The Creator in His Wisdom made man His Vicegerent here on the earth.. The implication of this mission entails cultivating the personality both physically and spiritually to produce a unique relationship with man’s connection to his fellow human beings both physically and spiritually, to the environment, (nature) and to the Lord Himself.
A Challenger (Satan) was also permitted to test the sincerity of man in the process of his representation of the Lord here on the earth, and to cause him to become forgetful of the purpose for which he was sent.
The Lord, out of compassion and mercy, sent Messengers to help the people stay on the correct path by helping them to make the right choices during their daily activities.
Each Messenger was specially appointed by the Lord. Every one of them delivered the Message to the people to whom they were sent, and no matter what were the challenges to which they were exposed, they never put their personal feelings or interest in their Mission. Allah tells us about it in the following verse of the Holy Qur’an:
No Messenger ever deceived mankind. (3:161)
As each Messenger was sent to a specific tribe or nation, it is possible that there were many Messengers in the world in different parts at the same time. Even just before the coming of Prophet Muhammad (pboh) there were two Messengers, John and Jesus among the Israelites at the same time.
Up to the time of the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (pboh) the Arabs never had a Messenger. Makkah became populated when Hazrat Ishmael and his mother Hajrah (Hagar) were put there by Abraham, upon divine inspiration.
For reasons only known to the Lord, preference was given by Him to the progeny of Isaac, that is, the Israelites to establish the religion of Allah on the earth. So, from Jacob to Jesus, there were many messengers who came and invite the people to the way of the Lord. In contrast to this, Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was the only Messenger who was sent to the Arab people.
Before Prophet Jesus left the world he told the people that when he would leave the Promised Messenger would be coming. He said:
I have many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. How be it when he, the Spirit of Truth is come; he will guide you unto all truth, for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear; that shall he speak and he will show you the things to come. (Jn.16:12-19)
The Qur’an also supports the fact that Jesus told his people about the coming of Prophet Muhammad (pboh). This is recorded in following verse:
And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: O Children of Israel, I am the Messenger of Allah sent to you confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. (61:4)
The Arabs were a people that were not influenced by any “ism”, that were prevalent at the time. Perhaps, this was one of the reasons why they were called “ummiyoon” which could mean not influenced by any civilization or culture. So in addition to being unlettered they were also not influenced by any one. Allah says:
And there are among the people unlettered, who know nothing of the Book. They (speak only from) their desires; and they do nothing but make conjectures. (2:78)
And you (O Muhammad) were not able to recite a book before (this Book) came; nor were you able to transcribe it. (29:48)
As the Arabs grew as a nation all by themselves, and they were not connected to any of the known civilizations, Prophet Muhammad (pboh), who was from among the progeny of Ishmael, grew up not being influenced by any one. Allah tells us about this in the following verse. He says:
He (Allah) it is Who caused to be raised amongst the unlettered people a Prophet from amongst themselves; to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom. (62:2)
Had there been any Messenger or Teacher before the Prophet (pboh), then, he could have been accused of copying. But, he being the first amongst the Arabs to be a believer in Allah and the Last Day, the verse which says about him that he was the first Muslim, can be applicable in this case, as before him there were no believer amongst the Arabs.
The Prophet (pboh) was special:
Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was, and will be outstanding personality in the entire creation. Some of the reasons for being unique are:
. He is the first in creation to be a believer.
- The first amongst the Arabs to believe in Allah and the Last Day.
- . The first Messenger to receive the unadulterated Word of Allah directly from Him in the form of a complete Book.
- . The only one to be recognized as the best example for anyone to follow.
- . The only one to be a Universal model for mankind.
- . The only one who gave to the world a universal message that is the source of guidance for all times and places.
- . The only Messenger who was able to inform his followers about the beginning and end of the universe and all creation.
- . The only Messenger to teach that forgiveness is better than to take revenge
- The only Messenger who was able to unite mankind into a universal brotherhood.
- The only one who is qualified to intercede on behalf of all believers on the Day of Judgment.
- The only one to perfect the mission which started with Father Abraham.
Prophet Muhammad (pboh) gave to mankind theoretically and practically all that is required to function as a true representative of Allah here on the earth.
The complete Code of life is contained in the Holy Qur’an which Allah says is:
And We sent down the Book to thee for the express purpose, that you should make clear to them those things in which they differ; and that it should be a guide and a mercy to those who believe. (16:64)
In addition to being a Book of Guidance, the Qur’an enlightens the believers about the mission of the Messengers who came before him, what were their difficulties and how their people deviated after receiving the guidance. Perhaps, this is a reason why Allah says that it is Al Furqan; meaning the Criterion.
The highlight of the Message that the Prophet (pboh) made known is the basic principle of faith which is: “No creature can ever be like the Creature”.
Everyone who desires to become a Muslim must declare belief that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger.
Islam recognizes that each messenger brought the same Message, of belief in Allah and the Last Day. As a result, the Qur’an informs us that anyone who upholds such a belief, even if he is a Jew, Christian, or connected to any other messenger, he will have hopes of attaining Paradise. Allah says:
Those who believe (in the Qur’an); those who are Jews; and the Sabians and the Christians: any who believe in Allah and the Last Day; and work righteousness; on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. (5:69)
Prophet Muhammad (pboh) emphasized the importance of willing submission to Allah and demonstrated in his life how this is possible. Allah tells us about his ways of life in the following verses:
Your Companion is neither astray nor being misled. Nor does he say anything of his own desire. (53:2-3)