Rejection of the New Religion (continued)
People have rejected the Prophets and Messengers of the past when they (the people) failed to pass God's tests of their belief, (and failed to even recognize that they were being tested):
"Do men think when they say `We believe' they shall be let alone and not be put to proof ?"
At the time of Noah (PBUH), people (including members of His own family) were tested in their belief, when time after time, the promised flood did not come and was delayed. This kind of test, of delay, or non-fulfillment of promise or prophecy (known as bidA' in Arabic), caused many followers of many Prophets to waver in their faith and to reject the Prophet or Messenger of their time.
At the time of Moses (PBUH), people failed a different test when they did not want to accept Him because He had killed a man prior to receiving the Revelation of God. When Moses came unto Pharaoh to deliver the divine Message, Pharaoh said to Him:
"And you did that deed of yours which you did [killed a man], and you are one of the ungrateful. He said: I did it then while I was of those unable to see the right course; "
At the time of Jesus (PBUH), the greatest test was that His mother was not married at the time she carried Him. And one test at the time of Muhammad (PBUH), was when some people stopped following Him when He changed the direction of the Qiblah.
Could God not have prevented Moses from killing a man. or brought up Jesus of a known father, or sent the floods on time for Noah's people? Yet, if it were made easy to recognize the Messenger and to believe, how then are the sincere who strive in the path of God, to be distinguished from the unbelievers?
Yet another reason that caused the rejection of the Messengers, was that it was hard for the people to see someone from amongst themselves, like themselves in many ways, someone they have known since childhood, without earthly authority or wealth or special powers, lay on them such an extraordinary claim:
"And they say: What is the matter with this Messenger that he eats food and goes about in the markets; why has not
an angel been sent down to him, so that he should have been a warner with him? "
Not only that, but laws and rituals cherished by people for a long time were changed and abrogated much to the dislike and resentment of the people, leading them to revile and persecute and even kill many of God's Messengers and Prophets:
"That whenever there comes to you An Apostle with what ye yourselves desire not, ye are puffed up with pride Some ye called impostors and others ye slay."
All believers should recognize that "Verily God doeth whatsoever He willeth, and ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth.", and yet all His laws and ordinances are only for our own protection and benefit, and when he changes them, He does so for our own good, as he stands in no need for any of His creatures.
"None of Our revelations Do we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, But We substitute Something better or similar:"
One of the most serious causes ever for such rejection, vilification and persecution of these Essences of purity, and Conveyers of God's Will, has been the rejection and the opposition of the priests, the clergy, and the divines of the previous religions, to the new Light and the new Message.