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Nabi, Rasool & Imaam

Nabi(Prophet): The word 'Nabi' generally understands as 'Prophet' of Allah(swt). Prophets are sent down by Allah to guide the mankind.

Rasool(Messenger): Rasool understands as a 'Messenger' from Allah(swt). They are same as a Nabi with a difference that they bring down a Book (constitution, shariat) from Allah(swt). They are also sent down to guide the mankind under the constitution of the book they bring. Every Rasool is a Nabi and not every Nabi is a Rasool. Rasools who came with the Books are:

1) Sahífa - scroll revealed to Prophet Nuh(pbuh)
2) Sahífa - scroll revealed to Prophet Ibráhím(pbuh)
3) Taurat - the book revealed to Prophet Músa(pbuh)
4) Zabúr - the psalms revealed to Prophet Dawúd(pbuh)
5) Injíl - the gospel revealed to Prophet 'Isa(pbuh)
6) Qur'án - the Koran revealed to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)


'Inni Jaaelun arde khaleefa'

Baqarah:124 : "And when Ibrahim was tried by his Lord with certain Words, and he fulfilled them, He (Allah) said: Surely I will make you an Imam to the people,..."

This verse clearly states that Prophet Ibrahim(pbuh) was elevated from the level of Prophet to the level of Imam after having being tested (for the leadership qualities). This proves his promotion from Nubuwwah to Imamah.

The Holy Prophet Mohammad(saww) was a Rasool as well as the Imam as he brought the book as well as he implemented the book and established a full Islamic government in Madina and its neighbouring cities.

Prophet Mohammad(saww) appointed Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib(as) as his successor and the Imam at Ghadeer on the instructions of Allah(swt) before his departure from this world. Please refer to the article Ghadeer on this website.

No Shia Scholar has ever claimed a higher status for any Imam over the Holy Prophet Mohammad(saww). Every Imam referred Hadith referring to the Holy Prophet Mohammad(saww). Any believe that elevates the status of an Imam over the the status of Prophet Mohammad(saww) voids him from Islam.