justice, monotheism, man, reverence and away from cruelty, idolatry, superstition, ignorance and any other factor which humiliates man .

Thinking about the following verse, of the Qur'an will lead us to the above-mentioned facts.

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَنْزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَأَنْزَلْنَا الْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَنْصُرُهُ وَرُسُلَهُ بِالْغَيْبِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ

"Indeed, We sent Our messengers with the clear signs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance so that men might uphold justice. And We sent down iron, wherein is great might, and many uses for men and so that God might know who helps Him, and His messengers. In the unseen. Surely God is All-strong, All-mighty." (57:25)

وَاكْتُبْ لَنَا فِي هَٰذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ إِنَّا هُدْنَا إِلَيْكَ ۚ قَالَ عَذَابِي أُصِيبُ بِهِ مَنْ أَشَاءُ ۖ وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ۚ فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ بِآيَاتِنَا يُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِنْدَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنْجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالْأَغْلَالَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُوا النُّورَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ مَعَهُ ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

"And prescribe for us in this world good, and in the Hereafter; we have repented unto Thee. Said He , 'My chastisement- I smite with it whom I will ; and My mercy embraces all things and I shall prescribe it for those who ward off ( evil) and pay the poor-due, and those who believe Our revelations; those who indeed follow the Messenger, the Prophet of the common folk , whom they find written down with them in the Torah and the Gospel, bidding ' them to honour, and forbidding them to dishonour, making lawful for them the good things and making unlawful for them the corrupt things, and relieving them of their loads, and the fetters that were upon them. Those who believe in him and succor him and help him, and follow the light that has been sent down with him-they are the prosperous. '" (7: 156-157)

The First Calls of Invitation

The first call in the prophets' invitation is the very call of monotheism, which is considered the principal element of their school of thought. The policy of the revolutionary plans of other schools of thought is based upon "graduation and, the first slogans are to provide the necessary background for the fulfilment of the aims. But in the plan of the prophets the last word is said first and everyone, in the very beginning steps of faith, knows the direction the aim and the consequence and thus, consciously chooses his way.

Both those who accept the call of the prophets and those who reject it come to an understanding when they come across the principle of monotheism. That in this school of thought (Islam), battle against man's domineering commands, class privileges, exploitation and tyranny in any form is something natural in the same way that in an ideal social system it is natural to care about freedom, man's reverence, social justice, public welfare and the abolishment of tyranny and oppression.

Therefore, the direction and the aim of the prophets' school of thought is quite clear, and the very clarity causes the enemies and the true followers of the prophets to be distinguished from one another, and thus prevents the coming generations from ideological deviation.

The Holy Qur'an emphasizes repeatedly and in the words of the great prophets that the first call of the prophets concerns the 'servitude to God' and the rejection of false gods' (i.e. ...monotheism).

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ ۖ فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلَالَةُ ۚ فَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ

"Indeed, We sent forth among every nation a messenger, saying: ·worship God, and eschew false gods· Then some of them were God guided, and there were some against whom the error was due. So journey in the land, and behold how the end of the deniers was! (16:36)

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ

"And We sent Noah to his people; and he said, 'O my people, worship God! you have no god other than He; truly, I fear for you the chastisement of a Dreadful Day." (7:59)

فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَنْجَيْنَاهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ فِي الْفُلْكِ وَأَغْرَقْنَا الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَوْمًا عَمِينَ وَإِلَىٰ عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُودًا ۗ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ قَالَ الْمَلَأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي سَفَاهَةٍ وَإِنَّا لَنَظُنُّكَ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِي سَفَاهَةٌ وَلَٰكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالَاتِ رَبِّي وَأَنَا لَكُمْ نَاصِحٌ أَمِينٌ أَوَعَجِبْتُمْ أَنْ جَاءَكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ مِنْكُمْ لِيُنْذِرَكُمْ ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاءَ مِنْ بَعْدِ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَزَادَكُمْ فِي الْخَلْقِ بَسْطَةً ۖ فَاذْكُرُوا آلَاءَ اللَّهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ قَالُوا أَجِئْتَنَا لِنَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ وَنَذَرَ مَا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا ۖ فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِنْ كُنْتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ قَالَ قَدْ وَقَعَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ رِجْسٌ وَغَضَبٌ ۖ أَتُجَادِلُونَنِي فِي أَسْمَاءٍ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنْتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ مَا نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ ۚ فَانْتَظِرُوا إِنِّي مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الْمُنْتَظِرِينَ

"And to "Ad (We sent) their brother. He said, ·o my people, worship God! You have no god other than He; will you not be God- fearing?'" Said the chiefs of the unbelievers of his people, ·we see thee in folly, and we think that thou art one of the liars'. Said he, 'My people there is no folly in me; but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all being. I deliver to you the Messages of my Lord; and am your adviser, sincere, faithful. What, do you wonder that a reminder from your Lord should come to you by the lips of a man from among you? That he may warn you; and remember when He appointed you as successors after the people of Noah and increased you in stature broadly; remember God's bounties; haply you will prosper.' They said, 'Why, hast thou come to us that we may worship God alone, and forsake that our fathers worshipped? Then bring us that thou promise us, if thou speaks truly. Said he, 'Terror and wrath from your Lord have fallen upon you. What, do you dispute with me regarding names you have named, you and your fathers, for which God has sent down no authority? Then watch and wait; I shall be with you watching and waiting. '""(7:64-71)

The Opponents

So far, it was said that prophet hood is a social resurrection, which brings about fundamental changes in the society in support of the oppressed and deprived changes in opposition to the luxurious class of the society. This statement leads us to the exciting and the most important subject of prophet­ hood, i.e. the chapter of “conflict".

It is quite obvious that whenever in history an opposition against class privilege' has come about it has been supported by the deprived class and rejected by the upper class. This has been the origin of many conflicts between the two classes.

For complete recognition of these two groups, we will refer to the Qur'an. Somewhere in the Qur'an, the opponents of the prophets' invitation are remembered in general, but somewhere else three specific names which are the representatives of three classes are mentioned. These are Pharaoh, Haman2 and Korah3, respectively being the symbols of ruling, statesmen and rich classes. In some other parts of the Qur'an the class of clergymen added to these three. In the view of the Qur'an, the four following titles are indicative of four groups or classes who are stubbornly in opposition to the prophets' mission: Taghut4, Mala5, Mutrafin6 Anbar7 and Ruhhan8.

In the following verses, one of the many examples of the Qur'an about this classification can be seen.

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنْسِ وَالْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ ۖ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ وَلِتَصْغَىٰ إِلَيْهِ أَفْئِدَةُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ وَلِيَرْضَوْهُ وَلِيَقْتَرِفُوا مَا هُمْ مُقْتَرِفُونَ

"So We have appointed to every prophet an enemy-satans of men and jinn, revealing tawry speech to each other, all as a delusion; yet, had thy Lord willed they would never have done it. So leave them to their forging, and that the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter may incline to it, and that they may be well pleased with it, and that they may gain what they are gaining ...(6:112- 113)

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَىٰ بِآيَاتِنَا وَسُلْطَانٍ مُبِينٍ إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ وَقَارُونَ فَقَالُوا سَاحِرٌ كَذَّابٌ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ بِالْحَقِّ مِنْ عِنْدِنَا قَالُوا اقْتُلُوا أَبْنَاءَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ وَاسْتَحْيُوا نِسَاءَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا كَيْدُ الْكَافِرِينَ إِلَّا فِي ضَلَالٍ

"We also sent Moses with Our signs and a clear authority, to Pharaoh, Haman and Korah; they said, 'A lying sorcerer' And when he brought them the truth from Us, they said, 'Slay the sons of those who believe with him, and spare their women'. But the guile of the unbelievers is ever in error. (40:23-25)

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُمْ بِهِ كَافِرُونَ وَقَالُوا نَحْنُ أَكْثَرُ أَمْوَالًا وَأَوْلَادًا وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ

"We sent no warner into any city except its men who lived at ease said, 'We disbelieve In the Message you have been sent with·. They also said, We are more abundant in wealth and children and we shall not be chastised."'(34:34-35)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنَ الْأَحْبَارِ وَالرُّهْبَانِ لَيَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنْفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

''0 believers many of the rabbis and monks indeed devour the property of the people in vanity and bar from God's way. Those who treasure up gold and silver, and do not expend them in the way of God­ give them the tidings of a painful chastisement. (9:34)

The Consequences of Prophethood (1)

The way to which the prophets lead people is based on the human nature and because people's movement in that way is a natural one it is carried out more easily and faster. Since despotic and ignorant governments, who keep people away from this way, commit actions contrary to man's nature. They are impermanent and are condemned to annihilation.

This shows the consequences of the prophet’s mission and their prophet hood. Contrary to the superficial ideas, the prophet's movement has been a successful one and it was the divine prophets who succeeded in guiding people on the whole to the straight path they wanted. And this will continue until Doom's Day.

Each of these t rue messengers of God in a special career of history has facilitated man's way towards exaltation and social evolution which is the very aim of man's creation. After constant struggle, these prophets have died, but at the end of their mission they have trusted the divine responsibility of man's guidance to the prophet or authority after them. Due to this fact, man in the course of history, has always been optimistic to the prophets' invitation and the way they proposed. This natural view will continue in this manner till the last divine authority takes the final step in the way of man's education and guidance.

At that time, man, without any hindrance, will travel in the infinite highway of exaltation and evolution more easily and faster than ever. This is the con­ sequence of all the prophets and their ways. An important point is that successes depend on two important factors: faith and patience. Failures amidst the way are due to the lack of these two factors, but the proper use of them brings about outstanding victories. The following verses are a part of the relevant verses of the Qur'an about this subject.

قُلْ مَنْ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ قُلِ اللَّهُ ۚ قُلْ أَفَاتَّخَذْتُمْ مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ لَا يَمْلِكُونَ لِأَنْفُسِهِمْ نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا ۚ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْبَصِيرُ أَمْ هَلْ تَسْتَوِي الظُّلُمَاتُ وَالنُّورُ ۗ أَمْ جَعَلُوا لِلَّهِ شُرَكَاءَ خَلَقُوا كَخَلْقِهِ فَتَشَابَهَ الْخَلْقُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ أَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَسَالَتْ أَوْدِيَةٌ بِقَدَرِهَا فَاحْتَمَلَ السَّيْلُ زَبَدًا رَابِيًا ۚ وَمِمَّا يُوقِدُونَ عَلَيْهِ فِي النَّارِ ابْتِغَاءَ حِلْيَةٍ أَوْ مَتَاعٍ زَبَدٌ مِثْلُهُ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْحَقَّ وَالْبَاطِلَ ۚ فَأَمَّا الزَّبَدُ فَيَذْهَبُ جُفَاءً ۖ وَأَمَّا مَا يَنْفَعُ النَّاسَ فَيَمْكُثُ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِرَبِّهِمُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَهُ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُمْ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لَافْتَدَوْا بِهِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ سُوءُ الْحِسَابِ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ ۖ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ

"Say: 'God is the Creator of everything, and He is the One, the Omnipotent.' He sends down from the sky water, and the valleys flow each in its measure, and the torrent carries a swelling scum; and out of that over which they kindle fire being desirous of ornament of ware, out of that rises a scum the like of it. So God strikes both the true and the false. As for the scum, it vanishes as jetsam, and what profits men abides in the earth. Even so God strikes His similitudes. For those who answer their Lord the reward most fair: and those who answer Him not-if they possessed all that is in the earth and the like of it with it they would offer it for their ransom. Those theirs shall be the evil reckoning and their refuge shall be Hell-an evil cradling" (13:16-18)

وَلَقَدْ سَبَقَتْ كَلِمَتُنَا لِعِبَادِنَا الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِنَّهُمْ لَهُمُ الْمَنْصُورُونَ وَإِنَّ جُنْدَنَا لَهُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ حِينٍ وَأَبْصِرْهُمْ فَسَوْفَ يُبْصِرُونَ أَفَبِعَذَابِنَا يَسْتَعْجِلُونَ فَإِذَا نَزَلَ بِسَاحَتِهِمْ فَسَاءَ صَبَاحُ الْمُنْذَرِينَ وَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ حِينٍ وَأَبْصِرْ فَسَوْفَ يُبْصِرُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

"Already Our Word has preceded to Our servants the messengers: assuredly they shall be helped and Our host-they are the victors. So turn thou from them for a while and see them: soon they shall see! What do they seek to hasten Our chastisement'.' When it light in their courtyard how evil will he the morning of them that arc warned! So tum thou from them for a while and see soon they shall see,! Glory be to thy Lord the Lord of Glory above that they describe! (37: 171-180)

The Consequences of Prophethood (2)

History shows that whenever the prophets' invitation has been accompanied by faith and patience they have been successful in establishing a divine system and in throwing out the despotic system. Taking the general aim of prophet hood in to consideration it is, understood that all the prophets even those who have apparently failed to fulfil their mission in a special phase, have succeeded in achieving their ultimate aim which is the exaltation of thought and man’s spirit in such a way that enables him for the acceptance of the next phase.

The Qur'an has clearly mentioned this fact either through reporting the adventures of the prophets or through telling the great Prophet(S) and other Muslims some facts about all the prophets.

إِنَّا لَنَنْصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْأَشْهَادُ يَوْمَ لَا يَنْفَعُ الظَّالِمِينَ مَعْذِرَتُهُمْ ۖ وَلَهُمُ اللَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوءُ الدَّارِ وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْهُدَىٰ وَأَوْرَثْنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ الْكِتَابَ هُدًى وَذِكْرَىٰ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ فَاصْبِرْ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنْبِكَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِبْكَارِ

"Surely Wes hall help our messengers and those who have believed, in the present life, and upon the day when the witnesses arise, upon the day when their excuses shall not pro f it the evil-doer and theirs shall be the curse, and theirs the evil abode. We also gave Moses the guidance, and We bequeathed upon the children of Israel the scripture for a guidance and for a reminder to men possessed of minds. So be thou patient; surely God's promise is true. And ask forgiveness for thy sin, and proclaim the praise of thy Lord at evening and dawn." (40:51-55)

وَكَمْ قَصَمْنَا مِنْ قَرْيَةٍ كَانَتْ ظَالِمَةً وَأَنْشَأْنَا بَعْدَهَا قَوْمًا آخَرِينَ فَلَمَّا أَحَسُّوا بَأْسَنَا إِذَا هُمْ مِنْهَا يَرْكُضُونَ لَا تَرْكُضُوا وَارْجِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَا أُتْرِفْتُمْ فِيهِ وَمَسَاكِنِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُسْأَلُونَ

"How many a city that was evildoing We have shattered, and set up after it another people. Then, when they perceived Our might, behold, they ran heading out of it. "Run not! Return you unto the luxury that you exulted in, and your dwelling-places; haply you shall be questioned.'" (21:11-13)

قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَأَرَادُوا بِهِ كَيْدًا فَجَعَلْنَاهُمُ الْأَخْسَرِينَ وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَلُوطًا إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا لِلْعَالَمِينَ وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً ۖ وَكُلًّا جَعَلْنَا صَالِحِينَ وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ

"We said, o fire be cool and safety for Abraham ,.. They desired to outwit him; so We made them the worse losers, and We delivered him, and Lut unto the land that We had blessed for all beings. And We gave him Isaac and Jacob a grandson, and made them all righteous and appointed them to be leader' guiding by Our command them the doing of good deeds, and to perform the prayer and to pay the poor-due and Us they worshipped." (21:69-73)

Faith in Prophethood and its obligations

One of the most practical points of prophet hood is' that with regard to the philosophy of prophet hood its spirit and its contents the acceptance of the prophet's invitation is accompanied by the acceptance of certain obligation. In other words the person who has accepted the prophet'' invitation should pursue the very way of the prophet and should
Also help him in fulfilling his responsibility. This, in fact demonstrates his faith in the prophethood of the prophet.

Prophethood brings about a new dominion of thought and proposes new thoughts, ways and aims. The faithful is the one who accepts these thoughts, searches for these aims and examines these ways. Being an opponent is not necessarily dependent on opposition; just not to agree or assist is sufficient. In making ranks between the prophet and his opponents those who stand amidst are not of the prophet as well. Anyone who is not for him is' against' him .This fact is clearly announced in several verses of the Quran.

"Those who believe and have emigrated and struggled with their possessions and their selves in the way of God and those who have given refuge and help-those are friends one of another. And those who believe, but have not emigrated-you have no duty of friendship towards them till they emigrate; yet if they ask you for help in religious matter, it is your duty to help them except against a people between whom and you there is a treaty and God sees the things you do.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنْفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آوَوْا وَنَصَرُوا أُولَٰئِكَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يُهَاجِرُوا مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ وَلَايَتِهِمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُوا ۚ وَإِنِ اسْتَنْصَرُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ فَعَلَيْكُمُ النَّصْرُ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِيثَاقٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ إِلَّا تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آوَوْا وَنَصَرُوا أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقًّا ۚ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْ بَعْدُ وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا مَعَكُمْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مِنْكُمْ ۚ وَأُولُو الْأَرْحَامِ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلَىٰ بِبَعْضٍ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

As for the unbelievers, they are friends one of another. Unless you do this, there will be persecution in the land and great corruption. And those who believe, and have emigrated and struggled in the way of God and those who have given refuge and help-those in truth are the believers and theirs shall be forgiveness and generous provision. And those who have believed afterwards and emigrated, and struggled with you they belong to you ... "(8:72-75)

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنْصُرُنَّهُ ۚقَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكُمْ إِصْرِي ۖ قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا ۚ قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ فَمَنْ تَوَلَّىٰ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

"And when God took covenant with the prophets: 'That 1 have given you of Book and Wisdom; then there shall come to you a Messenger confirming what is with you, you shall believe in him and you shall help him; do you agree?' He said. 'And do you take My load on you on that condition?' They said. 'We do agree. God said. 'Bear witness so, and 1 shall be with you among the witnesses.' Than whosoever turns his back after that -- they are miscreants." (3:81-82)

مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًا ۚ بِئْسَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

"The likeness of those who have been loaded with the Torah. Then they have not carried it, is as the likeness of an ass carrying books. Evil is the likeness of the people who have denied God's signs. God guides never the people of the evil-doers." (62:5)

  • 1. Pharaoh : It is the name of the kings of Egypt in general. It is also the surname of Walid ibn Mus'ab, king of Egypt, contemporary with Moses. He is a tyrant ruler and is the symbol of cruelty and despotism.
  • 2. Haman: It is the name of Pharaoh's vizier.
  • 3. Korah: In the Old Testament he is called the Korah and in the Qur'an he is called Qarun. He is as vicious as Pharaoh and Haman. He is Pharaoh's treasurer. The Qur'an in the Surah of "The Story" tells us about his life. He is an oppressor from the family of Israel. He is too rich, but does not help the poor. Misusing his wealth and power, he is the source of corruption in the society. At last he is destroyed by God's Will. In an earthquake, he and his family are killed.
  • 4. Taghut: By taghut we mean false god. Taghut is an idol, a demon , or any object worshipped (except God).
  • 5. Mala': It refers to a body of men of high ranks, i.e., statesmen.
  • 6. Mutrafin: It refers to a person who is blessed with affluence, (pl. of mutraf) and is allowed to enjoy oneself without interruption. It refers to the rich who have opposed the prophets because the prophets have kept them from debauching.
  • 7. Abar: Generally it refers to learned men. But in the (pl. of abr) Surah "Repentance" verse 34 it seems to refer to the Jewish rabbis.
  • 8. Ruhban: Generally it refers to a person who is pious and (pl. of rahib) fears God. In common usage it refers to Christian monks.