"Prophets of Islam" by
The forum of the Council of ex-Muslims of Britain:
Muslims regard as prophets of Islam those non-divine humans chosen by Allah as prophets. Each prophet brought the same basic ideas of Islam, including belief in a single God and the avoidance of idolatry and sin. Each came to preach Islam and told of the coming of the final law-bearing prophet and messenger of God: Muhammad.
Each prophet directed a message to a different group and each prophet taught minor variations in sharia (or the practice of religion) to a different target-audience. These variations constitute applications of Islam: mainstream Muslims do not consider them discrete versions of Islam.
Islamic tradition holds that God sent messengers to every nation. Muslims believe that God sent only Muhammad to convey the divine message to the whole world, whereas he sent other messengers (rasuls) to convey their messages to a specific group of people or to an individual nation.
Unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam distinguishes between a direct messenger of God (rasul) and a prophet (nabi). Both function as divinely inspired recipients of God's revelation. However, in addition, rasuls receive a divine message or revelation for a community in book form. Thus the rasul category forms a subset of the nabi category.
Muslims regard Adam as the first prophet and Muhammad as the last prophet; hence Muhammad's title Seal of the Prophets. Islam regards Jesus as a rasul (and sometimes as a nabi) because he received wahi (revelation) from God, through which God revealed the Injil (Gospel) to him. Muslims believe that God has sent over 124,000 prophets all over the world, as mentioned in the Sahih Hadith.
Five of them (sometimes known as Ulul Azmi or the Imams - literally: "leaders" - of the Rasuls) receive the highest reverence for their perseverance and unusually strong commitment to God in the face of great suffering, namely: Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), Muhammad.
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