The prophet must be infallible i.e. should have unseen power that should allow him not to commit sins and should remain immune from mistakes so that God’s commandments that have been sent for guidance of the people without more or less should be provided to them. If the prophet himself commits sins and should act in opposition to his own words, his words would lose the essential credit and worthiness.
If through his own deeds he makes his own words null and void and practically leads people towards sin and opposition of God’s commandments and this matter cannot be contradicted, that propagation with deeds is more effective than the propagation of words. If the prophet happens to be negligent and makes mistakes, he would not be trusted and his words would become worthless.
The prophet should be knowledgeable about all commandments and laws, which are necessary for the prosperity of the world and hereafter of human beings. And he should not be ignorant about any topic which is necessary for the guidance and admonishment in order to be able to present them the real path of perfection and programs for the prosperity of human beings in a complete form; and could introduce the straight path of human prosperity – that is not more than one and among its components there exist very profound communications.
The miracle is an outstanding act, which occurs through means of other than natural causes, and human powers are helpless in the creation of such an act. Since a prophet claims that which is opposite to the natural trend, he is able to communicate with the unseen worlds and the God of the worlds and could obtain knowledge and learning; and claims that he has an assignment from God to perform the task of guidance of the people, he should introduce commandments and laws of God, he must do something to prove his claim.
That should not be the normal tasks of human beings and their power should be helpless in producing a similar act, so that through this means he could prove his task of prophethood and communication with the God of worlds that in itself is an abnormal act; such an act is called a miracle. In summary since a prophet claims communication with God, therefore he must show types of Godly acts, in order to prove his claim that he has the power of communicating with God.
However, let it not remain unsaid that programs of prophets were not that they should have completely taken off their hands from the natural causes and resources and should have only resorted to miracles for every task; rather wherever they thought it was expedient to prove their prophethood through performance of a miraculous act, in such cases they did perform miracles.
2.2.1. Path of Identification of a Prophet
It was proved that a messenger or prophet possesses an outstanding position and rank that he could communicate with God and through means of revelation could receive realities; the prophet possesses extraordinary, special infallibility and is immune from sins and mistakes, and it is obvious that identification of this important mysterious position is not the task of everyone. It was due to this reason through the means of one of these two paths one could identify the prophet and could conclude his being as truthful:
That another prophet had already proved his Prophethood, through his testifying or should predict about his arrival in advance and should describe his indications and effects.
That in order to prove his truthfulness of his word he should be able to bring a miracle that human beings should be helpless in creating of its like. When human beings saw that a person claims prophethood and says that he is appointed by God for your guidance; in order to prove the truthfulness of his words he performs an act that could not be performed through a human being, seeing that act they attain certainty of his being truthful.
If he was a liar, God would not have supported him through the means of a miracle, since the testifying of a liar is relevant to ignorance and indecency and God does not indulge in indecent acts. Therefore in order to diagnose the position of infallibility and Prophethood another path does not exist except these two paths.
However let it not remain unsaid: For intellectuals and researchers another path remains open, they could study commandments and laws and investigate them profoundly and then should compare these laws with laws and could appreciate their distinctions and benefits. In the conduct of words and deeds of a person claiming prophethood they should show serious and precise curiosity and through these means of witnessing and testifying should acquire the facts about his being truthful.
But perusing of such a path is not possible for every one and except for testifying the position of prophethood and strengthening the power of belief; it does not have any worth. In the Holy Qur’an regarding a group from prophets, miracles have been mentioned: Whoever considers the Holy Qur’an as a heavenly
book, inevitably must accept about the story of Prophet Moses’ (a.s.) staff turning into a serpent, and the dead coming back to life and the return of sight to a blind person since birth through the means of Jesus (a.s.); the story of speaking in the cradle by Jesus (a.s.) is certainly a part of the Holy Qur’an.
2.2.2. Number of Prophets
It has been mentioned in the narration that 124,000 have been sent by God for the guidance of human beings, the first one of them was Adam (a.s.) and the last one of them was Muhammad ibn Abdullah (S).2 The prophets could be divided into several categories as follows:
Some of them received their duties through the means of revelation but were not assigned the responsibility of propagation. Another group was assigned the responsibility of propagation; some of them possessed special religious laws and religion while others didn’t bring special religious laws instead propagated the religious laws of another prophet and very often many prophets were busy in undertaking their duties in various regions and cities.
Noah (a.s.), Abraham (a.s.), Moses (a.s.), Jesus (a.s.), and Muhammad (S) were distinguished prophets and brought special religious laws and were called as men of decision (ulul-azm) prophets. A group of prophets have the book, like Noah (a.s.), Abraham (a.s.), Moses (a.s.), Jesus (a.s.) and Muhammad (S). Some of them were appointed for the entire humanity while some of them were appointed for a particular group of people.