All Prophets Were Muslims!
Islam: The Religion of Prophets
Abraham Was A Muslim
And So Were Jacob, Moses And Jesus
(M. Javed Naseem)
(From the book: “God’s Prescription – al-Quran”, Chapter: All Prophets Were Muslims)
Islam did not come to earth just with the arrival of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and the Quran. It was always there but was ignored by some and followed by some. It might have been called by some other name depending on the language of the region. Allah sent all those Messengers and the holy books just to remind people of what was already sent for them. Since Muhammad (s.a.w.) was the last prophet and his native language was Arabic, Allah sent His last version of the Message (reminder) in Arabic – al-Quran.
In the times of other Prophets or Messengers of God, the languages and the cultures were different but they all delivered the same message. The message was: Worship none but Allah and make no partners with Him; glorify (offer prayers) the name of Allah and thank Him for all the blessings; pay the poor-due and help the needy; and fast during a certain period to seek piety. Those who obeyed these commands and followed the Prophets of Allah, they were called the faithful Muslims.
When Allah chose Abraham as His Messenger, He wanted to purify him. Therefore, He commanded him to become a Muslim. Here is that relevant verse from the Holy Quran:
إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ أَسْلِمْ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ
“When his Lord said to him: Be a Muslim, he said:
I submit myself (in Islam) to the Lord of the worlds.”
The verb ‘Aslim’ has been used in the Arabic text in its imperative or commanding form. It literally means: Enter into Islam or Accept Islam! And when Abraham answers, he says: ‘Aslamtu’ which means: I (did) accept Islam or I have entered into Islam. In other words he admits and reassures that he has accepted Islam and has become a Muslim. What else do we need to prove that Islam existed before and during the time of Abraham; and that Abraham was a Muslim? Allah declares that:
مَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ يَهُودِيّاً وَلاَ نَصْرَانِيّاً وَلـٰكِنْ
كَانَ حَنِيفاً مُّسْلِماً وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ
‘No; Abraham in truth was not a Jew,
neither a Christian; but he was a Muslim
and one pure of faith; certainly he was
never of the idolaters.’
(Translation: Arthur J. Arberry, “The Koran Interpreted”,
Press, ). London, UK
Please read carefully the Arabic text of the above verse! Allah used the words ‘Haneef-an Muslim-an’ for Abraham. It says that Abraham was neither a Yehudi (Jew) nor a Nasrani (Christian) but he was a Haneef (upright, sincere, devout, pure) Muslim. And he was not one of the Mushrikeen (idolaters or polytheists). You don’t have to be a scholar of Arabic to understand these simple, common and easy everyday-use words.
قُلْ آمَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ
وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَٱلأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِىَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ
وَٱلنَّبِيُّونَ مِنْ رَّبِّهِمْ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
“Say: We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed
to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac,
Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses,
Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord. We make
no distinction between one and another among them,
and to Allah do we bow our will in Islam.”
Allah has named particularly Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and his sons (or tribes), Moses and Jesus among other Prophets of God, clearing all doubts or misconceptions about their Faith. They belonged to the same Faith; followed the same path; and delivered the same Message of their Lord Almighty. They were all Muslims because they surrendered or submitted themselves to the Will of Allah in Islam.
As a matter of fact it was the same God that Prophets Noah and Adam worshipped and preached. Allah says in the Holy Quran:
لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحاً إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ
يَاقَوْمِ ٱعْبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِّنْ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ
إِنِّيۤ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ
“We sent Noah to his people. He said: O my people!
Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him.
I fear for you the punishment of a dreadful day!”
But Noah’s people did not believe him. They said that he was just another man like them and not a Messenger of God. Noah reminded them:
أَوَ عَجِبْتُمْ أَن جَآءَكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ
عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ مِّنْكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ
وَلِتَتَّقُواْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
“Marvel you that there should come to you a Reminder
from your Lord by means of a man among you, that he
may warn you, and that you may keep from evil, and
that haply you may find mercy.”
It was the same Reminder, the same message all other Prophets or the Messengers of God brought to their respective peoples, i.e. worship One God; make no partners with Him; and ward off evil. So, basically, Allah sent the same message and prescribed the same religion for all nations on earth.
It is not a coincidence that Islam inherited five pillars of faith. Those five pillars were the basis of the principal Faith chosen by Allah for Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (s.a.w.) among others. They are: Tawheed (worshipping One God); offering Prayers; Alms-giving (charity); Fasting; and Pilgrimage. We might find slight variations, depending on the era of the prophets, but the basic tenets are the same.
Abraham and his sons were Muslims and so was their offspring. Here is the relevant verse from the Quran:
وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ ٱلْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ ٱلْبَيْتِ
وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْعَلِيمُ
رَبَّنَا وَٱجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَآ
أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَآ
إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
“And remember Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundations
Of the House (with this prayer): Our Lord! Accept (this service)
from us, for you are the All-Hearing, All-Knowing. Our Lord!
Make of us Muslims, bowing to your (Will), and of our progeny
a people Muslim, bowing to your (Will); and show us our
place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us
(in Mercy); for you are the Oft-Returning, Most-Merciful.”
This is another proof of Abraham’s Islamic faith. Imagine him building the Kaaba and praying to Allah that he and his offspring remain steadfast Muslims!
It also means that Islam and the Muslims existed even before the arrival of Torah, Bible or the Quran in this world. In other words, it was always Islam that was preached by the Messengers of Allah, before or after Abraham.
And here is the bombshell! In this verse of the Holy Quran, Allah is talking not only about Abraham but also about Jacob whose other name was (Mr.)
Israel. Allah has declared Islam as
religion for them and for the children of Israel:
وَوَصَّىٰ بِهَآ إِبْرَاهِيمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعْقُوبُ يَابَنِىَّ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ٱصْطَفَىٰ
لَكُمُ ٱلدِّينَ فَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إَلاَّ وَأَنْتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ
“And the same did Abraham enjoin on his sons
And (so did) Jacob. O my sons! Surely Allah
has chosen for you (this) faith, therefore,
die not unless you are Muslims.”
The Jews and Christians cannot dispute the faith of Abraham as Abraham passed hundreds of years before the advent of their own faiths (Judaism & Christianity). Judaism or Christianity, as we know them today, did not exist then. There were ‘believers’ (called Mo’wahideen) and the pagans or idol-worshippers. Only those believers who follow the faith of Abraham today have the best claim to him.
إِنَّ أَوْلَى ٱلنَّاسِ بِإِبْرَاهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُ وَهَـٰذَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ
وَٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَٱللَّهُ وَلِىُّ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
“Lo! Those of mankind who have the best claim to
Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet
(Muhammad, s.a.w.) and those who believe (with him);
and Allah is the Protecting Guardian of the believers.”
In other words, the followers of Islam have the best claim to Abraham because Muslims follow the same faith that Abraham followed. Allah says:
وَقَالُواْ كُونُواْ هُوداً أَوْ نَصَارَىٰ تَهْتَدُواْ قُلْ
بَلْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفاً وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ
“They say: Become Jews or Christians if you would be
guided (to salvation). Say: Nay, (I would rather) the religion
of Abraham the true, and he joined not gods with Allah.”
Did you observe one thing from the above verse – the religion of Abraham? Allah is commanding Muhammad (s.a.w.) to follow the religion of Abraham despite the efforts of the Jews or the Christians to convert him. That means the religion of Abraham was not that of the Jews or the Christians of today.
قُولُوۤاْ آمَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ
وَيَعْقُوبَ وَٱلأَسْبَاطِ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِىَ ٱلنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ
لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
“Say: We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us,
and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and
that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets
from their Lord; we make no difference between one and
another of them. And we bow to Allah in Islam.”
All those prophets mentioned above bowed to Allah in Islam, meaning they were all Muslims.
We talked about Abraham. Now, let’s talk about Moses!
In the court of Pharaoh, the sorcerers were defeated and humiliated in their show-down with Moses. They realized that they were facing a real messenger of God so they immediately repented and surrendered.
وَأُلْقِىَ ٱلسَّحَرَةُ سَاجِدِينَ
قَالُوۤاْ آمَنَّا بِرَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ
رَبِّ مُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ
“But the sorcerers fell down prostrate in adoration.
Saying: We believe in the Lord of the Worlds,
the Lord of Moses and Aaron.”
Pharaoh got furious on this humiliation and threatened to kill the magicians. But here’s what the sorcerers said:
قَالُوۤاْ إِنَّآ إِلَىٰ رَبِّنَا مُنقَلِبُونَ وَمَا تَنقِمُ مِنَّآ إِلاَّ أَنْ آمَنَّا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّنَا
لَمَّا جَآءَتْنَا رَبَّنَآ أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْراً وَتَوَفَّنَا مُسْلِمِينَ
“They said: Verily, we are returning to our Lord. And
you take vengeance on us only because we believed in
the Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.) of our
Lord when they reach us! Our Lord! Pour out on us
patience, and cause us to die as Muslims.”
Now, have a close look at the last phrase of the Arabic verse above. Here are the last three words:
‘… wa tawaffana muslimeen’.
(Translation: ‘And make us die as Muslims’.)
In Arabic language, ‘wa’ means ‘and; ‘tawaffana’ means ‘to die’ or ‘to cause death’; and ‘muslimeen’ means ‘Muslims’ of course.
Now imagine, it is Moses in the court of Pharaoh and all the big magicians of
repenting and surrendering to the Lord of Moses and Aaron; and praying to their
Lord that they want to die as Muslims. What does it prove? Was there any
religion prevailing at that time other than Islam? No, absolutely not. It was
idol-worshippers or the pagans against Muslims. Islam was the message of God
that Moses was trying to deliver to Pharaoh and his people. And that was also
the religion of Moses.
There was no Judaism as it was not invented yet. There were no Jews either as we know them today. With Moses were the people of the tribe called ‘Bani Israel’ – the Children of Israel. They were the offspring of Jacob whose other name was
They were the descendants of Israel
(Jacob). They were Israelis or Israelites (not Jews!). And they were all
Muslims by faith.
We saw Moses. Now, let us see what Prophet Jesus believed in and how the evil forces changed his faith or religion after his crucifixion and named it ‘Christianity’.
Jesus himself never claimed that he was a ‘Christian’ nor did he command his disciples to call his faith ‘Christianity’. In worshipping God, Jesus bowed down in prostration, just like Moses used to do. And Moses did what Abraham used to do. Even in the court of Pharaoh when the sorcerers lost their case in front of Moses, they repented and accepted the faith (and the God) of Moses and fell down in prostration. In Islam it is called ‘Sajdah’. That’s how Muslims pray to Allah five times a day.
Let’s talk about Jesus now! Jesus and his disciples were Muslims. At that time, in that region (Jordan-Syria), they were called “Mowahideen” – the worshippers of One God. In Arabic, it is called ‘Muslimeen’ or ‘Muslimoun’. The proof is given in the Hebrew Bible and the Holy Quran. In the following verse of the Quran, Jesus is talking to his disciples. In Surah (chapter) Aal-e-Imran, it is said:
فَلَمَّآ أَحَسَّ عِيسَىٰ مِنْهُمُ ٱلْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنصَارِىۤ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ
قَالَ ٱلْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنْصَارُ ٱللَّهِ آمَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَٱشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ
“When Jesus found unbelief on their part he said: ‘Who
will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?’ Said the
disciples: ‘We are Allah’s helpers. We believe in Allah
and do you bear witness that we are Muslims.”
Here again, the last word of the Arabic verse is ‘Muslimoun’ which is a plural of Muslim. And ‘Muslim’ means a Muslim in any major language. The disciples of Jesus are assuring him that they would help him in the cause of Allah. But they wanted Jesus to become a witness over them in front of Allah that they performed Allah’s duty, they believed in Allah and they were Muslims by faith.
Here is Jesus talking about Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). Generally he refers to him as ‘Messenger of God’:
‘I therefore say unto you that the Messenger of God is a splendor that shall give gladness to nearly all that God hath made, for he is adorned with the spirit of understanding and of counsel, the spirit of wisdom and might, the spirit of fear and love, the spirit of prudence and temperance, he is adorned with the spirit of charity and mercy, the spirit of justice and piety, the spirit of gentleness and patience, which he hath received from God three times more than he hath given to all his creatures. O blessed time, when he shall come to the world! Believe me that I have seen him and have done him reverence, even as every prophet hath seen him; seeing that of his sprit God giveth to them prophecy. And when I saw him my soul was filled with consolation, saying: ‘O Muhammad, God be with thee, and may he make me worthy to untie thy shoe-latchet, for obtaining this I shall be a great prophet and holy one of God.’ And having said this, Jesus rendered his thanks to God.’
44) Barnabas, Ch.
And here is a verse from the Holy Quran that speaks about Jesus talking about the final Messenger of God, Ahmed (s.a.w.):
وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ٱبْنُ مَرْيَمَ يٰبَنِى إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّى رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ إِلَيْكُم
مُّصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَىَّ مِنَ ٱلتَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّراً بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِى مِن بَعْدِى
ٱسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُم بِٱلْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالُواْ هَـٰذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ
“And remember Jesus, the son of Mary, said: “O children
Israel! I am the messenger of Allah
(sent) to you,
confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving
glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name
shall be Ahmed. But when he came to them with clear
signs, they said, “this is evident sorcery!”
The Christian translators have translated the name of ‘Ahmed’ as ‘the praised one’ thus removing the reference made to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).
Allah, the Almighty, talks about Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Quran and confirms that they were all Muslims. Here is Chapter 5, Verse 111:
وَإِذْ أَوْحَيْتُ إِلَى ٱلْحَوَارِيِّينَ أَنْ آمِنُواْ بِى وَبِرَسُولِى قَالُوۤاْ آمَنَّا وَٱشْهَدْ بِأَنَّنَا مُسْلِمُونَ
“And behold! I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me
and Mine Messenger. They said: We have faith, and do you
bear witness that we bow to Allah as Muslims.”
Here again, the last word of the verse in Arabic is ‘Muslimoun’ which means ‘Muslims’. I strongly believe that the above quotes from the Bible and the Quran remove all doubts about the faith of Jesus and his disciples.
As I said earlier, Islam was the faith of all Prophets of Allah and of all those who followed the Prophets, no matter what era. In the following verse of the Holy Quran, Allah, once again, removes all doubts about the religion of the nations. The verse clarifies that Allah chose the name ‘Muslims’ for the nations from Abraham to Muhammad (s.a.w.) because they were all commanded to follow Islam as their religion.
وَجَاهِدُوا فِى ٱللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ ٱجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكمْ فِى ٱلدِّينِ
مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ
وَفِى هَـٰذَا لِيَكُونَ ٱلرَّسُولُ شَهِيداً عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُواْ شُهَدَآءَ
عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ فَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلواَةَ وَآتُواْ ٱلزَّكَواةَ وَٱعْتَصِمُواْ بِٱللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلاَكُمْ
فَنِعْمَ ٱلْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ ٱلنَّصِيرُ
“And strive in His cause as you ought to strive, (with sincerity
and under discipline). He has chosen you, and has imposed
no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father
Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and
in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you,
and you be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer,
give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your
Protector – the Best to protect and the Best to help!”
Allah clarifies in the above verse that He named the believers as ‘Muslims’ in this revelation (the Quran) just like He did before in other revelations (Scriptures). In other words, the followers of other prophets were Muslims like the followers of Muhammad (s.a.w.) are Muslims because they all had one and the same religion – Islam.
In the following verses again, Allah is talking about the people of the Book who submitted to His will even before the arrival of the Quran but they recognize the Quran:
وَلَقَدْ وَصَّلْنَا لَهُمُ ٱلْقَوْلَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ ٱلْكِتَابَ
مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَإِذَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُوۤاْ آمَنَّا بِهِ
إِنَّهُ ٱلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّنَآ إنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ
“And now verily We have caused the Word to reach them,
That haply they may give heed. Those unto whom We gave
The Scripture before it, they believe in it. And when it is
Recited unto them, they say: We believe in it. Lo, it is the
Truth from our Lord. Indeed we have been Muslims
(bowing to Allah’s Will) from before this.”
There is a very important point here! When the people of the Book were presented the message in the Quran, they said that they already believed in it. They said: ‘We have been Muslims from before this’. In other words they were Muslims even before the introduction of the Holy Quran to them. This proves again that Islam (and Muslims) existed before the arrival of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). And that is possible only if people had been practicing the same religion – Islam.
We have checked the religion of Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Now, let us see what other prophets believed and preached. They all preached Tawheed (Oneness of God), the first pillar of Islam. Let us start with Noah:
لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحاً إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ يَاقَوْمِ
ٱعْبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِّنْ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ
إِنِّيۤ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ
“Indeed, We sent Noah (of old) unto his people and he said:
O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other God but
Him. Certainly, I fear for you the torment of an Awful Day!”
Noah was a great prophet of Allah. He delivered the message of Tawheed, the Oneness of Allah, urging his nation to worship the One and the Only God. But people, particularly the tribal leaders, did not listen to him. They declared him ‘mad’, ridiculed him and rejected the message he conveyed.
Prophet Hud was sent to the people of Aad. They were very hard-working and industrious people. He delivered to them the same message of Tawheed that Noah delivered to his people.
وَإِلَىٰ عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُوداً قَالَ يٰقَوْمِ ٱعْبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ
مَا لَكُمْ مِّنْ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ مُفْتَرُونَ
“To the Aad people (We sent) Hud, one of their own brethren.
He said: O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other God
but Him. (Your other gods) you do nothing but invent!”
وَيٰقَوْمِ ٱسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوۤاْ إِلَيْهِ
يُرْسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّدْرَاراً وَيَزِدْكُمْ
قُوَّةً إِلَىٰ قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلاَ تَتَوَلَّوْاْ مُجْرِمِينَ
“And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, and
turn to Him (in repentance). He will send you from the
skies abundant rain, and add strength to your
strength so turn you not back in sin!”
Prophet Salih was sent to the nation of Thamud. He delivered the similar message to his people as did Noah and Aad. The Thamud were very intelligent and competent people. They constructed big castles and palaces in the plains; and carved mountains to build houses. But they were arrogant oppressors of the poor. Water was scarce at that time and the privileged class tried to prevent the poor and their cattle having access to water-springs and green pastures.
Salih told them that he was a messenger of God and they should listen to him. They should believe in the Oneness of God (Tawheed) and should worship none but Him. Allah had sent a sign in the form of a she-camel and that was a test for them. They should let the camel graze without any let or hindrance. If they ever tried to harm it, the wrath of Allah would fall upon them. But they rejected Salih’s message and rebuked him:
وَإِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحاً قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ ٱعْبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ
مِّنْ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَآءَتْكُمْ بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ هَـٰذِهِ نَاقَةُ ٱللَّهِ
لَكُمْ آيَةً فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِيۤ أَرْضِ ٱللَّهِ وَلاَ تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوۤءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
فَٱذْكُرُوۤاْ آلآءَ ٱللَّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْا فِى ٱلأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ
“To the Thamud people (We sent) Salih, one of their own
brethren. He said: O my people! Worship Allah; you have no
other god but Him. Now has come unto you a clear (sign)
from your Lord! This she-camel of Allah is a sign unto you.
So leave her to graze in Allah’s earth, and let her come to
no harm, or you shall be seized with a grievous punishment.
…… Remember therefore Allah’s benefits and do not act
corruptly in the land, making mischief.”
The chiefs of the tribes jeered at Salih. They asked people not to believe what Salih said. They challenged Salih and as a token of defiance they hamstrung the camel:
فَعَقَرُواْ ٱلنَّاقَةَ وَعَتَوْاْ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ وَقَالُواْ
يَاصَالِحُ ٱئْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَآ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ ٱلْمُرْسَلِينَ
فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ ٱلرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِى دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ
“Then they hamstrung the she-camel, and insolently defied
the order of their Lord, saying: O Salih! Bring about your threats,
if you are a messenger (of Allah)! So, the earthquake took them
unaware, and they lay prostrate in their homes in the morning!”
Salih and his followers were guided to safety by Allah, the Almighty, and the nation of Thamud was destroyed by a dreadful earthquake.
The nation of Prophet Lot was deceived by the Devil and indulged in the abominable act of homosexuality. They deviated from Islam. They were warned many times and then punished by Allah. Here are the angels talking about their mission to destroy the nation of
قَالُوۤاْ إِنَّآ أُرْسِلْنَآ إِلَىٰ قَوْمٍ مُّجْرِمِينَ لِنُرْسِلَ عَلَيْهِمْ حِجَارَةً مِّن طِينٍ
مُّسَوَّمَةً عِندَ رَبِّكَ لِلْمُسْرِفِينَ فَأَخْرَجْنَا مَن كَانَ فِيهَا مِنَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
فَمَا وَجَدْنَا فِيهَا غَيْرَ بَيْتٍ مِّنَ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ
“They said, ‘We have been sent to a people (deep) in sin;
to bring on them, (a shower of) stones of clay (brimstone),
marked as from your Lord for those who trespass beyond
bounds. Then We evacuated those of the believers who
were there, but We found not there any just (Muslim)
persons except in one house.”
Please note that the last word of the Arabic verses above is again ‘Muslimeen’ which, in English, means ‘Muslims’. When the angels came down to destroy the evil-doing folk, they had the instructions to save the believers and evacuate them. Allah tells us that in that nation of sinners there was only one house of Muslims (believers) in the entire town. That proves that the believers during the time of Prophet Lot were called Muslims. So, Islam was there.
Prophet Shu’aib was sent to the people of Madyan who were mostly merchants. They lived in a township surrounded by thick forests. They were very dishonest in their business dealings and cheated very often. Shu’aib delivered them the message of Tawheed (Oneness of God) and asked them to fear Allah, and adopt honesty in their dealings:
وَإِلَىٰ مَدْيَنَ أَخَاهُمْ شُعَيْباً قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ ٱعْبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِّنْ
إِلَـٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَآءَتْكُمْ بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَأَوْفُواْ ٱلْكَيْلَ وَٱلْمِيزَانَ
وَلاَ تَبْخَسُواْ ٱلنَّاسَ أَشْيَاءَهُمْ وَلاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِى ٱلأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلاَحِهَا
ذٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ مُّؤْمِنِينَ
“To the Madyan people We sent Shu’aib, one of their own
brethren. He said: O my people! Worship Allah. You have
no other god but Him. Now has come unto you a clear (sign)
from your Lord! Give just measure and weight, nor
withhold from the people the things that are their due; and
do no mischief on the earth after it has been set in order;
that will be best for you, if you have Faith.”
But the people of Madyan did not listen to him and called him a liar. They scolded him and said that he was bewitched. The elders asked him to stop preaching otherwise he would be expelled from the town and his followers would be ruined:
وَقَالَ ٱلْمَلأُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ لَئِنِ ٱتَّبَعْتُمْ شُعَيْباً إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً لَّخَاسِرُونَ
فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ ٱلرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِى دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ
“The leaders, the unbelievers among his people, said:
If you follow Shu’aib, be sure then you are ruined. But
the earthquake took them unaware, and they lay
prostrate in their homes before the morning!”
Same scenario in every era! A messenger of God comes to guide and warn people; he is rejected and scolded; the evil-doers gain power and prevail in the society; and finally the wrath of Allah falls upon them and they are destroyed. But in every case the true believers and the messengers are saved. Allah says:
ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى رُسُلَنَا وَٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ
كَذٰلِكَ حَقّاً عَلَيْنَا نُنجِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
“In the end We deliver Our messengers and those who
believe; thus is it fitting on Our part that We should
deliver those who believe!”
Prophet Joseph (Yusuf) was eleventh of the twelve sons of Jacob (Mr.
His is the most fascinating and the longest of all stories narrated in the Holy
Quran. We all know that story. I just want to touch the end of the story when
everything is over and Joseph is rejoined by his parents and brothers in Egypt.
Here is how it is mentioned in the Quran:
Then Joseph raised his hands and prayed to Allah, saying:
رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِى مِنَ ٱلْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِى مِن تَأْوِيلِ
ٱلأَحَادِيثِ فَاطِرَ ٱلسَّمَاوَاتِ وَٱلأَرْضِ
أَنتَ وَلِيِّى فِى ٱلدُّنُيَا وَٱلآخِرَةِ
تَوَفَّنِى مُسْلِماً وَأَلْحِقْنِى بِٱلصَّالِحِينَ
“My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty,
and taught me the interpretation of dreams; The (only) Creator of
the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper,
Supporter, Guardian, etc.) in this world and in the Hereafter;
cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your
Will), and join me with the righteous.”
Now, have a close look at the last line of the Arabic text and you will find these two words in the beginning:
(Translation: ‘Cause me to die as a Muslim’)
We have encountered similar words on the previous pages. ‘Tawaffani’ means ‘make me die’ or ‘cause me to die’; and ‘Muslim-an’ means ‘as Muslim’.
That is the proof that Joseph and his family [father Jacob(
and brother Yehuda and others] were all Muslims. And they were praying to Allah
to remain steadfast Muslims and also die as Muslims.
Prophet Solomon was a very blessed messenger of Allah. He was given the ability to understand the languages of the birds and animals. He was also given control over Jinns. He passed almost a thousand years before Jesus, the son of Mary. Here is a brief account of his encounter with the Queen of Sheba. Solomon sent a letter to Bilqees, the Queen of Sheba, and she discussed it with her courtiers. The Holy Quran narrates:
قَالَتْ يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلْمَلَأُ إِنِّيۤ أُلْقِىَ إِلَىَّ كِتَابٌ كَرِيمٌ
إِنَّهُ مِن سُلَيْمَانَ وَإِنَّهُ بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
أَلاَّ تَعْلُواْ عَلَىَّ وَأْتُونِى مُسْلِمِينَ
“She said: “O chiefs! Verily, here is delivered to me a
noble letter. Verily, it is from Sulaiman (Solomon), and
verily, it (reads): In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent,
the Most Merciful; Be you not exalted against me, but come
to me as Muslims (true believers who submit to Allah).”
Please read the Arabic text of this verse and you will find that the letter starts with ‘Bismillah…’ and the last word of the verse is again ‘Muslimoun’. You should be very familiar with this word by now as we have encountered it many times. Prophet Solomon starts his letter with typical Islamic salutation: ‘In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful’. And then he asks the Queen of Sheba and her courtiers: ‘Come to me as Muslims’.
Now, imagine that it is happening hundreds of years before the advent of Prophet Jesus. There were no Christians at that time. But Islam was very much there. So, the believers at that time were called Muslims.
فَلَمَّا جَآءَتْ قِيلَ أَهٰكَذَا عَرْشُكِ
قَالَتْ كَأَنَّهُ هُوَ وَأُوتِينَا ٱلْعِلْمَ
مِن قَبْلِهَا وَكُنَّا مُسْلِمِينَ
“So when she came, it was said (to her): “Is your throne
like this?” She said: “(It is) as though it were the very same.”
And Sulaiman (Solomon) said: “Knowledge was bestowed
on us before her, and we were submitted to Allah (in Islam
as Muslims before her).”
Here again, the last word of the Arabic text is ‘Muslimeen’. It means the same as ‘Muslimoun’ but it is pronounced differently due to grammar rules of making plurals. It means ‘Muslims’. The simple translation of this verse would be:
“So when she arrived, she was asked: “Is this your
throne?” She said: “It was just like this”; and knowledge
was bestowed upon us in advance of this,
and we were Muslims (before her).”
So, Prophet Solomon was preaching the faith called Islam and he was a Muslim like Prophet Abraham. He convinced the Queen of Sheba to accept Tawheed (worshipping One God) and eventually she, along with her ministers, accepted Islam.
The faith Islam was chosen by Allah and He named its followers Muslims. Everything else is superficial and anything else is not acceptable to Him. We should not forget that one day we would be standing in front of Him answering questions.
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلاً مِّمَّن دَعَآ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ
وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً وَقَالَ إِنَّنِى مِنَ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ
“And who is better in speech than him who prays
unto his Lord and does right, and says: Lo! I am
one of the Muslims.”
Eventually, it comes to the same thing: Be a Muslim, live as a Muslim and die as a Muslim! That is the key to success in this world as well as in the Hereafter. That’s the only way to salvation – the way of the Prophets, the way of the righteous!