Excerpt: Allah sent prophets to every nation to guide and direct the people to virtuous conduct and the proper way to serve Him.
The Reason for Prophets
Allah tells us in the Qur’an: “I have not created jinn and mankind except to serve Me.”(51:56) If man’s purpose is to worship and serve his Lord, how could one accomplish that without proper guidelines? Allah sent prophets to every nation to guide and direct the people to virtuous conduct and the proper way to serve Him. Without the guidance of the prophets humanity would be unable to fulfill the purpose of their creation.
Muslims Accept All of Allah’s Prophets
In Islam belief in the prophets is one of the six articles of faith. In the Qur’an we are told: “Say you: ‘We believe in God, and in that which has been sent down on us and sent down on Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and the Tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and the Prophets, of their Lord; we make no division between any of them, and to Him we surrender.’”
The Common Characteristics of Prophets
All of the prophets sent by Allah share some common traits that exemplifies why they are prophets. Some of the traits that all true prophets share are:
Loyalty and Truthfulness: They faithfully conveyed the message to their people. They were of upright character and truthful in speech and conduct.
Miracles: The ability to perform miracles by the will and permission of Allah. Each prophet’s miracle was relevant to his time and circumstances.
For instance, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) lived in a time when magic was prevalent and the magicians were considered the elite of society. Allah gave Prophet Moses the ability to perform miracles that outperformed the magicians.
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) performed miracles of healing that no one else in his time could do. Some of the people during his time excelled in medicine.
During the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the people valued eloquence in speech and writing, with poets being considered the elites of their time. Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), despite the fact that he was illiterate, the Qur’an which contained eloquence on a scale unmatched, and no poet or orator had ever written or heard anything like it.
It is known that the Arabs could not classify the Qur’an when they heard it and were bewildered. The Qur’an in five different verses challenges opponents or those who doubt the divine origin of the Qur’an to produce the like of it. The miracle of the Qur’an is timeless and is a testament to the authenticity of the prophetic message for all times.
Prophets are Human and Not Divine
Prophets are special people that Allah chose to deliver His guidance to mankind. They represent the best of humankind, with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being considered by Muslims to be the best of all creation. In orthodox Sunni doctrine, the prophets are considered, ma’soom, which means they are divinely protected from committing both minor and major sins. Even so, they are not divine.
The Guidance the Prophets Brought to Mankind
The message the prophets delivered to their nation was essentially the same: To worship the One and Only God. In addition, they showed the people how to serve God and how to live a virtuous life.
The Qur’an details the message of God’s Oneness that the prophets delivered:
Noah (peace be upon him) said, “O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other gods besides Him.” (7:59)
Abraham (peace be upon him) said, “Do you worship besides Allah, things that can neither bring you benefit nor cause you harm?” (21:66)
Moses (peace be upon him) said, “What! Shall I seek for you a god other than Allah even though He has made you excel (all) created things?” (7:140)
Jesus (peace be upon him) said, “Indeed Allah is my Lord and your Lord: so worship Him (alone): this is the Straight Way.” (3:51)
Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “It has been revealed to me that your God is One God. So whoever expects to meet his Lord then let him do good deeds and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (18:110)
Allah’s Blessing to Humanity
Humanity has been blessed with continuous guidance from the Creator with prophets and messengers guiding to the Truth. Success comes in obeying and following the last prophet and messenger sent to mankind, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of God be upon him). His message, the Qur’an is the final and complete message for humanity.