The Role of Prophets & Prophethood
God-Almighty relates His messages and will through human prophets so that we may find peace and happiness in His Mercy. Allowing us to gain a connection between God-Almighty and human beings, Prophethood is the highest honor one can receive. Guardians of sharp unattainable intellect, heavy yet merciful and compassionate hearts, and a language of love, mercy, and honor speaking to all of humanity, all Prophets from Abraham to Muhammad (peace be upon them) were sent to show humanity how to live, ideally and in harmony with one another.
“The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and so do the believers; each one believes in God, and His angels, and His Books, and His Messengers: ‘We make no distinction between any of His Messengers (in believing in them).’ And they say ‘We have heard and obeyed. Our Lord, grant us your forgiveness, and to You is the homecoming.’” (Quran, 2:285) (1)
The Divine Mission & Role of the Prophets
The Qur’an states very specifically that prophets were sent to “Serve God and avoid evil” (16:36) (1) Regardless of geographical location and period of time, the prophets and messengers were sent to humanity to teach us about God Almighty, His Books, His Messengers, The Day of Resurrection, and God-Almighty’s Divine Decree. The Prophets taught their followers about the same characteristics and realities of life, such as mercy, justice, taking care of the needy and less fortunate, dutifulness to parents, avoiding that which will harm, and the Oneness of God-Almighty (tawhid), etc…
The prophets proclaimed freedom to humanity and engraved in human consciousness that all human beings are equal. They established that superiority lies only in virtue.
How Many Prophets Were Sent to Humanity?
The Qur’an mentions, by name, 25 prophets, but there were more than 124,000 sent to humanity since the beginning of time. God-Almighty tells us in the Qur’an “Indeed, We sent Messengers before you; among them are those (the exemplary accounts of whom We have related to you, and among them are those (the exemplary histories of) whom We have not related to you.” (40:78) (1)
How Do We Know All Prophets Taught the Same Message?
Islam teaches that a messenger was sent to every people “Every community has its Messenger: when their Messenger comes (some believe in him and the others not) it is judged between them with absolute justice, and they are not wronged.” (10:47) (1)
Furthermore, commonality among humanity is not only physical. In fact, though there are many cultures around the world, they were all founded by humans. We all share common characteristics and concepts of turning to God-Almighty in difficult times, helping those in need, even raising our hands upwards when we are asking from God-Almighty when we need it most. Since we are separated by distance and/or time, these types of phenomena suggest that we were taught using a similar message. Religion is a collection of principles that guides people toward good by appealing to our freewill.
“If there is ever a person whom ignorance, unbelief and brutality hate the most, it is Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings. Those who search for truth and thirst for true knowledge eventually will seek him out and embrace his path.” (2)
Unal, Ali. “The Miraculous Quran.” The Miraculous Quran.
Gulen, Fethullah. Pearls of Wisdom. Somerset, NJ: Light, 2005. Print