;
The Messengers are no more than Human Beings

Here Allah refutes those who denied that human Messengers could be sent:

﴿ وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا قَبۡلَكَ إِلَّا رِجَالاً۬ نُّوحِىٓ إِلَيۡہِمۡ‌ۖ

(And We sent not before you but men to whom We revealed.) meaning, all the Messengers who came before you were men, human beings. There were no angels among them. This is like the Ayat:

﴿ وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالاً۬ نُّوحِىٓ إِلَيۡہِم مِّنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡقُرَىٰٓ‌ۗ

(And We sent not before you any but men unto whom We revealed, from among the people of townships) (12:109)

﴿ قُلۡ مَا كُنتُ بِدۡعً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلرُّسُلِ

(Say: "I am not a new thing among the Messengers...) (46:9) Allah tells us that the previous nations denied that and said:

﴿ أَبَشَرٌ۬ يَہۡدُونَنَا

("Shall mere men guide us'') (64:6). So Allah says here:

﴿ فَسۡـَٔلُوٓاْ أَهۡلَ ٱلذِّكۡرِ إِن كُنتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ

(So ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know.) meaning, ask the people of knowledge among the nations such as the Jews and Christians and other groups: `were the Messengers who came to you human beings or angels' Indeed they were human beings. This is a part of the perfect blessing of Allah towards His creation: He sent to them Messengers from among themselves so that they could receive the Message from them and learn from them.

﴿ وَمَا جَعَلۡنَـٰهُمۡ جَسَدً۬ا لَّا يَأۡڪُلُونَ ٱلطَّعَامَ

(And We did not place them in bodies that did not eat food...) meaning, rather they had bodies that ate food, as Allah says:

﴿ وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا قَبۡلَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلِينَ إِلَّآ إِنَّهُمۡ لَيَأۡكُلُونَ ٱلطَّعَامَ وَيَمۡشُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَسۡوَاقِ‌ۗ

(And We never sent before you any of the Messengers but verily, they ate food and walked in the markets) (25:20) meaning, they were human beings who ate and drank like all other people, and they went to the marketplaces to earn a living and engage in business; that did not affect them adversely or reduce their status in any way, as the idolators imagined.

﴿ مَالِ هَـٰذَا ٱلرَّسُولِ يَأۡڪُلُ ٱلطَّعَامَ وَيَمۡشِى فِى ٱلۡأَسۡوَاقِ‌ۙ لَوۡلَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡهِ مَلَكٌ۬ فَيَكُونَ مَعَهُ ۥ نَذِيرًا أَوۡ يُلۡقَىٰٓ إِلَيۡهِ ڪَنزٌ أَوۡ تَكُونُ لَهُ ۥ جَنَّةٌ۬ يَأۡڪُلُ مِنۡهَا‌ۚ

(And they say: "Why does this Messenger eat food, and walk about in the markets. Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him Or (why) has not a treasure been granted to him, or why has he not a garden whereof he may eat'') (25:7-8)

﴿ وَمَا كَانُواْ خَـٰلِدِينَ

(nor were they immortals) meaning, in this world; on the contrary, they lived, then they died.

﴿ وَمَا جَعَلۡنَا لِبَشَرٍ۬ مِّن قَبۡلِكَ ٱلۡخُلۡدَ‌ۖ

(And We granted not to any human being immortality before you) (21:34) But what distinguished them from others was that they received revelation from Allah, and the angels brought down to them from Allah His rulings concerning His creation, what He commanded and what He prohibited.

﴿ ثُمَّ صَدَقۡنَـٰهُمُ ٱلۡوَعۡدَ

Then We fulfilled to them the promise. the promise that their Lord made to destroy the evildoers. Allah fulfilled His promise and did that. He says:

﴿ فَأَنجَيۡنَـٰهُمۡ وَمَن نَّشَآءُ

(So We saved them and those whom We willed,) meaning, their followers among the believers,

﴿ وَأَهۡلَڪۡنَا ٱلۡمُسۡرِفِينَ

(but We destroyed Al-Musrifin.) meaning, those who disbelieved the Message brought by the Messengers.

﴿ لَقَدۡ أَنزَلۡنَآ إِلَيۡكُمۡ ڪِتَـٰبً۬ا فِيهِ ذِكۡرُكُمۡ‌ۖ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ وَكَمۡ قَصَمۡنَا مِن قَرۡيَةٍ۬ كَانَتۡ ظَالِمَةً۬ وَأَنشَأۡنَا بَعۡدَهَا قَوۡمًا ءَاخَرِينَ فَلَمَّآ أَحَسُّواْ بَأۡسَنَآ إِذَا هُم مِّنۡہَا يَرۡكُضُونَ لَا تَرۡكُضُواْ وَٱرۡجِعُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ مَآ أُتۡرِفۡتُمۡ فِيهِ وَمَسَـٰكِنِكُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُسۡـَٔلُونَ قَالُواْ يَـٰوَيۡلَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـٰلِمِينَ فَمَا زَالَت تِّلۡكَ دَعۡوَٮٰهُمۡ حَتَّىٰ جَعَلۡنَـٰهُمۡ حَصِيدًا خَـٰمِدِينَ

(10. Indeed, We have sent down for you a Book in which there is Dhikrukum. Will you not then understand) (11. How many a town given to wrongdoing, have We destroyed, and raised up after them another people!) (12. Then, when they sensed Our torment, behold, they (tried to) flee from it.) (13. Flee not, but return to that wherein you lived a luxurious life, and to your homes, in order that you may be questioned.) (14. They cried: "Woe to us! Certainly we have been wrongdoers.'') (15. And that cry of theirs ceased not, till We made them as a field that is reaped, extinct.)

The Virtue of the Qur'an Here

Allah points out the noble status of the Qur'an and urges them to recognize its worth:

﴿ لَقَدۡ أَنزَلۡنَآ إِلَيۡكُمۡ ڪِتَـٰبً۬ا فِيهِ ذِكۡرُكُمۡ‌ۖ

(Indeed, We have sent down for you a Book in which there is Dhikrukum). Ibn `Abbas said: "Honor for you.''

﴿ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ

(Will you not then understand) means, will you not understand this blessing, and accept it This is like the Ayah:

﴿ وَإِنَّهُ ۥ لَذِكۡرٌ۬ لَّكَ وَلِقَوۡمِكَ‌ۖ وَسَوۡفَ تُسۡـَٔلُونَ

(And verily, this is indeed a Reminder for you and your people, and you will be questioned.) (43:44)

How the Evildoers were destroyed
﴿ وَكَمۡ قَصَمۡنَا مِن قَرۡيَةٍ۬ كَانَتۡ ظَالِمَةً۬

(How many a town given to wrongdoing, have We destroyed,) meaning, they were very many. This is like the Ayah:

﴿ وَكَمۡ أَهۡلَكۡنَا مِنَ ٱلۡقُرُونِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ نُوحٍ۬‌ۗ

(And how many generations have We destroyed after Nuh!) (17:17)

﴿ فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ أَهۡلَكۡنَـٰهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ۬ فَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِهَا

(And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins) (22:45).

﴿ وَأَنشَأۡنَا بَعۡدَهَا قَوۡمًا ءَاخَرِينَ

(and raised up after them another people!) means, another nation which came after them.

﴿ فَلَمَّآ أَحَسُّواْ بَأۡسَنَآ

(Then, when they sensed Our torment,) when they realized that the torment would undoubtedly come upon them, just as their Prophet had warned them,

﴿ إِذَا هُم مِّنۡہَا يَرۡكُضُونَ

(behold, they (tried to) flee from it.) they tried to run away.

﴿ لَا تَرۡكُضُواْ وَٱرۡجِعُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ مَآ أُتۡرِفۡتُمۡ فِيهِ وَمَسَـٰكِنِكُمۡ

(Flee not, but return to that wherein you lived a luxurious life, and to your homes,) This is a way of ridiculing them. It will be said to them by way of ridicule: "Do not run away from the coming torment; go back to the delights and luxuries and fine homes in which you were living.'' Qatadah said, "Mocking them.''

﴿ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُسۡـَٔلُونَ

(in order that you may be questioned) about whether you gave thanks for what you had.

﴿ قَالُواْ يَـٰوَيۡلَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـٰلِمِينَ

(They cried: "Woe to us! Certainly we have been wrong- doers.'') They will confess their sins when it will be of no benefit to them.

﴿ فَمَا زَالَت تِّلۡكَ دَعۡوَٮٰهُمۡ حَتَّىٰ جَعَلۡنَـٰهُمۡ حَصِيدًا خَـٰمِدِينَ

(And that cry of theirs ceased not, till We made them as a field that is reaped, extinct.) meaning, "they will keep on saying that, admitting their wrong- doing, until We harvest them as it were, and their movements and voices come to a stop.''

﴿ وَمَا خَلَقۡنَا ٱلسَّمَآءَ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَمَا بَيۡنَہُمَا لَـٰعِبِينَ لَوۡ أَرَدۡنَآ أَن نَّتَّخِذَ لَهۡوً۬ا لَّٱتَّخَذۡنَـٰهُ مِن لَّدُنَّآ إِن ڪُنَّا فَـٰعِلِينَ بَلۡ نَقۡذِفُ بِٱلۡحَقِّ عَلَى ٱلۡبَـٰطِلِ فَيَدۡمَغُهُ ۥ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ۬‌ۚ وَلَكُمُ ٱلۡوَيۡلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ وَلَهُ ۥ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ وَمَنۡ عِندَهُ ۥ لَا يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ عَنۡ عِبَادَتِهِۦ وَلَا يَسۡتَحۡسِرُونَ يُسَبِّحُونَ ٱلَّيۡلَ وَٱلنَّہَارَ لَا يَفۡتُرُونَ

(16. We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them for play.) (17. Had We intended to take a pastime, We could surely have taken it from Us, if We were going to do (that).) (18. Nay, We fling the truth against the falsehood, so it destroys it, and behold, it disappears. And woe to you for that which you ascribe.) (19. To Him belongs whosoever is in the heavens and on earth. And those who are near Him are not too proud to worship Him, nor are they weary.) (20. They glorify His praises night and day, they never slacken.)

Creation was made with Justice and Wisdom

Allah tells us that He created the heavens and the earth in truth, i.e. with justice.

﴿ لِيَجۡزِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسَـٰٓـُٔواْ بِمَا عَمِلُواْ وَيَجۡزِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَحۡسَنُواْ بِٱلۡحُسۡنَى

(that He may requite those who do evil with that which they have done, and reward those who do good, with what is best.) (53:31). He did not create all that in vain or for (mere) play:

﴿ وَمَا خَلَقۡنَا ٱلسَّمَآءَ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَمَا بَيۡنَہُمَا بَـٰطِلاً۬‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ ظَنُّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ‌ۚ فَوَيۡلٌ۬ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنَ ٱلنَّارِ

(And We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose! That is the consideration of those who disbelieve! Then woe to those who disbelieve from the Fire!) (38:27)

﴿ لَوۡ أَرَدۡنَآ أَن نَّتَّخِذَ لَهۡوً۬ا لَّٱتَّخَذۡنَـٰهُ مِن لَّدُنَّآ إِن ڪُنَّا فَـٰعِلِينَ

(Had We intended to take a pastime, We could surely have taken it from Us, if We were going to do (that).) Ibn Abi Najih said, narrating from Mujahid:

﴿ لَوۡ أَرَدۡنَآ أَن نَّتَّخِذَ لَهۡوً۬ا لَّٱتَّخَذۡنَـٰهُ مِن لَّدُنَّآ

(Had We intended to take a pastime, We could surely have taken it from Us,) "Meaning, `From Ourself,' He is saying, `We would not have created Paradise or Hell or death or the resurrection or the Reckoning.'''

﴿ إِن ڪُنَّا فَـٰعِلِينَ

(if We were going to do (that). ) Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and Mughirah bin Miqsam said: "This means, `We will not do that.''' Mujahid said, every time the word

﴿ أَن

(if) is used in the Qur'an, it is a negation.

﴿ بَلۡ نَقۡذِفُ بِٱلۡحَقِّ عَلَى ٱلۡبَـٰطِلِ

(Nay, We fling the truth against the falsehood,) means, `We explain the truth and thus defeat falsehood.' Allah says:

﴿ فَيَدۡمَغُهُ ۥ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ۬‌ۚ

(so it destroys it, and behold, it disappears.) it is fading and vanishing.

﴿ وَلَكُمُ ٱلۡوَيۡلُ

(And woe to you) O you who say that Allah has offspring.

﴿ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ

(for that which you ascribe.) that which you say and fabricate. Then Allah informs of the servitude of the angels, and how they persevere in worship night and day:

Everything belongs to Allah and serves Him
﴿ وَلَهُ ۥ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ وَمَنۡ عِندَهُ ۥ

(To Him belongs whosoever is in the heavens and on earth. And those who are near Him) i.e., the angels,

﴿ لَا يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ عَنۡ عِبَادَتِهِۦ

(are not too proud to worship Him,) they do not feel proud and do not refuse to worship Him. This is like the Ayah:

﴿ لَّن يَسۡتَنكِفَ ٱلۡمَسِيحُ أَن يَكُونَ عَبۡدً۬ا لِّلَّهِ وَلَا ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةُ ٱلۡمُقَرَّبُونَ‌ۚ وَمَن يَسۡتَنكِفۡ عَنۡ عِبَادَتِهِۦ وَيَسۡتَڪۡبِرۡ فَسَيَحۡشُرُهُمۡ إِلَيۡهِ جَمِيعً۬ا

(Al-Masih will never be proud to reject being a servant of Allah, nor the angels who are the near. And whosoever rejects His worship and is proud, then He will gather them all together unto Himself.) (4:172)

﴿ وَلَا يَسۡتَحۡسِرُونَ

(nor are they weary.) means, they do not get tired or feel bored.

﴿ يُسَبِّحُونَ ٱلَّيۡلَ وَٱلنَّہَارَ لَا يَفۡتُرُونَ

(They glorify His praises night and day, they never slacken.) They persist in their worship night and day, obeying Allah to the utmost, and they are able to do this, as Allah says:

﴿ لَّا يَعۡصُونَ ٱللَّهَ مَآ أَمَرَهُمۡ وَيَفۡعَلُونَ مَا يُؤۡمَرُونَ

(Who do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, but do what they are commanded) (66:6)

﴿ أَمِ ٱتَّخَذُوٓاْ ءَالِهَةً۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ هُمۡ يُنشِرُونَ لَوۡ كَانَ فِيہِمَآ ءَالِهَةٌ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا‌ۚ فَسُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱللَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَرۡشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ لَا يُسۡـَٔلُ عَمَّا يَفۡعَلُ وَهُمۡ يُسۡـَٔلُونَ

(21. Or have they taken (for worship) gods from the earth who raise the dead) (22. Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) gods besides Allah, then verily, both would have been ruined. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above all that (evil) they associate with Him!) (23. He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned.)

Refutation of false gods

Allah denounces those who take other gods instead of Him:

﴿ أَمِ ٱتَّخَذُوٓاْ ءَالِهَةً۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ هُمۡ يُنشِرُونَ

(Or have they taken gods from the earth who raise the dead) meaning, can they bring the dead back to life and bring them forth from the earth They cannot do any of that, so how can they make them rivals to Allah and worship them alongside Him Then Allah tells us that if there were another god besides Him, the heavens and the earth would be ruined:

﴿ لَوۡ كَانَ فِيہِمَآ ءَالِهَةٌ

(Had there been therein gods) means, in the heavens and the earth,

﴿ لَفَسَدَتَا‌ۚ

(then verily, both would have been ruined.) This is like the Ayah:

﴿ مَا ٱتَّخَذَ ٱللَّهُ مِن وَلَدٍ۬ وَمَا ڪَانَ مَعَهُ ۥ مِنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ‌ۚ إِذً۬ا لَّذَهَبَ كُلُّ إِلَـٰهِۭ بِمَا خَلَقَ وَلَعَلَا بَعۡضُهُمۡ عَلَىٰ بَعۡضٍ۬‌ۚ سُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

(No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him. Then each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others! Glorified be Allah above all that they attribute to Him!) (23:91). And Allah says here:

﴿ فَسُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱللَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَرۡشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

(Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, above all that they associate with Him!) meaning, glorified be He above what they say about Him having offspring or partners; glorified and exalted and sanctified be He far above all the lies that they fabricate.

﴿ لَا يُسۡـَٔلُ عَمَّا يَفۡعَلُ وَهُمۡ يُسۡـَٔلُونَ

(He cannot be questioned about what He does, while they will be questioned.) He is the Ruler Whose rule cannot be overturned and none can object to it, because of His might, majesty, pride, knowledge, wisdom, justice and subtlety.

﴿ وَهُمۡ يُسۡـَٔلُونَ

(while they will be questioned.) means, He is the One Who will ask His creation about what they did. This is like the Ayah:

﴿ فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَسۡـَٔلَنَّهُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ عَمَّا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ

(So, by your Lord, We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do.) (15:92-93)

﴿ وَهُوَ يُجِيرُ وَلَا يُجَارُ عَلَيۡهِ

(And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector) (23:88)

﴿ أَمِ ٱتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِهِۦۤ ءَالِهَةً۬‌ۖ قُلۡ هَاتُواْ بُرۡهَـٰنَكُمۡ‌ۖ هَـٰذَا ذِكۡرُ مَن مَّعِىَ وَذِكۡرُ مَن قَبۡلِى‌ۗ بَلۡ أَكۡثَرُهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ ٱلۡحَقَّ‌ۖ فَهُم مُّعۡرِضُونَ وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۟ فَٱعۡبُدُونِ

(24. Or have they taken for worship gods besides Him Say: "Bring your proof. This is the Reminder for those with me and the Reminder for those before me.'' But most of them know not the Truth, so they are averse.) (25. And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): "There is no God but I, so worship Me.'')

﴿ أَمِ ٱتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِهِۦۤ ءَالِهَةً۬‌ۖ قُلۡ

(Or have they taken for worship gods besides Him Say:) -- O Muhammad --

﴿ هَاتُواْ بُرۡهَـٰنَكُمۡ‌ۖ

(Bring your proof.) your evidence for what you are saying.

﴿ هَـٰذَا ذِكۡرُ مَن مَّعِىَ

(This is the Reminder for those with me) means, the Qur'an.

﴿ وَذِكۡرُ مَن قَبۡلِى‌ۗ

(and the Reminder for those before me) means, the previous Books, unlike what you claim. Each Book was revealed to each Prophet who was sent with the message that there is no god except Allah, but you idolators do not recognize the truth, so you turn away from it. Allah says:

﴿ وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۟ فَٱعۡبُدُونِ

(And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): "There is no god but I. ..'') This is like the Ayat:

﴿ وَسۡـَٔلۡ مَنۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَآ أَجَعَلۡنَا مِن دُونِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ءَالِهَةً۬ يُعۡبَدُونَ

(And ask those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: "Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious'') (43:45)

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ بَعَثۡنَا فِى ڪُلِّ أُمَّةٍ۬ رَّسُولاً أَنِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱجۡتَنِبُواْ ٱلطَّـٰغُوتَ‌ۖ

(And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah, and avoid Taghut (all false deities).'') (16:36) Every Prophet who was sent by Allah called people to worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate. The natural inclination of man (Al-Fitrah) also bears witness to that. The idolators have no proof and their dispute is of no use before their Lord; on them is wrath, and for them will be a severe torment.

﴿ وَقَالُواْ ٱتَّخَذَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ وَلَدً۬ا‌ۗ سُبۡحَـٰنَهُ ۥ‌ۚ بَلۡ عِبَادٌ۬ مُّكۡرَمُونَ لَا يَسۡبِقُونَهُ ۥ بِٱلۡقَوۡلِ وَهُم بِأَمۡرِهِۦ يَعۡمَلُونَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيہِمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَهُمۡ وَلَا يَشۡفَعُونَ إِلَّا لِمَنِ ٱرۡتَضَىٰ وَهُم مِّنۡ خَشۡيَتِهِۦ مُشۡفِقُونَ وَمَن يَقُلۡ مِنۡہُمۡ إِنِّىٓ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ مِّن دُونِهِۦ فَذَٲلِكَ نَجۡزِيهِ جَهَنَّمَ‌ۚ كَذَٲلِكَ نَجۡزِى ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ

(26. And they say: "The Most Gracious has begotten children.'' Glory to Him! They are but honored servants.) (27. They speak not until He has spoken, and they act on His command.) (28. He knows what is before them, and what is behind them, and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased. And they stand in awe for fear of Him.) (29. And if any of them should say: "Verily, I am a god besides Him,'' such We should recompense with Hell. Thus We recompense the wrongdoers.)