[qadianism] Prophethood in Islam
By Umar Aadil Abdul Rahman McKloskey @mailcity.com

source: http://www.wamy.co.uk (European wamy website)

Prophethood in Islam 

The concept of prophethood is found in the three great
monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In
Islam, however, it has a special status and significance.

According to Islam, Allah created man to worship Him and to
lead a virtuous life based on His teachings and guidance. But
how can man know and fulfill his role and the purpose of his
existence if he does not receive clear and practical
instructions of what Allah wants him to do? The existence of
prophethood, by which Allah sent a prophet to every nation to
reveal His message in terms that the people could
understand, has answered this question most effectively.

One might ask: How were the prophets chosen and which
individuals were so honored?

Prophethood is Allah's blessing and a favor that is bestowed
on an individual chosen by Him to convey His message. From
studying the lives of the prophets that have appeared, we
notice several characteristics:

1. He is the best person in his community as regards morality
and intellectual ability This is necessary, for a prophets life
serves as a model for his followers. His personality should not
drive people away from his message, but rather inspire them
to accept it and to transform their own lives. After receiving
the message, he is infallible on all matters dealing with the
revelation. Although he might commit some small mistakes,
but not in any matter that concerns the revelation, he cannot
commit a sin.

2. He is supported by miracles, which derive from the power
and permission of Allah and not of the prophet himself, to
prove that he is not an impostor. Such miracles are direct
challenges to the powers that be, for they do not follow the
rules laid down by the experts in the affected field or activity
By way of illustration, let us review some of the miracles
recorded in the Old Testament, the New testament, and the

Moses' Egyptian contemporaries excelled in magic. Thus his
major miracle was to defeat the best magicians that the
society could offer. Jesus' contemporaries were skilled
physicians, and so he raised the dead and cured those
suffering from incurable diseases. Muhammad's
contemporaries were known for their eloquence and
magnificent poetry. Therefore Muhammad's major miracle
was the Qur'an, which no poet could imitate or surpass,
despite their repeated and vigorous efforts to do so.

All previous miracles were limited to a specific people living
at a specific time. This is not the case with the Qur'an,
however, for this miracle is universal and everlasting. Although
previous generations actually witnessed it, all future
generations w 11 continue to witness its miraculous nature in
term of its style, content, and spiritual impact and message.
This ability of the Qur'an to rise above the limits imposed by
time and space on all other miracles proves its divine origin.

3. Every prophet states clearly that what he receives comes
from Allah and that it is for the well-being of humanity. He
confirms what was revealed previously and what may be
revealed by a future prophet, for his task is to convey the
message entrusted to him by Allah. Thus the revealed
message is always the same in essence and purpose-it
cannot deviate from prior or future revelations.

Prophets are necessary for conveying God's instructions and
guidance to mankind. Without this knowledge, we would be
unable to answer the fundamental questions of our existence:
Why were we created? What happens after death? Is there an
afterlife? Are we accountable for our actions? Is there any
future reward or punishment for what we do? What about
Allah, His angels, heaven, and hell? Each of these questions,
and all others, are answered in the revelation brought by the
prophet. But in order for his community to believe and accept
them, the prophet must be brought by individuals who have
attained a position of trust and respect among their people.
This is why he must be morally and intellectual superior to his

Based on this understanding, Muslims reject some of the
stones found in the Old Testament concerning the prophets.
For example: the prophet Lot engaging in fornication-with his
own daughters-when drunk, or the prophet David sending one
of his military leaders to his death so that he could marry his
wife. it is inconceivable to Muslims that a prophet of Allah
could do such things.

Prophets are also miraculously supported by God and
instructed by Him to affirm the continuity of His message. In
brief, the divine revelation consists of the following

a) A clear concept of God, His attributes and creation, and
what should and should not be ascribed to Him.

b) A clear idea about the unseen world, angels and jinn
(spirits), paradise and hell.

c) Why has God created us? What does He want from us?
Will we be rewarded (or punished) for obeying (or disobeying)

d) A clear explanation of how to order our societies according
to His will. This involves the implementation of a law that,
when applied correctly and honestly, will bring about a happy
and ideal society.

As we have seen in the above discussion, there is no
substitute for prophets. Despite the tremendous and
impressive advancements of modern science, even it cannot
provide authentic information about the supernatural world or
provide guidance. Its very nature, which is too materialistic
and limited, precludes it from serving this purpose. Mystic
experience is also unsuitable, for it is too subjective and,
frequently, too misleading.

Now one might ask: How many prophets has Allah sent to
humanity? Although we cannot answer this question
definitively, some Muslim scholars place the number at two
hundred forty thousand. We are only sure of what is clearly
mentioned in the Qur'an: God has sent one or more
messengers to each nation, for He would not be just if he
were to hold a nation to account for its actions w shout first
informing its people of what is allowed and what is not. The
Qur'an mentions twenty-five prophets by name (i.e., Noah,
Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, who are
considered the greatest of all the prophets) and indicates that
there were others not known to Muhammad.

Muslims are required to believe in and to respect all of the
messengers of Allah without exception. Since all the prophets
come from the same God and for the same purpose-to lead
humanity to Allah-belief in them all is essential and logical. If
some are accepted and others are rejected, it is due to the
individual's misunderstanding of the prophet's role or of racial
(or other) bias.

The Muslims are unique in considering belief in all of the
prophets of God to be an article of faith. The Jews reject
Jesus Christ and Muhammad; the Christians reject
Muhammad and, in reality, reject Moses because they do not
abide by his laws. The Muslims accept them all as
messengers of God who brought guidance to mankind.
However, this acceptance is characterized with a degree of
caution, for the Qur'an and the Prophet states the revelation
conveyed by those prophets has been distorted and
corrupted by those who received it. We read in the Qur'an:

Say (O Muslims), we believe in Allah and that which is
revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham and
Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and their children, and that
which Moses and Jesus received and that the prophets
received from their Lord. We maize no distinction between
any of them and unto Him we have surrendered. (2:136)

The Qur'an tells the Muslims that this is the true and impartial
belief. If other nations share this belief, it means that they are
on the right track. If they do not share this belief, it means that
they are following their own whims and biases. The Qur'an

And if they believe in what you believe, then are they rightly
guided. But if they turn away, then they are in disunity, and
Allah will suffice you against them. He is the Hearer; the
Knower: This is Gods religion and Who is better than God in
religion? (2:137-38)

There are two important points that need to be clarified
about the roles of Jesus and Muhammad, as they are
usually misunderstood and distorted. In the case of Jesus,
the Qur'an rejects completely the Christian assertion of his
divinity and his status of the "son" of God. It also states that
the unusual circumstances of his birth-without a father-does
not make him a "son" of God, for if this logic were followed to
its logical conclusion, Adam, who had no father and no
mother, would be greater than Jesus, for: Truly the likeness
of Jesus, in God's sight, is as Adam's likeness; He created
him of dust, then said unto him, "Be," and he was (3:59).

Like other prophets, Jesus performed miracles: he raised
the dead and cured the blind and the lepers. He also made
it perfectly clear that these miracles were done by God, not
by him. But his message was distorted, because;it was not
recorded in his presence and under his direction, but only
about one hundred years after his death.

According to the Qur'an, Jesus was sent to the children of
Israel to confirm the Torah of Moses and to bring glad
tidings of a final messenger who would come after him:

And when Jesus son of Mary said, Children of Israel, I am
indeed the Messenger to you, confirming the Torah that is
before me, and giving good tidings of a Messenger who
shall come after me, whose name shall be the praised one.

(the underlined portion is the translation of Ahmad, which is also a name
of the Prophet Muhammad).

However, the majority of the Jews rejected his ministry and
plotted against his life. The Qur'anic account of his death
differs from the one found in the New Testament: he was not
killed or crucified, but rather was raised to heaven by God. It
is also implied that Jesus will return one day and that all of
the Christians and Jews will believe in him before he dies.
This is also supported by authentic sayings of the Prophet

Muhammad, the last prophet of God, was born in Makkah in
the sixth century CE. Until the age of forty, he was known as
a man of excellent character and cultured manners. These
characteristics earned for him the nickname of al-Amin (The
Trustworthy). There were no prior indications that Allah had
chosen him to be His last messenger. Once he was
entrusted with this task, however, he began calling his
idol-worshipping people to Islam. The revelation was
recorded during his lifetime in writing and in the memory of
his followers. The care taken to preserve each revelation as
it was transmitted by the Prophet ensured that it would reach
future generations in an uncorrupted form. As Allah has
stated that the Qur'an would be preserved accurately, it is
the source of divine guidance for all time, and the Prophet
Muhammad is His final prophet.

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