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This question arises because I heard an allegation on group of muslims saying that the latter state Muhammad (peace be upon him) became a prophet at age of forty.

Further that statement in question is strengthened by hadith of seal of prophethood between shoulders.

Muslim (2344) narrated that Jaabir ibn Samurah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I saw the Seal by his shoulder, like a pigeon’s egg, resembling his body” i.e., its colour was like the rest of his body.

  • If I'm not mistaken, all prophets have seal between their shoulders – Praveenladak Mar 30 '18 at 8:43
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Prophet Musa

Qur'an 28:15 describes an incident in which Prophet Musa killed an Egyptian man (unintentionally; see IslamWeb), and the next verse (Qur'an 28:16) describes Allah forgiving him. Afterwards, Prophet Musa was called to prophethood:

[Moses] said, "I did it, then, while I was of those astray. So I fled from you when I feared you. Then my Lord granted me wisdom and prophethood and appointed me [as one] of the messengers.
Qur'an 26:20-21

Prophet Muhammad

It's usual to consider Prophet Muhammad as becoming a prophet (rather than born a prophet). Nevertheless, even before prophethood, Muhammad is described as a man with exemplary character. Some examples of this in fatawa are:

He was known before becoming a Prophet as a truthful and honest person, although the community where he lived was a society of ignorance.
IslamWeb

But nothing of the sort happened, rather before his Prophethood they used to call him al-Saadiq (the honest one) and al-Ameen (the trustworthy one).
Islam Q&A

Moreover, Prophet Muhammad acted shocked after the first revelation:

Then Allah's Messenger returned with that experience; and the muscles between his neck and shoulders were trembling till he came upon Khadija (his wife) and said, "Cover me!"
Sahih al-Bukhari

If Prophet Muhammad was already a prophet beforehand, then it seems he was unaware of it.


It seems Prophet Adam was not even born (but created), although it's reasonable to expect he was created a prophet.

It's reasonable to think Prophet Isa was born a prophet, given he talked from the cradle (Qur'an 19:30).

  • Abdul muttalib took a young prophet in a caravan, they visited a jew, jew said all guests have not arrived, someone stayed back, muttalib said all have visited him, jew insisted to call the one who stayed back. They called abul Qasim. Jew added rocks and trees don't prostrate to ordinary human being, protect this young one for he's going to be a prophet...can't find reference but read in sealed nectar sirah – Praveenladak Mar 31 '18 at 5:38
  • @Praveenladak: Fascinating. However, please consider turning that into a question in order to get a more definitive answer as to its authenticity and reliability. – Rebecca J. Stones Mar 31 '18 at 5:50
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    @RJS, When the Messenger was twelve years old, he went with his uncle Abu Talib on a business trip to syria. bahira had never been in the habit of receiving or entertaining them before. He readily enough recognized the Prophet and said while taking his hand "This is the master of all humans. Allah will send him with a Message which will be a mercy to all beings." Abu Talib asked: "How do you know that?" He replied: "When you appeared from the direction of Aqabah, all stones and trees prostrated themselves, which they never do except for a Prophet [Ibn Hisham 1/180-183; Za'd Al-Ma'ad 1/17] – Praveenladak Mar 31 '18 at 6:08
  • @RJS, commentators should have quoted bahira or its derived ruling that rocks and trees prostrate to the one who's going to become a prophet. It's like baithullah house of worship of Allah, we don't take baithUllah in literal sense – Praveenladak Mar 31 '18 at 18:43

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