Prophets, Messengers, and the Sunnah

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I am researching Islam for class and I have the following questions:
Q1. What is the count of the prophets and messengers that Allah sent? Is it 124,000?
Q2. Out of this count, how many are messengers?
Q3. How many were from Arabs? And what are their names?
Q4. List all the Messengers that were mentioned in Qur’an. Are those the 25 Prophets mentioned from Adam to Muhammad, upon them peace and blessings?
Q5. What are the types of Sunnah?
Q6. Is Sunnah part of Revelation (like Qur’an)?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Jazakum Allahu Khayr for your questions.

[1] We don’t know the exact number of Prophets and Messengers (Allah bless them all and give them peace). However, we know that ‘and there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them.’ [35:24]

[2] We don’t know the exact number of Messengers who were sent. However, the Messengers we know who had a full scripture revealed to them were four: Dawud, Musa, `Isa and Muhammad (Allah bless them all and give them peace).

[3] From the twenty five prophets we know the names of, six were Arab: Salih, Nuh, Shu`ayb, Muhammad, Lut and Hud (Allah bless them all and give them peace)

[4] Yes, that’s correct. The twenty five prophets that we are obliged to believe as prophets are: Adam, Idris, Nuh, Hud, Salih, Lut, Ibrahim, Isma`il, Ishaq, Ya`qub, Yusuf, Shu`ayb, Harun, Musa, Dawud, Sulayman, Ayyub, Dhul Kifl, Yunus, Ilyas, al-Yasa`, Zakariyya, Yahya, `Isa and Muhammad (Allah bless them all and give them peace).

[5] There are two types of sunna: [a] confirmed sunnas; and [b] non-confirmed sunnas.

[6] Yes, the sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) is regarded as a non-recited revelation. Allah Most high says, ‘He does not speak out of (his own) desire. It is but revelation revealed (to him).’ [53:3-4]

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani