Messengerhood, Its Meaning and Functions
God has created no community of beings in the world without a purpose and left them without a guide or leader. It is inconceivable that God Almighty, Who has not left bees without a queen, ants without a leader, and birds and fish without a guide, has left humanity without Messengers to guide them to both spiritual and intellectual and material perfection.
Although man is capable of finding God by reflecting upon natural phenomena, without a Messenger, he is unable to discover the purpose of his creation, from where he comes and what his final destination is in life, and how he should worship his Creator. The Messengers also taught people the meaning of creation and the truth of things and unveiled the mysteries behind both historical and natural events. Again, they instructed people in the relations between man and the universe and between the Divine Scriptures and the universe. But for the Messengers, mankind would not have been able to achieve any scientific development. For, although those who adopt evolutionary approaches in explaining historical events tend to attribute everything to chance and fully deterministic evolution, it was again the Messengers who guided men in intellectual and therefore scientific illumination. For this reason, traditionally, farmers have accepted the Messenger Adam as their first master, tailors, the Messenger Enoch, ship-makers and sailors, the Messenger Noah, watch or clock-makers, the Messenger Joseph, and so on. Also, through the miracles they worked, the Messengers marked the final points in scientific and technological advances and urged people to them.
Both through their personal conduct and through the heavenly religions and Scriptures they conveyed to people, the Messengers have also guided people to develop their inborn capacities and directed them towards the purpose of their creation. Had it not been for the Messengers, man- this fruit of the tree of creation- would be left to decay.
Man needs justice in social life as much as he needs inner peace in his private life. It was again the Messengers who taught people the laws of life and established the rules of a perfect social life on the basis of justice.
Whenever mankind fell into darkness after a Messenger, God sent them new Messengers to bring them forth from darkness into light and this continued until the coming of the Last Messenger, Muhammad. The reason why Moses and Jesus were sent required that the Messenger Muhammad should be sent. However, since there was no longer need for the sending of another Messenger after him, the Messenger Muhammad became the last Messenger and through him the office of Messengerhood was ‘sealed’. Due to certain sociological and historical facts, which it will take much room to explain here, the Messenger Muhammad was sent to the whole of mankind, nay, ‘as a mercy for all the worlds’. For this reason, to be a follower of Muhammad, to be a Muslim, requires belief in all of the Messengers without making any distinction between them:
“The Messenger believes in what has been sent onto him by his Lord, and so do the believers. They all believe in God and his angels, His Scriptures and His Messengers: ‘We make no distinction between any of His Messengers’ -and they say: ‘We hear and obey. Grant us Your forgiveness, our Lord; to You is the journeying (2:285).’ “
That is why the Message of Muhammad, the religion. Islam. he received from God and conveyed to people is universal, encompassing all time and space.
Belief in God is the source of happiness, and following the Last Messenger, the Last Messenger of God, is the key to prosperity in both worlds. If mankind desires to be saved from wretchedness in all the fields of life and attain to both intellectual and spiritual and material perfection, they must wholeheartedly believe that Muhammad is the Messenger of God and follow his guidance in life.
By M. Fethullah Gulen