Essays in Series


The Great Ones

About the Series

It is known that over time Allāh has sent a hundred and twenty four thousand prophets to various nations. Those include a hundred and thirteen messengers, twenty five of whose names are mentioned in the Qurʾān. Allāh says in the Qurʾān "And to every community a messenger [has been sent]…(10:47)” and addresses Muḥammad ﷺ" And certainly We sent many a messenger before you; some of whom We have already told you about in the story, others of whom We have not (40:78).”

Among the twenty-five messengers and prophets that are mentioned in the Qurʾān, five are highly distinguished and are bearers of divine books and religious laws. Together they are know as ʾŪlu-l-ʿĀzim, the Resolute, the Steadfast, the Great Ones. They are Nūh, ʾIbrāhīm, Mūsa, ʿIsā and Muḥammad, may Allāh have mercy upon them all: “When We made a covenant with all of the Prophets - with you and with Nuḥ and ʾIbrāhīm and Mūsa and ʿIsā son of Maryam - We made a binding covenant with them (33:7)."

The essays in this series deal with the historical as well as eternal dimensions of the ʾŪlu-l-ʿĀzim. In addition to five Great Ones, it starts with ʾĀdam and Hawāʾ (ʿalayhumu-s-salām) and finishes with al-Mahdi (ʿalayhi-s-salām), as they mark the beginning and the end of the current Cycle in the history of humankind. Each of the Great Ones represent a distinct period in the progression of this Cycle, that started with ʾĀdam (alayhi-s-salām) and will culminate with the coming of Al-Mahdi (ʿalayhi-s-salām), the Rightly Guided, as al-Qāʾim or the “One who Rises.”