Feb 28, 2012

Prophets and Prophecy - Part One
Prophets of Islam – Part I

According to Islamic tradition, Allah has sent prophets to humanity since the beginning of time to communicate His message. The prophets taught the people around them about faith in Allah, and how to walk on the path of righteousness.

Islamic scholars, believe there have been over 240000 prophets in Islam, although only twenty-five prophets are mentioned by name in the Qur'an. Muslims beliefs require belief in all of the prophets and messengers.

1. Adam
Allah created Adam from clay taken from different lands, so that mankind would have white, red, black and yellow forms. He (Allah) taught Adam all the names of everything. (Ch 2:31 Qur’an).

2. Idris (Enoch)
Idris was the the 5th generation of Adam, the first of his descendants to be given prophethood. He is described as: Verily! He was a man of truth (and) a prophet. We raised him to a high station. (Ch 19:56-57 Qur’an). He is also credited to have invented the basic form of writing.

3. Nuh (Noah)
Nuh was sent as a messenger to the people to warn them of what would happen if they didn’t mend their polytheistic ways: "O my people! Verily, I am a plain Warner to you, that you should worship Allah alone, be dutiful to Him and obey me, He (Allah) will forgive you of your sins and respite you to an appointed term. Verily, the term of Allah when it comes, cannot be delayed, if you but knew." (Ch 23 Qur’an) Few of them believed and were consequently washed away in the great flood.

4. Hud
Hud was sent by Allah to the people who lived in Ad (the area between Yemen and Oman) because although they worshipped Allah, they worshipped other gods as well. The people would not listen to his warnings and were destroyed. And as for Ad, they were destroyed for a firious violent wind which Allah imposed on them for 7 nights and 8 days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed) as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees! (Ch 69:6-7 Qur’an)

5. Salih
The tribe that succeeded Ad were also idol-worshippers and were sent the prophet Salih. The people asked for a clear sign from Allah, but even after they were given it they still refused to believe. In the end they told him: "O Salih! Bring about your threats if you are indeed one of the Messengers (of Allah)." So the earthquakes seized them and they lay dead, prostrate in their homes. Then he (Salih) turned from them, and said: "O my people! I have indeed conveyed to you the Message of my Lord, and have give you good advise but you like not good advisers." (Ch 7 Qur’an)

6. Ibrahim (Abraham)
He was born in Babylonia, well known for its idol worshippers, but was endowed with spiritual understanding of Allah from an early age. He did his best to get his people to worship in Allah alone, but few of them would listen. Then one day he went into the temple and destroyed all but one of the idols. In retribution, the people created a great pit of fire and threw him in. He was, however, saved by his faith in Allah. "O fire! Be you coolness and safety for Abraham." (Ch 21:69 Qur’an)

7. Isma'il (Ishmael)
Isma’il was Abraham’s son, by Hajar. Allah instructed Abraham to take Isma’il and his mother Hajar and leave them in a desolate place. Through the striking of a heel in the earth, a spring appeared and the city of Makkah was built around it. Following divine instructions, Abraham and Ishmael built the Ka’ba, in Makkah, a house of worship for Allah. Upon completion the call went out and people from all over made the pilgrimage to Makkah. It is one of the essential obligations of the faithful to go to Makkah and perform the ritual Hajj at least once during his life time.

8. Ishaq (Isaac)
Ishaq was born to Sarah the first wife of Ibrahim nine years after the birth of Ishmael to Hajar. He lived in Kin'an and was appointed prophet towards his people by Allah. His descendants were men of high spiritual rank and character. He was inspired to do noble deeds and establish right worship, and was generous at heart.

9. Lut (Lot)
Lut was Abraham’s nephew, born in the city of Ur. Lot accompanied his uncle in his travels and when Abraham finally settled in Kin'an, Allah appointed Lut messenger to the people inhabiting the northern valley of River Jordan, specifically the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The people of this region were morally corrupt and defied the teachings of Lut, often ridiculing and torturing him. Abraham asked for assurances of the safety of Lut and his family, and two angels were sent who warned Lut to leave the region with his family. So we saved him and his family, all, except an old woman (his wife) among those who remained behind. Then afterward We destroyed the others. We rained on them a rain of torment. How evil was the rain of those who had been warned. Verily, in this is indeed a sign yet most of them are not believers. Verily! Your Lord, He is indeed the All Mighty, the Most Merciful. (Ch 26:170-175 Qur’an)

10. Ya'qub (Jacob)
Ya’qub was born at Palestine, one of the twins sons of Isaac. He is noted for carrying on his forefathers legacy of peace and wisdom, and the appointed prophet towards his people after the death of his father. He had four wives and twelve sons who became the progenitors of twelve tribes of Israel. "We gave him Ishaq and Ya'qub. Each of them We made a Prophet. And We gave them of Our mercy and assigned to them a high and true renown." (19:49,50 Qur’an)

11. Yusuf (Joseph)
Yusuf was one of the twelve sons of Jacob and granted the gift of vision at a young age. And when he (Joseph) attained his full manhood, We gave him wisdom and knowledge (the Prophethood), thus We reward the doers of good. (Ch 12:22) His brothers were jealous of the fact he was his father’s favourite and plotted to get rid of him. He ended up a slave in Egypt, where he endured many trials but continued to spread the word of Allah. Yusuf lived for one hundred and ten years. He was buried in Egypt according to the rituals of the land, and when Musa finally took the children of Israil out of Egypt, he took the coffin of Yusuf to Kin'an, to be buried alongside his ancestors.

12. Shu'aib (Jethro)
Shu'aib was appointed prophet by Allah to the people of Midyan and Aykah, who lived on the east of Mount Sinai. He preached to these morally corrupt peoples, but they wouldn’t listen. The people of Midyan were destroyed by roaring thunder and violent earth quakes. The people of Aykah were covered with darkness that emitted fire, destroying most living beings. Only Shu’aib and a handful of true believers survived these calamities.

Be sure and stop by next week for the remaining Prophets of Islam.

1 comment:

Rafael said...

Interesting that they include Enoch, which was left out of the Old Testament. His words (or attributed to him) in the Apocrypha are one of the most interesting and trippy in the whole tradition, right there with Revelation (and am sure John of Patmos ripped quite a bit from Enoch). I used his Nephelim in my second book (after a friend of mine suggested them to me) to great effect.