Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Prophethood
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Salam Alaikum Ladies and gentlemen, peace be upon you all, and welcome to our fourth episode on the series on Islamic prophet or the prophethood concept in Islam. I'm your host, Mohammed bin Hosni, and our guest today is Dr. Jamal Badawi Salaam Alaikum. Welcome to the program. Maybe you should start as usual by giving us a summary of our last episode.
The the flow of the discussion actually started
dealing with the need for prophets, why do we need prophets, and some discussion also of the nature of revelation? And then we shifted last time to the nature of Prophet with itself, and what are the basic characteristics of the Prophet. And he said that from the Islamic standpoint,
there is an avoidance of going to extremes that we have found in previous scriptures, prior to Islam, one would be to go to one extreme by defying a prophet to the status of God or Son of God, like we see in the case of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him and he said that, again, the Quran indicate that there is no Half Man Half God there is no God in person, or in the human form. But the other extreme also that was quite
clear. In the Old Testament from the Muslim point of view is to accuse profits of committing Cardinal sins, sins that affect their beliefs or their moral characters. And he said that the Quran, which is the word of God, the last revelation indicated very clearly that prophets are the best selected models of human beings. And that we should make a distinction between three types of sins or mistakes. We said First of all, a prophet can never make a sin, or mistake in matters of belief, like was attributed to some old testament prophets, you could not really have inclination towards other gods or idols, or pagan gods. So this it's impossible because otherwise you could not be
entrusted with the message. Secondly, Prophet can never commit a cardinal sin, something that blemishes basic moral characters, like we said last time, let's say violation of the 10 commandments, because a prophet is the example for the people. We said, however, that it is quite possible for the prophet to commit a minor errors, especially those errors of judgment, which is important even God would correct him as we have cited from the Quran also. But on the whole, we said that these are minor mistakes which are of quite a different proportion than what we have seen attributed the profits of the of the Old Testament, the Quran always insists they were the best
models of piety and guidance for the taper.
Okay, the reader of the Old Testament gets the impression sometimes that prophecy, coming from the road to prophecy implies that every prophet has the prophecy and prophesying as an exercise is a necessary condition for a person to be called the Prophet. How does the Muslim view that
prophecy itself, as you know is different from Prophethood. Prophecy itself does not make a profit, it is not a sufficient and necessary condition for a person to become a prophet. It is a kind of gift, which is endowed by God on certain prophets. Indeed, you can say if you're talking about prophecy, in a sense of foretelling the future or being able to sense what is going to happen in the future. It is a gift even that God gives or chooses to give to some people who are not even profits and a minor degree. I think many people would be familiar in their own experience, even of things that they see and dreams, which come true in real life. It's not because of their intelligence or
their ability, but it's something that's endowed on them by God. That's why Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was quoted as saying that if you have this phenomena of seeing dreams coming through, it is metaphorically equivalent to 140 years of prophethood it's only one minor aspect of profit to it that you're going to become a prophet but it doesn't mean exactly prophecy does not make you
Got a profit in itself. Also, we find that in the early days before Prophet Mohammed started receiving the Quranic revelation, the revelation of the Quran itself, it started also within in this way, in terms of dreams becoming vivid and true in real life.
But on the other hand, a prophet also may be given certain information by God foretelling certain things that are going to happen in the future, whether this applies to many prophets, either prophets in the Old Testament or the Prophet Muhammad, and we find examples in the Quran also, of things that the Quran mentioned as going to happen definitely. And actually it did, did occur. So in that sense, then a Muslim would not reject the notion of prophecy. But he does not overemphasize prophecy to consider a prophet, only a prophet, because he is
not the only tester. It's one aspect of how about genius about ingenuity? A lot of people think that profit has to be a genius, when we read about Muhammad, even some skeptics writing about Muhammad say, Well, it wasn't really what the Muslims claimed he was, but he was a genius. Now, how do we relate the concept of ingenuity to profit? From an Islamic standpoint? It depends how it's put.
And what intention really of putting it in one way or the other? If you mean by profits being ingenious, in a sense that profits we're intelligent, wise people, there's no question. It's consistent with their role as prophets. Yes, they receive revelation. But also they are supposed to use the various techniques as to how to reach people how to attract people to the wisdom of the revelation, and lead them through their lives. In that sense, you could say that wisdom, intelligence would be one useful tool for the prophet to fulfill his role. So there is no dispute on this question. God chooses people, not only because they are pious as prophets, but he chooses them
also, because they have the ability to communicate his message to the rest of humanity.
That's one sense. But on the other hand, like you said, some people would put it in such a way, so as to explain out the concept of Revelation. Say, we don't believe in all this unseen things Angel coming with revelation, a prophet must be a very intelligent and genius person was just
out of his own mind, they can see things more vividly and tell people and teach them all that wisdom, we find that this way of putting it is objectionable, not only with respect to Prophet Mohammed, but with respect to all prophets, on two important grounds. And the first round, if you recall, in the very first series on Prophethood, it was mentioned there that one of the main reasons why humanity need prophets is that there are certain types of information which are not subject to the normal sources that we have in science, for example, the knowledge of the unseen is something that nobody can sit down and guess what will happen in the light here after when the end of the
world is likely to come? What signs will be there, these are things that no matter how intelligent or wise a person may be, he cannot really arrive at it. And he's also we need direct communication from God. So this is one reason for objection. The other
ground is even more important, because all of those great prophets in history when you whether you talk about Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad peace be upon them all. These people insisted, very positively, that what they thought was a direct revelation from God from Allah, that this was not really something a which is a product of their own thinking, or their own intelligence, or their own ingenuity, if you will. And to say that there was no revelation and explanation for this
phenomena of prophethood is, their ingenuity would be to accuse them in a subtle way of lying and cheating. When they said that this is not our own thoughts. It is a revelation that has been given to us. So it depends how you put it properties are intelligent or wise. But this is not the source of what they thought. It is a revelation that explains it. Okay, another manifestation that is sometimes misconstrued as being a necessary and sufficient condition for a person to become a prophet, is the performance of miracles. Now, how does a Muslim view the idea of miracles, the Savior that every prophet has to perform miracles? And if not, why I'm sort of give us an idea of
like, like many other issues, it seems that when you review human history and how people try to explain things, that they have been deviation
in one extreme or the other, and that applies to Americans as well. We find some people who are so preoccupied with Americans
To the point of being
somewhat superstitious, and this would leave the door open wide for people who want to exploit this kind of tendency among people, those who claim make all kinds of claims of making miracles or healing people and so on. And sometimes this is done even for commercial purpose to exploit people's inclination to think of something spiritual, something unseen, that takes place in the light, but this is one extreme over.
On the other hand, it seems like also dependent on moving from one end to the other that some people react to this tendency, by going all the way the other side by saying no Americans that's anything or tacos, medical is just a superstition.
Even if there's something that's difficult to explain, maybe we try to explain it in some scientific way adopting 100% rational, intellectual approach to America which is also again erroneous because not exactly Not everything can be explained by just by science or rational
But in the approach, the approach taken in the Quran, perhaps can be understood by using the term which is used for medical in the Quran. And that is the word A,
which is translated roughly in English as a sign that is assigned given by God or Allah to a prophet in order to show his truthfulness and become one aspect or one manifestation of his claim.
took to come directly to your question whether the Muslim recognizes that there is miracles did prophets actually perform American dances? Most definitely, yes.
You can refer to the Quran for example, in the 21st chapter, verses 68 and 69. About the story of Prophet Abraham when his people tried to burn him, they put him inside the fire, but Allah ordered the fire to stop burning him again, you cannot explain it scientifically, but it did happen and Abraham can safely in the 26 chapters, verse 63, talking about Prophet Moses challenging the pharaohs and when he struck struck the sea, and he was saved with the Israelites and the pharaohs and their soldiers were drowned, or his challenge to the magician's. For example, we find in the third chapter of the Quran, the discussion of the miraculous verse of the john the baptist, for
example, despite the fact that his mother was barren, and she and her husband Zakaria were both very advanced in age. In the same chapter in verses 45 to 49. There is even a discussion of a more miraculous verse, that is the birth of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him, which again, we can address and the differences I think it's worthy of the discussion in a separate session. In the 17th chapters in the Quran, verse 88, it talks also about the most outstanding and perpetual miracle of Prophet Mohammed. And that is the Quran itself, which is still not just a physical American, but something which is in our hands for investigation. But on the whole, it is important to realize that
yes, there were some prophets, not necessarily every profit, there were some profits were given this additional sign, to implore their people to appeal to them, and somehow to attract their attention to listen to what they're saying. But the Quran is most positive, and clarifying that this Americans are not self produced by the province. It is something given by the court in 1478. It says it was not possible for any messenger to bring a sign except by the leave.
And that says Yes.
I want you to elaborate a little bit more about the importance of the miracles in the message of a particular prophet.
as we indicated before, prophecy, is one aspect of prophethood we can also say that medical is one aspect of prophethood. But not necessarily these, the central core of the message of the Prophet, a prophet or messenger of God, as viewed by Islam is not someone to prophesy or do miracles is not American door basically, is a guide. So the core of his message is to communicate the message given to him by God's revelation, to exemplify it and the life and to lead people into the right direction.
On the other hand, in terms of its relative importance,
it is quite safe to say that physical America is something stunning that the Prophet can do is more appealing to a person who has less maturity whereby only physical attraction can
You know, make him think further about the message of the Prophet. What as a more mature person did not emphasize the physical American, but rather the intellectual and spiritual miracle in the message provided by the prophet and the evidence of his truthfulness in conveying that message. But the Quran indicates that even if some of those physical miracles were done by the prophets, they in themselves, were not conclusive, in a sense of attracting or proving to people, the truthfulness of the Prophet.
Just in the interest of saving time, I can just refer to the number of verses in the Quran in 7183, and 1758, we find that the message is conveyed that in the past physical miracles were done. But people did deny as the unbeliever still rejected the message of the Prophet, despite of this miracles, not only this, as one verse even says that some in some cases, a prophet was murdered, was killed by the very people who have already seen him doing this, perform those Americans.
During the time of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, people came to him, and they started demanding all kinds of miracles, just to give you some indication of what silly requests they have in chapter 17, verses 90 through 93, they demand that things like this, if you're truly a prophet, cause spring to gush from the earth. Of course, the sky to fall
in pieces on us, bring God and the angels to us face to face. If you're a prophet, you should have a house of gold. If you're a prophet, you should have a ladder. And we should see you climbing over that ladder right into the skies, and even there, you should come down and bring us a book that you can read. So even with all of this requests, it is quite obvious that people with this kind of attitude, no matter how much is shown to them will never be so that's why the this versus conclude appropriately by saying, say Mohammed, glory to my Lord, I am only a messenger of God, I'm not just a miracle door. These things are not necessarily the core of my message. I'm not saying Of course,
that the Prophet, Prophet Muhammad did not have any medical, like I said before, it's perhaps the greatest miracle given to any prophet because it's perpetual, it is in our hand, that we can, we can see and we can, it's a challenge for our intellect and our our spirit.
So this in that sense,
that we as Muslims not overemphasize the role of Americans nor is it brushed aside or to put it in the proper perspective and as a buffer wait. Okay, now we come to the, to the idea of the number of prophets when the reader again of the Old Testament would realize very quickly that there are scores of prophets being mentioned whole books being called after profits. Now, how many profits are mentioned in the crop?
Those who are mentioned specifically by name are the total of 2518, of whom appeared in four successive verses in the Quran and chapter six, verses 83 through 86. Perhaps if I caught this, you know, it gives you the names also. It's the it says that was the reasoning about us that's about God, which we gave to Abraham, there's one to use against his people, we raise whom we will, degree after degree, for your Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge. We gave him, Isaac, and Jacob that is, of course, Jacob, the son of Ida,
and Jacob, all three who are guided, and before him, we guided Noah, and among his progeny, that his progeny of Abraham, David, Solomon, john, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron, thus do We reward those who do good, and Zechariah and john, john the baptist, and Jesus, and Elijah, all in the ranks of the righteous. And then it continues and Ishmael, as you know, the first son born to
Ishmael, and Elijah, and Jonah, and looked, and to all we give servers above the nation, so if you really read this four verses, you have the names already of 18 of them, and five other places in the Quran. The other seven are mentioned this includes Adam was regarded as the very first prophet hood. Shai Idris, they'll kefla which is believed to be the same as Ezekiel, salah and finally, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them also a total of 25 are specific
You mentioned by name in the Quran and as you notice, most of them are not unfamiliar to the the Judeo Christian tradition. Now, since that mentioned in the Quran, it is taken for granted that Muslims have to believe in demand in their existence. But how about other prophets? What is the stance? Or what is the attitude of Muslims towards other prophets outside this set of 25? Yeah, okay. When the Quran mentioned, the 25 names, it also indicates that this we're not the only prophets that were raised to humanity. Indeed, we read in the Quran, for example, in 3524. And there never was a people without a word not having lived among them. To warn people, of course, is the
same message also as prophet it's or it's a metaphor also of a prophet.
More specifically, even in chapter 10, verse 47, it says to every people with was sent a messenger when it couldn't be met in Rasool I have mentioned they have messenger. More specifically the Quran even indicate that the names of these prophets are not the only prophets. For example, we read in 4078
we did that is God we did a fourth time sent messengers before you are Mohammed. of them, there are some whose story we have related to you, and some whose story we have not related to you. So there are prophets was named does not appear necessarily, in the Quran. And this, I think, is quite interesting, because some people might wonder as to why the Quran always mentioned, prophets, who are raised largely in the Middle East area, does that say simply say that the grace, the grace of God is limited to the Middle East? Was there any profit as well? That's a yes, there were. But of course, it is quite clear also that the emphasis on the descendants of Abraham has some good reason
because the these are the the foundation of the three basic monotheistic faiths that we know all of them today, the universities, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, who were definitely a lot closer to monotheism, despite of the slight differences among them, much more than other nations in the past to somehow change the original view the vehicle from the basic message of monotheism into idolatry or politics, or other forms of worship, but it does not say that there was no possibility of other prophets. In fact, in one of my visits to South Africa, we went to visit some of the very primitive, very simple tribes, the Zulu tribes in their own cottages. And I was surprised to learn that they
also have some belief in the higher God, the one that we cannot see. And one wonder whether this is partly because of the influence of Islam since Islam spread in Africa, you know, long time ago? Or is it possible that maybe they might have have had the profits in the past? They have their own, there is no historical record, but perhaps the idea might have come through a genuine profit of God's people changing and adding, of course, as it happened in and other revelations.
Great Now, as far as the typical Muslim is concerned?
Again, I will sort of reiterate the question in a slightly roundabout way, what is my standard as a Muslim visa v? The prophets whether they be mentioned in the Quran or outside of Iran? Do I just believe in the existence? Or if there are special stories about the mentioned in the Quran? Do I have to believe them literally? Or take them as lead historical lessons? Or the the historical account or background of the Muslim nation? or How should I view them? How should How am I obliged to view them? It is not all just for historical interest. In fact, the Quran does mention the stories of many of those prophets and sometimes mentioned more than once in different ways. But you
find it somewhat different. For example, for people who are familiar with the Bible, it's not just a chronology telling a story. As such, the Quran mentioned, it's sometimes omitting some details, focusing on the lessons that can be learned from studying the history of those profits. But it is not just for historical interest, in fact, to believe in those profits is part and parcel of being a Muslim. And I'd like to say very, frankly, that this is not just a public relations statements, there are so many people appear in programs to try to make a conciliatory statement just for public relations. Indeed, I can document right from the Quran. That belief in all of those prophets, is an
obligatory duty. On every Muslim for example, in chapters two passages, verse 136, it says, say you, that is say you Muslims, we believe in Allah or God, capital G and the revelation given to us
And the revelation given to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes, and in that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to all profits from their Lord, we make no difference between one and another of them. And we bow to God in Islam or in surrender. So the according to this citation from the Quran 1400 years ago revealed, it still is not something like coming up recently for PR purposes, like I said before, it makes a Muslim really obliged to accept and reveal all of those profits. Not only this with the Quran,
ties between belief in the profits and righteousness, you cannot claim to be righteous and still reject genuine profit. For example, in to 177, it says, it is not righteousness, that you turn your faces towards east or west. But it is the miss it is righteousness to believe in Allah or God, and the last day, and the angels in the book and the messages, and the messengers as part and parcel of defining righteousness, to spend a one sustenance of love of him, for kin, orphans, needy, wayfarers, those who ask and for freeing slaves, to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity, to fulfill contracts when they are made, and to be firm and patient in pain, or suffering,
and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic, Such are the people of the gods hearing. The Quran also
indicates in many verses that to deny one Prophet, one genuine Prophet, means that you're denying all of them
to give documentation, for example, in for 150, through 161. It says those who deny God and His messengers, and those who wish to separate God from his messenger saying, we believe in some but reject others, those and those who wish to take a course, Midway, they are interest equally, unbelievers. The only qualification that a Muslim would have in accepting a prophet as a genuine prophet is that at least his name should appear in the Quran, we're not denying that they might have been other profits, but to say for sure that this was a profit, it must be confirmed in the last revelation revealed by God which is in the Quran. That's one. The second qualification and this
could be discussed also in a separate session, is that the Quran indicates very clearly that Prophet Muhammad was the last of those profits, which means that anyone claiming Prophethood after Mohammed is not necessarily a genuine prophet. And of course, we'll be discussing later on. Why, what evidence is there in the Quran? What logical reasons to believe in this and whether this means that the door of guidance has been closed, or whether it simply means that the last revealed scripture has been completed with the advent of Prophet Muhammad other than that one has no right to say, I believe in this prophet and reject that.
As a man, thank you very much for most interesting presentation and we hope to have you next week for the continuation of our show.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us today and we hope you're going to join us for the fifth episode and the remaining episodes of prophethood.
Till next week, this is San Jose, signing off.