One of the basic facts that are affirmed in our religion is that Allah, may He be exalted, has established proof against His slaves by sending the Messengers and sending down the Books. They were not sent to one nation to the exclusion of others, or to one continent to the exclusion of others. Rather they were sent to all nations, in different places and at different times, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily! We have sent you with the truth, a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner. And there never was a nation but a warner had passed among them.”
“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghoot (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghoot besides Allah)”
Hence it is part of the justice of Allah that He has decreed that He will not punish anyone whom the call of the Prophets and Messengers did not reach, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning)”
“This is because your Lord would not destroy the (populations of) towns for their wrongdoing (i.e. associating others in worship along with Allah) while their people were unaware (so the Messengers were sent)”
[al-An ‘am 6:131].
But Allah has not told us the stories of all the Messengers; rather He has only told us the stories of some of them. He has not told us the stories of most of them, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And Messengers We have mentioned to you before, and Messengers We have not mentioned to you”
Based on that, the idea that the Prophets were only sent to one region of the world is not correct; rather Allah sent Messengers to all the nations of the earth.
See the answer to question no. 95747 for important details about the hadeeths that speak of the number of Prophets and Messengers, and comments of the scholars on this issue.
It is well known that most of the civilisations that were established throughout history were in this area, which is known as the Mediterranean basin, and nearby, in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Arabia. Hence the most populated areas were mostly in these lands. So it is very appropriate that most of the Messengers should have been sent to the people of these lands.
As for the wisdom behind Allah telling us the stories of the Prophets and Messengers of these regions and not others, we may note the following:
The people of these lands were the most highly developed in terms of reasoning and morals. Allah, may He be exalted, praised the Children of Israel of that time as being the best of nations. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to the ‘Alameen (mankind and jinns) (of your time period, in the past)”
And Allah praised the ummah of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) as being the best of nations until the Hour begins. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Sunnah (legal ways, etc.)) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Maroof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. And had the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Al-Fasiqoon (disobedient to Allah - and rebellious against Allahs Command).”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:110].
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said concerning the message of Islam and the reason why it spread through those lands in the beginning:
His message (i.e., the message of the Prophet, blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) spread in the middle of the earth, because they are the most highly developed in terms of reasoning and morals, and the most moderate in attitude, unlike the peoples of the South and North, because those people are lacking in reason and morals, and they have tendencies towards extreme attitudes.
With regard to the South, it is because of the strong heat that has burned their humours and made them dark in colour and made their hair curly. With regard to the North, it is because of the strong cold that has led to their humours not being fully developed, made their hair extremely straight and their colour extremely white, in a way that is not attractive.
Hence when Islam prevailed, its people prevailed over the central region of the earth; they are the most balanced and developed of the sons of Adam, and the Christians who grew up under Muslim rule are more developed than other Christians in terms of reasoning and morals.
As for the Christians who wage war against the Muslims and who are not living under Muslim rule in the South and in the North, they are lacking in reasoning and morals. And because they are lacking in reasoning and morals, Christianity prevailed among them, not Islam.
Al-Jawaab as-Saheeh li man baddala Deen al-Maseeh, 1/164, 165
The lessons and exhortations to be found in the stories of those Prophets and Messengers are greater than others.
At-Taahir ibn ‘Ashoor (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Allah did not tell the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) the names of many of the Messengers, and only told him the names of a few, because those who are mentioned are the greatest of the Messengers and Prophets and greater lessons may be learned from their stories. End quote.
At-Tahreer wa’t-Tanweer, 6/35
Because those Messengers had lived in the region inhabited by the Arabs and thereabouts, their stories were known to the Arabs and to the People of the Book who lived in those regions. This was more effective in establishing proof against them and the lessons of what befell those people has a greater impact.
And Allah knows best.
Reproduced from Islam QA