A prophet is a person chosen by God as His representative. When God appoints someone as His Messenger, He sends His angel to him to inform him of his new status. In that way, the individual can have no doubts about his appointment as God’s apostle. Later, God reveals His message to him through His angels, so that he may communicate the divine teachings to all his fellow men.
God has given man a mind so that he may be endowed with understanding. But this mind can only grasp things that are apparent. It cannot go below the surface, and there are many things to be apprehended, for which a superficial knowledge is insufficient. The deeper realities of this world are beyond the scope of the human mind, and so far as God and the next world are concerned, they must remain forever invisible-beyond the reach of human perception.
What the prophet does is to enlighten people so that they may overcome this human inadequacy. He tells of the reality of things here and how, and also gives tidings of the next world. He thereby enables the individual to formulate a plan for his entire existence in the full light of knowledge and awareness so that he may carve out a successful life for himself.
Since the settlement of human beings on earth, the prophets have been coming one after another. In every age they have been the conveyors of God’s messages to human beings. However, whatever records of these ancient prophets have survived have been rendered historically unreliable by interpolations. The same is true of the books they brought to mankind. The sole exception was the case of the Prophet Muhammad, who had been chosen by God as His Final Messenger. The Prophet was born in an age when the history of the world was already being extensively chronicled. This in itself made circumstances conducive to authentic records being kept of God’s messages and the Prophet’s exemplary life. The relevant facts were passed on from one generation to the next by both oral and written tradition, and with the advent of the printing press came the modern guarantee that no changes would ever be made in the divine scriptures. This renders unassailable the position of the Prophet Muhammad as God’s Final Messenger and His sole representative on earth till Doomsday.