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Posted on: 17-Sep-2009
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Belief in the Prophets

 

إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى نُوْحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيْمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيْلَ وَإْسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوْبَ وَالأَسْبَاطِ وَعِيْسَى وَأَيُّوْبَ وَيُوْنُسَ وَهَارُوْنَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُوْرًا  وَرُسُلاً قَدْ قَصَصْنَاهُمْ عَلَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ وَرُسُلاً لَّمْ نَقْصُصْهُمْ عَلَيْكَ وَكَلَّمَ اللّهُ مُوْسَى تَكْلِيْمًا رُّسُلاً مُّبَشِّرِيْنَ وَمُنْذِرِيْنَ لِئَلاَّ يَكُوْنَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللّهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَزِيْزًا حَكِيْمًا
We sent our revelations to you [O Prophet!] the way We sent [them] to Noah and to the prophets who came after him; And We revealed [them] to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the progeny of Jacob, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, Solomon and We gave the Psalms to David. We have sent revelations to Messengers whom we have mentioned to you earlier and to some Messengers whom We have not mentioned to you and with Moses God had spoken, the way one speaks: these Messengers who were sent as bearers of glad tidings and of admonishment so that after them people are left with no excuse which they can present before God, and God is Mighty and Wise. (4:163-165)
 
People through whom the Almighty completed providing His guidance to mankind are called prophets. They were, in fact, human beings; however, the Almighty selected them for this purpose on the basis of His all embracing knowledge and wisdom. As such, prophethood is God-given and cannot be acquired through self-effort or training.[1] The Qur’an has narrated the incident in which Moses (sws) was given prophethood. When he reached the valley of Sanai with his family on his way back from Midian, it was night-time. It was difficult to find one’s way in the dark and it appears that it was quite chilly too. Meanwhile, a darting flame was seen at a distance and perhaps no one except Moses (sws) observed it. He bade his family to stay where they were and himself expressed his desire to find out more about what he had seen and possibly bring back some fire to warm themselves or that if there were people there he would inquire from them the way to the fire. When he came near the place he had sighted the flame, he heard a voice say: “Moses! I am Your Lord, so take off your shoes; you are in the sacred valley of Tuwa; I have selected you for the responsibility of prophethood and messengerhood; so listen carefully to whatever is being revealed to you.” The Qur’an has told us that after this he was given the same message as was given to other prophets:
 
إِنَّنِيْ أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِيْ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِيْ  إِنَّ السَّاعَةَ ءاَتِيَةٌ أَكَادُ أُخْفِيْهَا لِتُجْزَى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا تَسْعَى فَلاَ يَصُدَّنَّكَ عَنْهَا مَنْ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُ بِهَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ فَتَرْدَى
I am God. Indeed, there is no god but Me. Serve Me, and for My remembrance, pray with vigilance. The Hour is sure to come – but I will keep it hidden – [it shall come] so that every soul is rewarded for its labours. Thus any person who does not believe in it and yields to his desires should not turn you away from the prayer, lest you perish. (20:14-16)
 
It is Moses’ (sws) distinction that God spoke to him. The incident of the first revelation to Muhammad (sws) has been mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Najm. It is evident from it that the position of prophethood was conferred on him through Gabriel, the exalted angel of God. The Qur’an says that on this occasion he appeared in his actual form on the higher horizon and the Prophet (sws) saw him with his naked eyes. He then came near him to instruct him and just as an affectionate teacher bends over his dearly loved student, he bent over him with great love and affection and came so close to him that he was within two bows’ length or even closer. Then he revealed to the Prophet (sws) whatever he had been directed to reveal:
 
عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيْدُ الْقُوَى  ذُوْ مِرَّةٍ فَاسْتَوَى  وَهُوَ بِالْأُفُقِ الْأَعْلَى  ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّى فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى  فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى
He was taught by an Angel, mighty in power, towering in character, endued with wisdom – while he stood poised, being on the higher horizon. Then he drew near and came down within two bows’ length or even closer. The Almighty then revealed to His servant that which He revealed. (53:5-10)
 
These prophets were sent to every community. God had promised Adam (sws) that He would guide his progeny through guidance revealed by Him. This guidance was given to mankind through these very prophets. After receiving revelations from God, they tell what is the truth to people, give glad tidings to those who believe in Him and warn those who do not believe in Him of a dreadful fate. Consequently, at one place, while addressing the Prophet (sws), the Qur’an says:
 
إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ بَشِيْرًا وَنَذِيْرًا وَإِنْ مِّنْ أُمَّةٍ إِلَّا خلَا فِيْهَا نَذِيْرٌ
We have sent you with the truth as a bearer of glad tidings and warnings and there is no community in which a warner never came. (35:24)
 
The details regarding these prophets which have been mentioned in the Qur’an and which should be kept in consideration by everyone for professing faith in them are discussed in the following paragraphs.
(Translated by Mr Shehzad Saleem)


[1].The Qur’an, 6:125.

 


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