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Copyright © 2009 Joseph A Islam: Article last modified 4th October 2011



Please see MAIN ARTICLE: Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a Mercy to Creation


It is claimed by many Muslims that as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sent as a mercy to all of God's creatures, he has a special status and distinction assigned to him above all other of prophets of God. The following verse is usually used as support.



“We sent thee not, but as a Mercy (Arabic: Rahmat) for all creatures”





·                     To draw any distinctions between God's messengers is negated by the Quran.



"The messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers; they all believe in God and His angels and His books and His messengers; We make no difference between any of His messengers; and they say: We hear and obey, our Lord! Thy forgiveness (do we crave), and to Thee is the eventual course"



"And those who believe in God and His messengers and do not make a distinction between any of them - God will grant them their rewards; and God is Forgiving, Merciful"


·                     This message is repeated in verses 2:136 and 3:84.


(See related article [2] below)



It is commonly understood that the Prophet was sent as a mercy to 'all creatures' (Arabic: Alameen), including the jinn, beasts, animals and all creatures of God. Regrettably, the term 'Alameen' is often misunderstood in light of the Quran and context.





As can be seen below, the word 'Alameen' does not always imply the creation in its entirety.



Source: Edward Lanes Lexicon   [1]



·                    The latter comments above clearly indicate that the Prophet was not a warner to the beasts, nor to the angels albeit they were creatures of God. Therefore the proper rendering here would be to mankind.


·                    The latter comments are also supported by the Quran in that the Prophet was also not a messenger for the Jinn (contrary to much popular Muslim belief). At no point does the Quran support the concept that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came as a messenger to the Jinn. The Jinn indeed overheard the recitation of the wonderful Quran which they acknowledged as the truth (72:2). This overhearing was unknown to the prophet at the time and was made known to the prophet later.




"Say: It has been revealed to me that a party of the jinn listened, and they said: Surely we have heard a wonderful Quran"


·                     Please also note that humans and the Jinn receive messengers from their own communities.


"O ye assembly of the jinn and humankind! Came there not to you messengers of your own who recounted to you My tokens and warned you of the meeting of this your Day? They will say: "We testify against ourselves" And the life of the world beguiled them. And they testify against themselves that they were disbelievers"


The fact that the word 'Alameen' does not necessarily always imply all 'creatures' can be seen from the way the term 'Alameen' has been utilised in other parts of the Quran. If we render the word 'Alameen' as 'creatures' only, then the following verses where the word 'Alameen' has been used would read as follows:


·                     Special favour and preference over all creatures for the Children of Israel 2:122 (See also 2:47; 44:32)

·                     Adam (pbuh), Noah (pbuh), family of Abraham (pbuh) and the family of Imran chosen over all creatures 3:33

·                     First house of worship was a blessing and guidance for all creatures 3:96

·                     Ishmael, Elisha, Jonas and Lot (pbut) were given favour over all creatures 6:86

·                     Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) guidance to all creatures is no different from the guidance of the prophets of old 6:90

·                     Prophet Moses (pbuh) confirms that the children of Israel are preferred over all creatures 7:140

·                     Prophets Abraham and Lot (pbuh) were taken to a land which was blessed for all creatures 21:71

·                     Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was a sign for all creatures 21:91

·                     The saving of Prophet Noah (pbuh) in the ark was a sign to all creatures 29:15


As is evident, some of the above renderings make little sense.


Therefore depending on context, the proper meaning of the term 'Alameen' is derived. For example, in verse 1:2, where the term 'Rabbi'l-alameen' is used, the most correct rendering would be 'Lord of the Universe' as opposed to 'Lord of mankind / creatures' as the latter rendering is unnecessarily restrictive given the subject 'God'.


In the above context with regards a human messenger, the proper meaning is either 'all nations / people' or 'all mankind'. 





The Quran is stated as a message for mankind (12:104).



“And no reward do you ask of them for this: it is no less than a message for all mankind (Arabic: Alameen)



“Blessed is He who sent down the criterion (Arabic: Furqan) to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all mankind (Arabic: Alameen)

The Quran is also stated as a 'mercy' for mankind



"And when you do not bring them a verse (Arabic: biayatin) they say: Why do you not forge it? Say: I only follow what is revealed to me from my Lord. This is enlightenment from your Lord and guidance and mercy (Arabic: rahmatun) for a people who believe"


From the above verses, it is evident that the Quran is also depicted as a mercy and a message for all mankind. Therefore in verse 21:107, it is the capacity of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a messenger of God entrusted to deliver the Quran's message is what is being referred to as a 'mercy' to all mankind (Arabic: Alameen). In other words, God has sent His messenger as a mercy to mankind to deliver His mighty words as an admonition.


Further clarity is obtained if 21:107 is read with its previous verse in context.


Verily in this (Quran) is a Message for people who would (truly) worship God”

We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all mankind (Arabic: Alameen)






[1] LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 5, Page 2141

Highlights marked in red on the lexicon excerpt are my own insertions. They have no bearing on the original text other than they emphasise relevance to the topic at hand. These are merely illustrations and have solely been utilised for educational and explanatory purposes.


Related Articles:

(1)    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a Mercy to Creation

(2)    Do Not Make Distinctions Between Messengers

(3)    Understanding the Quranic term 'Alameen'



Joseph Islam

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