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learn about Prophethood

By Nayzak
Assalaamu alaikum [Peace be to you],

WARNING: you may/may not like/agree with what I am going to say. it's not important. here, I am explaining Islamic belief. you can simply take it as additional information. I appreciate you don't make a scene simply because your religious book says different from what Islam says.

Prophethood is not unknown to heavenly revealed religions, such as Judaism and Christianity. In Islam, however, it has a special status and significance.

:bulletred: prophets of the God:
One concept many non-Muslims don't seem to understand is that Islam did not simply start with the prophet Mohammed -peace be upon him-, rather the religion of Islam was perfected with the coming and ending of Prophet Mohammed's mission. Islam was taught by every single prophet of the God that came before the prophet Mohammed. Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus all taught and preached Islam. Including the other many prophets such as Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph, and Isaac!

Notice that the Arabic word "Islam" doesn't mean "follower of Mohammed". it means "submission to the one true God". a Muslim is a person who submits to the God and strives to achieve the will of the God on earth.

According to Islam, Allah, the Almighty God, created man as a caretaker on Earth. he was required to worship the God and lead a virtuous life based on God's teachings and guidance. How would man know his role and the purpose of his existence unless he received clear and practical instructions of what Allah wants him to do? Here comes the need for prophethood. Thus Allah has chosen from every nation at least one prophet to convey His Message to people. Adam -peace be upon him- was the first prophet. and Mohammed -peace be upon him- was the seal of the prophets and messengers of the God.

:bulletred: How were the prophets chosen and who were entitled to this great honor?
Prophethood is Allah's blessing and favor that He may bestow on whom He wills. However, from surveying the various messengers throughout history, three features of a prophet may be recognized:
1- He is the best in his community morally and intellectually. This is necessary because a prophet's life serves as a role model for his followers. His personality should attract people to accept his message rather than drive them away by his imperfect character. After receiving the message, he is infallible. That is, he would not commit any sin. He doesn't lie, he doesn't drink (alcohol), he doesn't commit adultery, he doesn't cheat... He might make some minor mistakes, which are usually corrected by revelation.
2- He is supported by miracles to prove that he is not an imposter. Those miracles are granted by the power and permission of God and are usually in the field in which his people excel and are recognized as superiors.
for example, Moses' contemporaries were excellent in magic, so his major miracle was to defeat the best magicians of Egypt of his days. Jesus' contemporaries were recognized as skilled physicians, therefore, his miracles were to raise the dead and cure incurable diseases. The Arabs, the contemporaries of the Prophet Mohammed, were known for their eloquence and magnificent poetry. So the Prophet's major miracle was the Qur'an, the equivalent of which the whole legion of Arab poets and orators could not produce, despite the repeated challenge from the Qur'an itself. Again, Mohammed's miracle has something special about it. All previous miracles were limited by time and place; that is, they were shown to specific people at a specific time. Not so with the miracle of the Prophet Mohammed, the Qur'an. It is a universal and everlasting miracle. Previous generations witnessed it and future generations will witness its miraculous nature in terms of its style, content and spiritual uplifting. These can still be tested and will thereby prove the divine origin of the Qur'an.
3- Every prophet states clearly that what he receives is not of his own, but from the God for the well-being of mankind. He also confirms what was revealed before him and what may be revealed after him. A prophet does this to show that he is simply conveying the message that is entrusted to him by the One True God of all people in all ages.

Prophets are necessary for conveying God's instructions and guidance to mankind. We have no way of knowing why we were created. What will happen to us after death? Is there any life after death? Are we accountable for our actions? These and so many other questions about God, angels, paradise, hell, and more, cannot be answered without direct revelation from the Creator and Knower of the unseen. Those answers must be authentic and must be brought by individuals whom we trust and respect. That is why messengers are the elite of their societies in terms of moral conduct and intellectual ability.

:bulletred: Lost and Restored:
Indeed, if it had not been for Mohammed -peace be upon him-, we would not have known the true stories of the prophets as they took place. This is because their stories were distorted and corrupted before Mohammed's mission. The resulting versions did not respect the dignity and infallibility of the prophets. For example, some books narrate a story of a prophet who drank alcohol and committed incest with his own daughter; of a prophet who sent the commander of his army to war in order to ensnare the commander's wife; of a prophet who worshiped idols after marrying a pretty young idol-worshiper - they claimed that he preferred to please her by worshiping her idol than to please his Creator. All the time you read these books you feel that you are confronting a false, confused, and misguided mentality which lies about the God and His prophets.

In some other books, you find a contrary attitude. some people glorified their prophet to the degree that most of them call him god or son of the God. The God Almighty is high above that!

The true image of the prophets was lost by either degrading or over-glorifying them. Were it not for the Qur'an we would not have known their true nature.
There are 25 prophets mentioned by name in the Qur'an, although Muslims believe that there were many more in different times and places. Among the prophets that Muslims honor are (Arabic name + Biblical name):
* Adam
* Idris (Enoch)
* Nuh (Noah)
* Hud
* Saleh
* Ibrahim (Abraham)
* Isma'il (Ishmael)
* Ishaq (Isaac)
* Lut (Lot)
* Ya'qub (Jacob)
* Yusuf (Joseph)
* Shu'ayb
* Ayyub (Job)
* Musa (Moses)
* Harun (Aaron)
* Dhu'l-kifl (Ezekiel)
* Dawud (David)
* Suleyman (Solomon)
* Ilias (Elias)
* Al-Yasa (Elisha)
* Yunus (Jonah)
* Zakariyya (Zechariah)
* Yahya (John the Baptist)
* 'esa (Jesus)
* Mohammed
peace be upon them all.

Muslims read about, learn from, and respect all of the prophets. Many Muslims name their children after them. In addition, when mentioning the name of any of God's prophets, a Muslim adds these words of blessing and respect: "upon him be peace".

For more reading:

For more reading (outside of DA):
A Quick Introduction To Islam [link]
Prophethood in Islam: [link]
Stories of the prophets of Islam: [link]

I hope this was beneficial for you
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