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  • How Many Prophets & Messengers?

    $ohail T@hir updated 2 years, 11 months ago 3 Members · 12 Replies
  • $ohail T@hir

    Moderator July 4, 2020 at 11:42 pm

    Salam – Tariq Mahmood Hashmi sb. replied to a similar question a while ago. Pls. see if it addresses your question.


    Why do we know about maximum 30-40 Prophets whereas we know that the world had seen 124,000 Prophets since its inception. Even Quran is silent about rest of the Prophets?

    Second, an automatic question of why all Prophets came in an around a particular geographical area, I mean Arab peninsula. Why not in China, Canada or South America?


    By Tariq Mahmood Hashmi

    I believe that there is no authentic information about the number of all the divine messengers. The Qur’an only names a few.

    As for the question that why all the Prophets mentioned in the Holy Qur’an were of Semitic origin.

    First of all I would like to assert that it would not be very accurate to say that all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah were of Semitic origin appearing in Arabia. Prophets and Messengers before Noah are an obvious exception.

    Though we can say that the available religious information regarding the places and nations to whom the Almighty sent Prophets and Messengers leads to the conclusion that the Almighty has selected the Peninsular Arabia and adjacent regions for the purpose of deliverance of Divine message. A chain of Prophets has been sent to establish a religious tradition to manifest the truth regarding the Hereafter in the very world. After the advent of the Prophet Abraham (sws) the institution of the Prophethood seems to be transferred to his progeny. These people after being trained by the Almighty through Prophet were raised to the status of being witness of the truth before the world (Shu`ada al annaas). They were made a symbol of the final Judgment to be taken place on the Hereafter in the very world. Whenever they remained righteous they were blessed in the very world and their opponents were surely destroyed. If, however, they abandoned the true path their matter was not put to the Hereafter rather they were punished in the very world. After the Israelites failed to discharg the duty to bear witness against the nations and for the truth the Almighty raised the Ishmaelite, another branch of the Abraham’s progeny. This happened after the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (sws). Both still enjoy the status but the Israelites have to confirm the prophethood of Muhammad (sws) and stand by the truth in order to be at the right position. Both the nations dwelt in Arabian Peninsula and the adjacent areas. This is further corroborated by the fact that none other than Abrahamic religions claims to be of divine origin. Still we cannot rule out possibility of messengers being sent to any other people of the world, as the divine sources do not deny this.

  • Sohail Amin

    Member July 5, 2020 at 12:12 am

    So simple and straight answer is “ we don’t know”. Numbers like 124k is hear and say. Now let me ask a different question, How many Prophets also had the responsibility’s As Messengers?

    • $ohail T@hir

      Moderator July 5, 2020 at 1:06 am

      We dont know the count!

  • Sohail Amin

    Member July 5, 2020 at 5:27 am

    Thank you, Being a strong believer “ Mohammed (Sws) is the last Prophet of God”. What is the evidence he is the last Messenger also?

    • Umer

      Moderator July 5, 2020 at 5:40 am

      Finality of Prophethood

      For centuries, prophets continued to come in every nation but this process has now terminated forever. It began with Adam (sws) until the time came when in one branch of the descendants of Abraham (sws), the Ishmaelites, the Prophet Muhammad (sws) arrived and the Qur’ān declared that he was the final prophet and after him there would be no prophet or messenger. Although this was evident from the predictions of various prophets but it was mentioned in the Qur’ān at the instance when the Almighty asked the Prophet (sws) to marry the divorced wife of Zayd Ibn Hārithah (rta). This directive was given to reform an evil custom of the jāhiliyyah period regarding adopted children. Consequently, it was said that since he is the last prophet, it is essential that this evil custom be set right through him. Had there been another prophet after him, the Almighty could possibly have delayed this matter. Since this was not to be the case, the Prophet Muhammad (sws) would have to fulfill this responsibility:

      مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا (٤٠:٣٣)

      Muhammad is the father of no man among you but he is the prophet of God and the seal of the prophets and God has knowledge of all things. (33:40)

      One expression used in this verse is خَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ (khātam al-nabiyyīn). The word خَاتَمَ (khātam) in Arabic means “a seal”. A seal is used to seal something or to testify to something. In this verse, the Prophet Muhammad (sws) has been regarded as the seal of the prophets. The context and occasion in which this word occurs here shows that it is used in the first meaning referred to above and the meaning of the verse is that through Prophet Muhammad (sws) the institution of prophet was sealed. There is now no possibility of the advent of any further prophet or messenger. However, if someone insists that the word has been used in the second meaning above and if for the sake of discussion we accept this view, then too the result would be no different. In this case, the verse would mean that without his testimony no one’s prophethood can be accepted. No doubt that we profess faith in prophets prior to Muhammad (sws) because of his own testimony about them and this is also a reality that he has neither foretold the advent of any prophet after him nor made such a testimony. In fact, he has repeatedly declared in clear and explicit words that he himself is the last of the prophets. Furthermore, he has also made it clear that not only the rank and position of prophethood has been terminated its essence has also been terminated. Thus no possibility remains for a person to receive divine revelations or visions or to converse and come in contact with God. After the termination of the institution of prophethood, all these things have ended too.

      Following are the sayings of the Prophet (sws) in this regard:


      كانت بنو إسرائيل تسوسهم الأنبياء كلما هلك نبي خلفه نبي وإنه لا نبي بعدي وسيكون خلفاء

      Leaders of the Israelites were their prophets. When one prophet would pass away, another would succeed him. But there will be no prophet after me; there will only be successors.[1]


      مثلي ومثل الأنبياء من قبلي كمثل رجل بنى بيتا فأحسنه وأجمله إلا موضع لبنة من زاوية فجعل الناس يطوفون به ويعجبون له ويقولون هلا وضعت هذه اللبنة قال فأنا اللبنة وأنا خاتم النبيين

      I and the prophets before me can be likened to a person who constructed a beautiful building but in a corner there was a gap for a brick. People would roam around this building and express their wonder on it and would ask: “Why was this brick not placed [there].” He said: “I am that brick and I am the seal of the prophets.”[2]


      لم يبق من النبوة إلا المبشرات قالوا وما المبشرات قال الرؤيا الصالحة

      “Nothing remains of prophethood except for things which give glad tidings.” They asked: “What are these?” He replied: “Good dreams.”[3]

      (Translated from Ghamidi’s Mīzān by Shehzad Saleem)


      1. Bukhārī, No: 3455.

      2. Bukhārī, No: 3525.

      3. Bukhārī, No: 6990.

  • Sohail Amin

    Member July 5, 2020 at 6:50 am

    Dear Umer; carefully read your answer and it is similar what we already aware of, aren’t you are mixing two different domain? There is no doubt about خاتمالنبئین . My concerned is about خاتمالمرسلئین . And hope you won’t mix it up and create a confusion. Both places, Qur’an and Hadith clearly saving about prophet and prophecy, Not about Messenger. Is there any evidence or example which in Qur’an or by Hadith shows regarding Messengerرسول?

    • Umer

      Moderator July 5, 2020 at 7:15 am

      Kindly define these terms for me as to how you differentiate between Nabi & Rasul?

  • Sohail Amin

    Member July 5, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    That’s why need guidance from someone like Javaid Ahmed Ghamdi with such a huge knowledge and research.

  • Sohail Amin

    Member July 5, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    The Difference between Messenger and Prophet

    reference : al Mizan 3 , Allameh Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai

    Allah uses two words for those who received His revelations so as to guide people

    to the right path. These words are rasul (apostle, messenger, ÇáÑÓæá ) and nabi (prophet, ÇáäÈí ), which divide, or almost divide, them into two groups, Allah says: … and the prophets and the witnesses shall be brought up. . . (39:69); On the day when Allah will assemble the apostles, then say.’ What answer were you given? (5:109) Rasul (ÇáÑÓæá ) means the one who brings the message (risalah, ÇáÇáÑÓÇáÉ ) ; nabi ÇáäÈí is the one who brings the news (naba’, ÇáäÈà ). Rasul (ÇáÑÓæá ) has the distinction of being an intercessor (or intermediary) between Allah and His creatures. Nabi (ÇáäÈí ) has the distinction of having the knowledge of Allah and from Allah.

    It is said that rasul (ÇáÑÓæá ) is the one who is sent by Allah and commissioned to convey the divine message to the people; and nabi (ÇáäÈí ) is the one who is sent by Allah, whether he is told to convey the message or not. According to this interpretation, the relationship between the Apostle and Prophet is such that all apostles are prophets but not all the prophets are apostles.

    But the words of Allah do not support this view. For example, Allah says: And remember Musa in the Book; surely he was one purified and was an apostle, a prophet. (19:51) The aim of this verse is to praise Musa and show his greatness and in such a context the adjectives should progress from general to distinctive and not vice versa.

    Also at another place, Allah says: And We did not send before you any apostle or prophet but … (22:52) This verse joins the apostles and the prophets together and then uses the verb “to send” (irsai, ÇáÇÑÓÇá ) for both, making all of them apostle (mursal, ÇáãÑÓá ).

    But there are other verses which apparently show that everyone who was sent by Allah to people was a prophet. See, for example, … and the book shall be laid down, and the prophets and the witnesses shall be brought up … (39:69); … but he is the Apostle of Allah and the Last of the prophets … (33:40); and also the verse under discussion, …so Allah sent the prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners … All these verses show that the prophets were sent with a divine message to people. Then what is the significance of the verse mentioned above, and was an apostle and a prophet? Probably, the two words have been used here in their literal sense: Musa was a Messenger of Allah and had the knowledge and information of the signs of Allah and His secrets.

    Likewise, the next-mentioned verse (And We did not send before you any apostle or prophet but…) may be taken to mean that the prophet and the apostle both are sent to the people, but the prophet is sent to convey to them information of the unseen, as he knows the divine secrets, and the apostle is sent to bring them something more than a prophetic communication. This may be inferred from the verses, like: And every people had an apostle; so when their apostle came, the matter was decided between them with justice… (10:47) and nor we chastise until We raise an apostle. (17:15) Accordingly, the prophet explains to people what is good for their lives in this world and in the hereafter, the roots of the religion and its branches, as the mercy of Allah decides to guide the people to their bliss and felicity; and the apostle brings to people a special message to complete the proof over them, a message, rejection of which brings destruction and chastisement in its wake. Allah says: that there may not remain any argument for people against Allah after the apostles. (4:165)

    In short, the words of Allah do not show any difference between the two except what appears from their literal meaning. And it leads us to the same conclusion which we have mentioned earlier, i.e., apostle has the distinction of being an intercessor (or intermediary) between Allah and His creatures, and the prophet has the distinction of having the knowledge of Allah and from Allah.

    We shall later quote the traditions of the Imams of Ahlu’l-bayt about the difference between an apostle and a prophet.

    The Qur`an very clearly says that there were numerous prophets, and that Allah has not described all of them in His Book. For example, Allah says: And certainly We sent apostles before you: there are some of them that We have mentioned to you and there are others whom We have not mentioned to you… (40:78)


    • $ohail T@hir

      Moderator July 5, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      The Qur’an has used the words “Nabi” (literally meaning: “one who informs”) and Rasu’l” (literally meaning: “one who delivers a message”) as terms as well as in their literal meanings. In their literal meaning, these words have also been used interchangeably. However, as terms of the Qur’an the two words have been used in a more qualified and distinct implication.

      “Nabi”, as a term of the Qur’an refers to individuals selected by the Almighty for the specific purpose of delivering the message revealed to him from God and to remind people of the Day when they shall be presented before the Almighty and shall have to answer for their deeds. In other words, “Nabi” is an individual who guides his people to the path of the Creator’s liking, in the light of the message revealed to him.

      On the other hand, “Rasu’l” (as a term of the Qur’an) is a special position, which was given only to a few of the “Nabis”. Every “Nabi” is not necessarily a “Rasu’l”. According to the details provided by the Qur’an regarding the position of “Rasu’l”, the following points can be derived:

      God sends His “Rasu’ls” as symbols of His final Judgment. A “Rasu’l”, in contrast to a “Nabi” is not just a deliverer of God’s message. In addition to being a deliverer of God’s message, he decides the fate of his addressees, on the basis of the response that he receives from them. The Qur’an, regarding “Rasu’ls” says:

      “Those who oppose God and His Rasu’ls shall be brought low. God has decreed: I will surely triumph, Myself and My Rasu’ls. God is Most Powerful, Mighty.” (Al-Mujadilah 58: 20, 21)

      It should be quite clear from this clarification, that though “Nabi” and “Rasu’l” are separate designations of the Qur’an and all Nabis are not Rasu’l, yet all “Rasu’ls” are “Nabis” too.

      Thus when the Qur’an said that Mohammad (pbuh) is “the seal of Nabis”, it automatically implies that the Qur’an holds him as the seal of “Rasu’ls” too, because a person who is a “Rasu’l”, according to the Qur’an, has to be a “Nabi” first.

      (Moiz Amjad)

    • $ohail T@hir

      Moderator July 5, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Prophets are personalities whom the Almighty reveals divine guidance so that they can guide people. However, not every Prophet is a Messenger.

      Messengerhood is a position bestowed to only some prophets. According to its details furnished by the Quran, a Rasul (Messenger) decides the fate of his addressees and implements the judgement of God on them in this very world. The Quran informs us that this final phase in the preaching endeavor of a Rasul comes after it passes through the phases of:

      1. indhar [warning]
      2. indhar-i ‘am [common, augmented and pronounced warning]
      3. itmam al-hujjah [Conclusive conveyance of truth, communicating the truth to the extent that no one among its addressees is left with an excuse to deny it.] and
      4. hijrah wa bara’ah [Migration and acquittal]. It is in this phase that the divine court of justice is set up on this earth. Punishment is meted out to the rejecters of the truth and those who have accepted it are rewarded, and, in this way, a miniature Day of Judgement is witnessed on the face of the earth.

      Adapted from Meezan by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Principles of interpretation of Quran, section vii – Subject-Matter of the Quran

    • $ohail T@hir

      Moderator July 5, 2020 at 3:33 pm

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