In religion, a prophet is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divine being and is said to speak on that entity's behalf, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings from the supernatural source to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy.
The English word prophet is a compound Greek word, from pro (in advance) and the verb phesein (to tell); thus, a προφήτης (profétés) is someone who foretells future events, and also conveys messages from the divine to humans; in a different interpretation, it means advocate or speaker.
In Hebrew, the word נָבִיא (nāvî), "spokesperson", traditionally translates as "prophet". The second subdivision of the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh (for "Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim"), is devoted to the Hebrew prophets. The meaning of navi is perhaps described in Deuteronomy 18:18, where God said, "...and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." Thus, the navi was thought to be the "mouth" of God. The root nun-bet-alef ("navi") is based on the two-letter root nun-bet which denotes hollowness or openness; to receive transcendental wisdom, one must make oneself "open". Cf. Rashbam's comment to Genesis 20:7.
In addition to writing and speaking messages from God, Israelite or Jewish nevi'im ("spokespersons", "prophets") often acted out prophetic parables in their life. For example, in order to contrast the people’s disobedience with the obedience of the Rechabites, God has Jeremiah invite the Rechabites to drink wine, in disobedience to their ancestor’s command. The Rechabites refuse, wherefore God commends them. Other prophetic parables acted out by Jeremiah include burying a linen belt so that it gets ruined to illustrate how God intends to ruin Judah's pride. Likewise, Jeremiah buys a clay jar and smashes it in the Valley of Ben Hinnom in front of elders and priests to illustrate that God will smash the nation of Judah and the city of Judah beyond repair. God instructs Jeremiah to make a yoke from wood and leather straps and to put it on his own neck to demonstrate how God will put the nation under the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. In a similar way, the prophet Isaiah had to walk stripped and barefoot for three years to illustrate the coming captivity, and the prophet Ezekiel had to lie on his side for 390 days and eat measured food to illustrate the coming siege.
The prophetic assignment is not always portrayed as positive in the Hebrew Bible, and prophets were often the target of persecution and opposition. God’s personal prediction for Jeremiah, "Attack you they will, overcome you they can't," was performed many times in the biblical narrative as Jeremiah warned of destruction of those who continued to refuse repentance and accept more moderate consequences. In return for his adherence to God’s discipline and speaking God’s words, Jeremiah was attacked by his own brothers, beaten and put into the stocks by a priest and false prophet, imprisoned by the king, threatened with death, thrown into a cistern by Judah’s officials, and opposed by a false prophet. Likewise, Isaiah was told by his hearers who rejected his message, "Leave the way! Get off the path! Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel!" The life of Moses being threatened by Pharaoh is another example.
According to I Samuel 9:9, the old name for navi is ro'eh, רֹאֶה, which literally means "Seer". That could document an ancient shift, from viewing prophets as seers for hire to viewing them as moral teachers. Allen (1971) comments that in the First Temple Era, there were essentially seer-priests, who formed a guild, divined, performed rituals and sacrifices, and were scribes, and then there were canonical prophets, who did none of these (and were against divination) and had instead a message to deliver. The seer-priests were usually attached to a local shrine or temple, such as Shiloh, and initiated others as priests in that priesthood: it was a mystical craft-guild with apprentices and recruitment. Canonical prophets were not organised this way.
A Jewish tradition suggests that there were twice as many prophets as the number which left Egypt, which would make 1,200,000 prophets. The Talmud recognizes the existence of 48 male prophets who bequeathed permanent messages to mankind. According to the Talmud there were also seven women who are counted as prophetesses whose message bears relevance for all generations: Sarah, Miriam, Devorah, Hannah (mother of the prophet Samuel), Abigail (a wife of King David), Huldah (from the time of Jeremiah), and Esther. The Talmudic and Biblical commentator Rashi points out that Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah were also prophets. Isaiah 8:3-4refers he married "the prophetess", which conceived and gave to him a son, named by God Mahèr-salàl-cash-baz. Her name isn't elsewhere specified.
The last nevi'im ("spokespersons", "prophets") mentioned in the Jewish Bible are Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, all of whom lived at the end of the 70-year Babylonian exile. The Talmud (Sanhedrin 11a) states that Haggai, Zachariah, and Malachi were the last prophets, and nowadays only the "Bath Kol" (בת קול, lit. daughter of a voice, "voice of God") exists.
In Christianity, a prophet (or seer) is one inspired by God through the Holy Spirit to deliver a message. Some Christian denominations limit a prophet's message to words intended only for the entire church congregation, excluding personal messages not intended for the body of believers; but in the Bible on a number of occasions prophets were called to deliver personal messages. The reception of a message is termed revelation and the delivery of the message is termed prophecy.
The term "prophet" applies to those who receive public or private revelation. Public revelation, in Catholicism, is part of the Deposit of faith, the revelation of which was completed by Jesus; whereas private revelation does not add to the Deposit. The term "deposit of faith" refers to the entirety of Jesus Christ's revelation, and is passed to successive generations in two different forms, sacred scripture (the Bible) and sacred tradition.
The Bible terms anyone who claims to speak God's words or to teach in his name without being a prophet a false prophet. One Old Testament text in Deuteronomy contains a warning against those who prophesy events which do not come to pass and says they should be put to death. Elsewhere a false prophet may be someone who is purposely trying to deceive, is delusional, under the influence of Satan or is speaking from his own spirit.
Some Christians believe that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to Christians. These may include prophecy, tongues, miraculous healing ability, and discernment (Matthew 12:32 KJV "Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."). Cessationists believe that these gifts were given only in New Testament times and that they ceased after the last apostle died.
New Testament passages that explicitly discuss prophets existing after the death and resurrection of Christ include Revelation 11:10, Matthew 10:40–41 and 23:34, John 13:20 and 15:20 and Acts 11:25–30, 13:1 and 15:32.
The Didache gives extensive instruction in how to distinguish between true and false prophets, as well as commands regarding tithes to prophets in the church. Irenaeus, wrote of 2nd-century believers with the gift of prophecy, while Justin Martyr argued in his Dialogue with Trypho that prophets were not found among the Jews in his time, but that the church had prophets. The Shepherd of Hermas describes revelation in a vision regarding the proper operation of prophecy in the church. Eusebius mentions that Quadratus and Ammia of Philadelphia were both prominent prophets following the age of the Twelve Apostles. Tertullian, writing of the church meetings of the Montanists (to whom he belonged), described in detail the practice of prophecy in the 2nd-century church.
A number of later Christian saints were claimed to have powers of prophecy, such as Columba of Iona (521-597), Saint Malachy (1094-1148) or Padre Pio (1887-1968). Marian apparitions like those at Fatima in 1917 or at Kibeho in Rwanda in the 1980s often included prophetic predictions regarding the future of the world as well as of the local areas they occurred in.
Prophetic movements in particular can be traced throughout the Christian Church's history, expressing themselves in (for example) Montanism, Novatianism, Donatism, Franciscanism, Anabaptism, Camisard enthusiasm, Puritanism, Quakerism, Quietism, Lutheranism and Pietism. Modern Pentecostals and Charismatics, members of movements which together comprised approximately 584 million people as of 2011, believe in the contemporary function of the gift of prophecy, and some in these movements allow for idea that God may continue to gift the church with some individuals who are prophets.
Some Christian sects recognize the existence of a "modern-day" prophets. One such denomination is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which teaches that God still communicates with mankind through prophecy.
The Quran identifies a number of men as "Prophets of Islam" (Arabic: نبي nabī; pl. أنبياء anbiyāʾ). Muslims believe such individuals were assigned a special mission by God to guide humanity. Besides Muhammad, this includes prophets such as Abraham (Ibrāhīm), Moses (Mūsā) and Jesus (ʿĪsā).
Although only twenty-five prophets are mentioned by name in the Quran, a hadith (no. 21257 in Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal) mentions that there were (more or less) 124,000 prophets in total throughout history. Other traditions place the number of prophets at 224,000. Some scholars hold that there are an even greater number in the history of mankind, and only God knows. The Quran says that God has sent a prophet to every group of people throughout time, and that Muhammad is the last of the prophets, sent for the whole of humankind. The message of all the prophets is believed to be the same. In Islam, all prophetic messengers are prophets (such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad) though not all prophets are prophetic messengers. The primary distinction is that a prophet is required to demonstrate God's law through his actions, character, and behavior without necessarily calling people to follow him, while a prophetic messenger is required to pronounce God's law (i.e. revelation) and call his people to submit and follow him. Muhammad is distinguished from the rest of the prophetic messengers and prophets in that he was commissioned by God to be the prophetic messenger to all of mankind. Many of these prophets are also found in the texts of Judaism (The Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings) and Christianity.
Traditionally, four prophets are believed to have been sent holy books: the Torah (Tawrat) to Moses, the Psalms (Zābūr) to David, the Gospel to Jesus, and the Quran to Muhammad; those prophets are considered "Messengers" or rasūl. Other main prophets are considered messengers or nabī, even if they didn't receive a Book from God. Examples include the messenger-prophet Aaron| (Hārūn), the messenger-prophet Ishmael (Ismāʿīl)) and the messenger-prophet Joseph (Yūsuf).
Although it offers many incidents from the lives of many prophets, the Quran focuses with special narrative and rhetorical emphasis on the careers of the first four of these five major prophets. Of all the figures before Muhammad, Moses is referred to most frequently in the Quran. As for the fifth, the Quran is frequently addressed directly to Muhammad, and it often discusses situations encountered by him. Direct use of his name in the text, however, is rare. Rarer still is the mention of Muhammad's contemporaries.
The Bahá'í Faith refers to what are commonly called prophets as "Manifestations of God" who are directly linked with the concept of Progressive revelation. Bahá'ís believe that God expresses this will at all times and in many ways, including through a series of divine messengers referred to as "Manifestations of God" or "divine educators". In expressing God's intent, these Manifestations are seen to establish religion in the world. Thus they are seen as an intermediary between God and humanity.
The Manifestations of God are not seen as incarnations of God, and are also not seen as ordinary mortals. Instead, the Bahá'í concept of the Manifestation of God emphasizes simultaneously the humanity of that intermediary and the divinity in the way they show forth the will, knowledge and attributes of God; thus they have both human and divine stations.
In addition to the Manifestations of God, there are also minor prophets. While the Manifestations of God, or major prophets, are compared to the Sun (which produces its own heat and light), minor prophets are compared to the Moon (which receives its light from the sun). Moses, for example, is taught as having been a Manifestation of God and his brother Aaron a minor prophet. Moses spoke on behalf of God, and Aaron spoke on behalf of Moses (Exodus 4:14–17). Other Jewish prophets are considered minor prophets, as they are considered to have come in the shadow of the dispensation of Moses to develop and consolidate the process he set in motion.
In modern times the term "prophet" can be somewhat controversial. Many Christians with Pentecostal or charismatic beliefs believe in the continuation of the gift of prophecy and the continuation of the role of prophet as taught in Ephesians 4. The content of prophecies can vary widely. Prophecies are often spoken as quotes from God. They may contain quotes from scripture, statements about the past or current situation, or predictions of the future. Prophecies can also 'make manifest the secrets' of the hearts of other people, telling about the details of their lives. Sometimes, more than one person in a congregation will receive the same message in prophecy, with one giving it before another.
Other movements claim to have prophets. In France, Michel Potay says he received a revelation, called The Revelation of Arès, dictated by Jesus in 1974, then by God in 1977. He is considered a prophet by his followers, the Pilgrims of Arès.
In addition to this many modern Marian apparitions included prophecies in them about the world and about the local areas. The Fátima apparition in 1917 included a prophecy given by Mary to three children, that on October 13, 1917 there would be a great miracle for all to see at Fátima, Portugal, and on that day tens of thousands of people headed to Fátima to see what would happen including newspaper journalists. Many witnesses, including journalists, claimed to see the sun "dance" in the sky in the afternoon of that day, exactly as the visionaries had predicted several months before. The Kibeho apparition in Rwanda in the 1980s included many prophecies about great violence and destruction that was coming, and the Rwandan genocide only ten years later was interpreted by the visionaries as the fulfilment of these prophecies 
Jehovah's Witnesses do not consider any single person in their modern-day organization to be a prophet. Their literature has referred to their organization collectively as God's "prophet" on earth; this is understood, however, in the sense of declaring their interpretation of God's judgments from the Bible along with God's guidance of His Holy Spirit. Their publishing company, Watch Tower, and official position magazine, The Watchtower, have asserted: "Ever since The Watchtower began to be published in July 1879 it has looked ahead into the future... No, The Watchtower is no inspired prophet, but it follows and explains a Book of prophecy the predictions in which have proved to be unerring and unfailing till now. The Watchtower is therefore under safe guidance. It may be read with confidence, for its statements may be checked against that prophetic Book." They also claim that they are God's one and only true channel to mankind on earth, and used by God for this purpose.
They have made many eschatological forecasts, some of which have led people (including followers) to incorrect assumptions. One example is The Watchtower's assertions that the end of the "Gentile times" or "times of the nations" would occur in 1914; even prominent Watch Tower representatives such as A. H. Macmillan incorrectly concluded and overstated their expectations. As a result, The Watchtower has acknowledged that Jehovah's Witnesses "have made mistakes in their understanding of what would occur at the end of certain time periods." Concurrently with these exceptions, Jehovah's Witnesses in their literature and assemblies have taught their leadership was personally chosen by Jesus Christ in 1919 (a prophetic year in Jehovah's Witnesses eschatology) and that they are "God's sole channel on earth," and "Jehovah's spirit directed organization".
Joseph Smith, who established the Church of Christ in 1830, is considered a prophet by members of the Latter Day Saint movement, of which The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is the largest denomination. Additionally, many churches within the movement believe in a succession of modern prophets (accepted by Latter Day Saints as "prophets, seers, and revelators") since the time of Joseph Smith. Russell M. Nelson is the current president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Baptist preacher William Miller is credited with beginning the mid-19th century North American religious movement now known as Adventism. He announced a Second Coming, resulting in the Great Disappointment.
The Branch Davidians sect evolved from the Seventh-Day Adventists Church. David Koresh, who died in the well-known Waco Siege in 1993, in 1983 claimed to be their final prophet and "the Son of God, the Lamb".
The Ahmadiyya movement in Islam believes that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a non law-bearing Prophet, who claimed to be a fulfillment of the various Islamic prophecies regarding the spiritual second advent of Jesus of Nazareth near the end times.
The Hindu concept of rishis is similar to the concept of prophets. The Sanskrit word rishi is loosely translated into English as "seer" (a prophet, a man who can foresee the future). Hinduism recognizes and reveres thousands of rishis, who can be thought of as the collective founders of the Hindu religion over many millennia. Of these, special importance is given to the Saptarshi (the Seven Sages), widely regarded as patriarchs of the Hindu religion, whose listing is different according to different texts. The Saptarshi and their clans are believed to have composed the hymns of the four Vedas by entering into communion with the Supreme Cosmic Spirit through meditation. For instance, Rigveda 1.1 is attributed to Rishi Madhucchandā Vaishwāmitra (i.e. Madhucchandā of the clan of Vishwamitra). Most rishikās were male, but some were female too. Lopamudra is the author of one hymn in the Rigveda, and Gargi Vachaknavi is described in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad as a highly respected woman in the field of Brahmajñāna. Apart from the Vedas, various rishis are also credited with composing the several Smriti texts, like Veda Vyasa who composed the Mahābhārata.
Divination remains an important aspect of the lives of the people of contemporary Africa, especially amongst the usually rural, socially traditionalistic segments of its population. In arguably its most influential manifestation, the system of prophecy practiced by the Babalawos and Iyanifas of the historically Yoruba regions of West Africa have bequeathed to the world a corpus of fortune-telling poetic methodologies so intricate that they have been added by UNESCO to its official intangible cultural heritage of the World list.
The Great Peacemaker (sometimes referred to as Deganawida or Dekanawida) co-founded the Haudenosaunee league in pre-Columbian times. In retrospect, his prophecy of the boy seer could appear to refer to the conflict between natives and Europeans (white serpent).
From 1805 until the Battle of Tippecanoe that falsified his predictions in 1811, the "Shawnee prophet" Tenskwatawa lead an Indian alliance to stop Europeans to take more and more land going west. He reported visions he had. He is said to have accurately predicted a solar eclipse. His brother Tecumseh re-established the alliance for Tecumseh's War, that ended with the latter's death in 1813. Tecumseh fought together with British forces that, in the area of the Great Lakes, occupied essentially today's territory of Canada.
Francis the Prophet, influenced by Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa, was a leader of the Red Stick faction of the Creek Indians. He traveled to England in 1815 as a representative of the "four Indian nations" in an unsuccessful attempt to get Great Britain to help them resist the expansionism of the white settlers.
20 years later (1832), Wabokieshiek, the "Winnebago Prophet", after whom Prophetstown has been named, (also called "White Cloud") claimed that British forces would support the Indians in the Black Hawk War against the United States as 20 years earlier (based on "visions"). They did not, and no longer he was considered a "prophet".
In 1869, the Paiute Wodziwob founded the Ghost Dance movement. The dance rituals were an occasion to announce his visions of an earthquake that would swallow the whites. He seems to have died in 1872.
The Northern Paiute Wovoka claimed he had a vision during the solar eclipse of January 1, 1889, that the Paiute dead would come back and the whites would vanish from America, provided the natives performed Ghost Dances. This idea spread among other Native American peoples. The government were worried about a rebellion and sent troops, which lead to the death of Sitting Bull and to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890.
Clifford Trafzer compiled an anthology of essays on the topic, American Indian Prophets. Trafzer, Clifford. American Indian Prophets: Religious Leaders and Revitalization Movements. Sierra Oaks Publishing Co. ISBN 9780940113022.
In the late 20th century the appellation of prophet has been used to refer to individuals particularly successful at analysis in the field of economics, such as in the derogatory prophet of greed. Alternatively, social commentators who suggest escalating crisis are often called prophets of doom.
There are 25 prophets mentioned by name in the Quran [...] Among those mentioned by name are: Adam (mentioned 25 times by name), Idris (1), Noah (43), Hud (7), Salih (10), Abraham (69), Ishmael (12), Isaac (17), Jacob (16), Lot (27), Joseph (27), Shuayb (11), Job (4), Dhu al-Kifl (2), Moses (137), Aaron (20), David (16), Solomon (17), Elijah (1), Elisha (2), Jonah (4), Zechariah (7), John (5), Jesus (25), Muhammad (4).
...after making a series of uncannily accurate predictions about the global meltdown, Roubini has become the prophet of his age...
Al-Masjid an-Nabawī (Arabic: ٱلْـمَـسْـجِـدُ ٱلـنَّـبَـوِيّ, "The Prophet's Mosque") is a mosque established and originally built by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, situated in the city of Medina in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia. It was the third mosque built in the history of Islam, and is now one of the largest mosques in the world. It is the second-holiest site in Islam, after the Great Mosque in Mecca. It is always open, regardless of date or time.
The site was originally adjacent to Muhammad's house; he settled there after his migration from Mecca to Medina in 622. He shared in the heavy work of construction. The original mosque was an open-air building. The mosque served as a community center, a court, and a religious school. There was a raised platform for the people who taught the Quran. Subsequent Islamic rulers greatly expanded and decorated it. In 1909, it became the first place in the Arabian Peninsula to be provided with electrical lights. The mosque is under the control of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The mosque is located in what was traditionally the center of Medina, with many hotels and old markets nearby. It is a major pilgrimage site. Many pilgrims who perform the Hajj go on to Medina to visit the mosque, due to its connection to Muhammad.
After an expansion during the reign of the Umayyad caliph al-Walid I, it now incorporates the final resting place of Muhammad and the first two Rashidun caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar. One of the most notable features of the site is the Green Dome in the south-east corner of the mosque, originally Aisha's house, where the tomb of Muhammad is located. In 1279, a wooden cupola was built over the tomb which was later rebuilt and renovated multiple times in late 15th century and once in 1817. The current dome was added in 1818 by the Ottoman sultan Mahmud II, and it was first painted green in 1837, hence becoming known as the "Green Dome".Amos (prophet)
Amos (Hebrew: עָמוֹס – ʿĀmōs) was one of the Twelve Minor Prophets. An older contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah, Amos was active c. 760–755 BCE during the rule of kings Jeroboam II and Uzziah. He was from the southern Kingdom of Judah but preached in the northern Kingdom of Israel. Amos wrote at a time of relative peace and prosperity but also of neglect of Yahweh's laws. He spoke against an increased disparity between the very wealthy and the very poor. His major themes of social justice, God's omnipotence, and divine judgment became staples of prophecy. The Book of Amos is attributed to him.Companions of the Prophet
Companions of the Prophet or aṣ-ṣaḥābah (Arabic: الصحابة meaning "the companions", from the verb صَحِبَ meaning "accompany", "keep company with", "associate with") were followers of Mohammed who "saw or met the prophet during his lifetime and were physically in his presence". "Sahabah" is definite plural; the indefinite singular is masculine sahabi (ṣaḥābī), feminine sahabia (ṣaḥābīyat).
Later scholars accepted their testimony of the words and deeds of Muhammed, the occasions on which the Quran was revealed and other various important matters of Islamic history and practice. The testimony of the companions, as it was passed down through trusted chains of narrators (isnads), was the basis of the developing Islamic tradition. From the traditions (hadith) of the life of Muhammad and his companions are drawn the Muslim way of life (sunnah), the code of conduct (sharia) it requires, and the jurisprudence (fiqh) by which Muslim communities should be regulated.
The two largest Islamic denominations, the Sunni and Shia, take different approaches in weighing the value of the companions' testimonies, have different hadith collections and, as a result, have different views about the Sahabah. (The next generation of Muslims after the Sahabah — who were born after Muhammed died but knew personally at least one Sahabah — are called Tabi‘un, and the generation after them (who knew at least one Tabi‘un) are called Tabi‘ al-Tabi‘in. The three generations make up the salaf of Islam.)Daniel (biblical figure)
Daniel (Aramaic and Hebrew: דָּנִיֵּאל – Dāniyyēl, meaning "God is my Judge"; Greek: Δανιήλ – Daniḗl) is the hero of the biblical Book of Daniel. A noble Jewish youth of Jerusalem, he is taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and serves the king and his successors with loyalty and ability until the time of the Persian conqueror Cyrus, all the while remaining true to the God of Israel. The consensus of modern scholars is that Daniel never existed, and the book is a cryptic allusion to the reign of the 2nd century BCE Greek king Antiochus IV Epiphanes.Six cities claim the Tomb of Daniel, the most famous being that in Susa, in southern Iran, at a site known as Shush-e Daniyal. He is not a prophet in Judaism, but the rabbis reckoned him to be the most distinguished member of the Babylonian diaspora, unsurpassed in piety and good deeds, firm in his adherence to the Law despite being surrounded by enemies who sought his ruin, and in the first few centuries CE they wrote down the many legends that had grown up around his name. The various branches of the Christian church do recognise him as a prophet, and although he is not mentioned in the Quran, Muslim sources describe him as a prophet (nabi).Elijah
Elijah (; ih-LY-jə; Hebrew: אֵלִיָּהוּ, Eliyahu, meaning "My God is Yahweh/YHWH") or latinized form Elias ( ih-LY-əs) was, according to the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible, a prophet and a miracle worker who lived in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Ahab (9th century BC). In 1 Kings 18, Elijah defended the worship of the Hebrew God over that of the Canaanite deity Baal. God also performed many miracles through Elijah, including resurrection (raising the dead), bringing fire down from the sky, and entering Heaven alive "by fire". He is also portrayed as leading a school of prophets known as "the sons of the prophets". Following his ascension, Elisha, his disciple and most devoted assistant took over his role as leader of this school. The Book of Malachi prophesies Elijah's return "before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD", making him a harbinger of the Messiah and of the eschaton in various faiths that revere the Hebrew Bible. References to Elijah appear in Ecclesiasticus, the New Testament, the Mishnah and Talmud, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and Bahá'í writings.
In Judaism, Elijah's name is invoked at the weekly Havdalah rite that marks the end of Shabbat, and Elijah is invoked in other Jewish customs, among them the Passover Seder and the brit milah (ritual circumcision). He appears in numerous stories and references in the Haggadah and rabbinic literature, including the Babylonian Talmud.
The Christian New Testament notes that some people thought that Jesus was, in some sense, Elijah. But Jesus makes it clear that John the Baptist is "the Elijah" who was promised to come in Malachi 3:1 in the Septuagint (Malachi 4:5). Christian doctrine says that Elijah appeared with Moses during the Transfiguration of Jesus.
In Islam, Elijah appears in the Quran as a prophet and messenger of God, where his biblical narrative of preaching against the worshipers of Baal is recounted in a concise form. Due to his importance to Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox Christians, Elijah has been venerated as the patron saint of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1752.Ezekiel
Ezekiel (; Hebrew: יְחֶזְקֵאל Y'ḥezqēl [jəħɛzˈqēl]) is the central protagonist of the Book of Ezekiel in the Hebrew Bible.
In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Ezekiel is acknowledged as a Hebrew prophet. In Judaism and Christianity, he is also viewed as the 6th-century BCE author of the Book of Ezekiel, which reveals prophecies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem, the restoration to the land of Israel, and what some call the Millennial Temple (or Third Temple) visions.
The name Ezekiel means 'God's Strength'.Isaiah
Isaiah was the 8th-century BC Jewish prophet for whom the Book of Isaiah is named.Within the text of the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah himself is referred to as "the prophet", but the exact relationship between the Book of Isaiah and any such historical Isaiah is complicated. The traditional view is that all 66 chapters of the book of Isaiah were written by one man, Isaiah, possibly in two periods between 740 BCE and c. 686 BCE, separated by approximately 15 years, and includes dramatic prophetic declarations of Cyrus the Great in the Bible, acting to restore the nation of Israel from Babylonian captivity. Another widely-held view is that parts of the first half of the book (chapters 1–39) originated with the historical prophet, interspersed with prose commentaries written in the time of King Josiah a hundred years later, and that the remainder of the book dates from immediately before and immediately after the end of the exile in Babylon, almost two centuries after the time of the historic prophet.Jeremiah
Jeremiah, also called the "weeping prophet", was one of the major prophets of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament of Christian Bible). According to Jewish tradition, Jeremiah authored the Book of Jeremiah, the Books of Kings and the Book of Lamentations, with the assistance and under the editorship of Baruch ben Neriah, his scribe and disciple.
Greater detail is known about Jeremiah's life than for that of any other prophet. However, no biography of him can be written, as there are few facts available.Judaism considers the Book of Jeremiah part of its canon, and regards Jeremiah as the second of the major prophets. Christianity and Islam also regard Jeremiah as a prophet, and he is respectively quoted in the New Testament and his narrative is given in Islamic tradition.Jesus in Islam
In Islam, ʿĪsā ibn Maryam (Arabic: عيسى بن مريم, lit. 'Jesus, son of Mary'), or Jesus, is understood to be the penultimate prophet and messenger of God (Allah) and al-Masih, the Arabic term for Messiah (Christ), sent to guide the Children of Israel with a new revelation: al-Injīl (Arabic for "the gospel"). Jesus is believed to be a prophet who neither married nor had any children and is reflected as a significant figure, being found in the Quran in 93 verses with various titles attached such as "Son of Mary" and other relational terms, mentioned directly and indirectly, over 187 times. He is thus the most mentioned person in the Quran by reference; 25 times by the name Isa, third-person 48 times, first-person 35 times, and the rest as titles and attributes.The Quran (central religious text of Islam) and most hadiths (testimonial reports) mention Jesus to have been born a "pure boy" (without sin) to Mary (مريم) as the result of virginal conception, similar to the event of the Annunciation in Christianity. In Islamic theology, Jesus is believed to have performed many miracles, several being mentioned in the Quran. Over the centuries, Islamic writers have referenced other miracles like casting out demons, having borrowed from some heretical pre-Islamic sources, and from canonical sources as legends about Jesus were expanded. Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is also called a Muslim, as he preached that his followers should adopt the "straight path". In Islamic eschatology, Jesus returns in a Second Coming to fight the Al-Masih ad-Dajjal or "False Messiah" and establish peace on earth.
In Islam, Jesus is believed to have been the precursor to Muhammad, attributing the name Ahmad to someone who would follow him. Islam rejects the divinity of Jesus and teaches that Jesus was not God incarnate, nor the Son of God, and—according to some interpretations of the Quran—the crucifixion, death and resurrection is not believed to have occurred, and rather that God saved him. Despite the earliest Muslim traditions and exegesis quoting somewhat conflicting reports regarding a death and its length, the mainstream Muslim belief is that Jesus did not physically die, but was instead raised alive to heaven.Jonah
Jonah or Jonas is the name given in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh/Old Testament) to a prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel in about the 8th century BCE. He is the eponymous central figure of the Book of Jonah, in which he is called upon by God to travel to Nineveh and warn its residents of impending divine wrath. Instead, Jonah boards a ship to Tarshish. Caught in a storm, he orders the ship's crew to cast him overboard, whereupon he is swallowed by a giant fish. Three days later, after Jonah agrees to go to Nineveh, the fish vomits him out onto the shore. Jonah successfully convinces the entire city of Nineveh to repent, but waits outside the city in expectation of its destruction. God shields Jonah from the sun with a plant, but later sends a worm to cause it to wither. When Jonah complains of the bitter heat, God rebukes him.
In Judaism, the story of Jonah represents the teaching of teshuva, which is the ability to repent and be forgiven by God. In the New Testament, Jesus calls himself "greater than Jonah" and promises the Pharisees "the sign of Jonah", which is his resurrection. Early Christian interpreters viewed Jonah as a type for Jesus. Later, during the Reformation, Jonah came to be seen instead as an archetype for the "envious Jew". Jonah is regarded as a prophet in Islam and the biblical narrative of Jonah is repeated, with a few notable differences, in the Quran. Mainstream Bible scholars generally regard the Book of Jonah as fictional and often at least partially satirical, but the character of Jonah may have been based on the historical prophet of the same name mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25.
Although the word "whale" is often used in English versions of the Jonah story, the Hebrew text actually uses the phrase dag gadol, which means "giant fish". In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the species of the fish that swallowed Jonah was the subject of speculation for naturalists, who interpreted the story as an account of a historical incident. Some modern scholars of folklore have noted similarities between Jonah and other legendary figures, such as Gilgamesh and the Greek hero Jason.Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. By the time of his death, 14 years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religion that continues to the present.
Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont. By 1817, he had moved with his family to the burned-over district of western New York; an area of intense religious revivalism during the Second Great Awakening. Smith said he experienced a series of visions, including one in 1820 during which he saw "two personages" (presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ), and another in 1823 in which an angel directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization. In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates called the Book of Mormon. The same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. Members of the church were later called "Latter Day Saints" or "Mormons", and Smith announced a revelation in 1838 which renamed the church as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In 1831, Smith and his followers moved west, planning to build a communalistic American Zion. They first gathered in Kirtland, Ohio and established an outpost in Independence, Missouri which was intended to be Zion's "center place". During the 1830s, Smith sent out missionaries, published revelations, and supervised construction of the Kirtland Temple. The collapse of the church-sponsored Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company and violent skirmishes with non-Mormon Missourians caused Smith and his followers to establish a new settlement at Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became a spiritual and political leader. In 1844, Smith and the Nauvoo city council angered non-Mormons by destroying a newspaper that had criticized Smith's power and practice of polygamy. Smith was imprisoned in Carthage, Illinois, where he was killed when a mob stormed the jailhouse.
Smith published many revelations and other texts that his followers regard as scripture. His teachings discuss the nature of God, cosmology, family structures, political organization, and religious collectivism. His followers regard him as a prophet comparable to Moses and Elijah, and several religious denominations consider themselves the continuation of the church that he organized, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Community of Christ.Muhammad
Muhammad (Arabic: مُحمّد, pronounced [muħammad]; c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE) was the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet, sent to present and confirm the monotheistic teachings preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is viewed as the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.
Born approximately 570 CE (Year of the Elephant) in the Arabian city of Mecca, Muhammad was orphaned at the age of six. He was raised under the care of his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, and upon his death, by his uncle Abu Talib. In later years he would periodically seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer. When he was 40, Muhammad reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave, and receiving his first revelation from God. Three years later, in 610, Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "submission" (islām) to God is the right way of life (dīn), and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam.The followers of Muhammad were initially few in number, and experienced hostility from Meccan polytheists. He sent some of his followers to Abyssinia in 615 to shield them from prosecution, before he and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. In December 629, after eight years of intermittent fighting with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The conquest went largely uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed. In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he fell ill and died. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam.The revelations (each known as Ayah, lit. "Sign [of God]"), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the verbatim "Word of God" and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad's teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira (biography) literature, are also upheld and used as sources of Islamic law (see Sharia).Prophetic biography
In Islam, Al-sīra al-Nabawiyya (Prophetic biography), Sīrat Rasūl Allāh (Life of the Messenger of God), or just Al-sīra are the traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad from which, in addition to the Quran and trustable Hadiths, most historical information about his life and the early period of Islam is derived.Prophets and messengers in Islam
Prophets in Islam (Arabic: ٱلْأَنۢبِيَاء فِي ٱلْإِسْلَام, romanized: nabī, lit. 'prophet' pl. الأنبياء,نب anbiyāʼ) are individuals who Muslims believe were sent by God to various communities in order to serve as examples of ideal human behavior and to spread God's message on Earth. Some prophets are categorized as messengers (Arabic: رسل, romanized: rasūl pl. رسول rasl), those who transmit divine revelation through the intercession of an angel. Muslims believe that many prophets existed, including many not mentioned in the Qur'an. The Qur'an states: "There is a Messenger for every community". Belief in the Islamic prophets is one of the six articles of the Islamic faith.Muslims believe that the first prophet was also the first human being, Adam (آدَم), created by Allah. Many of the revelations delivered by the 48 prophets in Judaism and many prophets of Christianity are mentioned as such in the Qur'an but usually in slightly different forms. For example, the Jewish Elisha is called Eliyas, Job is Ayyub, Jesus is Isa, etc. The Torah given to Moses (Musa) is called Tawrat, the Psalms given to David (Dawud) is the Zabur, the Gospel given to Jesus is Injil.The final and most important prophet in Islam is Muhammad (Muhammad ibn ʿAbdullāh), who Muslims believe to be the "Seal of the Prophets" (Khatam an-Nabiyyin, i.e. the last prophet), to whom the Qur'an was revealed in a series of revelations (and written down by his companions). Muslims believe the Qur'an is the sole divine and literal word of God, thus immutable and protected from distortion and corruption, destined to remain in its true form until the Last Day.Although Muhammad is considered the last prophet, some Muslim traditions also recognize and venerate saints (though some modern schools, such as Salafism and Wahhabism, reject the theory of sainthood).In Islam, every prophet preached the same core beliefs, the Oneness of God, worshipping of that one God, avoidance of idolatry and sin, and the belief in the Day of Resurrection or the Day of Judgement and life after death. Prophets and messengers are believed to have been sent by God to different communities during different periods in history.
In Islam there is a tradition of prophetic lineage, particularly with regard to the prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) who had many prophets in his lineage - Jesus (Isa), Zakariyyah, Muhammad, David (Dawud)), etc. - through his sons Ismael and Isaac.Samuel
Samuel is a figure who, in the narratives of the Hebrew Bible, plays a key role in the transition from the period of the biblical judges to the institution of a kingdom under Saul, and again in the transition from Saul to David. He is venerated as a prophet by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. In addition to his role in the Hebrew Scriptures, Samuel is mentioned in the New Testament, in rabbinical literature, and in the second chapter of the Qur'an, although here not by name. He is also treated in the fifth through seventh books of Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews, written in the first century CE (AD).
He is first called the Seer in 1 Samuel 9:9.Shahada
The Shahada (Arabic: الشهادة aš-šahādah [aʃ.ʃaˈhaːda] (listen), "the testimony") is an Islamic creed, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, declaring belief in the oneness of God (tawhid) and the acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet. The declaration, in its shortest form, reads (right to left in Arabic):
لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱلله
lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh muḥammadun rasūlu llāh
IPA: [laː ʔɪˈlaːha ˈʔɪl.lɑɫˈɫɑː mʊˈħammadʊn raˈsuːlʊlˈɫɑː]
There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.Audio (prefaced by the phrase (wa) ašhadu ʾan —"(and) I testify, that") audioSuccession to Muhammad
The succession to Muhammad is the central issue that split the Muslim community into several divisions in the first century of Muslim history, forming the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam. Shia Islam holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor at Ghadir Khumm. Sunni Islam holds Abu Bakr to be the first leader of the community after the Prophet on the basis of the decision at Saqifah.
A few months before his death, Muhammad delivered a sermon at Ghadir Khumm in which, according to Shia belief, he announced that Ali ibn Abi Talib would be his successor. Traditions state that after the sermon, the Muslims pledged allegiance to Ali. Several sources, including both Shia and Sunni say Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab, and Uthman ibn Affan were among the people who pledged allegiance to Ali at this event. Upon Muhammad's death, however, a small group of Muslims met at Saqifah, where Umar pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr, who then assumed political power. Abu Bakr's supporters became known as the Sunnis but a group of Muslims kept their allegiance to Ali. These people, who became known as Shias, believed that while Ali's right to be the political leader may have been usurped, he was still the religious and spiritual leader after Muhammad.After the deaths of Abu Bakr and his successors Umar and Uthman, many of the Muslims went to Ali for political leadership. After Ali died, his son Hasan ibn Ali succeeded him politically and, according to Shias, religiously. After approximately six months, however, he made a peace treaty with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan that stipulated that Muawiya would have political power as long as he did not choose his own successor. Muawiya broke the treaty and named his son Yazid ibn Muawiya his successor, beginning the Umayyad dynasty. While this was going on, Hasan and his brother and successor Husain ibn Ali remained the religious leaders, according to the Shia. According to Sunnis, whoever held political power was considered the successor to Muhammad, while according to Shias, the twelve Imams (Ali, Hasan, Husain, and Husain's descendants) were the successors to Muhammad, whether or not they held political power.
In addition to these two main branches, many other opinions also formed regarding succession to Muhammad.Zechariah (Hebrew prophet)
Zechariah was a person in the Hebrew Bible and traditionally considered the author of the Book of Zechariah, the eleventh of the Twelve Minor Prophets. He was a prophet of the Kingdom of Judah, and, like the prophet Ezekiel, was of priestly extraction.
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Listed by Islamic name and Biblical name.
Prophets in the Hebrew Bible
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in the Torah
Mentioned in the
Italics indicate persons whose status as prophets is not universally accepted.