Muslims believe that, throughout the course of history, Allah has chosen prophets from among humans to spread His message and call people to worship Him alone. There are 25 prophets mentioned by name in the Qur’an and many of their stories are similar to those told in the Bible. However, Muslims believe that many other prophets were sent, some estimating the figure to be around 124,000 in total.
Around 25 prophets are mentioned in the Qur’an, some of their Islamic and biblical names are given below:
Adam ( Adam ) Idris ( Enoch ) Nuh ( Noah ) Hud ( Eber ) Saleh (Shaloh) Ibrahim ( Abraham ) Lut ( Lot ) Isma’il ( Ishmael ) Ishaq ( Isaac ) Yaqub ( Jacob ) Yusuf ( Joseph ) Ayoub ( Job ) Shu‘aib ( Jethro ) Musa ( Moses ) Harun ( Aaron ) Dhul-Kifl ( Ezekiel ) Daud ( David ) Sulayman ( Solomon ) Ilyas ( Elijah ) Al-Yasa ( Elisha ) Yunus ( Jonah ) Zakariya ( Zechariah ) Yahya ( John ) Isa ( Jesus ) Muhammad
Unlike in other religions, Islam places great importance on the fact that these prophets were just human beings and do not have any divine qualities. They were chosen by Allah as exemplary humans to guide their communities back to the straight path of worshipping Allah and obeying His commands.
The majority of Prophets were chosen to spread the simple message of calling people to worship the one true God, Allah, and to abandon their lives of sin to follow Allah’s commands. However, some prophets were given specific revelations in the form of holy books. These prophets are known as a ‘rasul’, which means messenger.
The Prophets to whom holy books were revealed were:
• Ibrahim (Abraham) who was given the Scrolls, known in Arabic as the ‘Suhuf’ • Dawud (David) who was given the Psalms, known as the ‘Zabur’ • Musa (Moses) who was given the Torah, known as the ‘Tawraat’ • Isa (Jesus) who was given the Bible, known as the ‘Injeel’ • Muhammad who was given the Qur’an, the last and final revelation.
Although each prophet from Adam to Jesus was sent to their specific community, Muslims believe that Allah chose Muhammad to spread His message to all mankind. The revelation of the Qur’an was designed for all human beings to follow and therefore no further prophet after completion of the Qu’ran is needed since the final message of the Qur’an is preserved by God.