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Prophethood : to convey the Divine message
Islam is a religion and a way of life in tune with the reason and logic endowed on us humans by our Creator. There is no mystery and no ambiguity in the final divine message that has been sent to all mankind. “Allah desires to explain to you, and to guide you into the ways of those before you, and to turn to you (mercifully), and Allah is Knowing, Wise. And Allah desires that He should turn to you (mercifully), and those who follow (their) lusts desire that you should deviate (with) a great deviation. Allah desires that He should make light your burdens, and man is created weak.” [The Qur’an, 4:26-28].
Islam is the submission to the Creator of the heavens and earth by performing righteous deeds and avoiding prohibitive actions. A person who submits his will to the will of Allah is therefore a Muslim: “Whoever submits his whole self to Allah, and is a doer of good, has grasped indeed the most trustworthy hand-hold: and with Allah rests the end and decision of (all) affairs.” [The Qur’an, 31:22].
As Muslims, we believe in all the Prophets of Allah, as this is one of the six pillars of faith in our religion. The six pillars of faith are: 1. The belief in Allah 2. The belief in His angels 3. The belief in His books 4. The belief in His Prophets 5. The belief in the Day of Judgment. 6. The belief in the divine decree and destiny, whether good or bad.
The belief in the Prophets of Allah
Islam links us with all the noble Prophets of Allah since it is based on their pure teachings. Muslims believe in all the Prophets of Allah making no distinction in the belief towards them. “The messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the believers. Each one (of them) believes in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. “We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers.” And they say: “We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the end of all journeys.” [The Qur’an, 2:285].
Consequently it is a major sin in Islam to disbelieve in any of the Prophets of Allah: from Adam to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them).
It is with the concept of the unity of God and the unity of Prophethood that their religion is described as one, for they all called people to believe in One God, Allah i.e. to devote worship sincerely to Him Alone (Monotheism). Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“The Prophets are like brothers from one father; their mothers are different but their religion is one” [Bukhari, 3443].
With regards to laws, each of them had his own given law that was amenable and apt for a particular time and for a specific community to run their lives accordingly. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way” [The Qur’an, 5:48].
Out of all the Prophets of Allah, Allah (may He be exalted) has favored five Prophets i.e. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and finally Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon them) referring to them as the messengers of great-will. This is in consideration to the enormity of the task and mission that Allah has bestowed upon them: “The same religion has He established for you (O Muhammad) as that which He enjoined on Noah – that which We have sent by inspiration to you – and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that you should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein” [The Qur’an, 42:13].
The Virgin Mary
Jesus’ mother, Mary (peace be upon her), received special attention in the noble Qur’an even though all the Prophets with the exception of Adam had mothers.
“And when the angels said: O Mary! Surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the world” [The Qur’an, 3:42].
Interestingly, an entire chapter in the glorious Qur’an is dedicated to, and named, after Mary (Chapter 19 ‘Maryam’). Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) has said: “Mary is the best among the women during her time” [Bukhari, 3531].
Mary (peace be upon her), received the glad tidings that Allah would bestow upon her a child, whom He would create with the word ‘Be’ and ‘it is’.
“O Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a word from Him: his name will be Jesus the Messiah, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah. “He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.” [The Qur’an, 3:45-46].
But then Mary replied surprisingly,
“My Lord! How can I have a child when no man has touched me?” [The Qur’an, 3:47]
The reply was : “Even so (it will be), Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is.” [The Qur’an, 3:47].
Therefore we believe that Jesus was born miraculously without any male intervention.