The Prophets and Messengersp were individuals who received revelation from God and conveyed it to the people. They were sent to humanity to return people to monotheism, to serve as living practical examples of how to surrender to God, and to guide people to the path of salvation. None of the Prophets and Messengersp share in any part of God’s divinity. They were merely human beings. It is forbidden for a Muslim to worship them or to use them as a conduit to God. A Muslim should never invoke them, make supplications to them, or seek God’s mercy and forgiveness through or from them. Therefore, the term “Muhammadanism” is an insult and should never be applied to Muslims. Every single Prophet and Messenger taught that all such acts are polytheistic, and anyone who engages in them is outside the fold of Islam.
Throughout the ages, God, The Bestower of Good, has sent Prophets to people all over the world. A Muslim must believe in all of the Prophets and Messengers sent by God. God has mentioned some of them in the Qur’an. Among those mentioned by name are Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. (Peace be upon them all)
All the Prophets and Messengers of God brought the teachings of Islam. Throughout history all monotheistic people who submitted to the will of God and followed God’s revelation to the Prophets and Messengers of their time are considered Muslims. The entitlement to Abrahamic inheritance is acquired through one’s adherence to Abraham’s monotheistic faith and surrender to God, not by lineage alone. When Mosesp came and proclaimed Prophethood, all those who truly followed him in monotheism were Muslims. Likewise, when Jesusp came and declared his Prophethood with clear signs and miracles, it was obligatory for everyone to accept him unconditionally if they were to be considered Muslims. All those who rejected Jesusp became disbelievers in Islam because of that rejection. Rejecting or disliking any of God’s Messengers disqualifies one as Muslim. Muslims are required to love and respect all the Prophets and Messengersp of God who called upon humanity to worship The Creator alone without ascribing to Him any partner. All the Prophets and Messengers surrendered completely to God, which is Islam.
The Prophets, from Adam to Muhammad p, were all brothers in faith. They all called people to the same truth. Different Messengers came with different sets of laws sent by God to guide and govern the people, but the essence of their teachings was the same. They all called people away from the worship of created things to the worship of The Creator, The Supreme.
In Islam, Muhammad p has the distinction of being God’s final Messenger and the Seal of the Prophets. The reason for this is, first, because God completed His revelations to humanity and perfectly preserved them forever in the Qur’an, and second, His final Prophet and Messenger p led an exemplary life for the twenty-three years of his Prophethood, establishing clear guidelines for all generations to follow. God says in the Qur’an that no Prophet or Messenger will come after him. This is the reason Muhammad p is known as the Seal of the Prophets. This means the divine law that was revealed and embodied in the teachings of Prophet Muhammad p is for all of humanity until the Day of Resurrection (Day of Judgment). To be a believer, it is obligatory to believe in Muhammadp and the laws that have been revealed through him, as well as in all the Prophets and Messengers of God who came before. Muhammadp and the Prophets and Messengers p before him also had to believe in, obey, and surrender to The Almighty God. Although Muslims believe in all the Prophets and Messengersp of God, they follow and emulate the teachings and example of the final Messenger Muhammadp. God The Most Glorious, states about Muhammadp, “And We have not sent you, but as a mercy to the worlds.” [Qur’an 21:107]