List of 7 Prophets in the World And most Worshiped Religion, this listing is not a comprehensive list of all religions, only the “major” ones. There are distinct religions other than the ones listed above. But this list accounts for the religions of over 98% of the world’s population.
7. JESUS CHRIST (CHRISTIAN)
Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a Jewish preacher and religious leader who became the central figure of Christianity. Christians believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament.
Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was baptized by John the Baptist and subsequently began his own ministry, preaching his message orally and often being referred to as “rabbi”. He was arrested and tried by the Jewish religious authorities, and turned over to the Roman government, and was subsequently crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect.
Jesus debated fellow Jews on how to best follow God, performed healings, taught in parables and gathered followers. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, and the community they formed eventually became the Christian Church.
His birth is celebrated annually on December 25 as a holiday known as Christmas, his crucifixion is honored on Good Friday, and his resurrection is celebrated on Easter.
Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, whence he will return. Most Christians believe Jesus enables humans to be reconciled to God.
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who serves as the focal point of the Christian faith. It is the world’s largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, known as Christians. Christians make up a majority of the population in 158 countries and territories. They believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament.
6. MUHAMMAD (ISLAM)
Muhammad is the prophet and founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was God’s Messenger, sent to confirm the essential teachings of monotheism preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is viewed as the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity and ensured that his teachings, practices, and the Quran formed the basis of Islamic religious belief.
Born approximately 570 CE (Year of the Elephant) in the Arabian city of Mecca, Muhammad was orphaned at an early age; he was raised under the care of his paternal uncle Abu Talib. Periodically, he would seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer; later, at age 40, he reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave, where he stated he received his first revelation from God. Three years later, in 610, Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that “God is One”, that complete “surrender” to him is the right course of action, and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam.
Muhammad gained few early followers, and met hostility from some Meccans. To escape persecution, Muhammad sent some followers to Abyssinia before he and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. In December 629, after eight years of intermittent conflict with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The attack went largely uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed. In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he fell ill and died. Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam.
The revelations (each known as Ayah, lit. “Sign [of God]”), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the “Word of God” and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad’s teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira literature, are also upheld by Muslims and used as sources of Islamic law. The name Muhammad means “praiseworthy” and appears four times in the Quran.
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion which professes that there is only one and incomparable God (Allah) and that Muhammad is the last messenger of God. It is the world’s second-largest religion and the fastest-growing major religion in the world, with over 1.8 billion followers or 24.1% of the global population, known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 49 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, unique, and has guided mankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative example of Muhammad.
5. LORD KRISHNA (HINDUISM)
Krishna is the god of compassion, tenderness, and love in Hinduism. He is one of the most widely revered and popular Indian divinities worshipped as the eighth incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu and also as the supreme God in his own right. Krishna’s birthday is celebrated every year by Hindus on Janmashtami according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar, which falls in late August or early September of the Gregorian calendar.
Krishna is also known by numerous names, such as Govinda, Mukunda, Madhusudhana, Vasudeva, and Makhan chor in affection. The anecdotes and narratives of Krishna’s life are generally titled as Krishna Leela.
He is a central character in the Mahabharata, Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita, and is mentioned in many Hindu philosophical, theological, and mythological texts. They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero, and as the supreme power. His iconography reflects these legends, and show him in different stages of his life, such as an infant eating butter, a young boy playing a flute, a young man with Radha or surrounded by women devotees, or a friendly charioteer giving counsel to Arjuna.
Since the 1960s the worship of Krishna has also spread to the Western world and to Africa, largely due to the work of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
he name “Krishna” originates from the Sanskrit word Kṛṣṇa, which is primarily an adjective meaning “black”, “dark”, or “dark blue”.
Hinduism is a religion, or a way of life, widely practiced in the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, “the eternal tradition,” or the “eternal way,” beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder. This “Hindu synthesis” started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE following the Vedic period (1500 BCE to 500 BCE).
Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion, with over one billion followers or 15% of the global population, known as Hindus. Hindus form the majority of the population in India, Nepal, Mauritius and the island of Bali in Indonesia. Significant Hindu communities are also found in many other countries.
4. SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA (BUDDHISM)
Gautama Buddha , also known as Siddhārtha Gautama or simply the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was an ascetic (śramaṇa) and sage, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in the eastern part of ancient India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE.
Gautama taught Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region. He later taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala.
Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism. He is recognized by Buddhists as an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood, and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.
Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha’s life. Most accept that he lived, taught and founded a monastic order during the Mahajanapada era during the reign of Bimbisara (c. 558 – c. 491 BCE, or c. 400 BCE), the ruler of the Magadha empire, and died during the early years of the reign of Ajatasatru, who was the successor of Bimbisara, thus making him a younger contemporary of Mahavira, the Jain tirthankara.
Buddhism and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. Buddhism originated in Ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia, whereafter it declined in India during the middle Ages. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada (Pali: “The School of the Elders”) and Mahayana (Sanskrit: “The Great Vehicle”). Buddhism is the world’s fourth-largest religion, with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists.
Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures, and especially their respective practices. Practices of Buddhism include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, study of scriptures, observance of moral precepts, renunciation of craving and attachment, the practice of meditation (including calm and insight), the cultivation of wisdom, loving-kindness and compassion, the Mahayana practice of bodhicitta and the Vajrayana practices of generation stage and completion stage.
3. GURU NANAK (SIKHISM)
Guru Nanak ((1469 – 1539) was the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. His birth is celebrated world-wide as Guru Nanak Gurpurab on Kartik Pooranmashi, the full-moon day in the month of Katak, October–November.
Guru Nanak has been called “one of the greatest religious innovators of all time”. He travelled far and wide teaching people the message of one God who dwells in every one of His creations and constitutes the eternal Truth. He set up a unique spiritual, social, and political platform based on equality, fraternal love, goodness, and virtue.
Guru Nanak’s words are registered in the form of 974 poetic hymns in the holy text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, with some of the major prayers being the Japji Sahib, the Asa di Var and the Sidh-Ghost. It is part of Sikh religious belief that the spirit of Guru Nanak’s sanctity, divinity and religious authority descended upon each of the nine subsequent Gurus when the Guruship was devolved on to them.
According to Sikh traditions, the birth and early years of Guru Nanak’s life were marked with many events that demonstrated that Nanak had been marked by divine grace. Commentaries on his life give details of his blossoming awareness from a young age. At the age of five, Nanak is said to have voiced interest in divine subjects.
Nanak was a Guru (teacher), and founded Sikhism during the 15th century. The fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, unity of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for social justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, and honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder’s life.
The Guru Granth Sahib is worshipped as the Supreme Authority of Sikhism and is considered the eleventh and final guru of Sikhism. As the first guru of Sikhism, Guru Nanak contributed a total of 974 hymns to the book.
Sikhism from Sikh, meaning a “disciple”, or a “learner”), is a monotheistic/panentheistic religion that originated in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent about the end of the 15th century. It is one of the youngest of the major world religions. The fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, unity of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for social justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, and honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder’s life.
Sikhism is based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Guru, and the ten successive Sikh gurus. Sikhism is a relatively recent religion that evolved in times of religious persecution. Two of the Sikh gurus – Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur, after they refused to convert to Islam, were tortured and executed by the Mughal rulers. The persecution of Sikhs triggered the founding of the Khalsa, as an order to protect the freedom of conscience and religion, with qualities of a “Sant-Sipāhī” – a saint-soldier. Sikhism has 25-28 million adherents worldwide and is the ninth-largest religion in the world.
2. MOSES (JUDAISM)
Moses in both the Septuagint and the New Testament) is a prophet in the Abrahamic religions. According to the Hebrew Bible, he was a former Egyptian prince who later in life became religious leader of Israelites and lawgiver, to whom the authorship of the Torah or acquisition of the Torah from Heaven is traditionally attributed. Also called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew, lit. “Moses our Teacher”), he is the most important prophet in Judaism. He is also an important prophet in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá’í Faith, and a number of other Abrahamic religions.
According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was born in a time when his people, the Israelites, an enslaved minority, were increasing in numbers and the Egyptian Pharaoh was worried that they might ally themselves with Egypt’s enemies. Moses’ Hebrew mother, Jochebed, secretly hid him when the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites.
Through the Pharaoh’s daughter (identified as Queen Bithia in the Midrash), the child was adopted as a foundling from the Nile river and grew up with the Egyptian royal family. After killing an Egyptian slavemaster (because the slavemaster was smiting a Hebrew to death), Moses fled across the Red Sea to Midian, where he encountered The Angel of the Lord, speaking to him from within a burning bush on Mount Horeb (which he regarded as the Mountain of God).
God sent Moses back to Egypt to demand the release of the Israelites from slavery. Moses said that he could not speak with assurance or eloquence, so God allowed Aaron, his brother, to become his spokesperson. After the Ten Plagues, Moses led the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died within sight of the Promised Land on Mount Nebo.
Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure and not a historical person. Rabbinical Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BCE; Jerome gives 1592 BCE, and James Ussher 1571 BCE as his birth year.
Judaism (from Latin: Iudaismus, derived from Greek Ἰουδαϊσμός, originally from Hebrew יהודה, Yehudah, “Judah”; in Hebrew: יהדות, Yahadut, the distinctive characteristics of the Judean ethnos) is an ancient monotheistic Abrahamic religion, with the Torah as its foundational text (part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible), and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, culture and way of life of the Jewish people.
Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship that God established with the Children of Israel. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth-largest religion in the world.
The history of Judaism spans more than 3,000 years. Judaism has its roots as a structured religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age.
Judaism is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions. The Hebrews and Israelites were already referred to as “Jews” in later books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther, with the term Jews replacing the title “Children of Israel”. Judaism’s texts, traditions and values strongly influenced later Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, Islam and the Baha’i Faith.
1. BAHA’U’LLAH (BAHAI)
Bahá’u’lláh ( “Glory of God”;born 12 November 1817 – 29 May 1892) was the founder of the Bahá’í Faith. He claimed to be the prophetic fulfilment of Bábism, a 19th-century outgrowth of Shaykhism, and, in a broader sense to be a Manifestation of God. He also claimed he was the fulfillment of the eschatological expectations of Islam, Christianity, and other major religions.
Bahá’u’lláh became a follower of the Báb in Persia in 1845. Three years after the Báb was executed, he was exiled to Baghdad (then a part of the Ottoman Empire), where in 1863 he proclaimed the Bahá’í Faith when he declared himself He whom God shall make manifest, a messianic figure in the religion of Bábism. Bahá’u’lláh based this announcement on an experience he had where he is said to have had a vision of the Maid of Heaven while imprisoned in the Síyáh-Chál in Tehran, Persia. He would be further exiled to Edirne and ultimately to the prison city of Acre, Palestine (present-day Israel), where he died. He wrote many religious works, most notably the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Kitáb-i-Íqán and Hidden Words.
Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings focus on the unity of God, religion, and mankind. Similar to other monotheistic religions, God is considered the source of all created things. Religion, according to Bahá’u’lláh, is renewed periodically by Manifestations of God, people who are made perfect through divine intervention and whose teachings are the sources of the major world religions throughout history. Unlike other divine messengers, Bahá’ís view Bahá’u’lláh as the first whose mission includes the spiritual unification of the entire planet through the eventual eradication of racism and nationalism. Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings include the need for a world tribunal to adjudicate disputes between nations, a uniform system of weights and measures, and an auxiliary language that could be spoken by all the people on earth. Bahá’u’lláh also taught that the cycles of revelatory renewal will continue in the future, with Manifestations of God appearing about every thousand years.
The Bahá’í Faith is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people. Established by Bahá’u’lláh in 1863, it initially grew in the Middle East and now has between 5-7 million adherents, known as Bahá’ís, spread out into most of the world’s countries and territories, with the highest concentrations in India and Iran.
The religion was born in Iran, where it has faced ongoing persecutions since its inception. It grew from the mid-19th century Bábí religion, whose founder reinterpreted Shia Islam and said that God would soon send a prophet in the manner of Jesus or Muhammad.