characteristics of prophets in Islam.
Allah’s messengers is one of the articles of the Islamic Faith. This means that
Muslims strongly believe in the existence of Prophets as stressed in the Quran.
There are specific characteristics expected of a true Muslim prophet as
discussed in the paragraphs hereunder.
prophet must be a monotheist. R. A.B Ewbank posited that a monotheist is
someone who believes, worship and preaches about the one and only true God. Muslims
believe in Allah and his Oneness, therefore all Muslim prophets are
monotheists. In Islam every prophet shares the same core beliefs about Allah,
Day of Judgment and they all castigate idolatry. Muhammad the last prophet of
Allah taught that all prophets who came before him taught about the same God
who gave him the revelations, Moses also taught about the Oneness of Allah. Many
prophets of Islam serve as vessels to inform human beings about the
eschatological consequences of falling to adhere to Allah’s message.
the above, an Islamic prophet must be morally upright. J. Hayes posited that
moral obligation is an attribute for every prophet of God. This means that
every prophet of God must be morally good. Islam as a religion is said to be
the perfect way of life in which every believer must surrender or submit
themselves to Allah. This logically implies that they must be morally
acceptable. Prophets have to live an exemplary life; they are compelled to have
compassionate and tender hearts like Ibrahim.
uprightness is a characteristic that every Muslim prophet must have. Jesus (Isa)
is a very good example of a prophet who lived a life of moral uprightness.
characteristic of a Muslim prophet is righteousness. True Islamic prophets are God
fearers. They have to leave a life free from sins and other satanic practices.
Ibrahim is such an example of a righteous man. Allah’s messengers are supposed
to be clean in terms of evil practices. Islam teaches that prophets are
protected by Allah from committing sins as shown in Quran surah4,ayah69 .They are
unlike ordinary human beings in the sense that they live under the will and
command of Allah (Bajapai, N: 2017).
typologies shared by all prophets include prophetic lineages. Ibrahim was the
great messenger of Allah and from his lineage Allah chose his prophets, the
Qur’an teaches that Allah is all knowing thus he chose His messengers from the
Ibrahimic lineage. Prophets like, Jacob, Isaac, Moses, Aaron and Muhammad were
from the same lineage of Ibrahim, therefore, their prophetic lineage is one of
the characteristics of prophets in Islam.
prophetic call is another characteristic of the Islamic prophets. Marara
postulates that a call is an important signature of a true prophet. This means
that real prophets have to receive a call from God. Islamic prophets are
supposed to receive a call or a revelation from Allah (Rapoport,Y: 2005).One
good example being that of Muhammad who received his revelation at the age of
40 years at the Hira caves and he even tried to resist the call but the will of
Allah was fulfilled, logically one can infer that a call is another
characteristic of the Islamic prophets.
characteristic of an Islamic prophet is that they should be able to perform
signs and wonders. Muslim prophets according to Sayyid, M (2017) performed
several miracles a characteristic that differentiated them from ordinary
people. They did this through the inspiration of the spirit of Allah. It is
stated in the Quran that throughout their lives, Moses(Musa) and Jesus (Isa)
performed a lot of miracles. Moreso they had Divine books attributed to them, Jesus
Moses the Tawrat (Torah)
important attribute of an Islamic prophet is that of being faithful. As
servants of Allah, Muslim prophets are supposed to be faithful to their Master
and the subjects they serve (Shaurya. S 2017). They are Allah’s messengers hence
they need to be reliable people. Muhammad was such a character just like Isaac
and Aaron as revealed by the Quran. More so an Islamic prophet is supposed to
uphold social justice in the communities they serve. Islam claims to be a
peaceful religion which is against any form injustice upon Allah’s creation
therefore Allah’s messengers need to have such traits. They should be all
loving, avoiding segregation as well as assisting the need.
the best creatures with the best manners including truthfulness, honest and
extreme intelligence. It is impossible for Muslim prophets to lie, betray and
be stupid. They are preserved from repulsive diseases and they are against
blasphemy. They are protected to vileness, lustfulness and foolishness.
prophets remain human beings they should be respected, believed in but they
should not be worshiped or be compared to Allah because Allah does not share
the same attributes with His creation.
author is a teacher at Errymaple High school Zvishavane. He holds a Bachelor of
Arts Degree in Philosophy and Religious, Post Graduate Diploma in Education.