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OTHER PROPHETS IN ISLAM

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

When Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) sent Adam down to the earth and his descendents spread out, He did not forsake them. Rather, He gave them provision and sent down to him and his descendents revelation. So some of them believed and some of them disbelieved:

وَلَقَدۡ بَعَثۡنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٖ رَّسُولًا أَنِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱجۡتَنِبُواْ ٱلطَّٰغُوتَۖ فَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ هَدَى ٱللَّهُ وَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ حَقَّتۡ عَلَيۡهِ ٱلضَّلَٰلَةُۚ فَسِيرُواْ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَٱنظُرُواْ كَيۡفَ كَانَ عَٰقِبَةُ ٱلۡمُكَذِّبِينَ (36)

“We did raise a messenger among every people, with the message: .Worship Allah and stay away from the Rebel (the Satan). Then, there were some among them whom Allah guided, and there were others against whom deviation (from the right path) was established. So, travel on earth and see how was the fate of those who rejected (the prophets).” (al-Nahl 16:36)

There are four heavenly books which Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) sent down. They are the Tawraat (Torah), Injeel (Gospel), Zaboor (Psalms)and the Quraan:

 نَزَّلَ عَلَيۡكَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ مُصَدِّقٗا لِّمَا بَيۡنَ يَدَيۡهِ وَأَنزَلَ ٱلتَّوۡرَىٰةَ وَٱلۡإِنجِيلَ(3)

“He has revealed to you the Book with the truth, confirming what has been before it, and has sent down the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospel).” (Aale ‘Imraan 3:3)

And Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) says:

 وَءَاتَيۡنَا دَاوُۥدَ زَبُورٗا (55)

"and to Daawood (David) We gave the Zaboor (Psalms)." (al-Israa 17:55)

The Prophets and Messengers were many, and no one knows their number except Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa). Among them are those of whom Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) has told us, and some of whom He has not told us:

وَرُسُلٗا قَدۡ قَصَصۡنَٰهُمۡ عَلَيۡكَ مِن قَبۡلُ وَرُسُلٗا لَّمۡ نَقۡصُصۡهُمۡ عَلَيۡكَۚ(164)

"And Messengers We have mentioned to you before, and Messengers We have not mentioned to you. (al-Nisaa 4:164)

It is obligatory to believe in all the Books which Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) has revealed and in all the Prophets and Messengers whom Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) has sent, as He says:

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ ءَامِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَٱلۡكِتَٰبِ ٱلَّذِي نَزَّلَ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِۦ وَٱلۡكِتَٰبِ ٱلَّذِيٓ أَنزَلَ مِن قَبۡلُۚ وَمَن يَكۡفُرۡ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلَٰٓئِكَتِهِۦ وَكُتُبِهِۦ وَرُسُلِهِۦ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأٓخِرِ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ ضَلَٰلَۢا بَعِيدًا(136)

“O you who believe! Do believe in Allah and His Messenger and in the Book He has revealed to His Messenger and in the Books He has revealed earlier. Whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and the Last Day has indeed gone far astray.” (al-Nisaa 4:136)

“Rasool” (Messenger) and “Nabi” (Prophet) are two names used for the same position designated by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa), which is someone whom Allah sent to call the people to worship Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) alone, one of the Prophets and Messengers whom Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) chose and sent to His slaves to convey His religion:

رُّسُلٗا مُّبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ حُجَّةُۢ بَعۡدَ ٱلرُّسُلِۚ (165)

“Messengers giving good tidings and warning, so that people may have no plea against Allah after the Messengers (have come).” (al-Nisaa 4:165)

The Prophets and Messengers are many, of whom Allaah has mentioned twenty five in the Quraan, and we are obliged to believe in all of them. They are: Aadam, Idrees, Nooh, Hood, Saalih, Ibraaheem, Loot, Ismaa’eel, Ishaaq, Ya’qoob, Yoosuf, Shu’ayb, Ayyoob, Zu’l-Kifl, Moosaa, Haaroon, Daawood, Sulaymaan, Ilyaas, al-Yasa’, Younus, Zakariyya, Yahyaa, ‘Eesaa and Muhammad – blessings and peace be upon them all.

The Quraan is the greatest and last of the heavenly Books, and it abrogates the books which came before it and is a witness over them, so we must follow it and ignore those which came before it:

وَأَنزَلۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ مُصَدِّقٗا لِّمَا بَيۡنَ يَدَيۡهِ مِنَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَمُهَيۡمِنًا عَلَيۡهِۖ فَٱحۡكُم بَيۡنَهُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُۖ(48)

“We have sent down to you the Book with truth, confirming the Book before it, and a protector for it. So, judge between them according to what Allah has sent down” (al-Maaidah 5:48)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) chose Messengers and Prophets from among the sons of Adam, and sent them to each nation, and commanded them to call them to worship Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) alone and to explain the ways which would bring happiness in this world and in the Aakhirah (Hereafter), and to bring glad tidings of Jannah (Paradise) to those who believed and the warning of Jahannum (Hell) to those who disbelieved:

وَلَقَدۡ بَعَثۡنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٖ رَّسُولًا أَنِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱجۡتَنِبُواْ ٱلطَّٰغُوتَۖ فَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ هَدَى ٱللَّهُ وَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ حَقَّتۡ عَلَيۡهِ ٱلضَّلَٰلَةُۚ فَسِيرُواْ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَٱنظُرُواْ كَيۡفَ كَانَ عَٰقِبَةُ ٱلۡمُكَذِّبِينَ(36)

“We did raise a messenger among every people, with the message: .Worship Allah and stay away from the Rebel (the Satan). Then, there were some among them whom Allah guided, and there were others against whom deviation (from the right path) was established. So, travel on earth and see how was the fate of those who rejected (the prophets).” (al-Nahl 16:36)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) preferred some of the Prophets and Messengers over others. The best of them are the "Messengers of strong will" who are Nooh, Ibraaheem, Moosaa, ‘Eesaa and Muhammad; and the best of the Messengers of strong will is Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). For each Prophet was sent only to his own people, until Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) sent Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) to all of mankind. He is the last and the best of the Prophets and Messengers, as Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) says:

وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَٰكَ إِلَّا كَآفَّةٗ لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرٗا وَنَذِيرٗا وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكۡثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ(28)

"And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most of men know not." (Sabaa 34:28)

The Prophets and Messengers were chosen by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) to be an example to their nations. He taught them, guided them and honored them with the Message; He protected them from falling into sin and supported them with miracles. So they are the most perfect of humanity both physically and in their attitude, the best of them in knowledge, the most truthful in speech, the most exemplary in the life they lived. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) says of them:

وَجَعَلۡنَٰهُمۡ أَئِمَّةٗ يَهۡدُونَ بِأَمۡرِنَا وَأَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡهِمۡ فِعۡلَ ٱلۡخَيۡرَٰتِ وَإِقَامَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَإِيتَآءَ ٱلزَّكَوٰةِۖ وَكَانُواْ لَنَا عَٰبِدِينَ(73)

“And We made them the Imams who guided (people) under Our command, and We inspired them to do good deeds and to establish Salaah and pay Zakaah, and Us alone they worshipped.” (al-Anbiyaa 21:73)

Because the Prophets and Messengers reached such a high status of obedience and good character, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) has commanded us to take them as an example. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) says:

أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ هَدَى ٱللَّهُۖ فَبِهُدَىٰهُمُ ٱقۡتَدِهۡۗ (90)

“Those are the people whom Allah has guided. So, it is their guidance that you should follow.” (al-An’aam 6:90)

All of the characteristics of the Prophets and Messengers were combined in our Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), and Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) honored him by instilling in him the noblest characteristics. Therefore Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) stated that his example is to be followed in all situations:

لَّقَدۡ كَانَ لَكُمۡ فِي رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرۡجُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلۡيَوۡمَ ٱلۡأٓخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرٗا(21)

“There is indeed a good model for you in the Messenger of Allah - for the one who has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah profusely.” (al-Ahzaab 33:21)

Belief in all the Prophets and Messengers is one of the pillars of Islamic belief (‘Aqeedah), without which the faith of the Muslim cannot be complete, because they all preached the same message, which is belief in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa). Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) says:

قُولُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰٓ إِبۡرَٰهِ‍ۧمَ وَإِسۡمَٰعِيلَ وَإِسۡحَٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ وَٱلۡأَسۡبَاطِ وَمَآ أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَآ أُوتِيَ ٱلنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمۡ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيۡنَ أَحَدٖ مِّنۡهُمۡ وَنَحۡنُ لَهُۥ مُسۡلِمُونَ(136)

“Say (O, Muslims): .We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us, and in what has been revealed to Ibrahim, Isma‘il (Ishmael), IsHaaq (Isaac), Ya‘qoob and his children, and in what has been given to Moosaa and ‘Eesaa (Jesus) and what has been given to the prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between any of them, and to Him we submit ourselves.” (al-Baqarah 2:136)
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