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"And mention Moses in the Book;
he was one purified, and he was a messenger, a prophet" <Qur'an Mariam
"And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet..."
<Qur'an Al-Hajj 22:52>
A prophet (nabi) or messenger (rasul) of God is a human being to whom God gives His guidance and whom He charges with the task of conveying that guidance to the people so that they recognise the oneness of God and forbid wrong and enjoin what is right. A prophet and a messenger both speak by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of God is expressed. He is sent to communicate to his knowledge of the unseen (supernatural) that Allah (s.w.t.) has informed him about, and is a person gifted with profound moral insight and exceptional powers of expression. Whereas a messenger is sent with a special mission added to the foundation of prophecy. He is the bearer of a special mission that includes the completion of a plea that, if breached, necessitates destruction or torment. Allah says "...so that people should not have a plea against Allah after them (coming of) messengers."<Qur'an Al-Nisaa 4:165>
"And certainly We sent messengers
before you; there are some of them that We have mentioned to you and there are
others whom we have not mentioned to you" <Qur'an Ghafir 40:78>
"Of some messengers we have already told thee the story;
of others we have not...." <Qur'an-Nisaa 4:164>
God sent to humanity many Prophets. According to hadith, Abu Zar quotes Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) as saying that the prophets were 124.000. May the blessings of God be upon them all. The only thing we are sure about is what is clearly mentioned in the Qur'an, that is, God has sent a Messenger (or more) to every nation. Owing to the fact that God never calls a people to account unless He has made clear to them what to do and what not to do. The Qur'an mentions the names of 25 prophets and indicates that there have been others who were not mentioned to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).The ones mentioned in the Holy Book are the following, peace be upon them all:
The 26th Prophet who is referred to in the Quran is Hadhrat Samuel (pbuh).
However, the Quran has not given his name, but has presented him as "a
prophet of Bani-Israel" after Hadhrat Músa (pbuh) (this is mentioned
in Surah Al-Baqara, verses 246-248).
"And those who believe in Allah
and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them (in belief),
to them He
Allah sent a chain of prophets with revelations to transform humanity from a state of jahiliyya (ignorance) to one of Islam (submission to His will). Allah says in the noble Quran, that we have been created only to worship Him, in the way that it is only through His worship that we could flourish to full capacities of our inborn qualities.
"I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me." <Qur'an-Zariyat 51:56> Muslims have to believe in all the prophets and messengers of God, equally, without distinction, wherever they may have appeared, whether mentioned or not in the Qur'an. Human beings must therefore live according to the laws of Allah. Thanks to his mercy, He sent messengers and prophets throughout the ages so that mankind might be guided to the truth. Those who were enlightened by the messengers of God, found the way to the Divine Presence and attained the highest rank of humanity.
Prophets were sent to both mankind and jinn in order to preach the oneness of God and teach through personal example. Each prophet was first and foremost submitted to God which is why previous prophets are called "Muslims" in the Holy Qur'an, being not only teachers but followers of God's guidance.