This article briefly discusses the Messengers and Prophets in Islam. It starts by clarifying the true meaning of Islam and showing Islam is the universal message of all prophets. We will also answer some of the most commonly asked questions: How many prophets are there in Islam? Who was the first prophet in Islam? What is the difference between a prophet and a messenger? The chronological order of the Prophets in Islam, the Common Prophets between Islam and Christianity, and last but not least, Why God sent many prophets?
“Unlike what many people may think, Islam isn’t something that started 1440 years ago. The message of Islam is as old as humanity.”
Here we will learn the following:
- Why Were Prophets and Messengers Sent?
- Were All Prophets and Messengers Sent with The Same Creed?
- Is Islam the Religion of All Prophets?
- What Are the Differences Between Prophets’ Messages?
- How Many Prophets Are There in Islam?
- What Are the Names of Prophets and Messengers in Islam?
- What Are the Differences Between a Prophet and a Messenger?
- Who Was The first Prophet in Islam?
- What Is the Chronological Order of Prophets and Messengers in Islam?
- Why Did God Send Too Many Prophets?
- The Preservation of The Final Revelation from God to Muhammad (PBUH
- Is Islam The Universal Message?
- Are There Common Prophets In Islam and Christianity?
- What is the true message of All Prophets and Messengers?
Introduction | Why Were Prophets and Messengers Sent?
In fact, all people were born with the pure primitiveness of the truth ‘fitrah’ that God (Allah) created within them. However, people forget the truth and become misguided in this worldly life.
Our Creator (Allah) had sent us many prophets and messengers all over ages to remind us of our creator, guide us to His path, and teach His true religion. Moreover, He has given us the proper intellectual capabilities by which we could recognize the truth and distinguish it from falsehood.
Were All Prophets and Messengers Sent with The Same Creed?
All prophets and messengers were sent with the same creed.
To understand this, we need to clarify the meaning of Islam in brief. The core meaning of Islam is submission to The One True God (Allah) and worshipping him alone without any partners. This is actually what is called The Islamic creed ‘Aqeeda’.
The Islamic creed represents the truth that doesn’t change with the change of time or place. It is the ultimate fact that is consistent till infinity. And thus, all Prophets were sent from The One True God with the same message; Islam.
God says in the Quran: “We never sent a messenger before you ˹O Prophet˺ without revealing to him: “There is no god ˹worthy of worship˺ except Me, so worship Me ˹alone˺.” (Quran 21:25)
Is Islam the Religion of All Prophets?
As we previously clarified, All Prophets and messengers were sent with the same Islamic creed of Oneness of God and submission to Him.
That’s why, Islam has existed since the beginning of time, as it is the true religion of God sent to the whole of mankind.
God says in the Quran: “Say, ˹O Prophet Muhammad, ˺ “We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and his descendants; and what was given to Moses, Jesus, and other prophets from their Lord—we make no distinction between any of them, and to Him, we ˹fully˺ submit.” (Quran 3:84)
That is so clear and simple: (You have only One God, One Creator who created everything and sent prophets and messengers with one message. So, you should believe in him, worship him alone without associating any partners, and follow His prophets’ teachings).
What Are the Differences Between Prophets’ Messages?
The difference between The Prophets’ messages lies in the rulings and laws ‘shariah’ not the creed ‘Aqedah’.
God has sent His prophets and messengers in different ages and different places. That’s why He had revealed to each of them specific teachings and rulings ‘shariah’ that suits their place and time. However, they were all taught the same Islamic creed.
God (Allah) says in the Quran: “To each of you We have ordained a code of law and a way of life.” (Quran 5:48)
How Many Prophets Are There in Islam?
God had sent so many prophets to people all over the world at different times. The exact number of the Prophets and messengers is unknown. However, Muslim scholars estimate they are more than a hundred thousand.
God says in the Quran: “There is no community that has not had a warner” (Quran 35:24)
We should believe in them, love them, and respect them all, whether we know their exact names or we don’t. Actually, that’s an essential aspect of the Islamic creed.
What Are the Names of Prophets and Messengers in Islam?
There are only twenty-five prophets and messengers mentioned in the holy Qur’an. We don’t actually know the names of others.
God said in The Quran: “We already sent messengers before you. We have told you the stories of some of them, while others We have not.” (Quran 40:78)
The most famous among them are: Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad peace be upon them all. In the following paragraphs, we will mention the exact names of the twenty-five mentioned prophets arranged in chronological order.
What Are the Differences Between a Prophet and a Messenger?
The difference between a Prophet and a Messenger is that the Prophet does not come with new sets of rulings “that is called shari’ah or a system to live accordingly. On the other hand, the Messenger is sent with a new set of rulings that is unique from the systems that exist at his time.
Both prophet and messenger received revelation from God, but the prophet would not require to call other nationality, while we can call the messenger “a multi-nationality prophet.”
So for example, Prophet Jesus was sent to redirect the Jews, but not others and he did not teach a different set of rulings than the previous sharia of Moses (AS). On the other hand, Prophet Moses came with a new set of rulings that are unique. Therefore Jesus is a Prophet, while Moses is a Messenger.
You can call a messenger a prophet, but not vice versa.
Who Was The first Prophet in Islam?
The first prophet of Islam was Adam (PBUH), the father of all human beings. However, the first messenger in Islam is Noah (PBUH).
The final prophet and messenger is Muhammad (PBUH), the one whom Allah sent with the final and universal message to everyone.
What Is the Chronological Order of Prophets and Messengers in Islam?
The chronological order of the twenty-five Prophets and Messengers mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) is: Adam, Idris, Noah, Hud, Saleh, Abraham, Lut, Shoaib, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Ayyub, Dhal-Kifl, Younus, Moses, Haroon, Ilyas, Al-Yassa, David, Solomon, Zakariya, Yahia, Jesus, and finally Muhammad peace be upon them all.
Why Did God Send Too Many Prophets?
As we previously clarified, there are too many Prophets and Messengers sent by God to people. They are numerous, different in place of origin, different in language, and even different in their time. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss the reasons behind this.
#1: To Frequently Remind People of God and Guide Them to The Truth
People frequently forget their purpose in life and become so occupied by their worldly life in a way that misguides them away from the truth. God frequently sent prophets and messengers to remind people of Him and guide them to the truth to be successful.
#2: The Difference in Time and Place Among Different Nations
God would send Prophets and Messengers specifically for each nation to warn them. People lived in different times and places, and that’s why they needed different prophets. It happened that two prophets existed at the same time but in different places. Likewise, two prophets may have been sent to the same region at different times.
God says in the Quran: “We have not sent a messenger except in the language of his people to clarify ˹the message˺ for them.” (Quran 14:4)
#3: The Corruption of The True Message of God by People
As time passed by, people tended to add their own opinions to the true original message of God. They added corrupted ideas, changed its rulings, and even creeds. Thus, by time the original message was lost within all that corruption.
Unfortunately, people deviated from the true religion to the degree they changed the very core of it; the pure message of the oneness of God and that only Him is worthy of worship. That sadly paved the way for human worship, idol worship, and even animal worship, which explains the presence of many man-made religions nowadays.
When corruption happened, Allah would send another prophet to correct the path of people and guide them back to the truth and the original message of Islam.
The Preservation of The Final Revelation from God to Muhammad (PBUH)
At the end of time, God sent the last and final messenger -prophet Muhammad (PBUH)- to the whole of mankind to call them back to that very same message of the previous prophets and correct the corruption made by people.
Allah has guaranteed the perseverance of his message. He said in the Quran: “It is certainly We Who have revealed the Reminder, and it is certainly We Who will preserve it.” (Quran 15:9)
And indeed, Allah is the best to keep his word. The Quran which we have today is exactly the same as The Prophet (PBUH) came with, not a letter changed. Moreover, millions of people all over the world memorize it by heart at all times, making it impossible to be changed even if all Quranic books disappeared from Earth.
Is Islam The Universal Message?
In the light of the previously mentioned fact, we find that Islam is the only religion not named after a founder or a certain nation.
For example, Christianity is named after Jesus Christ. Also, Buddhism from its founder Gautama Buddha and Judaism from the name of the tribe Judah (of the country of Judea).
This supports the fact of the universality of Islam.
Are There Common Prophets In Islam and Christianity?
Prophets In Islam and Christianity tend to be the same. The true original creed of Jesus Christ (PBUH) was actually Islam. Eventually, some remnants of the original scriptures of the Gospel revealed to Jesus (PBUH) are still present. They refer to the prophets of Islam as Abraham, Isaac, David, Solomon, Moses, and many others.
Unfortunately, nowadays christianity denies the prophethood of the last and final Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) in return.
This shows Islam and Christianity are -originally- generated from the same source, The One True God.
Conclusion | What is the True Message of All Prophets and Messengers?
Islam is the message of all Prophets and Messengers. The core meaning of Islam is the belief in God’s oneness and submission to him, which is the ultimate fact that doesn’t change over time, with the change of people, or place.
God had sent many prophets and messengers to guide people to Islam and remind them of him. However, people corrupted the true message and deviated it away from Islam, which paved the way for man-made religions to appear.
God had sent the final Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) to the whole of mankind as a retrieval of the true, pure message of God and a confirmation of the original revelations before him. Where God guaranteed to preserve his message till the end of life.
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