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Prophets of the Quran: An Introduction (part 2 of 2)

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Description: Belief in the prophets of God is a central part of Muslim faith. Part 2 will introduce all the prophets before Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, mentioned in the Muslim scripture from Lot to Jesus.

  • By Imam Kamil Mufti (© 2013 IslamReligion.com)
  • Published on 29 Apr 2013
  • Last modified on 04 Jan 2015
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9.    ProphetsOfTheQuran2.jpgLot or Loot is mentioned 17 times in the Quran. He is the nephew of Abraham, the son of Abraham’s brother. Lot lived towards the southern tip of the Dead Sea. His people were from Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot believed in Abraham and after their return from Egypt, they settled in separate locations. People of Sodom were the first to commit homosexuality. That is why homosexuals are sometimes called sodomites. His wife was not a believer. She did not commit the sin, but accepted it. Rocks were rained down on the people of Sodom and Gomorrah that crushed them.

10.  Yaqub or Jacob, the son of Issac and the grandson of Abraham is mentioned 16 times in the Quran. Jacob’s other name was Israel. The "Bani Israel," Children of Israel, or Israelites are named after him. All the Hebrew prophets came from him, the last of whom was Eesa or Jesus. Jacob is the father of the twelve tribes known as Al-Asbaat (7:160) in the Quran. He is said to have traveled to north of Iraq, returned to Palestine and then settled in Egypt and died there. He was buried in Hebron, Palestine, along with his father according to his last will. The Bible mentions that Issac married Rebecca and his son Jacob married Rachel (Rahil in Arabic).

11.  Yusuf or Joseph, the son of Jacob or Israel is mentioned 17 times in the Quran. He was left in a Jerusalem well by his brothers, and then taken to Egypt where he attained a high rank in the government. Later, his father, Jacob, and brothers settled in Egypt.

12.  Shuaib or Jethro, mentioned 11 times in the Quran, was sent to the people of Madyan, who was one of the sons of Abraham. Shuaib lived between the time of Lot and Moses and was an Arab prophet. His people worshipped a tree called Al-Aykah (15:78, 26:176, 38:13, 50:14). They were highway robbers, and cheated in business dealings. Several punishments came down upon them: an awful cry combined with an earthquake destroyed them.

13.  Ayyub or Job is mentioned 4 times in the Quran. He is said to have lived close to either the Dead Sea or Damascus. He was an affluent prophet who was tested by God with poverty and sickness, but he was patient and was helped by his loyal wife who stayed by him in every hardship. Eventually, they are immensely rewarded by God for their patience.

14.  Yunus or Jonah, also known as "Dhun-Noon," is mentioned 4 times in the Quran. He lived in Nineveh, close to Mosul, in Iraq. He left his people before God allowed him to, headed towards modern day Tunisia, but possibly ended up in Yafa. He was swallowed by the whale, he then repented to God and went back to his people in Iraq where all 100,000 of them repented and believed in him.

15.  Dhul-Kifl is mentioned twice in the Quran. Some scholars say he was the son of Job, others say he is Ezekiel of the Bible.

16.  Musa or Moses is the most frequently mentioned prophet in the Quran, appearing 136 times. Before Moses, Joseph had started spreading the message of monotheism (tawhid: worship of One, true God) among the people of Egypt. His mission was strengthened when his father, Jacob, and his brothers also settled in Egypt, slowly converting all of Egypt. After Yusuf, the Egyptians turned back into polytheism (shirk) and the children of Jacob, the Israelites, multiplied and gained prominence in the society. Moses was the first prophet sent to the Israelites at a time when the Pharaoh of Egypt was enslaving them. Moses fled to Madyan to flee persecution. God made him a prophet at Mt. Toor, situated in the Sinai and he was given nine great miracles.

17.  Haroon or Aaron is the brother of Moses and is mentioned 20 times in the Quran.

18,19. Ilyas or Elijah and Yas’a are mentioned two times each in the Quran, they both lived in Baalbek.

20,21. Dawud or David is mentioned in the Quran 16 times. He led the Israelites in war and won, and had many miracles. His son, Suleiman or Solomon is mentioned 17 times and was also a king with great miracles. Both are buried in Jerusalem.

22.  Zakariyyah or Zechariah is mentioned 7 times. He was a carpenter. He raised Mary, the mother of Jesus.

23.  Yahya or John is the son of Zechariah and is mentioned 5 times. He was killed in Jerusalem, and his head was taken to Damascus.

24.  The name Eesa or Jesus is mentioned 25 times, Messiah 11 times, and the ‘son of Mary’ 23 times. He was born in Bethlehem, Palestine. He is said to have visited Egypt with his mother. He is the last prophet among the Children of Israel.

Five prophets were Arabs: Hud, Salih, Shuaib, Ismail, and Muhammad. Four of them were send to the Arabs, whereas Muhammad was send to all human beings.

In conclusion, prophets, biblical and non-biblical, are integral to the Islamic scripture. Muslims see themselves as the true inheritors of the mission of the prophets sent by God to humanity: worship of the One True God and obedience to Him.

Selected References:

1.     Ibn Kathir. Qasas ul-Ambiya. Cairo: Dar at-Taba’a wa-Nashr al-Islamiyya, 1997.

2.     Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani. Tuhfa ul-Nubala’ min Qasas il-Ambiya lil Imam al-Hafid Ibn Kathir. Jedda: Maktaba as-Sahaba, 1998.

3.     Mahmud al-Masri. Qasas ul-Ambiya lil-Atfaal. Cairo: Maktaba as-Safa, 2009.

4.     Dr. Shawqi Abu Khalil. Atlas al-Quran. Damascus: Dar-ul-Fikr, 2003.

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