Were all prophets aware of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?

Details of the Question

- Did all prophets know him when they were alive?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“Without doubt it is (announced) in the mystic Books of former peoples.” (ash-Shuara, 26/196),

“And this is in the Books of the earliest (Revelation),- The Books of Abraham and Moses.” (al-Ala, 87/18-19)

It is clearly stated in the verses above and similar ones that there are signs about the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the previous books and booklets.

There are signs about the issue in other verses too:

“And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone.” (al-Baqara, 2/41)

There is a statement warning Jews in the verse above against rejecting the truth and ignoring the news about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). (see Razi, Qurtubi, the interpretation of the verse in question)

“And when there came to them a messenger from Allah, confirming what was with them, a party of the people of the Book threw away the Book of Allah behind their backs, as if (it had been something) they did not know.” (al-Baqara, 2/101)

According to the information given by tafsir scholars, the Jews had been given information that the Prophet Muhammad would come and a covenant had been taken from them to believe in him when they saw him. However, their descendants living in the Era of the Bliss denied this fact. Their denying attitude is underlined in the verse above.  (see Tabari; Razi, the interpretation of the verse in question)

"And remember Allah took a covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made” (Aal-i Imran, 3/187)

The main thing that is asked to be made clear to mankind in the verse above is the prophethood of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh). (Tabari, the interpretation of the verse in question)

According to some scholars, what is meant by “Ahl al-Kitab (People of the Book)” in the verse above is all of the prophets who were sent revelation and their ummahs. What is meant by the phrase “to make it known and clear to mankind” the prophethood of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh). (Samarqandi, the interpretation of the verses in question)

As a matter of fact, Imam Mawardi states that there are three views about the interpretation of the verse above:

a. What is meant by “Ahl al-Kitab” in the verse is only Jews. 

b. What is meant by it is Jews and Christians. 

c. What is meant by it is all knowledgeable people who learned this from the prophets who were sent books and booklets through revelation. (cf Mawardi, the interpretation of the verse in question)

Thus, as Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states, there are “the tidings of Muhammad’s (pbuh) prophethood given by the Torah, the Bible, the Psalms of David, and the scriptures revealed to other prophets, as stated by the Quran.” (Mektubat, 162)

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