History of Islam during the Lifetime of the Prophet and the Rightly Guided Caliphs (1of 2)


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)- A Brief Description

He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.

“HIS NAME IS MUHAMMAD” ,May Peace of God Be Upon Him

He was born in Arabia in the year 570 C.E., started his mission of preaching the religion of Truth, Islam (submission to One God ) at the age of forty and departed from this world at the age of sixty-three.

During this short period of 23 years of his prophet hood, he changed the complete Arabian Peninsula from paganism and idolatry to worship of One God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living, from utter bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence.

Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since – and all these unbelievable wonders in JUST OVER TWO DECADES.

Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since – and IMAGINE all these unbelievable wonders in JUST OVER TWO DECADES.

Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father – all in one.

No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life – but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to achieve such incredible perfection.

Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was nothing more or less than a human being but he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God.

He always described himself as, ‘A Servant and Messenger of God’ and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.

No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life – but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)

Caliph: An Introduction

Meaning of the Word ‘Caliph’

The word ‘Caliph’ is the English form of the Arabic word ‘Khalifa,’ which is short for Khalifatu Rasulil-lah. The latter expression means Successor to the Messenger of God, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). The title ‘Khalifatu Rasulil-lah’ was first used for Abu Bakr, who was elected head of the Muslim community after the death of the Prophet.

The Significance of the Caliphate

The mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), like that of the earlier messengers of God, was to call people to the worship of and submission to the One True God. In practice, submission to God means to obey His injunctions as given in the Holy Qur’an and as exemplified by Sunnah (the practice of the Prophet). As successor to the Prophet, the Caliph was the head of the Muslim community and his primary responsibility was to continue in the path of the Prophet.

Since religion was perfected and the door of Divine revelation was closed at the death of the Prophet, the Caliph was to make all laws in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah. He was a ruler over Muslims but not their sovereign since sovereignty belongs to God alone. He was to be obeyed as long as he obeyed God.

He was responsible for creating and maintaining conditions under which it would be easy for Muslims to live according to Islamic principles, and to see that justice was done to all. Abu Bakr, at the time he accepted the Caliphate, stated his position thus:

“The weak among you shall be strong with me until their rights have been vindicated; and the strong among you shall he weak with me until, if the Lord wills, I have taken what is due from them… Obey me as long as I obey God and His Messenger. When I disobey Him and His Prophet, then obey me not.”

 The Rightly-Guided Caliphs (Al-Khulafa-ur-Rashidun)

Those Caliphs who truly followed in the Prophet’s foot steps are called ‘The Rightly-Guided Caliphs’ (Al-Khulafa-ur Rashidun in Arabic). They are the first four Caliphs: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Uthmân and Ali. All four were among the earliest and closest Companions of the Prophet (peace be on him).

They lived simple and righteous lives and strove hard for the religion of God. Their justice was impartial, their treatment of others was kind and merciful, and they were one with the people – the first among equals. After these four, the later Caliphs assumed the manners of kings and emperors and the true spirit of equality of ruler and ruled diminished to a considerable extent in the political life of Muslims.

It should be clearly understood that the mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), and hence that of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, was not political, social or economic reform, although such reforms were a logical consequence of the success of this mission, nor the unity of a nation and the establishment of an empire, although the nation did unite and vast areas came under one administration, nor the spread of a civilization or culture, although many civilizations and cultures developed, but only to deliver the true message of God to all the peoples of the world and to invite them to submit to Him, while being the foremost among those who submitted.

 

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Rights of children in Islam


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

The rights of children are not guaranteed by the actions of their parents, their communities, or even their governments. Allah Himself guarantees children’s rights.

Allah Himself guarantees children’s rights.

Islam establishes a legal framework and embodies a code of ethics designed to protect the rights of an individual, including his or her right to live in a secure society.

For children, security is of the utmost importance. In Islam, the rights of a child begin even before birth; in fact they begin before conception.

In Islam, the rights of a child begin even before birth; in fact they begin before conception.

Caring for and raising children in the proper manner is a duty on parents and it is not always easy. In fact, Allah reminds us in the Qur’an that children may indeed be a great trial for their parents.

(إِنَّمَآ أَمْوَلُكُمْ وَأَوْلَـدُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ)

“Your wealth and your children are but a trial…” (Al Qur’an 64:15)

The triumphs and tribulations of life are a test and children are no exception. They can bring great joy but sometimes they also bring great sadness. Allah in His infinite wisdom never leaves an individual alone in the face of life’s trials.

The triumphs and tribulations of life are a test and children are no exception.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Every one of your (people) is responsible. And every one is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepherd of his own family, and he is responsible for them.”-(Bukhari and Muslim)

Children are a trust given to their parents and parents are to be held responsible for this trust on the Day of Judgement.

Parents are required to feed, clothe, house, nourish and sustain their children, and provide them with security and education.

Parents are required to feed, clothe, house, nourish and sustain their children, and provide them with security and education.

Parents too are responsible for the religious training and spiritual guidance of their children. The heart of a child must be filled with faith, peace and tranquillity.

A child’s mind must be entertained with proper guidance, knowledge and wisdom, a true sense of purpose and moral and ethical understanding. All of this must be accompanied with emotional support and encouragement, a feeling of belonging and being valued.

The heart of a child must be filled with faith, peace and tranquillity, with emotional support and encouragement, a feeling of belonging and being valued.

Seeing the Prophet kissing his grandson, a person named Alaqr’a Ibn Habis found this behaviour strange and said, “I have ten children, but I never kissed any of them.” He Prophet replied, “The uncompassionate will not be treated mercifully.”- (Bukhari and Tirmidhi)

If parents fulfil this responsibility of showing compassion, they will be free from the consequences of its neglect on the Day of Judgement. The children will become better citizens and a pleasure to the eyes of their parents, first in this life and then in the hereafter. Allah says,

﴿وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَاتَّبَعَتْهُمْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُم بِإِيمَـنٍ أَلْحَقْنَا بِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَمَآ أَلَتْنَـهُمْ مِّنْ عَمَلِهِم مِّن شَىْءٍ كُلُّ امْرِىءٍ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهَينٌ)

“And those who believed and whose descendants followed them in faith – We will join with them their descendants, and We will not deprive them of anything of their deeds…”-(Al Qur’an- 52:21)

Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Upon death, man’s deeds will stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and a pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously prays to Allah, for the souls of his parents.”- (Muslim)

Such a statement reflects the value of proper child-rearing. It has an everlasting effect, even after death.

Source: The Rights of children in Islam Reviewed by Muhammad AbdulRaoof

Umar’s Care For The Poor


Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab was the second caliph of Islam. He was such a responsible and caring ruler that every night he used to stroll on the streets to know the problems of his people. The following is an incredible example of his dutifulness as a caliph.Today, no poor can even dream that the ruler of the land will bring them their essential food supplies himself.

It was the year of the famine. Umar made efforts to ensure that adequate relief reached all people, and  that there were none in the city who went to sleep hungry.

One night as usual Umar went on his round. He was accompanied by his slave Aslam. As he strolled from  street to street all was quiet and the people seemed to be asleep. Umar thought to himself, “Thank God,  there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted.”

"Thank God, there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted", Umar said

Then as he turned a corner he saw a cottage where light was burning, and from where the sound of the  weeping of the children was heard. Umar went to the cottage. He saw that the lady of the house was  cooking something on the hearth, and the children were crying.

The sound of children weeping was coming out of a cottage

Umar knocked at the gate, and addressing the lady of the house Umar enquired why were the children  crying. She said that they were crying because they were hungry. “And what are you cooking”, asked  Umar. The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones. That was to while away the  children that food was being cooked for them. She hoped that exhausted the children would go to sleep.

The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones.

Hearing this tale of woe, Umar felt guilty. He had thought that because of the arrangements made by him,  no one was afflicted in the city and here was a family which was starving. Umar said to the lady that he  would arrange relief for her family immediately.

Umar said to the lady that he would arrange relief for her family immediately.

Umar went to the Baitul Mal. There he put the necessary provisions in a bag and carried the bag to the  cottage. His slave insisted that he would carry the bag, but Umar said that he would carry his burden  himself. Umar handed over the bag of provisions to the lady. Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady  cook the meals.

Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady cook the meals.

When the meals were ready the children were awakened and served with the delicious  meals. As the children ate to their fill and were satisfied they smiled the smile of happiness. Seeing the  destitute children smile Umar also felt happy.

Umar enquired of the lady whether there was none to support. She said that the father of the children  had died, and there was no body to support. Whatever little was in the house had been gradually used  up and they were starving since the last three days.

Umar asked the lady why she had not brought her distress to the notice of the Caliph. The lady said that  in spite of her poverty she had some sense of self-respect and she could not go and beg the Caliph for  any favor. She added that it was incumbent on the Caliph to ascertain that there was no one in his  charge who was starving.

Umar said, “You are right. Please excuse me for the remissness in the past. For the future it will be my  responsibility to see that your wants are satisfied.”

And when the lady realized that the man who had come to her relief was the Caliph himself, she felt  satisfied that the Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.

Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.

The Creation of an Environmental Conscience (part 2 of 4): Man – God’s Steward on the Earth


By AbdurRahman Mahdi

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know. (Quran 2:30)

Our In habitat - Earth

Mankind, through the father, Adam, was sent to earth as its khalifah – a term which simultaneously means: successor, steward, trustee, viceroy, and guardian. That is, man was made responsible for utilizing the earth’s resources with due consideration; resources which God has subjected to his every need.

Man was made responsible for utilizing the earth’s resources with due consideration

“God is He Who has created the heavens and the earth and sends down (rain) water from the sky, and thereby brought forth fruits as provision for you; and He has made the ships to be of service to you, that they may sail through the sea by His Command; as (likewise) He has made rivers to be of service to you. And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day, to be of service to you.” (Quran 14:32-33)

Fruits of all kind for provision

Ships to serve Mankind by God's command

“See you not (O humanity!) that God has subjected for you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and has completed and perfected His Graces upon you, (both) apparent and hidden? Yet of mankind is he who disputes about God without knowledge nor guidance nor an illuminating Book!” (Quran 31:20)

Thus, the earth has been created with a definite cause and affect: to facilitate humans in fulfilling the purpose with which they were themselves created: to worship and serve their Creator.

“And I (God) created not the jinn (spirit-like creatures) and humans except they should worship Me (alone).” (Quran 51:56)

Although the creation of the heavens and the earth is actually greater than the creation of humanity in the Sight of God [see Quran 40:57], humans bear a responsibility that the heavens and earth do not. In fact, God did offer to entrust to the heavens and the earth moral responsibility. However, they understood the weightiness of what was being asked and so respectfully declined. Adam, however, accepted to bear moral responsibility on behalf of humanity. Alas! unlike their father, many of Adam’s descendants were and are unfaithful, incompetent and unwilling to remain true to their obligations.

The creation of the heavens and the earth is actually greater than the creation of humanity in the Sight of God

“Truly, We did offer the trust and moral responsibility to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of (failing to discharge) it. But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of the results).” (Quran 33:72)

When man does faithfully discharge his trust by obeying and worshiping God in accordance with his primordial nature, he attains God’s Pleasure and reward; when he does not, he is in need of His Forgiveness. Incidentally, the only reason a person does succumb to false and oppressive desires is because that person is allowing himself to be misled from his nature; straying away from the straight path and onto the crooked road taken by the enemy of God and man alike: Satan.

The straight path is the path prescribed by God

“He (Satan) said: ‘See! This one (man, Adam) whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite till the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring – all but a few!” (Quran 17:62)

“And he (Satan) said: ‘I will take an appointed portion of your slaves; I will surely mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and I will surely order them to slit the ears of cattle, and surely, I will order them to change the nature created by God.’ And whoever takes Satan as a protector instead of God has surely suffered a manifest loss. He (Satan) makes promises to them and arouses in them false desires; and Satan’s promises are nothing but deceptions.” (Quran 4:118-120)

So, after learning a most important reality about the natural environment and our place in it, which is that, other than mankind (and the jinn), all the creation, animate and inanimate, is inherently obedient to God and in harmony with itself, we also learn how man can reclaim his innocent natural state: by serving and obeying God. And from the great many and praiseworthy acts of obedience is our behaving responsibly with the world around us. A world that, for the purpose of this discourse, can be divided into two principle realms or resources: the subjects of the animal kingdom and their natural habitats.

We learn how Man can reclaim his innocent natural state: by serving and obeying God

“God is the One Who has subjected to you the sea, that ships may sail through it by His Command, and that you may seek of His Bounty and be thankful. And (just like) He has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favor and kindness from Him. Verily, in it are signs for a people who think deeply.” (Quran 45:12-13)

Signs for a people who think deeply

Milk is good for YOU


Milk is considered the most blessed drink Almighty Allah SWT ever created. It is both a food and a drink at the same time. Almighty Allah SWT says in the Qur’an, “In cattle is a lesson for you; We give you a drink they carry in their glands, that issues from between a secreting mucus (of the pituitary gland) and blood…” (16:66).

Furthermore, it is related that God’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “Whenever one partakes in a meal of God’s provisions, he must pray: ‘Lord bless what You gave us, and provide us with what is best,’ and whenever God provides someone with a drink of milk, he must pray, ‘Lord bless what you gave us, and increase our share of it,’ for I do not know of anything that can rival milk, or be a substitute for it, being simultaneously both food and drink.” (Reported in Sunan Abu Dawood).

The best type of milk to drink is that which is fresh, has a bright white colour and a delicate sweetness. Milk helps alleviate depression and distress in adults and also helps to calm the spirit. It is important to rinse the mouth with water after drinking milk as this was the Sunnah of God’s beloved Messenger (pbuh) who once commented, because “it contains fat.” (Reported in Sahih al Bukhari and Muslim).

According to the Dairy Council, the benefits of drinking fresh milk include healthy bone growth due to milk’s composition of calcium, phosphorous, protein and magnesium, and the healthy growth of teeth in children. Milk along with a balanced and healthy diet helps reduce blood pressure, instances of type-2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

A little honey can be added to milk that has been gently warmed up and then mixed thoroughly. This sweet milk should then be chilled before drinking. It is important to note that milk sweetened with sugar rather than honey causes plumpness of the body and face.

Milk should never be drunk excessively since it can cause dimness of the sight, aching of the joints, tooth and gum troubles and intolerance to lactose. Adding honey to milk when drinking can help alleviate these symptoms. Cow’s milk is the best type of milk since it is the most balanced and cows tend to graze on a wider range of plants than other animals.

 

Source: prophetic-medicine

Who is Allah?


Allah

Allah the personal name of God

Concept of God 

It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the One true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word “god,” which can be made plural, as in “gods,” or made feminine, as in “goddess.” It is interesting to notice that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic.

The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing, and nothing is comparable to Him. The Prophet Muhammad was asked by his contemporaries about Allah; the answer came directly from God Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Qur’an, which is considered to be the essence of the unity or the motto of monotheism. This is chapter 112, which reads:“ In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Say (O Muhammad), He is God, the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone”.

Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel God who demands to be obeyed fully and is not loving and kind. Nothing could be farther from the truth than this allegation. It is enough to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Qur’an begins with the verse ” In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”. In one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we are told that “ God is more loving and kind than a mother to her dear child”.

On the other hand, God is also Just. Hence, evildoers and sinners must have their share of punishment, and the virtuous must have God’s bounties and favors. Actually, God’s attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice. People suffering throughout their lives for His sake should not receive similar treatment from their Lord as people who oppress and exploit others their whole lives. Expecting similar treatment for them would amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negate all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world. The following Qur’anic verses are very clear and straightforward in this respect.

Verily, for the Righteous are gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their Lord. Shall We then treat the people of Faith like the people of Sin? What is the matter with you? How judge you?

Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power or race. He created the human-beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves and get His favor through virtue and piety only.

The concepts that God rested on the seventh day of creation, that God wrestled with one of His soldiers, that God is an envious plotter against mankind, and that God is incarnate in any human being are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view.

The unique usage of Allah as a personal name of God is a reflection of Islam’s emphasis on the purity of the belief in God that is the essence of the message of all God’s messengers. Because of this, Islam considers associating any deity or personality with God as a deadly sin that God will never forgive, despite the fact that He may forgive all other sins.

The Creator must be of a different nature from the things created because if He is of the same nature as they are, He will be temporal and will therefore need a maker. It follows that nothing is like Him. If the maker is not temporal, then he must be eternal. But if he is eternal, he cannot be caused, and if nothing caused Him to come into existence, nothing outside Him causes Him to continue to exist, which means that he must be self-sufficient. And if He does not depend on anything for the continuance of His own existence, then this existence can have no end. The Creator is therefore eternal and everlasting: “He is the First and the Last”.

He is Self-sufficient or Self-subsistent, or, to use a Qur’anic term, Al-Qayyum The Creator does not create only in the sense of bringing things into being, He. also preserves them and takes them out of existence and is the ultimate cause of whatever happens to them.

“ God is the Creator of everything. He is the guardian over everything. Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth” (39:62-63).

“ No creature is there crawling on the earth, but its provision rests on God. He knows its lodging place and its repository” (11:16).

God’s Attributes

            If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this is so, then his attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there be, for example, two absolutely powerful Creators? A moment’s thought shows that this is not feasible.

The Qur’an summarizes this argument in the following verses:“ God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him: for then each god would have taken of that which he created and some of them would have risen up over others” (23:91).

“ And why, were there gods in earth and heaven other than God, they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin” (21:22).


The Oneness of God

            The Qur’an reminds us of the falsity of all alleged gods. To the worshippers of man-made objects it asks:“ Do you worship what you have carved yourself” (37:95). “ Or have you taken unto yourself others beside Him to be your protectors, even such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves” (13:16).

To the worshippers of heavenly bodies it cites the story of Abraham:“ When night outspread over him, he saw a star and said: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said: I love not the setters. When he saw the moon rising, he said: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said: If my Lord does not guide me, I shall surely be of the people gone astray. When he saw the sun rising, he said: This is my Lord; this is greater. But when it set, he said: O my people, surely I quit that which you associate, I have turned my face to Him who originated the heavens and the earth; a man of pure faith, I am not one of the idolators” (6:76-79).

Source: WAMY

What is Prophethood?


PROPHETHOOD IN ISLAM

The concept of prophethood is found in the three great monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In Islam, however, it has a special status and significance.

According to Islam, Allah created man to worship Him and to lead a virtuous life based on His teachings and guidance. But how can man know and fulfill his role and the purpose of his existence if he does not receive clear and practical instructions of what Allah wants him to do?

The existence of prophethood, by which Allah sent a prophet to every nation to reveal His message in terms that the people could understand, has answered this question most effectively.

One might ask: How were the prophets chosen and which individuals were so honored?

Prophethood is Allah’s blessing and a favor that is bestowed on an individual chosen by Him to convey His message. From studying the lives of the prophets that have appeared, we notice several characteristics:

1. He is the best person in his community as regards morality and intellectual ability. This is necessary, for a prophets life serves as a model for his followers. His personality should not drive people away from his message, but rather inspire them to accept it and to

transform their own lives. After receiving the message, he is infallible on all matters dealing with the revelation. Although he might commit some small mistakes, but not in any matter that concerns the revelation, he cannot commit a sin.

2. He is supported by miracles, which derive from the power and permission of Allah and not of the prophet himself, to prove that he is not an impostor. Such miracles are direct challenges to the powers that be, for they do not follow the rules laid down by the

Experts in the affected field or activity By way of illustration, let us review some of the miracles recorded in the Old Testament, the New testament, and the Qur’an.

Moses’ Egyptian contemporaries excelled in magic. Thus his major miracle was to defeat the best magicians that the society could offer.

Jesus’ contemporaries were skilled physicians, and so he raised the dead and cured those suffering from incurable diseases.

Muhammad’s contemporaries were known for their eloquence and magnificent poetry. Therefore Muhammad’s major miracle was the Qur’an, which no poet could imitate or surpass, despite their repeated and vigorous efforts to do so.

All previous miracles were limited to a specific people living at a specific time.

This is not the case with the Qur’an, however, for this miracle is universal and everlasting. Although previous generations actually witnessed it, all future generations will continue to witness its miraculous nature in term of its style, content, and spiritual impact and message.

This ability of the Qur’an to rise above the limits imposed by time and space on all other miracles proves its divine origin.

3. Every prophet states clearly that what he receives comes from Allah and that it is for the well-being of humanity. He confirms what was revealed previously and what may be revealed by a future prophet, for his task is to convey the message entrusted to him by

Allah. Thus the revealed message is always the same in essence and purpose-it cannot deviate from prior or future revelations.

Prophets are necessary for conveying God’s instructions and guidance to mankind. Without this knowledge, we would be unable to answer the fundamental questions of our existence:

Why were we created? What happens after death? Is there an afterlife? Are we accountable for our actions? Is there any future reward or punishment for what we do? What about Allah, His angels, heaven, and hell?

Each of these questions, and all others, are answered in the revelation brought by the prophet. But in order for his community to believe and accept them, the prophet must be brought by individuals who have attained a position of trust and respect among their people. This is why he must be morally and intellectual superior to his contemporaries.

Based on this understanding, Muslims reject some of the stories found in the Old Testament concerning the prophets.

For example: The prophet Lot engaging in fornication-with his own daughters when

drunk, or the prophet David sending one of his military leaders to his death so that he could marry his wife. it is inconceivable to Muslims that a prophet of Allah could do such things.

Prophets are also miraculously supported by God and instructed by Him to affirm the continuity of His message. In brief, the divine revelation consists of the following information:

a) A clear concept of God, His attributes and creation, and what should and should not be ascribed to Him.

b) A clear idea about the unseen world, angels and jinn (spirits), paradise and hell.

c) Why has God created us? What does He want from us? Will we be rewarded (or punished) for obeying (or disobeying) Him?

d) A clear explanation of how to order our societies according to His will. This involves the implementation of a law that, when applied correctly and honestly, will bring about a happy and ideal society.

As we have seen in the above discussion, there is no substitute for prophets. Despite the tremendous and impressive advancements of modern science, even it cannot provide authentic information about the supernatural world or provide guidance. Its very nature, which is too materialistic and limited, precludes it from serving this purpose. Mystic experience is also unsuitable, for it is too subjective and, frequently, too misleading.

Now one might ask: How many prophets has Allah sent to humanity?

Although we cannot answer this question definitively, some Muslim scholars place the number at two hundred forty thousand. We are only sure of what is clearly mentioned in the Qur’an: God has sent one or more messengers to each nation, for He would not be just if he were to hold a nation to account for its actions w shout first informing its people of what is allowed and what is not.

The Qur’an mentions twenty-five prophets by name (i.e., Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, who are considered the greatest of all the prophets) and indicates that there were others not known to Muhammad. Muslims are required to believe in and to respect all of the messengers of Allah without exception.

Since all the prophets come from the same God and for the same purpose-to lead   humanity to Allah-belief in them all is essential and logical. If some are accepted and others are rejected, it is due to the individual’s misunderstanding of the prophet’s role or of racial (or other) bias.

The Muslims are unique in considering belief in all of the prophets of God to be an article of faith. The Jews reject Jesus Christ and Muhammad; the Christians reject Muhammad and, in reality, reject Moses because they do not abide by his laws.

The Muslims accept them all as messengers of God who brought guidance to mankind.

However, this acceptance is characterized with a degree of caution, for the Qur’an and the Prophet states the revelation conveyed by those prophets has been distorted and corrupted by those who received it.

We read in the Qur’an:

Say (O Muslims), we believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and their children, and that which Moses and Jesus received and that the prophets received from their Lord. We maize no distinction between any of them and unto Him we have surrendered. (2:136)

The Qur’an tells the Muslims that this is the true and impartial belief. If other nations share this belief, it means that they are on the right track. If they do not share this belief, it means that they are following their own whims and biases.

The Qur’an says:

So if they believe in the same as you believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing. [And say, “Ours is] the religion of Allah. And who is better than Allah in [ordaining] religion? And we are worshippers of Him.” (2:137-38)

There are two important points that need to be clarified about the roles of Jesus and Muhammad, as they are usually misunderstood and distorted. In the case of Jesus, the Qur’an rejects completely the Christian assertion of his divinity and his status of the “son” of God.

It also states that the unusual circumstances of his birth-without a father-does not make him a “son” of God, for if this logic were followed to its logical conclusion, Adam, who had no father and no mother, would be greater than Jesus, for: Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God’s sight, is as Adam’s likeness; He created him of dust, then said unto him, “Be,” and he was (3:59).

Like other prophets, Jesus performed miracles: he raised the dead and cured the blind and the lepers. He also made it perfectly clear that these miracles were done by God, not by him. But his message was distorted, because it was not recorded in his presence and under his direction, but only about one hundred years after his death.

According to the Qur’an, Jesus was sent to the children of Israel to confirm the Torah of Moses and to bring glad tidings of a final messenger who would come after him:

 

And when Jesus son of Mary said, Children of Israel, I am indeed the Messenger to you, confirming the Torah that is before me, and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall

come after me, whose name shall be the praised one. (61:6)

(the underlined portion is the translation of Ahmad, which is also a name of the Prophet Muhammad).

 

However, the majority of the Jews rejected his ministry and plotted against his life. The Qur’anic account of his death differs from the one found in the New Testament: he was not killed or crucified, but rather was raised to heaven by God. It is also implied that Jesus will return one day and that all of the Christians and Jews will believe in

him before he dies. This is also supported by authentic sayings of the

Prophet Muhammad.

Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last prophet of God, was born in Makkah in the sixth century CE. Until the age of forty, he was known as a man of excellent character and cultured manners. These characteristics earned for him the nickname of al-Amin (The Trustworthy). There

were no prior indications that Allah had chosen him to be His last messenger. Once he was entrusted with this task, however, he began calling his idol-worshipping people to Islam. The revelation was recorded during his lifetime in writing and in the memory of his followers. The care taken to preserve each revelation as it was transmitted by the Prophet ensured that it would reach future generations in an uncorrupted form. As Allah has stated that the Qur’an would be preserved accurately, it is the source of divine guidance for all time, and the Prophet Muhammad is His final prophet.

Source: WAMY Series on Islam No. 7