What is the meaning of verse 7 in Sura of Ra’d: “You are only a warner and there is a guide for every nation”.
What is the meaning of verse 23 in Sura of Shoora: “I don’t want any reward from you other than …”
The meaning of the first cited verse shall be absolutely clear when it is seen in continuation of its previous verse. An accurate translation of the two verses, according to my understanding, is as follows:
They ask you to hasten upon them [God’s] punishment rather than [His] blessings [by asking you to bring upon them the punishment that you warn them against], even though many an example of God’s punishment have gone-by before them [but they refuse to take lesson from these examples]. And indeed your Lord is extremely forgiving for His people, despite their injustices [and is therefore not quick in subjecting them to His punishment] and [if they persist in their wrongdoings, then they must not forget that] God is also extremely severe in punishing [the transgressors]. And [hastening upon themselves God’s punishment,] these rejecters say: ‘Why has not a sign [of God’s punishment] sent to him from his Lord? [They should remember that] you are only a warmer [for these people] and for each of the nations [that God subjected to His punishment] there was a guide [just like you who came to warn them of God’s punishment]. (Al-Ra`d 13: 6 – 7)
A close look at the given translation with parenthetical clarifications should adequately clarify the meaning of the cited portion. Similarly, an accurate translation of the second cited verse shall itself clarify its implication. An accurate translation of Al-Shooraa 42: 23, according to my understanding, is as under:
I do not ask of you any reward for myself upon delivering God’s message. [I am doing this] only in love for the kindred.
In this verse, the Prophet (pbuh) is told to declare to the rejecters that his perseverance in the deliverance of God’s message, in the face of their staunch rejection is not because of any greed or expectation of any worldly benefit. He is going through this painful situation only because of his love for them – his family and kindred – whom he wants to save from the severe punishment of the hereafter.
I hope this helps.
August 28, 2002