Thursday, January 19, 2017

Does Quran 2:253 say that some prophets are greater than others?

Does Quran tell us to differentiate between prophets and revelations?
** By: Khurshid Imam **
Some muslims deduce from Quran 2:253 that some Prophets are greater than other Prophets. What is the Quranic position regarding this conclusion?
A. Can we differentiate between prophets?

God has clearly commanded the believers to not make any distinction among prophets and his revelations.

"Not we make distinction between any of them (prophets)". Quran - 2:136
"We make no difference between any of His messengers" Quran - 2:285
"Not we make distinction between any of them (prophets)". Quran - 3:84
“And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and not they differentiate between any one of them, those - soon He will give them their reward. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Quran - 4:152
"Do not make the prophets better than one another". Sahih Bukhari 2281
"Do not exalt me as the Christians have exalted the son of Mary. I am but a servant, so call me the servant of Allah and His messenger." - Sahih Bukhari 3261

B. Can we say that some of Prophets are better than others?

1. Nowhere Quran gives KULLI FAZEELAT [preference in totality in all aspects] to any prophet above others OR to any person above others. The ayah Quoted 2:253 itself gives the complete meaning if read carefully. 

2. Allah has preferred some prophets above other in SOME aspects only. Let us read the complete Ayah: “We preferred some of them (Prophets) to others, to some of them Allah spoke, others he raised to degrees and to Isa, the son of Maryam, we gave clear proofs and evidences and supported him with Ruh – Quddus” - Quran 2:253

3. Proof of this principle is already mentioned in this ayah 2:253 where Allah gives examples of preferences: 
A. that Allah spoke [directly] to MOSES. This preference was NOT given to other Prophets.
B. Same Ayah says that Prophet Jesus was supported by Ruh-ul-Quddus [The Holy Spirit]. Was this PREFERENCE given to rest all Prophets?

Note: It is a popular misunderstanding to consider Ruh-ul-Quddus [The Holy Spirit] and angel Jibrael as the same personality. Read this for details: Shab-e-meraj and the mysterious personality

4. Prophet Jesus could give life to dead, cure those suffering from leprosy. In this aspect Jesus was preferred over other Prophets. 

5. Solomon had authority over jinn, animal etc. In this aspect Prophet Solomon was preferred over other prophets.

6. “We have preferred some of the prophets above others and to David we gave Zabur”. Quran 17:55
Here Quran talks about a particular aspect of the revelation which was given to hazrat Daud but NOT to other Prophets.

7. Prophet Jesus was PREFERRED over rest of Prophets in a particular aspect - his miraculous birth. This PREFERENCE was NOT given to any other Prophet.

8. Similarly Quran 3:42 talks about Preference given to MARYAM with respect to being Pure and about the good news of giving birth to a prophet [Jesus] - This preference were not given to any other lady of the world.

Similarly if we read all such ayah that talks about GIVING PREFERENCE to someone over other then we realize that it is ALWAYS in some particular aspect and NOT kulli fazeelat.

9. "Allah has preferred Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of Imran above all the worlds." Quran 3:33-34 10.

“And Allah has preferred some of you above others in wealth and properties…”. Quran 16:71

Last but not least - Allah clearly tells believers to say that they do NOT differentiate between Prophets and REVELATIONS. Quran can NOT contain contradictory AYAH.
Important: It is important to note that in the sight of Allah - there will be variation in status of masses and Prophets. We do not know exact details. What we are commanded is that we should NOT differentiate between Prophets and messengers. This approach will foster universal brotherhood and love between different communities.
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