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How Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Spoke of Other Prophets

How Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Spoke of Other Prophets

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was fully aware of the bond of faith and message that connects him with the blessed chain of Prophets.

In any relevant situation where any of the Prophets is recalled or referred to, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) affectionately highlights this bond by humbly and positively referring to other prophets as brothers in Prophethood.

He humbly and appreciatively mentioned the merits that other prophets were endowed with. Ibn Abbas narrates, for example that the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The first to be clothed on the Day of Resurrection will be Abraham.” (Al-Bukhari)

Far from being jealous, he proudly talks about his brother Suleiman (Solomon) as the owner of a tremendous kingdom, the likes of which no person has or ever will.  Abdullah ibn Amr narrated that the Prophet said “Suleiman asked Allah the Exalted for a kingdom that no one after him would have, and he (Suleiman) was given it.” (An-Nasa’i)

Abu Huraira narrated that Allah’s Messenger said,

Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.“(Al-Bukhari)

Muhammad states that he loves and appreciates `Isa (Jesus), as another Hadith supports, as the messenger that was sent immediately before Muhammad. Furthermore, he commends `Isa because he was not touched by the Satan when he was born as everyone was. Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said

Satan touches every son of Adam on the moment he/she is born, except for Mary and her son.” (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah also narrated that one Muslim and one Jew started to argue and went into verbal fight and abuse. The Muslim swore, “By Him Who preferred Muhammad over all people!” The Jew swore, “By Him Who preferred Musa over all people!”

The Muslim then slapped the Jew on his face as he took what the Jew said as insult to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

The Jew went to the Messenger of Allah and told him about the incident. The Prophet said:

Do not say I am better than Musa. All Mankind will faint on the Day of Judgment and I will be the first to recover to find that Moses at that time will be holding the side of (God’s) Throne.

I do not know if he would faint and recover before me, or if Allah will make an exception for him because he fainted on earth once“.  (Muslim)

In another narration of the same hadith, the Prophet was very angry; anger was manifest on his face features and he commanded not getting involved in such comparisons between Prophets.

One day, Prophet Muhammad went to the city of Ta’if to invite its people to Islam. He was fiercely rejected, stoned even by the children.

He and his servant took shelter near a vineyard. The orchard worker offered them some grapes. The worker heard Muhammad saying uncommon phrases before he was about to eat. The Prophet asked the man where he was from. The man said “I am a Christian from “Nineveh” (north of Iraq).

The Prophet compassionately remembers his brother in Prophethood and said, “You are from the same city as Yunus (Jonah) the son of Matta?

The man was puzzled by the fact that Muhammad would know Jonah and asked “How do you know him?”

The Prophet responded, “He is my brother, He is a Prophet, and I am also a Prophet.” (Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum)

When one person once talked to the Prophet and called him ‘the best of creation,’ he immediately and humbly corrected him saying “That is Abraham (peace and blessings be upon him)“.  (Muslim)

Although Prophet Muhammad was honored by being the seal of the Prophets, he lived humbly recognizing other Prophets in appreciation and respect and love.  He said

O people, Fear Allah and do not be tricked by Satan. I am Muhammad the son of `Abdullah. I am the servant of Allah and His Messenger. I do not like that you raise me above the position that Allah the Exalted has given me“. (Ahmad)

Now more than ever, Muslims are required to recall and put into practice the humility achieved through this kind of bond.

Muslims should remember that they are meant to be a mercy to Mankind. They should welcome people from any religious and ethnic background.

When the Prophet migrated to Madinah, he remained respectful of Christianity and Judaism. Madinah welcomed a 60-member Christian delegation from the city of Najran. In a respectful and appropriate setting, both Muslims and Christians debated and discussed their beliefs. When the discussion was over, the Najran Christians made their way home peacefully.

This spirit of mercy and compassion embodied so strongly and consistently throughout the Prophet Muhammad’s life should be an example for not only Muslims, but our Islamic centers, our Imams, our MSAs, and every Islamic association.

We should note what Allah said in surat Al-Ma’idah:

{Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. } (Al-Ma’idah 5:48)


About Dr. Talaat Pasha

Talaat Pasha has a doctorate in Arabic and linguistics. He chaired the department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Bahrain. He is now a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan, USA.

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