The Difference between a Prophet and a Messenger: Imam al-Shinqitee

Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote in part of his tafsir of surah al-Hajj:

 من أن النبي هو من أوحي إليه وحي ، ولم يؤمر بتبليغه ، وأن الرسول هو النبي الذي أوحي إليه ، وأمر بتبليغ ما أوحي إليه غير صحيح ; لأن قوله تعالى وما أرسلنا من قبلك من رسول ولا نبي الآية [ 22 \ 52 ] ، يدل على أن كلا منهما مرسل ، وأنهما مع ذلك بينهما تغاير . ـ

The position that a prophet (al-nabi) is one who is granted inspiration in the form of revelation and is not commanded to convey it, and that a messenger (al-rasool) is a prophet who is granted revelation and commanded to convey what was revealed to him – this is not correct. Because Allah’s statement:

وَمَا أَرْ‌سَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّ‌سُولٍ وَلَا نَبِيٍّ

And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet… [22:52]

– this statement demonstrates that both of them are sent (mursal), and along with that, that there is a distinction between the two of them.

واستظهر بعضهم أن النبي الذي هو رسول أنزل إليه كتاب وشرع مستقل مع المعجزة التي ثبتت بها نبوته ، وأن النبي المرسل الذي هو غير الرسول ، هو من لم ينزل عليه كتاب وإنما أوحي إليه أن يدعو الناس إلى شريعة رسول قبله ، كأنبياء بني إسرائيل الذين كانوا يرسلون ويؤمرون بالعمل بما في التوراة ; كما بينه تعالى بقوله يحكم بها النبيون الذين أسلموا الآية [ 5 \ 44 ]  . ـ

And some have shown that:

1) a prophet who is also a messenger is one to whom a scripture and a distinct sharee’ah (divine legislation) are revealed along with miracles which thereby affirm his prophethood, and

2) that a prophet who is sent but is not a messenger is one to whom a scripture is not revealed, and he is only divinely inspired to call the people to the sharee’ah of a messenger prior to him, such as the prophets of the Banu Israa’eel who were sent and commanded to act according to what is in the Tawrah. This is as Allah clarified with His statement:

يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُوا لِلَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالرَّ‌بَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ‌ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُوا مِن كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ وَكَانُوا عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَاءَ

The prophets who submitted [to Allah] judged by it [i.e. the Tawrah] … [5:44]

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 5/290]

See also: Ibn Taymiyah’s position of the difference between a Prophet and a Messenger [forthcoming]

See also: “Those of determination among the messengers”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: Moosaa, Muhammad & Adam – the Messengers to whom Allah spoke: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: The Preservation of the Qur’an and the Preservation of the Tawrah: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: The Distinction Between a Prophet-King and a Slave-Messenger

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5 thoughts on “The Difference between a Prophet and a Messenger: Imam al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: The Distinction Between a Prophet-King and a Slave-Messenger | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “Those of determination among the messengers”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Moosaa, Muhammad & Adam – the Messengers to whom Allah spoke: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Those Messengers whom Allah Raised in Degree: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: “Those messengers, We have given precedence to some over others”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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