Say, [O believers], "We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him."

Quran 2:136

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Adam and Moses debated with each other and Moses said, 'You are Adam who turned out your offspring from Paradise.' Adam said, "You are Moses whom Allah chose for His Message and for His direct talk, yet you blame me for a matter which had been ordained for me even before my creation?' Thus Adam overcame Moses.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Number 606

Presuming that both of these are authentic, how can we reconcile this contradiction?


2 Answers 2


Allah chose Adam, Nuh (Noah), the family of Ibrahim (Abraham) and the family of 'Imran above the 'Alamin (mankind and jinns) (of their times). (Qur'an 3:33)

Here Prophet Adam(pbuh) and family of Ibrahim are the favorites of Allah. And more over note that Prophet Moses (Moosa pbuh) was of the family of Ibrahim(pbuh). (Perfectly showing the generations although from Christian sources The Genealogy of Moses)

From the above verse it is perfect clear, that it is the creator who chose one above the other and believers have to say,

The Messenger (Muhammad SAW) 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)

Those Messengers! We preferred some to others; to some of them Allah spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honour); and to 'Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), We gave clear proofs and evidences, and supported him with Ruh-ul-Qudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)]. If Allah had willed, succeeding generations would not have fought against each other, after clear Verses of Allah had come to them, but they differed - some of them believed and others disbelieved. If Allah had willed, they would not have fought against one another, but Allah does what He likes. (Qur'an 2:253)

Now coming to Hadith, Prophet(pbuh) was describing how they're chosen by the creator one above the other.

What should we do with these kind of hadiths?

To get a perfect picture, we must try understanding things from Qur'an first.

May the creator guide us all.


Interpretation of the Verse 2:136

I guess the contradiction comes from how you interpret the Verse (2:136): The Verse quotes a lot of Prophets (peace be upon him) and it's a response that the believers should give to Bani Israel or ahl-al Kitab in general. This Verse doesn't speak at all about a difference between Prophets as you can find in almost any tafsir book (for example at-Tabari, or at-tahrir wa-tanwir), but it's a statement: "that we (the believers/Muslims) believe in Allah and all the messages which he revealed through the Prophets (Peace be upon him), which means we believe in all the Prophets and we don't make a difference between them, by believing in the message of one Prophet and rejecting the Message of an other". As ahl-al-Kitab believed their Prophets and rejected those revelations which came afterwards!

Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) said about this Verse (2 Versions mentioned by at-Tabari): it was revealed as an order to believe in all the Prophets and Messengers (without exceptions) and not to distinguish between them

Ibn Kathir added a Hadith (May translation-take it carefully):

" آمنوا بالتوراة والزبور والإنجيل ، وليسعكم القرآن"

Believe in the Torah and the Zabur and the Bible, but the Quran should suffice you!

Which means we should believe in these books (as revelation of God), but not in the content (as it was changed).

As a reason for revelation you could check this hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari

The Quran makes distinctions between Prophets

When it comes to differences between Prophets the Quran includes enough statements making differences, for example that Moses has spoken directly to Allah and there are those of determination (among them) see for example surat al-Ahqaaf verse 35 (46:35) etc.

And Allah knows best

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