The Prophet Muhammad, 17th century Ottoman cop...

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The people of Mecca don’t want to believe what Muhammad is teaching.  It seems preposterous: life after death (46:17).  It is beneath them: it is mainly poor people accepting this new-fangled religion (46:11).  That crazy man made this all up (46:8).    Muhammad is told to ask them the one question we all must ask: 

What if this Qur’an really is from God and you reject it? (46:10)

The Qur’an is logical: if God can create this intricate world, don’t you think he can bring the dead back to life again (46:33)?  Muhammad could point to Jews in Mecca who had accepted the Qur’an as another revelation from their God (46:10, 12).  The parents of these unbelievers even believed (46:15, 17).  Even the jinn were accepting the veracity of this message when they heard it (46:29-31).  Why reject it?

Things will not turn out well if they do reject it.  One only has to think about the example of the people of `Ad, a civilization bigger and more established than Mecca in Muhammad’s time (46:26), yet God wiped them out from amongst the “sand dunes” (the reason for the name of this surah) with a desert storm when they would not heed the warning Hud was bringing (46:21-25).   

“This is a warning” (46:35).  One better have a really good reason to reject the Qur’an.