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Muslims regard as prophets of Islam (Arabic: نبي) those non-divine humans chosen by Allah (the standard Arabic-language word for "the God"). Humans rely on revelation or tradition to identify prophets.

Each prophet brought the same basic ideas of Islam, including belief in a single God and the avoidance of idolatry and sin. Each came to preach Islam and told of the coming of the final law-bearing prophet and messenger of God: Muhammad. Each prophet directed a message to a different group and each prophet taught minor variations in sharia (or the practice of religion) to a different target-audience. These variations constitute applications of Islam: mainstream Muslims do not consider them discrete versions of Islam.

Islamic tradition holds that God sent messengers to every nation. Muslims believe that God sent only Muhammad to convey the divine message to the whole world, whereas he sent other messengers (rusul) to convey their messages to a specific group of people or to an individual nation.

Muslims regard Adam as the first prophet and Muhammad as the last prophet; hence Muhammad's title Seal of the Prophets. Islam regards Jesus as a rasul (and sometimes as a nabi) because he received wahy (revelation) from God, through which God revealed the Injil (Gospel) to him.[1]

Islamic theology recognises as many as 124,000 prophets.[2] Five of them (sometimes known as Ulul Azmi or the Imams — literally: "leaders" — of the Rasuls) receive the highest reverence for their perseverance and unusually strong commitment to God in the face of great suffering, namely:

  1. Nuh (Noah)
  2. Ibrahim (Abraham)
  3. Musa (Moses)
  4. Isa (Jesus)
  5. Muhammad


In both Arabic and Hebrew, the term nabī (plural forms: nabiyyūn and anbiyāʾ) means "prophet". These terms occur 75 times in the Qur'an. The term nubuwwa (meaning "prophethood") occurs five times in the Qur'an. The terms rasūl (plural: rusul) and mursal (plural: mursalūn) denote “messenger” or "apostle" and occur more than 300 times. The term for a prophetic “message”, risāla (plural: risālāt) appears in the Qur'an in ten instances.[3]

The Syriac form of rasūl Allāh (literally: "messenger of God"), s̲h̲eliḥeh d-allāhā, occurs frequently in the apocryphal Acts of St. Thomas. The corresponding verb for s̲h̲eliḥehs̲h̲alaḥ, occurs in connection with the prophets in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:13-14, 4:13; Isaiah 6:8; Jeremiah 1:7).[4]

Prophets and messengers in the Bible

The words "prophet" (Arabic: nabi, نبی) and "messenger" (Arabic: rasul, رسول) appear several times in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The following table shows these words in different religious languages:[5]

Prophet and Messenger in Bible
Arabic Arabic Pronunciation English Greek Greek pronunciation Hebrew Hebrew pronunciation বাংলা
نبی Nabi Prophet προφήτης prophētēs נביא nâbîy' নবী
رسول Rasool Messenger, Apostle מסנג 'ר

In the Old Testament the word "prophet" (Hebrew: nabi) occurs more commonly, and the word "messenger" (Hebrew: malak) refers to angels, But the last book of the Old Testament, the Book of Malachi, speaks of a messenger that some commentators interpret as a reference to the future prophet John the Baptist.[6]

In the New Testament, however, the word "messenger" becomes more frequent, sometimes in association with the concept of a prophet.[7]

"Messenger" can refer to Jesus, to his Apostles and to John the Baptist.

It seems that in the New Testament messengers have a higher rank than prophets: Jesus Christ said about John the Baptist:

But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Prophets and messengers in the Qur'an

The table below charts the Qur'anic verses which explicitly reference a prophet (nabi), a messenger (rasul), a leader (imam) or Christ (Messiah). It also includes explicit references to prophets' book(s) / people / divine law (Qur'an).

Men of Allah in Qur'an
Name Prophet Messenger Imam Messiah Book People Qur'an
Adem (Adam)
Idris (Enoch) Yes check.svg
Nuh (Noah) Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
People of Noah[11] Yes check.svg
Hud (Eber) Yes check.svg
Messenger [13]
Saleh (Salih) Yes check.svg
Dhikr[16] Thamud[17]
Ibrahim (Abraham) Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
Suhuf Ibrahim (Scrolls of Abraham)[21] People of Abraham[22] Yes check.svg
Lut (Lot) Yes check.svg
Prophet [9]
Yes check.svg
People of Lut[24]
Isma’il (Ishmael) Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
Is'haq (Isaac) Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
Yaqub (Jacob) Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
Yusuf (Joseph) Yes check.svg
Ayyub (Job) Yes check.svg
Shu'ayb (Jethro) Yes check.svg
Musa (Moses) Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
Scrolls of Moses (Suhuf Mossa)[31] Pharaoh and his chiefs[32] Yes check.svg
Harun (Aaron) Yes check.svg
Dawud (David) Yes check.svg
Zabur[34] (Psalms)
Sulayman (Solomon) Yes check.svg
Ilyas (Elijah) Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
People of Elijah[36]
Al-Yasa (Elisha) Yes check.svg
Yunus (Jonah) Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
People of Jonah[38]
Dhul-Kifl (Ezekiel)
Zakariyya (Zechariah) Yes check.svg
Yahya (John the Baptist) Yes check.svg
Isa (Jesus) Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
Injil[43] (Gospel) Sent to Children of Israel[44]
Yes check.svg
Muhammad Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
Yes check.svg
Qur'an Sign for the Whole World Yes check.svg

For Ahl al-Kitab (followers of the Holy Books), see People of the Book.

Distinguishing between prophets and messengers

In short, in Islam every messenger is also a prophet, but not every prophet is a messenger. The Qur'an, like the New Testament, ranks a messenger higher than a prophet. For example, whenever both titles appear together, "messenger" comes first. The crucial criterion is that a messenger delivers a new religious law (Sharia) revealed by God, whereas a prophet continues an old one. God sends both prophets and messengers as givers of good news and as admonishers to their people. In the case of messengers, however, it appears that a close relationship exists between them and their people (ummah). A messenger will become the witness that God will take from that community on the Day of Judgment (see the following Sura; Yunus 10:48; An-Nahl 16:38; Al-Mu’minoon 23:46; Ghafir 40:5; An-Nisa 4:45; Al-Qasas 28:75). According to the Qur'an, God sent Muhammad to all of humanity and to the Djinn.[4]

Muslims distinguish between celestial and human messengers. In the Qur'anic world, God has made the angels messengers but not prophets. The human messengers, however, also function as prophets — though not every prophet serves as a messenger.[3] Angels always carry "orders" to the human prophets or messengers on what to say, what to do, and so forth. While human messengers deliver some messages about new orders to the people, prophets only reinforce previous orders by earlier messengers or prophets, but since the angels carry orders to prophets to do their duty, then all angels of revelations count as messengers.

The status of prophets

The Qur'anic verse 4:69 lists various virtuous groups of human beings, among whom prophets (including messengers) occupy the highest rank. Verse 4:69 reads:[3]

All who obey Allah and the messenger are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah,- of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): Ah! what a beautiful fellowship!

Jesus as an apostle

Qur'an, 4:157-159

That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-

Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-

And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;-

An-Nisa , Qur'an 4:157–159


Islam views Muhammad's greatest miracle as the revelation of the Qur'an to mankind; Muslims regard this as the last in a series of divine revelations, one delivered word by word by the Angel Gabriel. At the time of the revelation of the Qur'an, Arabs who stood at the pinnacle of linguistic and poetic eloquence expressed astonishment at its linguistic perfection. The Qur'an seemed even more miraculous to the Arabians of his time given Muhammad's illiteracy (a very common state in the 7th century, especially in Arabia). Moreover, Muslims believe he had not read or written down any of the previous religious scriptures. Muslims used this situation as an argument and evidence against those who opposed Islam during the Muhammad's day, to testify to the fact that Muhammad couldn't have produced such perfect eloquence as appears in the Qur'an without divine intervention.

The Qur'an has survived in stable form since its compilation of 653/654 (but compare History of the Qur'an). Muslims up until present times have memorized it,[46] making it the most memorized book in human history. Muslims believe that, unlike other miracles performed by other prophets who came before Muhammad, all ages can witness the miracle of the Qur'an. With the revelation of the Qur'an came a revolution in science, literature and philosophy that not only took place in the Islamic empire but worldwide.[47]

Prophets and scriptures

The prophets and Muhammad

Islam views every single prophet from Adam (Arabic: ادم) to Muhammad as important. According to the Qur'an, the prophets 'Isa (Jesus), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Ibrahim (Abraham), Saleh (Shelah), and Muhammad had the responsibility of ushering in their own holy scripture, given to them by God. 'Isa received the Injil (Gospel), as expressed in the following verses from the Qur'an:

At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!

"O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman

But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?"

He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;

"And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;

"(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;

"So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"!

Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.

Maryam , Qur'an 19:27–34

However, Muslims believe that humans have altered the Injil, therefore, it now does not represent the full truth, as given by God. Musa received the Books of Moses, and Ibrahim the Books of Abraham. Dawud is responsible for the Zabur (Psalms). Saleh is responsible for the Dhikr, which is a practice that focuses on the remembrance of God. It often includes the repetition of the names of Allah. On the other hand, Muhammad was given the Qu'ran, which is believed by Muslims to be the purest and truest holy book of God. In Islam, it was believed to have been given to Muhammad through divine revelation by the angel Jibreel (Gabriel). Its purpose was to perfect the beliefs of the one true God, Allah, because of the turning away of the Jews and Christians from the true religion, into dogmas and doctrines.

The scope of the prophetic mission

The purpose of messengers

The following list summarises the purpose of sending Gods messengers:

  1. God sent messengers to every nation to guide them to His path[48]
  2. Messengers warned nations to follow God's commands and gave them glad tidings[49]
  3. Messengers gave guidance from Allah, taught knowledge and provided a path to purification[50]
  4. God explained that obedience to Him and to His Messenger will earn paradise[51]
  5. And those who disobey will earn hell fire[52]
  6. God said that He will judge people only after receipt of the Message from His Messengers, judging everyone based on their own actions[53][54][55]
  7. Thus, those who received His message can not claim ignorance as an excuse[56]

Distinguishing Muhammad from other messengers

Muhammad differs from other messengers in two respects:

  1. God sent all previous messengers to a specific nation in specific regions of the Earth. Their teachings also applied in a limited way for a specific time and period. But God uniquely sent Muhammad to the entirety of creation (mankind and Djinn), intending his message (the Qur'an) to serve until the end of time.
  2. The teachings of previous messengers confined themselves to specific nations and times, thus their laws relating to ethics and moral code, justice, trade, financial deals, and civil law remained incomplete. God through his final messenger, Muhammad, completed the religion and perfected it. It includes all the teachings from previous messengers, and abrogated those portions specific to separate peoples and times.

Most Muslims thus believe that since the days of the prophet the teaching of Muhammad remains as the only trustworthy source to reach the guidance of God, and that the Qur'an contains the true teachings of Moses and Jesus.

The reception of the prophets

R. Joseph Hoffmann compares the different Abrahamic prophetic traditions and attitudes to prophecy:

... Like Christianity, [Islam] claimed to be a common heir of the Abrahamic traditions. Unlike Judaism, it taught that much of that tradition had been corrupted by false prophets and evildoers. Like Christianity, it claimed a continuum with the prophets of old; unlike Christianity it made little use of any specific passages of the Hebrew bible, did not incorporate it into its own sacred library, and did not regard the finality of Muhammad’s prophethood to be based on any adumbration in the books of the Jews or Christians.... Islam alone found error not merely in interpretation but in the sources themselves. The idea of error was both tied to and a consequence of the doctrine of finality: Muhammad is the prophet of God in a conclusive and indubitable sense. What is contained in the book revealed to him is true beyond question.
R. Joseph Hoffmann[57]

Table of prophets in the Qur'an

The following table lists the prophets mentioned in the Qur'an. Biblical versions of names also appear where applicable:

We did aforetime send messengers before thee: of them there are some whose story We have related to thee, and some whose story We have not related to thee. It was not (possible) for any messenger to bring a sign except by the leave of Allah: but when the Command of Allah issued, the matter was decided in truth and justice, and there perished, there and then those who stood on Falsehoods.
Ghafir , 40:78
Name (Arabic & Arabic Translit.) Name (Biblical) Main Article(s) Number of times mentioned by name
Adam 25

"Adam, the first human being, ranks as the first prophet of Islam.

Enoch 2

Idris lived during a period of drought inflicted by God to punish the people of the world who had forgotten God. Idris prayed for salvation and for an end to the suffering, and so the world received rain.

Noah 43

Although best known for his role in the story of the Deluge, Nuh became a primary preacher of monotheism at his time. Muslims believe his faith in God led to his selection for building the Ark.

Eber 7

Muslims believe that only Hud, for whom the eleventh chapter of the Qur'an takes its name, and a few other people survived a great storm, similar to the Deluge five generations earlier. God inflicted the storm to punish the people of ʿĀd who had forgotten about God.

Shelah 9

According to the Qur'an God ordered Saleh to leave behind his people, the tribe of Thamud, after they disbelieved and disobeyed God's order to care for a special camel and instead killed it. In Saleh's and his followers' (believers') absence, God punished the people with an utter cry from the skies that killed his people instantly. Note that Saleh does not equate to the Shelah mentioned in the Old Testament.

Abraham 69

Muslims regard Ibrahim as one of the significant prophets, because they credit him with rebuilding the Kaaba in Mecca. His family, including his son Ishmael, also receives credit for helping create the civilization around Mecca that would later give birth to the final prophet of Islam, Muhammad. Significantly, Ibrahim almost sacrificed his son Ismail (Ishmael) to God in an event now commemorated annually by Eid al-Adha. He is also the first prophet to name the believers as Muslims" meaning "those with full submission to God".

Lot 27

Muslims know Lut best for attempting to preach against homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah, in addition to preaching for his people to believe in the Oneness of God, although his community mocked and ignored him. Islam also denies the acts which the Old Testament attributes to Lut, like drinking and becoming drunk, and having intercourse with and impregnating his two daughters.

Ishmael 12

Muslims regard Ismaïl, first-born son of Ibrahim, as a notable prophet in Islam for his near-sacrifice in adulthood. As a child he and his mother, Hajar (Hagar), searched for water in the region around Mecca, wleading God to reveal the Zamzam Well, which still flows to his day.

Isaac 17

According to Islamic tradition, Ishaq, the second-born son of Ibrahim, became a prophet in Canaan. He and his brother Ismaïl carried on the legacy of Ibrahim as prophets of Islam.

Jacob 16

The Qur'an portrays Yaqub as "of the company of the Elect and the Good".[58] He continued the legacy of both his father, Ishaq, and his grandfather, Ibrahim. Like his ancestors, he deliberately worshipped God exclusively.

Joseph 27

Yusuf, son of Yaqub and great-grandson of Ibrahim became a prominent advisor to the pharaoh of Egypt after he interpreted the pharaoh's dream which predicted the economic state of Egypt. He spent a large part of his life away from his eleven brothers, who showed jealousy of Yusuf because their father favored him. They took him out one day, telling their father that they would play and have fun, but they planned to kill him. Instead, they threw him down a well and told their father Yaqub that a wolf had eaten him. According to Islam Yusuf received the gift of half of the beauty granted to mankind.

Job 4

According to Islamic tradition, Ayyub received the reward of a fountain of youth, which removed all illnesses, except death, for his service to God in his hometown outside Al Majdal. Legend recounts that Ayyub suffered an illness for 18 years as test of patience carried out by God.

Jethro 11

Shu'ayb descended directly from Ibrahim. According to Islam, God appointed him to guide the people of Midian and Aykah, who lived near Mount Sinai. When the people of the region failed to listen to his warnings, God destroyed the disbelievers' villages. Although the Qur'an and the reported speeches of Muhammad mention that Musa married one of Shu'ayb's daughters, the Old Testament tells the same story of a man named Jethro. Some scholarsregard Jethro in the Old Testament as distinct from Shu'aib in the Qur'an.

Moses 136

Moses, whom the Qur'an refers to more than to any other prophet, had the distinction of revealing the Tawrat (Torah) to the Israelites. The Qur'an says Musa realized his connection with God after receiving commands from him during a stop at Mount Sinai. He later went on to free the enslaved Hebrews after the Egyptian pharaoh denied God's power. Musa subsequently led the freed Hebrews for forty years through the desert after they refused to obey God's command and enter the Holy Land, saying to Moses (as mentioned in the Qur'an, Sura Al-Ma'ida Qur'an 5:24, "They said: "O Moses! while they remain there, never shall we be able to enter, to the end of time. Go thou, and thy Lord, and fight ye two, while we sit here (and watch)." " On another trip to Mount Sinai during this long journey, Musa received the Tawrat and the Ten Commandments. At the end of his life, according to Islamic tradition, Musa chose to die to become closer to God instead of taking an offer that would have extended his life.

Aaron 20

Harun (Aaron) served as an assistant to his older brother Musa (Moses). In Islam, he, like Musa, received the task of saving the Israelites from the Egyptian pharaoh. He would often speak for Musa when Musa's speech-impediment prevented him from doing so himself.

ذو الكفل
most likely Ezekiel 2

The status of Dhul-Kifl as a prophet remains debatable within Islam, although all parties to the debate can agree in seeing him as a righteous man who strived in the way of God. Some studies identify Dhul-Kifl with Obadiah, mentioned in the Old Testament as taking care of a hundred prophets: see 1 Kings 18:4.

David 16

In Islam, God revealed the Zabur (Psalms) to Dawud (David). Dawud also has significance as the conqueror of Goliath. Note that Islamic tradition and the Bible differ in their accounts of the story of King David and Uriah. Islam denies acts attributed to King David in the Old Testament like sending Uriah to be killed so that David could marry his wife.

Solomon 17

Sulayman (Solomon) learned a significant amount from his father David before God made him a prophet. According to Islamic tradition, Sulayman received power to manipulate nature, including the jinn and the power to communicate with and control animals. Known for his honesty and fairness, he also headed a kingdom that extended into southern Arabia.

Elijah 2

Ilyas, a descendant of Harun (Aaron), took over control of the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula after the kingdom of Sulayman (Solomon) collapsed. Islamic tradition says he attempted to convince the people of the peninsula of the existence of only one God, but when the people refused to listen they were smitten with a drought and famine.

Elisha 2

Al-Yasa (Elisha) took over the task of leading the Israelites after the death of Ilyas (Elijah). He attempted to show the king and queen of Israel the power of God, but they dismissed him as a magician. Subsequently, the Assyrians could make people burn and inflict significant damage on them.

Jonah 4

Islamic tradition states that God commanded Yunus (Jonah) to help the people of Nineveh towards righteousness. However, after Nineveh's people refused to listen to God, Yunus became disgruntled and angry with God. After an incident where Yunus escaped death, he decided to re-commit himself to striving for God, attempting to lead the people of Nineveh to righteousness. But after the Ninevites returned to evil, illicit ways, the Scythians conquered them.[59]

Zechariah 7

A descendant of Sulayman, Zakariya (Zachariah), became a patron of Maryam (Mary) the mother of 'Isa (Jesus). According to the Qur'an, he prayed to God asking for a son, since his sterile wife al-Yashbi (Elizabeth) could not provide one. God granted his wishes, temporarily lifting his wife's sterility and allowing her to give birth to Yahya ibn Zakariyya (John).[60]

John the Baptist 5

Of Yahya (John), cousin to Isa, Islam says that, throughout his lifetime, he captivated audiences with his powerful sermons that preached Abrahamic monotheism. The Qur'an does not mention baptism.

Jesus 25

God sent one of the highest-ranked prophets in Islam, Eisa al-Maseeh, (Jesus the Messiah) to guide the Children of Israel. The Qur'an makes the nature of Jesus very clear, portraying him not as the begotten (physical) son of God, but rather as a nabi and rasul (messenger) of God.

'Isa performed many miracles with the permission of God, for example: raising the dead, creating a bird from clay, and talking as an infant. Islamic traditions states that he abstained from drinking alcohol. It also states that he received a revelation, the Injil (Gospel), though according to Islam, it subsequently suffered from distortion. Muslims believe that no crucifixion of 'Isa took place, meaning he did not die on the cross. Muslims believe that God raised Isa up to himself and that Isa will return to Earth to fight the Dajjal (the imposter) and to break the cross. The Qur'an and Saheeh Hadith tell a consistent story.

That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-

Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-

And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;-

Qur'an , Sura An-Nisa 4:157–159

From Hadith as translated:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts

Sahih al-Bukhari , Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425[61]
Ahmad أحمد: in the original Gospel and Bible 5

Habib u'l A'zam, Imam u'l Anbiya Sayyidina Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah, (53 B.H.-11 A.H.; 571-632 AD)[62] ranks as the last prophet in Islam ("seal of the Prophets"). Muslims shun [[idolatry of any of the prophets, as their messages from God hold the most weight. Muhammad appeared on earth as the son of his father 'Abdullah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib and of his mother Amina bint Wahb az-Zuhriyya. Born in Mecca in 571 AD (53 AH), Muhammad spent the first part of his life as a well-travelled merchant. He would often spend his time in the mountains surrounding Mecca in prayer contemplating the situation with the city. At the age of forty, during one of those trips to the mountain, Muhammad began to receive and recite verses from God which today make up the Qur'an. He quickly spread the message he was receiving, converting a few others in the city, including his wife. He is the last (seal) of the prophets with a message to all humanity. When oppression became intolerable for his followers, Muhammad first asked his fellow Muslims to migrate to Medina and later himself migrated to Medina away from the oppressors in Mecca. Muhammad served not just as a prophet, but as a military leader who helped defeat the Meccans in 624 during the Battle of Badr. He continued to lead the Muslims as Islam spread across the Arabian Peninsula. He performed the first hajj in 629 and established Islam in the form that Muslims still practise it. Others continued Muhammad's legacy after his death in 632, having been given the position of caliph (or successor) to Muhammad. The Five Pillars of Islam were established from his Hadiths after Muhammad's death.

Other prophets

The Qur'an mentions only 25 prophets by name but there might have many other prophets and messengers sent by the God as mentioned in the Qur'an. Many verses in the Quran discuss this:

  • "We did aforetime send messengers before thee: of them there are some whose story We have related to thee, and some whose story We have not related to thee. ..."[63]
  • "For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger, ..."[64]

Historic narratives suggest there existed a prophet named Khaled bin Sinan in pre-Islamic Arabia.

The Qur'an mentions Al-i-Imran as the father of Maryam. It does not mention Al-Khidr by name, but tradition assumes the reference Sura Al-Kahf 18:66 to relate to him. Ibn Kathir in his book mentions the Biblical prophets Danyal (Daniel), Ishaia (Isaiah), Armya (Jeremiah), and Samuel as prophets.

The Qur'an mentions Luqman in the sura named after him, but does not clearly identify him as a prophet or a wali. The most widespread Islamic belief views Luqman as a wise man, not as a prophet or as a wali. Legend recounts that Luqman had a dream, and in that dream he faced the choice between becoming a King and a wise man, and he chose the second.

Numerous other historical figures may rank as prophets, but debate and contention surround this matter. Such figures include: Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha, Socrates,[65] Merlin, Laozi, Confucius,[66] Krishna,[67] (also mentioned in some books of Hadith) and Rama. However, Muslims will argue that one cannot know this for certain, since the Qur'an does not mentioned them by name. Those in favour of counting such men as prophets often argue that they came with the word of God, but that it later became corrupted, which accounts for the differences between Islam and the various religions and philosophies associated with which each man.

Maryam mother of 'Isa

A few scholars (such as Ibn Hazm)[68] see Maryam as a nabi and a prophetess, since God sent her a message via an angel. The Qur'an, however, does not explicitly identify her as a prophet. Islamic belief regards her as a holy woman, but not as a prophet. The Qur'an usually refers to 'Isa as 'Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary), the matronymic indicating that Jesus had no father.

The world of Islam sees Maryam as a very holy and important woman. She alone of all the women in all of Islam has a sura attributed to her: Sura Maryam, the nineteenth sura of the Qu'ran.

See also


  1. See Qur'an 3:45
  2. Wheeler, Brannon M.. Prophets in the Quran: an introduction to the Quran and Muslim exegesis. Comparative Islamic studies. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 8. ISBN 9780826449573. "Ibn Sa'd [...] reports that [...] the total number of prohets is 1000. Other Muslim sources list the total number of prophets as 224,000." 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Uri Rubin, Prophets and Prophethood, Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an
  4. 4.0 4.1 A.J. Wensinck, Rasul, Encyclopaedia of Islam
  5. Strong's Concordance
  6. Albert Barnes under Malachi 2:7 and 3:1
  7. Hebrews 3:1; John 17:3; Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; Ephesians 3:5, 4:11; First Epistle to the Corinthians 28:12
  8. Qur'an 19:56
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 Qur'an 6:89
  10. Qur'an 26:107
  11. Qur'an 26:105
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Qur'an 42:13
  13. Qur'an 26:125
  14. Qur'an 7:65
  15. Qur'an 26:143
  16. Qur'an 54:25
  17. Qur'an 7:73
  18. Qur'an 19:41
  19. Qur'an 9:70
  20. Qur'an 2:124
  21. Qur'an 87:19
  22. Qur'an 22:43
  23. Qur'an 26:162
  24. Qur'an 26:160
  25. 25.0 25.1 Qur'an 19:54
  26. 26.0 26.1 Qur'an 19:49
  27. 27.0 27.1 Qur'an 21:73
  28. Qur'an 26:178
  29. Qur'an 7:85
  30. 30.0 30.1 Qur'an 19:51
  31. Qur'an 53:36
  32. Qur'an 43:46
  33. Qur'an 19:53
  34. Qur'an 17:55
  35. Qur'an 37:123
  36. Qur'an 37:124
  37. Qur'an 37:139
  38. Qur'an 10:98
  39. Qur'an 3:39
  40. Qur'an 19:30
  41. Qur'an 4:171
  42. Qur'an 4:`7` Qur'an 4:171:"Christ Jesus the son of Mary was an apostle of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in God and His apostles."
  43. Qur'an 57:27
  44. Qur'an 61:6
  45. 45.0 45.1 Qur'an 33:40
  46. "The Holy Quran: Unique among Scriptures". Discover Islam. Retrieved 2009-08-22. "The Quran is the most-read book in the world. Revealed by Allah Almighty to Prophet Muhammad , in the 7th century CE, and revered by Muslims as being Allah’s Final Scripture and Testament, its words have been lovingly recited, memorized and implemented by Muslims of every nationality ever since." 
  47. "A Brief Illustrated Guide To Understanding Islam, Muslims, and the Quran"
  48. Qur'an 16:36
  49. Qur'an 35:24
  50. Qur'an 2:151
  51. Qur'an 4:13
  52. Qur'an 4:14
  53. Qur'an 7:6–7
  54. Qur'an 17:15
  55. Qur'an 67:8–9
  56. Qur'an 4:165
  57. Hoffmann, R. Joseph (2009-05-11). "Measuring the Books: Truth Claims in Islam and its Others". Butterflies and Wheels. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  58. Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation of the Qur'an, 38:47
  59. "Prophet Yunus". The Prophets. Retrieved 2006-05-06. 
  60. "Prophet Zakariyah". The Prophets. Retrieved 2006-05-06. 
  61. Jesus in Hadith
  62. Great Muslims Of All Times
  63. Qur'an 40:78
  64. Qur'an 16:36
  65. Ahmad, Tahir (1998). "Greek Philosophy". Revelation, rationality knowledge and truth. Surrey: Islam International Publications. Retrieved 2008-11-11. "Repeated attempts have been made to pluck him away from the comity of prophets to that of mere philosophers." 
  66. Confucianism
  67. Hinduism
  68. Ibn Hazm on women's prophethood
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Prophets and messengers in Islam. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.