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The Difference between a Messenger (Rasul) and a Prophet (Nabi)

Q: Is there any differene between a Messenger and a Prophet?

A: Yes, the scholars say that a Prophet is one who receives Revelation from Allāh of a law, but he is not commanded to propagate it, only to practice it himself, without being called upon to disseminate it.

A Messenger is one who receives Revelation from Allāh of a law and he is called upon to propagate it and to act upon it. Every Messenger is a Prophet, but not every Prophet is a Messenger. The Prophets are more in number than the Messengers; and Allāh has related the stories of some of the Messengers in the Qur’an and others He has not related. Allāh, the Most High says:

﴿وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلًا مِّن قَبْلِكَ مِنْهُم مَّن قَصَصْنَا عَلَيْكَ وَمِنْهُم مَّن لَّمْ نَقْصُصْ عَلَيْكَ ۗ وَمَا كَانَ لِرَسُولٍ أَن يَأْتِيَ بِآيَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۚ﴾

﴾And indeed We have sent Messengers before you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): Of some of them We have related to you their story, and some of them We have not related to you their story. And it was not given to any Messenger that he should bring a Sign except by the leave of Allāh.﴿*

Based upon this Verse, it is plain that every Prophet mentioned in the Qur’an is a Messenger.

Ibn ‘Uthaimin

Ghafir 40:78.

Book: Fatawa Islamiyah Islamic Verdicts [Volume 1] – فتاوى إسلامية
Collected by: Muhammad bin ‘Abdul-‘Aziz Al-Musnad
Published and translated by: Darussalam
Page: 226,227

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Categories: Islam

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