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Responsibilities of Prophets

 When this ayah (verse) of the Holy Quran was revealed, Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) ascended the Safa Mountain and called on the people of Makkah saying “Ya Sabahah”. When the people gathered there, he (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked the people saying:

‏”‏ أَرَأَيْتَكُمْ لَوْ أَخْبَرْتُكُمْ أَنَّ خَيْلاً تَخْرُجُ بِسَفْحِ هَذَا الْجَبَلِ أَكُنْتُمْ مُصَدِّقِيَّ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا مَا جَرَّبْنَا عَلَيْكَ كَذِبًا ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَإِنِّي نَذِيرٌ لَكُمْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ ‏”‏‏.(مسلم)

Translation: If I were to inform you that there were horsemen emerging out of the foot of this mountain, would you believe me? They said: We have not experienced any lie from you. He said: Well, I am a warner to you before a severe torment. (Muslim).

Allah (Ta’ala) sent the prophets to people to call them to believe in the oneness of Allah (Ta’ala) and submission to Him. Allah’s Messengers (Alaihimus Salam) gave good tidings to those who responded to their call and warned those who refused to believe in the oneness of Allah (Ta’ala) and submission to Him of the hellfire and the wrath of Allah (Ta’ala). Allah (Ta’ala) says:

وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ أَنَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۟ فَٱعۡبُدُونِ (الأنبياء:٢٥)

Translation of Meaning:  And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad SAW) but We revealed to him (saying): Lâ ilâha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allâh)], so worship Me (Alone and none else).” (Al-Anbia: 25)

وَمَا نُرۡسِلُ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلِينَ إِلَّا مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ‌ۖ فَمَنۡ ءَامَنَ وَأَصۡلَحَ فَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡہِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُونَ (٤٨) وَٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا يَمَسُّہُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡسُقُونَ (٤٩) )الأنعام :4849

Translation of Meaning: And We send not the Messengers but as givers of glad tidings and as warners. So whosoever believes and does righteous good deeds, upon such shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. (48) But those who reject Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), the torment will touch them for their disbelief (and for their belying the Message of Muhammad SAW). (49)

Messengers were Human Beings:

Like other human beings, prophets were humans. They felt hunger and thirst, happiness and sorrow. They felt all other necessities of human beings. When the disbelievers and polytheists demanded them to bring proofs beyond their powers, they would wonder on their inability to fulfill their demands and would say “You are but a human being”.  Allah (Ta’ala) says in the Holy Quran:

قُلۡ سُبۡحَانَ رَبِّى هَلۡ كُنتُ إِلَّا بَشَرً۬ا رَّسُولاً۬ (الإسراء: ٩٣)

Translation of Meaning:

Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger?” (93)

 قُلۡ إِنَّمَآ أَنَا۟ بَشَرٌ۬ مِّثۡلُكُمۡ يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَآ إِلَـٰهُكُمۡ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ وَٲحِدٌ۬‌ۖ (الكهف : ١١٠)

Translation of Meaning:

Say (O Muhammad SAW): “I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your Ilâh (God) is One Ilâh (God — i.e. Allâh).

Prophets were infallible:

Allah (Ta’ala) selected some of His servants and preferred them over the others. He (Sub’hanahu wa’ Ta’ala) trained them from the very beginning of their lives in such a way that they become pure from sins. They neither committed small nor big sins. They were raised under the protection of Allah (Ta’ala). They were distinguished among their people having good qualities and high moral characters to the extent that they proved to be good patterns and model for others. People imitated these messengers and followed their footsteps and become trustworthy in the people’s eyes. They were all from the best of Allah’s servants. Allah (Ta’ala) says:

أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحُكۡمَ وَٱلنُّبُوَّةَ‌ۚ فَإِن يَكۡفُرۡ بِہَا هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ فَقَدۡ وَكَّلۡنَا بِہَا قَوۡمً۬ا لَّيۡسُواْ بِہَا بِكَـٰفِرِينَ (٨٩) أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ هَدَى ٱللَّهُ‌ۖ فَبِهُدَٮٰهُمُ ٱقۡتَدِهۡ‌ۗ (الأنعام :٩٠)

Translation of Meaning:

They are those whom We gave the Book, Al¬Hukm (understanding of the religious laws), and Prophethood. But if these disbelieve therein (the Book, Al¬Hukm and Prophethood), then, indeed We have entrusted it to a people (such as the Companions of Prophet Muhammad SAW) who are not disbelievers therein. (89) They are those whom Allâh had guided. So follow their guidance. (Al-An’am: 90).

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