A prophet is a person chosen by Allah for the reformation and guidance of mankind. The Holy Qur’an uses two Arabic words for a prophet: Rasool and Nabi.
The term Rasool means a ‘messenger’ and the term Nabi means one who gives news of events unknown to people. According to the Holy Qur’an, all prophets are messengers and all messengers are prophets.
Islam makes it compulsory for every Muslim to believe not just in the truth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him, but also to believe in the truth in all other prophets in the world that came before him.
This concept needs further explanation. Let us take the example of Jesus Christ, may peace be upon him. We must believe in the truth of Jesus Christ, may peace be upon him, as a prophet (human being), as described by the Holy Qur’an. But in no case are we supposed to believe in the Christian image of Jesus Christ, may peace be upon him, as God, because that is not the truth according to Islam.
The Prophets are raised by God to guide mankind to the right path. Their basic function is to bring people, among whom they are raised, closer to God. They face opposition but carry out their duties steadfastly and eventually they win. Muslims believe that Messengers have been sent by God to all nations. There are some which are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, but there are many others which are not mentioned therein.
Belief in all Prophets of God is a fundamental article of Muslim faith. While previous prophets were sent to a particular nation, tribe or people, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace an blessing of Allah be upon him, was sent by God Almighty to the whole of mankind.
The life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, was a life of great success. In his high moral qualities, his spiritual power, his high resolve, the excellence and perfection of his teachings, his perfect example and the acceptance of his prayers, in short, in every aspect of his life, he exhibited such bright signs that he was a perfect example of manifestation of Divine qualities and was a perfect man.