Prophethood is a divine gift which cannot be attained merely by longing and hoping, or by striving and trying. The philosophers lied when they claimed that Prophethood could be attained simply by striving, doing all kinds of acts of worship, and persisting in disciplining oneself and purifying one's thoughts.
Allah has stated in more than one aayah (verse) that Prophethood is a diving blessing. Allah says:
"Those were they unto whom Allah bestowed his grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom we carried (in the ship) with Nooh (Noah), and of the offspring of Ibraaheem (Abraham) and Israel, and from among those whom we guided and chose..."
Allah tells us what the Prophet Ya'qoob (Jacob, peace be upon him) said to his son Yusuf (Joseph, peace be upon him):
"Thus will your lord choose you..." (Qur'an 12:6)
And Allah said to Moosa (Moses, peace be upon him):
"O' Moosa (Moses) I have chosen you above men by my messages, and by my speaking (to you)..." (Qur'an 7:144)
Umayyah ibn Abi as-Salt hoped that he would be the Prophet of this ummah, and he composed a lot of poetry addressed to Allah, praying to him, but he did not achieve what he wanted. Allah indeed spoke the truth when he said:
"...Allah knows best with whom to place his message..." (Qur'an 6:124)
Hence when it was suggested that one of the two great men of Makkah and Taa'if, 'Urwah ibn Mas'ood al-Thaqafi or Al-Waleed ibn al-Mugheerah, be chosen for the role of Prophet or Messenger, Allah denounced that suggestion and stated that this was objectionable. For he is the mighty God who provides their provision and divide it among them in this world, so how can it be permissible for them to interfere in deciding who deserves to receive the mercy of Prophethood or Messengership?
"And they say: 'Why is not this Qur'an sent down to some great man of the two towns (Makkah and Taa'if)?' Is it they who would portion out the mercy of your lord? It is we who portion out between them their livelihood in this world..." (Qur'an 43: 31-32)
Source: Al-Ashqar, Umar S., The Messengers and the Messages, IIPH, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2003, p. 89-91.