Was Aaron a Messenger? – Join islam

In a previous article, we explored the distinction in the Quran between a prophet (nabi) and a messenger (rasul). In summary, a prophet is given scripture, while a messenger confirms and delivers God’s message to the people. This means that every prophet was a messenger, but not every messenger was a prophet.

Yet some claim that Aaron was a prophet who was not a messenger. The Quran clearly states that Aaron was a prophet and was given the scripture along with Moses.

[19:53] And we granted him (Moses), out of our mercy, his brother Aaron as a prophet.

 وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُۥ مِن رَّحْمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـٰرُونَ نَبِيًّا

[21:48] We gave Moses and Aaron the Statute Book, a beacon, and a reminder for the righteous.

 وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَىٰ وَهَـٰرُونَ ٱلْفُرْقَانَ وَضِيَآءً وَذِكْرًا لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

Additionally, two verses call Aaron a messenger (rasul). The first is Sura 26 (The Poets / Al-Shu‘arã’) verse 16. A peculiarity about this verse is that the word messenger uses the singular form ( رَسُولُ ) rather than the dual form.

[26:16] “Go to Pharaoh and say, ‘We are messengers from the Lord of the universe.

 فَأْتِيَا فِرْعَوْنَ فَقُولَآ إِنَّا رَسُولُ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ

1 fatiyā فَأْتِيَا “So go both (of you to)
2 fir’ʿawna فِرْعَوْنَ Pharaoh
3 faqūlā فَقُولَآ and [both] say,
4 innā إِنَّا ‘Indeed, we (are)
5 rasūlu رَسُولُ messenger (of)
6 rabbi رَبِّ (the) Lord (of)
7 l-ʿālamīna ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ the worlds / universe.

The other verse that indicates Aaron is a messenger of God does not have this peculiarity and uses the dual form for the word messenger ( رَسُولَا ) indicating that both Moses and Aaron were messengers as well as prophets according to the Quran.

[20:47] “Go to him and say, ‘We are two messengers from your Lord. Let the Children of Israel go. You must refrain from persecuting them. We bring a sign from your Lord, and peace is the lot of those who heed the guidance.

 فَأْتِيَاهُ فَقُولَآ إِنَّا رَسُولَا رَبِّكَ فَأَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا بَنِىٓ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ وَلَا تُعَذِّبْهُمْ قَدْ جِئْنَـٰكَ بِـَٔايَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَٱلسَّلَـٰمُ عَلَىٰ مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَ ٱلْهُدَىٰٓ

1 fatiyāhu فَأْتِيَاهُ “So go both of you to him
2 faqūlā فَقُولَآ and [both] say,
3 innā إِنَّا ‘Indeed, we (are)
4 rasūlā رَسُولَا [two] messengers
5 rabbika رَبِّكَ (from) your Lord,

This also confirms the meanings of the words prophet (nabi) and messenger (rasul) in the Quran. Moses and Aaron were prophets because they were given scripture, yet they were messengers because they went to their people to deliver their message from God.


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