Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 4 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439
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How should we believe correctly in the messengers of God?

How should we believe correctly in the messengers of God?

Answer

Belief in the messengers sent by God the Almighty is one of the pillars of faith. It means that Muslims are to believe that God did not leave creation to its own devices, but that He continues to nurture it and that He sent revelations to every community. It also means that the Prophet Muhammad is the seal of prophets and that there is no prophet after him. This is the general response.

As for particulars, Muslims believe in the messengers mentioned in the Quran, which number twenty-five. Of those, eighteen are mentioned in Chapter 6 of the Quran, “That is Our argument. We gave it unto Abraham against his folk. We raise unto degrees of wisdom whom We will. Lo! Thy Lord is Wise, Aware. And We bestowed upon him Isaac and Jacob; each of them We guided; and Noah did We guide aforetime; and of his seed (We guided) David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the good. And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one (of them) was of the righteous. And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot. Each one (of them) did We prefer above (Our) creatures” [6:83-86].

The remaining seven are Muhammad, Adam, Hud, Salih, Dhu al-Kafl, Shu’ayb, and Idris all of whom God has mentioned in Quran. God says, “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of God and the Seal of the Prophets; and God is ever Aware of all things” [33:40], “And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: ‘Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful.’ They said: ‘Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise.’ He said: ‘O Adam! Inform them of their names.’ And when he had informed them of their names, He said: ‘Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide’” [2:31-33], and “Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful” [2:37].

The prophets Idris, Hud, Salih, and Shu’ayb, are mentioned in more than one place in the Quran. Among these are: “And make mention in the Scripture of Idris. Lo! he was a saint, a prophet; And We raised him to high station” [19:56-57], “And unto (the tribe of) A’ad (We sent) their brother, Hud. He said: ‘O my people! Serve Allah. Ye have no other God save Him. Will ye not ward off (evil)?’” [7:65], “And We verily sent unto Thamud their brother Salih, saying: ‘Worship Allah’; and lo! They (then became two parties quarrelling” [27:45], and “And unto Midian (We sent) their brother Shu’ayb. He said: ‘O my people! Serve Allah. Ye have no other God save Him! And give not short measure and short weight. Lo! I see you well-to-do, and lo! I fear for you the doom of a besetting Day’” [11:84].

Muslims must specifically believe in the prophets that are mentioned in the Quran, meaning that they should not deny the prophethood of any of them. They must also believe that God sent prophets other than those mentioned in the Quran and that their actual number is much greater. The Quran says, “Verily We sent messengers before thee, among them those of whom We have told thee, and some of whom We have not told thee; and it was not given to any messenger that he should bring a portent save by God’s leave, but when God’s commandment cometh (the cause) is judged aright, and the followers of vanity will then be lost” [40:78].

The Prophet said, “I am the seal of one thousand or more prophets. No prophet has ever been sent except that he warned his community of the dajjal.” It was narrated from Abu Dharr, that he once asked the Prophet, “O Messenger of God, how many prophets were there in all?” The Prophet said, “One hundred twenty-four thousand.” I asked, “How many of them were messengers?” He said, “Three hundred and thirteen.”

We ask God to provide us with true faith and good works, and our final prayer is, all praise is to God, Lord of the Worlds. And God is Most High and knows best.
 

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