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The Authority of the Prophet (sws) as a Preacher
Siddiq Bukhary

Response: I have received a reply to my query regarding common Muslim’s duty as a preacher1. You say that a common Muslim is just required to spread the good in his immediate surroundings. He is not obligated to communicate what he thinks good to the masses. However, one thing which comes to my mind is what responsibility our beloved Prophet (sws) had in Makkah that he conveyed the truth to everybody around him despite being hurt, even endangering his life. The resistance was so enormous that he had to leave his town, which he definitely must have held dear.

Comments: This responsibility was assigned to the Holy Prophet (sws) by the Lord. In other words, he was made responsible, in accordance with a divine scheme, for spreading the message of the Almighty in the Arabian Peninsula.

I am afraid you are not appreciating the difference between a common Muslim and a Prophet of Allah. Preaching was the basic obligation of the Prophet (sws) and he could never evade it. All the people of Makkah were his direct addressees and by preaching them he fulfilled his obligation, which was entrusted to him by the Almighty.

Prophets are always deputed to disseminate the message of Allah. Under divine bidding, they perform their task very diligently. They are also guided by the Lord at various points during the preaching endeavour. The Holy Prophet (sws) was no exception. He did what Allah commanded him disregarding his worldly comforts and putting his life at stake.

A common Muslim does not enjoy the status of a Prophet. Therefore, his responsibilities are also different. We should not erase the line which distinguishes the former from the latter. Commons Muslim, scholars and the state each has a role to play in the society regarding the spread of good and the check of evil. This classification should not be confused with the status of the Prophet Muhammad (sws). Similarly, the distinction between a common Muslim, a scholar and the state should be given due regard.






1. Siddiq Bukhary, ‘The Sphere of Preaching’, Renaissance 14 (May 2004): 60.


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