Answered by Shaykh Abdul- Rahim Reasat
Was Sayyiduna Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) a Prophet before Adam (Peace and blessing be on him) was created? I heard a hadith that says, “I was a Prophet while Adam was between clay and water. ”
Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
I pray you are well.
Our Master Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) was granted the role of being a Prophet before Adam’s physical form was created (peace and blessings be on him). This means that the role of being a Prophet of Allah was granted to him before his own physical appearance on earth and that of Adam as well.
Abu Hurayra (Allah be well pleased with him narrated that the Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah when was prophethood incumbent for you? “He replied, “When Adam was still between [being a] soul and [a] body. “(Tirmidhi)
As for the commonly cited narration mentioned in your question, hadith experts like Imam Zarkashi and others have stated that it has no sound basis. One should avoid using that narration.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.