All Prophets called to Islamic Tauheed: Exclusive Monotheism
Islam: Submission الإِسْلاَمِ
Islam (الإِسْلاَمِ) is the religion and way of worship of all the Prophets of God. It is not as many believe and propagate to discredit the Muslims the religion invented and initiated by the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Rather it was revealed to him by Allah the God and Lord of the universe as the final message to mankind.
The Arabic root “s-l-m” from which the word “Islam” is derived implies peace, safety, salutation, protection, blamelessness, wholesomeness, submission, acceptance, surrender, and salvation. Therefore Islam specifically means being in the state of submission to Allah, worshipping Him alone, and reverently accepting and obeying His Law, and consequently it implies the peace (Salaam), security, and wholesome well-being and salvation which follow upon continually practicing and dying in the state of Islam.
Islam has a general universal meaning, and a more specific meaning.
In its most universal sense it means submission to Allah at all times and a more specific meaning, submission to Allah by the revelation and law of the Quran (revealed recitation) and the Sunnah (revealed way) of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. The universal general Islam is the name of the religion and ‘way of life’ which Allah has revealed and which was practiced by all of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah whom He sent to mankind. The same essential and eternal message was sent saying, O mankind, submit whole-heartedly to the command and law of Allah, the one and only God and your only Creator and Sovereign and Sustainer, and worship Him and Him alone by the manner of the Prophets and Messengers I sent to you. For this reason, we state that Islam is not a new religion, but is the same divinely revealed Ultimate Truth that Allah has revealed to all Prophets and Messengers of Allah, including Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus and the Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon all of them. Note that this meaning of ‘Islam’ stands out unique among religions in that it means a state of being, which any human can achieve by choice, and does not refer to any particular person like Christianity, Buddhism or Zoroastrianism, or tribe like Judaism, or group like Hinduism.
Islam in its more specific sense stands for the religion and ‘way of life’ that the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, peace be upon him, brought for this era of humanity in all the details of the forms of worship and the teachings and laws. It includes revelations of the Quran and Sunnah and the five pillars of Islam upon which Islam was built as in the famous narration on the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, when he said:
بُنِيَ الإسْلامُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ: شَهَادَةُ أَنْ لا إِلَهَ إلا الله وَأَنَّ محمداً رَسُولُ اللهِ، وَإِقَامِ الصَّلاةِ، وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ، وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ
“Islam is built on five (pillars): the Shahadah (testimony) that LA ILAAHA ILL-ALLAH (there is no god except Allah, or, none has the right to be worshipped except Allah) and that MUHAMMAD RASULALLAH (Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah); to establish Salat (the obligatory prayers); to pay the Zakat (obligatory charity); and to perform the Saum (fast) of Ramadan; and to perform the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).” [Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This Islam also encompasses the articles of Iman (faith) and Aqeedah (creed) and all that is in the complete code of Sharee’ah (law) derived from the revealed scripture of the Quran (recitation and book that was revealed to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, peace be upon him) and the Sunnah (the teachings in word and deed of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, peace be upon him).
A Muslim is the person in the state of Islam whether completely or with some of his or her imperfections and shortcomings which do not nullify being called a “Muslim” and identifying with Islam. Sins, ignorance, and wrong-doings all weaken someone’s Islam and Iman proportionally, whereas the greater Shirk (idolatry) and the greater Kufr (disbelief) and outright Ilhad (blasphemy) nullify and destroy Islam completely.
Islam as the religion of Allah for all men and the entire universe, is in the verse when He the Majestic said:
﴿ إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ ﴾
“Truly the religion before Allah is ‘al-Islam.’” [3:19] And He the Almighty and Majestic said:
﴿وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ ﴾
“And Whoever seeks a religion other than ‘al-Islam’ it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” [3:85]
And as He said to His Messenger and his followers:
﴿الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا ﴾
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, and completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you ‘al-Islam’ as your religion.” [5:30]
And about the people of the Book, the Jews and Christians, Allah the Most Exalted said:
﴿وَمَا تَفَرَّقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ () وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاء وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَذَلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ ﴾
“And the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) did not differ until after there came to them clear evidence. And they were not commanded except that they should worship Allah making their religion sincere for Him and worshiping none except Him Alone, and establish regular prayer and give charity and that is the right (straight and best) religion.” [98:5] As above, these are of the foremost fundamentals of both the general and the specific Islam.
Islam is the religion of all the prophets and means submission to Allah alone. Whoever submits to Allah alone and worships and obeys him sincerely is a Muslim. Whoever submits to Allah and to others is a polytheist. Whoever refuses to submit to Allah is arrogant. Both the polytheist and arrogant are infidel disbelievers.
The religion of all the prophets in the general sense is one in that they all worship Allah sincerely and in basic creed and faith and universal maxims. Yet there is some diversity in the specific revealed forms of worship and laws since Allah in His Wisdom legislated some things to suit an era and people and then some other things for another era and people, and then finalized His Revelation and Universal Law to man with the message of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
All of the Prophets in the general sense were Muslims and their religion from God was Islam.
Allah the Exalted said about Noah, peace be upon him:
﴿ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَمَا سَأَلْتُكُمْ مِنْ أَجْرٍ إِنْ أَجْرِيَ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ وَأُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ﴾
“ And if you turn away I have not asked you from you any reward, for my reward is only with Allah, and I am commanded to be of those who are Muslims (submit to Allah).” (10:72)
And Allah said about Abraham and those after him, may the peace of Allah be upon them:
﴿ وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿﴾ رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُسْلِمَةً لَكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿﴾ رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آَيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿﴾ وَمَنْ يَرْغَبُ عَنْ مِلَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِلَّا مَنْ سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُ وَلَقَدِ اصْطَفَيْنَاهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَإِنَّهُ فِي الْآَخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ ﴿﴾ إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ أَسْلِمْ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿﴾ وَوَصَّى بِهَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعْقُوبُ يَا بَنِيَّ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَى لَكُمُ الدِّينَ فَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿﴾ أَمْ كُنْتُمْ شُهَدَاءَ إِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوبَ الْمَوْتُ إِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ بَعْدِي قَالُوا نَعْبُدُ إِلَهَكَ وَإِلَهَ آَبَائِكَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ إِلَهًا وَاحِدًا وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ ﴾
“And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House, (they said) ‘Our Lord, accept (this deed) from us. Indeed You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. * Our Lord, and make us Muslims in submission to You, and from our descendants a Muslim nation in submission to You. And (O Lord) show us our ways of worship and accept our repentance. Indeed You are the Acceptor of Repentance, the Most Merciful. * Our Lord, and send among them a Messenger from among themselves who will recite to them Your revealed verses and teach them the Book and the Wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.’ * And who would forsake the religion of Abraham except the person who debases himself with stupidity. We chose him in this world and he is indeed among the righteous in the Hereafter, * When his Lord said to him, ‘Submit’ (Aslam: “be a Muslim”) he said, ‘I submit entirely to the Lord of the worlds.” * Abraham instructed his sons with this, and Jacob (also saying), ‘O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion (Islam) so do not die except while you are in submission (Muslims).’ * Were you witnesses when death approached Jacob and he said to his sons, ‘What will you worship after me?’ They said, ‘We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, one God. And we are Muslims (in submission) to Him.” (2: 127-133)
And Allah said about Moses:
﴿ وَقَالَ مُوسَى يَا قَوْمِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ آَمَنْتُمْ بِاللَّهِ فَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلُوا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُسْلِمِينَ ﴾
“And Moses said, ‘O my people, if you have believed in Allah, then rely upon Him, if you are those that submit (Muslims).” (10:84)
And Allah said about Jesus’ disciples:
﴿ وَإِذْ أَوْحَيْتُ إِلَى الْحَوَارِيِّينَ أَنْ آَمِنُوا بِي وَبِرَسُولِي قَالُوا آَمَنَّا وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّنَا مُسْلِمُونَ ﴾
“And (remember) when I inspired to the disciples, ‘Believe in Me and in My Messenger (here meaning Jesus). They said, We have believed, so bear witness that indeed we submit (are Muslims.’” (5:111)
And Allah the Exalted said in a general verse about the prophets and followers:
﴿ وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَفِي هَذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآَتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ ﴾
And strive for Allah with earnest endeavor that is His right. He has chosen you and He has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty: (it is) the religion of your father, Abraham. He (Allah) named you “Muslims” before (in the former scriptures) and in this (revelation of the Qur`an) so that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish obligatory prayer and give obligatory charity and hold fast to Allah. He is your Ally and Protector, and He is an excellent Protector, and He is an excellent Helper.” [Surat-al-Hajj 22:78]
And Islam is the religion of all creation as Allah the Almighty said:
﴿ أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللَّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ ﴾
“Do they desire other than the religion of Allah they desire while to Him have submitted (Aslam, from Islam) all those within the heavens and earth, willingly or by obligation, and to Him they will be returned?” (3:83)
And as some of the Jinn said to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him,
﴿وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الْمُسْلِمُونَ وَمِنَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ فَمَنْ أَسْلَمَ فَأُولَئِكَ تَحَرَّوْا رَشَدًا ﴿﴾ وَأَمَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ
فَكَانُوا لِجَهَنَّمَ حَطَبًا ﴾
“And among us are Muslims (in submission to Allah) and among us are some who are the unjust. And whoever has become Muslim, indeed those have sought to find out the right course. But as for the unjust, they will be (fuel like) firewood for Hellfire.” (72: 14-15)
Therefore, it is seen that the truth is that Islam is the universal religion of salvation for all humans and all jinn.
NOTE: Who are the Jinn? Jinn are creatures of Allah just as the angels and the animals are creatures of Allah, yet they have a different constitution and abilities than that of man, as the Prophet said, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him:
خلقت الملائكة من نور و خلق الجان من مارج من نار و خلق آدم مما و صف لكم
“The angels were created from light and the jinn created from fire and Adam was created from what has been described to you.” Meaning clay. Reported by Imam Muslim and Imam Ahmad and others. There are believers and disbelievers among the jinn just as among men, and like man they have limited free will to choose to obey or disobey Allah.
From the Amazing Beauty of Allah’s Creations