LEGACIES

Introduction to the PROPHETS AND MESSENGERS
WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT TO US?

The belief in the Prophets and Messengers – by most accounts, more than 124,000 of them – is a fundamental pillar of the Islamic faith.

The Creator has guided mankind throughout its history. From the first man to have walked the earth to subsequent propagators of Islam who came in the form of Messengers and Prophets, they are humankind’s role models of the highest order.

History has shown that mankind tends to forget the original Message of Allah, and over generations, the Message tends to get wiped out, embellished or corrupted. It is the sunnah(sequence) of Allah that Prophets and Messengers are sent down to lead their people when they have strayed too far from the Message and are in need of drastic guidance, by reminding them of the original Message and guidance of Allah.

Allah has sent Messengers and Prophets in the form of men, so that they are able to better identify with the communities they have been assigned to guide. If Allah had chosen to send angels or other beings to preach to mankind, these communities would no doubt have rejected the Message on the basis that it comes from a different species and therefore incomprehensible and impossible to be implemented by normal men. It is also always the case that the Prophets and Messengers are from within the same communities of those they are attempting to guide, rather than strangers from faraway lands.

As the Messengers and Prophets were sent down to corrupt and disbelieving communities, they were tasked with the duty of guiding nations who were essentially hostile. Despite the environment in which they were placed and the provocation they had to face, Messengers and Prophets consistently emulated peaceful and patient behaviour. Many of them suffered hardship in their attempts to establish the Word of God, with opposition coming from all quarters, and often, from their own close family members.

These were men who underwent extraordinary experiences in the course of spreading the Message and establishing justice on earth. The sum of their lives cannot be reduced to entertaining tales.

As for the Message, it has been the same from time immemorial – La ilaha illallah – There is no God but Allah. This is the core Message that all the Messengers and Prophets establish, remind and emphasise to their people.

Read about the lives of the Messengers and Prophets, presented in a way that will make you understand, appreciate and love them and to understand the Message that they all lived and died for.

Comments

Munir Chowdhury's picture

As salamu alikum WA rahmatullahi WA barakatahu.

Glad, althou late, Mashallah found yor very informative site. As I went thru the story of Prophet Yahya AS I was awstuck with his dedications, virtues, principles etc. Not to challenge u but my intellectual curiosity I hav read the entire Quran n some most important Sahih hadids n nowhere there I had read any of these detail about prophet Yahya.
So my obvious question is wot is source n how do u verify that the stories r authentic. Bcoz in tafsir mareful Quran it is warned that there r too many Israeli reyats which r mostly unreliable. As u shud understand that w/o doubting u getting such details I m indeed bit confused. Is it possible to explain how I can if need b verify in the future. Thnx for yor understanding. chowdhury.munir@gmail.com

admin's picture

Asm brother

Thank you for your comment on our page, and for raising a very valid question about the source of our information.

Our main guidance on this was derived from Ibn Kathir (Stories of the Prophets), who is one of the most prolific scholars of early Islam, and sources from the Qur’an and the Sunnah and other publications. Be that as it may, there were certain sources which could not be authenticated through Qur’an and Sunnah. For example, the account of Nabi Ya’qub (RA) contained in that publication, was mostly based on Israelite sources, which is why we did not have a separate article on him.

In respect of Nabi Yahya (AS), sources from Qur’an and Hadith have been cited. However, there are other details as well, which are from Israelite sources. The rule for this is as follows. If the Israelite sources contradict with Islam, Qur’an and Sunnah, then we are to reject it entirely. If it is in conformity with Qur’an and Sunnah, we are to accept it. If it is not supported by Qur’an and Sunnah, but does not contradict the values of Islam, Qur’an and Sunnah, then the rule is that we are to neither reject nor accept it. Hence, in our articles, where the source comes from this third category, we are mindful not to cite any reference in Qur’an and Sunnah, but rather to say that it is said by some people.

This is the principle you should also adopt - so for facts that fall within this category, you should explain that there is no Qur’an or Sunnah on this, but since the Israeli narrations do not contradict the principles, then people are free to accept it or not. However we cannot say that those accounts are absolutely right or absolutely wrong, only Allah knows best.

Please also note that there were Jewish people who embraced Islam during the time of Rasulullah SAW, and that these scriptures were probably discussed during his time, with some of them totally rejected (as stated also in the Qur’an).

Please note, that this rule of interpretation does not apply to matters of fiqh or regulation, for these, we are to rely only on Qur’an and Sunnah, and if not available, then to the fatwa of the Muslim scholars which are obtained by general consensus. For matters of fiqh, which has implications on halal, haram and even the way we perform our Islamic rituals, we cannot rely on Israelite accounts at all. We must rely only on Qur’an, Sunnah and our religious scholars.

I hope this answers the question, insha Allah.

Wsm
Muslim Footsteps Admin

Munir Chowdhury's picture

Salam.

Many thnx for going thru the trouble in explaining the rules clearly in details Mashallah.

However, one little confusion arised as to using ra & as between two prophets:
Nabi Ya’qub (RA) contained in that publication, was mostly based on Israelite sources, which is why we did not have a separate article on him.

In respect of Nabi Yahya (AS),

Isn't it the general rule to say as for all prophets except prophet Mohammad saw?

I wud like to take the opportunity to circulate yor answer, which I believe will inshallah make lots of people aware. If I may, mayb u can also hav this placed as rules for explanations in yor cover page.

Again thnx & take care.

admin's picture

Asm
Yes, it is a general rule, and in articles where there is reliance on Israelite sources, we explain in the article itself the rules of referring to Israelite accounts, or otherwise make it clear that this is the opinion of some, rather than on Sunnah or Qur'an.
We took a decision in respect of how much of the "filling of the gaps" we can rely on by reference to Israelite sources. In the case of Nabi Yahya AS, Allah gave us enough detail in the Qur'an and Hadith that even if we did not make reference to Israelite sources, there was enough information (if not detail) to share.
In the case of Nabi Ya'qub AS, the details in the Qur'an are limited, and most of them are in relationship to his sadness at losing his son and his beautiful patience. The rest of it (such as his life, his marriages and his mission) are found in almost exclusively Israelite sources, meaning that the majority of the material we rely on will be from Israelite sources, rather than Muslim sources. As mentioned, people are fine to accept or reject. However, we are reluctant to do so, because this might cause division in the ummah.
Another important lesson we did not mention in our earlier reply, is that Islam is complete. If something is crucial, then we can rest assured that Allah has provided us (through Rasulullah SAW) all the information that we need for our deen. Hence, the reliance on Israelite sources from time to time is in order to provide detail or to emphasize a point, but even without these details, the lessons given to us by the Qur'an and Sunnah are sufficient. This is why, for example, Allah did not provide complete details, such as names, dates and places where the Qur'anic and Prophetic stories took place - such information is academic, and not crucial for the development of our deen, and therefore we are not required to occupy our time trying to dig for more information.
This is also another reason we are not going to do the several for Rasulullah SAW, as we would need to be absolutely certain of each and every detail we provide. This will take a lot of work and research, but Alhamdulillah there are many editions of the seerah available in the market where the authors have done a remarkable job on the research.
I hope the answer clears any uncertainty.
Wsm.

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