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Interpretation of Sura al-Furqan - Verses 7-8

7." And they say: 'What sort of a Messenger is this that he eats food and he walks about in the markets? Why has not an angel been sent down to him, to be a warner with him?"

8. " Or why has not a treasure been bestowed on him, or why has he not a garden to eat of it?' And the unjust say: 'You follow none other than a man bewitched'."

Occasion of Revelation

Imam Hassan 'Askara (a.s.) said that he asked his father, the tenth Imam, whether the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) argued against seeking pretext and reproaches of the Jews and pagans. His father said: "Yes, it happened many times, including the day when the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) was sitting beside Allah's house and 'Abdullah Ibn Abi-Omayah Makhzumi came to him and, standing in front of him, said: 'Oh! Muhammad, you have made a great claim and are stating terrible words!

You think that you are the messenger of the Lord of the peoples, but it is not appropriate for the Creator of all creatures and people to have a messenger like you, a human like us. You eat like us and walk in markets as we do!' The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: 'Oh Allah! You hear all words and speeches and know all things. You know what Your servants say. (You Yourself answer them.)' At this time the above verses were revealed and their seeking pretext were answered." 10

Commentary

Since the former holy verses mentioned pagans' objections about the Glorious Qur'an and they were answered in them, the concerned verses bring about another part that is about the mission of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and it is also answered. The verse says:

" And they say: 'What sort of a Messenger is this that he eats food and he walks about in the markets? ..."

They wanted to say that what a prophet he is. He needs food as other people need. He walks in markets for business and buying what he needs. This is neither the tradition of the messengers nor the custom of the kings, while he wants both to declare Divine invitation and to rule us!

They fundamentally believed that the outstanding persons must not go by themselves to market for buying what they need, but they must send servants and agents for this matter.

Then they said:

"... Why has not an angel been sent down to him, to be a warner with him?"

Very well! Suppose that a man can be a messenger of Allah, but why is he poor and destitute?

The verse says:

" Or why has not a treasure been bestowed on him, or why has he not a garden to eat of it?'..."

They did not get satisfied only with these and finally they accused him of insanity. In the end of the verse we read:

" ... And the unjust say: 'You follow none other than a man bewitched'."

They believed that sorcerers can influence the intellect and intelligence of individuals and own the faculty of reasoning!

It is understood from the above holy verses that they found some illusive faults with the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and in every phase they retreated from their views.

They first believed that the messenger must be an angel. That he eats food and walks in markets shows that he is not an angel.

Then they said that if he is not an angel, an angel must be sent by Allah for helping him.

Again they took retrograde step and said that supposing Allah's prophet is a man, a treasure must be sent down to him from the heaven, so that it will be a reason for the matter that he is supported by Allah!

In the last phase they said supposing he has none of these, but he must be at least not a poor man. Like a wealthy farmer he must have a garden for marinating him. But he has none of these and still he is saying that he is a prophet.

As a conclusion, they said that his great claim in such conditions is the sign of insanity!!

Notes:

10. Nur-uth-Thaqalyn, Vol. 4, p. 6

Adapted from the book: "Interpretation of Sura al-Furqan" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Scholars"

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