The Prophets were Sent to Guide People to the Service of God
God declared in the Qur’an:
I have not created jinn and mankind except to serve me. (al-Zariyat, 51.56)
We have not been created to eat, drink and reproduce; these are natural facts of our life, and natural needs. The main purpose for our creation is to recognize God and serve Him. For this reason, all the Prophets were sent to show us the way to the service of God. Again, God declares in the Qur’an:
We never sent a Messenger before you except that We revealed to him, saying, ‘there is no god but I, so serve Me!’ (al-Anbiya’, 21.25)
Indeed, We sent forth among every nation a Messenger, saying, ‘serve you God, and eschew ‘taghut’ [idols, tyrants, Satan and the party of Satan]’. Then some of them God guided and some were justly disposed to misguidance. (al-Nahl, 16.36)
God sent the Prophets so that they might guide us to His service. All the Prophets were sent for the same purpose, with the exception that while the mission of all the previous Prophets was ‘limited’ to only one nation and a fixed period, the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, was sent as a mercy to all the ‘worlds’, including mankind and jinn.
The jinn are beings that we cannot see. According to an authentic narration, Ibn Mas‘ud reports the following incident concerning the Prophet’s preaching his Message to the jinn:
Once God’s Messenger and I went somewhere. He drew a circle around me and said, Do not leave this circle until I return. He went, and after a while, some tumults broke out on the other side. I wondered whether something had happened to God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, but he had commanded me not to leave the circle until his return. Some time later, God’s Messenger returned and I asked him about the uproar. He replied: The jinn have believed in, and taken the oath of allegiance to, me. When some among them insisted on unbelief, fighting broke out between them. The uproar you heard was the fighting. This implies that my life is about to terminate.1
By this last sentence, God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, meant that the purpose for his being sent was to open the way to the guidance of mankind and jinn, and once this way was opened, it would be of no use for him to live longer because there was nothing more left to him to do in life. This also implies that a believer should never be neglectful of his essential duty in this world and pray to God, as instructed by God’s Messenger, saying, ‘O God, make me die if death is good for me; or else, make me live long as long as living is good for me!’2
1. Tabari, Jami‘ al-Bayan, 24.33; I. Hanbal, 1.499.
2. Bukhari, Marda, 19; Muslim, Dhikr, 10.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.