The Holy Prophet (peace be on him and his progeny) would spend hours thinking and studying about the skies, mountains, and deserts of Makkah which were whispering the infinity of the creator in a thousand tongues. He was tormented by the stone and wood deities of his people and searched deeply into the skies to find a solution for this. In one of these times of worship when he was forty years old, Gabriel appeared to him and revealed to him the first few verses of the chapter of al-Alaq of the Quran.
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful.
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ ﴿١﴾
Read in the Name of your Lord who created;
خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ ﴿٢﴾
Created man from a clinging mass.
اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ ﴿٣﴾
Read, and your Lord is the most generous,
الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ ﴿٤﴾
Who taught by the pen,
عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ ﴿٥﴾
Taught man what he did not know. ( Qarai )
By analyzing the verses and narrations, one can indicate 10 purposes for the appointment of the Holy Prophet (peace be on him and his progeny) to prophethood. These are as follows:
1. Completion of argument
In verse 165 of the chapter al-Nisa we read:
رُّسُلًا مُّبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللَّـهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا
Apostles, as bearers of good news and warners, so that mankind may not have any argument against Allah, after the [sending of the] apostles; and Allah is all-mighty, all-wise [4: 165]
2. Resolving Disputes
Verse 213 of al-Baqarah states:
كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّـهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ…
Mankind were a single community; then Allah sent the prophets as bearers of good news and warners, and He sent down with them the Book with the truth, that it may judge between the people concerning that about which they differed… [2: 213]
3. Establishing Justice
As it is stated in verse 25 of al-Hadid:
لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ…
Certainly We sent Our apostles with manifest proofs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance, so that mankind may maintain justice… [57: 25]
4. Freedom and Liberty from Futile Things and Superstitions
This can be seen in verse 157 of al-Aʿraaf:
الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ… وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالْأَغْلَالَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ…
—those who follow the Apostle, the untaught prophet, … and relieves them of their burdens and the shackles that were upon them… [7: 157]
5. Guidance, Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil and Freedom from Darkness and Pulling People towards Light
As we read in verse one and five of chapter Ibrahim, 16 of al-Maʾida and 175 of al-Aʿraaf. For example, in verse one of surah Ibrahim it has been stated:
الر ۚ كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ…
Alif, Lam, Ra. [This is] a Book We have sent down to you that you may bring mankind out from darkness into light… [14: 1]
6. and 7. Teaching the Book and Wisdom and Purification.
In verse two of the chapter al-Jumuʿah, it has been stated:
هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ…
It is He who sent to the unlettered [people] an apostle from among themselves, to recite to them His signs, to purify them, and to teach them the Book and wisdom… [62: 2]
8. Freeing People from the Dominion of Arrogant Powers and Idol Worship
For example in verse 36 of al-Nahl:
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ ۖ…
Certainly We raised an apostle in every nation [to preach:] ‘Worship Allah, and shun fake deities.’… [16: 36] ( Qarai )
9. Strengthening and Elevating Correct and Lofty Thought
Imam al-Kazim (peace be on him) has narrated that God has not appointed prophets and messengers for His servants except so that they may think from Him… and perfect their reason and elevate themselves in this world and the Hereafter.
10. Perfecting and Elevating Moral Values
The Holy Prophet (peace be on him and his progeny) has stated: Verily, I have been appointed to perfect the noble morals.