Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a Messenger?
The shallow criteria, such as power and wealth, by which the Quraish judged people barred them from the truth. Had the Qur’an been sent down to one of the chiefs of Quraish, perhaps they might have believed in it. The Qur’an says:
(They say, “Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some great man of the two towns (Makkah and Ta’if)?”)1
Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah was reported to have said, “Had prophethood been true, I would have been more entitled to it than you. I am older and wealthier than you.”2
They begrudged the gift of prophethood that Allah Almighty bestowed on Muhammad (pbuh). They deemed it to be too implausible that Allah would choose from among them a poor orphan, who was neither a chief nor a ruler, as His Messenger. They arrogantly expressed their doubt, saying as the Noble Qur’an relates: (Has the Reminder (the Qur’an) been sent down to him from among us? )3
Their disapproval of Allah’s Choice was answered with a question, angry and reproachful: Are they the owners of Allah’s Mercy and Blessings to give and not to give?
(Or do they have the treasures (depositories) of the Mercy of your Lord, the Exalted in Might, the Real Bestower? Or is theirs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and what is between them? If so, let them ascend with means (to the heavens)!)4
Nothing can grant or withhold Allah’s Mercy Almighty:
(Whatever Allah grants to people of mercy (i.e. of good), none can withhold it; and whatever He withholds, none can grant it thereafter. And He is the Exalted in Might, the All-Wise.)5
Humans own nothing of whatever is in the heavens or on the earth. Allah bestows of His Blessings and Mercy on whom He wills of His servants and chooses those He knows are the worthiest of good. He showers His endless Bounties on them, without limit, without end.6
1 Translated meanings of Az-Zukhruf 43: 31.
2 Al-Qurtubi, Al-Jami‘ Li Ahkam Al-Qur’an (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi), interpretation of Surat Al-An‘am [6: 124]
3 Translated meanings of Sad 38: 8.
4 Translated meanings of Sad 38: 9-10.
5 Translated meanings of Fatir 35: 2.
6 Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur’an, interpretation of Surat Sad [38: 8-10], thirty-sixth edition, Dar Al-Shorouk.