The Clear Islam

Are Prophets in Islam Relevant to Non-Muslims? What Can We Learn From Them?

Within the religion of Islam, prophets, or “a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God,” are revered as supreme models of moral and spiritual excellence, each chosen by God to lead humanity on a path of righteousness. In this blog article, we will address the common asked question “who are the prophets in Islam,” “what significance do prophets carry within the Islamic faith,” and we will also explore the lives and pivotal roles of Islam’s major prophets — Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. This article will highlight the unique contributions each have made to this religion, and explains why they hold such a special place in the hearts of believers.

**Next to the names of the prophets, you will notice the abbreviation ‘(as).’ This means ‘alay his-salaam’ in Arabic, and this translates to “Peace be upon him.” Muslims recite this after mentioning the names of the prophets as a form of showing their respect.

Prophet Adam (as)

In Islamic tradition, and even within major religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Gnosticism, Prophet Adam (as) holds a highly distinguished role as he was not only the first human created by God, but as a result, he was also the first prophet sent down to the earth to guide all of mankind. Within the Quran, the holy book of Islam and the revelation sent to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), his creation is often cited in the Quran as a sign of divine creativity and power, formed from clay and granted life by God’s spirit. Prophet Adam (as)’s story in Islam is fundamentally a narrative of humanity’s potential and fallibility.

Here are some verses from the Quran that highlight the importance of Prophet Adam (as)’s creation, how his prophethood is far different and unique than the prophethood of God’s other emissaries:

After the creation of Prophet Adam (as), (or, Hawwa as she is called in the Islamic faith). Even her creation is one of great significance. In the Quran, God states, “O humanity! Be mindful of your Lord Who created you from a single soul, and from it He created its mate, and through both He spread countless men and women. And be mindful of God—in Whose Name you appeal to one another—and ˹honour˺ family ties. Surely God is ever Watchful over you.” The Clear Quran, 4:1.

Prophet Adam (as) and his wife lived in Paradise until they were tempted by Satan to eat from the forbidden tree (a story that is commonly agreed upon within the Abrahamic faiths). This act of disobedience resulted in their descent to earth, marking the beginning of human life on this planet. This story teaches several important lessons—primarily the concepts of temptation, repentance, and God’s boundless mercy. God forgave Prophet Adam (as) after he sincerely repented, demonstrating that forgiveness is always within reach if one turns back to God with true intentions, and a promise to never repeat the same mistake twice.

Moreover, Prophet Adam (as)’s role as the first prophet is significant in teaching his descendants how to live righteously according to divine commands. He was given the knowledge of names and nature, signifying the unique intellectual status of humans among all creatures. His life and teachings set the foundational knowledge and the ethical framework that would be built upon by the following prophets.

Prophet Noah – Nuh (as)

Among the earliest prophets in Islam is Noah, known as Nuh in Arabic. He is revered in the Quran as a “Grateful Servant” and a “True Messenger.” God states, “Indeed, We sent Noah to his people. He said, “O my people! Worship Allah—you have no other god except Him. I truly fear for you the torment of a tremendous Day.”” The Clear Quran, 7:59 Further, in the Quran, God has said, “Surely We sent Noah to his people. ˹He said,˺ “Indeed, I am sent to you with a clear warning […],”” The Clear Quran, 11:25.  Prophet Nuh (as)’s entire life history is one of resilience and obedience in the face of overwhelming adversity. According to Islamic tradition, Prophet Nuh (as) was chosen by God to preach monotheism to his idolatrous people, urging them to abandon their false gods and return to the worship of the One True Creator.

Despite enduring years of mockery and rejection, Prophet Nuh (as) remained steadfast. His unwavering faith culminated in the divine command to build an ark in preparation for a great flood that would cleanse the earth of its moral corruption. Only those who believed in Prophet Nuh’s message—humans and animals alike—were saved on this ark, making him a symbol of salvation and obedience to God’s will. This significant event in Islamic history is marked in several chapters of the Quran:

Prophet Abraham – Ibrahim (as)

Prophet Abraham (as), or Ibrahim, is often called the “Father of Prophets” because many prophets, including Ishmael (Ismail), Isaac (Ishaaq), Jacob (Yaqub), and Moses (Musa), trace their lineage back to him. His significance in Islam revolves around his unwavering faith in God and his willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Ismail) as an act of obedience, although God ultimately spared his son, replacing him with a ram.

This act of near-sacrifice is commemorated annually during Eid al-Adha, a major Islamic festival, celebrating Prophet Ibrahim (as)’s complete submission to the will of God. Prophet Ibrahim (as)’s life stories in the Quran highlight themes of hospitality, righteousness, and the relentless rejection of idolatry, emphasizing his pivotal role in establishing the foundations of monotheism. The fact that God adored Prophet Ibrahim (as)’s actions so much that He made it a part of a blessed gathering has also been shown in the Quran. God says:

Even within Christianity, this ultimate sacrifice has been highlighted in Genesis.

Prophet Moses (as) – Musa

Prophet Moses (as), or Musa, is one of the most frequently mentioned prophets in the Quran, regarded highly for his role in leading the Israelites out of Egypt and away from the tyranny of Pharaoh. His life is marked by numerous encounters with the divine, including the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, receiving the Tablets of the Law, and his regular conversations with Allah at Mount Sinai. In the Quran, God states:

Prophet Musa (as)’s mission to confront Pharaoh and demand the liberation of his people showcases his bravery and trust in God’s support. His struggles and the subsequent triumphs illustrate the power of steadfast faith and divine guidance, making his story a source of inspiration and lessons in patience and perseverance.

Prophet Jesus (as) – Isa

In Islam, Jesus, known as Isa, is considered one of the great prophets, born to the Virgin Mary (Maryam) in a miraculous birth. He is revered not as the son of God—as in Christianity—but as a herald of monotheism, endowed with divine miracles to affirm his prophethood. These include speaking in infancy, healing the sick, and raising the dead, all by the will of God.

Prophet Isa (as)’s message, emphasizing compassion, peace, and submission to God’s will, resonates strongly within the Islamic tradition. His ascension to heaven and his anticipated return to defeat the false messiah (Dajjal) near the Day of Judgment are crucial aspects of Islamic eschatology, highlighting his esteemed position and continued relevance in Islam.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the final prophet in Islam, is often referred to as the “Seal of the Prophets,” indicating that he completed the prophetic tradition. Born in Mecca in 570 AD, he received revelations over approximately 23 years, which collectively form the Quran, Islam’s holy book. His life’s mission was to correct the deviations from the teachings of earlier prophets and to establish a society based on justice, spirituality, and the oneness of God.

This beloved prophet of God also has an entire chapter dedicated to him in the Quran known as “Surah Muhammad.”

Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s legacy includes his humility, his leadership in establishing an ethical social order, and his enduring patience in the face of opposition. His sayings and practices (Sunnah) are a model for daily living for Muslims, and his Night Journey (Isra and Mi’raj) to the heavens emphasizes his exalted status. The legacy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is so profound, and relevant in today’s society, that many research studies have been conducted on how we can implement his teachings and practices into several areas of life.

For example, the good behaviors and mannerisms advised to us by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) have been studied closely to research how it can positively impact one’s mental and emotional well-being. In a study conducted for the Journal of Positive School of Psychology, Analysing the Impacts of Social and Psychological Factors on Human Behvaior: A Seerah-Based Study, researchers discovered that “social and psychological factors significantly affect human behavior,” and that positive characteristics such as love, empathy, ans forgiveness create these healthy relationships, and in order to implement this, one should look at and study the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Prophet of Islam has gone back to the very basics such as greeting someone with a smile that can positively impact our health, our societies, and interactions. For example, we can study the psychological effects of shaking hands. Within this study, researchers state, “a frequent social gesture is shaking hands, which entails taking hold of the other person’s hand with one’s own. It is a gesture that has been used for centuries and has a wide range of psychological impacts on those who perform it.” The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was known for extending a hand towards his guests that would visit him, and travelers he would meet as a sign of respect, kindness, and to maintain social bonds with people. According to the psychologist Desmond Morris, he says that the meaning of intimacy is when two people meet and have physical contact, and even if it means holding a hand, that “causes mutual satisfaction and comfort between two parties.”


The prophets of Islam — Adam, Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad—each hold a special place in the hearts of Muslims for their exemplary virtues and their unwavering commitment to the message of God. They are seen as models of virtue, piety, and devotion, guiding believers through their teachings and actions. For non-Muslims, understanding these figures can provide significant insights into the core principles and values that shape Islam. These prophets not only symbolize faith and obedience to God but also embody compassion, justice, and the pursuit of knowledge. Each prophet’s life story and missions contribute to a broader understanding of Islamic ethics and the spiritual depth of the religion. By learning about these key figures, non-Muslims can gain a more nuanced appreciation of why these prophets are revered and how their teachings continue to influence millions of lives around the world.

Furthermore, the stories of these prophets offer universal lessons that resonate across cultural and religious boundaries. From Prophet Nuh (as)’s perseverance in the face of adversity to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s leadership in uniting a broken community, these narratives encourage reflection on personal and societal levels. Ultimately, the prophets of Islam teach us about the importance of steadfast faith, the value of repentance, and the strength found in moral conviction, inviting followers and non-Muslims alike to reflect on their own spiritual journeys and ethical choices.

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