What Does Prophethood Mean? (Part I)

It is written at the end of the book Sharh-i Mawaqif by Sayyid Sherif al-Jurjani that, according to the scholars of Kalam [1] , a person to whom Allahu ta'ala says, "I have sent you to the people in such and such a country or to the whole of mankind," or "Reveal [My will] to my slaves!" or gives a similar command, is called a "nabi" [2] or "payghambar" (Messenger or Prophet).

Being a Prophet does not require having certain conditions like riyada [3] or mujahada [4] or having been born with qualities suitable for prophethood. Allahu ta'ala can bestow this gift upon anyone He chooses. He knows everything and does what is best. He does whatever He wills to do. He is the Almighty. According to the scholars of Kalam, it is not necessary for a Prophet to display a mu'jiza (miracle), either. It know that he was a Prophet, but this still is not a condition for him to be a Prophet.

According to ancient Greek philosophers, to be a Prophet requires three conditions; firstly, to reveal the ghaib (unknown, mystery), that is, to explain past and future events when required; secondly, to do extraordinary things, that is, things that are mentally and scientifically impossible; thirdly, to see an angel in object and body and to hear Allahu ta'ala's wahy [5] from the angel.

[1] kalam: (science of , the knowledge of) iman (belief). in Islam.
[2] nabi a prophet who did not bring a new religion but invited people to the previous one is called a "nabi."
[3] riyada: not to do what the nafs likes; austerity.
[4] mujahada: striving' to do what the nafs does not like; see riyada.
[5] wahi, wahy: the knowledge revealed to the Prophet from Allahu ta'ala (revelation).