What is Risalat?

What is Risalat in Islam? What is the meaning of Risalah? What is the meaning of Risalas? How do you write Risalat in Arabic?

The literal meaning of the word Risalat is message, to carry a letter, news, or to discharge the responsibility of any noble task. In Islamic terminology, Risalat denotes the conveying of the holy words of Allah the Most High to mankind. And the person who performs this duty is termed as Rasul or Messenger. Rusul is the plural form of Rasul.

The importance of belief in Risalat (Messengership)

It is obligatory in the Islamic view of life to believe in Risalat. Every Mumin and Muslim has to belief in Risalat along with believe in Tawhid. This has been nicely depicted in the Kalima-i-Tayyeba. In the first part of this Kalima لا إله إلا الله La Ilaha Illallah; meaning- there is no god but Allah) Tawhid has been established. Alongside this in the second part محمدٌ رَّسُولُ اللهِ Muhammadur Rasulullah; meaning: Muhammad (Sm.) is the Messenger of Allah) Risalat has been proclaimed. So, parallel with declaring faith in Tawhid, Risalat too has to be professed.

In fact none can become a Muslim without belief in Risalat, because man's knowledge is limited. It is not possible to acquire the full acquaintance of limitless and unbounded Allah the Most High. So, the Prophets and Messengers (As.) have presented the introduction of Allah the Most High to mankind. They have described His complete authority and attributes. They have brought the code of life and the directives given by Allah the Most High for the welfare of this life and the next life. Had the Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (Sm.) not appeared we would not have known anything of this. Even we could not have known the essence and attributes of Allah the Most High. Basically it is because of messages and descriptions brought forth by the Prophets and Messengers (As.) that man have been able to know it. Therefore, it is extremely important to believe in these messages or Risalat. For rejection of Risalat is tantamount to rejection of Allah. So, it is obligatory for man to believe in Risalat as an important aspect of faith.


Allah the Most High has sent innumerable Prophets and Messengers throughout the ages. They were not sent without a purpose. Rather they carried out the obligation of Prophethood (Nabuwwat) and messengership (Risalat). For doing so they had to perform a huge amount of work. Among them mention may be made of:
  • They would introduce Allah the Most High before man. That means they would reveal to man essence, attributes, authority, bounties, etc. of Allah the Most High.
  • They would call upon man to the life of truth and beauty.
  • They would instruct man in the servitude of Allah and other religious rites and rituals.
  • They would inform about the next life.
  • They would offer practical instructions for the implementation of the commands and prohibitions and rules and regulations of Allah the Most High.


The Prophets and Messengers were the chosen persons of Allah the Most High. Allah the Most High Himself selected them to perform the responsibilities of Nabuwwat and Risalat. Allah the Most High says -
اللهُ يَصْطَفِي مِنَ الْمَلَكَةِ رُسُلًا وَمِنَ النَّاسِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ
Meaning: "Allah the Most High chooses Messengers from among both the Angels and Mankind. Allah is All-Hearing and All-Seeing." (Sura: Al-Hajj, Ayat: 75)

So, as chosen servants, the Prophets and Messengers possessed special characteristics. Firstly, they were intensely faithful to Allah the Most High. They would follow the divine directions in all types of sayings and doings. Absolute allegiance to Allah the Most High was their dominant feature.

The Prophets and Messengers were extremely wise, intelligent, judicious and sagacious. They were free from sins. They were immune from all kinds of sins and pollutions. Allah the Most High Himself would guard them against all sorts  of wrongs and obscenities. Hazrat Yusuf (As) was a famous Prophet. Allah the Most High says about him, "Thus I showed him signs to restrain him from wrong deeds and obscenity. He was among my servants of pure heart." (Sura: Yusuf, Ayat: 24)

The Prophets and Messengers possessed him best of characters. They would practise all noble qualities. They were extremely honest, truthful and just. They were characterized by all such qualities as mercy, forgiveness, patience. Such bad habits as falsehood, deceit, back-biting, hatred and envy were never noticeable in their lives. Rather they were the best models of noble characters before mankind.

The Prophets and Messengers were peerless in dutifulness and commitment to their mission. They never showed an iota of idleness and indifference in discharging the duties of Nabuwwat and Risalat. Rather they patiently suffered much oppression and torture inflicted by the unbelievers. But still they properly conveyed the divine message to mankind. They were free from greed and self-interest. They never deviated from their duties in the lure of any mundane benefit. The unbelievers would often tempt them to stop their invitation to Islam. But they never yielded to worldly gains.

In the propagation of Islam, the Prophets and Messengers were the living symbols of self-sacrifice. Under divine direction they would unhesitatingly forgo worldly comforts, enjoyments, luxuries, wealth and riches. Our beloved Prophet (Sm.) migrated to Madinah leaving behind his hearth and home, kith and kin and native city of Makkah for the sake of the propagation of the Deen. Many such instances of sacrifice are noticeable in the lives of the Prophets and messengers (As.).


Allah the Most High sent many Prophets throughout the ages. The first Prophet was Hazrat Adam (As.) and the last Prophet and Messenger is Hazrat Muhammad (Sm.). In between them Allah the Most High sent many other Prophets and Messengers. This usual course of the advent of the Prophets and Messengers is called the chain of prophethood. Allah the Most High sent Prophets and Messengers as guides to the right path to all communities and nations of the world.

Allah the Most High says: وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ
Meaning: "There were guides for all the communities." (Sura: Al-Raad, Ayat : 7)

They called upon men to Allah the Most High. They guided them to follow the true and clean code, that is, the religion of Allah.

From the inception of creation till today Shariat or the rules and regulations of the Deen have not been the same. Rather various types of Shariat were sent in consonance with the environment, condition, culture, civilization, etc. of the human race. The Prophets and Messengers used to materialize them in human societies. But the structure of the Deen remained constant with all Prophets and Messengers. The basic point with them all was, Tawhid or oneness of Allah the Most High. Right from Hazrat Adam (As.) all the Prophets and Messengers that appeared propagated this same Deen. Hazrat Nuh (As.) Hazrat Ibrahim (As.), Hazrat Musa (As.), Hazrat Daud (As.), Hazrat Isa (As.)---all preached this same Deen and its teaching. Our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Sm.) has been the last in the chain of Prophethood. No prophet has come or will come after him. So, Allah the Most High has vouchsafed perfection of Deen (religion) through him. Allah the Most High says -
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَالْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا
Meaning: "This day have I perfected for you your Deen, and completed my favours upon you and have chosen for you Islam as the Deen." (Sura: Al-Maida, Ayat: 3)

Thus the rules and regulations of the Deen having been perfected, the chain of the advent of Prophets and Messengers also ceases obviously. As a result, the chain of prophethood too reached its perfection. All these prophets and messengers that came were the select servants of Allah the Most High. It is indispensable to believe in all of them. Allah the Most High says -
امَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَبِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ احَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ
Meaning: "The Messenger has believed in whatever has been revealed to him, so also have the believers. They all have believed in Allah, His Angels, His Books and His Prophets. They say, we do not differentiate among His Prophets." (Sura: Al-Baqara, Ayat: 285)

It is an indispensible condition of Iman to repose faith in all the prophets belonging to the chain of Prophethood. To believe in some and reject others is not permitted. Rather all of them have to be believed in as Prophets and Messengers of Allah the Most High. They must be given proper respect and status as prophets and Messengers. Nobody should laugh or jeered at.


Our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Sm.) is the final and the greatest in the line of prophethood. He possessed unique characteristics. All preceding prophets were commissioned to preach to their respective clans, lands and times. But Hazrat Muhammad (Sm.) is the prophet of all mankind of the world for all times to come. He is the only world prophet. Allah the Most High says -
قُلْ يَأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا
Meaning: "(O Prophet!) You tell, 0 Mankind, I have been sent as the Messenger of Allah for all of you." (Sura: Al-Araf, Ayat: 158)

Rasulullah (Sm.) was the prophet for all times. It is he who is the Prophet for all men to come till the doomsday. All must follow his teachings, ideal and Al-Qu- ran which he received. He is the Prophet of divine favour (Rahmat). He is a special bounty and favour of Allah for mankind. Allah the Most High says-
وَمَا أَرْسَلْتُكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعُلَمِينَ
Meaning: "(O Prophet!) We have not sent you but as the gift/favour to all the worlds." (Sura: Al-Ambiya, Ayat: 107)

So, our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Sm.) has been the last and the greatest Prophet. It is the duty demanded by Iman that every Muslim must follow him as the last and the greatest prophet.

Meaning of Finality of Prophethood (Khatamun Nabuwwat and Importance of Belief in It)

Prophet Muhammad (Sm.) is the last Prophet. It is through him that perfection of religion has been declared and the chain of prophethood is closed. He has appeared as the last in the line of prophets and messengers. Allah the Most High has called him the Seal of the Prophets or Khatamun Nabiyyin.

The word 'Khatam' means the end, termination. And 'Nabuwwat means the divinely assigned responsibility of the prophets. So, 'Khatm-i-Nabuwwat' means the end of prophethood. And the Prophet, through whom the line of prophethood ceases, is the 'Khatamun Nabiyyin' or the Seal of the Prophets meaning also the last of the Prophets.

Allah the Most High says-
مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِنْ رِجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِنْ رَسُولَ اللهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّنَ
Meaning: "He is not the father of any of your males, rather is the Messenger of Allah and the last Prophet." (Sura: Al-Ahzab, Ayat: 40)

The word 'Khatamun' means seal or stamp. A thing is sealed when it is complete. After putting the seal, nothing can be inserted into it. The seal of Prophethood likewise means the declaration of the closing of prophethood. It means that no one can then claim himself as a new Prophet nor can he enter the chain of Prophethood. This is the basic point of 'Khatamun Nabuwwat'.

Our beloved Prophet is the Khatamun Nabiyyin. He is the last Prophet. There is not and cannot be any more Prophet after him. No true prophet has ever come so far after him. Nor will any come till the Doomsday. Those who have claimed Prophethood after him are false, liars and fraud. For, the great Prophet (Sm.) says -
أَنَا خَاتَمُ النَّبِيِّنَ لَا نَبِي بَعْدِي
Meaning: "I am the seal of the Prophets and after me there is no Prophet." (Sahih Muslim)

In another Hadith the holy Prophet says- "Very soon there will arise among my followers false Prophets. Each of them will claim to be the Prophet. But I am the last Prophet. After me no Prophet will be raised." (Abu Daud)

It is one of the organs of Iman to believe in Hazrat Muhammad (Sm.) as the last of the Prophets. All those who claimed Prophethood are liars. We must not believe in them as Prophets. Rather we shall reject their teachings and ideals. We shall follow the ideals and teachings of the holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Sm.) in all situations of our life.

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