Introduction to the PROPHETS AND MESSENGERS
WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT TO US?
The belief in the Prophets and Messengers – by most accounts, over 124,000 of them – is a fundamental pillar of the Islamic faith.
The Creator has guided mankind throughout its history. From the first man to have walked the earth to subsequent propagators of Islam who came in the form of Messengers and Prophets, they are humankind’s role models of the highest order.
History has shown that mankind tends to forget the original message of Allah, and over generations, the message tends to get wiped out, embellished or corrupted. It is the sunnah (sequence) of Allah that Prophets and Messengers are sent down to lead their people when they have strayed too far from the message and are in need of drastic guidance, by reminding them of the original message and guidance of Allah.
Allah has sent Messengers and Prophets in the form of men, so that they are able to better identify with the communities they have been assigned to guide. If Allah had chosen to send angels or other beings to preach to mankind, these communities would no doubt have rejected the Message on the basis that it comes from a different species and therefore incomprehensible and impossible to be implemented by normal men. Psychologically, it was important that the Prophets and Messengers were seen to be involved in the daily routines of their flock, including the necessity to eat and to shop at their markets. It was also always the case that the Prophets and Messengers were from within the same communities of those they are attempting to guide, rather than strangers from faraway lands. One is better to get a point across if he speaks the same language and understands the cultural background of his flock.
As the Messengers and Prophets were sent down to corrupt and disbelieving communities, they were tasked with the duty of guiding nations who were essentially hostile. Despite the environment in which they were placed and the provocation, death threats and assassination attempts they had to face, Messengers and Prophets consistently emulated peaceful and patient behaviour. Many of them suffered hardship in their attempts to establish the Word of God, with opposition coming from all quarters, including from their own close family members.
These were men who underwent extraordinary experiences in the course of spreading the message and establishing justice on earth. The sum of their lives cannot be reduced to entertaining tales. The Qur'an contains no redundancies - each story of the Prophets and Messengers is an important lesson to us all.
As for the message, it has been the same from time immemorial – La ilaha illallah – There is no God but Allah. This is the core message that all the Messengers and Prophets establish, remind and emphasise to their people.
Read about the lives of the Messengers and Prophets, presented in a way that will make you understand, appreciate and love them and to understand the Message that they all lived and died for.