From Merchant to Messenger

The Prophet Muhammad's struggle for legitimacy as revealed in the Koran

You Are Not Their Keeper, Guardian, or Overseer

From Merchant to MessengerWith the god for whom he spoke never tiring of reminding him of all the generations He has destroyed for not doing as they were told (see Getting to Know Allah: “Allah Days - A Litany of Death and Destruction,” Boreal Books for the largest sample), Muhammad was cognisant of the torment his kin would experience if he failed to convince them to submit to the Will of Allah. It obviously bothered him, in spite of their undermining his efforts.

27:67 The unbelievers say: “What then, will we and our fathers be raised, once we have turned into dust?

27:68 “We have been promised that, we and our fathers before. These are only the legends of the ancients.”

27:69 Say: “Travel in the land and see what was the end of the criminals.”

27:70 Do not grieve for them and do not be distressed on account of what they contrive.

27:71 And they say: “When is this promise to be fulfilled, if you are truthful?”

27:72 Say: “Perhaps some of what you seek to hasten is drawing near.”


35:8 What of him whose evil work was made attractive to him and so he regarded it as fair? Allah surely leads astray [whomever] He wishes and guides [whomever] He wishes; so do not let your soul waste away in regrets for them. Allah is fully aware of what they do.

You are not their keeper or guardian, Allah would remind him. They are responsible for what happens to them. Just keep on doing what you have been instructed to do.


42 Ash-Shura

In the Name of Allah,

the Compassionate, the Merciful

42:1 Ha – Mim.

42:2 ‘Ain – Sin –Qaf (Two sets of symbols is unusual, no consensus on meaning).

42:3 Thus Allah, the Al-Mighty, the All-Wise reveals to you (Muhammad) and to those who preceded you.

42:4 To Him belongs what is in the heavens or on earth, and He is the All-High, the Great.

42:5 The heavens are almost rent asunder above them; while the angels proclaim the praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth. Lo, Allah is truly the All-Forgiving, The Merciful!

42:6 Those who have taken other protectors, apart from Him, Allah oversees them and you are not their guardian.


6:103 Vision does not attain Him, but He attains the vision, and He is the Kind, the All-Knowing.

6:104 Clear proofs have come to you from your Lord. Thus he who perceives, perceives for his own advantage, and he who is blind, that is to his lost; and I am not your Keeper (even though this statement is from God, it is expressed through the mouth of the Prophet, Moududi).

 6:105 And thus We make clear the revelations so that they may say (to Muhammad): “You have studied (discussed this with the People of the Book)”, and that We make it clear to a people who know.

6:106 Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord; for there is no god but He; and turn away from the polytheists.


10:108 Say: “O people, the truth has come to you from your Lord; whoever is well-guided is well-guided only to his own advantage, and whoever goes astray goes astray only to his disadvantage, and I am not a guardian over you.”

Who is not their keeper is unambiguous in Revelation 6:107.

6:107 Had Allah pleased, they would not have associated [other gods]; and We have not made you their keeper, and you are not their guardian.

You are not their overseer either!

39:41 We have sent the Book upon you for all mankind in truth. He who is well-guided is guided to his own gain, and he who goes astray, will go astray to his loss. You are not their overseer.

More revelations (6:66, 42:48) emphasizing that Muhammad was not the guardian of the people: 

6:66 And your people deny it (the Qur’an), whereas it is the truth. Say: “I am not your guardian.”

6:67 For every event there is a fixed time, and you shall certainly know.


42:47 Answer your Lord’s Call before a Day comes from Allah that cannot be turned back. Upon that Day you will have no shelter, no disclaimer.

42:48 Should they turn away, We have not sent you as guardian to watch over them; incumbent on you is delivering the Message only. Indeed, when We make man taste a mercy from Us, he rejoices in it, but when they are afflicted with a misfortune, on account of what their hands had previously perpetrated, then man is truly thankless.

More revelations (15:89, 22:49) about Muhammad being just a warner.

15:85 We have not created the heavens and the earth and what lies between them save in truth; and the Hour is surely coming. So forgive them magnanimously.

15:86 Your Lord is indeed the Creator, the Knower.

15:87 And We have given you seven off-repeated (the seven oft-repeated verses of the Opening Surah of the Qur’an) [Verses] and the great Qur’an.

15:88 Do not strain your gaze towards what We gave certain groups of them to enjoy, and do not grieve for them, and lower your wing (be modest) to the believers.

15:89 And say: “I am truly the plain warner.”

15:90 Just as We sent down [punishment] upon the dividers (the Jews and Christians),

15:91 Who divided the Qur’an into parts (they accepted a part of it and rejected the rest).

15:92 By your Lord, We shall question them all,

15:93 Regarding what they used to do.

15:94 So proclaim what you are commanded and turn away from the polytheists.

15:95 Our support to you against the scoffers will be sufficient;

15:96 Those who set up another god with Allah. They will surely come to know.

15:97 And We know well that your heart is distressed at what they say.


22:49 Say: “O people (the Meccans), I am only a plain warner to you.”

You may try to guide them (Revelation 16:37), but it will be to no avail if Allah wishes to lead them astray.

16:35 The idolaters say: “Had Allah pleased, neither we nor our fathers would have worshipped any [gods] besides Him; nor would we have forbidden anything against His will.” [But] thus did those who came before them. What should the Messengers do except to deliver the plain Message?

16:36 We have sent forth to every nation a Messenger saying: “Worship Allah and avoid the idols. Some of them Allah guided and others were justly left in error. Travel, then, in the land and see what was the end of the denyers (sic).”

16:37 If you (Muhammad) are eager to guide them, Allah surely will not guide those whom He leads astray, and they will have no supporters.


28:56 You do not guide whom you wish, but Allah guides whom He wishes, and He knows better the well-guided.

In the Koran, there is no bearing of anyone else’s burden.

35:18 No laden soul shall bear the burden of another; and if a heavy-burdened soul calls for its burden to be borne, not a whit of it will be borne, not even by one who is a kinsmen. You (Muhammad) only warn those who fear their Lord although He is unseen, and who perform the prayer. He who purifies himself purifies himself for his own good, and unto Allah is the ultimate return.

Muhammad—as a member of the Quraysh, the ruling tribe of Mecca —may have been embarrassed by the lower classes, petty criminals, and the indigent who flocked to his banner, prompting Allah’s intervention about driving them away.

6:52 And do not drive away those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, seeking nothing but His Face. You are not in the least accountable for them, nor are they in the least accountable for you, so as to drive them away and become one of the wrongdoers.

I don’t expect you to do the impossible.

27:79 So put your trust in Allah; you are on the manifest and the true [path].

27:80 You will certainly not cause the dead to hear or the deaf to hear the call, if they turn away in flight.

27:81 And you will not deflect the blind from their error. You will only cause those who believe in Our Signs to hear; for they have submitted.