Sūratu’l-An‘ām [Cattle]: (6:124).Part1

Sūratu’l-An‘ām [Cattle]: (6:124).Part1

اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ

God knows best upon whom (and where, when and in what language) to place His Message. (Al-An‘ām 6:124)

There are many instances of wisdom in the rise of Islam in Makkah and its spread through the world from this blessed city. The verse above,

“God knows best upon whom to place His Message,” 

may be understood from the perspective of Divine appointment of the Messengers as well as with respect to the geological, anthropological, historical, human, spatial and linguistic dimensions of Divine Messengership. Indeed, God Almighty knows best upon whom to place His Message and in which community the Messenger will appear. It is also He Who knows best at what point during religious conflicts and clashes among nations the new religion will emerge. Let us review these points:

1. Human aspect or dimension of Divine Messengership

According to this aspect, the verse means:

God the Almighty knows best on whom to bestow the Divine Message or whom to appoint as His Messenger. 

Many Makkan polytheists regarded those like Walid ibn Mughīrah and Urwa ibn Mas‘ūd ath-Thaqafī as more appropriate for the mission of Messengership. According to their standards of importance, they did not perceive of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, as being equal to them in wealth or status and claimed:

If only this Qur’ān had been sent down on a man of leading position of the two cities (of Makkah and Tā’if—the major cities of the region)! (Az-Zukhruf 43:31)

The Qur’ān responds to their considerations as follows:

Is it they who distribute the mercy of your Lord (so that they may appoint whom they wish as Messenger to receive the Book)? (Moreover, how do they presume to value some above others only because of their wealth or status, when) it is also We Who distribute their means of livelihood among them in the life of this world, and raise some of them above others in degree, so that they may avail themselves of one another’s help? (Az-Zukhruf 43:32)

If everything in human life including the means of livelihood is dependent on the Divine distribution, Divine Messengership, which is the most important matter of human existence, cannot surely be dependent on the opinion of human beings. Since it is God Who wills the spiritual and intellectual revival of human beings and knows with what means they will be revived, He definitely knows who can bear His Message to them in the best way.

Therefore, whoever God has appointed for His Messengership, surely he is the one most appropriate for this mission. Those who, like Walid ibn Mughīrah, gossiped about Divine Messengership, had committed the biggest crime intentionally as they belittled our Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings. Since their crime meant insulting and disparaging the Prophet, they were condemned to be humiliated the most in God’s sight. Thus, the rest of the verse under discussion refers to their evil end, saying:

Soon will an abasement from God’s Presence befall these criminals and a severe punishment for their scheming. (Al-An‘ām 6:124)

This is so because the selection of Prophets belongs to God Almighty exclusively:

God chooses Messengers from among the angels as well as from among human beings. (Al-Hajj 22:75)

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