Status of Socrates in Islam

Not all the prophets and messengers of the One-True-God (Allah Yahweh Ahura-Mazda Parameshawara Eshawara) have been named in Quran; only about twenty five of them have been mentioned in Quran by their names; for others general characteristics have been mentioned of a truthful prophet messengers.

It is one of the basic principles of Islam to believe in all the prophets messengers of the One-True-God Allah wherever they have come in the world. One cannot deny any of them as the denial of any one of them may mean denial of the office of prophet- hood and this way denial of all the prophets and messengers; as they all have been sent by the One-True-God.

One such prophet is Socrates.

We give here some of the verses of Quran that give characteristics of a prophet in this connection:

1. [35:25] Verily, We have sent thee with the truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and as a Warner; and there is no people to whom a Warner has not been sent.
[35:26] And if they treat thee as a liar, those who were before them also treated their Prophets as liars. Their Messengers came to them with clear Signs, and with the Scriptures, and with the illuminating Book.

2. [16:37] And We did raise among every people a Messenger, preaching: ‘Worship Allah and shun the Evil One.’ Then among them were some whom Allah guided and among them weresome who became deserving of ruin. So travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who treated the Prophets as liars!

3. [34:35] And We never sent a Warner to any city but the wealthy ones thereof said, ‘Surely, we disbelieve in what you have been sent with.’

4. [15:11] And We sent Messengers before thee among parties of ancient peoples.
[15:12] And there never came to them any Messenger but they mocked at him.

5. [18:7] So haply thou wilt grieve thyself to death for sorrow after them if they believe not in this discourse.

It won’t be out of place here that The fourth successor to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be upon him), the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (who believe him to be the Promised Messiah, the grand unifier of the Latter Days) pays homage to Socrates in his marvelous book “Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth” in the following words:

“He was a prophet among philosophers and a philosopher among prophets. He believed in the unshakeable Unity of God. Of His absolute goodness he did not entertain the slightest doubt. This is what he pronounced during his last speech before the Athenian senate. He believed in God, the possessor of absolute goodness, not merely through his intellectual and metaphysical exercise, he believed because he had personally known Him as such, right from the early days of his childhood.

Nay, he was brought up in the very lap of God with His personal love and care. This was Socrates who also tackled this question with profound logic but it is a logic largely spent on proving the impossibility of any evil originating from God. When it came to the issue of evil and suffering in the world, he dismissed them as human errors, logically impossible to have emanated from Him.

He had to be good, He was good and He could not be anything but good. Hence, evil must have been generated by earthly people, God having no share in their defiled practices. His answer was simple but left room for others to assail him philosophically so that ultimately he could be driven to an indefensible position.”

Ahmad, Hazrat Mirza Tahir – Khalifatul Masih IV. Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth. (Islam
International Publications Ltd, 1998. 174, 175.

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad Khalifatul Masih IV argued further in his book that Socrates was a prophet of the ancient Greeks.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV writes further:

“There must have been prophets before and after him but of them we can only infer from some oblique references by Socrates himself. For instance, he is known to have said that he is not the only one from God who has been the recipient of revelation; there have been great men before who did the same to serve the cause of goodness. Again, he warns Athenians not to put him to death otherwise they would never see the like of him again, except if God so desires to teach the right path to the Athenians by sending someone else.”

Ahmad, Hazrat Mirza Tahir – Khalifatul Masih IV. Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth. (Islam
International Publications Ltd, 1998). 73.

For more details on the subject one could read the following article titled “Socrates: Philosopher or Prophet” at the following link.

Click to access Socrates.pdf

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