The history of the prophets and messengers: a general introduction

The history of the messengers: a general introduction

The history of the prophets and messengers: a general introduction

Belief in the messengers


Dr. Laura VecciaVaglieri

Italian Orientalist
The true monotheism
“The Arabian prophet (pbuh), with a voice which was inspired by a deep communion with his Maker, preached the purest monotheism to the worshippers of idols and the followers of a corrupted Christianity and Judaism. He placed himself in an open conflict with the regressive tendencies of mankind, which lead to the association of other beings with the Creator.”

Originally, people were on the guided path, but then they went astray. Consequently, Allah sent prophets and messengers to teach people and warn them. {He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them (from the filth of disbelief and polytheism), and teaching them the Book (this Qur’ân, Islâmic laws and Islâmic jurisprudence) and Al-Hikmah (As-Sunnah: legal ways, orders, acts of worship, etc. of Prophet Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]). And verily, they had been before in mainfest error;}(Al-Jumu’ah:2)

Nevertheless, people divided into two groups in response to the call of the messenger; the first accepted that the messengers were telling the truth and believed in them, while the other group denied the messengers and disbelieved in them and in what they were sent with. They severely rejected them by showing them hatred and disgust. {Mankind were one community and Allâh sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it after clear proofs had come unto them through hatred, one to another. Then Allâh by His Leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allâh guides whom He wills to a Straight Path.}(Al-Baqarah:213)

They denied the messengers due to their arrogance, and adhered to their own whims instead. {Is it that whenever there came to you a Messenger with what you yourselves desired not, you grew arrogant? Some, you disbelieved and some, you killed.}(Al-Baqarah:87)

Allah has commanded his slaves to believe in all His messengers. {Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allâh and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrâhim (Abraham), Ismâ’il (Ishmael), Ishâque (Isaac), Ya’qûb (Jacob), and to Al-Asbât [the twelve sons of Ya’qûb (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Mûsa (Moses) and ‘Iesa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islâm).}(Al-Baqarah:136)

He (Glorified be He) promised happiness and success in this world and in the Hereafter to those who believe in His messengers. He, on the other hand, threatened those who disbelieve and turn away with loss and misery in this world as well as the Hereafter. Allah Almighty has the following to say about those who believe: {And whosoever takes Allâh, His Messenger, and those who have believed, as Protectors, then the party of Allâh will be the victorious.}(Al-Mâ’idah:56)

He also says: {28. Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allâh, Verily, in the remembrance of Allâh do hearts find rest.29. Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism), and work righteousness, Tûbâ (it means all kinds of happiness or name of a tree in Paradise) is for them and a beautiful place of (final) return.}(Ar-Ra’d:28-29)

Conversely, He says the following about those who disbelieve in His messengers: {Consider not that the disbelievers can escape in the land. Their abode shall be the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination.}(An-Nûr:57)

The enemies of the messengers

Moreover, each prophet had his enemies. Allah says: {And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies - Shayâtin (devils) among mankind and jinns, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception). If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it, so leave them alone with their fabrications. (Tafseer Qurtubi, Vol.7, Page 67)}(Al-An’âm:112)

Consequently, the rejecters became insolent towards their prophets, and aggressed against them, mocked them and scoffed at them. Allah says: {And never came a Messenger to them but they did mock him.}(Al-Hijr:11)

He also says: {And never came there a Prophet to them but they used to mock at him.}(Az-Zukhruf:7)

Allah says: {And indeed (many) Messengers were mocked before you, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at.}(Al-An’âm:10)

Not only that, they threatened to expel the messengers from the country, if they did not abandon their religion. The Almighty says: {And those who disbelieved, said to their Messengers: “Surely, we shall drive you out of our land, or you shall return to our religion.” So their Lord inspired them: “Truly, We shall destroy the Zâlimûn (polytheists, disbelievers and wrong-doers.)”.}(Ibrahîm:13)

The threat even escalated to making attempts to murder the messengers. {and every (disbelieving) nation plotted against their Messenger to seize him}(Ghâfir:5)

That is, to kill him. Some criminals even went as far as actually killing their messengers! {Is it that whenever there came to you a Messenger with what you yourselves desired not, you grew arrogant? Some, you disbelieved and some, you killed.}(Al-Baqarah:87)

Consequently, Allah destroyed the rejecters and allowed the messengers’ religion to prevail; as He says: {Allâh has decreed: “Verily! It is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious.” Verily, Allâh is All-Powerful, All-Mighty.}(Al-Mujâdilah:21)

He also says: {171. And, verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our slaves, the Messengers,172. That they verily would be made triumphant.}(As-Sâffât:171-172)

Allah saved His prophets and messengers (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them all), as He says: {And We saved those who believed, and used to fear Allâh, and keep their duty to Him.}(An-Naml:53)

He also said: {And We saved those who believed and used to fear Allâh, keep their duty to Him and avoid evil.}(Fussilat:18)


Marcel Boisard

French Thinker
From one source of light
“The objective of Prophet Muhammad’s mission was not to wipe out previous revelations, but to confirm them all and denounce the violence that had been inflicted on the scriptures. His purpose was to wipe clean all the transgressions of the teachings of the prophets who had preceded him, to spread and complete them, so that they would be fit for all of humanity, at every time and in every place.”

Each prophet came to his people and his time with what suited them, and reformed their lives by purifying them. He who denies one messenger denies them all. Thus, he who does not believe in prophet Jesus (pbuh) does not then believe in prophet Moses (pbuh) either. The prophet and messenger Muhammad (pbuh) abrogated the message of Jesus, and regarding this Allah says: {And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) the Book (this Qur’ân) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Mohayminan (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures). So judge between them by what Allâh has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you.}(Al-Mâ’idah:48)

Whoever does not believe in Muhammad, then in reality he does not believe in Jesus either.

There was also a need for the last and final seal of all the prophets and messengers to be for all peoples and times, otherwise humanity would have gone astray without being guided through any revelation of the Creator of the heavens and the earth. It was for this reason that Muhammad (pbuh) was sent as this seal. Allah says: {Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allâh and the last (end) of the Prophets. And Allâh is Ever All-Aware of everything.}(Al¬Ahzâb:40)

The creation of mankind


Bashir Shaad

Indian Preacher
We do not differentiate between any of them
“The Qur’an is the only book that recognizes all the heavenly books, while all the others reject one another.”

We start at the very beginning, at the moment that Allah wished to create human beings, until Adam was expelled from Paradise and his descent to earth: {30. And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: “Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth.” They said: “Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, - while we glorify You with praises and thanks (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners) and sanctify You.” He (Allâh) said: “I know that which you do not know.” 31. And He taught Adam all the names (of everything), then He showed them to the angels and said, “Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful.” 32. They (angels) said: “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.” 33. 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 Ghaib (unseen) in the heavens and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you have been concealing?” 34. And (remember) when We said to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves before Adam.” And they prostrated except Iblîs (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allâh). 35. And We said: “O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers).” 36. Then the Shaitân (Satan) made them slip therefrom (the Paradise), and got them out from that in which they were. We said: “Get you down, all, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.” 37. Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful. 38. We said: “Get down all of you from this place (the Paradise), then whenever there comes to you Guidance from Me, and whoever follows My Guidance, there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve. 39. But those who disbelieve and belie Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) such are the dwellers of the Fire, they shall abide therein forever.}(Al-Baqarah:30-39)

Subsequently, when people differed and strayed from the straight path of guidance and truth, Allah sent His prophets and messengers to direct them back to Allah’s road of light and truth, and they came one after the other, delivering Allah’s laws. {He (Allâh) has ordained for you the same religion (Islâm) which He ordained for Nûh (Noah), and that which We have inspired in you (O Muhammad SAW), and that which We ordained for Ibrahîm (Abraham), Mûsa (Mosesý) and ‘Iesa (Jesus) saying you should establish religion (i.e. to do what it orders you to do practically), and make no divisions in it (religion) (i.e. various sects in religion).}(Ash-Shûra:13)

Allah’s prophets and messengers succeeded each other, from Noah to Abraham, Ishmael to Moses and Jesus, and finally prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all).

Allah has narrated their stories to us as well as relayed their news. Here we shall select and mention the stories of some of them, because these stories are rich with lessons for men of understanding and sound minds. Allah says: {Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding. It (the Quran) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of the Allah’s existing Books [the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel) and other Scriptures of Allah] and a detailed explanation of everything and a guide and a Mercy for the people who believe.}(Yûsuf:111)