Holy Qur’aan Speaks: Prophethood in Islam

BEING divinely chosen, the Messengers or Prophets were always supported by God Almighty and instructed by Him to affirm the continuity of the message. The content of each of the Prophets’ message to mankind can be summarised as follows:

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(a) Clear concept about God: His attributes, His creation, what should and should not be ascribed to Him.

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(b) Clear idea about the unseen world: the Angels, Jinn (spirits), Paradise and Hell.

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(c) Why has God created us? What does He want from us and what is the reward or punishment for obeying or disobeying Him?

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(d) How to run our societies according to His will? That is, clear instructions and laws that, when applied correctly and honestly, will result in the development of a happy and ideal society.

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It is clear from the above discussion that there could be no substitute for Divinely selected Messengers or Prophets. Even nowadays with the advancement of science, the only authentic source of information about the supernatural world is the Divine Revelation that has been bestowed through the Messengers or Prophets. True and conclusive guidance cannot be obtained from science nor from mystical experience. The first is too materialistic and too limited; the second is too subjective and frequently too misleading.

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How many prophets have been sent by God Almighty?

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Now one might ask: How many Prophets had God sent to humanity? We do not know for sure and God Almighty alone knows the exact number. What is clearly mentioned in the Holy Qur’aan is that: God had sent “to every nation a Guide (a Messenger or more)”. That is because it is one of God’s principles that He will never call people to account unless He has made clear to them what to do and what not to do. The Holy Qur’aan mentions the names of 25 Prophets and indicates that there have been others who were not mentioned to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). These 25 include, Noah, the man of the Ark, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). These five were the greatest among God’s Messengers. They are called, ‘the Resolute’ Messengers or Prophets.

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Belief in all the prophets of God Almighty

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An outstanding aspect of the Islamic belief in prophethood is that Muslims believe in and respect all the Messenger or Prophets of God with no exceptions. This is considered as a fundamental article of a Muslim’s faith. Since all the Prophets came from the same one God, for the same purpose – to lead mankind to God – belief in them all is essential and logical; accepting some and rejecting others has to be based on misconceptions of the Prophets’ role or on racial bias. The belief in all the Prophets or Messengers of God is very clearly enjoined on the Muslims in the Holy Qur’aan as highlighted in verse 136 of chapter 2.

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For further information on Islam or a free copy of the Holy Qur’aan, please contact:

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Majlisul Ulama Zimbabwe, Council of Islamic Scholars

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Publications Department,

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P.O. Box W93, Waterfalls, Harare

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Tel: 04-614078, Fax : 04-614003/

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e-mail: majliszw@yahoo.com.