In a Hadith narrated by Sayyidina Anas bin Malik, the Beloved Messenger said: “Allah did not send a Prophet except with a beautiful face and a beautiful voice, and your Prophet is the most beautiful of them in face and voice.” [Tirmidhi]
The conduct and form of all the Prophets are perfect in every way. Allah has appointed only the best of His creation to deliver the Message of Truth to mankind. It is a fact that none can surpass the Prophets in status, be it in virtue, knowledge or character.
The Qur’an ranks the believers thus: “…The Prophets (Nabiyyeen), the steadfast affirmers of truth (Siddiqeen), the martyrs (Shuhada) and the righteous (Saaliheen). And excellent are those as companions!” [Qur’an 4:69]
The Prophets’ Knowledge of the Unseen [Ilm-e-Ghayb]
Allah is the Possessor of the Knowledge of the Unseen, and from His Knowledge, He has granted portions to whomever He has chosen. This is proved several times in the Qur’an:
• He taught Prophet Adam the names of all things:
“And He taught Adam the names – all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, ‘Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.’ They said, ‘Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.’ He said, ‘O Adam, inform them of their names.’ And when he had informed them of their names, He said, ‘Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed.’ [Qur’an 2:31-33]
• He taught Prophet Sulayman and Prophet Dawud the language of birds:
“And Sulayman inherited Dawud. He said, ‘O people, we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given from all things. Indeed, this is evident bounty.’” [Qur’an 27:16]
• He granted judgement and knowledge from Himself to Prophet Lut:
“And to Lot We gave judgement and knowledge, and We saved him from the city that was committing wicked deeds. Indeed, they were a people of evil, defiantly disobedient.” [Qur’an 21:74]
• He granted exclusive knowledge to Prophet Yaqub concerning his sons:
“And indeed, [Yaqub] was a possessor of knowledge because of what We had taught him, but most of the people do not know.” [Qur’an 12:68]
And, “He said, ‘Did I not tell you that I know from Allah that which you do not know?’” [Qur’an 12:96]
These are just a few examples, of which there are many more, regarding the Divine Knowledge granted to the Prophets, may Allah’s peace be upon them all.
• The extent of Knowledge of the Unseen bestowed upon our Beloved Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, is indeed on a larger scale and is amongst his greatest miracles. Examples of these include his knowledge of the signs of Qiyamah, knowledge of Heaven and Hell etc. Allah addresses his Beloved Messenger in the Qur’an regarding this special Knowledge; “And Allah has revealed to you the Book and wisdom and has taught you that which you did not know. And ever has the favor of Allah upon you been great.” [Qur’an 4:113]
Imam Tabari writes in reference to the above verse, “Allah has asked the Prophet to thank Him, who has informed him of what has already happened and what will happen in the future, and this is a great grace of Allah upon him.” [Tafsir Tabari]
The Prophets are Sinless [Masoom]
It should be noted that the Prophets never sinned, nor did they ever stray from the Truth. Any ‘error’ made by them was, in fact, a lesson preordained by Allah’s Divine Will, in order to teach us through practical examples and guide us further to the Straight Path. The faith of the Prophets has always been in the state of totality and perfection. The task of Prophethood requires them to live and act in accordance to the Will of Allah, teaching mankind in a way which it can relate to and apply.
In the lives of the Prophets are great and profound lessons for us, from repentance (Prophet Adam eating the forbidden fruit, or Prophet Yunus leaving his people), to patience (such as Prophet Ibrahim and the fire, or Prophet Ayyub’s plight of loss) and beyond.
The Qur’an itself states, “And each [story] We relate to you from the news of the Messengers is that by which We make firm your heart. And there has come to you, in this, the truth and an instruction and a reminder for the believers.” [Qur’an 11:120]
Furthermore, we are issued a warning regarding the decisions of Allah and His Beloved Prophet: “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” [Qur’an 33:36]
A famous Hadith Qudsi (as narrated by Sayyidina Abu Huraira), in which the Beloved Messenger related that Almighty Allah said: “My servant constantly approaches Me through supererogatory (nafl) acts of worship until I love him, and when I love him, I become his eyes with which he sees, his hands with which he holds, and his legs with which he walks.” In another version, the wording is: “So through Me he hears, through Me he sees, and through Me he understands.” [Bukhari]
With the knowledge that none can ever surpass the Prophets in rank, the above Hadith Qudsi sheds further light on this topic. For, if a servant who Allah loves is inspired by Him in such a way, surely the inspiration He grants to His Messengers is of a greater degree – and such a state which is so guarded by Divine Nearness can never be tainted by sin, nor even its intention.
Almighty Allah states in His Qur’an, “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favours upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Qur’an 5:3]
No doubt, Islam is perfect. Such perfection is evident, not through us, but through the Prophets of Allah who are the most noble of all creation.