Who were the Prophets of Allah?
The prophets of Allah were people that were selected by Allah to deliver his message. These people were normal people that Allah selected to guide the people. Allah would purify their hearts and give them make them his messengers.
What did the prophets teach?
All the prophets had the same essential message. The message was tawheed - Allah is one, he has no partners and he has no sons. They taught us that we should only worship Allah and acknowledge him as our supreme Lord. Allah has given us a life to live, when this is over we will need to account to Allah on the day of judgement. If we had lived good lives and acted upon his message then he will grant you paradise otherwise Allah will punish us and then send us to Hell.
The prophets did bring different laws depending upon the circumstances of their people. The Laws reflected the time and circumstances of the people. However the essential message, the message that was the bedrock of all religions- tawheed- was the same.
How many prophets did Allah send?
We are taught in the Holy Quran that every nation was sent a messenger. This means that Allah did not deprive anyone from the one and only true path. Hadith tell us that Allah sent to mankind 124,000 prophets.
The prophets use to guide the people and the people use to obey the messenger. When the messenger passed away, they would add things to their religion and take stuff out. Basically, the message was changed and the people started to become bad and stray from the right path. Allah would then send another messenger to teach the people.
Is there evidence of these prophets?
Yes, when see some of the religions throughout the worlds and some of the older religions which archaeologists have found out about, we find that there is a remarkable similarity between them all.
For example, some ancient tribes discovered in Africa use to refuse to bow down before anything other than Allah. They use to say that Allah is a pure being. He is not like a tree, money or even the moon - he is not like anything we can see on this earth or in the heavens above. Others use to say that Allah is all-knowing and sees and hears everything. Other tribes use to say that Allah is independent - he does not need anything but everything needs him.
This concept of Allah can be seen throughout history.
Was there different kinds of prophets?
Some prophets came with a new message they are known as Rasool. They were given a new message and they preached it to their people. However, some messengers were only sent to revive the message of a previous prophet and they are known as Nabi.
A Rasool is also a Nabi (they came to revive the old message and laso came with new laws for their people) but a Nabi is not a Rasool (Nabi did not bring any new laws)
Who was Isa ?
Isa was a prophet of Allah sent to his people to bring them back onto the right path. He was a servant and slave of Allah like all the prophets before him. However, when he passed away they exaggerated their religion making Isa to be Allah or the son of Allah (Astag-fir-ullah). Some of his followers did stay on the right path.
What was different about Muhammed?
Muhammed came with the Quran - the message that will never be corrupted and he came to the whole of mankind, not only to his own people. The follows of Muhammed carried his message throughout the whole world.
Who were the first followers of Muhammed?
The first people who followed Islam were his close family and friends. His wife Khadija; His nephew Ali; His close friend Abu Bakr and Zayd- the adopted son of Muhammad. They became the first Muslims and the first Sahabah.
What was special about the Sahabah?
The Sahabah were the first followers of the Prophet Muhammad. They were the people who were closest to the prophet and had the privilege of seeing the Prophet with their own eyes, accepting his message and then died with Islam in their hearts.
The Sahabah helped the Prophet in every way during his life and afterwards they became the torchbearers of Islam as they carried the same message throughout the world. Through the Sahabah we have additional explanation of the Quran. The Sahabah followed Islam with all aspects of their lives, they too are an example to us. All the Hadith we have were narrated through the Sahabah.
Who were the four rightly guided Khalifahs.
The Khalifahs were four of the most famous companions of the prophet who became the leaders of the Muslims after the Prophet had passed away.
Abu Bakr -was the first.
Umar - was the second leader of the Muslims.
Uthman - was the third leader of the Muslims
Ali - was the fourth leader of the Muslims.
Their lives will be studied at a greater level in the classes
What is Athar?
Athar is the sayings of the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet (PBUH)) - plural Aathaar. Even these are given the same priority as the Hadith. The Holy Prophet says in a Hadith:
Follow my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of my rightly guided Khalifahs.
In another Hadith the Holy Prophet (PBUH) says:
My companions are like the stars whichever one you follow you will be guided.
So we have been ordered by the Prophet himself to follow the footsteps and the sayings of the Sahabah.