The fourth article of faith in Islam is belief in prophets. This doctrine had also been distorted before the appearance of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.
Muslims had undermined their faith in prophets owing to a lack of rational and spiritual insight and gradually, strange views and ideas crept into their writings. They altered this belief to such an extent that it was rendered unacceptable and repulsive not only to Muslims but to other people as well.
The abusive and terrible assaults that have been made on the character of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, were the consequences of such unreasonable perspectives, which Muslims of that age had come to hold about prophets and especially the Holy Prophetsa.
Christians and various opponents of Islam raise more allegations by calling those false traditions into question which are narrated by the Muslims themselves and very few objections are made on the basis of their own research.
A great number of Muslims accepted such objectionable and fictitious narrations and the pseudo-religious scholars openly expressed them in their sermons, gatherings and seminars. Adversaries of Islam are seen assaulting the personal character of the Holy Prophetsa by weapons manufactured sadly by Muslims themselves and resultantly, the heart of every rational and self-respecting believer is shattered apart.
The attacks of opponents certainly expose the hypocrisy of those individuals who deceitfully spread fabricated narrations among the Muslims but on the other hand, non-Muslims get a chance to raise questions against the blessed and pure life of the Holy Prophetsa.
Allah the Almighty sends His prophets in this world to guide mankind and help them advance in devotion and virtue. Muslims, during the time of their decline, began attributing such moral shortcomings to prophets that even an ordinary person feels anxious and concerned to hear or study them.
Every prophet of God, from Adamas to the Holy Prophetsa, has been accused of sins and wrongdoing.
God forbid, Prophet Noahas is considered sinful because he prayed to God for his child when he had been forbidden to do so.
Prophet Abrahamas is believed to have lied on three different occasions.
Prophet Jacobas is accused of cheating his father on the deathbed and receiving his blessings by taking on the appearance of his elder brother.
God forbid, Prophet Josephas is said to have intended to commit adultery with the spouse of Aziz. It is said that (God forbid), Josephas was about to do it when he saw the image of his father, Jacobas, and became embarrassed and stopped himself. It is further said that Josephas committed theft in his childhood and that on one occasion, he fraudulently managed to let his brother stay with him.
God forbid, Prophet Mosesas is blamed for killing an innocent person and running away with his belongings and in this way, committing a great sin.
Prophet Davidas is said to have killed a man in order to marry his wife and later, he was punished by God for that sin.
Prophet Solomonas is considered guilty of falling in love with an idolatress and it is believed that he was possessed by Satan who began to rule his empire while he was under his influence. Moreover, it is said that excessive love for riches and horses got him distracted of his obligation to God and he forgot the time of prayer and did not recall until aft er nightfall.
The Holy Prophetsa is the greatest messenger of Allah, to whom the entire humanity owes so much that everyone must bow down their heads in sheer gratitude for the blessings and mercies which were granted to mankind through him. Unfortunately, the worst of faults were attributed to him and consequently, various aspects of his life were rendered objectionable.
Some people have said that (God forbid) the Holy Prophetsa desired to hand over his succession to Hazrat Alira, but the fear of people did not let him do so. Some say that (God forbid) the Holy Prophetsa became infatuated with the love of his cousin, Zainab and ultimately, God let him marry her when she was divorced by Hazrat Zaidra due to divine providence.
Certain people were of the view that (God forbid) he had an unlawful relation with a slave girl working under one of his wives and when his wife come to know about it, he was full of regret and swore to her that he would never do it again and also made his wife to promise not to tell anyone.
Some say that the Holy Prophetsa wished the teachings of Islam could somehow be relaxed and softened and wanted such doctrines to be revealed by God for the sake of pagan Arabs that they could have happily accepted them and their emotions would have remained unhurt.
Such are the beliefs of a large number of Muslims about prophets, even in this age. Modern thinkers among Muslims have gone one step ahead of religious scholars of the past and apart from their personal character, they have called the religious side of prophets into question.
According to them, prophets were patriots and loyal to the citizens of their countries. They realised that people can never advance morally and politically unless they are connected with beliefs relating to the Hereafter, the Day of Judgment, Heaven and Hell, etc.
Thus, in view of modernists, the teaching of these doctrines was essential not on the grounds that they were valid, but only due to the fact that individuals could not have followed the restrictions required for progress without them.
According to them, prophets falsely claimed to be the recipient of divine revelation, but still, they are worthy of respect and honour because they somehow provided such knowledge and guidance to mankind, which elevated their moral standard.
Although Islam has no room for the above mentioned beliefs, the people who hold these beliefs are still considered Muslims. The Promised Messiahas not only refuted such shameful and humiliating misconceptions about prophets, but also guided both Muslims and non-Muslims towards the true teachings of Islam on these matters.
The Promised Messiahas highlighted that prophets appear in this world to establish righteousness and goodness. They are an epitome of moral qualities and attributes for mankind. If they are not sent by God to set an example for humanity then there is no need for their appearance and only a book of beliefs and laws could have been sent.
The primary purpose of the appearance of prophets is that people may witness the practical implementation of God Almighty’s revelation and know its real meanings through their actions and ultimately, gain the strength to progress in the way of righteousness and overcome their shortcomings and faults.
The Promised Messiahas explained that people have formed wrong concepts about prophets due to lack of true knowledge of God’s revelation and their own ignorance. They do not perform genuine research and spread unjust conclusions from generation to generation.
The prophets of Allah are innocent, pure and models of truth, love and loyalty. They are a reflection of God’s attributes and their chaste and spotless lives point towards the purity and holiness of the Almighty Allah.
In fact, they are crystal clear mirrors in which a wicked person may see their own evil image and mistakenly impute it to their blessed character.
Prophet Adamas never broke the divine law and Prophet Noahas was not a sinner. Prophet Abrahamas never lied and Prophet Jacobas never deceived anyone. Prophet Josephas neither intended to commit adultery, nor did he steal or fabricate anything. Prophet Mosesas did not murder an innocent person and Prophet Davidas did not entrap anybody’s wife unlawfully. Prophet Solomonas did not overlook his responsibilities for the love of an idolatress or forget the time of prayer for the sake of his horses.
The Holy Prophetsa did not commit any sin, great or small. His personage was free from all defects. Anyone who finds faults in his life or character exposes their own faults and shortcomings.
All those stories which call his conduct into question were invented by hypocrites to tarnish his blessed and pure reputation. These made-up tales are not substantiated by historical evidence. Moreover, they are in conflict with the blessed life, thoughts and character of the Holy Prophetsa.
All these lies about the personage of the Holy Prophetsa or any other prophet were either deceitfully spread by the hypocrites among the Muslims or resulted from sheer misunderstanding of the meanings of the Holy Quran. Even if they are quoted as being sahih (authentic) in hadith, they cannot be accepted. Ahadith never trump the Holy Quran and blessed Sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa.
The Promised Messiahas said:
“The Holy Prophetsa combines the names of all the prophets in himself because he possessed all their diverse excellences. Hence, he is Moses, Jesus, Adam, Abraham, Joseph and Jacob. Allah the Almighty points towards this [in the verse]:
“Meaning, ‘O Prophetsa of God, combine in yourself all the diverse guidance which every other prophet had brought respectively.’
This shows that the dignity of all prophets was united in the personage of the Holy Prophetsa and his name, Muhammadsa, also points to this, for it means greatly praised, and great praise can only be considered when all the varied excellences and special qualities of the different prophets are unified in the Holy Prophetsa.” (Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 5, p. 343)
The Promised Messiahas proved through convincing arguments of the Holy Quran that the mistaken beliefs about prophets are not at all related to Islam. These ideas and concepts crept into Muslims through Christians because their plan was to falsely highlight the faults of every other prophet and prove that Prophet Jesusas was the only sinless prophet.
By showing that Jesus Christ possessed extraordinary purity and God-like powers, Christians wanted to convince people, including Muslims, about his divinity. This appears to be the reason that even among Muslims, faults and errors are falsely attributed to all prophets including the Holy Prophetsa but Jesusas is considered absolutely sinless and flawless. Not only Jesusas, but also his mother, Maryas, is regarded as an epitome of chastity. This distinctive approach in the case of Jesusas clearly indicates that fabricated and repulsive tales about all other prophets found their way into Muslims narrations through Christians. It is quite possible that Muslims were unconsciously influenced by such stories during their day to day interaction with Christians or some mischievous Christians apparently accepted Islam and spread them among Muslims.
Muslim historians and hadith scholars regarded every narration as historical material and honestly collected and compiled each one of them for the coming generations. The distinction between true and false traditions was maintained for a time, but gradually, those who were devoid of the light of the Holy Prophetsa lost sight and accepted tales that were contrary to the spirit and standards of Islam and rejected such narrations that highlighted the purity and chastity of prophets.
All praise belongs to Allah the Almighty Who sent His chosen one, the Promised Messiahas of the age to remove all the impurities from Islam and establish the true status of prophets, especially the honour of the Holy Prophetsa.
The following couplet of the Promised Messiahas is a complete answer to all the misconceptions and false beliefs held about the prophets:
سب پاک ہیں پیمبر اِک دُوسرے سے بہتر
لیک از خدائے برتر خیر الوریٰ یہی ہے
“All prophets are pure – one better than the other. But, from God Almighty – he [the Holy Prophetsa] is the best of creation.” (Qadian ke Arya aur hum, Ruhani Khazain Vol. 20, p. 456)