24 Sept 2021

Prophets in the Quran

Learning Objective:
- To recap the role of the Prophets
- To be familiar with the named Prophets in the Quran
- To understand the concept of ismah, the infallibility of the anbiya.

Quran Verse:
Our Lord is He who gave everything its form and then guided it. Surah Taha 20:49-50

Allah has built within us a fitrah, a natural instinct to believe in God. However, this natural instinct is not sufficient for our guidance, and Allah has therefore sent Prophets (anbiya) and Imams (a’immah) to guide us to the right path, teaching us how to use our potential and become our best.

All 124,000 Prophets (Nabi, Pl. Anbiya) were sent with the same message of Tawhid to guide mankind. 21:25. Some of them were sent with a special message or a reveled book and these prophets are called rasul. There are 28 Prophets mentioned by name in the Quran.

Activity: Prophets in the Quran
Have a look through the contents page of the Holy Quran listing the titles of the surahs. Can you find the surah named after the Prophets? Read the following verses of Surat al-Anbiya (21) highlight and list the prophets mentioned. How many did you find?

A Nabi must have the following qualifications:
1. Must be sent by Allah.
2. Must possess ismah which means to be sinless and never disobey Allah. A person who has ismah and is infallible is called a ma'sum. 
3. Must be able to perform miracles.

It is important to understand that the ma‘sumin are not forced by Allah or unable to commit sins. They keep away from sin by their own free will. A ma‘sum keeps away from sin because of his or her deep understanding of how sin harms the soul of a person and also because he is aware and conscious of Allah’s presence at all times. This is just like ordinary people who have the free will to hurt their bodies but they don’t do it because they know how painful and harmful it will be. People commit sins because they don’t realise how much they are harming their souls. If they knew that, they would not even think of committing a sin.

Activity: Discussion about infallibility
- Why is it important for messengers to be infallible? Find and read Surah Najm 53: 3-4. What does Allah tell us about the Holy Prophet (S) and why do you think He said this?
- Does being a Ma'sum guarantee that your family will be safe too? What does Allah tell Prophet Nuh when he asks for his son to be saved? 11:45-46
- Are there any stories that made you think the Prophets had committed a sin? (P.Adam/P/Yunus)
Such ‘mistakes’ made by the anbiya are not actually sins that affect their position as spiritual guides. Instead, such actions are called Tark al-Awla which means ‘leaving the better option’. It is possible for the Prophets to sometimes make a choice that is not the best even though it is not a sin. 
- The fourteen ma‘sumin are Allah’s most perfect creation and do not commit even tark al-awla. Read Surah Ahzab 33:33 what does Allah say about them in the Quran?

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