Faith in Prophethood:
For Muslims, it is essential to know about the Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام and their virtuous qualities as it is essential to know about the supreme Being and the Attributes of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, Most Exalted. It is also essential to have a sound knowledge about Prophethood so that one may avoid wrong notions and misleading beliefs and avoid uttering anything that may amount to degradation of the Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام.
Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام were all men:
A Prophet عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام is the person to whom the Divine Revelation from Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, Most Exalted, is bestowed for the guidance of mankind. Such a person is also called an Apostle or Messenger of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, Most Exalted.
All the Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام sent by Almighty Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, were human beings and men. No woman was ever accorded the status of a Prophet. It was not obligatory for Almighty Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, to send His Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام. Nevertheless, out of His extreme kindness He عَزَّوَجَلَّ sent the Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام for the guidance of mankind. A Prophet must receive Waḥī or Divine Revelation whether it is bestowed upon him through Angels or through any other means.
The prominent Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام of Almighty Allah:
Allah, the Most High, sent down many Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام for the guidance of mankind from the time of Prophet Ādam عَـلٰى نَبِيِّنَا وَعَـلَيْهِ الصَّلٰوةُ وَالسَّلَام to Prophet Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. While some of them have been mentioned specifically in the Holy Quran, many others have not figured in it. The Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام who have been given prominence in the Holy Quran are: Prophet Ādam, Prophet Idrīs (Enoch), Prophet Nūḥ (Noah) Prophet Hūd, Prophet Sāliḥ, Prophet Ibrāhīm (Abraham), Prophet Ismā’īl (Ishmael), Prophet Isḥaaq (Isaac), Prophet Lūṭ (Lot), Prophet Ya’qoob (Jacob), Prophet Yūsuf (Joseph), Prophet Shu’aib, Prophet Ayyūb (Job), Prophet Mūsā (Moses), Prophet Hārūn (Aaron), Prophet Dhul Kifl (Ezekiel), Prophet Dāwood (David), Prophet Sulaimān (Solomon), Prophet Zakarīyā (Zecharia), Prophet Yaḥyā (John), Prophet ‘Īsā (Jesus Christ) and the Leader of all Prophets Sayyidunā Muhammad عَـلَيْهِـمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام.
How many Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام?
It is not advisable to put an exact figure on the number of Prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام sent down by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, the Most Wise, for the guidance of mankind because the opinion on this point differs. The safest way is to believe and say that Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ sent more or less 124,000 prophets عَـلَيْهِمُ الـسَّـلَام.. Read More
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