Do they eat or not?

It has been alleged that the Qur’an contradicts itself in terms of whether beings other than men were made messengers or not. It is claimed that 25:20, 12:109 and 21:7 contradict 22:75 where the former say that only men were made messengers while the latter states that angels were also made messengers.

Let us take a look at these verses and see if there is any contradiction:

وماارسلنا قبلك من المرسلين الا انهم لياكلون الطعام ويمشون في الاسواق

And We did not send before you, [O Muhammad], any of the messengers except that they ate food and walked in the markets.[1]

وماارسلنا من قبلك الا رجالا نوحي اليهم من اهل القرى

And We sent not before you [as messengers] except men to whom We revealed from among the people of cities.[2]

وماارسلنا قبلك الا رجالا نوحي اليهم فسألوا اهل الذكر ان كنتم لاتعلمون

And We sent not before you, [O Muhammad], except men to whom We revealed [the message], so ask the people of the message if you do not know.

Pondering over these verses would convey to the reader that the messengers sent towards mankind were always and only men. This does not mean that there were no other messengers other than men. On the other hand, Qur’an 22:75 states as follows:

الله يصطفي من الملائكة رسلا ومن الناس ان الله سميع بصير

Allah chooses from the angels messengers and from the people. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing.

The angels are not the messengers sent for the people. The angels bring the message of God to the Prophets who are messengers and who then give the message to the people. The earlier three verses simply state that only male human messengers were sent towards men and do not deny the possibility of messengers other than men. It is simply a matter of reading the verses properly.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.

[1] Qur’an 25:20

[2] Qur’an 12:109


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