The Prophet Muhammad holds a central place in Islam as the final messenger and prophet of God, or Allah, as he is referred to in the Islamic faith. His life, teachings, and sayings are critical to Muslims worldwide and serve as a guiding light for the practice of their faith. However, when it comes to the Quran, which is Islam’s holy book and considered the literal word of God as revealed to Muhammad, the number of times his name is explicitly mentioned is surprisingly few.
Prophet Muhammad is directly mentioned by name in the Quran only four times. Here are the verses where his name appears:
- Surah Al-Imran (3:144): “Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.”
- Surah Muhammad (47:2): “And those who believe and do righteous deeds and believe in what has been sent down upon Muhammad – and it is the truth from their Lord – He will remove from them their misdeeds and amend their condition.”
- Surah Al-Fath (48:29): “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves.”
- Surah Al-Ahzab (33:40): “Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah, of all things, Knowing.”
Additionally, the Quran refers to Muhammad with various titles, nicknames, and descriptions, such as “the Messenger of Allah,” “the Seal of the Prophets,” “a Warner,” and “a bringer of glad tidings,” significantly increasing the number of references to him. These titles emphasize his role and character rather than mentioning him by name. It is also worth noting that the Hadith, which is a collection of sayings and actions attributed to Muhammad, complements the Quran and is another source of guidance for Muslims. The Hadith mentions Muhammad much more frequently than the Quran.
The relatively few mentions of Muhammad by name in the Quran underscore the Islamic belief that the Quran is the word of God, not the work of Muhammad. It is God’s guidance to humanity, and Muhammad’s role was to transmit this message rather than be the focus of the text. Muslims believe that the Quran has a divine authorship, and its emphasis is on God’s instructions for living a righteous life.