Stories of the Prophets
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,
وَرُسُلاً قَدْ قَصَصْنَـهُمْ عَلَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ وَرُسُلاً لَّمْ نَقْصُصْهُمْ عَلَيْكَ
“And Messengers We have mentioned to you before, and Messengers We have not mentioned to you…”
Before the revelation of this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has told us stories about others Prophets. The following are the names of the Prophets whom Allah named in the Qur’an:
3. Nuh (Noah)
6. Ibraheem (Abraham)
8. Ismaeel (Ishmael)
9. Ishaq (Isaac)
10. Yaqoob (Jacob)
11. Yusuf (Joesph)
12. Ayoob (Job)
14. Musa (Moses)
15. Haroon (Aaron)
16. Yunus (Jonah)
17. Dawud (David)
18. Sulayman (Solomon)
19. Ilyas (Elias)
20. Al-Yasa` (Elisha)
21. Zakariya (Zachariya)
22. Yahya (John)
23. Eesa (Jesus)
Several scholars of tafseer also listed Dhul-Kifl among the Prophets.
It means that stories of the Prophets mentioned in the Qur’an are not for entertainment purpose, but rather for us to take lessons from them. There are thousands of other Prophets whose names or stories have not been revealed to us, we have no idea where they were sent or how their people reacted to their message. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends this ayah stating,
وَكَلَّمَ اللَّهُ مُوسَى تَكْلِيماً
“…and to Musa Allah spoke directly.”
The word taqleema at the end of this ayah is for emphasis i.e. there were no intermediaries between Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and Prophet Musa aalyhi salaam. The Lord “directly” spoke to His slave. This is an honor to Musa, and this is why he is called the Kaleem, he whom Allah spoke to directly.
Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah recorded that Abdul-Jabbar bin Abdullah said, “A man came to Abu Bakr bin `Ayyash and said, `I heard a man recite (this Ayah this way):
وَكَلَّمَ اللَّهَ مُوسَى تَكلِيمًا
“and to Allah, Musa spoke directly.” Abu Bakr said, “Only a disbeliever would recite it like this.” Al-Amash recited it with Yahya bin Withab, who recited it with Abu Abdur-Rahman As-Sulami who recited it with Ali bin Abi Talib who recited with the Messenger of Allah,
وَكَلَّمَ اللَّهُ مُوسَى تَكْلِيماً
“…and to Musa Allah spoke directly.” Abu Bakr bin Abi Ayyash was so angry with the man who recited the Ayah differently, because he altered its words and meanings. That person was from the group of Mu`tazilah who denied that Allah spoke to Musa or that He speaks to any of His creation.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah al-A’raf ayah 143,
وَلَمَّا جَآءَ مُوسَى لِمِيقَـتِنَا وَكَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ
“And when Musa came at the time and place appointed by Us, and his Lord spoke to him.”
– Throughout history, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has sent Prophets for the guidance of people because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has taken upon Himself to arrange for the guidance of mankind. We learn in Surah Fatir ayah 23 and 24, “You [O Muhammad], are not but a warner. Indeed, We have sent you with the truth as a bringer of a good tidings and a warner. And there was no nation but that there has passed within it a warner.”
We have been informed that there are going to be no Messengers after Muhammad sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam, so whose responsibility is it to warn people and spread the khair? The Muslim Ummah. The nation that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala called the best nation among mankind, what are we doing to honor this title?
– This ayah confirms there were several others Messengers about whom we know nothing, but just because we have not been informed about them we can’t say a particular nation didn’t receive any Messenger. Allahu Alam; He knows best which Messenger was sent to which nation.
– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala favored some Messengers over others by giving them special qualities, authorities and miracles. For example, Musa aalyhi sallam spoke directly to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. this was a special gift for him.
– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala asserts that He “directly” spoke to His slave. There are some people who deny this fact. They say Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not have the characteristic of speech. We should remember He is “ala quli shay-in Qadeer” He has control over everything, He can do everything. If He has given us speech why can’t He have it for Himself?