Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty, has given guidance to the mankind through his prophets in Islam. Although Prophets are human beings, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) selected them to convey His message to the human beings in this world. Therefore, the prophethood is Allah-given and no individual has the ability to self-originate it. According to the Quraan, only those people were selected for prophethood who had the potential to protect themselves from lures of inner desires and Shaitaan (Satan) as well as they were pious and righteous among people.
1. Difference between Messengers and Prophets in Islam
All Messengers mentioned in the Quraan are Prophets, however, it is not necessary that all Prophets are Messengers. In Islam, Rasool is the word utilized for Messenger and Nabi for Prophet. Messengers are those who have been given Shari’ah or New Law by the Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). Prophets are the ones who do not bring any new Shari’ah, rather they follow the Shari’ah of the previous Messenger.
2. Need of Prophets and Messengers
Prophets were not required in this world to make people realize the existence of the one God – Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) — and difference between good and evil. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has described in the Quraan that this belief has been ingrained in their nature. Therefore, the common perception is not correct regarding the need of Prophets. Following two reasons are correct for their existence in the world.
The first reason is related to completion of guidance. Humans have the ingrained knowledge but they require reminder from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) as the inner knowledge is in concise form.
The second reason is for Itmaam al-Hujjah (Leaving no excuse) as to awaken humans from unawareness and ignorance. This will be done through providing signs of Truth so that on the day of Judgment no one denies it.
At the moment, both of these reasons have been completed by the Prophets and Messengers in Islam. Therefore, the institution of prophethood has come to an end. Hence, from now till the Day of Judgment, we all have to follow and the teachings of last and final Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) in order to pass the test on life hereafter.
3. Signs of Prophets in Islam
It can be found in Quraan that every Prophet has been given signs to show his people. Here, we will mention some of them in following points.
A Prophet generally appears in the nation with the prediction of upcoming Prophet. For example, Hadhrat Yahya (John) told the people regarding the coming of Hadhrat Eesaa (Jesus). Similarly, the advent of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) was predicted in both new and old testament.
The Prophet presents the message of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) without any change or contradiction in it. Quraan has asserted itself as the book which has no ideological contradiction present in it. How can person deliver speeches for so many years without any contradiction present in it after compiling it? The Quraan has that unmatchable characteristic which no other book can claim it.
A Prophet is provided with different miracles to show his nation. For example, Hadhrat Moosaa (Moses) and Hadhrat Eesaa (Jesus) showed open miracles to their respective nation. Similarity, the biggest miracle of Holy prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) is considered to be Quraan whose qualities have been mentioned in above point.
In the end, there are 25 Prophets mentioned in the Quraan along with their respective stories. However, the overall number is almost One hundred twenty-four thousand. All the Prophets and Messengers in Islam have come to preach one religion “Islam”.