The recipients of scripture are ''messengers'' (rusul), who are all addressed by God with the words: ''This community of yours is one -and I am your Lord: be mindful of Me'' (23:52). Those who accept them are asked to profess that they ''make no distinction between any of them'' (2:284). Over twenty prophets are mentioned in the Qur'an, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, and over and over again the text rehearses their stories to emphasise that they brought a shared doctrine, which alone is to be followed.
We never sent any messenger before you [Muhammad] without revealing to him: ''There is no god but Me, so serve Me''. (21:25)
These were the people God guided, so follow the guidance they received. (6:83)
The qur'anic recitals of the lives of earlier prophets confirm to Muslims that they are adhering to the unalterable message God has made available since the creation of Adam, summed up particularly in the monotheism and self-surrender of Abraham. All the prophets are seen as muslim, that is, they are 'submitters' to God, who devote themselves utterly to Him. ''Religion in the sight of God is islam'' (3:19), that is to say, it is devoted submission to Him alone.
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