The next article of faith mentioned by the Prophet (s) in the Hadith Jibreel (posted in full below) is belief in His (swt) messengers.
A messenger is a human who was chosen by Allah (swt) to receive revelation from Him, and who was commanded to pass that revelation on to the people. A person cannot, by himself, through spiritual exercises or otherwise, reach the level of being a messenger or prophet. It is Allah alone Who choses His messengers and He (swt) knows best whom to choose.
Adam (s) was the first Prophet but he was not a messenger because he did not convey revelation to his people. The first messenger was Noah (s). There are a total of 25 prophets and messengers mentioned in the Qur’an. They are Adam, Noah, Idris, Salih, Abraham, Hud, Lot, Jonah, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Shu’ayb, Moses, Aaron, Elysha, Dhul Kfli, David, Zakariyya, Solomon, Elyas, John, Jesus and Muhammad – may Allah’s peace and blessings be on them all.
Every group of people were sent messengers, and these messengers came with the same fundamental teaching, as Allah (s) says in the Qur’an:
“And verily, We have sent among every nation a Messenger proclaiming, ‘Worship Allah [alone] and avoid all false deities'” (Surah Al-Nahl:36)
This is one aspect that distinguishes Muslims from earlier people – we must believe in all the prophets and messengers and the truth of what they sent.
It is important to understand that the messengers were human being and did not possess divine attributes of any kind. They ate, drank, walked in the market place, suffered illness and death. The had no knowledge of the unseen except for what Allah (swt) had bestowed upon them. They were the most knowledgeable of Allah (swt) and the best worshippers and servants of Allah. The messengers also had perfect characters and were also prevented from lying, falling into major sins, judging by their own desires or adding or diminshing anything from the religion. Allah (swt) also gave the messengers miracles as clear proofs to support the truth of their message to mankind.
Allah’s final messenger, Muhammad (s) is the seal of the Prophets, and the last to bring revelation to mankind. As Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messeneger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets” (Surah Al-Ahzaab:40)
Therefore, we must put our love for the messenger and what he guides us to, above our love for our selves, our parents and our offspring. One of the companions of the Prophet (s) Anas (r) reported that the Prophet (s) said:
“None of you is a true believer unless I become more dear to him that his own father, his son and all the people.” (recorded in Bukhari and Muslim)
Take a moment to reflect on whether the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the example he set is more important to you than your own desires or the opinions of your friends and family.