Various questions about prophets


After Hadrat ‘Îsâ
Were any prophets sent between Hadrat ‘Îsâ and our master the Prophet?
It is written in Islamic books that many prophets were sent since Hadrat Âdam. Of them, those who were sent every thousand years are called rusul (pl. of rasûl). At least one prophet in every century was sent to strengthen the religions communicated by rusul. These prophets who followed rusul are called anbiyâ (pl. of nabî). Anbiyâ were sent after Hadrat ‘Îsâ as well. For example, Hadrat Yahyâ and ‘Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm were born in the same year. When the Injîl was sent down to Hadrat ‘Îsâ, Hadrat Yahyâ followed him and promulgated the principles in the Injîl. There were anbiyâ (prophets) who were sent after Hadrat ‘Îsâ. The biographies of three of them are written in the fifth volume of Peygamberler Tarihi Ansiklopedisi (Encyclopedia of History of Prophets), one of the publications of Turkish daily newspaper Türkiye. They are Sham’un, Jirjis, and Khâlid bin Sinan ‘alaihimus-salâm.

Question: The hadîth-i sharîf “There are not any other prophets between me and ‘Îsâ” appears on the130th page of the 10th volume of Yeni Rehber Ansiklopedisi (New Guiding Encyclopedia). Again it is written on the 250th page of its 8th volume that Khâlid bin Sinan was a prophet and that he was sent within the period between Hadrat ‘Îsâ and Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm. Isn’t there a contradiction between these statements?
There is not a contradiction because this hadîth-i sharîf declares that after Hadrat ‘Îsâ there was not a rasûl who brought a new religion. Otherwise, many anbiyâ were sent up to Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm, the last rasûl and the last nabî. It has been stated that as many as 124,000 anbiyâ came since Hadrat Âdam. Even though Yahyâ ‘alaihis-salâm served as a prophet at the same time as Hadrat ‘Îsâ, he was a nabî lived at the time between Hadrat ‘Îsâ and Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm, for he continued to serve as a prophet after Hadrat ‘Îsâ had been taken up to the sky. He was martyred one and a half years after Hadrat ‘Îsâ’s ascent to the sky. This means to say that Khâlid bin Sinan was a nabî.

Those prophets who were rusul
When Hadrat ‘Îsâ came as a rasûl, was it permissible to practice the religion of Hadrat Mûsâ?
Every thousand years since Hadrat Âdam, a rasûl used to be sent. And every hundred years, one or several prophets called anbiyâ used to be sent. All prophets, whether rusul or anbiyâ, wanted the same principles to be believed in. That is, the îmân taught by Hadrat Âdam and the îmân taught by our master the Prophet were the same. Îmân does not change. However, in the course of time there can be changes in the principles pertaining to practice. For example, something which had been declared to be unlawful before was made lawful later and vice versa.

When a rasûl is sent, it is not permissible for people who have heard of his advent to live by the rules communicated by the previous rasûl. For instance, when Hadrat ‘Îsâ came, it was not permissible for people hearing news of his advent to live by the commandments brought by Hadrat Mûsâ. But people who dwelt in other places and did not hear of Hadrat ‘Îsâ’s message were an exception to the rule; they had to practice the religion of Hadrat Mûsâ.

If a religion brought by a rasûl is distorted and altered over time, this religion cannot be practiced, either. The uncorrupted religion sent before it must be practiced.

Before Hadrat ‘Îsâ was sent as a prophet, the religion of Hadrat Mûsâ had been defiled. Hadrat ‘Uzayr was believed to be Allah’s son. A short while after Hadrat ‘Îsâ was assigned prophethood, the religion brought by him was changed and did not remain in its pristine condition anywhere. Hadrat ‘Îsâ was regarded as God or God’s son.

The right-minded did not follow these distorted religions. They followed the religion of Hadrat Ibrâhîm, which was sent previously and did not undergo distortions. Therefore, the blessed parents of our master the Prophet and many people in Mecca lived by the religion of Hadrat Ibrâhîm.

Hadrat Dawud was a rasûl and a nabî
When a rasûl comes, he abrogates the religion of the previous rasûl. But why did Hadrat Dawud not abrogate the religion of Hadrat Mûsâ, which was the previous religion? Or was Hadrat Dawud not a rasûl?
All miracles are creatures, but the Qur’ân al-karîm is an exception to this rule. It is a miracle that is not a creature. Everybody comes into the world through a father and a mother. However, our father Hadrat Âdam and our mother Hadrat Hawwâ came into the world without a father and a mother. Hadrat ‘Îsâ, similarly, was created without a father. These are exceptions. It is seen that the case of Dawud ‘alaihis-salâm is an exception to the rule, too.

Though Hadrat Dawud was a rasûl to whom a Book was sent down, he did not invalidate the religion revealed before him. But Dawud ‘alaihis-salâm reigned for 40 years. Allahu ta’âlâ bestowed great favors upon him. The purport of three âyât (Qur’anic verses) is as follows:

(As for Dawud, We gave him the Zabûr.) [Sûrat-un-Nisâ’ 163, Sûrat-ul-Isrâ’ 55]

(O Dawud! We have made you a caliph on earth.) [Sûrat-u Sâd 26)

(We bestowed virtue
[over other humans and anbiyâ] and superiority [such as prophethood, Book, reign, beautiful voice, and shaping iron by hand] upon Dawud from Us. We said, “O mountains and birds! Join him in making glorification.” We made iron soft [like wax] for him.) [Sûrat-u Saba’ 10]

Hadrat Dawud was a nabî at the same time. The purport of a hadîth-i sharîf is as follows:
(No one eats anything better than eating what he earns through his hands [by the sweat of his brow]. Dawud, the Prophet of Allah, used to eat what he earned through his hands [by the sweat of his brow].) [Bukhârî] {He used to make beautiful armor from iron and sell it.}

Prophets had superiority to and honors above one another. The rusul who are ulu’l-‘azm are higher than other rusul. The rusul are higher than the anbiyâ who are not rusul. The âyât above show the superiority of Dawud ‘alaihis-salâm, who was a rasûl, a nabî, and a sultan.

Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm was sent to Banî Israel. Also Yûshâ’, Hârûn, Dawud, Sulaimân, Zakariyyâ and Yahyâ [’alaihimus-salâm] were sent to Banî Israel. Yet none of them brought a new religion; they invited Banî Israel to Hadrat Mûsâ’s religion. Though the Zabûr was sent down to Dawud ’alaihis-salâm, it did not have a shari’a [that is, commandments, rules or ’ibâdât]. It was full of sermons and advice. Therefore, it did not abrogate or invalidate the Torah but strengthened it, and this is why the religion of Hadrat Mûsâ lasted up to the time of ’Îsâ ’alaihis-salâm. When Hadrat ’Îsâ came, his religion abrogated that of Hadrat Mûsâ; that is, the Torah became invalid. So it was no longer permissible to follow Hadrat Mûsâ’s religion. From then on it was necessary to follow Hadrat ’Îsâ’s religion until Muhammad’s (‘alaihis-salâm) dispensation.

Isawî religion and Musawî religion
The 67th verse of Âl-i ‘Imrân Sûra says, “Ibrâhîm was neither a Jew nor a Christian. He was an upright Muslim, who knew Allah. He was not of the polytheists, either.” Since all prophets were Muslims, were the religions of Hadrat Mûsâ and Hadrat ‘Îsâ Islam?
All the prophets have communicated the same îmân; they have asked their ummat to believe in the same things. Yet since their sharî’ats, that is, the things that are to be done and avoided through the heart and body, were different, their being Muslims was different. (Endless Bliss)

In the religions that were sent since Hadrat Âdam, the name of a religion used to be called by the name of the prophet with whom it was sent. For example, the religion of Hadrat Mûsâ was called Mûsawî (Mosaic) religion, and the religion of Hadrat ‘Îsâ was called ‘Îsawî religion. Each prophet used to be sent to a region or a tribe, and he used to be the prophet of that region or that tribe. Islam, on the other hand, has been sent universally. It has not come for a particular region or race, but for the whole humankind, the whole world.

The word Islam means submission to Allah and surrender to Him. As for the word Muslim, it literally means a person who has unconditionally submitted to Allahu ta’âlâ. Therefore, all divine religions are, by definition, Islam, and all Believers that have come since Hadrat Âdam and will come up to the end of the world are Muslims.

Violations of others’ rights
It is said that even prophets fear the questioning and accounting on violations of others’ rights. Are prophets not sinless? Why do they fear?
They do not commit any sins, including sins that involve right violations, but this does not prevent them from fearing. The questioning and accounting on right abuses will be very severe. It is prophets who know this fact best. Indeed, it is not possible for a person to fear what he or she does not know. As a matter of fact, a person who loves Allah much and who knows Him well, in turn, fears and worships Allah much. Because it is our master the Prophet who knows Allahu ta’âlâ best, it is certainly he who fears and worships Him most. The purport of a hadîth-i sharîf is as follows:
(Among you, it is I who fear Allah most.) [Bukhârî]

Since our blessed mother ‘Â’isha knew the fact that the Messenger of Allah was protected from sins, she asked him why he was performing a lot of acts of worship on Barât Night. He answered, “In order to be a thankful servant” (Gunya).

Hadrat Ya’qûb’s sons
Were all 12 sons of Hadrat Ya’qûb prophets?
No. It is written in Islamic books that only Yûsuf ‘alaihis-salâm was a prophet.

Those who talked when they were in their cradles
Is the number of those people who talked when they were in their cradles known?
It is not known for certain. Some people who talked when they were in their cradles are as follows:
1. When Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm was born, he prostrated himself and said, “Lâ ilâha ill-Allah, innî rasûl-Allah,” which means, “There is no god but Allah, and certainly I am Allah’s Messenger” (Shawâhid-un-nubuwwa).

2. When Yahyâ ‘alaihis-salâm was in his cradle, he said to the newly born Hadrat ‘Îsâ, “You are Allah’s servant and messenger.” Thus, he confirmed his prophethood. (Imâm-i Suyûtî)

3. The fact that ‘Îsâ alaihis-salâm talked is made known in the Qur’ân al-karîm as follows:
(When Maryam gave birth to ‘Îsâ and brought him in her arms, they said to her, “You have done something very strange. Your father was not a wicked man. Nor was your mother an unchaste woman.” When Maryam pointed to the child [so that they ask him], they said, “How can we talk to an infant?” The child said, “I am Allah’s servant. He has given me the Book and appointed me a prophet. He has enjoined on me namâz and zakât.”) [Sûrat-u Maryam 27-31]

4. When Hadrat Ibrâhîm was born, he said “Lâ ilâha ill-Allah” (Rûh-ul-bayân).

5. Hadrat Maryam talked when she was in her cradle, too. She did not suck milk from any women’s breast. She ate the sustenance Allahu ta’âlâ sent. (Baydâwî)

6. A bad woman asserted that the father of the infant she gave birth to was Jurayj. Thereupon, the public staged a protest and demolished his place of worship. While they were looking for him, Jurayj performed namâz and prayed to Allah so that he might be delivered from this trouble. Then he came near the infant. When the infant stated them that its father was a shepherd, people present there apologized to him for the wrong they did. (Bukhârî)

7. When Yûsuf ‘alaihis-salâm was slandered, a baby from the relatives of Zaliha said, “If Yûsuf’s shirt has been ripped on the front, the woman is speaking the truth, and Yûsuf is a liar. If it has been ripped on the back, then Yûsuf is speaking the truth, and the woman is a liar.” [There is information about this incident in the 26th and 27th verses of Yûsuf Sûra. When the baby spoke as a miracle of Hadrat Yûsuf, the woman’s lie was revealed.]

A cruel and faithless king declared himself to be a god. He was throwing into the fire those who did not accept him as a god and who had belief in Allah. It was the turn of a woman with a baby in her arms to be hurled into the fire. When the woman refused to be thrown into the fire, her baby said, “Mom, be patient! You are on the true religion” (Muslim).

9. While a woman from Israelites was suckling her son, a handsome, awe-inspiring young man was passing, riding on a horse. The woman prayed, “O my Lord! Make my baby handsome and awe-inspiring like him.” At that moment, the baby stopped suckling and said, “O my Lord! Do not make me like him.” Some time later a wretched concubine was passing by. People were hurling insults at her. Then the woman prayed, “O my Lord! Do not make my baby like this concubine.” The baby again stopped suckling and said, “O my Lord! Make me like her.” The mother, taken aback by the baby’s statements, asked her baby why it said so. The baby said, “That rider is a cruel person. As for this concubine, she is an innocent victim who has been slandered” (Bukhârî).

10. While a woman who was a Believer in Allah was combing the hair of Pharaoh’s daughter, the comb fell to the floor. As she was picking it off, she said “Bismillahi.” Pharaoh’s daughter asked, “Do you have a Rabb besides my father?” The woman answered, “Allah is the Rabb of everyone.” Pharaoh’s daughter informed his father of the situation. Pharaoh told her to abjure her faith, but the woman refused it. When they were just about to kill the woman by putting her into a sculpture heated in the fire, she strongly resisted so as not to enter it. Her baby in her arms said, “Mom, do not fear. You are on the true religion” (Hakim).

11. A man from Yamâma came before Rasûl-i akram (the Prophet) with his child. Our master the Prophet asked the child, “Who am I?” The child answered, “You are Allah’s Messenger.” Our master the Prophet stroked the child and named him Mubarak-ul-Yamâma. (Mawâhib-i Ladunniya)

12. Nûh (Noah) ‘alaihis-salâm was born in a cave. As his mother was taking him out of the cave, she muttered to herself, “What will the future of my son be?” Then Hadrat Nûh said, “Mom, do not worry. No one can harm me. As Allah created me, so He will protect me” (Rûh-ul-Bayân).

13. A soothsayer said to Pharaoh, “A child will be born from Israelites, and your state will cease to exist.” Thereupon, Pharaoh took to having male children born into Israelite families murdered. Hangmen used to raid houses, and as soon as they saw a newly born child, they used to kill it. In the meantime, Hadrat Mûsâ was born. Before long Pharaoh’s hangmen raided the house. Hadrat Mûsâ’s mother hid him in the oven. As Hadrat Mûsâ’s elder sister did not know of the situation, she fired the oven. The oven was on when her mother came to take the child out from the oven after hangmen had left. When she was exclaiming, “Alas, my son has been burnt alive,” Hadrat Mûsâ spoke from inside the oven, “Mom, do not worry. Allah protected me.” His mother inserted her hand into the oven and took her son out. (Rûh-ul-bayân) Allahu ta’âlâ is omnipotent. (Sûrat-ush-Shûrâ 9)

14. Also, Hadrat Yûsuf, when he was in her mother’s womb, said, “I will be apart from my father for a long time” (Rûh-ul-bayân, vol. 4, p. 241).

Let no one of you look back!
When angels came in order to make the earth swallow the people of Lut ‘alaihis-salâm, the Qur’ân al-karîm says that then Lût ‘alaihis-salâm was commanded, “Let no one of you look back” (Al-Hijr 65). What was the reason for the prohibition against looking back?
It is written in the exegeses of the Qur’ân al-karîm:
They were prohibited so that they would not see the appalling disaster or so that it would not strike them as well or so that none of them would turn back or so that they would accustom themselves to migration. (Baydâwî)

What does irhas mean?
Question: Are the wonders performed by prophets before they were informed of their prophethood called mu’jizas or karâmats?
Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî declares:
Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm spoke in the cradle; when he asked for dates from a dry tree, dates came into his hand. When Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm was a child, his chest was incised; and his heart was taken out, washed, and purified. There was always a cloud over his blessed head for shade; stones and trees saluted him. These and other such extraordinary events, which happened before he was informed of his prophethood, were not mu’jizas. These wonders and these karâmats are called irhâs (beginnings). They are intended to confirm the
prophethood. (Ithbât-un-nubuwwa)

Being created without a father and a mother
Is it not wrong to hold Hadrat ‘Îsâ superior to other prophets simply because he was created without a father?
Of course it is very wrong. Having been created without a father is not indicative of one’s being the most superior. Instead, it is indicative of the Creator’s omnipotence. He created Iblîs without a father and a mother as well, but he became Shaitan. If being born without a father caused superiority, Âdam ‘alaihis-salâm and our mother Hawwâ would necessarily be higher than all of them because both of them were created without a father and a mother. Just because of this way of creation, it is wrong to assert that Hadrat Âdam is higher than Hadrat ‘Îsâ or vice versa. The purport of an âyat-i karîma is as follows:
(In the sight of Allah, the case of ‘Îsâ [his being created without a father] is like the case of Âdam. Allah created him [Âdam] from soil and then said to him, “Be!” and he was.) [Sûrat-u Âl-i ‘Imrân 59]


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