Abraham: The Patriarch Abraham, ancestor of the Semites, is seen in the Qur’ān as the prototype of the Muslim; it is implied that he arrived at monotheism by pure reason before the revelation came. With his first-born, Ishmael, he built the Temple of the Ka‘ba at Bekka, or Mecca, and instituted the rites of pilgrimage. While he has been claimed by both the Jews and the Christians, he did not belong to either of these religions, it is said; he was simply a man who submitted himself to God: a Muslim.
Say: "God has spoken the truth; therefore follow
the creed of Abraham, a man of pure faith
and no idolater."
The first House established for the people
was that at Bekka, a place holy, and a guidance
to all beings.
Therein are clear signs--the station of Abraham,
and whosoever enters it is in security.
It is the duty of all men towards God to come
to the House a pilgrim, if he is able to
make his way there.
As for the unbeliever, God is All-sufficient
nor needs any being. (3:95-97)
Moses: Moses is one of the most frequently mentioned of the prophets; he was sent to rescue the children of Ishmael's nephew Israel from Egypt. However, the Children of Israel became proud and disobeyed God; they regarded themselves as a Chosen People and wronged their brethren, and when God sent prophets to warn them, they refused to listen and put His messengers to death. They are People of the Book, since God gave them the scriptures, but they have perverted their revelation.
Children of Israel, remember My blessing
wherewith I blessed you, and that I
have preferred you above all beings;
and beware of a day when no soul for another
shall give satisfaction, and no intercession
shall be accepted from it, nor any counterpoise
be taken, neither shall they be helped.
And when We delivered you from the folk of Pharaoh
who were visiting you with evil chastisement,
slaughtering your sons, and sparing your women;
and in that was a grievous trial from your Lord.
And when We divided for you the sea
and delivered you, and drowned Pharaoh's fold
while you were beholding.
And when We appointed with Moses forty nights
then you took to yourselves the Calf after him
and you were evildoers;
And when Moses sought water for his people,
so We said, "Strike with thy staff the rock";
and there gushed forth from it twelve fountains;
all the people knew now their drinking-place.
"Eat and drink of God's providing, and
mischief not in the earth, doing corruption."
And when you said, "Moses, we will not endure
one sort of food; pray to thy Lord for us, that He
may bring forth for us of that the earth produces--
green herbs, cucumbers, corn, lentils, onions."
He said, "Would you have in exchange what is meaner
for what is better? Get you down to Egypt;
you shall have there that you demanded."
And abasement and poverty were pitched upon them,
and they were laden with the burden of God's anger;
that, because they had disbelieved the signs of God
and slain the Prophets unrightfully; that,
because they disobeyed, and were transgressors.
Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry,
and the Christians, and those Sabaeans,
whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works
righteousness--their wage awaits them with their Lord,
and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow. (2:60-62)
Jesus: John and Jesus are seen as members of the righteous family of ‘Imrān, among the Children of Israel. Jesus holds a place unique among the prophets in Islam. He is born of a virgin "purified above all women," he is the promised Messiah, "The Word of God and a Spirit from Him," an almost superhuman figure who spoke from the
cradle and worked great wonders by the power of God; but the central doctrines of Christianity are set aside. The idea that he is the Son of God is sternly rejected, the doctrine of the Trinity is held to contradict God's Oneness, and since Jesus did not die on the cross and there was no collective guilt of man for which he could atone, there was no Atonement and no Resurrection. While also People of the Book, the early Christians are held to have deliberately falsified the scripture he brought, and to have worshiped the Messiah blasphemously. Later generations have been perhaps sincere but certainly misguided, so that a new revelation became necessary. As for Jesus, God took him to Himself when the Jews rejected him, and will justify him before the end of the world.
So she conceived him, and withdrew with him
to a distant place.
And the birthpangs surprised her by
the trunk of the palm-tree. She said,
"Would I had died ere this, and become
a thing forgotten!"
But the one that was below her
called to her, "Nay, do not sorrow;
see, the Lord has set below thee
Shake also to thee the palm-trunk,
and there shall come tumbling upon thee
dates fresh and ripe.
Eat therefore, and drink, and be
comforted; and if thou shouldst see
say, 'I have vowed to the All-merciful
a fast, and today I will not speak
to any man.'
Then she brought the child to her folk
carrying him; and they said,
"Mary, thou hast surely committed
a monstrous thing!
And when Jesus perceived their unbelief, he said,
"who will be my helpers unto God?"
The Apostles said: "We will be helpers of God,
We believe in God; witness thou that we [are Muslims]. 3
Lord, we believe in what Thou hast sent down,
And we follow thy Messenger.
Inscribe us with those who witness to the truth." (3:52-53)
And for their unbelief, and their uttering
against Mary a mighty calumny,
and for their saying, "We slew the Messiah,
Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God"--
yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him,
only a likeness of that was shown to them.
Those who are at variance concerning him surely
are in doubt regarding him; they have no knowledge
of him, except the following of surmise;
and they slew him not of a certainty--
no indeed; God raised him up to Him; God is
There is not one of the People of the Book
but will assuredly believe in him before his
death, and on the Resurrection Day he will be
a witness against them. (4:154-159)
People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds
in your religion, and say not as to God
but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary,
was only the Messenger of God, and His Word
that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from
Him. So believe in God and His Messengers,
and say not, "Three." Refrain; better is it
for you. God is only One God. Glory be
to Him--that He should have a son!
To Him belongs all that is in the heavens
and in the earth; God suffices
for a guardian.
The Messiah will not disdain to be a servant
of God, neither the angels who are near
stationed to Him. (4:171-172)
Muhammad: Muhammad is the chosen instrument by which God sent the Eternal Message in its definitive form, "the prophet" par excellence. The Qur’ān addresses him directly, to assure him that he is not insane, and to encourage him against men's doubts; it solemnly confirms as true the visions he has seen. Finally, it is suggested that the truth of his message may be seen from the faith of the Muslims.
Surely thy Lord knows very well
those who have gone astray from
His way, and He knows very well
those who are guided. (62:1-7)
By the Star when it plunges,
your comrade is not astray, neither errs,
neither speaks he out of caprice.
This is naught but a revelation revealed,
taught him by one terrible in power,
very strong; he stood poised,
being on the higher horizon,
then drew near and suspended hung,
two bows'-length away, or nearer,
then revealed to his servant what he revealed.
His heart lies not of what he saw;
what, will you dispute with him what he sees?
Indeed, he saw him another time
by the Lote-Tree of the Boundary
Cried lies before them the people of Noah
and the men of Er-Rass, and Thamood, and
Ad and Pharaoh, the brothers of Lot, the
men of the Thicket, the people of Tubba’.
What, were We wearied by the first creation?
No indeed; but they are in uncertainty
as to the new creation.
We indeed created man; and We know
what his soul whispers within him,
and We are nearer to him than the
jugular vein. (50:1-17)
And We sent Noah, and Abraham,
and We appointed the Prophecy and
the Book to be among their seed; and
some of them are guided, and many of
them are ungodly.
Then We sent, following
in their footsteps, Our
Messengers; and We sent,
following, Jesus son of
Mary, and gave unto him
And We set in the hearts of those who
followed him tenderness and mercy.
And monasticism they invented--We
did not prescribe it for them--only
seeking the good pleasure of God; but
they observed it not as it should be
observed. So We gave those of them
who believed their wage; and many of
them are ungodly.
O, believers, fear God, and believe
in His Messenger, and He will give you
a twofold portion of His mercy, and
He will appoint for you a light whereby
you shall walk, and forgive you; God is
Muhammad is the Messenger of God,
and those who are with him are hard
against the unbelievers, merciful
one to another. Thou seest them
bowing, prostrating, seeking bounty
from God and good pleasure. Their
mark is on their faces, the trace of
prostration. That is their likeness
in the Torah, and their likeness
in the Gospel: as a seed that puts
forth its shoot, and strengthens it,
and it grows stout and rises straight
upon its stalk, pleasing the sowers,
that through them He may enrage
the unbelievers. God has promised
those of them who believe and do deeds
of righteousness forgiveness and
a mighty wage. (48:29)
39:3 Since all who submit themselves to God's will are Muslims, Abraham and the twelve apostles are Muslims. It would appear preferable to call those Muslims who have followed Muhammad by the earlier term "Muhammadans," were it not that they resent the term as implying some sort of idolatrous relationship with their prophet.