Friday 27 January 2023

Why all Prophets were MEN? (Scholars' Viewpoint)

Our Lord, the Creator of the Universe, has sent His specially chosen men as His prophets and messengers to different nations since Adm descended on earth. The sole purpose of sending prophets and messengers was to spread His Divine Commands to the people so that they follow the path He has chosen for us. As per historians and estimates, some 124,000 prophets were sent by our Lord. 

Interestingly, all prophets were men and there is record available if the prophetesses too were sent. Why is it that God only chose men, is His prerogative and we do not have to comment or raise our eye brows for many today think it was against the so-called gender equality. Yet, this question is more often than not raised and asked from scholars. And obviously they do not have a rationale for this query.

In fact, such queries are raised when we tend to compare things or try to find a scientific answer to everything. We know that men and women are biologically different. Each one of them is has a specific task to do within their own sphere keeping in view their physical and mental abilities. No matter how much a woman undergoes a strenous gym session, she can never be at par with men physicaly. Secondly women by nature are emotionally chrged while men are more prone to logical reasoning. 

This has been said in the 4th verse of Surah 4. An Nisa (The Women):
وَلَا تَتَمَنَّوۡا مَا فَضَّلَ اللّٰهُ بِهٖ بَعۡضَكُمۡ عَلٰى بَعۡضٍ​ ؕ لِلرِّجَالِ نَصِيۡبٌ مِّمَّا اكۡتَسَبُوۡا ؕ​ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيۡبٌ مِّمَّا اكۡتَسَبۡنَ​ ؕ وَسۡئَـلُوا اللّٰهَ مِنۡ فَضۡلِهٖ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيۡمًا‏  
(4:32) Do not covet what Allah has conferred more abundantly on some of you than others. Men shall have a share according to what they have earned, and women shall have a share according to what they have earned. Do ask of Allah His bounty. Allah has full knowledge of everything.
Eminent Muslim scholars Yusuf Ali says while explaining this verse: 
Men and women have gifts from Allah-some greater than others. They seem unequal, but we are assured that Allah has allotted them by a scheme by which people receive what they earn. If this does not appear clear in our sight, let us remember that we have no full knowledge but Allah has. We must not be jealous if other people have more than we have-in wealth or position or strength or honour or talent or happiness. Probably things are equalized in aggregate or in the long run, or equated to needs and merits on a scale which we cannot appraise. If we want more, instead of being jealous or covetous, we should pray to Allah and place before Him our needs. Though He knows all, and has no need of our prayer, our prayer may reveal to ourselves our shortcomings and enable us to deserve more of Allah's bounty or make ourselves fit for it.

Explaining this verse, revered exegete of Qur'an Ibn-Kathir quotes Imam Ahmad who recorded that Umm Salamah said, "O Messenger of Allah! Men go to battle, but we do not go to battle, and we earn one-half of the inheritance (that men get).'' Allah sent down, (And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others). 

At-Tirmidhi also recorded this Hadith. Allah's statement, (For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned,) indicates, according to Ibn Jarir, that each person will earn his wages for his works, a reward if his deeds are good, and punishment if his deeds are evil. It was also reported that this Ayah is talking about inheritance, indicating the fact that each person will get his due share of the inheritance, as Al-Walibi reported from Ibn `Abbas. 

Allah then directed the servants to what benefits them, (and ask Allah of His Bounty.) Therefore, the Ayah states, "Do not wish for what other people were endowed with over you, for this is a decision that will come to pass, and wishing does not change its decree. However, ask Me of My favor and I will grant it to you, for I Am Most Generous and Most Giving.'' 

Allah then said, (Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.) meaning, Allah knows who deserves this life, and so He gives him riches, and whoever deserves poverty, He makes him poor. He also knows who deserves the Hereafter, and He directs him to perform the deeds that will help him to be successful in it, and whoever deserves failure, He prevents him from achieving righteousness and what leads to it. 

Hence, Allah said, (Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything).

The verse quoted above, and its interpretation by the exegetes, should clear all doubts existing in the minds of many, especially women, who think that they have been treated UNJUSTLY by not having being chosen as prophetesses. Men were preferred over women to be prophet for they could endure the hardships better than women. And we have seen how prophets were maltreated, abused and physically and mentally harmed when they tried to put across the word of God to their people. Many prophets wee killed in cold blood while many others were stoned and put in seclusion so that they could be persuaded not to act like prophets. Yet, we see that they remained steadfast and continued to spread the word of God and ultimately in the end they were successful. Quite obviosly, women may not have endured these physical and mental torture at the hands to rough and tough men of the deserts.

The respect that women enjoy today was nt there in the times of prophets. In fact baby girls born were buried alive and women were treated like animals and third rate humans. Under such hostile conditions. preferring men over woman makes sense.

Please watch an enlightening video on the subject below by one of the most eminent scholars of present times, Nouman Ali Khan:
Nouman Ali Khan, born to a Pakistani family, is an American Muslim speaker and Arabic instructor who founded the Bayyinah Institute for Arabic and Qur’anic Studies, after serving as an instructor of Arabic at Nassau Community College. He has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan.

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is our duty to convey only to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the video above are those of the scholar concerned. We have shared this view as added information in better understanding of Islam. The reader may or may not agree with the view owing to their own perception. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

For more Scholarly views and videos, please read our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on Important Issues Related to Islam.

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