020 All the messengers of Allah (s.w.t.) are valid
Just like one must believe in Allah, His angels and books for a proper and absolute faith, it is similarly compulsory to believe that the messengers of Allah (s.w.t.) who communicated them to us are valid.
"The first prophet is Adam (a.s) and the last is Mohammad Mustapha (s.a.w). Many prophets lived in between them. Only God knows the number of those messengers. Twenty seven of them whose names are known are listed below:
Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Hud, Salih, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Lot, Shuaib, Moses, Joshua, Aaron, David, Solomon, Jonah, Elias, Elisha, Ezekiel, Zechariah, John, Jesus, Muhammad Mustapha (s.a.w). The twenty five other than Seth and Joshua are mentioned in Quran. Other than these, the names Ezra, Luqman and Dhul-Qarnayn are also mentioned in Quran but although some claim that these three and also Tubba and Khidr are prophets, some others claim that they are walis."
Dear readers, as I mention when the occasion arises, the universe is a divine order and nothing it contains is aimless, arbitrary and accidental. Allah (s.w.t.) has created nothing in vain and similarly he does not say anything in vain.
"Not without purpose did We create heaven and earth and all between!" [Sad, 27]
Now I want to attract your attention to something. Let's say you got up in the morning. You had your breakfast. You came by your car in order to go to work. You checked the level of gasoline and the pressure of tyres. And you also wanted to check the engine oil. You opened the hood. You looked into everything. Would you see there anything unnecessary or functionless? Each piece there is interconnected with others and organized so as to fulfill a certain function. Each piece has been manufactured with certain characteristics for fulfilling its function in the best way. Some of them are of steel, some of them rubber, and some plastic…
Dear readers, when the incapable human beings place everything in order in a simple mechanism such as an automobile, how can Allah, who is the Creator of human beings, their intellects, thoughts, knowledge, behaviors and works, ever create anything aimless and functionless in the order that He has established? I humbly explained these in detail with some examples in a series of articles starting with the writing entitled "Understanding the Divine Order -1- ". There is a perfect order and organization in the universe. Everything in the universe is interconnected with each other. Everything has been created for a certain purpose and they all have been equipped with some certain design and features for fulfilling their specific functions.
So the prophets who were sent to tell people about their own Creator, teach them the provisions of the Creator for separating truth from falsehood, in short, to provide them with a divine training in order to enable them to reach a moral dignity were also created so as to possess some certain qualities. These characteristics as identified by our scholars of Islamic law are:
"1. Reliability: Prophets are reliable persons in every sense.
2. Righteousness: Prophets are righteous in their words and works.
3. Communication: All of the commands and prohibitions and all the provisions relating to social ethics that they communicate are nothing other than the revelations and news communicated to them by Allah.
4. Justice: Prophets are just. They never tyrannize or commit any unfairness.
5. Innocence: Prophets never commit any sin, minor or major.
6. Intelligence: Prophets are very intelligent and very understanding people.
7. No Dismissal: Prophets are never dismissed from prophethood either in the world or in the hereafter."
These characteristics are not gained subsequently but these outstanding individuals are born from their mothers with these characteristics so to say.
All of our prophets since the time of Adam (pbuh) are ]distinguished individuals assigned to familiarize people with Allah, who is the only Creator, keep people away from bad behaviors and ensure the dominance of the rules of proper living in accordance with His divine order. So prophets should not be deified. They are all human beings just like us. However, as explained above, they are a source of compassion possessing extraordinary characteristics. Humanity, either religious or irreligious, has learned all social ethics, all humane values from them. So we should not distinguish them from each other in terms of their mission.
"The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. 'We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers.' And they say: We hear, and we obey: (we seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys." [Baqarah, 285]
On the other hand, our Lord has made some of them superior to others with respect to their degrees as stated in the verses:
"We made some prophets to excel others. " [Isra, 55]
"Those messengers We endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honor);" [Baqarah, 253]
Especially Rasulullah (s.a.w.) has been honored with the introduction of the most perfect judgments in parallel to the development of humanity. He has gathered in himself the highest virtue that humanity can ever reach. Therefore, those who follow him actually follow the highest form of Islam which has been communicated to the humanity as a religion since the time of Adam (pbuh). In short, whoever follows him will be saved as highlighted in Qur’anic verses:
"We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures. " [Anbiya, 107]
"We have not sent thee but as a (Messenger) to all mankind, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men know not." [Saba, 28]
"Nay, verily for thee is a Reward unfailing: And surely thou hast sublime morals." [Qalam, 3-4]
"Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect." [Ahzab, 56]
Therefore, one should always recite salawats (respect and honoring) for Rasulullah (s.a.w.).
We should always follow him in our daily life. This is the most important thing for us. Many think that following him only means to grow a beard like him, dressing like him and wearing a turban like him. Actually, such behaviors were a necessity of the social environment in which Rasulullah (s.a.w.) lived and they are traditional behaviors which can change according to time and place. Following him really means to follow the divine judgments which make humans real humans such as to not lie, keep our promises, be loyal to our debts, be patient, not commit adultery, not misappropriate, perform the prayers, bestow upon our parents, learn sciences, weigh rightly, give alms, eat and drink legitimate things, continue visiting our kins and relatives, not gamble, not accept bribes, not become arrogant, not criticize people maliciously, fast, avoid from speaking wrong and forbidden words, not break any heart, protecting and supporting poor people, etc., and these are the good behaviors of all times. Those who follow him will reach divine blessings, leave behind ordinary human characteristics (lack of humane values) and attain the dignity and honor of being a real human.
"follow him that (so) ye may be guided." [Araf, 158]
"He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah." [Nisaa, 80]
"Say: "If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins:" [Al Imran, 31]
It is clearly understood from the last verse that loving Allah (s.w.t.) and becoming honored with his sublime love is only possible by following his beloved messenger. But we should follow not only his personal sunnah called "Sunnah az-Zawaid" but also his divine sunnah explained above and called "Sunnah al-Huda", otherwise we will end up despicable people who are dressed like the Prophet but who are devoid of dignity and decency.
Be entrusted to Allah.
Dr. Ismail Ulukus