05 Nov Belief in Prophets: Part 3
THE ATTRIBUTES OF PROPHETS AND THEIR HIGH VIRTUES
Prophethood is quite a heavy and big load. When Prophets carried out their duties they followed important orders and principles. Some of them are as follows:
1. Sidq (Loyalty): It means honesty. It is one of the most important characteristics of Prophets.
2. Amanah (Trust): It means to be reliable. Prophets are the most reliable and trustworthy people.
3. Ismah (Innocence): It means not to commit sins, to be protected from committing sins. Prophets were freed and forgiven from any sins by Allah.
4. Fatanah (Intelligence): It means to be clever and intelligent. Prophets were created so talented as to understand the orders of Allah and the happenings.
5. Tabligh (Conveying): It means to inform, to convey. To command the good things and to forbid the evil things are the fundamental duties of Prophets.
6. Altruism and not asking anything: Prophets never asked any money for the services they offered; on the contrary they sacrificed their interests.
7. Divine consent: Prophets always depended on divine consent in their services.
They are human, and the only difference between us and them is that Allah had chosen them to receive His revelation and convey His divine message, as the Qur’an says, “We have only ever sent before you men to whom We revealed the message.” (Al-Anbiyyaa’, 7) Therefore, they have no divine attributes whatsoever. They are mere human beings who attained perfect physical appearance and enjoyed impeccable moral traits. They are also the most honorable of people in lineage and enjoyed sound judgement and clear, persuasive speech, which entitled them to assume the responsibility of conveying the divine message and bear the burden of prophethood. Almighty Allah ﷻ has only chosen messengers from among people so that they can set a good example for them, and so that people can follow in their footsteps, which they can possibly do.
Allah ﷻ has chosen them from among people so they can convey the divine message to people, as the Qur’an states, “Say: ‘I am only a human being like you who has received revelation. Your god is One God. So let him who hopes to meet his Lord act rightly and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord.’” (Al-Kahf, 110) It is clear, therefore, that prophethood cannot be attained as a result of spiritual purity, intelligence or mental logic, for the task of prophethood can only be determined by divine will, and Allah ﷻ knows best whom to appoint as His messengers, as the Qur’an states, “Allah knows best upon whom to bestow His message.” (Al-An‛aam, 124)
They are infallible in the sense that they do not make mistakes when conveying Allah’s message to the people and executing what Allah has revealed to them.
Truthfulness: They are truthful in their words and deeds, as the Qur’an states, “This is what the Most promised, and the messengers told the truth.” (Yaa Seen, 52)
Patience and Perseverance: They called to Allah’s religion, bringing good news and giving warning, and were subjected to various forms of harm and hardships, but they patiently bore all that for the sake of making the word of Allah reign supreme, as the Qur’an states, “So be steadfast as the Messengers with firm resolve were also steadfast.” (Al-Ahqaaf, 35)
WHAT DOES BELIEF IN THE PROPHETS INCLUDE?
To believe that their message was truly from Allah ﷻ and that Allah had sent them with the same message, namely, to worship Allah alone and to avoid false gods, as the Qur’an states, “We sent a messenger among every people saying: ‘Worship Allah and keep clear of all false gods.’” (An-Nahl, 36)
Laws may vary as to the do’s and don’ts of the message with which prophets were sent to their people, depending on what laws suited their people best, as the Qur’an states, “For each [community to which a Messenger was sent with a Book] have We appointed a law and a practice.” (Al-Maa’idah, 48)
To believe in all the prophets and messengers. We believe in those prophets whom Allah has named, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon all of them. As for those whom He has not named, we believe in all of them in general. Those who disbelieve the message of one single prophet is considered to have disbelieved in all of them.
To believe the authentic reports and accounts of the prophets and their miracles mentioned in the Qur’an and in the Prophet’s traditions, such as the story of Allah’s parting the Red Sea for Moses u.
To act according to the dictates of the law revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who was the seal of the prophets and the best of all of them.
Belief in Muhammad (pbuh) Prophet and Messenger
- We believe that Muhammad ﷺ was Allah’s servant and messenger, that he is the best of all mankind without exception, the seal of the prophets and so there will be no prophet after him. He Fully delivered the divine message assigned to him, discharged his prophetic duties, sincerely counselled the Muslim community, and strove hard for the cause of Allah to the best of his ability.
- We believe what he said, obey his commands and avoid the acts he prohibited and warned us against. We must worship Allah according to his guidance (Sunnah) and take none but him as our example. The Qur’an says, “You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who hope for Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much.” (Al-Ahzaab, 21)
- We must show more love for the prophet ﷺ than for our own parents, children and indeed all humankind. “None of you will be a true believer,” the prophet ﷺ once observed, “until he loves me more than his parents, his children and all mankind.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 15 and Saheeh Muslim: 44). However, true love for the prophet ﷺ can only be realized by following his Sunnah. Indeed, true happiness and complete guidance cannot be attained without obeying him, as the Qur’an states, “If you obey him, you will be guided.’ The Messenger is only responsible for delivering the message clearly.” (An-Noor, 54)
- We must accept everything he has brought to us from Almighty Allah, adhere to his Sunnah, holding his guidance in high esteem, as the Qur’an states, “By your Lord, they will not be true believers until they seek your arbitration in their disputes and find within themselves no doubt about what you decide and accept it wholeheartedly.” (An-Nisaa’, 65)
- We must avoid disobeying his orders, for doing so is bound to lead to trials, misguidance and a severe punishment in the hereafter, as the Qur’an states, “Those who oppose his command should beware of a testing trial coming to them or a painful punishment striking them.” (An-Noor, 63)
Characteristics of Prophet Muhammad’s Message
Prophet Muhammad’s message has a number of characteristics which distinguish it from the previous divine messages. These include:
- It was the final divine message, as the Qur’an states, “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Final Seal of the Prophets.” (Al-Ahzaab, 40)
- It abrogated all previous messages and laws, and thus no religion will be acceptable to Allah after Muhammad’s mission except Islam. This can only be done by following Prophet Muhammad’s guidance. Similarly, no one will be admitted into Paradise without following in his footsteps, for he is the most honorable of all Allah’s messengers, his community (ummah) is the best community that has ever been brought forth for the good of mankind and his law is the most comprehensive of all divine laws. The Qur’an says, “If anyone desires anything other than Islam as a religion, it will not be accepted from him, and in the next world he will be among the losers.” (Aal-‛Imraan, 85) The prophet ﷺ also said, «By Him in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, any person of this Community, Jew or Christian, who hears of me and dies without believing in what I have been sent with will be among the inhabitants of Hell.” (Saheeh Muslim: 153; Musnad Ahmad: 8609)
- It is addressed to both the jinn and mankind. Recounting the statements of some of the jinn who embraced Islam, the Qur’an states, “Our people, respond to Allah’s caller and believe in Him.” (Al-Ahqaaf, 31) Addressing Muhammad r, the Qur’an also says, “We only sent you for the whole of mankind, bringing good news and giving warning.” (Saba’, 28) In this connection, the prophet ﷺ said, “I have been favored over the other prophets in six ways: I have been given the gift of concise yet comprehensive speech; I have been supported with fear [which Allah cats into my enemies’ hearts]; war booty has been made permissible for me; the entire earth has been made a means of purification and a place of worship for me; I have been sent to all of mankind; and the line of Prophets ends with me.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 2815; Saheeh Muslim: 523)