Muslim World

Some Divine Wisdoms of Choosing the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as the Final Messenger to Mankind

Some Divine Wisdoms of Choosing the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as the Final Messenger to Mankind

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضي الله عنه said, “Indeed Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى looked at the hearts of the servants and found the heart of Muhammad to be the best of the hearts of the servants. So, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى chose Muhammad for himself and sent him with the message. Then, He looked at the hearts of the servants after the heart of Muhammad and He found the hearts of his companions the best hearts of all the servants. So, He made them advisors of his Prophet , who would fight for his religion. Therefore, whatever the Muslims see as good, then with Allah it is good, and whatever the Muslims see as bad, then with Allah, it is bad.” (Musnad Ahmad) From this, we learn the wisdom behind Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى choosing Muhammad – it is because he is the best man with the purest heart.  The Prophet said, “I am the Master of the Day of Judgment, and I am not boasting.” (Tirmidhi) This hadith also shows that he is the best man because it is obvious that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى would only choose the best to be master of such a day. And Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى destined for the best man in humanity to be at the exact place and time for delivering the final message to all of mankind, among other things.

The Prophet informed us, “I was a prophet when Adam was between soul and body.” (Saheeh)

Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى said :ٱللَّهُ أَعۡلَمُ حَيۡثُ يَجۡعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ…

In this verse, the word “hayth” (حَيۡثُ) is an Arabic word which, in this phrase, means to put something in a “place, time, circumstance or situation,” and so forth. Therefore, this part of the verse can be translated as: “…Allah is Most Knowing of where/when/in which situation and circumstance to place His message…” (Al-Anam: 124)

 جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْكَعْبَةَ ٱلْبَيْتَ ٱلْحَرَامَ قِيَـٰمًۭا لِّلنَّاسِ وَٱلشَّهْرَ ٱلْحَرَامَ وَٱلْهَدْىَ وَٱلْقَلَـٰٓئِدَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ لِتَعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

“Allah has made the Ka’bah—the Sacred House—a sanctuary of well-being for all people, along with the sacred months, the sacrificial animals, and the ˹offerings decorated with˺ garlands. All this so you may know that Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth, and that He has ˹perfect˺ knowledge of everything.” (Al-Maidah: 97)

This next verse teaches us the same concept, which is that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, by having His final message begin in Makkah and around the Ka’bah, and which the Prophet would have to reconquer in order for the message to reach the world, chose the best place for His prophet. It is clear that in order for the message to come out from the Arabian peninsula and envelope the earth, Makkah, which is where the Ka’bah is, had to be the springboard of this same message–and it had to be conquered. What this verse tells us, when we see how perfectly positioned the Prophet was, is that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى is All-Knowing and has infinite wisdom. It is important to understand that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى chose the Prophet Muhammad because he was the best in humanity, and then, subsequently placed the Prophet in the perfect position. This is different than claiming or believing that Muhammad happened to be in the perfect position so Allah chose Him. 

We will discuss some of the points of Divine placement, one by one, below.

Location

The Prophet emerged in Makkah in the Arabian Gulf, which is a region that all major global trade routes must pass through. Shipping goods by water, even till this day, is the most efficient way to transport goods. At the time the Prophet Muhammad lived and taught Islam, the East and West of the world would have to pass through the Arabian peninsula. This ensured that the message of Islam would be immediately spread throughout the world. Not only that, it also ensured that once Islam emerged that it would be in a powerful position, not easily wiped out by the powers around it. This is because removing Islam from that central position would upset the political balance of the world, and therefore, once the message came out in Arabia, humanity in its entirety would be unable to uproot it. Furthermore, despite being centrally located, there is a “protective shield” around Makkah in the form of a very hostile desert on every side, large bodies of seawater on three of its sides, no surface fresh water whatsoever, and very sparse farming throughout making it invasion-proof when Islam was in its fledgling stage. When the Prophet first began to preach Islam in Arabia and it was politically fragile, there was no external army from the Persians, Romans or Abyssinians that could march on Arabia because there was nothing near sufficient pasture to support cavalry to march into the region. Moreover, to march on foot to Arabia would be suicidal because the amount of water that would need to be carried would be impossible to accomplish. It is important to mention that the infantry outside of Arabia would not be able to sustain the climate or those hardships from non-heavy agricultural areas that they would experience on that march. Lastly, the armies would need to rely heavily on Arab guides to lead them through to Makkah, and they would be open to betrayal and harassment from vigilante Bedouin raids. Therefore the Prophet was put in a divinely perfected location, which was central, yet protected and invulnerable. 

Time

The Prophet Muhammad emerged with the final message of Islam at the perfect moment in the timeline of human history. All the previous messengers and prophets had been building up the message and building up humanity for this moment. Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه reported the Prophet said: “The likeness of me in regard to prophets who came before me is like a man who built a structure and then he made it excellent and aesthetically pleasing except for the place of one brick in one of its corners, which was empty. People started to walk around the structure and express their admiration for it, but they would say, ‘If only that one missing brick was put in place.’” The Prophet then said, “I am that brick. And I am the seal of prophethood.” We see from this hadith that prophethood in humanity was like a building that was being constructed and the Prophet Muhammad was the completion and the final touch to the institution of prophethood in humanity.

 At the time the Prophet Muhammad received revelation, humanity’s interdependency and need for a globalized system had come to full maturation. Some events preceding the emergence of the Prophet that evinced humanity was primed and in need for a final message were:

  1. Linking the Trade Routes–The linking of two major global trade routes via Makkah occurred just before the coming of the Prophet . There were two main international trade routes at the time close to the emergence of the Prophet that linked the West to the East, and they ran parallel to each other. The northern one linked Persia and other parts of Central Asia to the Mediterranean world via the Levant while the more southern route linked India and southeastern Asia to Africa and other parts of the Indian Ocean world via Yemen. However, these two routes were not connected in any way. Furthermore, around this time, in the early sixth century a super-volcano erupted in southeastern Asia which covered the earth in darkness with ash for about a year. This greatly reduced global crop yields. That situation, in turn, caused the need for global trade to increase. At about the same time, Haashim, the forefather of the Prophet, came up with the idea of linking the southern route to the northern one via Mecca by instituting rihlat ashitaa wassayf, “the journey of the winter and summer,” which is mentioned in Surat Quraysh. They would take six months to travel south with their caravans to Yemen and back in the winter, and then six months total in the summer to travel north to the Levant and back. This link between these two previously disconnected centers of trade (Yemen and the Levant) put Makkah at the center of all old world, international trade routes during the early 6th century. This was a further wisdom for placing Muhammad in Makkah at the time he lived and received revelation.
  2. Political Situation in Arabia and the Surrounding Region–As the world moved towards needing a central system of political order, the competition between the Romans and Persians increased. Thus, immediately preceding the emergence of the Prophet ﷺ, the Romans and Persians had been locked into a tit-for-tat battle for hundreds of years (approximately 300). Being equal in might and wealth, neither side was able to defeat the other. This was an exhausting situation for the people of these regions. Meanwhile, in Arabia, there was an absence of central authority. Therefore, the Arabs were threatened with extinction because all the different tribes were locked into unending warfare. Also due to the aforementioned drought and crop failure, the entire world was experiencing lots of fighting. The need for a central authority in the world that was neither Persian nor Roman reached a fever pitch. This was yet another wisdom of placing the Prophet Muhammad amongst the Arabs.
  3. Lineage–In addition to the Prophet Muhammad being chosen from among the Arabs, who were in between the Persians and Romans, and, consequently, in a position to end the cycle of violence if they were to rise to power, the Prophet Muhammad was also placed in the lineage of Quraysh, which was the most noble lineage of the Arabs, whose tribe was respected and recognized as the people who took care of The Sanctuary of the Ka’bah and hosted the pilgrims who visited it. Here, protection meant that all pilgrims arriving in Makkah were guaranteed whatever food and water was available to the Quraysh, as well as shelter and protection. This also meant that if the Prophet rose to power, Islam would be the central authority over Arabia. This was the Divine wisdom of putting the Prophet in the line of noblemen that he came from. 

In conclusion Allah chose the Prophet Muhamad because was the best man and placed him at the perfect time, location and amongst the most appropriate people and with the best lineage. Once, a man had posited that all of Arabia and the people in it were the worst before the coming of the Prophet to which the Prophet stated: ““From among the sons of Adam, Allah chose Quraysh; from among Quraysh, He chose Kinanah; from among Kinanah He chose Bani Hashim; and from Bani Hashim He chose me” (Muslim). When Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى choses a person, place or time, it is a sign of its excellence and eminence, so here, the Prophet was gently letting the people know that, in fact, his lineage was one of the best in humanity. And all of this put the message of Islam in a phenomenal position to spread around the world.