Prophets in Islam


In Judaism, the Talmud (Megillah 14a) says that there had been twice as many prophets as the number of people who left Egypt (2,600,000), but only those whose messages were for future generations were recorded. This count was 48 male and 7 female Prophets. Interesting to note that since Judaism sees Abraham as the first Prophet; Adam, Enoch, and Noah are not listed amongst the 48.  The ones in yellow are those that Jews and Muslims agree have the role of “Prophet.”  Of these 48, 22 have a book in the Hebrew Bible named after them. And from these 48 Prophets, only 12 are mentioned by name in the Qur'an.  The 3 major Prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.  The other 12 are considered minor Prophets (because their books are small in comparison to those 3).  According to Judaism, the Prophetic Period ended with Prophet Malachi in about 420 BCE, thusly because Jesus and Muhammad came after this period, they are not considered Prophets by Jews. Besides that, Prophet Muhammad, did not tell people to obey all the laws of the Torah (the Sabbath, the Holidays, etc. All of the Hebrew (or Jewish) Prophets told the Jews to obey the Torah and their books did not contradict the Torah. Because in Islam, it is a different system of law, different holidays, different calendar, different language, it became a different religion. In order for Prophet Muhammad to be accepted as a Prophet by the Jews, he could not have changed the Jewish religion (add or subtract from any of the laws of the Torah)... wearing Tzitzit, Tefillin, having a Mezuzah, obeying the laws of Passover, Yom Kippur, etc. The main similarity was the emphasis on monotheism, on the One God of Abraham, but that is not all that makes up Judaism or the religion that Moses taught to the Israelites. And definitely changing the Qibla (direction of prayer) from Jerusalem, the center of Jewish life for 1600 years prior to Muhammad, to Mecca, a city with absolutely no religious significance to Jews, completely severed any religious ties between Judaism and Islam. The Jewish tradition has absolutely no historical record of Abraham building the Ka'ba and according to the Torah, Abraham left Hagar and Ishmael in the Beer Sheba Desert in the Negev (south of Hebron, where he lived with Sarah), not Mecca in the Arabian Desert. Of course, it goes without saying that changing the Qibla to Mecca would appeal to the pagan Arabs, who the Prophet was trying to attract to Islam, and of course the Arabs had no attachment to Jerusalem, so the Arabs would not have liked to pray in the direction of Jerusalem but rather the shrine that they had always worshiped towards.

In Islam, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in his Musnad has mentioned a Hadith no. 21257 that Allah sent 124, 000 Prophets (Anbiyah) and from among them 315 were the Messengers. The difference is that a messenger brings a book. The Qur’an mentions only 25 Prophets. Some of the Prophets listed in the Qur'an, there are guesses by Qur'anic commentators of who they might be in the equivalent Bible (including Ezekiel as Dhul Khifl just because it sounds the most similar of any Biblical Prophet, Jethro as Shuaib because they were both from the Midianites, and several others including Idris and Hud). There are also some Prophets mentioned in the Qur'an, but not by name, such as Samuel and Joshua, but their respective stories match up perfectly.


Enoch?? (Idris)

Noah (Nuh)

Hud (Eber??) (sent to the people of Ad)

Salih (Salah) (sent to the people of Thamud)

Abraham (Ibrahim),

Lot (Lut)

Ishmael (Ismael)

Isaac (Is'haq)

Jacob (Yakoob)

Joseph (Yusuf)

Job (Ayoub)

Shuaib (Possibly Jethro?? the Midianite)

Aaron (Harun)

Moses (Musa)

David (Dawood)

Solomon (Sulaiman)

Elijah or Elias (Iliyas)

Elisha (Al-Yas')

Jonah (Yunus)

Dhul-kifl (possibly Possibly Ezekiel????)

Zachariya (the father of John the Baptist)

John the Baptist (Yahya)

Jesus (Isa)



Note: There are several Prophets mentioned in the Qur'an and/or Hadith but not by name such as Prophet Samuel (Qur'an 2:246-248) and Prophet Joshua (Yusha' bin Nun in Qur'an 5:23).