Question: The Holy Prophet is the last prophet. But what does it mean to accept that the former prophets also brought Islam to their tribes?
Answer (Meral Günel - Theologian):
As a term, Islam means a full acceptance of the religious teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and summiting to this acceptance. The religion brought by Prophet Muhammad ties with the religions of previous prophets on the basis that all divine religions are based on the oneness of Allah. The verse, “The religion before Allah is Islam” (Al-i-Imran 3/19) signifies that the former Holy books did not contain any names of religion; Judaism, Christianity were both names that were later constructed by their followers. Moreover, the following verses also exemplify the fact that the only religion Allah ever sent was in fact Islam: the saying of the apostles of Isa (Jesus), “thou bear witness that we are Muslims” (Al-i-Imran 3/52), the words about Abraham, “he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim,” and again, “He has named you ‘Muslims’, both before and in this (Revelation)” (al-Hajj 22/78).
Consequently, what had been brought by the previous prophets is within the framework of Islam, but we can say that divine wisdom had these doctrines complemented to perfection with the coming of Prophet Muhammad (Al-Maeda 5/3).