Tuesday, February 20, 2018 9:15:34 AM
Prophet Muhammad: A Divine Mercy for the Worlds: Lecture 1

Article Author: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

The Ranks of the Prophets

When the Almighty Allah chooses a human being for His great divine mission, he must enjoy the highest degrees of virtues. Hence, the messengers of Allah are the most virtuous of people on earth.


Are there any degrees in rank amongst the Prophets themselves? The holy Quran confirms that whilst the messengers of Allah are more virtuous than other people, there are degrees in rank and preference in virtues amongst them.


The Almighty Allah states:

“Those Messengers! We preferred some of them to others; to some of them Allah spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honour); and to Jesus, the son of Mary, We gave clear proofs and evidences and supported him with the Holy Spirit.” [2:253]

“And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others, and to David We gave the Psalms .” [17:55]

Whist the demonstrative pronoun ‘those` [Telka in Arabic] is utilized in the first Ayah to express their higher status in comparison to other people; the rest of the Ayah clearly indicates the degrees of the Prophets are not equal.

Although the ranks of the Prophets are not the same in the sight of God, they are all His Messengers, absolute obedient servants, and as such we should not make any distinction in that sense between any of them. Thus, Islam denotes the wrong dogma of the divinity of Christ and blames Christians for exaggerating about the personality of Prophet Jesus. The Holy Quran as such teaches the Muslims:

 “Say (O Muslims), We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim, Ishmael, Isaa, Jacob, and to the offspring of the twelve sons of Jacob, and that which has been given to Moses, and Jesus, and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted.” [2:136]

The different degree of the Prophets in their ranks does not also mean they differed between themselves. The Prophets were like teachers of one school teaching one subject (Islam) for different grades. Should all the Prophets descend on earth and live in one city, there will be no disagreement among them whatsoever. Thus, the Almighty Allah in explaining the degrees of the Prophets states:

“We preferred some of them above others”

But to state the different opinion between the ordinary humans, He states:

“ If Allah had willed, succeeding generations would not have fought against each other, after clear Signs of Allah had come to them, but they differed - some of them believed and others disbelieved .” [2:253]

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