The Prophets & Messengers Mentioned in The Qur’ân and The Sunnah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allâh and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrâhîm (Abraham), Ismâ’îl (Ishmael), Ishâq (Isaac), Ya’qûb (Jacob), and to Al-Asbât [the twelve sons of Ya’qub (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Mûsâ (Moses) and ‘Îsâ (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we Him we have submitted (in Islam).” [Sûrah Al-Baqarah 2:136]

The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allâh, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say, “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers” – and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).” [Sûrah Al-Baqarah 2:285]

O you who believe! Believe in Allâh, and His Messenger (Muhammad), and the Book (the Qur’ân) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him), and whosoever disbelieves in Allâh, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away. [Sûrah An-Nisâ 4:136]

The number of Prophets & Messengers

قال أبو ذرّ : قلتُ : يا رسولَ اللهِ كم وفَّى عددُ الأنبياءِ ؟ قال : مائةُ ألفٍ وأربعةُ وعشرون ألفًا ، الرسلُ من ذلك ثلاثمائةٍ وخمسةَ عشرَ جمًّا غفيرًا

Abû Dharr said: I asked the Messenger of Allâh  (ﷺ( : O Messenger of Allâh! What is the full number of the Prophets? The messenger of Allâh said: One hundred and twenty-four thousand, out of whom the Messengers are as many as three hundred and fifteen – a large number.

Mishkât Al-Masâbîh 5737. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî.


The Prophets & Messengers mentioned in the Qur’ân

1) Âdam

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ٱصۡطَفَىٰٓ ءَادَمَ… ٣٣

“Allâh chose Âdam…” [3:33]

2) Hûd

إِلَىٰ عَادٍ أَخَاهُمۡ هُودٗاۚ… ٠٥

“And to ‘Âd (people We sent) their brother Hûd…” [11:50]

3) Sâlih

إِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمۡ صَٰلِحٗاۚ… ١٦

“And to Thamûd (people, We sent) their brother Sâlih…” [11:61]

4) Shu’ayb

إِلَىٰ مَدۡيَنَ أَخَاهُمۡ شُعَيۡبٗاۚ… ٤٨

“And to the Madyan (Midian) people (We sent) their brother Shu’ayb…” [11:84]

5) Ismâ’îl

6) Idrîs

7) Dhul-Kifl

إِسۡمَٰعِيلَ وَإِدۡرِيسَ وَذَا ٱلۡكِفۡلِۖ كُلّٞ مِّنَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ ٥٨

“And (remember) Ismâ’îl (Ishmael), and Idrîs (Enoch) and Dhul-Kifl (Isaiah), all were from among As-Sâbirîn (the patient ones, etc.).” [21:85]

8) Ibrâhîm

9) Ishâq

10) Ya’qûb

11) Nûh

12) Dawûd

13) Sulaymân

14) Ayyûb

15) Yûsuf

16) Mûsâ

17) Hârûn

18) Zakariyya

19) Yahyâ

20) ‘Îsâ

21) Ilyâs

22) Al-Yasâ’

23) Yûnus

24) Lût

25) Muhammad

وَتِلۡكَ حُجَّتُنَآ ءَاتَيۡنَٰهَآ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ عَلَىٰ قَوۡمِهِۦۚ نَرۡفَعُ دَرَجَٰتٖ مَّن نَّشَآءُۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٞ ٣٨ وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُۥٓ إِسۡحَٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَۚ كُلًّا هَدَيۡنَاۚ وَنُوحًا هَدَيۡنَا مِن قَبۡلُۖ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِۦ دَاوُۥدَ وَسُلَيۡمَٰنَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَهَٰرُونَۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجۡزِي ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ ٤٨ وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحۡيَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَإِلۡيَاسَۖ كُلّٞ مِّنَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ ٥٨ إِسۡمَٰعِيلَ وَٱلۡيَسَعَ وَيُونُسَ وَلُوطٗاۚ وَكُلّٗا فَضَّلۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ ٦٨

“And that was Our Proof which We gave Ibrâhîm (Abraham) against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. And We bestowed upon him Ishâq (Isaac) and Ya’qûb (Jacob), each of them We guided, and before him, We guided Nûh (Noah), and among his progeny Dawûd (David), Sulayman (Solomon), Ayyûb (Job), Yûsuf (Joseph), Mûsâ (Moses), and Hârûn (Aaron). Thus do We reward the good-doers. And Zakariyyâ (Zachariya), and Yahyâ (John) and ‘Îsâ (Jesus) and Ilyâs (Elias), each one of them was of the righteous. And Ismâ’îl (Ishmael) and Al-Yasâ (Elisha), and Yûnus (Jonah) and Lût (Lot), and each one of them We preferred above the ‘Âlamîn (mankind and jinns) (of their times).” [6:83-86]

حَمَّدٞ رَّسُولُ ٱللَّهِۚ… ٩٢

“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh…” [48:29]


*) Al-Asbât

قُولُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ وَإِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأَسْبَاطِ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَآ أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ ٦٣١

“Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allâh and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrâhîm (Abraham), Ismâ’îl (Ishmael), Ishâq (Isaac), Ya’qûb (Jacob), and to Al-Asbât, and that which has been given to Mûsâ (Moses) and ‘Îsâ (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).” [2:136]

Imâm Ibn Kathîr said:

Abû Al-‘Âliyah, Ar-Rabî’ and Qatâdah said, “Al-Asbât are the twelve sons of Ya’qûb, and each one of them had an Ummah of people from his descendants. This is why they were called Al-Asbât.” Al-Khalîl ibn Ahmad and others said, “Al-Asbât among the Children of Israel are just like the tribes among the Children of Ismâ’îl.” This means that the Asbât are the various tribes of the Children of Israel, among whom Allâh sent several Prophets. Mûsâ said to the Children of Israel,

﴿اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَآءَ وَجَعَلَكُمْ مُّلُوكاً﴾

(Remember the favor of Allâh to you: when He made Prophets among you, made you kings) (5:20).

Also, Allâh said,

﴿وَقَطَّعْنَـهُمُ اثْنَتَىْ عَشْرَةَ أَسْبَاطًا﴾

(And We divided them into twelve tribes) (7:160).

(Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr 2:136)


Prophets mentioned in the Sunnah

  • Shîth

The Prophet  (ﷺ) said:

أُنزِل على شِيثَ خمسونَ صحيفةً…

“Fifty pages were revealed to Shîth…” (Ibn Hibbân 361. Bidâyah wa Nihâyah 1/99 of Ibn Kathîr)

  • Yûsha’ ibn Nûn

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ غَزَا نَبِيٌّ مِنَ الأَنْبِيَاءِ فَقَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ لاَ يَتْبَعْنِي رَجُلٌ مَلَكَ بُضْعَ امْرَأَةٍ وَهْوَ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَبْنِيَ بِهَا وَلَمَّا يَبْنِ بِهَا، وَلاَ أَحَدٌ بَنَى بُيُوتًا وَلَمْ يَرْفَعْ سُقُوفَهَا، وَلاَ أَحَدٌ اشْتَرَى غَنَمًا أَوْ خَلِفَاتٍ وَهْوَ يَنْتَظِرُ وِلاَدَهَا‏.‏ فَغَزَا فَدَنَا مِنَ الْقَرْيَةِ صَلاَةَ الْعَصْرِ أَوْ قَرِيبًا مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ لِلشَّمْسِ إِنَّكِ مَأْمُورَةٌ وَأَنَا مَأْمُورٌ، اللَّهُمَّ احْبِسْهَا عَلَيْنَا‏.‏ فَحُبِسَتْ، حَتَّى فَتَحَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ

Narrated by Abû Hurayrah : The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A prophet amongst the prophets carried out a holy military expedition, so he said to his followers, ‘Anyone who has married a woman and wants to consummate the marriage, and has not done so yet, should not accompany me; nor should a man who has built a house but has not completed its roof; nor a man who has sheep or shecamels and is waiting for the birth of their young ones.’ So, the prophet carried out the expedition and when he reached that town at the time or nearly at the time of the ‘Asr prayer, he said to the sun, ‘O sun! You are under Allâh’s Order and I am under Allâh’s Order. O Allâh! Stop the sun from setting. It was stopped till Allâh made him victorious.” (Sahîh Bukhârî 3124. Sahîh Muslim 1747)

عن أبي هريرة قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إنَّ الشَّمسَ لم تُحبَسْ على بشرٍ إلَّا ليُوشعَ لياليَ سار إلى بيتِ المقدسِ

Narrated by Abû Hurayrah : The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) said: The sun was not held back for any person except Yûsha‘ on the day he was marching to Jerusalem.

Musnad of Imâm Ahmad 8298. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî.


Those who may or may have not been Prophets

  • Al-Khidr

فَوَجَدَا عَبۡدٗا مِّنۡ عِبَادِنَآ ءَاتَيۡنَٰهُ رَحۡمَةٗ مِّنۡ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمۡنَٰهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلۡمٗا ٥٦

“Then they found one of Our slaves, unto whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.” (Sûrah Al-Kahf 18:65)

It is mentioned in Sahîh Muslim 2380 / Bukhârî 3400 & elsewhere that the above verse is in reference to Al-Khidr.

Imâm Ibn Kathîr said:

﴿رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُ عَنْ أَمْرِى﴾

“as a mercy from your Lord. And I did them not of my own accord.” (Sûrah Al-Kahf 18:82)

Meaning, ‘These three things that I did, come from the mercy of Allâh for those we have mentioned, the crew of the ship, the parents of the boy and the two sons of the righteous man; I was only commanded to do these things that were enjoined upon me.’ This is proof and evidence in support of those who say that Al-Khidr, peace be upon him, was a Prophet, along with the Âyah which we have already quoted: [18:65]. (Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr 18:82)

  • Tubba’ & Dhul-Qarnayn

أَهُمۡ خَيۡرٌ أَمۡ قَوۡمُ تُبَّعٖ وَٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ أَهۡلَكۡنَٰهُمۡۚ إِنَّهُمۡ كَانُواْ مُجۡرِمِينَ ٧٣

“Are they better or the people of Tubba’ and those before them? We destroyed them because they were indeed Mujrimîn (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.).” (Sûrah Ad-Dukhân 44:37)

قُلۡنَا يَٰذَا ٱلۡقَرۡنَيۡنِ إِمَّآ أَن تُعَذِّبَ وَإِمَّآ أَن تَتَّخِذَ فِيهِمۡ حُسۡنٗا ٦٨

“We (Allâh) said (by inspiration): “O Dhul-Qarnayn! Either you punish them, or treat them with kindness.” (Sûrah Al-Kahf 18:86)

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

ما أدري أَتُبَّعُ أنَبيًّا كان أم لا ؟ و ما أَدري ذا القَرنينِ أَنبيًّا كانَ أم لا ؟

I do not know whether Tubba’ was a Prophet or not? And I do not know whether Dhul-Qarnayn was a Prophet or not? (Al-Bayhaqee 18050. Al-Hâkim 2174. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)


Published by أبو زكريا عيسى الألباني

BSc (Hons) Microbiology | Qur'ān | Sunnah |

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