• Narrow screen resolution
  • Wide screen resolution
  • Wide screen resolution
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
  • default color
  • red color
  • yellow color
  • orange color
The Attributes of the Prophets PDF Print Email
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 12 June 2017 14:26

The Attributes of the Prophets

Nubuwwah النبوة  with double و means to convey from Allah, ta^ala and An-nabwah النبوة means highness. Both terms are derived from an-Naba’ النبأ which means the piece of news. These terms refer to Prophet-hood.  So, who is an-Nabiyy?  It is he who conveys from Allah, ta^ala.  By the set up of the Arabic language, this refers to the one who conveys from Allah or  the one who is told by the angels from Allah.

Who conveys al-Wahy-revelation?  The one who conveys the Revelation to the Prophet is the Angel Jibril, however, at times, it may be other than Jibril.  Revelation also may occur by Allah bestowing on the Prophet the ability to understand the speech-kalam of Allah without Allah or his attribute resembling any of the creation.  The angel may come in the form of a person or other than that.

Prophet-hood is not rejected by the mind nor considered impossible because in sending the Prophets there is a necessary benefit for the slaves.  Allah bestowed this blessing on the slaves.   Through Prophet-hood, Allah sends he who tells the slaves about Him.  The prophets inform the slaves about Allah and they impart the orders of Allah.  So, the Prophet is the one who conveys what is beneficial to the slave in this world and in the Hereafter, because independently the mind will not know what will save him in the Hereafter.

The Hindus deny there are prophets.  They say:  "The people do not need them; the mind distinguishes good from evil."  This is a false claim.

The thinking mind will determine certain things as ugly.  For example:  to stab a pregnant woman in her stomach to kill her baby; to bury girl babies alive; to fornicate; and the like of such matters.  However, the mind cannot independently determine the obligations and the prohibitions--therefore Allah sent prophets.

Allah made prophets of two types.  Some prophets are messengers but some are not messengers.  Both the prophets and the prophets who are messengers (henceforth "messengers") receive Revelation to convey to the people and both the prophets and the messengers perform miracles.  The Prophet who is not a messenger does not come with new shar^-law.  He teaches that which came before him.

Some of the rules changed from messenger to messenger.  This is the difference between them as stated by al-Qawnawi, and other strong scholars.  It is claimed by some that the prophet who is a messenger received Revelation and was ordered to convey the Religion. So some falsely claim that prophets received Revelation but were not ordered to convey the Religion to the people.   This is not sensible.

Messenger-hood was attributed to men and angels.

All the prophets sent before Muhammad were men who received Revelation.  That which is claimed about Maryam, the mother of ^Isa, and Assiya, the wife of the Pharaoh, regarding prophet-hood is a false claim.  In Surat al Qasas, Ayah 7, Allah said:

وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى أُمِّ مُوسَى أَنْ أَرْضِعِيهِ

which means:  [....  Allah inspired The mother of Musa.]  This reference was to the mother of Musa and it does not mean she was a prophet.

All the prophets were attributed with honesty.  They were all truthful.  They never lied--either before or after prophet-hood--otherwise one would doubt when they were telling the truth and when they were not.  The slip of the tongue is involuntary but lying is voluntary, one is held accountable for lying.  Although a slip of the tongue is involuntary and therefore one is not held accountable for it, the Prophets did not have slip of the tongue because of their trustworthiness.

Prophet Ibrahim told his people to leave out worshipping idols and worship Allah, but they did not.  Once during a celebration they all wanted to leave the town.  He said:  "I will show you what I'll do with these idols."  He broke all but the greatest among them.  Why?  He wanted to show them the greatest could not defend the others so they would see it was not deserving or worship.  When the people came back they asked, "Who did this?"  One who had heard Prophet Ibrahim earlier, asked him, "Did you do this?"  Prophet Ibrahim replied,  "If they talk, ask the big one."  He meant "The biggest one among the idols, ask him."  He did not lie.  He wanted them to understand the weakness of that idol.  It could not defend them nor itself.

The people became very angry and wanted to burn Ibrahim.  They built a big fire--so big that they had to throw him from a far distance with a catapult.  That fire did not burn Prophet Ibrahim or his clothes.

Prophet Ibrahim used a similar expression when he entered the land of an unjust ruler. The unjust ruler used to fornicate with the wives of other men if they were beautiful.  Sarah, the wife of Prophet Ibrahim, was very beautiful.  One of the king's men informed him that one of the most beautiful women had entered.  They sent word to Ibrahim to ask who she was.  Prophet Ibrahim said, "My sister."  He meant Sarah was his sister in Islam because there were no other Muslim women left on earth but Sarah.  Saying she was his sister was not a lie.

The Prophets were also attributed with intelligence, because if they were not intelligent how would they refute the kuffar?  When Prophet Ibrahim talked to the ruler who claimed he was God, this ruler asked about the Lord of Ibrahim.  Ibrahim said:  "My Lord is the One Who brings to life and takes life."  Two men were imprisoned to be put to death.  The king ordered them to be brought to him.  The king killed one and gave the other his freedom (he did not kill him).  Then the king said:  "I give life and I take it away."  Prophet Ibrahim meant, CREATE life and ANNIHILATE it.  That ruler behaved in this manner, and said:  "I also bring to life and take to death."  He made that statement out of his own weakness and low intelligence.

Prophet Ibrahim did not continue with the same subject.  This time he said:  "My Lord brings the sun from the east.  You bring it from the west since you claim Godhood."  The ruler fell silent.  He could not respond.  All the prophets had sharp intelligence.

Trustworthiness is another attribute of the prophets.  To betray--before or after prophet-hood--is impossible.  Even before Prophet Muhammad received his revelation he was famous for his trustworthiness.  He was known as al-Amin' - 'The Trustworthy'.

All the prophets were also attributed with eloquence in their speech to make themselves understood by the people.  Some misinterpret an ayah of the Qur'an.  They say Surat Taha Ayah 25-28,means "Musa could not express himself to the people."  They also say:  "He would replace one letter with the other."  On the contrary, the speech of Musa was proper, and he spoke properly. Musa did, however, have a little problem with his tongue.  It was a trace of something that happened when he was young.

When Musa was born, Pharaoh was killing all newborns near Palestine.  To save Musa, Allah inspired his mother to put him in a box on the Nile River.  He floated to the place of the Pharaoh.  The Pharaoh had a pious wife.  At that time it was permitted in the shar^-law for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man.  Assiya, his wife, did not have children from Pharaoh so she asked if she could raise him.  She persisted, and he accepted.

Once Musa took Pharaoh by the beard and pulled it.  This hurt him and caused him pain.  Pharaoh wanted to kill him.  Assiya said:  "He is only a baby, and he does not know what he has done."  Pharaoh said:  "Yes, he knows."  So Assiya told him she would place a date and a hot coal in front of Musa.  She told Pharaoh:  "If he takes the coal he does not know and if he takes the date he does."  Allah made Musa take the coal.  This is how the problem of Musa's tongue came to be.  This was not a big problem and Musa could be understood.

All the prophets were handsome and had beautiful voices.  Before one of the Companions became Muslim, he heard Prophet Muhammad recite Surat at-Tur.  He felt his heart would fly out of his chest he was so moved by the beauty of the recitation and the Prophet's voice.  This man later embraced Islam.

The prophets of Allah did not have any defects in their bodies.  They did not limp.  They had no handicaps.  Not one of them was born blind.  Prophet Ya^qub, however, was so saddened by the loss of his son, Yusuf, that he lost his sight.  He remained blind for a period of time.  Yusuf sent his shirt back to his father and when Ya^qub received this shirt and smelled it, Allah bestowed him with his sight again.  Ya^qub was not born blind.

Since it is known the Prophets had no physical defects, this is a clear indication all the prophets are clear of those who claim Adam came from apes, or that he could not speak, or that he was short, or that he looked like apes.  This is kufr; it belies the Qur'an.  Prophet Muhammad said Adam was very tall.  He was sixty (60) cubits high and seven (7) cubits wide.

All the Prophets were attributed with good manners.  It is impossible for them to have done something degrading--like stealing one grape.  Although this is not a large sin, it is an abject deed.  Prophets did not commit abject small sins or any large sins.  Some deeds attributed to some prophets are clearly false.  Lut was the nephew of Prophet Ibrahim from his father's side.  He was also a prophet.  The Jews said Prophet Lut drank so much wine he became drunk, had sex with one of his daughters, she became pregnant and gave birth to a boy.  They made another false claim that Prophet Lut got drunk again and another of his daughters got pregnant and gave birth to a boy. This is a great lie.

Lies were also told about Prophet Sulayman and Prophet Dawud.  Some falsely attributed Prophet Sulayman with what was not befitting to his status.  Some said Prophet Dawud sent a man to battle to die so he could marry that man's wife.  These were lies.

All the prophets were attributed with courage.  Prophet Muhammad was the most brave of all the creation.  Prophet Muhammad was the closest to the enemies in the battlefield.  Imam Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah raise his rank, was known to be a great hero.  He used to be in position behind the Prophet with numerous other companions.  In the Battle of Hunayn, the kufar ambushed part of the Muslim army and took them by surprise.  Those up front moved backwards such that the Prophet was in front of the kufar.  Many of those in front had recently embraced Islam, so they moved back.  The Prophet because in front of them because he was moving forward--not back.  One of the companions took the rope of the prophet’s animal to keep it from rushing towards the kuffar.  The Prophet was saying:  "I am truly the Prophet, I am the son of abd al-Muttalib (his grandfather).  I do not tell a lie".  Then the Prophet told one of the companions, who had a strong voice, to call out loud:  "Where are those who gave me allegiance?  Do not run in the battlefield" When they heard that call they moved forward to the Messenger of Allah and shielded themselves by him- until they defeated the kuffar.  This is how courageous the Prophets are.  They are not attributed with cowardice.

One time a kafir took an oath to kill the Prophet.  The Prophet said, "No, I will kill you, in sha'Allah."  During one battle, this kafir was getting close to the Prophet to kill him.  One of the companions wanted to intercede to kill him, but the Prophet said:"No."  This meant the Prophet wanted to kill him--although this kafir was among the strongest kuffar.  The Prophet took a spear and wounded him in the bottom of his leg.  That kafir moved back and escaped.  The rest of the kuffar said it was only a scratch, and they should not be scared, but that kafir said:  "The Prophet said he would kill me, in sha'Allah, and I know even if he spits on me he will kill me."  The kuffar knew the Prophet did not lie.  Sure enough, that man died from that little scratch on this foot.

All the prophets were also impeccable of repulsive illnesses.  Some said Prophet Ayyub-Job had such a repulsive sickness that worms came from his skin.  This would be repulsive to the people and prophets are to attract the people to Islam.  Prophets get sick, but not repulsive illnesses which would revolt the people and keep them away.

Whoever attributes lying, betrayal, cowardice, or low and degrading deeds to the prophets commits kufr.  However, it is possible for a prophet to be surprised by a snake, for example, and this does not contradict any of the attributes of the prophets.

It is also known the Prophets are impeccable of kufr, large sins, and abject small sins.  Even if the parents of the prophet were kafir, it is impossible for the prophets to be kafir.  Ibrahim's father was the maker of idols, and Ibrahim was the one who broke them.  Prophet Ibrahim lived at the time of the idol worshippers yet he never prostrated to them.  Allah protected his Prophets from kufr.  Allah also protected his prophets from all the large sins.  The prophets never killed a self unjustly nor committed adultery, nor the like.  The prophets were also clear of all the abject deeds.

There is a story about Prophet Dawud concerning two men who had an argument.  They went to Prophet Dawud.  One told him:  "This is my brother.  He owns ninety-nine sheep and I own only one."  Dawud said:  "He treats you unjustly for wanting to take your one sheep."  The Islamic judge does not make a decision without hearing both sides, Prophet Dawud repented.  It was not a major sin or an abject deed.  Dawud rushed to repent from this minor sin.  The minor sins which are not abject may occur from the prophets but they are guided to repent from them before others imitate them.

Some people misinterpret this ayah.  They say the sheep refer to women.  They said Dawud had ninety-nine women (which was true), but then they said he sent one of his men to battle to be killed so he could marry that man's wife.  They add to this lie by saying Allah sent two angels in the form of two men to remind Prophet Dawud of this event.  We would not want this attributed to us.  How can one attribute this to a prophet?

Some scholars of the school of Imam Malik said he who says the term 'masiyya', which means 'sins', cannot be attributed to Prophets commits kufr, because in the Qur'an it says Adam sinned the sin.  What Adam committed was minor--not a major sin as stated by Christians.  Christians said something amazing.  They said:  "Adam committed a major sin to his Lord".  They falsely claim the children of Adam are sinful for the sin Adam committed and ^Isa-Jesus came to save humanity from the sin Adam committed.  In truth, Adam committed a small sin of which he repented.  How could his children be sinful for that which they did not commit?

Some scholars from the school of Imam Abu Hanifah said:  "Minor sins may have occurred before the prophets received their revelation of prophet-hood, but after this revelation of Prophet-hood, they did not commit sins.  The sin of Adam occurred before he was a prophet.  Adam committed that sin while he was in Paradise.  He went to earth after that and received his revelation on earth.

Musa made du^a'-supplication for his brother Harun-Aaron to become a prophet and messenger to help him.  Musa also made du^a' to get rid of that problem with his tongue.  Allah granted Musa both his du^a'.


And Allah knows best.