When Adam disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden tree at the evil suggestion of Iblees, (Satan or Devil) God expelled him from the Paradise. But on account of His mercy, God promised to send guidance for the children of Adam and said, according to the Qur’an 2:38-39: “Whoso follows My guidance there shall no fear come upon them neither they shall grieve. But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.” So God sent Prophets and Messengers for the guidance of mankind, the exact number of which is not known from any authentic source. They were indeed in thousands if not in millions. The Qur’an has mentioned the names of only 25 Prophets (besides Adam) and tells us that Allah raised Prophets among every nation. The names of the Prophets mentioned by the Qur’an are: Al-Yasa (Elisha), Ayub (Job), Daud (david), Dhul-Kifl, Haroon (Aaron), Hud, Ibrahim (Abraham), Idris (Enoch), Iliyas (Elias), Isa (Jesus), Ishaque (Isaac), Ismail (Ishmael), Luut (Lot), Muhammad, Musa (Moses), Nuh (Noah), Salih, Shuaib, Sulaiman (Solomon), Uzair (Ezra), Yaqub (Jacob), Yahya (John), Yunus (Jonah), Yusuf (Joseph) and Zakriya (Zachariah). Some of these Prophets were given books such as Abraham (who was given some scrolls), Moses who was given Torah, David who was given the Psalms, Jesus who was given the Gospel and Muhammad who was given the Qur’an. In this chapter, however, we would discuss the stories of only those Prophets who have been mentioned so often in the Qur’an along with their nations, besides Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) about whom we have already written an independent Chapter.


            Centuries after Adam, when the people had gone astray from the One true God and His right path, God sent Noah to the people living in ancient Iraq for their guidance. According to the Bible (Old Testament, Genesis), Noah was son of Lamech and he was of the nineth generation of Adam. According to a tradition, he was the first messenger of Allah who was given Shariah (Law). The Qur’an has related the story of Prophet Noah in its various Chapters. It has named its Chapter No. 71 after Prophet Noah, called Surah Noah. Noah lived among his people for 950 years and preached to them Oneness of God, worship of True God alone, and renunciation of idol worship. But his rebellious people disobeyed him except a few poor persons. When he got disappointed, Allah asked him to build a big ship (later on called Noah’s Ark), place in it a pair of some species of animals and birds and embark on it with his family and followers. Then Allah’s command of deluge (a big flood) came. Thus Prophet Noah’s arrogant people including his son were drowned. Noah and his family and his believers were saved. The ark rested on the mount Judi and the water was called off by Allah. The Bible says that the whole world was covered by the flood. It has also given details about the size of the Noah’s ark. However, the Qur’an has not given such details. It has only concentrated on the moral aspects of Noah’s story. Flood of Noah according to Maulana Abdul Majid Darya Abadi’s research took place in 3232 B.C. Let us now know what the Qur’an says about Prophet Noah.

1-         Prophet Noah (PBUH) has been mentioned by the Qur’an in its dozens of verses. Specially verses 7(59-64), 11(25-48), 23(23-30), 26(105-122), and 71(1-28) relate his story. However a detailed a/c of Prophet Noah has been given by the Qur’an in verses 25 to 48 of its Chapter 11 which tells us how he conveyed Allah’s message to his people, how the chiefs of his people ridiculed him and challenged him to bring upon them the doom with which he had threatened them, how Allah commanded him to make a ship, how Allah caused abundant water to come down from sky (i.e. the rain) and gush forth from earth, how Noah’s rebellious nations including his disobedient son were drowned, and how Noah and his family along with his followers and species of animals were saved in the ship.

The Qur’an says: And We sent Noah unto his folk (and he said): Lo! I am a plain warner unto you. That ye serve none, save Allah. Lo! I fear for you the retribution of a painful Day. The chieftains of his folk, who disbelieved, said: We see thee but a mortal like us, and we see not that any follow thee save the most abject among us, without reflection. We behold in you no merit above us-nay, we deem you liars. He said: O my people! Bethink you, if I rely on a clear proof from my Lord and there hath come unto me a mercy from His presence, and it hath been made obscure to you, can we compel you to accept it when ye are averse thereto? And O my people! I ask of you no wealth therefor. My reward is the concern only of Allah, and I am not going to thrust away those who believe-Lo! they have to meet their Lord-but I see you a folk that are ignorant. And, o my people! Who would deliver me from Allah if I thrust them away? Will ye not then reflect? I say not unto you: “I have the treasures of Allah” nor “I have knowledge of the Unseen,” nor say I: “Lo! I am an angel!” Nor say I unto those whom your eyes scron that Allah will not give them good-Allah knoweth best what is in their hearts-Lo! then indeed I should be of the wrong-doers. They said: O Noah! Thou hast disputed with us and multiplied disputation with us; now bring upon us that wherewith thou threatenest us, if thou art of the truthful. He said: Only Allah will bring it upon you if He will, and ye can by no means escape. My counsel will not profit you if I were minded to advise you, if Allah’s will is to keep you astray. He is your Lord and unto Him ye will be brought back. Or say they (again): He hath invented it? Say: If I have invented it, upon me be my crimes, but I am innocent of (all) that ye commit. And it was inspired in Noah, (saying): No one of thy folk will believe save him who hath believed already. Be not distressed because of what they do. Build the ship under Our eyes and by Our inspiration, and speak not unto Me on behalf of those who do wrong. Lo! they will be drowned. And he was building the ship, and every time those chieftains of his people passed him, they made mock of him. He said: Though ye make mock of us, yet we mock at you even as ye mock; And ye shall know to whom a punishment that will confound him cometh, and upon whom a lasting doom will fall. (Thus it was) till, when Our commandment came to pass and the oven gushed forth water, We said: Load therein two of every kind, a pair( the male and female), and thy household, save him against whom the word hath gone forth already, and those who believe. And but a few were they who believed with him. And he said: Embark therein! In the name of Allah be its course and its mooring. Lo! my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful. And it sailed with them amid waves like mountains, and Noah cried unto his son-and he was standing aloof-O my son! Come ride with us, and be not with the disbelievers. He said: I shall betake me to some mountain that will save me from the water. (Noah) said: This day there is none that saveth from the commandment of Allah save him on whom He hath had mercy. And the wave came in between them, so he was among the drowned. And it was said: O earth! Swallow thy water and, O sky! Be cleared of clouds! And the water was made to subside. And the commandment was fulfilled. And it (the ship) came to rest upon (the mount) Al-Judi and it was said: A far removal for wrongdoing folk! And Noah cried unto his Lord and said: My Lord! Lo! my son is of my household! Surely Thy promise is the Truth and Thou art the Most Just of Judges. He said: O Noah! Lo! he is not of thy household; lo! he is of evil conduct, so ask not of Me that whereof thou hast no knowledge. I admonish thee lest thou be among the ignorant. He said: My Lord! Lo! in Thee do I seek refuge (from the sin) that I should ask of Thee that whereof I have no knowledge. Unless Thou forgive me and have mercy on me I shall be among the lost. It was said (unto him): O Noah! Go thou down (from the mountain) with peace from Us and blessing upon thee and some nations (that will spring) from those with thee. (There will be other) nations unto whom We shall give enjoyment a long while and then a painful doom from Us will overtake them.   (11:Hud:25-48)

2-         Some other information given by the Qur’an about Prophet Noah is as under:

  • Verse 33 of Surah 3 tells us that Allah preferred Adam and Noah and the Family of Abraham and the Family of Imran above many peoples.
  • Verses 14 and 15 of Surah 29 tell us that Noah lived with his people for nine hundred and fifty years (for most of the time preaching them Allah’s message). As they did not heed, Allah drowned the wrongdoers and saved Noah and his followers in the ship which was made a portent for the other nations.
  • Verse 10 of Surah 66 tells us that the wife of Noah betrayed him and so she would be sent to Hell despite that she had lived with Noah as his wife.
  • Chapter 71 of the Qur’an which has been named after Noah provides us with some more details about Noah and his people. The people of Prophet Noah did not accept Noah’s teachings although he preached to them day and night. They disobeyed him and followed the wealthy and the proud persons among them. They did not believe in Allah and did not agree to worship Him Alone. Rather they continued worshipping the idols and their false gods such as Wadd, Suw’a, Yaghuth, Ya’uq and Nasr. Disgusted with their rebellious attitude, Prophet Noah invoked Allah to destroy the sinners and the wrongdoers of his people. His invocations were accepted by Allah Who drowned the wrong-doers because of their sins.

3-         The Qur’an, in verse 10 of its Surah 66, gives example of the wife of Noah for the disbelievers who, despite being wife of a great Prophet of Allah, would go to Hell as she betrayed him. In verse 46 of Surah 11, the Qur’an calls son of Noah of evil act. On the basis of these two statements, some commentators (whom I should call notorious) allege Noah’s wife of immoral conduct, which is a blasphemy. Betrayal of Noah’s wife of him according to most of the scholars, means that she betrayed her husband in his Prophetic mission. She neither sincerely believed in him nor she actively supported him in fulfillment of his duty of conveying God’s message to his people.


He was sent as a messenger of God to his tribe or people called A’ad. They lived in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, in the area along with Persian Gulf extending from Yemen to Iraq called Al-Ahqaf. The tribe was called after their ancestor Aad who was grandson of Prophet Noah’s son Sam. The A’ad people were very strong and tall in stature, had fertile lands, lived in stone-built very beautiful houses, and had a lot of wealth and agricultural produce. According to Allama Sulaiman Nadvi, the climax of the power and prestige of these people was the period around 2200 B.C. One of their kings named Shaddad, who was proud and rebellious to God, is reported to have built a big paradise containing big gardens, buildings and fountains. However, when the paradise was completed, he died on its doorsteps and could not enter it as a punishment from God.

Allah sent Prophet Hud to these rebellious people who preached to them to believe in God, worship Him alone, shun the false deities and obey their Prophet. But the arrogant people rejected Prophet’s message. So God sent His torment on them and destroyed these people.

According to most of the scholars, Prophet Hud is not mentioned in the Bible. However, some scholars identify him with Eber son of Sulh mentioned in the Book of Genesis of Old Testament. Now let us see what the Qur’an says about him.

1- Prophet Hud (PBUH) has been mentioned by the Holy Qur’an in several of its verses. Particularly verses 7(65-72), 11(50-60), 26(124-140), 46(21-26), 54(18-21), 69(4-8), and 89(6-8) relate his story. But a somewhat detailed account of Hud, his message to his people A’ad, refusal of his people to obey him, and God’s punishment on his people has been given by the Qur’an in its Surah 11 (verses 50-60) which has been named after him. It reads as under:

And unto (the tribe of) A’ad (We sent) their brother, Hud. He said: O my people! Serve Allah! Ye have no other God save Him. Lo! ye do but invent! O my people! I ask of you no reward for it. Lo! my reward is the concern only of Him who made me. Have ye then no sense? And, O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, then turn unto Him repentant; He will cause the sky to rain abundance on you and will add unto you strength to your strength. Turn not away, guilty! They said: O Hud! Thou hast brought us no clear proof and we are not going to forsake our gods on thy (mere) saying, and we are not believers in thee. We say naught save that one of our gods hath possessed thee in an evil way. He said: I call Allah to witness, and do you (too) bear witness, that I am innocent of (all) that ye ascribe as partners (to Allah). Beside Him. So (try to) circumvent me, all of you, give me no respite. Lo! I have put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Not an animal but He doth grasp it by the forelock! Lo! my Lord is on the straight path. And if ye turn away, still I have conveyed unto you that werewith I was sent unto you, and my Lord will set in place of you a folk other than you. Ye cannot injure Him at all. Lo! my Lord is Guardian over all things. And when Our commandment came to pass We saved Hud and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us; We saved them from a harsh doom. And such were A’ad. They denied the revelations of their Lord and flouted His messengers and followed the command of every forward potentate. And a curse was made to follow them in the world and on the Day of Resurrection. Lo! A’ad disbelieved in their Lord. A far removal for A’ad, the folk of Hud!   (11:Hud:50-60)   

2- The story of Hud and his people has again been repeated in verses 65 to 72 of its Chapter 7 and in verses 124 to 140 of its Chapter 26 by the Holy Qur’an with a little difference of words. In verses 65 to 72 of Surah 7, Hud reminds his people that Allah has made them viceroys after Noah’s people and has given them good physique and other blessings. So they should serve Allah alone. Instead of obeying him and forsaking their false gods, his people challenged him to bring upon them the doom wherewith he had threatened them. So Allah’s torment came and He saved Hud and his followers and cut the root of those who denied Allah’s revelations and disbelieved. In verses 124 to 140 of Chapter 26, Hud mentions the blessings of Allah on his people like sons, cattle, gardens and watersprings and invites them to serve Allah but in vain. However he mentions two qualities of his people that they build monuments on every high place for just fun and they make strong fortresses as if they will live therein for ever. These qualities may look great to materialistic civilization of modern times from archeological point of view. But to a Prophet and a pious person these are useless ventures. So verses 6 to 8 of Chapter 89 call the people of Hud as A’ad of Iram, a city of lofty pillars, like of whom were not created in the cities of the world.

3- In some other verses the Qur’an provides us the following further information about Prophet Hud and his people, the tribe of A’ad: verses 21 to 26 of Surah 46 tell us that Hud’s people A’ad lived in Al-Ahqaf. When Allah’s doom in the shape of a dense cloud came forth to their valleys they took it a cloud which would bring them rain. But in fact that was a windstorm in which was a painful torment. Verses 18 to 21 of Surah 54 tell us that the furious wind sent on tribe of A’ad was sweeping men away as if they were uprooted trunks of palm-trees. This wind continued blowing on them for seven nights and eight days.   (69:4-8).

Prophet Salih (PBUH)

Some two or three centuries after Prophet Hud, God sent Prophet Salih to the tribe or people known as Thamud. They were so called after their ancestor Thamud who was a great grandson of Noah’s son Sam. They lived in the north-western part of Arabia known in those days as valley of Al-Qura’a, rocky fertile land. They were closely related to A’ad and are also known as Second A’ad. Like A’ad people, they were wealthy, arrogant, and rebellious to God. They cut rocks and built splendid houses, castles and temples. They disbelieved in God, worshipped stone idols and oppressed the poor and the weak.

Prophet Salih preached to the people belief in one God and good conduct. He asked them to renounce idols worship, to serve Allah alone and obey him. But they rejected the teachings of Salih and mocked at him. They asked him to produce a miracle in the form of a pregnant she-camel which should come out of mountain. So Salih prayed to God and God produced she-camel by splitting asunder a mountain. Salih told his people that it was Allah’s she-camel so they should leave her to feed and inflict no harm on her. Instead of admiring this miracle and believing in Allah and Allah’s messenger Salih, they hamstrung the she-camel and killed her. So at Allah’s command, Saleh gave his people a three days ultimatum for repentance and reform. But instead of submitting to Allah and His messenger, nine miscreants of the city on behalf of the people plotted to kill Salih and his family secretly by night. Therefore, Allah sent His torment and destroyed the Thamud. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) showed his companions the ruined area of Thamud when he led an expedition to Tabuk in 8 A.H.

Prophet Salih is not mentioned in the Bible. Let us see what the Qur’an says about him.

1- There are several verses in the Holy Qur’an about Prophet Salih (Peace be upon him) and his people, the tribe of Thamud. Particularly verses 7(73-79), 11(61-68), 26(141-159), 27(45-53), 54(23-31), 85(17-20) and 91(11-15) relate his story. However, verses 73 to 79 of Surah 7 provide us some details about his account. These are reproduced as under:

And to (the tribe of) Thamud (We sent) their brother Salih. He said: O my people! Serve Allah. Ye have no other God save Him. A wonder from your Lord hath come unto you. Lo! this is the camel of Allah, a token unto you; so let her feed in Allah’s earth, and touch her not with hurt lest painful torment seize you. And remember how He made you viceroys after A’ad and gave you station in the earth. Ye choose castles in the plains and hew the mountains into dwellings. So remember (all) the bounties of Allah and do not evil, making mischief in the earth. The chieftains of his people, who were scornful, said unto those whom they despised, unto such of them as believed: Know ye that Salih is one sent from his Lord? They said: Lo! In that wherewith he hath been sent we are believers. Those who were scornful said: Lo! in that which ye believe we are disbelievers. So they hamstrung the she-camel, and they flouted the commandment of their Lord, and they said: O Salih! Bring upon us that thou threatenest if thou art indeed of those sent (form Allah). So the earthquake seized them, and morning found them prostrate in their dwelling-places. And Salih turned from them and said: O my people! I delivered my Lord’s message unto you and gave you good advice, but ye love not good advisers.   (7:Al-A’raf:73-79)          

The same story appears in verses 61 to 68 of Surah 11 and verses 141 to 159 of Surah 26 with a little difference.

2- Further information given to us by the Qur’an in its other verses about Salih and his people is as under:

·        Verses 45 to 53 of Surah 27 tell us that there were nine persons in the tribe of Thamud who were ring leaders of the mischief makers. They said to each other: “Swear by Allah that we will attack Salih and his family in the night, then we will say to his guardian: We did not witness the killing of his family.” Thus they devised a plot against Salih. Allah also devised a scheme and destroyed them and their nation utterly and saved Salih and his followers.

·        In verses 147 to 149 of Surah 26 Prophet Salih reminds Thamud of the favours of Allah, namely: They are blessed with gardens and springs, corn fields and palm-trees, and the skill with which they carve house out of mountains.

Prophet Abraham (PBUH)

About 2000 or 1800 B.C. (exact dates not known) Abraham was born in Urr, an ancient city of Iraq, among the Chaldean people. The chaldeans believed in Sabaean religion and were polytheists who worshipped idols and heavenly bodies such as sun, moon and stars. Abraham’s father Aazar was a maker as well as a worshipper of idols and was incharge of a big temple. Abraham received enlightenment in very young age when he rejected worship of sun, moon, stars and idols and expressed his disgust against the worship of things and beings other than Allah, the One God of the whole universe. When enlightened and comissioned as Prophet of God, Abraham started preaching to his people worship of One True God (monotheism) instead of many false deities (polytheism). He argued with his father and the idolaters as to why they worshipped idols when they know that the idols can neither cause them any harm nor any benefit. At this the idolaters turned against him and his father particularly got offended and threatened that he would stone Abraham to death if Abraham did not abstain from condemning the idols. So Abraham left his father’s home.

One day when the people had gone to attend their annual festival, Abraham entered their temple and broke to pieces all the idols except the biggest one. When the people returned and came to know what had happened, they called Abraham and asked him as to who has done mischief with their idols. Abraham told them to refer to the biggest idol, but they admitted that the idols could not speak. Meanwhile the king of Iraq, Namrud came to know of the incident and he called Abraham to his court. Namrud claimed to be god, so he questioned Abraham about his God. Although Namrud was confounded by Abraham’s reply, but he did not accept Abraham’s concept of God. Therefore he and his people prepared a blazing fire and threw Abraham into it. However, Allah made the fire cool for Abraham and he came out of it safe and sound. After this incident Abraham left his country and with his wife Sarah (who was his cousin) and Lot (who was his nephew and who also believed in his prophethood) he went to Syria.

Abraham lived in Syria for few years and then migrated to Canaan (Palestine). Even in Canaan he could not stay for a longer period because of famine in the land. He then decided to migrate to Egypt the men of whose king took away his wife Sarah. But when the king came to know of the truth, he not only returned Sarah to Abraham with respect but also gifted him a lady named Hajrah. Abraham married Hajrah and returned to Canaan with his wives.

Abraham was blessed with his first born son, Ismail, by Hajrah. Afterwards he settled his wife Hajrah and his infant son Ismail in valley of Faran, a desert and uncultivated land. When Ismail grew into a young boy of 12 or 13 years, Abraham saw in a dream that he was sacrificing him. Ismail obediently submitted to his father’s desire. Thus both the father and the son surrendered before the will of Allah and the father made his only son lay down on forehead in the valley of Mina near Makkah ready for sacrifice, God appreciated his act and redeemed Ismail by a big sacrifice of a lamb. Then Abraham built Kaabah with the help of his son Ismail who later became ancestor of the Arabs and forefather of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Abraham’s act of sacrifice of his son Ismail pleased Allah so much that Allah blessed Abraham another son Isaac by his barren wife Sarah, and Isaac was blessed with Jacob, who became father of Israelites and in whose line many Prophets were born including Moses, David, Solomon, Zacharia, John and Jesus.

Abraham was blessed with sons at fairly old age. He was 86 when Ismail was born and was 99 when Isaac was born. Allah made Abraham a Prophet and His friend (Kalil-ul-Allah) and raised many Prophets from among his descendants. Therefore, Abraham is called Father of the Prophets (Abul Anbiya). Besides his sons Ismail and Isaac who were Prophets, the Qur’an has named Jacob, Joseph, Shuaib, Moses, David, Solomon, Job, Jonah, Elisha, Ezra, Zacharia, John, Jesus and Muhammad as Prophets among his descendants. Allah also made Abraham Leader of mankind (Imam-un-Nas). Qur’an calls him a great monotheist (Hanif) who single-mindedly devoted himself to the worship of One God. He has been called a great Muslim and his religion has been named Islam. Three great religions of the world – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – highly respect Abraham and take pride in tracing their origin to Abraham’s faith. These religions were given to the world respectively by Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, who as stated above were descendants of Abraham. Many articles of Islam, particularly rituals connected with Pilgrimage and animal sacrifice, are associated with actions of Abraham, his son Ismail and his wife Hajarah. Abraham preached his belief in One God and his religion of Islam (complete submission to the will of God) wherever he went such as Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. He, therefore, can be called a Prophet sent not only to his native land Iraq but also to many other lands. The Qur’an has showered Allah’s blessings on him and has honoured him by naming one of its Chapters, Chapter 14 called Surah Ibraheem, after his name.

Let us now see what the Qur’an says about him.

1- Allah tried Abraham with His commands, and he fulfilled them. So Allah appointed him a leader for mankind (Al-Quran 2:124). He was thankful to Allah for His bounties, so Allah chose him and guided him to a straight path (16:121). Allah preferred the Family of Abraham above peoples of the world (3:33). Allah also bestowed upon his family the Scripture and Wisdom – He bestowed upon them a mighty kingdom (4:54).

2- Allah sent revelation to Abraham as He sent revelation to other Prophets (Al-Qur’an 3:84, 4:163). He was a Prophet and Allah gave him Scriptures (Al-Qur’an 19:41, 53:36-37, 87:19). His Religion was Islam and he preached Islam to his sons (Al-Qur’an 2:130-132, 2:135, 3:95).

3- He alongwith his elder son Ismail built Kaabah (the House of God) at Makkah and purified it for those who go around it and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves. Then both prayed to Allah for raising a messenger in their children who should recite to them Allah’s revelations and purify them and teach them Scripture and Wisdom. They also prayed to Allah for making the region (where Ismail had been settled and God’s house had been built) a region of security and bestowing upon its people fruits for sustenance (al-Qur’an 2:125-129 and 14:37). God commanded Abraham to proclaim unto mankind the pilgrimage of the House, i.e. Kaabah.   (Al-Qur’an 22:27).

4- Abraham was not a Jew, nor a Christian, nor a polytheist (or idolater) but an upright Muslim who had submitted himself whole-heartedly and single-mindedly to One God, Allah the All-Mighty-(Al-Qur’an 2:135, 3:67, 6:161, 16:120, 16:123).

5- Allah blessed him with sons-Ismael and Isaac in his old age (Al-Qur’an 14:39). Allah raised many Prophets from his seed such as Ismael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Job, Jonah, Elias, Elisha, Zachariah, John and Jesus (Al-Qur’an 6:84-86). Finally Allah raised Muhammad (PBUH), His last Messenger from the offspring of Ismael, Abraham’s elder son.

6- Abraham rejected worship of idols and heavenly bodies and argued with his father, Azar, about idol-worship. The Qur’an in its Chapter 6 verses 74 to 80, says:

(Remember) when Abraham said unto his father Azar: Takest thou idols for gods? Lo! I see thee and thy folk in error manifest. Thus did We show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he might be of those possessing certainty: When the night grew dark upon him he beheld a star. He said: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said: I love not things that set. And when he saw the moon uprising, he exclaimed: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said: Unless my Lord guide me, I surely shall become one of the folk who are astray. And when he saw the sun uprising, he cried: This is my Lord! This is greater! And when it set he exclaimed: O my people! Lo! I am free from all that ye associate (with Him). Lo! I have turned my face toward Him Who created the heavens and the earth, as one by nature upright, and I am not of the idolaters. His people argued with him. He said, Dispute ye with me concerning Allah when He hath guided me ……..

Abraham’s detailed arguments with his father about idol-worship have also been reported by the Qur’an in verses 41 to 48 of Surah 19.

7- Abraham’s debate with Namrud, the king of Iraq, about God has been reported by the Qur’an (2:258) as follows:

Bethink thee of him who had an argument with Abraham about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom; how, when Abraham said: My Lord is He who giveth life and causeth death, he answered: I give life and cause death. Abraham said: Lo! Allah causeth the sun to rise in the East, so do thou cause it to come up from the West. Thus was the disbeliever abashed. And Allah guideth not wrong-doing folk.

8- Allah showed Abraham how He would raise the dead. The Qur’an, in its verse 2:260 says:

And when Abraham said (unto his Lord): My Lord! Show me how Thou givest life to the dead, He said: Dost thou not believe? Abraham said: Yea, but (I ask) in order that my heart may be at ease. (His Lord) said: Take four of the birds and cause them to incline unto thee, then place a part of them on each hill, then call them, they will come to thee in haste. And know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.   (2:Al-Baqarah:260)

9- Abraham rejected the worship of idols by his father and his people and broke their idols, they threw him into fire, Allah made the fire cool for him, and rescued him (from Iraq) to the blessed land (Palestine). These events have been described by the Qur’an as under:

And We verily gave Abraham of old his proper course, and We were Aware of him, When he said unto his father and his folk: What are these images unto which ye pay devotion? They said: We found our fathers worshippers of them. He said: Verily ye and your fathers were in plain error. They said: Bringest thou unto us the truth, or art thou some jester? He said: Nay, but your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, who created them; and I am of those who testify unto that. And, by Allah, I shall circumvent your idols after ye have gone away and turned your backs. Then he reduced them to fragments, all save the chief of them, that haply they might have recourse to it. They said: Who hath done this to our gods? Surely it must be some evil-doer. They said: We heard a youth make mention of them, who is called Abraham. They said: Then bring him (hither) before the people’s eyes that they may testify. He said: But this, their chief hath done it. So question them, if they can speak. Then gathered they apart and said: Lo! ye yourselves are the wrong-doers. And they were utterly confounded, and they said: Well thou knowest that these speak not. He said: Worship ye then instead of Allah that which cannot profit you at all, nor harm you? Fie on you and all that ye worship instead of Allah! Have ye then no sense? They cried: Burn him and stand by your gods, if ye will be doing. We said: O fire, be coolness and peace for Abraham, And they wished to set a snare for him, but We made them the greater losers. And We rescued him and Lot (and brought them) to the land which We have blessed for (all) peoples. And We bestowed upon him Isaac, and Jacob as a grandson. Each of them We made righteous.   (21:Al-Anbiya:51-72)

The above mentioned events have also been briefly highlighted by the Qur’an in verses 83 to 98 of its Surah 37.

10- The story of Abraham’s sacrifice of his son (Ismail) has been related by the Qur’an as under:

(Abraham prayed): My Lord! Vouchsafe me (i.e. bless me) of the righteous (a son who must be righteous). So We gave him tidings of a gentle son. And when (his son) was old enough to walk with him, (Abraham) said: O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice thee. So look, what thinkest thou? He said: O my father! Do that which thou art commanded. Allah willing, thou shalt find me of the steadfast. Then, when they had both surrendered (to Allah), and he had flung him down upon his face, We called unto him: O Abraham! Thou hast already fulfilled the vision. Lo! thus do We reward the good. Lo! that verily was a clear test. Then We ransomed him with a tremendous victim. And We left for him among the later folk (the salutation): Peace be unto Abraham! Thus do We reward the good. Lo! he is one of Our believing slaves. And We gave him tidings of the birth of Isaac, a Prophet of the righteous.   (37:As-Saffat:101-112)

11- Abraham’s abhorrence of idol worship and his concept of God has again been highlighted by the Qur’an in its verses 69-82 of Surah 26. The Qur’an says: Recite unto them the story of Abraham when he said unto his father and his folk: What worship ye? They said: We worship idols, and are ever devoted unto them. He said: Do they hear when ye cry? Or do they benefit or harm you? They said: Nay, but we found our fathers acting on this wise. He said: See now that which ye worship, ye and your fathers. Lo! they are all an enemy to me, save the Lord of the worlds, Who created me, and He doth guide me. And who feedeth me and watereth me, and when I sickin, then He healeth me. And who causeth me to die, then giveth me life (again). And who, I ardently hope, will forgive me my sin on the Day of Judgement.

12- The Qur’an (60:4-6) makes Abraham and his companions a goodly pattern (role model of conduct) for those who believe in Allah and the Last Day.

13- Miscellaneous information provided by the Qur’an about Prophet Abraham (PBUH) is as follows: Angels bring him tidings of a son (11:69-73, 15:51-56, 51:24-30). He pleads for Lot’s people (11:74-76). His prayers (2:126-129, 14:35-41, 26:83-87). To fulfill his promise he prayed for his father though it was of no avail (9:113-114, 19:47, 26:86). 

Prophet Lot (PBUH)

Lot was son of Abraham’s brother Haran who had died when Lot was child. So he was brought up by his uncle Abraham. Besides Abraham’s wife Sarah, he was the only person who had accepted Abraham’s faith. When Abraham felt disgusted with the people of Iraq and left his country for good, Lot accompanied him. He stood with his uncle Abraham and remained with him in his journeys to Syria, Canaan and Egypt. Later on he was appointed Prophet and God sent him as His messenger to the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah in the plains east of the Dead Sea. The people of these cities were shamelessly addicted to the vice of homosexuality which they had innovated and which hitherto was not known among other nations of the world. They were also involved in crimes like highway robbery and doing evil acts in public assemblies. Lot tried his level best to guide the people to the right path of Allah and to make them give up vices of homosexuality and highway robbery. But it was al in vain. So before sending His torment on these wicked people, Allah sent two angels in the form of handsome youngmen. First the angels met Abraham and conveyed to him good news of birth of Isaac and then they went to Lot as guests. The news of the arrival of handsome youngmen in Lot’s house spread like wild fire in the city and the wicked people rushed and gathered around the house of the Prophet. Lot offered them his daughters and asked them to spare his guests, but the wrongdoers did not agree. Meanwhile the guests realized the helplessness of Lot and disclosed to him their identity. Lot was told to escape with his family except his wife. Earthquake combined with rain of fire and stones completely destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Let us see how the Qur’an relates the story of Lot and his people.

1- The Qur’an tells us that God blessed Lot with judgement and knowledge and delivered him from the community that did abominations.   (21:74-75)

2- The story of Prophet Lot (PBUH), the sins of his people and their destruction including the wife of Lot in a doom sent by Allah upon them, has been told by the Qur’an in its following paragraphs:

·        And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you? Lo! ye come with lust unto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk. And the answer of his people was only that they said (one to another): Turn them out of your township. They are folk, forsooth, who keep pure. And We rescued him and his household, save his wife, who was of those who stayed behind. And We rained a rain upon them. See now the nature of the consequence for evil-doers!   (7:Al-A’raf:80-84)

·        And when Our messengers came unto Lot, he was distressed and knew not how to protect them. He said: This is a distressful day. And his people came unto him, running towards him and before then they used to commit abominations-He said: O my people! Here are my daughters! They are purer for you. Beware of Allah, and degrade me not in (the presence of) my guests. Is there not among you any upright man? They said: Well thou knowest that we have no right to thy daughters, and well thou knowest what we want. He said: Would that I had strength to resist you or had some strong support (among you)! (The messengers) said: O Lot! Lo! we are messengers of thy Lord; they shall not reach thee. So travel with thy people in a part of the night, and let not one of you turn round-(all) save thy wife. Lo! that which smiteth them will smite her (also). Lo! their tryst is (for) the morning. Is not the morning nigh? So when Our commandment came to pass We overthrew (that township) and rained upon it stones of clay, one after another, Marked with fire in the providence of thy Lord (for the destruction of the wicked). And they are never far from the wrong-doers.   (11:Hud:77-83)

·        And Lo! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Lo! ye commit lewdness such as no creature did before you. For come ye not in unto males, and cut ye not the road (for travelers), and commit ye not abomination in your meetings? But the answer of his folk was only that they said: Bring Allah’s doom upon us if thou art a truth-teller! He said: My Lord! Give me victory over folk who work corruption.   (29:Al-Ankabut:28-30)

The above mentioned story has been repeated, with a little difference, by the Qur’an in its Surahs and verses such as 15:59-73 and 26:160-177

3- Lot’s wife betrayed him and so she would enter the Hellfire (Al-Qur’an 66:10). She is an example for disbelievers. Her husband, who is a Prophet of God, will not be of any avail to her on the Day of Judgement. Lot’s wife betrayed Lot which, according to the scholars, does not mean that (God forbid) she was not of good moral character. It means that she betrayed her husband in his Prophetic mission. She neither sincerely believed in him nor she actively supported him in preaching of his faith.

Prophet Shuaib (PBUH)

Allah raised Shuaib as Prophet among his folk, called the People of Madyan (spelled as Midian also) who were descendants of Madyan, the son of Prophet Abraham by his third wife named Katura. These people are also known as Banu Katura. These people were settled in a region which was adjacent to Syria and the Sinai deserts. The area was on a prominent highway by which the traders of Hijaz traveled to Syria, Palestine and Egypt along the eastern banks of the Red Sea. A city named after Madyan, the ancestor of the people, had also emerged in the region. With the passage of time the people had lost their faith in Abraham’s religion, had become idolaters and were involved in crimes like cheating in business dealings and highway robbery.

Prophet Shuaib preached to them belief in One God and worship of Allah alone instead of idols like Baal. He also tried to persuade them to give up business malpractices such as wrong or short weighing and measuring. But instead of listening to the fair advice of their Prophet, they threatened him to stone him to death if he did not revert to their religion. So Allah sent His torment in the shape of a violent earthquake with a thundering sound. Prophet Shuaib and those few persons who believed in him were saved, but all the wrong doing people of Madyan were completely destroyed.

The story of Prophet Shuaib and his wrongdoing people, along with their crimes and their punishment has been related by the Qur’an in verses 85-93 of Surah 7, verses 84-95 of Surah 11 and verses 176-191 of Surah 26. Let us reproduce the following verses of the Qur’an to highlight the story:

And unto Midian (We sent) their brother, Shu’aib. He said: O my people! Serve Allah. Ye have no other God save Him. Lo! a clear proof hath come unto you from your Lord; so give full measure and full weight and wrong not mankind in their goods, and work not confusion in the earth after the fair ordering thereof. That will be better for you, if ye are believers. Lurk not on every road to threaten (way-farers) and to turn away from Allah’s path him who believeth in Him, and to seek to make it crooked. And remember, when ye were but few, how He did multiply you. And see the nature of the consequence for the corrupters! And if there is a party of you which believeth in that wherewith I have been sent, and there is a party which believeth not, then have patience until Allah judge between us. He is the best of all who deal in judgement. The chieftains of his people, who were scornful, said: Surely we will drive thee out, O Shuaib, and those who believe with thee, from our township, unless ye return to our religion. He said: Even though we hate it? We should have invented a lie against Allah if we returned to your religion after Allah hath rescued us from it. It is not for us to return to it unless Allah should (so) will. Our Lord comprehendeth all things in knowledge. In Allah do we put our trust. Our Lord! Decide with truth between us and our folk, for Thou art the best of those who make decision. But the chieftains of his people, who were disbelieving, said: If ye follow Shu’aib then truly ye shall be the losers. So the earthquake seized them, and morning found them prostrate in their dwelling-place. Those who denied Shuaib became as though they had not dwelt there. Those who denied Shuaib they were the losers. So he turned from them and said: O my people! I delivered my Lord’s message unto you and gave you good advice; then how can I sorrow for a people that rejected (truth)?   (7:Al-A’raf:85-93)

Prophet Moses (PBUH)

Moses is regarded as the founder of Judaism, the greatest Prophet and central figure in the Jewish nation. His name in Hebrew is Mosheh. The greatness of Moses lies in the fact that he brought his people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt, “the house of bondage”, received from God the Ten Commandments and the Torah on Mount Sinai, and led his people in the desert wanderings for 40 years. Above all Moses was the Prophet of God and a mediator between God and the children of Israel. According to the Jews, it is through his intermediacy that God concluded a covenant with children of Israel at Mount Sinai in which God chose them to be his people and they undertook to worship God only and obey his laws. About the name of this great Hebrew Prophet, the Bible states, though the later scholars reject it, that the Pharaoh’s daughter named the infant she found in the river ‘Mosheh’ because she said, “I drew him out of water” (Hebrew: ‘Mishiti’) Historically, Moses lived between 1350 and 1250 B.C. A brief account of Moses, as constructed by Encyclopedia Americana from sacred writings of the Jews, is given below:

Moses was the son of Amram and Jochebed, both of the tribe of Levi. Before his birth, the Egyptian Pharaoh had decreed that every male child born to his Hebrew slaves should be cast into the Nile River. In an effort to save her son, Jochebed placed Moses in an ark of bulrushes by the river’s brink. He was found there by the pharaoh’s daughter, who took pity on him. At the suggestion of Moses’ elder sister, Miriam, his nursing was entrusted to “a Hebrew woman,” who was none other than his own mother. After Moses was weaned, he was adopted by the pharaoh’s daughter and raised in royal palace.

The Bible makes no mention of Moses’ upbringing at the Egyptian court. But according to Talmudic legend, his life was saved by the angel Gabriel. While a young child, Moses took the crown from the head of the Pharaoh and placed it on his own head. To test whether Moses understood what he had done, a bowl of hot coals and a bowl of precious stones were placed before him. As Moses reached out for the jewels, Gabriel, who had made himself invisible, caught the child’s hand and directed it toward the coals. Moses lifted a red-hot coal to his mouth, burning part of his lip and tongue. His life was thus saved, but from then on he was “slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

At some point he learned that he was a Hebrew, and was concerned about the bondage of his people. Upon reaching adulthood, Moses “went out unto his brethren” and saw an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew slave. He killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. When the incident became known to the Pharaoh, Moses had to flee to escape the death penalty.

He found refuge in Midian with Jethro (Reuel), a Midianite priest, and later married his daughter, Zipporah, who bore him two sons, Gershom and Eliezer. Moses lived as a shepherd in Midian for 40 years. During his sojourn with Jethro, it is possible that he absorbed Midianite ideas about the deity.

One day, while Moses tended the flock on “the Mountain of God Horeb,” the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush, which was not consumed by the flames. The Lord revealed himself to Moses as the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and stated that his name was Yahweh, or Ehye (“I am,” or “I cause to be”). He commanded Moses to return to Egypt to liberate his people from bondage and lead them to “a land where milk and honey flow.” Moses protested that he could not perform such a task and pleaded for release because of his slow speech. But God promised to assist him and chose Moses’ brother Aaron as his spokesman. Moses then returned to Jethro and, without disclosing God’s revelation, sought permission to visit his brethren in Egypt. On his way back to Egypt with his wife and children, Moses met Aaron and told him of God’s words. Moses and Aaron then approached the Children of Israel, who accepted them as their leaders.

Thereupon they went to the Pharaoh and declared, “This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, has said, ‘Let my people go, so that they may keep a feast in the wilderness in honor of me.” When the Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt, God inflicted ten plagues on the nation. The pharaoh remained adamant after the first nine. But the tenth plague – the death of all the firstborn of Egypt – finally broke his resistance. The angel of Death passed over the homes of the Israelites, whose doorways had been marked with lamb’s blood. After a hasty nocturnal meal of the Passover lamb and matzo (unleavened bread), the Children of Israel marched out of Egypt.

The pharaoh soon changed his mind and sent his army in pursuit, trapping the Israelites on the shores of the sea of Reeds (later misinterpreted as the Red Sea). Then followed the miraculous passage through the Reed Sea, which Moses parted by stretching out his hand over it. The pursuing Egyptians were drowned when the waters returned. The Israelites traveling through the wilderness complained to Moses of  hunger and thirst, and at God’s command he performed miracles to provide water, manna, and quail.

Moses then led his people to Mount Sinai, where they entered into a covenant with God. While the Israelites remained at the foot of the mountain, he climbed to the peak and was met there by God, who revealed to Moses his Law-the Ten Commandments. Moses stayed with God on Mt. Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights, during which time he had nothing to eat or drink.

When Moses descended, he found the Israelites worshiping a golden calf. Enraged, he shattered the tablets containing the Ten Commandments. After the people were punished and repented, God commanded Moses to go up Mount Sinai again. Moses remained there another 40 days and 40 nights, during which time God instructed him in the law and again inscribed the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets.

Moses then led the Israelites through their wanderings in the desert for 40 years, to the border of Canaan.

According to tradition, Moses, under God’s direction, wrote the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible (known as the “Torah of Moses”). When he reached the age of 120, God warned him that he was about to die. Thereafter, Moses appointed Joshua as his successor and gave a blessing to each of the tribes. Although not permitted to enter Canaan, he was allowed to view it from Mount Nebo, where he died.

The approach of the Qur’an to the story of Moses and his interaction with Pharaoh and with his own people, the Israelites, is a little different. The Qur’an does not describe the names of the father, mother, sister, father-in-law, wife and children of Moses, nor it describes the events of Moses life in chronological order, nor it provides any information about the ages of persons involved in the story and about the dates of the events. Being a book containing Allah’s last and universal message to humanity for its guidance, it emphasizes the moral aspect of various historical events and draws moral lessons of abiding nature to lead mankind to the right and straight path of God. The Qur’an also seeks to correct the description of events which has been willfully or unwillfully distorted in the Jewish Scriptures over a long period of time.

Prophet Moses has been held in high esteem by the Qur’an. After Prophet Muhammad, he is the most mentioned Prophet in the Qur’an. His name has been mentioned for more than 150 times and events of his life have been related at least in 25 Surahs of the Qur’an. Particularly Surah 2, 7, 10, 20, 26, 28, 37, 40, and 79 describe him in detail. Let us now see what the Qur’an says about him in brief.

1- The Holy Qur’an throws light on the childhood and early life of Moses in verses 38-40 of Surah 20 and verses 7-13 of Surah 28. The account given by the Qur’an in the latter Surah which is a bit more detailed is as follows:

            And We inspired the mother of Moses, saying: Suckle him and, when thou fearest for him, then cast him into the river and fear not nor grieve. Lo! We shall bring him back unto thee and shall make him (one) of Our messengers. And the family of Pharaoh took him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a sorrow. Lo! Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts were ever sinning. And the wife of Pharaoh said: (He will be) a consolation for me and for thee. Kill him not. Peradventure he may be of use to us, or we may choose him for a son. And they perceived not. And the heart of the mother of Moses became void, and she would have betrayed him if We had not fortified her heart, that she might be of the believers. And she said unto his sister: Trace him. So she observed him from afar, and they perceived not. And We had before forbidden fostermothers for him, so she said: Shall I show you a household who will rear him for you and take care of him? So We restored him to his mother that she might be comforted and not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of them know not.   (28:Al-Qasas:7-13)

2- Account of Moses’ youth when he strikes down an Egyptian and flees to Madyan as given by the Holy Qur’an is as under: And when he reached his full strength and was ripe, We gave him wisdom and knowledge. Thus do We reward the good. And he entered the city at a time of carelessness of its folk, and he found therein two men fighting, one of his own caste, and the other of his enemies; and he who was of his caste asked him for help against him who was of his enemies. So Moses struck him with his fist and killed him. He said: This is of the devil’s doing. Lo! he is an enemy, a mere misleader. He said: My Lord! I have wronged my soul, so forgive me. Then he forgave him. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. He said: My Lord! Forasmuch as Thou hast favoured me, I will nevermore be a supporter of the guilty. And morning found him in the city, fearing, vigilant, when behold! He who had appealed to him the day before cried out to him for help. Moses said unto him: Lo! thou art indeed a mere hothead. And when he would have faller upon the man who was an enemy unto them both, he said: O Moses! Wouldst thou kill me as thou didst kill a person yesterday. Thou wouldst be nothing but a tyrant in the land, thou wouldst not be of the reformers. And a man came from the uttermost part of the city running. He said: O Moses! Lo! the chiefs take counsel against thee to slay; therefore escape. Lo, I am of those who give thee good advice. So he escaped from thence, fearing, vigilant. He said: My Lord! Deliver me from the wrongdoing folk. And when he turned his face toward Midian, he said: Peradventure my Lord will guide me in the right road.   (28:Al-Qasas:14-22)

3- The Qur’an throws light on stay of Moses in Madyan and his marriage with a daughter of his employer as under: And when he came unto the water of Midian he found there a whole tribe of men, watering. And he found apart from them two women keeping back (their flocks). He said: What aileth you? The two said: We cannot give (our flocks to drink till the shepherds return from the water; and our father is a very old man. So he watered (their flock) for them. Then he turned aside into the shade, and said: My Lord! I am needy of what-ever good thou sendest down for me. Then there came unto him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: Lo! my father biddeth thee, that he may reward thee with a payment for that thou didst water (the flock) for us. Then, when he came unto him and told him the (whole) story, he said: Fear not! Thou hast escaped from the wrongdoing folk. One of the two women said: O my father! Hire him! For the best (man) that thou canst hire is the strong, the trustworthy. He said: Lo! I fain would marry thee to one of these two daughters of mine on condition that thou hirest thyself to me for (the term of) eight pilgrimages. Then if thou completest ten it will be of thine own accord, for I would not make it hard for thee. Allah willing, thou wilt find me of the righteous. He said: That (is settled) between thee and me. Whichever of the two terms I fulfill, there will be no injustice to me, and Allah is Surety over what we say- (28:Al-Qasas:23-28). According to several Muslim commentators of the Qur’an, the old man who employed Moses and married his daughter to him was none else but Prophet Shauib of Madyan.  

4- In its following passage, the revealed book of Islam highlights Moses’ return journey to Egypt with his family, his tryst with God, his appointment as messenger of God, his receipt of miracles and his deputation to Pharaoh.

Then, when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was traveling with his housefolk, he saw in the distance a fire and said unto his housefolk: Bide ye (here). Lo! I see in the distance a fire; peradventure I shall bring you tidings thence, or a brand from the fire that ye may warm yourselves. And when he reached it, he was called from the right side of the valley in the blessed field, from the tree: O Moses! Lo! I, even I, am Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; Throw down thy staff. And when he saw it writhing as it had been a demon, he turned to flee headlong, (and it was said unto him): O Moses! Draw nigh and fear not. Lo! thou art of those who are secure. Thrust thy hand into the bosom of thy robe, it will come forth white without hurt. And guard thy heart from fear. Then these shall be two proofs from your Lord unto Pharaoh and his chiefs. Lo! they are evil-living folk. He said: My Lord! Lo! I killed a man among them and I fear that they will kill me. My brother Aaron is more eloquent than me in speech. Therefore send him with me as a helper to confirm me. Lo! I fear that they will give the lie to me. He said: We will strengthen thine arm with thy brother, and We will give unto you both power so that they cannot reach you for Our portents. Ye twain, and those who follow you, will be the winners. But when Moses came unto them with Our clear tokens, they said: This is naught but invented magic. We never heard of this among our fathers of old. And Moses said: My Lord is best aware of him who bringeth guidance from His presence, and whose will be the sequel of the Home (of bliss). Lo! wrong-doers will not be successful. And Pharaoh said: O chiefs! I know not that ye have a god other than me, so kindle for me (a fire), O Haman, to bake the mud; and set up for me a lofty tower in order that I may survey the God of Moses; and lo! I deem him of the liars. And he and his hosts were haughty in the land without right, and deemed that they would never be brought back to Us. Therefore We seized him and his hosts, and abandoned them unto the sea. Behold the nature of the consequence for evil-doers!   (28:Al-Qasas:29-40)

Further details about Moses commissioning as messenger are available in verses 20:9-36 of the Qur’an 

5- The Qur’an, in its following passage, tells us that Moses expressed desire to gaze upon God but he could not do so because he fell down senseless when God revealed His glory to mountain. God chose him His messenger and wrote commandments for him upon the tablets. The passage reads:

And when Moses came to Our appointed tryst and his Lord had spoken unto him, he said: My Lord! Show me (Thyself) that I may gaze upon Thee. He said: Thou wilt not see Me, but gaze upon the mountain! if it stand still in its place, then thou wilt see me. And when his Lord revealed (His) glory to the mountain He sent it crashing down. And Moses fell down senseless. And when he woke he said: Glory unto Thee! I turn unto Thee repentant, and I am the first of (true) believers. He said: O Moses! I have preferred thee above mankind by My messages and by My speaking (unto thee). So hold that which I have given thee, and be among the thankful. And We wrote for him, upon the tablets, the lesson to be drawn from all things and the explanation of all things, then (bade him): Hold it fast; and command thy people (saying): Take the better (course made clear) therein. I shall show thee the abode of evil-livers.   (7:Al-A’raf:143-145)

6- Allah sent Moses as His messenger to Pharaoh to seek freedom of his people, Israelites, from slavery of Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s folk. The following extract of the Qur’an enlightens us how Moses had argument with Pharaoh, how he confronted the magicians of Pharaoh, how the magicians submitted to Moses, how God drowned Pharaoh’s hosts and saved Moses and his people:

And when thy Lord called Moses, saying: Go unto the wrongdoing folk, the folk of Pharaoh. Will they not ward off (evil)? He said: My Lord! I fear that they will deny me, and I shall be embarrassed, and my tongue will not speak plainly, therefore send for Aaron (to help me). And they have a crime against me, so I fear that they will kill me. He said: Nay, verily. So go ye twain with Our tokens. Lo! We shall be with you, Hearing. And come together unto Pharaoh and say: Lo! we bear a message of the Lord of the Worlds, (Saying): Let the Children of Israel go with us. (Pharaoh) said (unto Moses): Did we not rear thee among us as a child? And thou didst dwell many years of thy life among us, and thou didst that thy deed which thou didst, and thou wast one of the ingrates. He said: I did it then, when I was of those who are astray. Then I fled from you when I feared you, and my Lord vouchsafed me a command and appointed me (of the number) of those sent (by Him). And this is the past favour wherewith thou reproachest me: that thou hast enslaved the Children of Israel. Pharaoh said: And what is the Lord of the Worlds? (Moses) said: Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if ye had but sure belief. (Pharaoh) said unto those around him: Hear ye not? He said: Your Lord and the Lord of your fathers. (Pharaoh) said: Lo! your messenger who hath been sent unto you is indeed a madman! He said: Lord of the East and the West and all that is between them, if ye did understand. (Pharaoh) said: If thou choosest a god other than me, I assuredly shall place thee among the prisoners. He said: Even though I show thee something plain? (Pharaoh) said: Produce it then, if thou art of the truthful! Then he flung down his staff and it became a serpent manifest, And he drew forth his hand and lo! it was white to the beholders. (Pharaoh) said unto the chiefs about him: Lo, this is verily a knowing wizard, Who would drive you out of your land by his magic. Now what counsel ye? They said: Put him off, (him) and his brother, and send then into the cities summoners. Who shall bring unto thee every knowing wizard. So the wizards were gathered together at a set time on a day appointed. And it was said unto the people: Are ye (also) gathering? (They said): Aye, so that we may follow the wizards if they are the winners. And when the wizards came they said unto Pharaoh: Will there surely be a reward for us if we are the winners? He said: Aye, and ye will then surely be of those brought near (to me). Moses said unto them: Throw what ye are going to throw! Then they threw down their   cords and their staves and said: By Pharaoh’s might, lo! we verily are the winners. Then Moses threw his staff and lo! it swallowed that which they did falsely show. And the wizards were flung prostrate, Crying: We believe in the Lord of the Worlds, The Lord of Moses and Aaron. (Pharaoh) said: Ye put your faith in him before I give you leave. Lo! he doubtless is your chief who taught you magic! But verily ye shall come to know. Verily I will cut off your hands and your feet alternately, and verily I will crucify you every one. They said: it is no hurt, for lo! unto our Lord we shall return. Lo! we ardently hope that our Lord will forgive us our sins because we are the first of the believers. And We inspired Moses, saying: Take away My slaves by night, for ye will be pursued. Then Pharaoh sent into the cities summoners, (Who said): Lo! these indeed are but a little troop, And lo! they are offenders against us. And lo! we are a ready host. Thus did We take them away from gardens and water-springs, And treasures and a fair estate. Thus (were those things taken from them) and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit them. And they overtook them at sunrise. And when the two hosts saw each other, those with Moses said: Lo! we are indeed caught. He said: Nay, verily! for lo! my Lord is with me. He will guide me. Then We inspired Moses, saying: Smite the sea with thy staff. And it parted, and each part was as a mountain vast. Then brought We near the others to that place. And We saved Moses and those with him, every one; We drowned the others.   (26:Ash-Shu’ara:10-66)

Some details of Moses encounter with Pharaoh, his contest with the magicians of Pharaoh, magicians’ acceptance of faith in God, and destruction of Pharaoh and his people have also been told by the Qur’an in verses 7:103-137, 20:42-79 and 28:32-42.

7- In the following verses, the Qur’an tells us that when Moses went to meet God on another occasion, his people disobeyed his brother Aaron and started worshipping a calf which Samiri had made from golden ornaments:

And (it was said): What hath made thee hasten from thy folk, O Moses? He said: They are close upon my track. I hastened unto Thee that Thou mightest be well pleased. He said: Lo! We have tried thy folk in thine absence, and As-Samiri hath misled them. Then Moses went back unto his folk, angry and sad. He said: O my people! Hath not your Lord promised you a fair promise? Did the time appointed then appear too long for you, or did ye wish that wrath from your Lord should come upon you, that ye broke tryst with me? They said: We broke not tryst with thee of our own will, but we were laden with burdens of ornaments of the folk, then cast them (in the fire), for thus As-Samiri proposed. Then he produced for them a calf, of saffron hue, which gave forth a lowing sound. And they cried: This is your God and the God of Moses, but he hath forgotten. See they not, then, that it returneth no saying unto them and possesseth for them neither hurt nor use? And Aaron indeed had told them beforehand: O my people! Ye are but being seduced therewith, for lo! your Lord is the beneficent, so follow me and obey my order. They said: We shall by no means cease to be its votaries till Moses return unto us. He (Moses) said: O Aaron! What held thee back when thou didst see them gone astray, That thou followedst me not? Hast thou then disobeyed my order? He said: O son of my mother! Clutch not my beard nor my head! I feared lest thou shouldst say: Thou hast caused division among the children of Israel, and hast not waited for my word. (Moses) said: And what hast thou to say, O Samiri? He said: I perceived what they perceive not, so I seized a handful from the footsteps of the messenger and then threw it in. Thus my soul commended to me. (Moses) said: Then go! And lo! in this life it is for thee to say: Touch me not! and lo! there is for thee a tryst thou canst not break. Now look upon thy god of which thou hast remained a votary. Verily we will burn it and will scatter its dust over the sea.   (20:Ta Ha:83-97)

Further details of disobedience of Israelites and their worship of the calf are available in the verses of the Qur’an such as (7:148-154) 

8- Information about the book (Torah) and miracles (Nine signs) given to Moses is available in verses 6:92, 6:155, 7:130-136, 17:101, 53:36-37, 87:18-19 of the Holy Qur’an.

9- Some other information about various events of Moses life, behaviour of Israelites with Moses, etc. are available in the verses of the Qur’an such as 2:51-55, 2:60-61, 2:67-71, 5:20-26, 7:138-156 and 18:60-82.


Prophet Jesus (PBUH)

A brief account of Prophet Jesus, as constructed from the Gospels and other Christian resources, is as under:

Prophet Jesus Christ, in whose name Christianity was instituted, was born in 4 B.C., or a year or two earlier in Bethlehem (south of Jerusalem), Palestine. Mary the mother of Jesus (whom the Qur’an calls a saintly and pious woman and who was a virgin at that time) miraculously conceived and gave birth to Jesus. Mary and Joseph (legal father of Jesus) belonged to Bani-Israel (Israelites, the Hebrews) and lived in Nazareth of Galilee. Joseph pursued his trade as a carpenter and he and his family were devout Jews. Of Jesus’ childhood and youth little is known except that he used to attend synagogue services with his parents, memorized by heart long passages from the Torah and the “Prophets” (Old Testament) and as a child he was trained to be carpenter.

Through his legal father Joseph, Jesus belonged to the tribe of Judah and the family of David, the second king of Israel, a heritage needed by the Messiah for whom the Hebrew people were waiting. In AD 26/27 his cousin John the Baptist proclaimed the coming of the promised Messiah and baptized Jesus, who then made two missionary journeys through the district of Galilee. His teaching, summarized in the Sermon on the Mount aroused both religious opposition from the Pharisees and secular opposition from the party supporting the Roman governor, Herod Antipas. When Jesus returned to Jerusalem (probably in AD 29), a week before the Passover festival, he was greeted by the people as the Messiah. And the Hebrew authorities (aided by the apostle Judas) had him arrested and condemned to death, after a hurried trial by the Sanhedrin (Supreme Jewish court) for blasphemy. The Roman procurator Pontius Pilate endeavoured to procure Jesus release, as stated by early Christian sources, by offering him to the crowd as the prisoner to be released to them for that year. But the crowd cried for the release of Barabbas known as a robber, instead of Jesus.

            After baptism, Jesus had gathered 12 disciples but was forsaken by all before he was crucified. Even one of his disciples Judas betrayed him to his enemies for 30 coins. Three days after his crucifixion, there came reports of Jesus Resurrection, and later, his ascension to heaven.

            Jesus is one of the most mentioned and most honoured Prophets in the Qur’an. One of the Surahs of the Qur’an has been named (Surah 19) after Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Qur’an calls Mary ‘Siddiqua’ a saintly and truthful woman and unequivocally states that she was preferred by God over all women of the world. Another Surah (Surah 5) has been named after the feast which Allah sent from heaven to Jesus and his disciples in response to prayer of Jesus at the request of disciples. However, the Qur’an has not described the story of Jesus in historical setting. It has described the birth, the miracles, and the crucifixion of Jesus to reject the wrong notions of the Jews and Christian about the person and status of Jesus.

1- The miracle of birth of Jesus from a virgin mother without intervention of a biological father has been explained in detail by the Holy Qur’an as follows:

            And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to a chamber looking East, And had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent unto her Our spirit and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man. She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from thee, if thou art God-fearing. He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son. She said: How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I been unchaste? He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained. And she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place. And the pangs of childbirth drove her unto the trunk of the palm-tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died ere this and had become a thing of naught, forgotten! Then (one) cried unto her from below her, saying: Grieve not! Thy Lord hath placed a rivulet beneath thee, And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee, thou wilt cause ripe dates to fall upon thee. So eat and drink and be consoled. And if thou meetest any mortal, say: Lo! I have vowed a fast unto the Beneficent, and may not speak this day to any mortal. Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing. O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot. Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy? He spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet, And hath made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me prayer and alms-giving so long as I remain alive, And (hath made me) dutiful toward her who bore me, and hath not made me arrogant, unblest. Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive! Such was Jesus, son of Mary: (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt. It befitteth not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. And lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the right path.   (19:Maryam:16-35)

Thus the birth of Jesus, according to the Qur’an, is a miracle of God’s Creative powers, Jesus is not son of God nor it befits God’s Majesty that He should take unto Himself a son. The Qur’an (3:59) likened Jesus with Adam who was created by Allah from clay (without father and mother). Miracle of Jesus birth has also been briefly described by the Qur’an in verses 45 to 47 of Surah 3 and the claim of the Christians that Jesus is son of God has been clearly turned down in verse 30 of Surah 9.

2- The truth about miracles of Jesus has been explained by the Qur’an as follows:

(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah). He will speak unto mankind in his cradle and in his manhood, and he is of the righteous. She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me? He said: So (it will be). Allah createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! And it is. And He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel, And will make him a messenger unto the children of Israel, (saying): Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by Allah’s leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave. And I announce unto you what ye eat and what ye store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you, if ye are to be believers.   (3:Al-Imran: 45-49)

Further details of Jesus’ miracles have been given by the Qur’an in verse 110 of Surah 5.

Thus the Qur’an tells us that Jesus did not perform these miracles of his own. Rather he had been given these miracles by Allah and he performed it with Allah’s permission. So the performance of miracles should not lead anybody to claim that Jesus was God or God’s son.

3-         Jesus is slave and messenger of Allah and Allah gave him Gospel. He is neither God nor one of the three. The Qur’an rejects doctrine of Divine Trinity and Godhood of Jesus and proclaims unity or Oneness of God. Those who say Jesus is God or he is one of the three have been declared disbelievers by the Qur’an. It says:  

·        O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not “Three” –Cease! (it is) better for you! Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that he should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender.   (4:An-Nisa:171)

·        They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then can do aught against Allah, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? Allah’s is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He createth what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things.   (5:Al-Ma’idah:17)

·        And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah-a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil).   (5:Al-Ma’idah:46)

·        They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three; when there is no God save the One God. if they desist not from so saying, a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve. Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away!   (5:Al-Ma’idah:73-75)

4-         Jesus himself never claimed that he is God and that he should be worshipped. Rather he said to the people that Allah is his Lord and also their Lord. So they should worship Allah Alone. While explaining his mission, Jesus clearly highlighted this fact. According to the Qur’an he said:

·        And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to Allah and obey me. Lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is straight path.   (3:Ale-Imran:50-51)

·        They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! Whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden Paradise. His abode is in the Fire. For evil doers there will be no helpers.   (5:Al-Maidah:72)

·        He (baby Jesus) spoke: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet. And hath made me blessed wherever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving (Zakat) so long as I remain alive.   (19:Maryam:30-31)

·        And (remember) when Jesus, son of Mary, said: o children of Israel! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was (revealed) before me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is the Praised One (Ahmad).   (61:As-Saff:6)

5-         On the Day of Judgment when Allah would remind Jesus of His favours on him and would ask him whether he had told the people to make him God, he would utterly deny. The Qur’an brings this fact into focus as under:

When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto thee and unto thy mother; how I strengthened thee with the holy Spirit, so that thou spakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught thee Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how thou didst shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and didst blow upon it and it was a bird by my permission, and thou didst heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission; and how thou didst raise the dead, by My permission; and how I restrained the Children of Israel from (harming) thee when thou camest unto them with clear proofs, and those of them who disbelieved exclaimed: This is naught else than mere magic; And when I inspired the disciples, (saying): Believe in Me and in My messenger, they said: We believe. Bear witness that we have surrendered (unto Thee). When the disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Is thy Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven? He said: Observe your duty to Allah, if ye are true believers. (They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our hearts and know that thou hast spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses. Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from Thee. Give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best of Sustainers. Allah said: Lo! I send it down for you. And whoso disbelieveth of you afterward, him surely will I punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures. And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? He saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then Thou knewest it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy Mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou art the knower of Things Hidden? I spake unto them only that which Thou commandedst me, (saying): Worship Allah; my Lord and your Lord. I was witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me Thou wast the Watcher over them. Thou art Witness over all things. If Thou punish them, lo! they are Thy slaves, and if Thou forgive them (lo! they are Thy slaves). Lo! Thou, only Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.   (5:Al-Ma’idah:110-118)

The above verses also tell about the table spread with food sent down by Allah to Jesus who prayed for this at the request of his disciples. This is famous supper of the Christians.

6-         Jesus was neither crucified nor killed, according to the Qur’an: The Qur’an says:

·        And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger—They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain, but Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise. There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.   (4:An-Nisa:157-159)

7-         The teachings of Jesus, as briefly stated, by the Quran in verses 3:50-51, 5:72 and 19:30-31, (which have been reproduced at serial number 4 above) are: worship Allah who is my Lord and your Lord; keep your duty to Allah; do not assign partners to Allah because Allah has forbidden Paradise to those who assign partners to Him; follow and obey me; establish prayer and pay Zakat; respect your parents; I confirm Torah (i.e. law given in Torah); and I give good tidings of a messenger (Muhammad) who would come after me (therefore, believe in him and obey him).


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