What is the difference between messenger and prophet?
-Why A messnger and not the LAST messenger?
Praise be to Allaah.
The well-known difference between a Prophet
and a Messenger is that a Messenger is one to whom a law is revealed
and he is commanded to convey it, whilst a Prophet is one to whom a
law is revealed but he is not commanded to convey it. But this distinction
is not free of problems, because a Prophet is also commanded to call
people, convey the Message and judge among the people. Hence Shaykh
al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: The correct view is that the Messenger is
one who is sent to a disbelieving people, and the Prophet is one who
is sent to a believing people with the sharee’ah of the Messenger who
came before him, to teach them and judge between them, as Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, We did send down the
Tawraat (Torah) [to Moosa (Moses)], therein was guidance and light,
by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allaah’s Will, judged
for the Jews”
So the Prophets of the Children of Israel judged by
the Tawraat which Allaah had revealed to Moosa.
With regard to the aayah,
“but he is the Messenger of
Allaah and the last (end) of the Prophets” [al-Ahzaab 33:40]
and why it did not say the last of the Messengers – the end of the
Message does not mean the end of Prophethood, but the end of Prophethood
does mean the end of the Message. Hence the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There will be no
Prophet after me,” and he did not say, there will be no Messenger after
Thus we know that there is no Messenger and no Prophet
after him (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him); he was the last of the Prophets and of the Messengers,
(peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him).