When God’s messengers are sent to a people more often than not, it is not that the people did not believe in God, but that they refused to accept the messenger and the message they were sent with.
[6:33] We know that you may be saddened by what they say. You should know that it is not you that they reject; it is GOD’s revelations that the wicked disregard.
(٣٣) قَدْ نَعْلَمُ إِنَّهُ لَيَحْزُنُكَ الَّذِي يَقُولُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ لَا يُكَذِّبُونَكَ وَلَٰكِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ
In the example from Sura 36 (Y.S.) we are informed of the following community that rejected God’s messengers.
[36:13] Cite for them the example of people in a community that received the messengers. [36:14] When we sent to them two (messengers), they disbelieved them. We then supported them by a third. They said, “We are (God’s) messengers to you.” [36:15] They said, “You are no more than human beings like us. The Most Gracious did not send down anything. You are liars.”
(١٣) وَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ مَثَلًا أَصْحَابَ الْقَرْيَةِ إِذْ جَاءَهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ
(١٤) إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُوا إِنَّا إِلَيْكُمْ مُرْسَلُونَ
(١٥) قَالُوا مَا أَنْتُمْ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُنَا وَمَا أَنْزَلَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِنْ أَنْتُمْ إِلَّا تَكْذِبُونَ
In the above example, we see that the people who rejected the messengers referred to God as the “Most Gracious.” This shows that they accepted God and understood who God is, yet they rejected the messengers and called them liars.
The challenge for most people when a messenger is sent to them is not their lack of belief in God but their failure to accept that God sent another messenger to them in order to purify them, teach them the scripture, and lead them out of darkness into the light.
[65:11] a messenger who recites to you GOD’s revelations, clearly, to lead those who believe and work righteousness out of the darkness into the light. Anyone who believes in GOD and leads a righteous life, He will admit him into gardens with flowing streams; they abide therein forever. GOD will generously reward him.
رَسُولًا يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ مُبَيِّنَاتٍ لِيُخْرِجَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَمَنْ يُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ وَيَعْمَلْ صَالِحًا يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا قَدْ أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ لَهُ رِزْقًا
[3:164] GOD has blessed the believers by raising in their midst a messenger from among them, to recite for them His revelations, and to purify them, and to teach them the scripture and wisdom. Before this, they had gone totally astray.
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ
The Egyptians at the time of Pharoah did this with Moses. In the following verse, we see that they accepted Joseph but were in denial that God would send another messenger.
[40:34] Joseph had come to you before that with clear revelations, but you continued to doubt his message. Then, when he died you said, “GOD will not send any other messenger after him. (He was the last messenger)!” GOD thus sends astray those who are transgressors, doubtful.
وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ يُوسُفُ مِنْ قَبْلُ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَمَا زِلْتُمْ فِي شَكٍّ مِمَّا جَاءَكُمْ بِهِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا هَلَكَ قُلْتُمْ لَنْ يَبْعَثَ اللَّهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ رَسُولًا كَذَٰلِكَ يُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَنْ هُوَ مُسْرِفٌ مُرْتَابٌ
The Children of Israel did the same to Jesus.
[2:87] We gave Moses the scripture, and subsequent to him we sent other messengers, and we gave Jesus, son of Mary, profound miracles and supported him with the Holy Spirit. Is it not a fact that every time a messenger went to you with anything you disliked, your ego caused you to be arrogant? Some of them you rejected, and some of them you killed.
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَقَفَّيْنَا مِنْ بَعْدِهِ بِالرُّسُلِ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ أَفَكُلَّمَا جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لَا تَهْوَىٰ أَنْفُسُكُمُ اسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ فَفَرِيقًا كَذَّبْتُمْ وَفَرِيقًا تَقْتُلُونَ
As both the Christians and Jews did to Muhammad.
[2:89] When this scripture came to them from GOD, and even though it agrees with, and confirms what they have, and even though they used to prophesy its advent when they talked with the disbelievers, when their own prophecy came to pass, they disbelieved therein. GOD’s condemnation thus afflicts the disbelievers.
[2:90] Miserable indeed is what they sold their souls for—rejecting these revelations of GOD out of sheer resentment that GOD should bestow His grace upon whomever He chooses from among His servants. Consequently, they incurred wrath upon wrath. The disbelievers have incurred a humiliating retribution.
وَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ كِتَابٌ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَهُمْ وَكَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ يَسْتَفْتِحُونَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ مَا عَرَفُوا كَفَرُوا بِهِ فَلَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ
بِئْسَمَا اشْتَرَوْا بِهِ أَنْفُسَهُمْ أَنْ يَكْفُرُوا بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بَغْيًا أَنْ يُنَزِّلَ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ عَلَىٰ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ فَبَاءُوا بِغَضَبٍ عَلَىٰ غَضَبٍ وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ
Even the polytheist in Mecca at the time of Muhammad accepted God (Allah) and performed their Salat and Hajj, but they rejected the messengership of Muhammad and the Quran he was sent with. See Sahih Al-Bukhari 2698, 2699, 2731, 2732.
The latest messenger to have this sort of treatment has been Rashad Khalifa. Who by God’s leave was given proof of his messengership via code 19, as well as the task of purifying the corruption that has entered into the religion. Yet the people he was sent to only repeated the same history of the disbelievers in the past by first rejecting him and then killing him.
[40:28] A believing man among Pharaoh’s people, who was concealing his belief, said, “How can you kill a man just for saying, ‘My Lord is GOD,’ and he has shown you clear proofs from your Lord? If he is a liar, that is his problem, and if he is truthful, you benefit from his promises. Surely, GOD does not guide any transgressor, liar.
وَقَالَ رَجُلٌ مُؤْمِنٌ مِنْ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ يَكْتُمُ إِيمَانَهُ أَتَقْتُلُونَ رَجُلًا أَنْ يَقُولَ رَبِّيَ اللَّهُ وَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَإِنْ يَكُ كَاذِبًا فَعَلَيْهِ كَذِبُهُ وَإِنْ يَكُ صَادِقًا يُصِبْكُمْ بَعْضُ الَّذِي يَعِدُكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ مُسْرِفٌ كَذَّابٌ
[36:20] A man came from the other end of the city, saying, “O my people, follow the messengers.
[36:21] “Follow those who do not ask you for any wage, and are guided.
[36:22] “Why should I not worship the One who initiated me, and to Him is your ultimate return?
[36:23] “Shall I set up beside Him gods? If the Most Gracious willed any harm for me, their intercession cannot help me one bit, nor can they rescue me.
[36:24] “In that case, I would be totally astray.
[36:25] “I have believed in your Lord; please listen to me.”
(٣٦:٢١) اتَّبِعُوا مَنْ لَا يَسْأَلُكُمْ أَجْرًا وَهُمْ مُهْتَدُونَ
(٣٦:٢٢) وَمَا لِيَ لَا أَعْبُدُ الَّذِي فَطَرَنِي وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
(٣٦:٢٣) أَأَتَّخِذُ مِنْ دُونِهِ آلِهَةً إِنْ يُرِدْنِ الرَّحْمَٰنُ بِضُرٍّ لَا تُغْنِ عَنِّي شَفَاعَتُهُمْ شَيْئًا وَلَا يُنْقِذُونِ
(٣٦:٢٤) إِنِّي إِذًا لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ
(٣٦:٢٥) إِنِّي آمَنْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَاسْمَعُونِ
[98:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[98:1] Those who disbelieved among the people of the scripture, as well as the idol worshipers, insist on their ways, despite the proof given to them.*
[98:2] A messenger from GOD is reciting to them sacred instructions.
[98:3] In them there are valuable teachings.
[98:4] In fact, those who received the scripture did not dispute until the proof was given to them.
[98:5] All that was asked of them was to worship GOD, devoting the religion absolutely to Him alone, observe the contact prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat). Such is the perfect religion.
(٩٨:٠) بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
(٩٨:١) لَم يَكُنِ الَّذينَ كَفَروا مِن أَهلِ الكِتابِ وَالمُشرِكينَ مُنفَكّينَ حَتّىٰ تَأتِيَهُمُ البَيِّنَةُ
(٩٨:٢) رَسُولٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ يَتْلُو صُحُفًا مُطَهَّرَةً
(٩٨:٣) فِيهَا كُتُبٌ قَيِّمَةٌ
(٩٨:٤) وَمَا تَفَرَّقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ
(٩٨:٥) وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ
[57:25] We sent our messengers supported by clear proofs, and we sent down to them the scripture and the law, that the people may uphold justice. And we sent down the iron, wherein there is strength, and many benefits for the people. All this in order for GOD to distinguish those who would support Him and His messengers, on faith. GOD is Powerful, Almighty.
لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَنْزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ وَأَنْزَلْنَا الْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَنْصُرُهُ وَرُسُلَهُ بِالْغَيْبِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ