Questions and Answers on Islamic Doctrine
Chapter 2: Belief in Prophets and Missions
Question 08: How can Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) be the imam (leader) of all the prophets when he is the last messenger?
Answer 08: Preference is God’s own prerogative. It is exclusive to such and not to others, in accordance with His wisdom. Preference has no relation with precedence or antecedence in time. Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) are among the latter batch of prophets, still they are the best among all those who preceded them except Noah and Abraham (peace be upon them). Furthermore, Prophet Mohammed’s religion, in terms of creed and the morals, conforms to those preached by the previous prophets. As for the rules of these religions, the Prophet (pbuh), by commandments from Almighty God, nullified some, modified others; altered some and augmented others. Accordingly, his call has become more comprehensive, more perfect, hence has dominion over precedence. The one in charge of such call deserves being an imam to those who preceded him. Those were made to pledge to be faithful to him and support him, almighty God says:
“And (remember) when God took the covenant of the prophets, saying; ‘Take whatever I gave you from the book and hikmah (understanding of the laws of God), and afterwards there will come to you a messenger (Muhammad) confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.’ God said: ‘Do you agree (to it) and will you take up my covenant (which I conclude with you)?’ They said: ‘We agree.’ He said: ‘Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses (for this)’.” (Holy Qur’an 3:81).
Such favors prove that he is the best.