Abuse In Society

Abuse In Society

Anyone with an Arabic consonance can multiply these examples by following the above mentioned Arabic terms for the words apostle, warner, preacher, witness, summoner, dhikr, and evangelist, as well as the terms used for the roles of Muhammad. It does not have: the guardian, the guardian, the ruler and the like. Without pretending to be exhaustive, look at verses 2:119, 11:2, 13:40, 14:52, 28:46, 29:50, 32:3, 34:46, 35:23, 37, and 42, 38. :65 and 70, 41:4, 42:6, 44:12, 46:9, 51:50-1; 67:8-9 and 26.

Abuse In Society
Abuse In Society

Putting these verses together, it becomes clear that Muhammad’s most common title, rasuul or apostle, means “one who warns, preaches and bears witness, but does not function as a protector, guardian, or administrator.” , nor any force of coercion.” And when we see how many such verses there are, the distinction between prophecy and worldly authority begins to seem like.

Similar statements about limited religious authority, about the Qur’an or Furqan (6:48, 34:34,44, 35:24, 18:56, 29: 18, 36:17), which collectively is a warning (25:1) about all prophets ) all just for preaching (16:35) but also about individual prophets like Noah (71:1-2), Moses (17:105, 5:21, 5:28); Hud (46:21), Lot (54:33-36) and Jesus (5:49). The Prophet Shuayb says, ‘I am not a guard over you’ (11:86).

Abuse In Society

Calling Muhammad “one of the ancient warners” (53:56) puts him in line with all those figures whose warnings were rejected and the prophets who brought them. Like Bahá’u’lláh after him, it seems that Muhammad understood the limits of religious and secular authority as the basic model of God’s relationship with humanity, and not as something exclusive to his own person or the necessities of time.

If we look at the context of all these ‘warning’ passages, we can generalize about the point reached. There are two aspects to the limitation of the powers of the prophets: on the one hand, the prophets’ right to exercise worldly dominion over people, to force them (because people should be free to hear the warning or not), or to judge and punish. Nor are prophets responsible for people’s rejection of the message (2:272). On the other hand, the authority to judge and punish people for their free choices lies with God, not the prophets, and the knowledge of the judgment hour is God, not the prophet. The power of the prophet is limited to two sides in relation to earthly powers and God.

Abuse In Society
Abuse In Society

judgment verses

It may be objected that Muhammad was only excluded from the executive function of government, but still had legislative and judicial functions. The distinction would be anachronistic and wrong as an explanation of Muhammad’s actions. Although Muhammad actually served as a mediator in some disputes, this was a function inherent in the traditions of the time and which could be performed by any honorable man acceptable to both parties. Where Muhammad mediated, it was not because of his position as a Prophet, but with the free consent of the parties, either given during the conflict or previously committed under the Medina treaty. Even in Muhammad’s presence, the parties to a dispute could choose another honorable man as their arbitrator, and (as in the Bani Qurayza case) Muhammad had to obey the adjudicator like everyone else. In addition, Mohammed could have refused to arbitrate when asked:


You either judge between them or turn away from them, and if you turn away from them, they cannot harm you in any way. (5:45)
It seems that Muhammad is being counseled not to interfere in matters among the Jews in Medina, because God then asks: “Why do they come to you for judgment when there is the Torah among them, which contains God’s judgment?” (5:46)

Another verse showing that Muhammad had a judicial function, at least among believers, is 4:65:

They will not believe until they turn to you for judgment in everything that has come out between them. Then they will find no resistance within themselves to what you are doing and they will surrender completely.
The verse, from the early Medina period, refers to those who say they believe, as the context shows:

Haven’t you seen those who pretend to believe? They want to rule over Taghut even though they are commanded to reject Taghut and Satan wants to mislead them. (4:60)
Some have said that Taghut was a derogatory name for a certain arbitrator, and that Satan inspired so-called believers to turn to this man for arbitration. But as Watt said, the various stories about the alleged incident and the referee differ, and some are frankly fantastic. It seems to me more like taghut is used as the personal name of the devil.

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