Religion is received through the Prophets and it is a gift of God to the humanity to lead a peaceful life free from wickedness and immorality. Religion consists of commandments of Almighty. Prophets are human beings appointed by God to communicate His commandments to people.
It is in Quran – اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ [Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) know it well who is capable for Apostleship’. (An-A’am – 124).
To claim receiving revelations of God is exclusive with the Prophets. Rather, the Prophet cannot move on his own, he cannot talk a word on his own.
It is in Quran – وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ - إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ ‘(Prophet Mohammad -صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) does not say anything with his self desire, except that this is the revelation which is coming to him (from Allah –سبحانه و تعالى)’. (An-Najm – 2).
Islam distinguishes between an Apostle of Allah (Rasool) and a Prophet (Nabi). Both are divinely inspired recipients of God's revelations. However, the Apostle receives a divine message or revelation for a community in a book form. Every Rasool is a Nabi, however, not every Nabi is a Rasool.
We believe in the Prophet-hood of a person about whom we have definite means of knowledge.
Quran is the only book on Earth which has not been changed or altered even by an alphabet or a vowel sign. Quran is available to us in its original dialect (language) Arabic in which it was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Quran’s authenticity is proved beyond doubt.
It is in Quran – إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ [We (Allah –سبحانه و تعالى) have descended Quran and We only shall preserve it’ (Al-Hijr – 9).
Adam (عليه السلام) is the first Prophet and Mohammad Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is the last Prophet sent by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) for the reformation of mankind. Following prophets are mentioned in the holy Quran.
- Adam (عليه السلام)
- Nuh – عليه السلام (Noah)
- Idris - عليه السلام (Enoch)
- Hud – عليه السلام (Eber)
- Saleh – عليه السلام (Shelah)
- Ibrahim – عليه السلام (Abraham)
- Lut – عليه السلام (Lot)
- Isma’il – عليه السلام (Ishmael)
- Is'haq – عليه السلام (Isaac)
- Yaqub – عليه السلام (Jacob)
- Yusuf – عليه السلام (Joseph)
- Ayyub – عليه السلام (Job)
- Shu'ayb – عليه السلام (Jethro)
- Musa – عليه السلام (Moses)
- Harun – عليه السلام (Aaron)
- Dawood – عليه السلام (David)
- Sulayman – عليه السلام (Solomon)
- Ilyas – عليه السلام (Elijah)
- Al-Yasa – عليه السلام (Elisha)
- Uzair - عليه السلام (Ezra)
- Yunus – عليه السلام (Jonah)
- Dhul-Kifl – عليه السلام (Ezekiel)
- Zakariyya – عليه السلام (Zechariah)
- Yahya – عليه السلام (John the Baptist)
- Isa – عليه السلام (Jesus)
- Mohammad Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
We believe in all Prophets who are mentioned in Quran. All of them have communicated the same message. The religions of all the Prophets is same which is monotheism (one-ness) of Almighty. There are no differences of teachings among prophets with regard to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)) because all of them are honest. Allah ( سبحانه و تعالى ) is the same who is there from the beginning and who will remain existent eternally.
It is in Quran - كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ [Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (to them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as cautioners, and revealed therewith, the Scripture with the truth, that it might judge between mankind concerning that, wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come to them, through hatred of one another. And Allah by His Will guided those who believe in the truth of that, concerning which they differed. Allah guides whom He will to the straight path.] (Al-Baqara – 213).
It is in Quran - إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ مِن بَعْدِهِ ۚ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَعِيسَىٰ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُونُسَ وَهَارُونَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ ۚ وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا [(O’ Mohammad – صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) We (Allah –سبحانه و تعالى) have revealed (sent commandments) to you, as We revealed to Noah (عليه السلام), and the Prophets after him, and We revealed to Abraham (عليه السلام), Ishmael (عليه السلام), Isaac (عليه السلام), Jacob (عليه السلام) and the offspring of Jacob (عليه السلام), and Jesus (عليه السلام), and Job (عليه السلام), and Jonah (عليه السلام) , and Aaron (عليه السلام), and Solomon (عليه السلام), and We gave to David (عليه السلام) Psalms’. (An-Nisa – 163).
It is in Quran - قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ - [ Meaning - Say (O’Muslims), We believe in Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and that which has been sent down to us (Quran) and that which has been sent down to Abraham (Ibrahim – علیھ السلا م), Ishmael (Ismael - علیھ السلا م), Isaac (Is-haq - علیھ السلا م), Jacob (Ya'qub – علیھ السلا م), and to Al-Asbât (the twelve sons of Jacob - Ya'qub – علیھ السلا م), and that which has been given to Moses (Musa - علیھ السلا م) and Jesus ( Isa - علیھ السلا م), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We (the Muslims) make no distinction between any of them, and to Him (Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی) we have submitted (in Islam) (We are Muslims)].’ (Al-Baqara – 136).
It is in Hadith - Abu Umamah al-Bahili narrated that Abu Dharr asked the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) how many Prophets were there?" The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) replied "One hundred twenty four thousand, from which three hundred fifteen were Apostles. (Musnad Ahmed)
The above Prophets were sent by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in the world for the guidance of various nations at different times throughout the history of mankind.
It is in Quran – وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلًا مِّن قَبْلِكَ مِنْهُم مَّن قَصَصْنَا عَلَيْكَ وَمِنْهُم مَّن لَّمْ نَقْصُصْ عَلَيْكَ [And certainly We sent apostles before you (O'Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ), there are some of them that We have mentioned to you and there are others whom We have not mentioned to you (Ghafir - 78)
Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is the last Prophet who was sent for the entire mankind.
It is in Quran - مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا [(Prophet) Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Apostle of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah (سبحانه و تعا لی) is ever Aware of all things’. (Al-Ahzab – 40).
It is in Quran – وَأَرْسَلْنَاكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولًا ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا [And We have sent you ( O’ Muhammad - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) as Apostle to mankind, and Allah (سبحانه و تعا لی) is Sufficient as a Witness. (An-Nisa – 79).Quran is the last scripture sent by Allah (SWT) which has been preserved in its original form for the last one thousand four hundred years.It is in Quran – هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ [He (Allah -سبحانه و تعا لی), it is Who has sent His Apostle with the guidance and the religion of truth that He may make it to prevail over all religions.] (As-Saff – 9).
The following points are important part of our faith in Prophets.
All prophets are honest, guiltless and above suspicion of any kind. Allah (SWT) protects them from even possible sins throughout their lives. Allah (SWT) has praised them at many places in Quran. Isa – AS (Jesus Christ) is a Prophet. Certain assumptions of Christians about him are negated in the following Quranic verses.
It is in Quran - ‘(On behalf of Prophet Isa –AS) ‘I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me revelation and made me a prophet’. (Al-kahaf - 30).
‘Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. (Al-Kahaf – 34).
It is in Quran - ‘It is not befitting to (the Majesty of) Allah (SWT) that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be", and there it is’. (Al-Kahaf – 35).
It is in Quran - “And because of their saying (in boast), ‘We killed Messiah 'Isa -AS (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah (SWT)’ - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Isa (AS) (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [ i.e. 'Isa (AS) (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) ]. (An-Nisa – 157).
OUR BELIEFS ABOUT PROPHETS
Prophets convey and teach people what is sent to them from Allah (SWT).
It is in Quran – (O’Prophet –SAWS) Convey and teach people what is sent down to you’. (Al-Ma’ida – 67).
(i) Prophets are honorable people of highest regard in humanity, chosen by Allah (SWT) for the guidance of mankind.
(ii) Highest respect for prophets is mandatory in Islam. They are the highest ranking human beings in Allah’s (SWT) court.
It is in Quran - ‘Allah (SWT) knows it well who is capable for Apostleship’. (An-A’am – 124).
(iii) Equating prophets with ordinary human beings is a grave sin. We should never compare common people with Prophets, particularly with the Prophet of Islam (SAWS).
(iv) Mohammad Rasulullah (SAWS) is highest ranking among Prophets. This means, after Allah (SWT), the respect of Prophet Mohammed (SAWS) is highest among all creatures. Quran is full of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWS) praise. We are commanded not to call Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) by name, as we do to each other. We are commanded to obey his orders without asking questions. Prophet’s (SAWS) word is treated as word of Allah (SWT) and his obedience is treated as obedience to Allah (SWT).
It is in Quran – ‘(Prophet Mohammad -SAWS) does not say anything with his self desire, except that this is the revelation which is coming to him (from Allah –SWT)’. (An-Najm – 2).
Misunderstanding of certain Muslim sects about Prophet Mohammad (SAWS)
Certain sects of Muslims equate prophets, particularly Prophet of Islam (SAWS) with general people.
They forget the fact that the nature of prophets is exalted while the personalities of common men are generally overwhelmed with material desires.
The abilities and talents of Prophets are beyond our comprehension. General people need capability even to understand the factual teachings of Islam. Prophets are teachers of humanity appointed by Allah (SWT).
Prophets are taught by Allah (SWT) therefore, they are knowledgeable. General people are illiterate who are required to learn from Prophets.
How can a teacher be equated with his pupil? There are distinctions of ranks between various people and if we do not keep these distinction in mind, we lose the straight path of Islam.
Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is the greatest among prophets and greatest among Allah’s creatures. They do not understand this simple fact and in their attempt to equate the family members of the Prophet (SAWS) and his companions with general people, alas, they destroyed their graves and erased all important relics of Islam which were maintained by Muslims for over 1200 years.
These sects forget the fact that the greatness of a person is known by his humility. The greater he is, more humble he becomes. Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is the greatest of all human beings, therefore he is the humblest of all. Allah (SWT) has rewarded him with so many bounties but look at his humility and servitude towards Allah (SWT).
It is in Hadith - (Ahmad, Bazzar un Anas –RU). A camel comes and prostrates in front of the Prophet (SAWS). A goat comes and prostrates in front of him. (Looking at this) Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (RU) and other companions also seek permission to prostrate (in front of him). But the Prophet (SAWS) says, ‘It is not appropriate for a human being to prostrate in front of another human being’.
People should learn servitude and humility towards Allah (SWT) from Prophet Mohammad (SAWS).
It is in Quran - ‘Say (O’Prophet –SAWS) "I am a human being like you, (but) the revelation has come to me ( meaning I am the messenger of Allah –SWT). (Al-Kahaf - 110).
In order not to get mislead in the understanding of the above verse, let us try to comprehend this verse in the light of the following Hadith.
‘Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) keeps fast after fast, sometimes more than 5 days in a row. As-hab-e-Rasulullah (SAWS) tried to emulate (follow his practice), but realized it was not possible.
It is in Bukhari wo Muslim, narrated by Ibne Omer wo Abu Huraira Wo Anas (Raziallahu ta’ala unhum). (Prophet Mohammad -SAWS told his companions) ‘I am not like you. I live with my Sustainer (Rabbul Aalameen) who feeds and provides me with drink.’
Three things are established from the above Hadith.
- He is not like any ordinary human being. He is placed at an exalted state ‘Maqaam-e-Mahmood’ as described in verse 79, Bani Isra’il.
- Bodily he lives in this world, but spiritually he lives with His Sustainer.
- Allah (SWT) provides him with special spiritual food and drink.
Let us see some more facts in this context.
- Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) sees both in light as well as in dark ( Hadith Baihaqi, narrated by Hazrata Aisha –RU and Ibne Abbas - RU).
- He sees simultaneously from the front and rear. (Hadith Bukhari Wo Muslim, narrated by Hazrat Anas – RU and Hazrata Aisha –RU).
- Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) said ‘My eyes sleep, but my heart does not sleep’. (Hadith Bukhari Wo Muslim).
- Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) walks, but there is no shadow of his sacred body on earth.
- He sits under a tree and when he gets up, the tree starts crying.
- The earth swallows his stool and a perfumed smell comes out of that place.
- The sweat of his body is used by brides as perfume.
- It is in Quran – ‘Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is an exemplary model (for all of you) (Al-Ahzab – 21).
- It is in Hadith – (Prophet Mohammad –SAWS says) ‘A particular moment of time also comes between me and Allah (SWT) when there is no room even for the most favorite of the angels nor is there an access to any Apostle.’
- It is in Quran – ‘He (Allah –SWT) is knowledgeable of the Unseen. Does not show the unseen but to His revered Apostle (SAWS).
- It is in Quran – ‘ The Unity of Allah (SWT) is pure, who took His servant (Mohammad Rasulullah –SAWS) in one night from the honored mosque (Masjid-e-Haraam) to the Al Aqsa mosque around which We have given abundance of virtue, so that We show him our signs and traces of Omnipotence (which were unseen by any one in this cosmos). Without doubt He is the (only) one who sees and listens.’ (Bani Isra’el – 1).
- It is in Quran - Allah (SWT) describes the beautiful occasion of His meeting with Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) on the Empyrean (Arsh-e-Mu’allah) during Me’raj. Look at the height of love between Allah (SWT) and His ‘Habeeb’ Prophet Mohammad (SAWS). It is in Quran – ‘The Mighty in power (Allah –SWT) has offered him (Prophet Mohammad –SAWS) the knowledge. So (equipped), he stood well poised. (With the perfect vision attained) at the highest horizon. Then he (the Prophet –SAWS) approached closer and hung (by Allah -SWT). Then (both) closed up like two bows, and indeed more closely. And He revealed to His servant (Prophet Mohammad –SAWS) What He wanted to reveal. The heart of Prophet (SAWS) did not distrust what he saw. Will you people wrangle over what he beheld (saw). For indeed he beheld Him (Allah –SWT) yet again. Near the lote tree lying farthest beyond which no one can go. Lying close to the Heaven of Rest. When the lote tree was being enveloped by what it was to be enveloped with (a mystery not disclosed). His (Prophet Mohammad –SAWS) sight did not blink or did it miss anything. Indeed he saw clearly the greatest of the signs of his Lord’. (An-Najm – 1-18).
When we look at the above miraculous state of affairs of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), a unique spectrum will be unfolded. There are no limits for Miracles, super natural happenings and wonders of Allah’s (SWT) omnipotence of highest order. At the same time, humility, modesty, servitude and humbleness are the distinctive excellences of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS).
Let us read the following to understand this puzzle.
- It is in Quran – (On behalf of Prophet Mohammad –SAWS) ‘If I was aware of the fore knowledge, I would have secured abundant virtue’ (Al-Araf – 188).
- It is in Quran – (Allah - SWT says) ‘ Allah –SWT does not give prevalence to anybody over the unseen except to the respected Apostle (SAWS). At another place in Quran – ‘ We (Allah –SWT) have given you a lot, abundant virtue’. (Al-Kausar – 1).
- It is in Hadith – Prophet says ‘I do not know what will be done to me, or to you’.
- It is in Quran – (Allah –SWT says) ‘ Soon it is expected that your Sustainer (Rab) will give you very exalted state (maqaam-e-Mahmood). (Bani Isra’il – 79).
- It is in Quran – (Allah –SWT says) ‘ Every moment your state is better than your past state’. (And) ‘Very soon your Sustainer will give you in abundance and you will be pleased with it’. (Wadduha – 4-5).
- It is in Quran – (Allah –SWT says) ‘We have exalted your invocation (zikr) higher (in the cosmos). (Inshirah – 4).
One of the most important aspect of our Iman is utmost respect of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) and deep rooted love for him in our hearts. We should be careful while describing about prophets, As-hab-e-Rasulullah (SAWS), prominent Imams and Shaikhs of Ihsan. They are all virtuous and stand tall in Islamic Ummah.
People should not rebel against Prophet's or Imam's authorities in religion. If we do not keep these things in mind, we are sure to be doomed on the Day of Judgment.