Why Messengers?

Messengers of God are a link between God and mankind through which God sends the Scriptures and guidance to all people. Messengers are sent to mankind to deliver God's messages. The message could be in the form of a Scripture, or simply a confirmation of an existing Scripture and a warning to the people who have deviated from the path of God. The following are various duties God assigns to His messengers:

1- Prophets sent to deliver a Scripture:

This duty is given only to the Prophets of God:

The people used to be one nation, then God sent the Prophets as bearers of news and as warners. He brought the Scriptures down with them bearing the truth to judge among the people in their disputes. 2:213

2- Messengers sent to confirm existing Scriptures:

And when a messenger from God came to them confirming what is with them, a group of those who had been given the Scripture cast the Scripture of God behind their backs as if they did not know. 2:101

Afterwards, a messenger comes to you confirm what is with you. 3:81

3- Messengers sent for teaching and purifying a people:

Our Lord, and raise in their midst a messenger from themselves to recite to them Your revelations, and teach them the Scripture and the wisdom, and purify them. You are the Dignified, the Wise. 2:129

4- Messengers sent to serve as witnesses over their people:

We have sent to you a messenger as a witness over you, just as we sent to Pharaoh a messenger. 73:15

Everyone among the People of the Book was required to believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection, he (Jesus) will be a witness against them. 4:159

How will it be when We bring a witness from every nation, and bring you as a witness over these? 4:41

5- Messengers are sent to reveal hidden issues within the Scriptures:

God reveals the contents of the Scriptures according to His Infinite Wisdom. Some matters are kept hidden until an appointed time that God has pre-ordained. God reveals some of these matters through messengers He chooses.

He is the Knower of the unseen. He does not reveal His knowledge of the unseen to anyone, except to a messenger whom He has approved of. Then He places guards before him and behind him, so that He may know that they have delivered their Lord's messages. He encompasses what is with them and He has counted the number of all things. 72:26-28

We also sent you a messenger from amongst you to recite Our revelations to you and to purify you, and to teach you the Scripture and wisdom, and to teach you what you knew not. 2:151

6- Messengers are sent to reveal issues in the Scriptures which are deliberately hidden by the people:

Many who corrupt God's truth to uphold their own idolatry are guilty of deliberately concealing important issues within the Scriptures from the people. God sends messengers to expose the idolatry of such people and to reveal these prime issues:

O People of the Book, Our messenger has come to you to clarify to you many issues which you were concealing in the Scripture, and to pardon many issues. A light has come to you from God and a clear Book. 5:15

7- Messengers are sent as Warners and also Bearers of good news:

Messengers are also sent to give good news to the believers and also warn the disbelievers:

We do not send the messengers except as deliverers of news and warners. 6:48

8- Messengers are sent to deliver their people from darkness into light:

Messengers are sent to their people to deliver them from the darkness into the light in accordance with God's Will:

We sent Moses with Our miracles: "Take your people out of the darkness and into the light and remind them of the days of God." In this are lessons for everyone who is patient and thankful. 14:5

9- The figure of a messenger is a test for the people:

God in His infinite wisdom knows that the majority of people who claim to be believers commit acts of idol worship (see 12:106). One of the most common acts of idol worship committed by the human being is the idolising of the messengers of God.

Indeed, in the figure of the messenger, God has placed a firm test for all people that tests the purity of their religion. Only the sincere believers acknowledge the fact that God's messengers are human beings like everyone else, except that they are selected by God to deliver a message. Consequently, the message they bring from God must be obeyed, but the messengers should not be idolised nor set up as god-like figures. On the other hand, the ones who are intent on committing idolatry will elevate their messengers to divine status and even love them as much, or more, than they love God! The Quran speaks of this grave sin in the following verse:

Some among the people set up equals to God, loving them as they should love God, but those who believe love God the most. If only the transgressors would witness the punishment, they would realise that all power belongs to God alone and that God's punishment is severe. 2:165

In addition, God asserts in the Quran that a genuine messenger will never ask the people to idolise him. If the people commit such acts of idol worship then they have sadly failed the test:

No human being whom God gave the Scripture, authority and Prophethood is then to say to the people, 'Worship me rather than God." But instead, "Devote yourselves to your Lord according to the Scripture you have been teaching and to what you have been studying.'
Nor would he command you to take the angels and the Prophets as lords. Would he command you to disbelieve after becoming Muslims? 3:79-80