I would like to understand how Muslims reconcile Quran 29:27 and Quran 45:16 with Muhammad being a prophet.

Quran 29:27 "We gave him Isaac and Jacob, and placed the Prophethood and the Book in his progeny..."

Quran 45:16: "And verily We gave the Children of Israel the Scripture and the Command and the Prophethood, and provided them with good things and favored them above all peoples."

This verse seems (on the surface) to suggest the impossibility of Muhammad being a prophet, since the Prophethood was given to the descendants of Isaac and Muhammad is not a descendant of Isaac. Additionally, every other prophet in the previous revelations have all been from the line with the everlasting covenant that is with the Children of Israel and discussed in the Quran

Quran 2:40-41 "O children of Israel! Remember my favors which I bestowed upon you; fulfill your covenant with me and I will fulfill my covenant with you, and fear none but me. Believe in my revelations, which are confirming your Scriptures..."

Quran 2:47 "O Children of Israel, remember My favor that I have bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over all other nations."

And in the Torah

Genesis 17:21 My covenant I will establish with Isaac...

Genesis 21:12 ...in Isaac your seed shall be called

You can see my discussion on this topic here Perhaps you can understand my confusion given the special place that the Israelites had and specifically how the Prophethood was given to the Israelites. I could not find a question on this site addressing this (correct me if I'm wrong), so I look forward to you answers. I would guess the hadiths and tafsirs have plenty to say on this subject.

Does Quran 29:27 not exclude any non-Israelite from being a prophet?


3 Answers 3

Does Quran 29:27 not exclude any non-Israelite from being a prophet?

No it does not.

Firstly, there is no exclusion as you have claimed. Adam, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Lut, Ishmael, Ayub, Hud, Saleh, Shuaib etc. were not from the children of Isaac, yet they were all prophets. AFAIK, even in Judaism there are non-Israelite Prophets (see here).

Secondly, in 29:27, the subject is Abraham, not Isaac or Jacob:

We gave him Isaac and Jacob, and placed the Prophethood and the Book in his (Abraham's) progeny

This should also be apparent from other verses which include the children of Abraham:

ولقد أرسلنا نوحا وإبراهيم وجعلنا في ذريتهما النبوة والكتاب فمنهم مهتد وكثير منهم فاسقون

And We have already sent Noah and Abraham and placed in their descendants prophethood and scripture; and among them is he who is guided, but many of them are defiantly disobedient.

Quran 57:26

إن الله اصطفى آدم ونوحا وآل إبراهيم وآل عمران على العالمين

Indeed, Allah chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of 'Imran over the worlds -

Quran 3:33

وإذ يرفع إبراهيم القواعد من البيت وإسماعيل ربنا تقبل منا إنك أنت السميع العليم ربنا واجعلنا مسلمين لك ومن ذريتنا أمة مسلمة لك وأرنا مناسكنا وتب علينا إنك أنت التواب الرحيم ربنا وابعث فيهم رسولا منهم يتلو عليهم آياتك ويعلمهم الكتاب والحكمة ويزكيهم إنك أنت العزيز الحكيم

And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], "Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise."

Quran 2:127-129

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was from the children of Abraham through Ishmael.

  • Thank you for your answer! Several great points here. Fully addressed my question. Dec 6, 2018 at 14:11

I would like to understand how Muslims reconcile Quran 29:27 with Muhammad being a prophet.

It is quite simple. No Muslim or Arabic scholar has ever understood the verse to mean that it excludes others from being prophets. There is simply no such thing. The ayah is clearly referring to the fact that a lot of prophets and books were given to the Bani Israel but there is no reason to believe any exclusion.

For reference, here is one tafsir:

This covers all the Prophets who were raised from all the branches of the Prophet Abraham's progeny. (Tafsir Maududi)

Notice how it doesn't understand it as an exclusion but rather a description.

  • If the prophethood is given to Isaac's descendants, then why would anyone outside of Isaac's descendants be accepted as a prophet since they are not in the line of the prophethood? The tasfir isn't really accurate; it does not say "Isaac and Ishmael" and it does not say "Abraham"; it only says Isaac and his son and his progeny. If the prophethood was given to Abraham, then it would make more sense. Dec 6, 2018 at 5:51
  • @AlexStrasser There is no such exclusiveness that can be inferred from the Ayah. It's just says descendants of Isaac are one of those that have been given prophethood. See the Ayah 2:13. It says towards the end "and what was given to the prophets from their Lord". If Prophethood was exclusive to Isaac and his descendants, then there would be no need for this part as the earlier part "...Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants..." already addresses the descendants.
    – Crimson
    Dec 6, 2018 at 7:03
  • @Crimson Ayah 2:13 doesn't seem to be related to this subject. What reference are you referring to? Dec 6, 2018 at 14:03
  • @AlexStrasser Sorry, meant Ayah 2:136
    – Crimson
    Dec 6, 2018 at 17:19

in truth there are two different kinds of visions: prophecy and ruach ha-kodesh (Hebrew for “divine inspiration”). With prophecy, it is almost as if one sees the revelation, gaining an intimate familiarity with the divine, while ruach ha-kodesh is more of a detached, factual kind of knowledge. Some prophets see a vision or dream of an angel speaking to them; others see the form of a man, or may perceive that G‑d Himself is speaking to them. And yet others don’t see anything; they only hear the prophetic words addressed to them. The prophet may experience that which is heard with the greatest possible intensity, just as a person may hear or perceive a storm or an earthquake. Or the prophet may hear the prophecy as ordinary speech. It is true that the inspiration may sometimes come in the form of a dream, as it does with prophets. There is, however, a difference between the visions experienced by prophets in a dream and those that come through ruach ha-kodesh, as was the case with Muhammad. so there are many prophets but the ruach ha-kodesh was/is for seed of Issac. thank you for letting me speak.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .