Prophets in Islam: Wikis

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Muslims identify the prophets of Islam (Arabic: نبي‎) as those humans chosen by Allah to teach mankind. Humans may rely on revelation or tradition to identify prophets.[citation needed]

Each prophet brought the same basic ideas of Islam (defined as submission to God, to his words and to his orders). They brought the belief in a single God and in the 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. Muslims believe that God finally sent Muhammad to "seal" and to convey the divine message to the whole world (to sum up and to finalize the word of God), whereas he had previously sent the other messengers (rusul) to convey their messages to a specific group of people or to an individual nation.

Muslims regard Adam as the first prophet and Muhammad as the last prophet; (from the traditional interpretation of Muhammad's title Seal of the Prophets). Islam regards Jesus as a rasul (and sometimes as a nabi) because he received wahy (revelation) from God, through which God revealed the Injil (Gospel) to him.[1] Muslims, like Christians, believe in the return of Christ[citation needed], and have great respect for Jesus (known by the Arabic form of his given name as Eesa or Isa) and for his mother Maryam. They do not, however, regard Jesus was the son of God or as God.

Islamic theology recognises as many as 124,000 prophets.[2] The Qur'an identifies 25 prophets by name, starting with Adam and ending with Muhammad.[3] Five of them (sometimes known as Ulul Azmi or the Imams — literally: "leaders" — of the Rasuls) receive the highest reverence for their perseverance and unusually strong commitment to God in the face of great suffering, namely[citation needed]:

  1. Nuh (Noah)
  2. Ibrahim (Abraham)
  3. Musa (Moses)
  4. Isa (Jesus)
  5. Muhammad

Contents

Etymology

In both Arabic and Hebrew, the term nabī (plural forms: nabiyyūn and anbiyāʾ) means "prophet". Forms of this noun 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.[4]

The Syriac form of rasūl Allāh (literally: "messenger of God"), s̲h̲eliḥeh d-allāhā, occurs frequently in the apocryphal Acts of St. Thomas. The corresponding verb for s̲h̲eliḥehs̲h̲alaḥ, occurs in connection with the prophets in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:13-14, 4:13; Isaiah 6:8; Jeremiah 1:7).[5]

Prophets and messengers in the Bible

The words "prophet" (Arabic: nabi, نبی) and "messenger" (Arabic: rasul, رسول) appear several times in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The following table shows these words in different languages[6]:

Prophet and Messenger in Bible
Arabic Arabic Pronunciation English Greek Greek pronunciation Hebrew Hebrew pronunciation বাংলা
نبی Nabi Prophet προφήτης prophētēs נביא nâbîy' নবী
رسول Rasool Messenger, Apostle מסנג 'ר রাসুল

In the Old Testament the word "prophet" (Hebrew: nabi) occurs more commonly, and the word "messenger" (Hebrew: malak) refers to angels, But the last book of the Old Testament, the Book of Malachi, speaks of a messenger that some commentators interpret as a reference to the future prophet John the Baptist.[7]

In the New Testament, however, the word "messenger" becomes more frequent, sometimes in association with the concept of a prophet.[8]

"Messenger" can refer to Jesus, to his Apostles and to John the Baptist.

It seems that in the New Testament a messenger can have a higher rank than prophets: Jesus Christ said about John the Baptist:

But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Prophets and messengers in the Qur'an

The table below charts the Qur'anic verses which explicitly reference a prophet (nabi), a messenger (rasul) , a leader (imam) or Christ (Messiah). It also includes explicit references to prophets' book(s) / people / divine law (Qur'an).

Men of Allah in Qur'an
Name Prophet Messenger Imam Messiah Book People Qur'an
Adem (Adam) Yes check.svg
Prophet
Idris (Enoch) Yes check.svg
Prophet[9]
Nuh (Noah) Yes check.svg
Prophet[10]
Yes check.svg
Messenger[11]
People of Noah[12] Yes check.svg
Qur'an[13]
Hud (Eber) Yes check.svg
Messenger [14]
ʿĀd[15]
Saleh (Salih) Yes check.svg
Messenger[16]
Dhikr[17] Thamud[18]
Ibrahim (Abraham) Yes check.svg
Prophet[19]
Yes check.svg
Messenger[20]
Yes check.svg
Imam[21]
Suhuf Ibrahim (Scrolls of Abraham)[22] People of Abraham[23] Yes check.svg
Qur'an[13]
Lut (Lot) Yes check.svg
Prophet [10]
Yes check.svg
Messenger[24]
People of Lut/Sadum[25]
Isma’il (Ishmael) Yes check.svg
Prophet[26]
Yes check.svg
Messenger[26]
Is'haq (Isaac) Yes check.svg
Prophet[27]
Yes check.svg
Imam[28]
Yaqub (Jacob) Yes check.svg
Prophet[27]
Yes check.svg
Imam[28]
Yusuf (Joseph) Yes check.svg
Prophet[10]
Ayyub (Job) Yes check.svg
Prophet[10]
Shu'ayb (Jethro) Yes check.svg
Messenger[29]
Midian[30]
Musa (Moses) Yes check.svg
Prophet[31]
Yes check.svg
Messenger[31]
Taurat/Torah (Suhuf Mossa)[32] Pharaoh and his chiefs[33] Yes check.svg
Qur'an[13]
Harun (Aaron) Yes check.svg
Prophet[34]
Dawud (David) Yes check.svg
Prophet[10]
Zabur[35] (Psalms)
Sulayman (Solomon) Yes check.svg
Prophet[10]
Ilyas (Elijah) Yes check.svg
Prophet[10]
Yes check.svg
Messenger[36]
People of Elijah[37]
Al-Yasa (Elisha) Yes check.svg
Prophet[10]
Yunus (Jonah) Yes check.svg
Prophet[10]
Yes check.svg
Messenger[38]
People of Jonah[39]
Dhul-Kifl (Ezekiel)
Zakariyya (Zechariah) Yes check.svg
Prophet[10]
Yahya (John the Baptist) Yes check.svg
Prophet[40]
Isa (Jesus) Yes check.svg
Prophet[41]
Yes check.svg
Messenger[42]
Yes check.svg
Messiah[43]
Injil[44] (Gospel) Sent to Children of Israel[45]
Yes check.svg
Qur'an[13]
Muhammad Yes check.svg
Prophet[46]
Yes check.svg
Messenger[46]
Yes check.svg
Imam
Qur'an Sign for the Whole World Yes check.svg
Qur'an[13]

For Ahl al-Kitab (followers of the Holy Books), see People of the Book.

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Distinguishing between prophets and messengers

In short, Islam regards every messenger as a prophet as well, but not every prophet as a messenger. The Qur'an, like the quoted passage from the New Testament, may rank a messenger higher than a prophet. For example, whenever both titles appear together, "messenger" comes first. Crucially, a messenger delivers a new religious law (Sharia) revealed by God, whereas a prophet continues an old one.[citation needed] God sends both prophets and messengers as givers of good news and as admonishers of their people.[citation needed] In the case of messengers, however, it appears that a close relationship exists between them and their people (ummah). A messenger will become the witness that God will take from that community on the Day of Judgment (see the following Sura; Yunus 10:48; An-Nahl 16:38; Al-Mu’minoon 23:46; Ghafir 40:5; An-Nisa 4:45; Al-Qasas 28:75). According to the Qur'an, God sent Muhammad to all of humanity and to the Djinn.[5]

Muslims distinguish between celestial and human messengers. In the Qur'anic world, God has made the angels messengers but not prophets. The human messengers, however, also function as prophets — though not every prophet serves as a messenger.[4] Angels always carry "orders" to the human prophets or messengers on what to say, what to do, and so forth. While human messengers deliver some messages about new orders to the people, prophets only reinforce previous orders by earlier messengers or prophets, but since the angels carry orders to prophets to do their duty, then all angels of revelations count as messengers.

Prophethood in Ahmadiyya (Claim to be a sect of Islam)

Unlike Orthodox Islam, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community does not recognize any difference between a Messenger (rasul) and a Prophet (nabi). According to Ahmadiyya belief, the terms encountered in the Qur’an to signify divinely appointed individuals, namely, Warner (Nazir), Prophet (Nabi), Messenger (Rasul), are generally synonymous. Ahmadis however categorise prophets as law-bearing ones and non-lawbearing ones. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community also recognizes Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a Prophet of God, as well as the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi of the latter days, and view it in accordance with the prophecies of Muhammad.

The status of prophets

The Qur'anic verse 4:69 lists various virtuous groups of human beings, among whom prophets (including messengers) occupy the highest rank. Verse 4:69 reads:[4]

All who obey God and the messenger are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of God,- of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): Ah! what a beautiful fellowship!

Jesus as an apostle

Qur'an, 4:157-159

That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of God";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-

Nay, God raised him up unto Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise;-

And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;-

Prophets and scriptures

The prophets and Muhammad

Islam views every single prophet from Adam (Arabic: ادم) to Muhammad as important. According to the Qur'an, the prophets 'Jesus, Moses, David, Abraham, Shelah, and Muhammad had the responsibility of ushering in their own holy scripture, given to them by God. Jesus received the Injil (Gospel), as expressed in the following verses from Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation of the Qur'an:

At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!

"O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!"

But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?"

He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;

"And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;

"(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;

"So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"!

Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.

However, Muslims believe that humans have altered the Injil (arguably: the New Testament or the four Gospels), therefore, the Injil now does not represent the full truth, as given by God.[citation needed] Musa received the Books of Moses, and Ibrahim the Books of Abraham. Dawud gave humankind the Zabur (Psalms). Saleh is responsible for the Dhikr, which is a practice that focuses on the remembrance of God. It often includes the repetition of the names of God. On the other hand, Muhammad received the Qu'ran, which Muslims regard as the purest and truest holy book of God. In Islam, it was believed to have been given to Muhammad through divine revelation by the angel Jibreel (Gabriel). Its purpose was to perfect the beliefs of the one true God, Allah, because of the turning away of the Jews and Christians from the true religion, into dogmas and doctrines. Muslims mistrust the books followed by Christians and Jews principally because of perceived over-frequent and inaccurate translations: they suspect that personal notes of self-appointed apostles or the opinions and explanations of one person or another have crept into the original texts over time.

Islam, however, from its very beginnings, separated the word of God from the word of the Prophet, and from the words of people regarding the life of the Prophet - to avoid such a confusion. Muslims regard the words of the Holy Book "The Qu'ran" as fully accurate and unchangeable; they maintain that one cannot doubt their truth for they are the same everywhere[citation needed]. On the other hand, Islamic tradition separates the words of the Prophet and the stories recorded about the Prophet into several different books based on accuracy, trust of source or possible degree of inaccuracy. Not all quotations ascribed to the Prophet are necessarily true ones.

The scope of the prophetic mission

The purpose of messengers

The following list summarises the purpose of sending Gods messengers:

  1. God sent messengers to every nation to guide them to His path[47]
  2. Messengers warned nations to follow God's commands and gave them glad tidings[48]
  3. Messengers gave guidance from God, taught knowledge and provided a path to purification[49]
  4. God explained that obedience to Him and to His Messenger will earn paradise[50]
  5. And those who disobey will earn hell fire[51]
  6. God said that He will judge people only after receipt of the Message from His Messengers, judging everyone based on their own actions[52][53][54]
  7. Thus, those who received His message can not claim ignorance as an excuse[55]

The relationship between messengers, prophets, the Announcement, and the Sender

The verse about the great news reads;

Concerning the Great News,
Nabi, Naba

The word used in this verse, naba, relates to the word nabi.

  • Nabi (prophet) means: "one who informs others".
  • Naba means: "news", "announcement", "information".
  • Anbiya represents the plural form of nabi.

Anbiya inform others of a coming naba. The Qur'an says that the naba is not the Qur'an itself but that it comes in the future.

Rasul, Mursil

Note that the word rasul relates to the word mursil.

  • Rasul means: "a messenger", "a bearer of a message".
  • Mursal(een) also means: "a messenger", "a bearer of a message".
  • Mursil means: "one who sends", "a sender".
  • Risalat means: "messages".
  • Rusul also represents the plural form of rasul.

So a mursil sends a rasul to give risalat. The Qur'an says that risalat of the mursil (God) form His kalimat. The Quran says that risalatullah cannot end.

All together

Putting these together, we see that the mursil sent both Jesus and Muhammad (each a rasul) to act as a nabi and to inform of the naba.

The Qur'an itself even states that the messages (risalat) — by definition the kalamat (words) of God — remain inexhaustible. Therefore the naba which the anbiya (plural of nabi) announced must itself precede more risalat (messages).

If or when the naba appeared, no further need exists for any more nabi (who give the news of the naba). What about rusul (messengers) and risalat (messages)? Does the mursil stop sending rusul to give his risalat? The Qur'an says "no".

Note that the sender of messages and messengers (mursil) functions as a rasul if he gives the risalat himself. And note that the mursil can send rusul who are not anbiya.

Summary

To summarize, we have four words: nabi, naba, rasul, and mursil.

  • Some rusul (plural of rasul) rank as anbiya (prophets) if sent (arsala) before the naba.
  • Some rusul are not anbiya if sent after the naba.
  • The naba itself is a risalatun.
  • The Qur'an associates the naba with the mursil.
  • Risalat cannot be exhausted.
  • The mursil sends rusul to give risalat even after naba.
  • Nothing prevents a mursil giving risalat himself (and acting as a rasul).

The reception of the prophets

R. Joseph Hoffmann compares the different Abrahamic prophetic traditions and attitudes to prophecy:

... Like Christianity, [Islam] claimed to be a common heir of the Abrahamic traditions. Unlike Judaism, it taught that much of that tradition had been corrupted by false prophets and evildoers. Like Christianity, it claimed a continuum with the prophets of old; unlike Christianity it made little use of any specific passages of the Hebrew bible, did not incorporate it into its own sacred library, and did not regard the finality of Muhammad’s prophethood to be based on any adumbration in the books of the Jews or Christians.... Islam alone found error not merely in interpretation but in the sources themselves. The idea of error was both tied to and a consequence of the doctrine of finality: Muhammad is the prophet of God in a conclusive and indubitable sense. What is contained in the book revealed to him is true beyond question.
—R. Joseph Hoffmann[56]

Table of prophets in the Qur'an

The following table lists the prophets mentioned in the Qur'an. Biblical versions of names also appear where applicable:

We did aforetime send messengers before thee: of them there are some whose story We have related to thee, and some whose story We have not related to thee. It was not (possible) for any messenger to bring a sign except by the leave of Allah: but when the Command of Allah issued, the matter was decided in truth and justice, and there perished, there and then those who stood on Falsehoods.
Name (Arabic & Arabic Translit.) Name (Biblical) Main Article(s) Number of times mentioned by name
آدم
Adam
Adam 25
Adam, the first human being, ranks as the first prophet of Islam.
إدريس
Idris
Enoch 2
Idris lived during a period of drought inflicted by God to punish the people of the world who had forgotten God. Idris prayed for salvation and for an end to the suffering, and so the world received rain.[citation needed]
نوح
Nuh
Noah 43
Although best known for his role in the story of the Deluge, Nuh became a primary preacher of monotheism in his day. Muslims believe his faith in God led to his selection for building the Ark[citation needed].
هود
Hud
Eber 7
Muslims believe that only Hud, for whom the eleventh chapter of the Qur'an takes its name, and a few other people survived a great storm, similar to the Deluge five generations earlier. God inflicted the storm to punish the people of ʿĀd who had forgotten about God.
صالح
Saleh
Shelah 9
According to the Qur'an, God ordered Saleh to leave behind his people, the tribe of Thamud, after they disbelieved and disobeyed God's order to care for a special camel and instead killed it. In Saleh's and his followers' (believers') absence, God punished the people with a loud noise from the skies that killed his people instantly. Note that Saleh does not equate to the Shelah mentioned in the Old Testament.
إبراهيم
Ibrahim
Abraham 69
Muslims regard Ibrahim as one of the significant prophets, because they credit him with rebuilding the Kaaba in Mecca. His family, including his son Ishmael, also receives credit for helping create the civilization around Mecca that would later give birth to the final prophet of Islam, Muhammad. Significantly, Ibrahim almost sacrificed his son Ismail (Ishmael) to God in an event now commemorated annually by Eid al-Adha. Among all the prophets, he first named believers "Muslims" - meaning "those with full submission to God".[citation needed]
لوط
Lut
Lot 27
Muslims know Lut best for attempting to preach against homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah, in addition to encouraging his people to believe in the Oneness of God, although his community mocked and ignored him. Islam also denies[citation needed] the acts which the Old Testament attributes to Lut, like drinking and becoming drunk, and having intercourse with and impregnating his two daughters.
إسماعيل
Isma'il
Ishmael 12
Muslims regard Ismaïl, first-born son of Ibrahim, as a notable prophet in Islam for his near-sacrifice in adulthood. As a child, he - with his mother, Hajar (Hagar) - searched for water in the region around Mecca, leading God to reveal the Zamzam Well, which still flows to this day.
إسحاق
Is'haq
Isaac 17
According to Islamic tradition, Ishaq, the second-born son of Ibrahim, became a prophet in Canaan. He and his brother Ismaïl carried on the legacy of Ibrahim as prophets of Islam.
يعقوب
Yaqub
Jacob 16
The Qur'an portrays Yaqub as "of the company of the Elect and the Good".[57] He continued the legacy of both his father, Ishaq, and his grandfather, Ibrahim. Like his ancestors, he deliberately worshipped God exclusively.
يوسف
Yusuf
Joseph 27
Yusuf, son of Yaqub and great-grandson of Ibrahim became a prominent advisor to the pharaoh of Egypt after he interpreted the pharaoh's dream which predicted the economic future of Egypt. He spent a large part of his life away from his eleven brothers, who showed jealousy of Yusuf because their father favored him. They took him out one day, telling their father that they would play and have fun, but they planned to kill him. Instead, they threw him down a well and told their father Yaqub that a wolf had eaten him. According to Islam, Yusuf received the gift of half of the beauty granted to mankind.
أيوب
Ayyub
Job 4
According to Islamic tradition, Ayyub received the reward of a fountain of youth, which removed all illnesses, except death, for his service to God in his hometown outside Al Majdal. Legend recounts that Ayyub suffered an illness for 18 years as test of patience carried out by God.
شعيب
Shu'ayb
Jethro 11
According to Islam, God appointed Shu'ayb, a direct descendant of Ibrahim, to guide the people of Midian and Aykah, who lived near Mount Sinai. When the people of the region failed to listen to his warnings, God destroyed the disbelievers' villages. Although the Qur'an and the reported speeches of Muhammad mention that Musa married one of Shu'ayb's daughters, the Old Testament tells the same story of a man named Jethro. Some scholars regard Jethro in the Old Testament as distinct from Shu'aib in the Qur'an.
موسى
Musa
Moses 136
Moses, whom the Qur'an refers to more than to any other prophet, had the distinction of revealing the Tawrat (Torah) to the Israelites. The Qur'an says Musa realized his connection with God after receiving commands from him during a stop at Mount Sinai. He later went on to free the enslaved Hebrews after the Egyptian pharaoh denied God's power. Musa subsequently led the freed Hebrews for forty years through the desert after they refused to obey God's command and enter the Holy Land. See the Qur'an, Sura Al-Ma'ida Qur'an 5:24), "They said: 'O Moses! while they remain there, never shall we be able to enter, to the end of time. Go thou, and thy Lord, and fight ye two, while we sit here (and watch).'" On another trip to Mount Sinai during this long journey, Musa received the Tawrat and the Ten Commandments. At the end of his life, according to Islamic tradition[citation needed], Musa chose to die to become closer to God instead of taking up an offer that would have extended his life.
هارون
Harūn
Aaron 20
Harun (Aaron) served as an assistant to his older brother Musa (Moses). In Islam, he, like Musa, received the task of saving the Israelites from the Egyptian pharaoh. He would often speak for Musa when Musa’s speech-impediment prevented him from doing so himself.
ذو الكفل
Dhul-Kifl
most likely Ezekiel 2
The status of Dhul-Kifl as a prophet remains debatable within Islam, although all parties to the debate can agree[citation needed] in seeing him as a righteous man who strived in the way of God. Some studies identify Dhul-Kifl with Obadiah, mentioned in the Old Testament as taking care of a hundred prophets: see 1 Kings 18:4.
داود
Dawud
David 16
In Islam, God revealed the Zabur (Psalms) to Dawud (David). Dawud also has significance as the conqueror of Goliath. Note that Islamic tradition and the Bible differ in their accounts of the story of King David and Uriah. Islam denies acts attributed to King David in the Old Testament like sending Uriah to his death so that David could marry his wife.
سليمان
Sulayman
Solomon 17
Sulayman (Solomon) learned a significant amount from his father David before God made him a prophet. According to Islamic tradition, Sulayman received power to manipulate nature (including the jinn) and the power to communicate with and control animals. Known for his honesty and fairness, he also headed a kingdom that extended into southern Arabia.[citation needed]
إلياس
Ilyas
Elijah 2
Ilyas, a descendant of Harun (Aaron), took over control of the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula after the kingdom of Sulayman (Solomon) collapsed. Islamic tradition says he attempted to convince the people of the peninsula of the existence of only one God, but when the people refused to listen they were smitten with a drought and famine.
اليسع
al-Yasa
Elisha 2

Al-Yasa (Elisha) took over the task of leading the Israelites after the death of Ilyas (Elijah). He attempted to show the king and queen of Israel the power of God, but they dismissed him as a magician. Subsequently, the Assyrians could make people burn and inflict significant damage on them.

يونس
Yunus
Jonah 4
Islamic tradition states that God commanded Yunus (Jonah) to help the people of Nineveh towards righteousness. However, after Nineveh's people refused to listen to God, Yunus became disgruntled and angry with God. After an incident where Yunus escaped death, he decided to re-commit himself to striving for God, attempting to lead the people of Nineveh to righteousness. But after the Ninevites returned to evil, illicit ways, the Scythians conquered them.[58]
زكريا
Zakariyya
Zechariah 7
A descendant of Sulayman, Zakariya (Zachariah), became a patron of Maryam (Mary) the mother of 'Isa (Jesus). According to the Qur'an, he prayed to God asking for a son, since his sterile wife al-Yashbi (Elizabeth) could not provide one. God granted his wishes, temporarily lifting his wife's sterility and allowing her to give birth to Yahya ibn Zakariyya (John).[59]
يحيى
Yahya
John the Baptist 5
Of Yahya (John), cousin to Isa, Islam says that, throughout his lifetime, he captivated audiences with his powerful sermons which preached Abrahamic monotheism. (The Qur'an does not mention baptism.)
عيسى
Isa
Jesus 25
God sent one of the highest-ranked prophets in Islam, Eisa al-Maseeh, (Jesus the Messiah) to guide the Children of Israel. The Qur'an makes the nature of Jesus very clear, portraying him not as the physically begotten son of God, but rather as a nabi and rasul (messenger) of God: "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs." (Nisa 4:171) in Yusuf Ali's translation.[60]

'Isa performed many miracles with the permission of God, for example: raising the dead, creating a bird from clay, and talking as an infant. Islamic traditions state that he abstained from drinking alcohol. Tradition also states that he received a revelation, the Injil (Gospel), though according to Islam, it subsequently suffered from distortion. Muslims believe that no crucifixion of 'Isa took place, meaning he did not die on the cross. Muslims believe that God raised Isa up to himself and that Isa will return to Earth to fight the Dajjal (the imposter) and to break the cross. The Qur'an and Saheeh Hadith tell a consistent story.

That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-

Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-

And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;-

—Qur'an, Sura An-Nisa 4:157–159

From Hadith:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts

Sahih al-BukhariVolume 3, Book 34, Number 425[61]
محمد
Muhammad
5
Habib u'l A'zam, Imam u'l Anbiya Sayyidina Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah, (53 B.H.-11 A.H.; 571-632 AD)[62] ranks as the last prophet in Islam ("seal of the Prophets"), with a message to all humanity. Muslims shun idolatry of any of the prophets, as their messages from God hold the most weight. Muhammad appeared on earth as the son of his father 'Abdullah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib and of his mother Amina bint Wahb az-Zuhriyya. Born in Mecca in 571 AD (53 AH), Muhammad spent the first part of his mature years as a well-travelled merchant. He would often spend time in the mountains surrounding Mecca in prayer contemplating the situation within the city. At the age of forty, during one of those trips to the mountain, Muhammad began to receive and recite verses from God which, in recorded form, make up the Qur'an. He quickly spread the message which he received, converting a few others in the city, including his wife. When oppression became intolerable for his followers, Muhammad first asked his fellow Muslims to move to Medina, and later he himself migrated to Medina away from the oppressors in Mecca. Muhammad served not just as a prophet, but as a military leader who helped defeat the Meccans in 624 during the Battle of Badr. He continued to lead the Muslims as Islam spread across the Arabian Peninsula. He performed the first hajj in 629 and established Islam in the form that Muslims still practise it. Others continued Muhammad's legacy after his death in 632, accepting the position of caliph ("successor") to Muhammad. The Five Pillars of Islam were established{whom}} from Muhammad's hadith after his death.

Other prophets

The Qur'an mentions only 25 prophets by name but also tells that God sent many other prophets and messengers. Many verses in the Quran discuss this:

  • "We did aforetime send messengers before thee: of them there are some whose story We have related to thee, and some whose story We have not related to thee. ..."[63]
  • "For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger, ..."[47]

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

The Qur'an mentions Al-i-Imran as the father of Maryam. It does not mention Al-Khidr by name, but tradition assumes the reference Sura Al-Kahf 18:66 to relate to him. Ibn Kathir in his book mentions the Biblical prophets Danyal (Daniel), Ishaia (Isaiah), Armya (Jeremiah), and Samuel as prophets.

The Qur'an mentions Luqman in the sura named after him, but does not clearly identify him as a prophet or a wali. The most widespread Islamic belief[citation needed] views Luqman as a wise man, not as a prophet or as a wali. Legend recounts that Luqman had a dream, and in that dream he faced the choice between becoming a King and a wise man, and he chose the second.

Numerous other historical figures may rank as prophets, but debate and contention surround this matter. Such figures include: Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha, Socrates,[64] Merlin, Laozi, Confucius,[65] Krishna,[66] (also mentioned in some books of Hadith) and Rama. However, Muslims will argue that one cannot know this for certain, since the Qur'an does not mention them by name. Those in favour of counting such men as prophets often argue[citation needed] that they came with the word of God, but that it later became corrupted, which accounts for the differences between Islam and the various religions and philosophies associated with each man.

The Ghurabiyya Shia regarded Ali as a prophet at the same time as Muhammad, but his prophethood ended when Muhammad passed away. However, they believed that Ali should have become the sole Prophet, but that the angel Gabriel mistakenly gave the divine message to Muhammad.

Maryam mother of 'Isa

A few scholars (such as Ibn Hazm)[67] see Maryam as a nabi and a prophetess, since God sent her a message via an angel. The Qur'an, however, does not explicitly identify her as a prophet. Islamic belief regards her as a holy woman, but not as a prophet. The Qur'an usually refers to 'Isa as 'Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary), the matronymic indicating that Jesus had no father.

The world of Islam sees Maryam as a very holy and important woman. She alone of all the women in all of Islam has a sura attributed to her: Sura Maryam, the nineteenth sura of the Qu'ran.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ See Qur'an 3:45
  2. ^ Wheeler, Brannon M.. Prophets in the Quran: an introduction to the Quran and Muslim exegesis. Comparative Islamic studies. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 8. ISBN 9780826449573. http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=qIDZIep-GIQC. "Ibn Sa'd [...] reports that [...] the total number of prohets is 1000. Other Muslim sources list the total number of prophets as 224,000." 
  3. ^ Wheeler, Brannon M.. Prophets in the Quran: an introduction to the Quran and Muslim exegesis. Comparative Islamic studies. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 8. ISBN 9780826449573. http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=qIDZIep-GIQC. "There are 25 prophets mentioned by name in the Quran [...] Among those mentioned by name are: Adam (mentioned 25 times by name), Idris (1), Noah (43), Hud (7), Salih (10), Abraham (69), Ishmael (12), Isaac (17), Jacob (16), Lot (27), Joseph (27), Shuayb (11), Job (4), Dhu al-Kifl (2), Moses (137), Aaron (20), David (16), Solomon (17), Elijah (1), Elisha (2), Jonah (4), Zechariah (7), John (5), Jesus (25), Muhammad (4)." 
  4. ^ a b c Uri Rubin, Prophets and Prophethood, Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an
  5. ^ a b A.J. Wensinck, Rasul, Encyclopaedia of Islam
  6. ^ Strong's Concordance
  7. ^ Albert Barnes under Malachi 2:7 and 3:1
  8. ^ Hebrews 3:1; John 17:3; Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; Ephesians 3:5, 4:11; First Epistle to the Corinthians 28:12
  9. ^ Qur'an 19:56
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Qur'an 6:89
  11. ^ Qur'an 26:107
  12. ^ Qur'an 26:105
  13. ^ a b c d e Qur'an 42:13
  14. ^ Qur'an 26:125
  15. ^ Qur'an 7:65
  16. ^ Qur'an 26:143
  17. ^ Qur'an 54:25
  18. ^ Qur'an 7:73
  19. ^ Qur'an 19:41
  20. ^ Qur'an 9:70
  21. ^ Qur'an 2:124
  22. ^ Qur'an 87:19
  23. ^ Qur'an 22:43
  24. ^ Qur'an 26:162
  25. ^ Qur'an 26:160
  26. ^ a b Qur'an 19:54
  27. ^ a b Qur'an 19:49
  28. ^ a b Qur'an 21:73
  29. ^ Qur'an 26:178
  30. ^ Qur'an 7:85
  31. ^ a b Qur'an 19:51
  32. ^ Qur'an 53:36
  33. ^ Qur'an 43:46
  34. ^ Qur'an 19:53
  35. ^ Qur'an 17:55
  36. ^ Qur'an 37:123
  37. ^ Qur'an 37:124
  38. ^ Qur'an 37:139
  39. ^ Qur'an 10:98
  40. ^ Qur'an 3:39
  41. ^ Qur'an 19:30
  42. ^ Qur'an 4:171
  43. ^ Qur'an 4:`7` Qur'an 4:171:"Christ Jesus the son of Mary was an apostle of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in God and His apostles."
  44. ^ Qur'an 57:27
  45. ^ Qur'an 61:6
  46. ^ a b Qur'an 33:40
  47. ^ a b Qur'an 16:36
  48. ^ Qur'an 35:24
  49. ^ Qur'an 2:151
  50. ^ Qur'an 4:13
  51. ^ Qur'an 4:14
  52. ^ Qur'an 7:6–7
  53. ^ Qur'an 17:15
  54. ^ Qur'an 67:8–9
  55. ^ Qur'an 4:165
  56. ^ Hoffmann, R. Joseph (2009-05-11). "Measuring the Books: Truth Claims in Islam and its Others". Butterflies and Wheels. ButterfliesandWheels.com. http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/articleprint.php?num=403. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  57. ^ Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation of the Qur'an, 38:47
  58. ^ "Prophet Yunus". The Prophets. Islam101.com. http://www.islam101.com/history/people/prophets/jonah.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-06. 
  59. ^ "Prophet Zakariyah". The Prophets. Islam101.com. http://www.islam101.com/history/people/prophets/zakariya.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-06. 
  60. ^ "The Women". Search Engine: Search in the Quran. http://www.searchtruth.com/chapter_display_all.php?chapter=4&from_verse=171&to_verse=171&mac=&translation_setting=1&show_yusufali=1&show_shakir=1&show_pickthal=1&show_mkhan=1. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  61. ^ Jesus in Hadith
  62. ^ Great Muslims Of All Times
  63. ^ Qur'an 40:78
  64. ^ Ahmad, Tahir (1998). "Greek Philosophy". Revelation, rationality knowledge and truth. Surrey: Islam International Publications. http://alislam.org/library/books/revelation/part_1_section_5.html. Retrieved 2008-11-11. "Repeated attempts have been made to pluck him away from the comity of prophets to that of mere philosophers." 
  65. ^ Confucianism
  66. ^ Hinduism
  67. ^ Ibn Hazm on women's prophethood

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