Why is prophet Muhammad different from other prophets and why does this make him so important?
The Prophet conveyed the final divine message and is therefore the Seal of the Prophets. He himself described some of the differences between him and the other prophets.
Imam al-Bukhari narrates that the Prophet said:
"I have been given five things which were not granted to anyone (any other prophet) before me:
- Every apostle was sent particularly to his own people, whereas I have been sent to all people-red and yellow.
- The spoils of war have been made lawful for me, and these were never made lawful for anyone before me.
- The earth has been made pure and a place of prostration for me, so whenever the time of prayer comes for any of you, he should pray wherever he is.
- I have been supported by awe (to cause fear and intimidation to enter the hearts of the Prophet's enemies) from a distance (which if covered, would take one month to cross).
- I have been granted intercession.
He is the role model for every believing human being as the Qur'an [33:21] clearly states:
You have indeed in the Messenger of God an excellent example for him who hopes in God and the Final Day and who remembers God intensely.
Here are some aspects of differences among prophets
Some prophets were required to fight in order to protect the message, others (like Jesus, PBUH) were not.
Some prophets were also rulers (Like Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) for example) others were not.
Some (like Moses, Jesus and Muhammad) were sent with a new/modified set of Sharia rules, others just followed the previous one.
Some had books revealed to them from Allah, others had not.
Most prophets were provided by some divine miracles to convince their people.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Every Prophet was given miracles because of which people believed, but what I have been given, is Divine Inspiration which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other Prophets on the Day of Resurrection." Sahih al-Bukhari 4981
So you see the differences are not in the nature of the message itself, but in the details of the teaching (which differed from generation to generation) and how the message was conveyed. Other than that, he is not different. He is simply the last prophet, sent with the same message as any previous prophet. The Quran states clearly:
Say (O Muhammad SAW):"I am not a new thing among the Messengers (of Allah) ( i.e.I am not inventing something new) nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner." Quran 46.9
From the below quran verses, I hope there is no distinction between prophets.
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)
The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination."(quran 2:285)