Reality of Belief in the Messengers
need for the Messengers:
Prophets are the Messengers of Allah to His slaves; they convey
His commands, and give them glad tidings of the delights that Allah
has promised them if they obey His commands, and they warn them
of the abiding punishment if they go against His prohibitions. They
tell them the stories of the past nations and the punishment and
vengeance that befell them in this world because they disobeyed
the commands of their Lord.
divine commands and prohibitions cannot be known through independent
thinking, hence Allah has prescribed laws and enjoined commands
and prohibitions, to honor mankind and protect their interests,
because people may follow their desires and thus transgress the
limits and abuse people and deprive them of their rights. So by
His wisdom Allah sent among them from time to time Messengers to
remind them of the commands of Allah and to warn them against failing
into sin, to preach to them and to tell them the stories of those
who came before them. For when people hear wondrous stories it makes
their minds alert, so they understand and increase in knowledge
and understand correctly. For the more people hear, the more ideas
they will have; the more ideas they have, the more they will think;
the more they think, the more they will know; and the more they
know, the more they will do. So there is no alternative to sending
Messengers in order to explain the truth.
is essential to guide mankind to that which is best for them in
this world and in the Hereafter. Man cannot follow what is best
for him with regard to the Hereafter unless he follows the Message
and he cannot be guided to what is best for him in this world unless
he follows the Message. Man needs the shariah because he has
two motives, to bring that which will benefit him and to ward off
that which will harm him. This shari'ah is the light of Allah on
this earth, and His justice among His slaves, and the refuge which
whoever enters it will be safe.
does not mean distinguishing between what is beneficial and what
is harmful on a physical basis, because even animals are able to
do this. Donkeys and camels are able to differentiate between barley
and dust. Rather the distinction is between deeds which will harm
a person in this world and the Hereafter, and deeds which will benefit
him in this world and in the Hereafter, such as faith, Tawheed,
justice, righteousness, kindness, trustworthiness, chastity, courage,
knowledge, patience, enjoining what is good and forbidding what
is evil, upholding the ties of kinship, honouring ones parents,
treating neighbours well, recognizing peoples rights, sincerely
doing things for the sake of Allah, putting one's trust in Him,
seeking His help, accepting His decree, submitting to His will,
believing in Him and in His Messengers in all that they have told
us, and other deeds which are of benefit to a person in this world
and in the Hereafter. The opposite of that leads him to misery and
doom in this world and in the Hereafter.
it not for the Messengers, our minds could not guide us to differentiate
between the beneficial and the harmful in this life in a detailed
manner. One of the greatest blessings that Allah has bestowed upon
His slaves is that He sent Messengers to them and revealed books
to them, and showed them the Straight Path. Were it not for that,
they would have been like cattle, and even worse off. So whoever
accepts the Message of Allah and adheres to it is one of the best
of mankind, and whoever rejects it and ignores it is one of the
worst of mankind, even worse off than dogs and pigs, and the vilest
of the vile. The people of this world could not survive except by
virtue of the Messengers teachings, traces of which are still
extant amongst them. If these traces of the Messengers vanished
from the earth and their teachings were wiped out, Allah would destroy
the upper and lower realms and the Hour would begin.
need of the people of the earth for the Messengers is not like their
need for the sun, moon, wind and rain, or like a mans need
for his life, or like the eyes need for light, or like the
bodys need for food and drink. Rather it is greater than that,
greater than his need for anything you could think of. The Messengers
(alaihi as-salaam) are intermediaries between Allah and His creation,
conveying His commands and prohibitions. They are ambassadors from
Him to His slaves. The last and greatest of them, the noblest before
his Lord, was Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Allah sent
him as a mercy to the worlds, guidance for those who want to draw
closer to Allah, proof which left no excuse for all people.
enjoined the people to obey him, love him, respect him, support
him, and acknowledge his rights. Allah took the covenant from all
the Messengers and Prophets that they would believe in him and follow
him, and He commanded them to take the same covenant from the believers
who followed them. He sent him just before the Hour as a bringer
of glad tidings and a warner, calling people to Allah by His leave
and as a brightly shining lamp. He concluded the line of Messengers
with him. Through him He guided people and dispelled misguidance,
taught them and dispelled ignorance.
his Message He opened blind eyes, deaf ears and hard hearts. Through
his message He filled the world with light after it had been in
darkness, He brought people together after they had been divided,
He straightened the crooked path of mankind and showed them the
clear way. He opened his heart for him and removed from him his
burden, and raised high his fame (cf. Surah al-Sharh 94:1-3). He
inflicted humiliation and shame on those who went against his command.
He sent him (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) at a time when there had
been no Messengers for a long while and when the Books had vanished,
when words had been distorted and laws changed, when all peoples
referred to their own unfair opinions, developed their own ideas
about Allah and judged among people by their own corrupt ideas and
whims and desires.
him Allah guided mankind and clarified the different means of drawing
closer to Allah. Through him, He brought the people forth from darkness
into light. Through him, He differentiated between those who will
prosper and those who are immoral. So whoever follows his guidance
is truly guided, and whoever turns away from his path is misguided
and has deviated. May Allah send blessings and peace upon him and
upon all the Messengers and Prophets.
may sum up mans need for the Messengers as follows:
is created and subjugated, and he has to know his Creator and what
He wants of him, and why he was created. Man cannot come to know
that independently. He has no way of finding that out except through
knowing the Prophets and Messengers, and the guidance and light
which they brought.
is composed of body and soul, His body is nourished by his food
and drink, but the nourishment of his soul is that which was explained
by its Creator, namely the true religion and righteous deeds. The
Prophets and Messengers brought the true religion and taught them
to do righteous deeds.
is religious by nature; he has to have a religion to follow, and
this religion has to be correct. There is no way to the true religion
except through believing in the Prophets and Messengers and believing
in the message they brought.
needs the way through which he may attain the pleasure of Allah
in this world, and reach His Paradise and bliss in the Hereafter.
No one can show these ways and guide people to them apart from the
Prophets and Messengers.
is weak by nature, and there are many enemies lying in wait for
him, such as the Shaytaan who wants to lead him astray and bad companions
who make evil things attractive to him, and his own self which is
inclined towards evil. Hence he needs something to protect himself
from the plots of his enemies. The Prophets and Messengers guide
him towards that and show it to him clearly.
is sociable by nature. In human meetings and interactions, there
have to be laws to guide people in a fair and just manner
otherwise the law of the jungle would prevail. This guiding law
must protect the rights of all those who have rights, without neglecting
or exaggerating in any way. No one can produce a perfect law except
the Prophets and Messengers.
needs something that will give him security and peace of mind, and
guide him to the means of true happiness. This is what the Prophets
and Messengers guide people towards.
reality of belief in the Messengers
belief that Allah sent to every nation a Messenger from amongst
belief that Allah sent to every nation a Messenger from amongst
them, to call them to worship Allah alone and to disbelieve in everything
that is worshipped instead of Him, and that they (the Messengers)
were all truthful, speakers of the truth, righteous, wise, pious
and honest, and that they conveyed everything with which Allah sent
them, concealing and altering nothing. They did not add even one
letter from themselves or omit anything.
the Messengers charged with anything but to convey clearly the Message?
message was the same, from the first to the last of them, based
on the principle of Tawheed, i.e., that all kinds of worship should
be devoted to Allah alone, beliefs, words and deeds alike, and that
everything that is worshipped instead of Allah is to be rejected.
The evidence for that is the verses:
We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We revealed
to him (saying): Laa ilaaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped
but I (Allah)), so worship Me (Alone and none else). (21:25)
ask (O Muhammad) those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you:
Did We ever appoint aalihah (gods) to be worshipped besides
the Most Gracious (Allah)? (43:45)
there are very many similar aayahs.
regard to the obligatory duties by which Allah is to be worshipped
and the minor details of legislation, prayers and fasts may have
been enjoined on some nations but not on others, and some things
may have been forbidden to some and permitted to others, as a test
has created death and life that He may test you which of you is
best in deed. (67:2)
evidence for that is the verses: To each among you, We have
prescribed a law and a clear way. (5:48)
Abbaas (razi allahu anhu) said (This means) a way and
a path. Mujaahid, Ikrimah and many of the mufassireen
Saheeh al-Bukhaari and Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah
said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)
said: The Prophets are like brothers from one father, their
mothers are different but their religion is one
i.e., the Prophets are united on the principle of Tawheed, the message
with which Allah sent every Messenger whom He sent, and which He
included in every Book that He revealed, but their laws differed
as to command and prohibitions, what was permitted and what was
disbelieves in the message of one of them has disbelieved in all
of them, as Allah says:
people of Nooh (Noah) belied the Messengers. (26:105)
described them as disbelieving in all of the Messengers even though
there was no Messenger other than Nooh at the time when they disbelieved.
in those Messengers whose names we know and whose names we do not
in those Messengers whose names we know, such as Muhammad, Ibraaheem,
Moosa, Eesa and Nooh (alaihi as-salaam). With regard to those
who have been mentioned in general terms but whose names we do not
know, we are obliged to believe in them in general terms, as Allah
Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him
from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah,
His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) We
make no distinction between one another of His Messengers.
indeed We have sent Messengers before you (O Muhammad), of some
of them We have related to you their story. And of some We have
not related to you their story. (40:78)
we believe that the Final Messenger was our Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam), and there is no Prophet after him, as Allah says:
is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of
Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware
of everything. (33:40)
al-Bukhaari and Muslim it is narrated from Sad ibn Abi Waqqaas
(razi allahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) went out to Tabook, and appointed Ali as his deputy
(in Madinah). Ali said, Are you leaving me in charge
of the children and women? The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) said, Does it not please you that you are to me
like Haroon to Moosa? But there will be no Prophet after me.
favoured him and singled him out for great blessings which were
given to no other Prophet. For example:
sent him to all of the two races of mankind and jinn, whereas each
Prophet who came before him was sent only to his own people.
supported him against his enemies by striking fear into the hearts
of all his enemies within the radius of one months travel.
earth was made a place of prayer and a means of purification for
booty was made permissible for him, where it had not been permitted
to any Prophet before him.
will be granted the position of greater intercession.
there are many other special favours that have been bestowed upon
him (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).
in the sound reports:
in the sound reports that have been narrated from the Messengers.
the laws of the Messenger:
the laws of the Messenger who has been sent to us, namely the Final
Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), who was sent to
all of mankind. Allah says:
no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O
Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves
no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full
should note that belief in the Messengers bears great fruit, such
of the mercy of Allah towards His slaves and His care for them,
as He sent the Messengers to guide them to the path of Allah and
to show them how to worship Allah, for human reason alone cannot
come to know that.
thanks to Him for this great blessing.
and venerating the Messengers (alaihi as-salaam), and praising them
in the manner that befits them, because they are the Messengers
of Allah, and because they worshipped Him and conveyed His Message,
and were sincere towards His slaves.
life of the Prophets:
Prophets (alaihi as-salaam) are dead as far as the people of this
world are concerned. Allah says, addressing the last and best of
you (O Muhammad) will die, and verily, they (too) will die.
before Allah they are alive, for if the martyrs are alive with Allah,
then the Prophets are undoubtedly higher in status before Allah.
was narrated in a Saheeh report that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) said: The Prophets are alive in their graves and
prayer is something that they are blessed with just as the people
of Paradise are blessed with tasbeeh (glorifying Allah).
(alaihi as-salaam) are in their graves apart from Eesa (alaihi
as-salaam), whom Allah raised up into heaven, as He says:
they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them
(the resemblance of Eesa was put over another man and they
killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts.
They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture.
For surely; they killed him not (i.e. Eesa (Jesus), son of
Maryam (Mary)): But Allah raised him (Eesa) up (with his body
and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is
Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise. (4:157-158)
regard to the Prophets praying behind the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) on the night of the Isra (Night Journey), they
prayed behind him in spirit, but their bodies were in their graves.
The same applies to his seeing the Prophets during the Miraaj
(ascent into heaven), when he saw Adam in the lowest heaven, and
Eesa and Yahya in the second heaven, and Yoosuf in the third,
and Idrees in the fourth, and Haroon in the fifth, and Moosa in
the sixth, and Ibraaheem in the seventh, or vice versa. He saw their
souls appear in the shape of their bodies.
people say that he saw the same bodies that are buried in the graves,
but this view does not carry any weight.
Eesa ascended into heaven body and soul, and the same is said
of Idrees. But with regard to Ibraaheem, Moosa and others, they
are buried on earth.
Messiah (alaihi as-salaam) will inevitably descend to earth, to
the white minaret in the east of Damascus; he will kill the Dajjaal
(Antichrist), break the cross and kill the pigs, as
is proven in the saheeh ahaadeeth. Hence he is in the second heaven
even though he is superior to Yoosuf, Idrees and Haroon, because
he will descend to the earth before the Day of Resurrection, unlike
the other Prophets. And Adam is in the lowest heaven because the
souls of his descendents who are blessed (i.e., destined for Paradise)
will be shown to him. As for the souls of the doomed (i.e., those
who are destined for Hell) the gates of heaven will not be opened
for them and they will not enter Paradise until the camel passes
through the eye of the needle. So if they will be shown to him,
he has to be near them. There is no contradiction in the fact that
they (alaihi as-salaam) prayed behind the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) then he met some of them after he was taken up into the
heavens, because the souls are like the angels, they may ascend
and descend in an instant; they are not like bodies.
some Messengers over others:
aayah: Those Messengers! We preferred some of them to others.
(2:253) is like the aayah: And indeed, We have preferred some
of the Prophets above others. (17:55)
is no doubt that some of the Prophets and Messengers are superior
to others; the Messengers are superior to the Prophets, and the
Messengers of strong will (cf. Surah al-Ahqaaf 46:35)
are superior to all the others. The Messengers of strong will are
the five whom Allah has mentioned in two verses of the Quraan,
the first of which is in Surah al-Ahzaab:
(remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from
you (O Muhammad), and from Nun (Noah), Ibraaheem (Abraham), Moosa
(Moses), and Eesa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary). (33:7)
are Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), Nooh, Ibraaheem, Moosa
and Eesa ibn Maryam (alaihi as-salaam).
second verse is in Surah al-Shoora:
(Allah) has ordained for you the same religion (Islamic Monotheism)
which He ordained for Nooh (Noah), and that which We have revealed
to you (O Muhammad), and that which We ordained for Ibraaheem (Abraham),
Moosa (Moses?) and Eesa (Jesus). (42:13)
five are superior to all others.
regard to what Allah says concerning the believers:
one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers.
(They say,) We make no distinction between one another of
His Messengers. (2:136)
this means is: we make no distinction between them in terms of belief,
we believe that they are all truly Messengers from Allah, and that
they did not tell lies, so they all spoke the truth. This is the
meaning of the phrase We make no distinction between one another
of His Messengers, i.e., in terms of belief: we believe that
they were all truly Messengers from Allah.
in terms of the kind of belief that implies following, for those
who come after the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), this
applies only to the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). He
is the one to be followed because his shari'ah (law) abrogates all
other laws. Hence we know that we must believe in all of them and
believe that they are truly Messengers from Allah, but after the
Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was sent, all previous religions
were abrogated by his shari'ah, and it became obligatory upon all
people to follow Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) only. Allah
by His wisdom abrogated all religions apart from the religion of
the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), hence He says:
(O Muhammad): O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger
of Allah to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and
the earth. Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped
but He). It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in
Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), the Prophet who can neither
read nor write (i.e. Muhammad), who believes in Allah and His Words
((this Quraan), the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)
and also Allahs Word: Be! and he was, i.e.
Eesa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary)), and follow him so that
you may be guided. (7:158)
all religions other than that of the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) are abrogated, but we must still believe in the Messengers
and that they are true.
difference between a Messenger and a Prophet:
well-known difference between a Prophet and a Messenger is that
a Messenger is one to whom a law is revealed and he is commanded
to convey it, whilst a Prophet is one to whom a law is revealed
but he is not commanded to convey it. But this distinction is not
free of problems, because a Prophet is also commanded to call people,
convey the Message and judge among the people.
correct view is that the Messenger is one who is sent to a disbelieving
people, and the Prophet is one who is sent to a believing people
with the shari'ah of the Messenger who came before him, to teach
them and judge between them, as Allah says:
We did send down the Tawraat (Torah) (to Moosa (Moses)), therein
was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves
to Allahs Will, judged for the Jews. (5:44)
the Prophets of the Children of Israel judged by the Tawraat which
Allah had revealed to Moosa.
regard to the aayah:
he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets.
why it did not say the last of the Messengers the end of
the Message does not mean the end of Prophethood, but the end of
Prophethood does mean the end of the Message. Hence the Prophet
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: There will be no Prophet
after me, and he did not say, there will be no Messenger after
we know that there is no Messenger and no Prophet after him (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam); he was the last of the Prophets and of the Messengers,
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).