Prophets and Messengers
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم
Praise be to God the Creator of the world, the One Who exists without beginning, without end, without location, without a "how" and Who does not depend on time. Nothing resembles Him in anyway and He hears and sees everything without organs. Whatever you imagine, God is different from that. May the elevation in degree and preservation of his community of what he fears for it, be granted to our master MuHammad Al-‘Amin, the Honest One, who called for following Islam, the religion of truth, the religion of all the Prophets: of the first, Adam, to the last MuHammad.
Allâh sent many messengers to the humans as a mercy from Him. Allâh sent them all to teach the people what is the correct and acceptable worship of Allâh their Creator and the Creator of everything. All the prophets of Allâh, the first of whom was Adam and the last MuHammad, came with one Religion, Islam, and one creed, the belief in the Oneness of Allâh. They all taught that Allâh is attributed with all the perfect attributes and that He does not resemble any of His creation. They taught what Allâh ordered us to perform and refrain from in this life. They taught about the Judgment Day when each one of us will be judged as to whether or not we fulfilled our obligations in this life. None of them taught their people what contradicts the belief in the Oneness of Allâh. Each one of them ordered their followers to believe in all the other prophets of Allâh. Imam Al-Bukhâriyy related that Prophet MuHammad, Sallallâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said:
« الأنبياء إخوة لِعَلاّتٍ دينهم واحد و أمهاتهم شَتََّى و أنا أولى الناس بعيسى بن مريم ليس بيني و بينه نبي »
Which means: « The prophets are like brothers from the same father with different mothers. Their Religion is one [Islam] although their Shari`ah (i.e. rules of the Religion) differ. And I am the most deserving of Prophet Jesus ; there was no other prophet between me and him. »
All the prophets were people of merit and patience, belief and certainty, truthfulness and religiousness, chastity and impeccability, intelligence and brilliance, trustworthiness, and conveyance of the Message. The prophets were numerous. The first of them was Adam, peace be upon him, who was created from clay as an unimpaired human in the best of forms.
Prophets are the greatest men that ever lived. Prophets received Revelation from Allah and conveyed it to the people. The prophets received the Revelations and conveyed them exactly as Allah ordered.
A messenger is a prophet who comes with abrogating some of the laws brought by the previous messenger or receives a new set of laws. Prophets were intelligent, trustworthy, and truthful, did not commit major sins and never left Islam. Many prophets have lived in the past. MuHammad Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, who lived some 1400 years ago, was the last and greatest prophet.
Other prophets before him include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ismael, Jacob, Joseph (son of Jacob), David, Solomon, Moses, and Jesus.
The revealed books were Revelations received by prophets. Moses and Jesus both received scriptures, but what are now called the Torah and the Bible have been tampered with by man and are not the true Revelations received by these great messengers. The only scripture which remained unchanged and will never be changed is the Qur’ân, which is the scripture Allâh gave MuHammad, His last prophet, in clear and eloquent Arabic. Allâh has promised to protect the Qur’ân from any changes by man, and it has remained unchanged since it was received some 1400 years ago. Prophet MuHammad was sent to all humans and djinns.
Allâh sent Prophets and Messengers to convey the message of Allâh ; the purpose of this life, the sets of rules to be lived by and the underlying consequences.
All the Prophets and Messengers were supported by Miracles to substantiate their true claim of prophecy. The sound mind concludes the truthfulness of the one who claims to be a Prophet when he performs a miracle that others cannot imitate on the grounds of challenging his truthfulness.
The Miracles of the Prophets
Abraham was launched into a fervid fire set ablaze and neither he nor his clothes were burnt.
Saleh brought out a camel and its offspring from a solid rock.
Moses threw his staff on the ground and it turned into a frightening serpent which swallowed the ropes of the sorcerers of Pharaoh.
Jesus shaped a bat out of clay and it became alive by the Will of Allâh.
MuHammad made the moon split into two halves each falling on either side of the mountain.
These are only examples of many Miracles that they performed. May Allâh raise all of their ranks and reward them greatly for the guidance they provided for us.
Allâh, the Exalted, chose the choicest among the men to be Prophets and Messengers. The Wisdom of Allâh entailed that all the Prophets and Messengers would be attributed with befitting attributes that enforce their credibility so that they may successfully convey the message from Him. Hence, all the Prophets and Messengers, before and after prophecy, are trustworthy, truthful, intelligent, beautiful in shape, have beautiful voices, impeccable from committing blasphemy and enormous sins and small sin of baseness, clear from being inflicted with repelling ailments, clear from vileness, clear from stupidity, clear from lying, clear from cheating and clear from all non befitting attributes.
Prophet MuHammad, Sallallâhu `alayhi wa sallam, informed us in his saying which was narrated by Ibn Hibban, that Allâh sent 124000 Prophets and Messengers ; 313 among them were Messengers. A Messenger is someone who received a new set of laws to convey from Allâh, whereas a Prophet is someone who was ordered to follow and convey the set of rules revealed to the Messenger before him or at his time. Hence, every Messenger is a Prophet but not every Prophet is a Messenger.
He further explained that their basic creed is one and the same but the laws with which they came differed to some extent. Hence, all the Prophets and Messengers were Muslim and taught that the Creator does not have partners, He is attributed with the perfect attributes, He is clear from all non befitting attributes, He does not resemble the creations in anyway, he is the only One who deserves to be worshipped and that His name is Allâh.
However, the laws differed from one Messenger to another because the Divinely Wisdom entailed that the needs of the people required such differences. At the time of Prophet Adam the institution of marriage required that the brother would marry his non twin sister. At the time of Prophet Seth that rule was abrogated, since the need was no longer standing, and it became prohibited for one to marry his sister whether or not his twin sister. The laws of purification, prayers and other differed to some extent from one Prophet to another reflecting the need of the people at the time the abrogation was put into effect.
Only some among all the Messengers and Prophets whom Allah sent to us are mentioned in the Qur’an. Allah told us the tales of some and did not tell us about the tales of the rest.
Some Names of Prophets and Messengers, may Allah raise all their ranks.
ADAM ('Adam), SETH (Shîth), ENOCH (Idris), NOAH (NûH), HUD (Hûd), SALIH (Salih), ABRAHAM (Ibrâhîm), LOT (LûT), ISHMAEL (Isma`îl), ISAAC (IsHâq), SHU`AYB (Shu`ayb), JACOB (Ya`qûb), JOSEPH (Yûsûf), BENJAMIN (Binyâmîn), JOB (Ayyûb), EZEKIEL (Dhu-l-Kifl), JONAH (Yûnûs), Al-KHADIR (al‑KhaDir), MOSES (Mûsâ), AARON (Hârûn), JOSHUA (Yûsha`), ELIJAH (Ilyâs), ELISHA (Il-Yasa`), DAVID (Dâwûd), SOLOMON (Sulaymân), ZACHARIAS (Zakariyyâ), JOHN (YaHyâ), JESUS (`Isâ), MUHAMMAD (MuHammad).