The Foundations And Concepts of Islam
At the end of this section, it is appropriate that we define the essence of prophethood and the need of mankind for it; and explain the foundations of the mission of the Messengers and the reality of the last and everlasting message of Islaam.
THE ESSENCE OF PROPHETHOOD
The greatest thing that man must know in this life is the knowledge about his Lord, Who created him from nothing and showered him with blessings. And the greatest purpose for which Allaah created the creation is to worship Him alone.
But how can man know his Lord as it is due? What are the duties and obligations binding on him? How can he worship his Lord? Man can find who will assist him during vicissitudes of life, provide for his needs like treatment for an ailment, giving some medicine, assisting to build a house and so on and so forth; but he cannot find among ordinary people who can make him know his Lord and explain to him how to worship Him. This is because human intelligence cannot independently know what Allaah intends, he cannot even perceive the intention of his fellow human being before he tells him what he intends. How can he then know what Allaah means? Further, it is also because, this matter is only restricted to the Messengers and Prophets whom Allaah has chosen to convey the Message and to those who come after them among the rightly guided leaders and the heirs of the Prophet, who follow their way, take to their Path and help to convey their message. For men cannot receive revelation from Allaah directly as they are unable to bear it. Allaah says,
“It is not given to any human being that Allaah should speak to him unless (it be) by Revelation, of from behind a veil, or that He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His leave. Verily, He is Most-High, Most Wise.”
There should therefore be an intermediary and an envoy who can convey the law of Allaah to His slaves, Those intermediaries and envoys are the Messengers and Prophets. The angel will carry the message to the Prophet and the Prophet will convey it to the people. The Angels do not carry the message to men directly, for the world of angels is naturally different from that of human beings. Allaah says,
“Allaah chooses Messengers from angels and from men.”
The Wisdom of Allaah necessitates that the Messenger should come from the race of those whom he is sent to, so that they could understand him because of their ability to speak with him. If Messengers had been sent to mankind from among the angels, they could not have been able to face him or learn anything from him. Allaah the exalted says,
“And they say: Why has not an angel been sent down to him? Had we sent down an angel, the matter would have been judged at once, and no respite would be granted to them. And had We appointed him an angel, We indeed would have made him a man, and We would have certainly confused them in which they are already confused.”
He also says,