Before talking about the prophets in Islam, I would like to give you an analogy. Well, it’s kind of like a story and an analogy, but it should help explain the significance of the prophets in Islam.
I remember when I first learned to drive. It was in Brooklyn, NY and I was really nervous. I’m glad I didn’t hit anything and I got my license on my first try. Fortunately I had a good teacher.
Can you imagine learning to drive without a teacher? What if you were ordered to get a license but couldn’t find anyone to teach you? Do you think that would be easy?
Allah has ordered us to worship Him. And in His infinite mercy, He has sent thousands of prophets as guides to help us. These prophets of Islam have been coming to man since the beginning of our existence. The first of these prophets was Adam, and the last was Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon them all.
The Arabic word for prophet is Nabi. The prophets or Nabiyun (plural of prophets) acted as guides and reminders for man. They were usually sent to a specific group of people who indulged in specific sins. The prophets would encourage their people to live righteously and worship Allah alone.
May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon them all.
Sometimes the people listened to their prophets. And sometimes they didn’t. Those that didn’t were punished by Allah.
Here is a list of Prophets in Islam whose people did not listen and received the punishment of Allah:
In Islam, there is a difference between a prophet and a messenger. All of the messengers of Allah were prophets. But not all of the prophets were messengers. The Arabic word for messenger is Rasul.
The prophets were sent to their people to teach them and judge them according to a previous law or message. The messengers were prophets that were sent with a new message and law, generally to a disbelieving people.
Therefore, prophets like Dawood (David) and Sulaiman (Solomon), were sent to judge their people according to the law sent to Moses. They were prophets, but not messengers.
However, Musa (Moses) brought a new law (The Tawrat), so he was a messenger. Isa (Jesus) also brought a new law (Injeel) so he was a messenger and prophet also. And Prophet Mohammad brought the Quran, so he was a messenger and prophet as well.
There were several thousand prophets in Islam. However, only 25 of them are mentioned in the Quran.
However, it should be noted that according to some Islamic scholars, there have been over 240000 prophets in Islam. Muslims beliefs require belief in all of the prophets and messengers.
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