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The first prophet of the Meccans

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:57 am    Post subject: The first prophet of the Meccans Reply with quote

Who were the first prophet and messenger of the Meccans? According to the Qur'an Muhammad was sent to a people who had had no 'warners' before him (cf. 28.46, 32.03, 34.44) that could either be interpreted as the Meccans or the Arabs in general. But the last one would posit a problem cause we have several examples from the Qur'an itself that there were other prohepts and/or messengers sent to Arab tribes (cf. Shoaib, Saleh, Hud). So are we to understand that it's only refering to the Meccans? Here we encounter yet a problem cause the Meccans did indeed recieve a prophet and messenger, Ishmael (cf. 19.54). He was the first prophet and messenger of the Meccans. So is there a discrepancy here? It could be argued that Ishmael was no warner, but this has to be dismissed as every messenger and prophet implicitly also was a warner (cf. 6.48, 18.56, 67.8-9). It could be argued that there's a severe span of time between Ishmael (or Shoaib, Saleh and Hud) and Muhammad that when Muhammad begins his mission it is instigated infront a whole new people. But this in fact would imply to every people of the earth. There were Christians and Jews in Mecca (and spread out on the Arabian Peninsula) at the time of Muhammad, so the Arabs (or the Meccans) was in no different situation as the other people in the known world. Especially verse 34.44 becomes interesting: "But We had not given them Books which they could study, nor sent messengers to them before thee as Warners (trsl: Y. Ali). We are told that they received no books and were not sent any messengers before Muhammad. Surely the part about books is refering to all times and this implies that the part about messengers a doing likewise, but as we have already seen Ishmael had already been at Mecca and is regarded as a prophet and a messenger (!). This is furthermore stipulated by the verses 36.3-6 "Thou art indeed one of the apostles, On a Straight Way. It is a Revelation sent down by (Him), the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful. In order that thou mayest admonish a people, whose fathers had received no admonition, and who therefore remain heedless (of the Signs of God). ". The fathers of the people had recieved no admonition, ie. no warning before. Thereby rejecting the Christians and Jews living among the Arabs and the Meccans and rejecting that Ishmael already had been a prophet of the Meccans (and Shoaib, Saleh and Hud of other Arab tribes). Muhammad is furthermore according to the Qur'an said to be the messenger of all men, ie. the whole world. It doesn't seem necessary to point out the fact that this is not what the above verses a refering to. In that case it's still obviously a contradiction to other parts of the Qur'an since there was peoples among all men who had received books, and messenger, prophets and hence warners.

Is it a contradiction or is there a natural explanation for this, to me, seemingly discrepancy.
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