Who were the prophets before Muhammad?

The Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) all share a focus on key figures, including many prophets. The Qur’an says, Of some messengers we have already told you the story; of others we have not; – and to Moses God spoke direct(Qur’an 4:164).

There were six key prophets before Muhammad:

  • Adam was created as the first human and given the role of khalifah. Muslims learn about their role on Earth from the example of Adam. Adam was forgiven for his sin and some believe he built the first Ka’aba. He was given knowledge to pass on to the rest of the human race.
  • Ibrahim is seen as the father of the Arab people. He refused to worship idols (people other than Allah who might be greatly admired) and he rebuilt the Ka’aba following the great flood. Ibrahim had his faith tested, which teaches Muslims that they must be prepared to submit to Allah in the same way. He is known as Abraham in Judaism and Christianity.
  • Isma’il was one of Ibrahim’s sons and is associated with Makkah and the construction of the Ka’aba. He is known as Ishmael in Judaism and Christianity.
  • Musa taught Muslims that there is one God. He is thought to be the only prophet that Allah spoke to directly. He is known as Moses in Judaism and Christianity.
  • Dawud was known for his bravery and wisdom. He is known as David in Judaism and Christianity.
  • In the Qur’an, Isa is referred to as the “son of Mary.” He is known as Jesus in Christianity. However, Muslims do not believe that he was crucified and resurrected (that is a Christian belief) or that he was the son of God.

What is the role of a prophet?

To communicate messages from Allah and to act as a connection between Allah and people on Earth.