One of the conditions of being a Muslim is to believe in the Prophets. This means to believe in their existence, to believe that Allah chose and sent them to people to guide them to the right path, and to believe that what they taught was truthful and from Allah. It is obligatory on every Muslim to believe in all of the prophets sent by Allah without making any distiction among them. Although people can attain awareness of God’s existence through their own intellect, God sent many messengers to people to let them know that He exists, who He is and what His Message is to humankind.


Allah indicates in the Qur'an that every community in the world has received a warner from God [Qur'an 35:24]. These “warners” were messengers who conveyed God’s message, commands and warnings to the people, and explained it to them. They were also exemplary figures that people could look up to in terms of character and conduct, guiding them towards happiness in this life and the next. The first prophet was Adam and the last one was the prophet Muhammad ﷺ. However, in Islam, there is a slight difference between a “Nabi” and a “Rasul”. Even though both mean “messenger” or “prophet” and are used interchangeably, Nabi usually refers to prophets who received a holy book and a shariah (law), while Rasul refers to prophets who received divine revelation and invited people to the way of Allah. According to the different sources of hadith (sayings of the prophet Muhammad ﷺ), there were around either 120,000 or 240,000 prophets. However, only 25 prophets are mentioned by name in the Qur'an.


Prophets were special people and had certain characteristics suitable for their mission. They were people who spoke the language of their community. Some essential characteristics of the prophets included performing miracles by the will of God, being human, being chosen, receiving revelation from Allah, and being protected by Allah from committing major sins. As their role was to convey the message of Allah, they were protected from any deficiency that might push people away from them. This also meant that they were known for their truthfulness. Prophets were known in their community to be truthful and trustworthy people even before receiving their first revelation. Even their enemies and disbelievers did not accuse them of being liars, and affirmed their truthfulness and trustworthiness. Prophets were also intelligent and attentive people with eloquent speech. Their intelligence helped them to understand the revelation, memorise it and retain it in their memory. These distinctive characteristics are considered proof that they were sent from Allah and did not act upon their own desires.


Their mission primarily included informing people about the existence of Allah and calling them to worship Him alone. They also informed people about correct and false beliefs as well as right and wrong actions, and invited people to follow the right path. Their duties included delivering the revelation of Allah word for word, without any alteration, and acting on it in their capacity as role models to other followers of Allah. As well as this, they provided information about the existence of the Hereafter, and about ways to achieve salvation both in this world and the next, as well as encouraging people to ponder upon the meaning of life.