03 Nov Why was the Qur’an revealed to Prophet Muhammad but not to people who were better-known or better-off?
Prophethood is not a quality that can be gained or acquired with effort; rather all Prophets were divinely appointed.
If God appointed a person as Prophet, that person was a Prophet even if the people did not believe in him or refused to obey him. Indeed, unbelievers made objections and protests to every Prophet for various reasons.
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, too was subjected to such treatment, and the question
“Why was prophethood given to him but not to others?”
was asked. The polytheists asked to be given the like of what God’s Messenger had been given, as they wanted to be followed instead of being the followers and to be served instead of being the servants.
God Almighty responded to what the nonbelievers wrongly claimed as follows:
“When a Revelation is conveyed to them, they say: ‘We will not believe unless we are given the like of what God’s Messengers were given.’ God knows best upon whom to place His Message. Soon will an abasement from God’s Presence befall these criminals and a severe punishment for their scheming” (An’am 6:124).
It was reported that this verse was revealed to the Prophet when Abu Jahl said:
“We will neither obey him nor be contented with him unless revelation is sent down to us as it has been sent down to him”
and when the polytheist Meccan chieftain, Walid ibn Mughira, said to the Prophet:
“If there were such thing as ‘prophethood,’ I would be more deserving of it than you, as I am older and richer than you.”
According to the Meccan polytheists, prophethood should only have been given to those who ad wealth, position and posts in Mecca or in Taif, the major cities of the region. According to their standards of importance, the Meccans did not perceive of the Prophet as being equal to them in wealth or status and they therefore claimed that the Revelation should not have been sent to him.
As such reasoning is fundamentally wrong, God warned those who were, with their false and baseless reasoning, trying to direct the Divine Revelation and trying to nominate persons for such a mission on God’s behalf:
They also say: “If only this Qur’an had been sent down on a man of leading position of the two (chief) cities!” 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? But your Lord’s mercy (in particular Prophethood) is better than what they amass (in this life). (Zukhruf 43:31-32)
So, prophethood is a matter that belongs to God; He appoints whomever He deems fit to this mission. While granting the Prophet the mission of Prophethood, God did not consult anybody about this matter. Nor did the Prophet receive this mission due to his hard work or because of any worldly possessions. God conferred a great favor on Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, when He granted him this mission of prophethood.