Difference In Nabi and Rasul?
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Difference In Nabi and Rasul?

Difference In Nabi and Rasul?

Some non Ahmadi Musims say Prophets do not bring laws, while messengers do. In their opinion, there is a difference between a Prophet and a messenger. This ideology is totally baseless. This is not from the Qur’an nor from the sunnah. The truth is that the Qur’an and Ahadith show that these two words are directly related. Both words are used for the Holy Prophetsaw and for many other prophets. In Surah Maryam Mosesas is called a rasul and a Nabi, and we know he brought a shariah. However, in the same surah three verses later, Ismaelas who did not bring a shariah, is also called a rasul and nabi. This shows us that both terms are indeed interchangeable as a Law bearing prophet is given both titles, while a non law bearing prophet is given both titles as well. This argument has proven the definition of the non Ahmadi scholars wrong, and they are now adding more rules into their previous definitions but continue to prove our point, rather than their own.

The purpose of a nabi is to spread the message that Allah sent him, as a rasul. Never would Allah choose a Prophet, who is  too scared to spread the message. All messengers are prophets, and all prophets are messengers as well. This is the reality from the Qur’an and ahadith.

The word nabi comes from the word nabah. The nabi spreads his message from Allah to the people of where he is sent. Every prophet gets the message from Allah, and they spread it to the people.

Here is Qur’anic proof that they are the same. We have a law bearing prophet called a nabi and a rasul, and a non law bearing prophet also called a nabi and rasul. Allah States:

وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ مُوسَىٰ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مُخْلَصًا وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَبِيًّا {52}

And relate the story of Moses as mentioned in the Book. He was indeed a chosen one; and he was a Messenger, a Prophet. (Chapter 19 verse 52)

Allah also States:

وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَبِيًّا {55}

And relate the story of Ishmael as mentioned in the Book. He was indeed strict in keeping his promise.  And he was a Messenger, a Prophet.(Chapter 19 verse 55)

Every prophet is a messenger and every messenger is a prophet. Whether a prophet is a law bearing prophet or a non law bearing prophet, he still receives knowledge of the unseen.

Allah States in the Qur’an:

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۘ مِنْهُمْ مَنْ كَلَّمَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ۗ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَلَٰكِنِ اخْتَلَفُوا فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ آمَنَ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ كَفَرَ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلُوا وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يُرِيدُ {254}

These Messengers have We exalted, some of them above others: among them there are those to whom Allah spoke; and some of them He exalted by degrees of rank. And We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs and strengthened him with the Spirit of holiness. And if Allah had so willed, those that came after them would not have fought with one another after clear Signs had come to them; but they did disagree. Of them were some who believed, and of them were some who disbelieved. And if Allah had so willed, they would not have fought with one another; but Allah does what He desires. (Chapter 2 Verse 254)

In this verse Allah has called all of the Prophets rasul. He has made it clear in this verse that some messengers were given a shariah and some were not, but all were indeed messengers.

Some non Ahmadi Muslims try to quote an ayah of the Qur’an from Chapter 22, where Allah States:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ مِنْ رَسُولٍ وَلَا نَبِيٍّ إِلَّا إِذَا تَمَنَّىٰ أَلْقَى الشَّيْطَانُ فِي أُمْنِيَّتِهِ فَيَنْسَخُ اللَّهُ مَا يُلْقِي الشَّيْطَانُ ثُمَّ يُحْكِمُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ {53}

Never sent We a Messenger or a Prophet before thee, but when he sought to attain what he aimed at, Satan put obstacles in the way of what he sought after. But Allah removes the obstacles that are placed by Satan. Then Allah firmly establishes His Signs. And Allah is All-Knowing, Wise. (Chapter 22 Verse 53)

They try to claim that in this verse, Allah has Stated messenger and prophet differently, and that this means that they are two different terms. This is totally baseless in every language. For example, I can call someone a man and a human being. This would not mean that the man is not a human, or that the human is not a man. Allah Has Stated similar in different ayahs. For example He States:

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّينَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنْكَ وَمِنْ نُوحٍ وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ۖ وَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُمْ مِيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا {8}

And remember when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from thee, and from Noah, and Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus, son of Mary, and We indeed took from them a solemn covenant;(Chapter 33 Verse 8)

In this verse, Allah States He took the covenant from the Prophets and from Holy Prophetsaw and then names more Prophets as well, despite all of them being included in the first part of the verse. There are many more verses throughout the Qur’an which further prove that Allah Uses similar words together many times.

Some have also quoted a hadith that states there were 124,000 prophets, of which 315 were messengers. Firstly, this hadith is weak and the other times where 124,000 Prophets is mentioned there is no mention of 315 mesengers.

One hadith stated that Abu Dharr Stated:

O Messenger of Allah, how many Prophets were there? He said: “One hundred and twenty four thousand.” I said: O Messenger of Allah, how many of them were Messengers? He said: “Three hundred and thirteen, a good number.” I said: O Messenger of Allah, who was the first of them? He said: “Adam.” … (Ibn Hibban, 361)

In regards to this hadith it is clearly said that it is da’eef jiddan, meaning extremely weak. Its isnaad has a person named Ibrahim Ibn Hisham al-Ghassani, in regards to whom Imam Adh-Dhahabi has said that he is rejected. Abu Hatim further said that he is a liar, and this was the reason Ibn al-Jawzi called it fabricated.

Ibn Kathir stated that this hadith was quoted by Abu Haatim and that he said its sahih, but that Ibn al Jawzi disagreed and included this hadith in his book called al-Mawdoo’at, which means fabricated ahadith. He accuses Ibrahim Ibn Hisham of fabricating the hadith.

Another version states that Abu Umamah stated: “O Prophet of Allah how many prophets were there? He said: “One hundred and twenty four thousand, of whom three hundred and fifteen were a good number” (Ibn Hibban, Taffer #963)

Ibn Kathir has said in regards to this that Mu’aan Ibn Rifaah as Silami is daeef and that Ali Ibn Yazeed and Al Qasim Abu Abd ar Rahman are also daeef.

The third time this was narrated was by Abu Dharr where its stated that he said : O Messenger of Allah, how many Messengers were there? He said: “Three Hundred and fifteen, a good number” (Ahmad 35/431)

In regards to this, its also said that this hadith is extremely weak. The main point is that most do not even mention messengers and prophets separately, and the one that does is also declared weak by the non Ahmadi scholars themselves. Regardless, if we were to accept this hadith we can simply say that perhaps the Prophet was describing some law bearing prophets, despite the words being interchangeable.

Furthermore, Isaas is also called a messenger and prophet in the Qur’an, despite being a prophet under Mosesas.

Furthermore, a beautiful hadith of the Holy Prophetsaw states:

(حديث مرفوع) حَدَّثَنَا عِيسَى بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الصَّيْدَلانِيُّ ، قَالَ : نَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عُقْبَةَ السَّدُوسِيُّ ، قَالَ : نَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ سِنَانٍ الْقُرَشِيُّ ، قَالَ : نَا كَعْبٌ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ الْمُسَيِّبِ ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” أَلا إِنَّ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ لَيْسَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُ نَبِيٌّ وَلا رَسُولٌ ، أَلا إِنَّهُ خَلِيفَتِي فِي أُمَّتِي بَعْدِي ، أَلا إِنَّهُ يَقْتُلُ الدَّجَّالَ ، وَيَكْسِرُ الصَّلِيبَ ، وَتَضَعُ الْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا ، أَلا فَمَنْ أَدْرَكَهُ مِنْكُمْ فَلْيَقْرَأْ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامَ ”

Narrated Abu Hurairahra: The Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw said: “Hearken! There is no Prophet and Messenger between me and the Forthcoming Jesus. He is the Khalifa in my Ummah after me. Verily, He will kill the Dajjal, and break the cross, and abolish war. Anyone from among you who sees him, should convey my Salam to him” (Tabarani, Hadith #5040)

This hadith is also extremely beautiful. It shows that the Messiah would indeed be a prophet and a messenger, and someone from our ummah. It shows us that he would be a ummati Nabi and his importance is given such a status, that one who sees him should convey the salam of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw to him. If we take the Sunni definition, it would mean that the Messsiah they await would bring a new law, and this is totally unacceptable and a mockery against Islam and suggests the Qur’an is not perfect.

Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood  Ahmadra states:

“The words he was a Messenger and a Prophet, explain and remove a popular misconception. According to popular notion a Messenger is one who brings a new aLaw and a new Book and a Prophet is one who is commissioned by God only for the reformation of his people. He also receives Divine revelation but brings no Law or Book containing new commandments and ordinances. According to this popular notion, every Messenger is necessarily a Prophet but not every Prophet a Messenger. The verse under comment, however, demolishes this wrong notion because if a Messenger is one who brings a new Book and a new Law and as such is necessarily a Prophet, then the addition of the word Prophet to the word Rasul in this and other verses is superfluous and redundant. In fact, every Messenger is a Prophet and everyProphet is a messenger. These two words represent two aspects of the same office and two functions of the same person. A Divine Reformer is a Messenger inasmuch as he receives Messages from God, and he is a Prophet in the sense that he conveys those messages to the people to whom he is sent (Nabuwat meaning the conveying of a message). Thus every Messenger is a Prophet because after receiving Divine Messages he conveys them to his people those Messages which he receives from God. Only the functions of a Prophet follow those of a Messenger. In his capactity as a Messenger he first receives Messages from God and then in his capacity as a Prophet he conveys them to his people. This is why here and everywhere in the Qur’an,, when these two words – Messenger and Prophet occur together, invariably the wrod Prophet follows the word Messenger because that is the natural order. See also 7:158, 159; 19:31,55. The bringing of a New Book or a new Law, therefore is not the necessary concomitant of a Prophet or a Messenger. A Messenger or a Prophet may or may not bring a new Law. All Messengers and Prophets are of two categories.
a) Those that bring a new Book and a new Law and b) Those that do not. This classification of Messenger and Prophet into two categories is supported by the Qur’an itself. See 5:45” (Five Volume Commentary under 19:52)