Messengers: God’s Communication Channel
To every nation that has passed on, God sent a messenger who summoned them to His true path. Messengers are those who communicate the existence and oneness of God, spread His religion, and inform them about what Allah demands from them, in other words, things that they should do and things that they should abstain from. They also warn them against the punishment of Hell and give them the glad tidings of Paradise.
The lives and struggles of the messengers are abundant in lessons for believers who think and are inclined to learn from them. In the Qur’an, God describes in detail the subjects they communicated to their peoples, the methods they employed to persuade them and many other aspects of the messengers themselves.
There is instruction in their stories for people of intelligence… [The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 12, Verse 111 ]
Believers should not differentiate between any of the messengers and should take their virtuous manners and behaviors described in the Qur’an as their model. They should follow their advice, and act on it and hold in very high regard their warnings. Again, in accordance with Allah’s command, the Prophet (pbuh) revealed that we should not discriminate between the prophets sent by Allah, and in one hadith, said, “Don’t give superiority to any prophet amongst God’s prophets.” (Sahih Bukhari)
That is because God narrates the stories of these distinguished servants of His in the Qur’an not merely as historical facts, but also in order to encourage believers to reflect on, and pay heed to these superior people so that they may take them as their models.
The stories and actions of the messengers as described in the Qur’an contain examples and lessons for believers. This is a fact that is particularly stated in the Qur’an. For instance, it is stated that there is a good example for the believers to follow in Ibrahim (as), and those who adhered to him and their exemplary attitudes are described in the following verses:
You have an excellent example in Ibrahim and those who followed him, when they said to their people, “We washout hands of you and all that you worship apart from God, and we reject you. Between us and you there will be enmity and hatred for ever unless you believe in God alone.” But do not emulate Ibrahim’s words to his father: “I will ask forgiveness for you, but I have no power to help you in any way against God.” “Our Lord, we have put our trust in You and have repented to You. You are our final destination. Our Lord, do not make us a target for those who disbelieve. Forgive us, our Lord; You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.” There is an excellent example in them for you to follow, that is for those whose hope is in God and the Last Day. But if anyone turns away, he shall know that Allah is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 60, Verses 4-6
In the same way, all other messengers are also chosen servants of God; they should be taken as models by the believers in every respect. Those who believe make no distinction between any of the messengers and believe in what has been revealed to each of them. This is a command of God which should be carried out meticulously as all other commands:
Say, “We believe in God and what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to Ibrahim and Isma‘il and Ishaq and Ya‘qub and the tribes, and what Musa and ‘Isa were given, and what all the prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims who have submitted to Him.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 136
All messengers have called people to accept the true religion and the most upright way. This call, as well as being for their peoples, is also for us. The basic religious and moral facts that they all invited others to accept, and the characteristics of virtue that they displayed should be followed and taken as a model buys too as in ages past. As a matter of fact, God sets forth in the Qur’an the facts which messengers have invited their people to accept, and provides detailed account of the excellent character traits they possessed. He commanded all believers in the personality of our Prophet (pbuh) to submit themselves to the true path:
They are the ones to whom We gave the Book, judgment and prophethood. If these people reject it, We shall entrust it to others who will not. They are the ones God has guided, so be guided by their guidance. Say, “I do not ask you for any wage for it. It [the Qur’an] is simply an admonition to all mankind.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 6, 89-90
Excerpted from Our Messengers Say.