25 April, 2018 | 9 Sha’ban, 1439 H

"A man who sits with his family is more beloved to Allah (swt) than spending the night in worship (itikaf) in my masjid"

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

Abstract

Prophethood in Islam is necessary for human salvation. Prophets provide humans with the blueprint or constitution for salvation in this world and in the Afterlife. Prophets are also role models that show us how to put this blueprint into action. 

INTRODUCTION 

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 

 

Welcome back to our Channel. In our previous lesson, we overviewed the concept of ʿadāla in Islam. As you may recall, ʿadāla referred to Allah’s Divine Justice. Divine Justice, put simply, is Allah’s fair treatment of His creation.

  

We know that God created humankind and that one day (the Day of Judgment) He will resurrect and hold all of humanity accountable for their deeds. For God to be fair, He needs to warn us about this Day and give us the proper guidance in order that we be successful   . In Islam, the means through which God does this is called nubuwwa, or Prophethood.  

 

 In this lesson, we will overview the meaning, basics and purpose of Prophethood in Islam. 

 

BODY OF TEXT 

 

Nubuwwa is an Arabic term that is often translated as Prophethood. On the same scale, the term nabī is usually translated as Prophet. This translation can, however, be problematic at times. In the English language, the word “prophet” is usually understood as someone who has a connection with God, is a teacher inspired by God, or someone who proclaims God’s will on earth.  

 

Although these definitions are true for the Islamic term nabī, not all people who have a connection with God and are inspired by Him  or proclaim His will on earth are considered nabīs in Islam. For this reason, we need to be careful when we use the word Prophet.  

 

We need to make sure that our understanding of the term is in accordance with how it is understood in Islam and not other religions or its conventional use in the English language.  

 

In Islam, a nabī is a person who receives inspiration from God, like dreams, visions, knowledge, understanding and wisdom. This kind of unmediated inspiration is called ilhām in Islam. Nabīs, however, also receive something that is called wahī. Wahī is a special kind of direct revelation that Allah reveals to nabīs through the medium of the Archangel Gabriel or Jibrā’īl in Arabic. Those who are not Nabis may receive inspiration, but only nabīs receive revelation through the angel Gabriel (as). 

 

When God reveals (through wahī) a new system of laws to a nabī, this nabī also assumes the rank of a rasūl, which literally translates as “Messenger.” Someone who is a nabī can also introduce a new law, but this is usually in the form of a specific law that complements a previous system of laws that was revealed via a Messenger.  

 

For example, the Prophet Shuʿayb (as) was tasked by Allah to propagate a law prohibiting cheating in business, but this law only complemented the larger system of laws that was set in place by the Prophet Abraham (as). In this sense, you may think of a rasūl as bringing a new constitution, and a nabī as making amendments to that constitution (i.e. adding, slightly changing and so on). 

 

As such, all rasūls are nabīs in Islam, but not all nabīs are rasūls! 

 

Understanding basic Prophethood in Islam is critical. Prophets reveal to mankind the correct way to live in order to attain salvation. They bring the “manual” of how to live a life that is pleasing to God and teach it so that people may find spiritual and material success both in this world as well as in the Hereafter.  

As teachers, Prophets also play the critical role of being role models for us. Prophets are therefore liaisons who bring the message of guidance from Allah to humans. They live it themselves in front of us so that we may learn by their example on how to implement theory into practice.  

 

In other words, they bring us the message, explain it and demonstrate it to us via their actions. Their actions are what we call sunnah in Islam, which literally means their “tradition,” “practice” or “culture.” In the case of the Prophet Muhammad (s), his sunnah is preserved in a oral tradition called the ḥadīth, which refer to his sayings or maxims or describe some of his practices as described by his contemporaries. 

 

In Islam, we believe that the Prophet Muhammad (s), as a nabī and a rasūl, was the final Prophet sent by God to mankind. This is because Islam is considered as the final and perfect religion. It contains all solutions for mankind’s spiritual problems. It contains everything we need to know in order to attain salvation in God. Since the religion of Islam is perfect and complete and is meant for all of mankind in all places and all times, there is no more need for any new revelation from Allah.  

 

The veracity of a Prophet is established through miracles which no one else can perform or repeat. The Prophet Muhammad’s greatest miracle, among other miracles, was the Qur’an whose eloquence not even the most eloquent of Arabs could mimic.  

 

The Qur’an, the Divine Scripture of the Prophet, was not a miracle solely based on its eloquence, but it was also based on the power of its messages in the form of true stories, allegories and clear arguments. When the Qur’an challenged  the doubters to bring a single verse like it, the Arabs could not do so and had to opt for a decade long war instead. 

 

Although the content of its message could not be challenged, its interpretation could be distorted. For this reason, Allah chose Imāms from the Ahl al-Bayt, that is, the Holy Household of the Prophet, to protect the interpretation of the Qur’an after him.  

 

We believe that the Prophet Muhammad (s) was the most knowledgeable of all Prophets and that He was the best of all role models. Each Prophet had a special form of knowledge that was unique to him, and each Prophet had specific manners and ways of being that was special to him.  

 

The Prophet Muhammad contained within him the knowledge of all of the divinely revealed Prophets and more. Furthermore, we believe that he was the best of all role models and displayed the most perfect moral character. 

 

There has been a total of 124, 000 Prophets sent by God according to Islam. Some of these major Prophets were Adam, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus. They brought with them Divine Scriptures, such as the Torah of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus. Adam is considered to be the first of these Prophets. Jesus was also a Prophet but unlike Christianity, Islam does not believe that he was God nor was he the son of God. 

 

Historically speaking, nabīs in Islam were dispatched by God for specific regions only. With the exception of the Prophet Abraham (as), the Prophet Muhammad (s) was the only universal Prophet for he was the Prophet of the end of times. As religion was always evolving, Islam became the peak of that evolution.  

 

It doesn’t matter whether you live in Africa, East Asia or North America, the divine message revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, as well as his moral and spiritual example, are meant for all peoples in all places and in all times.  

 

When the basic shahāda is recited, it is always good to testify that the Prophet Muhammad “is the seal of all Prophets” in addition to “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." This means that he is the last and final messenger and prophet.  

Wahī

direct revelation by God through the medium of the Archangel Gabriel 

Ilhām

divine inspiration 

Nabī

Prophet 

Sunnah

Sunnah is the tradition, practice or culture of the Prophet. 

Hadīth

The oral tradition where the Sunnah is preserved.

Rasūl

Messenger who brings a whole system of laws. All rasūls are nabīs. 

Q1

What is the purpose of Prophethood in Islam?

Its purpose is to give humankind the blueprint on how to attain salvation in God as well as providing a human example on how to put that blueprint into practice. 

Q2

What’s the difference between wahī and ilhām?

Ilhām is usually a form of private inspiration from God, but wahī is revealed through the medium of the Archangel Gabriel (as) and is conditioned upon propagation to the public. Wahī is usually something new, often in the form of a new law. 

Q3

What’s the difference between a nabī (Prophet) and a rasūl (Messenger)?

A nabī receives basic revelation from God, usually in the form of a specific law whereas a Messenger receives a whole new system of laws which other nabī-only prophets usually follow. 

Q4

Why is the Prophet Muhammad (s) the last Prophet?

Because he is the prophet for the end of times, meaning that his message was perfect, complete and universal. Universal means for all times, all places and all peoples. As such, there is no more need for a new nabī. 

Q5

What’s the difference between Sunnah and hadīth?

Sunnah is the tradition, practice or culture of the Prophet. The sunnah is preserved in a oral tradition called the ḥadīth, which are sayings of the Prophet, or sayings about him, as in his actions. 

Q6

What is salvation?

Salvation is to purify the heart from sins and evil and to fill it with the remembrance of God and surrender to the divine. 

tauheed
tauhid
Muslim religion
faith
Jesus
Moses
Abraham
David
Adam
Muslim faith
testimony
shahāda
principles of faith
principles of religion
usul al-dīn
usool-e deen
usul-e-deen
usul din
tawhid
adala
imāma
imāmat
principles of the Islamic faith
Muslim God
Islamic God
fundamental beliefs of Islam
Day of Judgment
tawhīd
tawheed
justice
adalah
adalat
ʿadālah
nubuwwa
prophethood
prophet Muhammad
prophet
messenger of allah
messenger
nabi
nubuwat
usool deen
tauheed
belief & creed

He, His Messenger and His Message by Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr  

Prophethood by Saeed Akhtar Rizvi 

A Glimpse of the Character Traits of the Prophet Part 1 & 2 by Ayatollah Mujtahid Zanjani