Since the Quran claims that Allah sent prophets all over the world, why does it mention only Biblical prophets? Why doesn’t it mention any prophet sent to an undiscovered land like Japan?
ANSWER BY Zaid Shaw VIA QUORA
Actually the first part of your question is correct but not the remaining part i.e. ‘why does it mention only Biblical Prophets?’. This part is not correct because Quran does mention or hint towards other nations, Prophets as well as saintly personalities which are not mentioned in the bible. Please note that the purpose of the Quran is always brief and to the point to get the message across to those who seek guidance and not get them involved in unnecessary details about personalities, nations and their stories unless there is some important lesson to learn from them. Unlike bible which consists of 67 something books, Quran is only a single book with 6000 something verses!
Quranic Prophets not mentioned in the bible
Ancient Arabian Prophets such as Prophet Hud (alaihi salaam) are mentioned in the Quran but not explicitly mentioned in the Bible. There is also mentioned Prophet Salih (alaihi salaam) who is not mentioned in the bible. He was sent to the people of the Mada’in Saleh, a region in the Hejaz area of present day Saudi Arabia:
(Al Quran 7:74) and settled you firmly on earth, so that you [are able to] build for yourselves castles on its plains and hew out mountains [to serve you] as dwellings: remember, then, God’s blessings, and do not act wickedly on earth by spreading corruption.
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Reference to Prophet Zoroaster (Zarathushtra), who is absent from the bible, is referred to in the Quran. According to many Islamic scholars the following reference is to him;
‘(Al Quran 2:17) The likeness of them is as the likeness of one who set to kindle a fire; so, as soon as it illuminated whatever is around him, Allah went away with their light, (i.e., took away their light)and left them in darkness (es) (where) they do not behold (anything).’
In the Parsi scriptures he is said to have light fire when taking pledge from the Persians as a symbol that would keep them as a reminder of obedience to Allah (swt) but they were misled and started to worship the fire instead of Al Mighty.
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Quran also mentions nations not mentioned in the Bible
Many nations are mentioned in the Quran to which Prophets were sent with revelation but Allah (swt) only mentioned the name of nations not Prophets:
(Al Quran 25:38) And [remember how We punished the tribes of] ‘Ad and Thamud, and the people of Ar-Rass, (Al Quran 44:37) Are they, then, better than the people of Tubba’, and those before them, whom We destroyed because they were truly lost in [the same) sin?
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As per famous 20th century Islamic scholar Muhammad Assad, Ar-Rass is a town of that exists to this day in the Central-Arabian province of Al-Qasim; in the ancient times it seems to have been inhabited by descendants of the Nabataean tribe of Thamud, the nation to whom was sent Prophet Salih (alaihi salaam). Their descendants were also sent a Prophet and punished for their wrongdoings but their details are not mentioned as its not necessary as long as the point is made clear. Ar Rass means wells of water and some scholars say this may be reference to Indus Valley civilizations that created wells that Arabs referred to in the ancient times as ‘people of Ar Rass’.
Qaumun Tubban (people of Tubba) is a reference to the nation that were ruled by a long succession of Himyari Kings of Yemen whose people were disobedient to Allah (swt) and were subsequently vanished from the pages of history with time.
Important personalities not mentioned in the bible but Quran mentions
In Surah Kahf the brief account of young men and the cave is mentioned who are not mentioned in the bible, some references are found to them in Christian tradition as ‘seven sleepers’ but not all Christians accept that as they are not explicitly mentioned in Gospels. They separated themselves for the sake of Allah (swt) from their misguided and materialistic environment. References are made to Luqman al Hakim (The Sage), who some scholars equate him to Greek Aesop, who teaches his son the characteristics of a believer something all believers can learn from. Mention has been made about Khidr (alaihi salaam) whose a mystic that carries sacred knowledge which is beyond the apparent that majority carry. His location at the conjunction of the two seas (Al Quran 18:60) may have been somewhere between the conjunction of Atlantic ocean with Mediterranean, Mediterranean with Black Sea. Quran also mentions Dhul Qarnayn (alaihi salaam), a Prophet King who ruled with justice, punishing those who oppress and exploit while protecting those who are good. He built a wall in Central Asia, the historic lands of the Turks, to prevent Gog and Magog forces. The bible mentions Gog and Magog but does not mentioned Dhul Qarnayn (alaihi salaam).
In Islam Prophetic Hadith/Sunnah is also part of divine revelation carrying references to Prophets and other nations
The following verses was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihi wassallam) in the first instance:
(Al Quran 40:78) And, indeed, [O Muhammad,] We sent forth apostles before your time; some of them We have mentioned to you, and some of them We have not mentioned to you.
A reference to these words of Allah (swt) that ‘..some We have mentioned to you…’ can be found in an authentic Prophetic hadith when he was inquired how many Prophets have lived in the past to which he replied ‘Allah (swt) sent 124000 Prophets out of which 313 were messengers.’ This saying informs us that Prophet was aware of many personalities and their names in addition to those mentioned in the Quran. The hadith literature is full of references of such personalities, some are mentioned by name and others are not:
Narrated Abu Hurairah (ra) I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “An ant bit a Prophet amongst the Prophets, and he ordered that the place of the ants be burnt. So, Allah inspired to him, ‘It is because one ant bit you that you burnt a nation amongst the nations that glorify Allah?” (Sahih Al Bukhari) Source Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)
Who was this Prophet is not of concern but the ethical lesson of how to treat creatures of Allah (swt) even as little as ant being taught is of concern. Where these personalities dwelt or lived, their details, is of no concern to Allah (swt), nor to a believer as long as we learn lessons from their accounts. In Islam revelation is concerned with guidance and not bed time stories.
(Al Quran 21:85) AND [remember] Ishmael and Idris, and Dhul Kifl (every one who [like them] has pledged himself [unto God])
Muhammad Assad writes in his commentary that the Arabic term Dhul Kifl is a generic term applying to every one of the prophets, as each of them pledged himself to Allah (swt) and accepted the responsibility for delivering His message to man. By using the term Dhul Kifl, Allah (swt) made it clear that He sent Prophets to all nations in the history without having the need to mention each and every one of their names and the lands they were send.