How Many Prophets are There in Islam

Allah SWT loves his creation. That is why He sent down messengers and prophets for their guidance. Prophets were raised at different times and different lands. Each of the prophets preached Islam, i.e., submission to Allah SWT though the teaching is not named the same then. Every prophet told about the coming of last Prophet Muhammad PBUH. In Surah Fatir, Allah SWT stated;

Qurani Hayat

“O Beloved! Unquestionably, We have sent you with the truth as a Revealer of glad tidings and as a Warner. And there were never a nation without a Warner having lived amongst them.” –Al Fatir, 35:24

Punishing people for any wrong they do without their being cautioned and warned beforehand by a prophet from Allah SWT is contrary to His Grace and Glory. The warning goes before responsibility which might trail by punishment or reward.

So anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, shall see it. And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it (99:7-8).

If a Warner is not sent to people in the form of the prophet, then they will not know what is evil and good. Thus they won’t be chastised for it. Since each will be demanded an explanation for his good and wicked deeds, we may deduce that to each Allah SWT has sent a messenger:

For We assuredly send amongst every people a messenger with (the command), ‘Serve Allah and eschew evil'(16:36).

Prophet and Messenger

Islam distinguishes between Prophet and Messenger. A Messenger delivers a new religion and Sharia while a Prophet continues the old one. All Messengers are Prophets, but all Prophets are not Messengers.

Allah SWT sent many Prophets and Messengers to humanity to convey His commandments to people. The first Prophet was Hazrat Adam AS and the last Prophet sent to all mankind is Hazrat Muhammad PBUH.

Prophets gave only One Message

Allah SWT sent all prophets with only one message that is, “There is no God but Allah Almighty.” Thus he is the only deity worthy of worship.

Every Prophet is Muslim

According to the teachings of Quran, all Messengers were Muslims as they believed in only one God, his angels, his books, his messengers, hell and heaven, our resurrection and the Judgment Day. All of them surrendered their will to Allah SWT and came with guidance from Him on how to worship Allah SWT and how to lead lives. That is why Islam is a “way of life.”

Number of Prophets

The scholars have a difference of opinion on a number of messengers and prophets. There is one Hadith that mentions the number of prophets, yet there are some issues of authenticity with the chain of the narrator.

This Hadith is daeef(very weak). The isnad of this Hadith includes Ibraheem ibn Hisham al-Ghassani. Ad-Dhabi said he is matrook (rejected), Ibn Hatim said he is a liar, and Ibn al Jawzi ruled that this Hadith is false and fabricated.

Quran is the only source of authentic information about the number of Messengers. The prophets mentioned in the Final Book of Allah SWT are 25:

  1. Adam
  2. Idrees
  3. Noah
  4. Hud
  5. Saleh
  6. Ibrahim
  7. Lut
  8. Ismail
  9. Ishaque
  10. Yaqoob
  11. Yusuf
  12. Ayub
  13. Shoiab
  14. Dhulkifl
  15. Mossa
  16. Haroon
  17. Dawood
  18. Sulaiman
  19. Elias
  20. Alyssa
  21. Yunus
  22. Zakariya
  23. Yahya
  24. Essa
  25. Muhammad ﷺ

The Iman of a Muslim never completes without keeping complete faith on all the Prophets sent on the earth before Prophet Muhammad PBUH (the names of prophets as mentioned in Quran) and having a firm belief on Muhammad ﷺ as the last messenger and Prophet of Allah.

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