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f:773 -    Total number of Prophets
Country : London,
Name : Tahseen Begum
Question:       I have heard that the Prophets sent by Allah Ta'ala are 124,000.  Does the Holy Quran command us to believe in Prophets include all these Prophets?

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Answer:     From Hadhrat Adam (May peace be upon him) to our Prophet, Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), there are many Prophets.  In Kanz Ul 'Ummal, Tafseer Ruh Al Bayan, Sharh Aqaaid Nasafi, many Hadith in this regard are related, with there some slight change of wording.  In Ruh Al Bayan, the total number of Prophets is described as 224,000.  It is given Ruh Al Bayan:

Translation: The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was asked about the number of Prophets.  He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The number of Prophets is 224,000.  

(Tafseer Ruh Al Bayan, Vol. 2, Pg No. 329; Sharh Aqaaid Nasafi, Pg No. 101)

As per the Hadith narrated from Hadhrat Abuzar Ghifari (May Allah be well pleased with him), the number of Prophets is 124,000 and this Hadith is the one which is famous.  It is given in Kanz Ul Ummal, published from Daairatul Ma'arif Usmaniya:

Translation:  It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abuzar Ghifari (May Allah be well pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The number of Prophets is 124,000 and the number of those Prophets who were given a new Shariah (Rasool) is 313.  

(Kanz Ul Ummal, Vol. 12, Pg No. 108, Hadith No: 32276; Ruh Al Bayan, Vol. 2, Pg No. 329; Sharh Aqaaid Nasafi, Pg No. 101)

Apart from this, there is a Hadith narrated from Hadhrat Abu Umama (May Allah be well pleased with him):

Translation:  It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Umama (May Allah be well pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The number of "Rasool" is 315.  

(Kanz Ul Ummal, Vol. 12, Pg No. 108, Hadith No: 32275)

Apart from this, 'Allama Ibn 'Abideen Shaami has mentioned the number in Radd Ul Muhtaar as 323.  

Thus, the number of Prophets is not limited to these numbers, as Allah Most High says:

And (We have sent many) Messengers whose annals We have narrated to you earlier; and We sent (a number of) those Messengers whose details We have not (yet) related to you; and Allah (also) spoke to Musa ([Moses] directly).  Surah Nisa (4:164)

In the light of the above, meticulous scholars have said that in matters of faith (Iman), the number of Prophets should not be mentioned, but we should say: I believe in all Prophets.  However, when mentioning the number, saying "almost" or some such word is a necessary precaution.

As mentioned in Tasfeer Ruh Al Bayan, Vol. 2, Pg No. 329 and Raddul Muhtaar, Vol. 1, Pg No. 389.  


And Allah Most High knows best.

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri,

[Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]
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