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Why Are Some Prophets Better Than Others?

Questioner

James

Reply Date

Feb 23, 2019

Question

Muslims claim that Jesus is a Prophet while he has so many divine aspects, at least according to Christians. Can you please clarify the attribute differences between prophets and God and other prophets since it seems to me that some prophets are more qualified (were given more power) than others?

Consultant

Answer


Prophets Better

Short Answer: You have asked about the difference between God and the prophets. Your question arises against the background of certain religions that have raised the status of their prophets to divinity. But any discerning person can see that prophets are beings apart from God; and that they are chosen and sent by God.

………….

Salam (Peace) James,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question. Please find the first part of the answer below. Find the second and final part at this link.

You have asked about the difference between God and the prophets. Your question arises against the background of certain religions that have raised the status of their prophets to divinity. But any discerning person can see that prophets are beings apart from God; and that they are chosen and sent by God.

We read in the Holy Quran that God will send His Guidance to mankind so that it is up to us to accept it or ignore it:

{[For although] We did say, “Down with you all from this [state],” there shall, none the less, most certainly come to you guidance from Me: and those who follow My guidance need have no fear, and neither shall they grieve; but those who are bent on denying the truth and giving the lie to Our messages – they are destined for the fire, and therein shall they abide} (Quran 2:38-39)

And we may read the following verses too:

{And there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them (in the past)} (Quran 35:24

{To every people (there has been) a guide.} (Quran 13:7)

The above verses clearly show that from the very beginning of humanity on earth, Allah Almighty had been sending His prophets to people who were living in different parts of the world at different stages of human history.

Obviously God is the Almighty Creator-Sustainer of the whole universe and everything in it. And the prophets are part of His creation: they are humans chosen by God for a special mission. It is God Who gave them all their powers and capabilities, and so God is far above them:

{SAY: “He is the One God; God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being. He begets not, and neither is He begotten; and there is nothing that could be compared with Him.} (Quran 112:1-4)

Now about the differences between prophets: First, we need to understand that the prophets came to their respective people at different periods of history. It is true that the message they conveyed was basically the same; but the people they addressed, the immediate issues they confronted, the language they used, etc., were all typical of their time and place. Thus their mission was particularly suited to the historical context that called for it.

The first prophet was the first man Adam (peace be upon him-PBUH). He had the duty of conveying the Guidance of Allah to his family, which was humankind at its infancy.

A few generations later, there came Prophet Abraham – Ibrahim (PBUH)) – whose mission was wider in scope and more significant in the history of prophets. Then there were several prophets including David, Moses, Jesus and last of all Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

The mission of each of these prophets was unique and all of them fulfilled their assigned duties in the best manner possible. 

It is God who chose them and sent them to the world. If God made a distinction between prophets, by giving some of them more power than others, it is His privilege. But as humans we have no right to discriminate between the prophets. God says in the Quran:

{Say: “We believe in God, and in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, and that which has been bestowed upon Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and that which has been vouchsafed to Moses and Jesus; and that which has been vouchsafed to all the [other] prophets by their Sustainer [God]: we make no distinction between any of them. And it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves.} (Quran 2:136)

As you can see from the verse above, God has commanded us to respect and honor all His prophets alike.

And God knows best. I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Were All Prophets from Arabia?

Were Prophets and Companions Infallible?

Is Prophet Muhammad Superior to Other Prophets?

Who was Jesus?




About Professor Shahul Hameed

Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.


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