Aqeedah on Nabi & Rasul

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

As Salamu Alaikum. Mufti Sahib, please answer my questions briefly.

  1. What is difference between a Nabi, Rasool, Paighambar?
  2. My Aqeedah is that all the Ambia were humans and were male.
  3. Is there any difference of opinion amongst the scholars about Ambia? Are some scholars of the view that Ambia that were sent towards jinns were from jinns?
  4. If there are such Ulama that say that the Ambia that were sent towards jinns were jinns then what is the shari ruling of their statement because having an aqeedah that Ambia Karam were not humans is kufr (disbelief). Please explain this point properly.
  5. Is there any difference of opinion amongst the Ashari and Maturidi regarding the Ambia being male? Is the Ashari of the view that a Nabi can be a female?

Answer:

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

The basic difference between a Nabi (Prophet) and a Rasool (Messenger) is that a Rasool is sent by Allah with a new Shari’ah which encompasses all things and may not necessarily exist in any Shari’ah or legislation prior to it. A Nabi on the other hand simply complies to the commandments of the Shari’ah that was sent prior to him, serves as a representative and is not sent with a new Shari’ah.

(see Tafseer al-Sha’raawi v1 p1966)

‘Paighambar’ is the Urdu equivalent of the Arabic word Rasool wherein ‘Paighaam’ means ‘message’ hence ‘Paighambar’ means messenger.

Although it is unanimous that the human and jinn both were created for the worship of Allah and that they will be accountable on the Day of Judgment like the humankind, there is no explicit evidence suggesting that prophets that were sent to jinns, were jinns.

 (see Sura adh-Dhariyat 51: 56 and Sura al-An’aam 6:130)

On the contrary, according to certain verses of the Quran it is evident that the messengers sent towards jinns were human.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says: “Behold, We turned towards thee a company of Jinns (quietly) listening to the Qur’an: when they stood in the presence thereof, they said, “Listen in silence!” When the (reading) was finished, they returned to their people, to warn (them of their sins). They said, “O our people! We have heard a Book revealed after Moses, confirming what came before it: it guides (men) to the Truth and to a Straight Path. “O our people, hearken to the one who invites (you) to Allah, and believe in him: He will forgive you your faults, and deliver you from a Penalty Grievous.”

(Sura al-Ahqaf 46:29,30,31)

In another verse Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says: “Say (O Muhammad): It is revealed unto me that a company of the Jinn gave ear, and they said: ‘Lo! It is a marvellous Qur’an, which guides unto righteousness, so we believe in it and we ascribe unto our Lord no partner.”

(Sura al-Jinn: 72:1,2)

However in Tafseer Ruh al-Bayan it is stated that there is a possibility that Allah sent jinn messengers to jinns based on the words “messengers from amongst you” in verse 130 of Sura al-An’aam. Elaborating on the fact that just as humans are able to relate to a human prophet easily, likewise jinns can relate to a jinn prophet easily.

(see Tafseer Ruh al-Bayan v3 p81)

It is best to leave this matter to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), as knowing whether or not Allah has sent jinn prophets to jinns isn’t really something so important that we should know. It is also advisable that we priorities our knowledge and seek only that knowledge which is beneficial.

With regards to your question whether there were female prophets, we can deduce from the Quran that prophets were male only. As Allah Ta’aala specifically mentions ‘men’. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“Nor did We send before thee (as messengers) any but men, whom we did inspire, (men) living in human habitations. Do they not travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those before them? But the home of the hereafter is best, for those who do right. Will ye not then understand?”

(Sura Yusuf 12:109)

“And before thee also the messengers We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: if ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message.”

(Sura al-Nahl 16:43)

“Before thee, also, the messengers We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: If ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message.”

(Sura al-Anbiya 21:07)

Therefore, it is necessary that we have full conviction in what we believe and respect the opinions of others, as long as it falls into the category of valid Ijtihad.

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Mufti Abdullah al-Ma’mun

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

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