The following is a translation from the works of Dr. Sultan al-Umayri.
Some who pose this question intend to raise an objection against the notion of prophethood, by alleging that the idea of a medium between Allah and the people is contrary to wisdom and integrity. The right thing, as they say, requires Allah to convey what He wants to the people directly Himself without any barrier or intermediary in between.
Moreover, they alleged, why does not Allah sometimes show Himself to the people and tell them what He wants? Why doesn’t Allah reveal a book from time to time that clarifies and explains what He wants from the people? If a worldly king has a message for his people, he will deliver it himself and will not send anyone else unless he is incapable to do so or is too busy; however, Allah is not like that.
This objection is somewhat similar in meaning to the first one and is not different from it in its dressing of faulty concept and conclusion. The fault and confusion could be addressed as follows:
- This objection ignores the essence of difficulties in worship as they are prescribed as a means to test the worshipper. Therefore, if Allah descended Himself – as they say – or sent down a book directly (from the sky), it would eliminate the purpose of the test (and the purpose of life), which is that the people were created to worship. Then there would make no difference for them either way and they would not achieve excellence in actions which only meaningful be attained through the freedom of intent and will. This runs contrary to the fact that Allah has honored mankind to encounter burden which elevates their status in the Hereafter with great rewards for obedience.
- Convincing people to worship and to be committed to morals and values requires real struggle and tiresome education. For people’s sake, it is necessary that the teacher explains to them what is required of them and shows them how it is done and answers their questions. It is necessary to set a practical example of the provisions of religion and turning it into a practical reality that they see with their eyes and these meanings can only be realized when the Prophet is among the people.
- The entire affairs of the world are dependent on means (i.e. causes and effects); so every happening in the world whether big or small or significant or irrelevant, happens for a reason. Allah made these causes with wisdom and it does not mean that the affairs of the world run on their own. Prophethood is no different from the happenings of the world from the aspect of correlation for it is Allah, the Almighty, who made the Prophet the medium through which to communicate to the people about what He wants from them. This is like how He made the temperature of the sun a medium in how the clouds pour rain, and gravity a basis for the protection of the system of the earth.
- This objection is based on faulty logic of self-created criteria which is based on pride, arrogance, self-magnification and appreciation and the one objecting has a criteria in his or her own mind that he expects Allah to adhere to as well. So he/she creates orders for Allah to obey whereas the intricate requirements for the world to run and the acts of Allah are way beyond his or her wisdom and reasoning. The discussion on Divine wisdom and secrets of His acts are complicated matters that are way beyond the grasp of the human mind. He is like a minor whose mind could never fully grasp the mysteries of the universe in which he lives; so how is it possible that he can grasp the matters of Allah in His creation and the secrets of its management? The one objecting is blind to this reason; he has limited himself to his unproven preconceived suppositions in his mind, then he goes on to object to the orders and actions of Allah.
- The protestor of prophethood goes on to compare the orders and actions of Allah and His management of the world using the analogy of worldly kings. However, this logic is also flawed because we do not find that a king delivers the important message himself. This is an arbitrary generalization and is neither supported by evidence, nor based on full extrapolation (of logic). The king may give the message to someone close to him whom he trusts, who is strong in intellect, and is a visionary. The king does not intend to report the message himself unless he does not find trusted the ministers and the guardians suitable for the task. If we look into history, we find several instances of such occurrences. Therefore, we learn that the view of critics that ‘every important message is delivered by the king himself’ is incorrect.