The last and final prophet whom God sent to humanity was the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. At the age of forty, he received the revelation from God. He then spent the remaining portion of his life explaining, and living the teachings of Islam, the religion that God revealed to him. The Prophet Muhammad is the greatest of all prophets for many reasons, but primarily because he was chosen by God to be the last prophet – whose mission to guide humanity would continue until the Last Day – and because he has been sent as a mercy to all of mankind. The result of his mission has brought more people into the pure belief in One God than any other prophet. Since the beginning of time, God sent prophets to the earth, each one to his own specific nation. The Prophet Muhammad, however, was sent as the final Messenger to all of humanity.
Even though other religious communities have claimed to believe in One God, over time, some corrupted ideas entered into their beliefs and practices leading them away from the pure sincere monotheism of the prophets. Some took their prophets and saints as intercessors with Almighty God. Some even believed that their prophets were the manifestations of God, or “God Incarnate” or the “Son of God”. All of these misconceptions lead to the worship of created beings instead of the Creator, and contributed to the idolatrous practice of believing that Almighty God may be approached through intermediaries.
In order to guard against these falsehoods, the Prophet Muhammad always emphasized that he was only a human-being with the mission of preaching and obeying God’s message. He taught muslims to refer to him as “the Messenger of God and His Slave”. Through his life and teachings, God made Muhammad the perfect example for all people – he was the exemplary prophet, statesman, military leader, ruler, teacher, neighbor, husband, father and friend. Unlike other prophets and messengers, the Prophet Muhammad lived in the full light of history, and all his sayings and acts were meticulously recorded and collected.
Muslims don’t need to have mere ‘faith’ that he existed, or that his teachings are preserved – they know it to be a fact. God took it upon Himself to protect the message revealed to Muhammad from distortion or from being forgotten or lost. This was necessary because God promised that Muhammad was to be the final Messenger to mankind.
All of God’s Messengers preached the message of Islam – i.e. submission to the law of God and the worship of God alone – but Muhammad is the last prophet of Islam who brought the final and complete message which was never to be changed until the Last Day.