Emphasis of Tableegh and Comforting the Prophet
In the previous ayaat, we have learned about the crookedness, obstinacy and anti-Islam mechanizations of Jews and Christians. A natural effect of such a behavior on Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam could have been disappointment and slowing down in tableegh efforts. He was a human after all. Had he been harsh towards the disbelievers, this would have resulted in worst of hardships at the hands of his adversaries.
In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala comforts and encourages His Messenger. He says,
يَـأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْكَـفِرِينَ
O Messenger! Convey what has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind. Verily, Allah guides not the people who disbelieve.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala addresses His servant and Messenger Muhammad sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam by the title ‘Messenger’ and commands him to convey all that He has sent him, without any hesitation, to the people. That someone likes or dislikes, takes or rejects it, should not worry him in his mission.
He then comforts him, by giving the good news that all those disbelievers will be unable to bring any harm to him in his mission as a Prophet, for Allah will Himself protect him.
وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ
“And if you do not, then, you have not conveyed His Message.” Is worth pondering. This address means that if he failed to convey even one command to the Muslim Ummah, he would not find himself absolved of the responsibility of Prophethood. This was the reason why Rasoolullah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam strived with his full courage and strength all his life to fulfill this heavy obligation placed on his shoulders, and he didn’t leave out anything that he was commanded to convey.
Bukhari recorded that Aishah radhiAllahu anha said, “Whoever says to you that Muhammad hid any part of what Allah revealed to him, then he is uttering a lie.”
It is recorded in the two saheehs that Aishah radhiAllahu anha said, “If Muhammad hid anything from the Qur’an, he would have hidden this Ayah,
وَتُخْفِى فِى نِفْسِكَ مَا اللَّهُ مُبْدِيهِ وَتَخْشَى النَّاسَ وَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَـهُ
“But you did hide in yourself that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people while Allah had a better right that you should fear Him.” [Surah al-Ahzab Ayah 37]
Bukhari recorded that Az-Zuhri said, “From Allah comes the Message, for the Messenger is its deliverance and for us is submission to it.”
The Ummah of Muhammad has testified that he has delivered the Message and fulfilled the trust, when he asked them during the biggest gathering in his speech during the Farewell Hajj. At that time, there were over forty thousand of his Companions. Muslim recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said in his speech on that day,
يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّكُمْ مَسْؤُولُونَ عَنِّي، فَمَا أَنْتُمْ قَائِلُونَ؟
“O people! You shall be asked about me, so what are you going to reply?” They said, “We bear witness that you have conveyed (the Message), fulfilled (the trust) and offered sincere advice.” The Prophet kept raising his finger towards the sky and then pointing at them, saying,
اللَّهُمَّ هَلْ بَلَّغْتُ؟ اللَّهُمَّ هَلْ بَلَّغْتُ؟
“O Allah! Did I convey? O Allah! Did I convey?”
وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ
indicates the Prophet knows the consequences of his failure to deliver the message he was sent with.
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas radhiAllahu anhu commented on the ayah, “It means, if you hide only one Ayah that was revealed to you from your Lord, then you have not conveyed His Message.”
وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ
Allah will protect you from mankind means, you convey My Message and I will protect, aid and support you over your enemies and will grant you victory over them. Therefore, do not have any fear or sadness, for none of them will be able to touch you with harm. Before this Ayah was revealed, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was being guarded, as Imam Ahmad recorded that Aishah said that the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was vigilant one night when she was next to him; she asked him, “What is the matter, O Allah’s Messenger?” He said,
لَيْتَ رَجُلًا صَالِحًا مِنْ أَصْحَابِي يَحْرُسُنِي اللَّيْلَة
“Would that a pious man from my companions guard me tonight!?” She said, “Suddenly we heard the clatter of arms. The Prophet said,
“Who is that?” He (the new comer) replied, “I am Sa`d bin Malik (Sa`d bin Abi Waqas).” The Prophet asked,
مَا جَاءَ بِكَ؟
“What brought you here?” He said, “I have come to guard you, O Allah’s Messenger.” Aishah radhiAllahu anha said, “So, the Prophet slept (that night) and I heard the noise of sleep coming from him.” This hadeeth is recorded in two saheehs.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Aishah radhiAllahu anha said, “The Prophet was being guarded until this Ayah, وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ was revealed.”
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْكَـفِرِينَ
Verily, Allah guides not those who disbelieve means, O Muhammad, you convey, and Allah guides whom He wills, and misguides whom He wills. In Surah al-Baqarah ayah 272, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,
لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ
Not upon you is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills.
Similarly, in Surah Ar-R’ad ayah 140, He says,
فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَـغُ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَابُ
Your duty is only to convey and on Us is the reckoning.
– The lesson in this ayah is that we should hold a firm believe regarding whatever the Prophet of Allah, sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam, conveyed us was what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala instructed him. We should have no doubts in his preaching or his Sunnah. We should also not ask if he left anything out because he was a Messenger of Allah, he could not back out of his responsibility.
– Secondly, in it is a message for every da’ee that if you’re striving for the cause of Allah solely for His sake and not to look good in the eyes of the people then you should not worry about what people are going to say. Strengthen your efforts and leave the matter to Allah. If you’re sincere to your work, in sha Allah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will make out a way.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala give us the tawfeeq and strength to work in His cause sincerely, and may He accept our efforts, aameen.