Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
In discussing prophethood in Islam, what is the Sunni position on the possible prophethood of ancients like Krishna, Buddha, or Confucius?
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
It is very probable that many of the great religious figures of other traditions were true prophets. Similarly, we see traces of monotheism in the beliefs and practices of such traditions.
However, we do not affirm prophethood or Divine Origins for any prophet or religion that the primary texts of the Qur’an and Prophetic sunna have not affirmed such for. However, we also believe that the origin of religions is monotheistic, and they corrupt towards polytheism.
Shaykh Umar Faruq Abdallah’s paper One God, Many Names on www.Nawawi.org has some excellent insights.