In Islam, prophets are those people chosen by God to teach God’s message to mankind. Muslims believe that all prophets preached the same message of submission to the one true God, but their teachings became corrupted through the chain of human transmission. Hence, God chose a final prophet, Muhammad, to record and preach God’s verbatim revelation to the entire world. Many of the prophets of Islam prior to Muhammad are also renowned figures in Judaism and Christianity. The foremost prophets of Islam are Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. According to Islam, each prophet was sent to preach to a specific nation or tribe until Muhammad, who was sent for all of humanity. The Qur’an mentions 25 prophets by name, but a hadith reports Muhammad saying that there have been 224,000.
Prophets play a central role in the Islamic tradition as the sole intermediaries between God and humanity. Muslims consider prophets to be the most virtuous of all people, and Islam forbids any artistic depiction of prophets, just as it forbids such depictions of God in order to prevent idolatry. However, Muslims are careful to maintain that prophets are only human beings without any divine attributes, which belong only to God. The belief that all prophets preached the same message means that, according to Muslims, Islam did not begin with Muhammad but began with the first man and first prophet, Adam, making Islam humankind’s original faith.
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