God’s Emissaries – Adam to Jesus is a collection of stories about the great prophets of God mentioned in the Quran and ahadith. This book, written by Shaykh Rizwan Arastu and published by the Imam Mahdi Association of Marjaeya, is one of a kind as it presents a theologically sound and engaging set of stories, making it difficult for readers to put the 610-paged book down.
It helps us realize that God didn’t create the world purposelessly, but through an intricate educational system that is guided by the same Divine laws. He prepared the world for the dawn of Islam, one commandment at a time. It is through the stories of these prophets that we see the staple faults of our society. Faults that need to be resolved using the same Divine formula in every age. Whether it be the story of Prophet Musa (a) and his resistance against the Pharaoh or the story of Prophet Lut (a), in one form or another, we can see that the issues the prophets were fighting against in their time still exist uncured today.
“You dare to profess your faith in Musa’s (a) Lord without my permission?”
This was a statement made by the Pharaoh to the sorcerers he had chosen to compete with Prophet Musa (a). The competition was set to determine who is actually on the path of truth. The Pharaoh ordered Prophet Musa (a) to compete with his best sorcerers, as he believed that the miracles Prophet Musa (a) displayed were nothing but sorcery. From the statement above, we can see that the Pharaoh was an arrogant ruler who considered himself God, and believed that he could control even the thoughts of his people. Sound familiar?
Today we see the same idea being implemented by the United States and israel. They are no less than the Pharaoh, rather, they are the Pharaoh of our time. They try to control people’s minds for their own benefit — unless they resist, and when they do, they face the Pharaonic wrath of arrogance.
“History repeats itself,” the saying goes. Reading this book made me realize how very accurate this is. In fact, it is history that teaches us about the mistakes societies have made in the past, and a wise person would learn from those mistakes. There are so many lessons and morals that this book brings forth. However, there is one prominent theme throughout the book: resistance and trust in God. Every prophet faced difficulties in trying to spread the message of God, and their stories highlight the significance of resistance and trust in God.
One thing that this book has engraved in my heart is the love God has for those who struggle for Him and this love is especially seen in the story of Prophet Ibrahim (a), who is referred to as “the friend of God” by God Himself. He achieves such a high status through patience, perseverance, and the trust that he has in God. Whether he was thrown into the blazing fire by Nimrud, or had his obedience tested when God commanded him to sacrifice his own son, his love for God didn’t stagger, and that was what earned him his title.
My favourite part of the book is the last page of Prophet Ibrahim’s story, which discusses his death. The angel of death, Azrael, comes to take his soul when Prophet Ibrahim says to him:
“Have you ever seen a friend who takes the life of a friend?”
God then responded, “Have you ever seen a lover who dislikes meeting with his beloved?”
Prophet Ibrahim (a) smiled deeply after hearing this and then passed away. This page will forever remain one of my favourite parts in the book and I hope that this book will inspire others the same way it has inspired me.