ALLAH, praise be to Him, sent His Prophets and Messengers to humanity to guide people to the right path and elucidate His legislation. Reading the life history of all the Prophets and Messengers would reveal that although they were sent to different peoples and tribes following different methods and strategies in their Da’wah, yet there are common features that connect them together. In this article, I would shed some light on some of these common features.
1. They all start their Da’wah by stressing the importance of monotheism because it is the basis of every religion, civilization and human existence. In other words, they call to common principles, values and ethics. This is why we, as Muslims, should believe in all of them in whatever they call for as stated in the Holy Qur’an, “The Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say), “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers” – and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).” (Qur’an, 2:285). Most of Allah’s Prophets worked as shepherds. Muslim scholars say that this job in particular gave Prophets three advantages:
• It gave them the chance to contemplate this vast universe and Allah’s miracles revealed everywhere.
• It was a kind of intensive course on how to deal with human beings, that is, if they are truthful and compassionate in dealing with animals, they will be more truthful and compassionate in dealing with human beings.
• It taught them patience which will later be an important quality in dealing with people especially those who will oppose them. They were free from physical deformity or moral deviation and were ideal examples to their people to follow. This is why although the polytheists in Makkah vehemently fought the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Companions, none of them dared to doubt the Prophet’s integrity and honesty and this is why they used to call him “the truthful and the honest.”
2. They were opposed by their people first who did not accept their teachings. This is apparent in the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as he and his Companions suffered a lot at the hands of his people.
3. They always reminded their people that they seek to convey the message of Allah, that is, they never seek worldly reward (money, social prestige or position), “O my people! I ask of you no reward for this (Message). My reward is from none but Him who created me: Will you not then understand?” (Qur’an, 11:51)