Belief in Allah’s Messengers means to believe that Allah chose the finest amongst mankind to be Messengers whom He sent to His creation with specific legislation; to worship and obey Allah, and to establish His religion and His Oneness.
He ordered His Messengers to convey the Message to people, so that they would not have any proof against Allah after He sent them. Allah also chose people amongst mankind as Prophets to affirm the legislation and religion of the messenger sent before them and to call people to it.
There are many prophets and messengers; no one knows their exact number except Allah. Allah says what means:
And, indeed We have sent Messengers before you [O Muhammad) of some of them We have related to you their story, and of some We have not related to you their story. And it was not for any messenger to bring a sign [or verse] except by permission of Allah. (Ghafir 40:78)
One must believe in all of them and that they were human; they were not supernatural beings. Allah says what means:
And We sent not before you [O Muhammad) but men to whom We inspired, so ask the people of the message if you do not know. And We did not create them with bodies that had no need to eat food, nor were they immortal. (Al-Anbiyaa 21:7-8)
Allah says about Jesus in the Quran:
The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded. (Al-Ma’idah 5:75)
One must believe in all of them. If one believes in some and disbelieves in others, he leaves the folds of Islam. Allah says what means:
Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and wish to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers saying, ‘We believe in some but reject others’, and wish to adopt a way in between. They are in truth disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating torment. (An-Nisaa’ 4:150-151)
The first messenger was Noah and the last was Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Who Is Muhammad?
He is Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim. His nickname is Abul-Qasim. He was from the Arab tribe of Quraish whose ancestry traces back to `Adnan. `Adnan was from the children of Isma`eel, the Prophet of Allah and son of Ibrahim, the Khaleel (the one whom Allah loves most ) of Allah.
The Prophet said: “Indeed Allah chose the tribe of Kinanah over other tribes from the children of Isma`eel. He chose the Quraish over other tribes of Kinanah. He chose Banu Hashim over the other families of the Quraish. And He chose me from Banu Hashim.” (Muslim)
Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation from Allah at the age of forty, and he remained in Makkah thereafter for thirteen years calling to the Tawheed of Allah. He then migrated to Madinah and called its people to Islam, and they accepted it.
There, Allah revealed the remaining legislation. He conquered Makkah eight years after his migration, and he died when he was sixty-three, after Allah revealed to him the whole Quran.
All the legislations of the religion were revealed, completed and perfected, and all the whole of the Arabian peninsula had accepted Islam.
Merits of Belief in the Messengers
1- One would realize the mercy and love Allah has for His servants; since He sent to them Messengers who conveyed to them His religion. They in themselves were examples whom people emulated.
2- To distinguish the believers who are truthful in their Faith from others; for it is incumbent upon one who believes in his own Messenger to believe in other Messengers who are mentioned in his Book.
3- Those of the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) who believe in their Messengers and then believe in Muhammad (peace be upon him) would receive double reward.
Source: This article is based on Abdur-Rahman Al-Sheha’ My First Step in Islam published by Osoul International Center.