Christianity and Islam have several prophets in common and consider them direct messengers from God or Allah, the Arabic name for God. Both religions see the role of prophets to speak the word of God, to encourage people to worship him alone and to live righteously. The prophets also warn of impending destruction if people do not turn away from sin.
Abraham - Ibrahim
Islam and Christianity both consider Abraham a significant prophet and a friend of God. Though Islam mentions several prophets before him, Christianity considers Abraham the first prophet. The narrative of Abraham differs significantly between the Quran and the Bible. Additionally, the Quran describes Abraham as “a paragon of piety, an upright man, obedient to Allah” (Surat an- Nahl, 120). While the Bible says Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness, it also describes his misdeeds, such as laughing at God (Genesis 17:17) and lying to the Egyptians about his wife (Genesis 12:13).
Moses - Musa
Both Christianity and Islam describe Moses as a man chosen by God to deliver his people from Pharaoh in Egypt. The Bible and the Quran tell similar accounts of Moses performing miracles before the Pharaoh, inflicting the Egyptians with plagues and leading the people out of Egypt. Christianity and Islam both consider Aaron (Harun), the brother of Moses, to be a co-prophet with him in his message to Pharaoh.
Elijah - Ilyas
Both Christianity and Islam consider Elijah a prophet who spoke out against Baal worship and came into direct conflict with King Ahab and his wife Jezebel. According to both faiths, a consequent drought occurred and Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal for their inability to produce rain.
Elisha - Alyasa
The Quran mentions the prophet Elisha only two times, but favorably in both accounts. The Bible describes the prophet in further detail as a successor of Elijah and a man who performed many miracles, including multiplying a widow’s oil, raising a child from the dead and healing a man of leprosy.
Jonah - Yunus
The Bible and the Quran describe Jonah similarly, as a prophet who fled from God, boarded a ship, was thrown into the sea during a storm and thereafter swallowed by a great fish. Both religions also recount his repentance, rescue from the fish and eventual prophecy against Ninevah.
Zechariah - Zakariya
In both religious accounts, the prophet Zechariah received word from God that his barren wife would conceive a son who would also be a prophet. Zechariah did not believe God and was struck mute for three days, according to Islam or until his wife gave birth, according to Christianity.
John the Baptist - Yahya
According to both religious traditions, the prophet John was born of Zechariah and clothed himself in camel hair and ate locusts and honey in the desert. He foretold the coming of Jesus Christ, considered a subsequent prophet in Islam but the son of God in Christianity.
Other Notable Figures
Both Christianity and Islam share several other important figures, but differ over whether they are official prophets. These include: Adam, Methuselah, Noah, Enoch, Lot , Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, David, Solomon, Ezekiel, and Jesus.
- Bible.Org: Chapter Three: What is a Prophet
- Qul: The Library for All Your Needs: Our Messengers
- Qul: The Library for All Your Needs: The Prophet Ibrahim
- Bible Gateway: Book of Genesis
- Al-Huda: Prophet Ilyas
- Islam 101: Prophet Elisha
- University of Southern California: Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement: The Qur’an
- Al Huda Foundation: Prophet Zakamya
- Quran: Dhul Kifl
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