The fourth article of faith is the belief in the Messengers of Allah.
To believe in Allah’s Messengers means to believe with certainty that Allah sent a messenger to each nation, calling them to worship Allah alone and not to associate any partners with Him in worship.
All Messengers were Human Beings
All the prophets and messengers were human beings chosen by Allah to receive revelations from Him. They were commanded to pass on these revelations to people of their time. A person cannot by himself attain Prophethood or Messengership through spiritual exercises or personal efforts. It is Almighty Allah alone who chooses His Messengers and He alone knows best whom to choose.
Prophethood came to an end with Muhammad (pbuh ), whom Allah made the “seal of all the Prophets” (khoofcm an-nabiyyeen) and by whom the religion (deen) was completed and perfected. The words of Allah were finally revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) through Angel Jibreel over a period of twenty-three years, from the age of forty to sixty-three, when he passed away.
The Quran states, “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”
The most important and basic belief about Allah in Islam is tawheed – the Oneness of Allah. Belief in Allah is the foundation of Islam. It is the bedrock of a Muslim’s faith.
Allah is One – Unique. He is the All-Powerful, the Sustainer of the entire universe. In His Hands are the life and death of all creatures. He is the Sovereign, He is the Lawgiver. He is the Just, All-forgiving, All- Merciful. He is with us in His infinite Knowledge wherever we may be. He is the All-Knowing, All-Seeing, and All-Hearing. The Oneness of Allah forms the basis of all other Islamic beliefs, attitudes, practices and rules. A Muslim should worship none but Allah. He should not associate anything or anyone with Him in worship. He should have absolute trust in Him and love and fear none more than Him.
Allah answered Nuh’s supplication. He willed that the fate of the arrogant disbelievers would be drowning in a great flood.
Allah wanted to save Nuh and the believers, and so He commanded him to build a huge ship with no precedence, the ark. Nuh immediately began building the ark. Every time the leaders of his people passed by him, they ridiculed him. They said, “You are making a boat in the desert. How would it float?” Nuh would say, “You will learn soon!” they would mockingly say, “Nuh, you have become a carpenter after being a prophet! Where is this ship going to sail? The sea is a long way from here. Who is going to pull the ship?”
Nuh went on calling his people to Allah. He tried hard to advise them, but they would not believe him. In fact, they put their fingers into their ears to avoid listening to him.
Nuh stayed with his people for nine hundred and fifty years calling them to Allah! But his people refused to believe. They rejected him. They would not stop worshipping idols. They refused to turn to Allah. How long could Nuh wait? Nine hundred and fifty years was a very long period of time!
Allah blessed the descendants of Adam. His children and grandchildren spread and multiplied. Adam’s descendants founded many villages. They built houses, ploughed the land, grew crops and lived in comfort. They worshipped only Allah. They did not worship anything else besides Him.
Satan refused to bow down to Adam when Allah commanded him to do so. So he was cast out and damned forever. He, therefore, decided to take revenge on the progeny of Adam so that they would go to the Fire with him.
We saw earlier how Muhammad (pbuh) as a child had visited the city of Yathrib with his mother. Yathrib was a wealthy city, and in it lived two important tribes, the Aws and Khazraj. A certain number of Jewish tribes also lived in Yathrib. They were people with a holy book, fiercely proud of their religion, and would boast to the Arabs of their knowledge and learning. Their religious leaders, the rabbis, preached the coming of a new prophet, though they believed that he would be a member of their community
Now at a certain time each year, the Arab tribes would come in large numbers from all over the peninsula to Makkah in order to perform the pilgrimage and to visit the Kaba. News of the teachings of Muhammad (pbuh) reached the city of Yathrib through a number of returning pilgrims. And so it was that a party from the tribe of Khazraj decided to make the journey to Makkah to see and hear Muhammad s for themselves. All the while, they had in mind the stories that the Jews of Yathrib used to tell about the coming of a new prophet.
The Archangel disappeared just as suddenly as he had appeared, and Muhammad (pbuh) was left all alone in the cave. Over whelmed and deeply awed by what had just happened, Muhammad (pbuh)hurriedly left the cave, and made for his home in Makkah. But he was not far from the cave, when he heard a voice from above him saying, “O Muhammad (pbuh)! You are the Messenger of God, and I am the angel Gabriel.” Muhammad (pbuh) looked up at the sky and, wherever he looked, there was the Archangel Gabriel
Exhausted, he returned to his house, his body shaking as if with fever. He requested his wife Khadija to cover him with a cloak or blanket. This she did, watching him with tender concern.
According to the Quran, the last prophet to be sent to mankind by God was Muhammad (pbuh). Muhammad (pbuh) was a descendant of Abraham through his son Ishmael. We have seen how Abraham and Ishmael together had built the Kaba. Ishmael had then chosen to live close to the Kaba, summoning people to the worship of the One God. Within a short space of time, the land he lived in became a stopping place for merchant caravans on their way north, and eventually it grew into a flourishing city known by the name of Makkah.
A great of the Prophet’s mission was to bring peace to the world. One way of doing so was to convince people that all men and women, although living in very different regions of the world, and seemingly different from one another in color, culture and language, etc., were in fact each other’s blood brothers and sisters. The Prophet would preach to his followers: “You are all Adam’s offspring and Adam was made of clay.” And in his prayers to his Creator, he would say, “O Lord, all your servants are brothers.”