List of Quranic prophets
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The following are named as prophets in the Quran. There are a total of 25 people named as prophets and messengers, in the Quran, and several of them also appear in Judaism and Christianity. They are listed by their common English name.
Adam (Adem, آدم) is the first prophet of Islam and, according to Islamic tradition, the first human being. He is an important figure in Judaism and Christianity as well and is best known for the story of Adam and Eve. Muslims believe that Adam received the Scrolls of Adam from God.
Idris (إدريس) is, at times, identified with Enoch found in the Old Testament. In the Quran, it says that God exalted Idris to a lofty station and Muslims believe that he lived at a time when pure monotheism was, for the most part, forgotten. He is known to be the first prophet to wage a jihad war.
Although best known for the deluge, Noah (Nuh, نوح) was a primary preacher of monotheism at his time. According to Islamic tradition, it was this faithfulness to God that led to him being selected to build the Ark, which enabled him and his family to survive the Great Flood. His name is given to the 71st sura of the Quran, Nuh.
According to Islam, Hud, (هود) for whom the eleventh chapter of the Quran is named, was sent by God some time after the deluge to remind the people of his nation about God. He was sent to the people of ʿĀd, and is one of the five Arab prophets. He is sometimes associated with Eber.
According to the Quran, Saleh (صالح) was ordered by God to leave behind his people after they disobeyed God's orders. They were the nation of Thamud and they were known to have carved buildings and homes out of cliffs and mountains.
Abraham (Ibrahim, ابراهيم) is regarded by Muslims today as one of the significant prophets as he is credited with building the Kaaba in Mecca. He is also said to have written down the revealations he received from God, known as the Scrolls of Abraham He is believed to be the first of the Hanif or those that continued to follow the laws of God during the Days of Ignorance. His family included his sons Ishmael and Isaac as well as his grandson Jacob, all three are seen as prophets, and the women considered as holy in Islam, Sarah and Hagar. The 14th sura, Ibrahim, is named for him. According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad is a descendant of Abraham through his son Ishmael.
Lot (Lut, لوط) is known in Islam for preaching against homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah, only to be mocked and ignored by the people who lived there. This nation was destroyed By God's command.
According to Islamic tradition, Isaac (Ishaq, اسحاق), second-born son of Abraham with Sarah, became a prophet in Canaan. He, along with his brother Ishmael, carried on the legacy of Abraham as prophets of Islam.
|Lineage of six prominent prophets according to Islamic tradition|
|Dotted lines indicate multiple generations|
Jacob (Yaqub, يعقوب), according to the Quran, was "of the company of the Elect and the Good" and he continued the legacy of both his father, Isaac, and his grandfather, Abraham. Like his ancestors, he was committed to worshipping and bowing to God.
Joseph (Yusuf, يوسف), son of Jacob and great-grandson of Abraham, became a prominent advisor to the pharaoh of Egypt since he was believed to have been able to predict the future through dream interpretation. He spent a large part of his life away from his eleven brothers, who, jealous of Joseph's success, told their father, Jacob, that his son had died. But indeed they had thrown him in Jubb Yussef (Joseph's Well) and took off his shirt and smeared it with that of a killed ram's blood. Joseph was afraid in the well but knew that God was with him. The 12th sura of the Quran, Yusuf, is named for him.
Shuaib (شعيب) was a direct descendant of Abraham. According to Islam, he was appointed by God to guide the people of Midian and Aykah, who lived near Mount Sinai. When the people of the region failed to listen to his warnings, their villages were destroyed by God. He is associated with Jethro in the Bible
Moses (Musa, موسى), is referred to in the Quran more than any other prophet, is significant for revealing the Tawrat (Torah) one of the Islamic holy books as well as compiling the other revelations in the Scrolls of Moses. The Quran says Moses realized his connection with God after receiving commands from him during a stop at Mount Sinai. He later went on to free the enslaved Israelites after failing to convince the Egyptian pharaoh of God's power. Moses subsequently led the Israelites for forty years through the desert on a long attempt to capture Canaan, the Promised Land. During this long journey, Moses received the Tawrat and the Ten Commandments during another trip to Mount Sinai. At the end of his life, according to Islamic tradition, Moses chose to die to be closer to God instead of taking an offer that would have extended his life.
Aaron (Harun, هارون) served as an assistant to his elder brother Moses. In Islam, he, like Moses, was given the task of saving the Israelites from the Egyptian pharaoh. He would often speak for Moses when his speech impediment prevented him from doing so himself.
Dhul-Kifl (ذو الكفل) is mentioned twice in the Quran (sura Al-Anbiya ayah 85 and sura Sad ayah 48). Both references describe that Dhul-Kifl was amongst the most patient and righteous of men. He is most often identified with the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel because Ezekiel in his journey to Nineveh went to a little town called Al Kifl and his shrine is there. So, people believe Ezekiel as Dhul-Kifl.
Solomon (Sulayman, سليمان) learned a significant amount from his father David before being made a prophet by God. According to Islamic tradition, Solomon was given power over all things, including the jinns. Known for his honesty and fairness, he also led a kingdom that extended into southern Arabia. He was the youngest among his nineteen brothers, he was thirteen years old when he became a prophet. He inherited his fathers throne because he made fair decisions. He had the ability to control winds and speak to animals.
Elijah (Ilyas, إلياس), a descendant of Aaron, took over control of the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula after Solomon's kingdom collapsed. Islamic tradition says he attempted to convince the people of the Peninsula of the existence of only one god, but when the people refused to listen they were smitten with a drought and famine.
Elisha (Al-Yasa,اليسع ) took over the job of leading the Israelites after the death of Eliajh. He attempted to show the king and queen of the Kingdom of Israel the powers of God, but was dismissed as a magician. Subsequently, the Assyrians were able to conquer the Israelites and inflict significant damage on them.
Jonah (Yunus, يونس) was commanded by God to help the people of Nineveh towards righteousness. However, after Nineveh's people refused to listen to him, he became disgruntled and started to ignore him. After an incident where Jonah was spared death, he decided to re-commit himself to striving for God, attempting to lead the people of Nineveh to righteousness. But after returning to evil, illicit ways, the Scythians conquered them. The 10th sura, Yunus, is named for him.
A descendant of Solomon, Zechariah (Zakariya, زكريا) was a patron of Mary, the mother of Jesus. According to Islamic tradition, he prayed to God asking for a son, since his sterile wife Elizabeth (al-Yashbi) could not provide one. God granted his wishes, temporarily lifting his wife's sterility and allowing her to give birth to John the Baptist. His death was considered tragic as several Israelites severed his body in half.
John the Baptist
Islam says that, like his father Zechariah, John the Baptist (Yahya, يحيى) prayed to God to bless him with a son who could continue his legacy of guiding people towards Islam. Throughout his lifetime, John the Baptist captivated audiences with his powerful sermons that preached monotheism.
One of the highest ranked prophets in Islam, Jesus (Isa, عيسى) was sent to guide the Children of Israel. The Quran makes it very clear that Jesus is not the son of God as Christianity teaches, but rather a prophet, and messenger of God. He was able to perform many miracles but only by the will of God. It also states that he received the Gospel (Injil) that form part of the New Testament, although the version seen today is different from the one revealed at the time. The Islamic view of Jesus' death is that Jesus was not crucified on the cross but instead is in heaven, waiting to return to defeat the Masih ad-Dajjal (false messiah). In sura Maryam the Quran states,
They say: "(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!"
Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous!
At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin,
That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious.
For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son.
Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a servant.—Quran, sura 19 (Maryam), ayat 88-93
Muhammad (Muhammed ibn Abdullah, محمد) is the last prophet. According to Islamic tradition Muhammad never claimed that Islam was a new religion but in fact preached the unity of the religion since Adam, the first person and prophet of God. The strongest Islamic belief is that Islam is the only religion which all prophets preached. Also the Quran refers to all prophets as Muslims. Muhammad was born in Mecca where he spent the first part of his life as a well-travelled merchant. He would often spend his time in the mountains surrounding the city in prayer, contemplating the situation with Mecca. According to Islamic beliefs, at the age of forty, during one of those trips to the Cave of Hira in the Jabal al-Nour (Mountain of Light), Muhammad began to, despite his illiteracy, receive and recite verses from God which today make up the Quran. He quickly began to spread the message he was receiving, convincing a few others in the city, including his wife, to convert to a form of Islam similar to one practiced today. He became the leader of those who had submitted to God (Muslims), moving to another city (present-day Medina) away from the oppressors in Mecca. Muhammad served not just as a prophet, but as a leader who helped defeat the non believers during the Battle of Badr in 624. He was a lawgiver, trust worthy, humble, and merciful. He continued to lead the Muslims, spreading Islam across the Arabian Peninsula. He performed the first hajj in 629 and established the form of Islam, with its five pillars still practiced by Muslims today. Others continued Muhammad's legacy after his death in 629 proclaiming themselves as caliphs (or successors) to him. The 47th sura, Muhammad, is named for him.
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Brannon M. Wheeler (2002). Prophets in the Quran:an introduction to the Quran and Muslim exegesis. New York: Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-4956-5.