Prophets of Islam

Prophets of Islam

Muslims regard as Prophets of Islam (Arabic: نبي) those non-divine humans chosen by Allah as prophets. Each prophet brought the same basic ideas of Islam, including belief in one God and avoidance of idolatry and sin. Each came to preach Islam and told of the coming of the final law-bearing prophet and messenger of God: Muhammad. Each prophet directed a message to a different group and each prophet taught minor variations in Sharia (or the practice of religion) to a different target-audience. These variations constitute applications of Islam: mainstream Muslims do not consider them discrete versions of Islam.

Islamic tradition holds that God sent messengers to every nation. In Islam, only Muhammad was sent to convey God's message to the whole world, whereas other messengers ("rasuls") were sent to convey their messages to a specific group of people or nation.

Unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam distinguishes between a direct messenger of God ("rasul") and a prophet ("nabi"). Both function as divinely inspired recipients of God's revelation. However, in addition, "rasuls" are given a divine message or revelation for a community in book form. While every "rasul" is a "nabi", not every "nabi" is a "rasul".

Muslims regard Adam as the first prophet and Muhammad (PBUH) as the last prophet; hence Muhammad's(PBUH) title "Seal of the Prophets." In Islam, Jesus is regarded as a nabi and a rasul because he received "wahi" (revelation) from God, through which God revealed the "Injil" (Gospel) to him. [See the Qur'an Quran-usc|3|45] Muslims believe that God has sent over 124,000 messengers all over the world as mentioned in the Sahih Hadith. Five (sometimes known as "Ulul Azmi" or the Imams — i.e. leaders — of the "Rasul"s) are accorded the highest reverence for their perseverance and unusually strong commitment to God in the face of great suffering. These five are Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad(PBUH).


In both Arabic and Hebrew, the term "nabī" (plural forms: "nabiyyūn" and "anbiyāʾ") refers to "prophet." These terms occur 75 times in the Qur'an. The term "nubuwwa" (meaning "prophethood") occurs five times in the Qur'an. The terms "rasūl" (plural: "rusul") and "mursal" (plural: "mursalūn") denote “messenger” or "apostle" and occur more than 300 times. The term for a prophetic “message”, "risāla" (plural: "risālāt") appears in the Qur'an in ten instances.Uri Rubin, "Prophets and Prophethood", Encyclopedia of the Qur'an]

The Syriac form of "rasūl Allāh" (lit: messenger of God) is s̲h̲eliḥeh d-allāhā which occurs frequently in the apocryphal Acts of St. Thomas. The corresponding verb for s̲h̲eliḥeh, i.e. s̲h̲alaḥ, is used in connection with the prophets in the Old Testament (Exodus, iii, 13-14, iv, 13; Isaiah, vi, 8; Jeremiah, i, 7). A.J. Wensinck, "Rasul", Encyclopedia of Islam]

Prophets and messengers in the Bible

The words "prophet" (Arabic: "nabi", نبی) and "messenger" (Arabic: "rasul", رسول) appear several times in the Old and New Testaments.The following table shows these words in several languages [Strong's ConcordanceS] :

Other prophets

Muslims believe in other prophets other than those mentioned by name in the Qur'an. Many verses in the Quran discuss this:

* "And certainly We sent messengers (rasul) before you: there are some of them that We have mentioned to you and there are others whom We have not mentioned to you..." cite quran|40|78

* "For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger..."cite quran|16|36

Muslims believe that God has sent 124,000 (or 224,000) messengers all over the world, as mentioned by the prophet Muhammad in the Sahih Hadith.

Historic narratives suggest there existed a prophet named Khaled bin Sinan in pre-Islamic Arabia.

The Qur'an mentions Al-Imran as the father of Maryam. Al-Khidr is not mentioned by name, but is traditionally assumed to be referred to in cite quran|18|66|style=ref. Biblical prophets Danyal (Daniel), Ishaia (Isaiah), Armya (Jeremiah), and Samuel are mentioned by Ibn Kathir in his book as prophets.

Luqman is mentioned in the sura named after him but it is unclear whether he is a prophet or a "wali". According to the most wide-spread shiite belief, Luqman was a wiseman, not a prophet nor a wali. The reported news hold that Luqman had a dream, and in that dream he was asked to choose between being a King and a wiseman, and he chose the second.

Additional numerous historical figures may have been prophets, but this is a source of debate and contention. Such figures include: Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha, Socrates, Merlin, Confucius , Krishna (also mentioned in some books of Hadith) and Rama. However, Muslims will state that there is no way of knowing for sure since they are not mentioned by name in the Qur'an. An argument often used in support of the prophethood of such men is that they came with the word of God, but it was later corrupted, this accounting for the differences between Islam, and the respective religions with which each man is associated. The Hadith and Qur’an support such claims that say that a messenger was sent to every people.

Maryam mother of 'Isa

A few scholars (such as Ibn Hazm) [ [ Ibn Hazm on women's prophethood] ] have argued that she may have been a nabi and a prophetess, since she was sent a message from God via an angel. The Qur'an, however, does not explicitly state that she is one. According to the Islamic belief, she was a holy woman, but she was not a prophet. In the Qur'an, 'Isa is usually referred to as 'Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary), a matronymic, indicative of Jesus having no father.

ee also

* Allah
* Table of prophets of Abrahamic religions
* Nubuwwah
* Prophecy
* Nevi'im (Prophets in Judaism)
* Major Prophets in the Bible
* Minor Prophets in the Bible
* Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament
* Ilah
* Names of God
* 99 Names of God in the Qur'an
* Tawhid
* Termagant
* Islam
* Pillars of Islam
* Qaaba


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