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The Final Prophet

"The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the believers. Each
one of them believes in God, His angels, His books, and His Messengers. They say: 'We make no
distinction between one and another of His Messengers.' And they say: 'We hear, and we obey. We
seek Thy forgiveness, Our Lord, and to You is the end of all journeys.'" (Quran chapter 2, verse 285)
 
Throughout history the rich and powerful have oppressed the poor and weak. Men have suppressed
women and the vulnerable, as corruption and oppression became the social order across the world.
 
However, according to the teachings of Islam, Allah created man for a more noble purpose, to
worship Him alone and to lead a virtuous life based upon His guidance. But, people could not know
the role and purpose of their existence unless they received clear instructions about what Allah wants
them to do and not to do or about what Allah has decided is good and bad, right and wrong.
Hence, the need for messengers becomes apparent.
 
Since the beginning of time, Allah sent prophets to mankind, chosen from among their own people.
Twenty five of them are mentioned by name in the Quran. They were prophets chosen by Allah to
teach their people about Allah’s guidance. Since Allah is one, His message has always been one
and the same, so all prophets taught the same fundamental message, the message of Islam. Its
essence is to find peace in your life through submission to the One Almighty Creator; to believe in
Allah and to follow His guidance. How could the authenticity of their prophethood be proven?
Prophets were given miracles - abilities beyond the capabilities of ordinary people – as a proof of
their authenticity. The exact nature of the miracle was appropriate to the situation of the age.
 
For the Prophet Musa (Moses), whose contemporaries excelled in magic, his major miracle was to
defeat Egypt’s best magicians. Whilst Isa’s (Jesus) contemporaries were recognized as skilled
physicians, so his miracles were to raise the dead and cure incurable diseases. The Arabs who were
contemporaries of the Prophet Muhammad were renowned for their eloquence and mastery in
poetry. He was illiterate with no knowledge of previous scriptures, yet was bestowed with the
miraculous Quran, the like of which the entirety of Arab poets and orators could not produce.
 
An Outstanding characteristic of the Prophet Muhammad is that he was the best in his community
both, morally and intellectually. The people of Makkah knew him only as a man of excellent
character and cultured manners, calling him ‘Al-Ameen’, ‘The Trustworthy’. He never claimed to be
the author of the Quran. In fact he was never challenged as its author. From the many thousands of
the Prophet’s preserved sayings it can be seen that the linguistic style of Muhammad's speech and
that of the Quran are very different. No matter how hard one tries, one's style of speech cannot be
completely altered consistently, and certainly not over the period of 23 years during which the Quran
was revealed.
 
A further point worthy of note is that the Prophet Muhammad had already been prophesied in the
earlier scriptures of the Bible and Torah, therefore, the Jews and Christians were anxiously awaiting
him. According to the Quran, Isa (Jesus) was sent to the Children of Israel; he confirmed the validity of
the Torah, which was revealed to Musa (Moses), and he also brought the glad tidings of a final
messenger after him. Allah states in the Quran:
 
And when Isa son of Mariam said, ‘Children of Israel. I am indeed the messenger to you, confirming
the Torah that is before me, and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose
name shall be the praised one...(Quran chapter 61, verse 6)
 
The ‘praised one’ is the translation of ‘Ahmad’, which is one of Prophet Muhammad’s names. Unlike
the previous prophets, who addressed only their respective people, the guidance that was sent to
the Prophet Muhammad was a complete guidance for the whole of humanity, for all times and
places.