From Merchant to Messenger

A Messenger's Duty

5:99 The duty of the Messenger is only to deliver the Message, and Allah knows what you reveal and you conceal.


13:38 And We have sent forth Messengers before you and given them wives and progeny; but no Messenger had the power to come up with a sign except with Allah’s Permission. Every age as its own Book.

13:39 Allah blots out and confirms what He pleases; and with Him is the Mother of the Book.

13:40 And whether We show you a part of what We promised them or cause you to die, your duty is to deliver the Message and it is for Us to do the reckoning.

The duty of every messenger is to deliver the message which can be summed up "there is only one god and only Him you will worship or He will sentence you to burn in Hell for an eternity come Judgment Day."

13:35 The likeness of Paradise, which the righteous have been promised is this: rivers flow beneath it, its produce and shade are permanent. That is the ultimate fate of those who guard against evil; but the fate of the unbelievers is the Fire.

13:36 And those to whom We have given the Book rejoice in what was revealed to you, but some of the factions deny a part of it. Say: “I have only been commanded to worship Allah and not to associate any one with Him; Him I call, and unto Him is my return.”

13:37 And thus We revealed it [to be a Book of] judgement in Arabic; and were you to follow their desires (of the unbelievers) after the knowledge which came to you, you would have neither a guardian nor a protector [to save you] from Allah.

13:41 Do they not see how We tackle the earth, causing it to shrink from its extremities (“We are causing the influence of Islam to spread fast in the land and are thus reducing the boundaries of the influence of its opponents. Moududi”)? When Allah judges no one can reverse His Judgement. And He is Quick in calling to account.

13:42 Those who came before them did scheme, but Allah is Master of all scheming. He knows what each soul earns, and the unbelievers shall know to whom is the happy end in the Hereafter.

13:43 The unbelievers say: “You are not a Messenger.” Say: “Allah suffices as a witness between me and you, as well as those who have a knowledge of the Book.”

If a messenger is only a person who is tasked with delivering a message from God, than the unbelievers were correct in questioning their brethren's claim to the title, for revelation 13:34 is from a Medinan surah. After fleeing Mecca for Medina, with Allah's acquiescence, the simple messenger settled on the sword as a more effective mean of getting Allah's Message across.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' and whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' his life and property will be saved by me except for Islamic law, and his accounts will be with Allah, (either to punish him or to forgive him.)"

Bukhari 52.196

A verse, apply named the Verse of the Sword, with which you may already be familiar, was duly received confirming this messenger's expanded mission.

9:5 Then, when the Sacred Months (these are the four months during which war was prohibited in pre-Islamic times) are over, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, take them [as captives], besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every point of observation. If they repent afterwards, perform the prayer and pay the alms, then release them. Allah is truly All-Forgiving, Merciful. 

Paying for the Message

Is Allah, in revelation 23:72, expressing misgivings about the Prophet asking to be paid for his work as His spokesperson?

23:72 Or are you asking them for a reward? But, the reward of your Lord is better, and He is the Best Provider.

23:73 And You are surely calling them to a straight path.

23:74 Those who do not believe in the Hereafter are deviating from the Path.

23:75 If We show them mercy and lift their affliction, they would persist in their arrogance, wondering aimlessly.

A more pointed verse about wages, and Allah knowing if you paid or not.

34:47 Say: “Whatever wage I asked you for is yours [to give]. My wage is with Allah and He is a witness of everything.”

Like Noah, and other Messenger who came before, the Greatest of them all may have had second thoughts, or just narrowed his requests for donations to converts, revelation 25:57.

25:55 They worship, apart from Allah, what neither profits nor harms them; and the unbeliever have always been a partisan (of Satan) against his Lord.

25:56 We have only sent you forth as a bearer of good news and a warner.

25:57 Say: “I do not ask for any wages for this, except for him who wishes to follow a path leading to his Lord.”

At one point Allah advised His Messenger to say that “friendship towards kinsmen” was reward enough, revelation 42:23:

42:22 You see the wrongdoers in awe of what they have earned, although it is bound to catch up with them; but those who believe and do the righteous deeds shall be consigned to the greenest gardens, wherein they have whatever they desire from their Lord. That is the great bounty.

42:23 That is good news which Allah announces to His Servants who believe, and do the good deeds. Say: “I ask you no reward for it (this message, Muhammad Assad) except kinship towards kinsmen.” Whoever performs a good deed, We shall increase its goodness. Allah is truly All-Forgiving, Thankful.

42:24 Or will they say: “He has imputed falsehood to Allah?” Had Allah willed, He would have put a seal upon your heart. He obliterates falsehood and confirms the Truth by His Words. Surely, He knows the secrets hidden in the breasts.

In Mecca, God's Messenger had asked or hinted at an offering for delivering the Message. After fleeing to Medina, Allah allowed the Prophet and His followers, and the generations of believers that followed, to pay themselves from the property of the people they killed for refusing their entreaties to submit to the Will of Allah.

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah:

The Prophet said, "I have been given five things which were not given to anyone else before me.

1. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey.

2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum (dry ablution i.e. washing oneself before prayer using sand or dust if no water available), therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due.

3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me (and my followers) yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me.

4. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection).

5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind."

Bukhari 7.331