What is the difference between Nabi and Rasool?

The Quran has used both words, Nabi and Rasool (Prophet and Messenger) due to which many people get confused about the differences between Nabi and Rasool. In this article, we have addressed this confusion and concept in detail.

How many Nabi in Islam?

As we have primarily addressed the difference between Nabi and Rasool, you must be thinking about how many Rasool and Nabi have passed until Prophet Muhammad S.A.W, the last prophet came.

It is commonly believed that there were as many as 124,000 Nabi or Prophets in Islam while the number of Rasool or messengers mentioned in the Holy Quran are less than 10.

What is the difference between the Prophet and Messenger?

  1. Sharia Law

Although it is not a major difference most of the Rasool or Messengers came with a Sharia Law while Nabi or Prophets followed and preached the Sharia of the previous messengers. For example, Prophet Musa A.S brought sharia to Bani Israel while other prophets or Nabi who followed him after that didn’t bring any sharia.

There are some exceptions to this rule as well. Prophet Isa A.S. was a Rasool but he continued to follow the sharia of prophet Musa A.S.

  1. Rasool v/s Nabi

Another difference is that every Rasool is a Nabi but not every Nabi is a Rasool or you can say that every messenger is a prophet but not every prophet is a messenger. If you compare Rasool v/s Nabi, a Rasool has a greater grade than Nabi.

  1. Prophethood by Birth

Another major difference between Prophet and Messenger is that a Nabi is a prophet by birth, however, a Rasool gets the Risalah when he authoritatively receives the post during his life. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W was a prophet since his birth, but he became a messenger at the age of 40.

  1. Rasool is sent to a community

The major difference is that a Rasool is sent towards a particular community or Ummah while a Nabi just preaches to the people around him. For example, Prophet Lut A.S was sent to a particular community to preach while Prophet Yousuf A.S. continued preaching the people around him.

  1. The non-followers of Rasool are cursed

Another major difference between Messenger and Prophet is that if a community or Ummah doesn’t follow the messenger, they are cursed by Allah while this is not the case with prophets. For example, the people of Aad were destroyed by Allah when they refused to follow the Prophet Hud A.S.

Once again, there is a reason behind this curse. If an Ummah or community does not listen to the message of a Rasool who has been specially sent towards them from Allah, it is against the dignity of Almighty to spare non-believers.

  1. A Rasool cannot be killed

Another major difference is that there has been no case reported in the history of mankind where a Rasool was killed by non-believers, but this is not the case with Nabi. There are several cases when Nabis were killed by non-believers.

The reason a Rasool was never killed by non-believers is that his death would be taken as the failure of Almighty (Astaghfirullah) as he is sent by Allah especially to a particular community or Ummah.

I know some people would argue that Prophet Jesus was killed by Jewish and he was a Rasool. You should know that according to the Muslim belief, Prophet Jesus was not killed by taken into heavens and he will descend back to this world on the Minaret of Jesus.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.