I have read one of your answer in which you have stated that Prophet S.A.W was blessed with prophethood at age of 40 but i have heared in friday talk(waaz) in our masjid that prophet S.A.W. was prophet(nabi) before the his birth but became messenger(RASOOL) at the age of 40 when Jibrael A.S. Reveiled the first verse of Quran or new sharia (law) began to revel. Please help me to clear my doubt.
The scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah are in total agreement that Prophethood was bestowed upon the Prophet (SAS) when he was 40 years of age. In this regard, the renowned scholar and Muhadith Hafiz Ibn Katheer writes, ‘According to Imam Ahmad, Aamir Shabi (AR) reported that Prophethood was bestowed on the Prophet (SAS) when he was 40 years old. (Seeratun-Nabi pg. 124)
The great scholar Allama Muhammad Idrees Kandlawi (AR) writes in his famous ‘Seeratul Mustafa’ ‘All the Muhaditheen (traditionists) and Mu’arikheen (historians) have unanimously stated that the Prophet (SAS) was bestowed with prophethood and messengership on a Monday. However, there is a difference of opinion regarding the month. Hafiz Ibn Abdul Barr (AR) states that he received prophethood on the 8th of Rabiul Awwal and at that time, his age was 40 years complete. The great scholar Muhammad bin Ishaq (AR) states that he was given prophethood on the 17th Ramadhan. Hence, at that time his age was 40 years and six months (to be exact). Regarding this second opinion, Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani has stated in his ‘Fathul Baari’, that this is the correct and preferred opinion, since the Prophet (SAS) use to seclude himself in the cave of Hira in the month of Ramadhan (Zarqaani vol.1 pg. 207; Fathul Baari vol.12 pg.313- Seeratul Mustafa vol.1 pg.145)
From these quotations, it becomes clear that the Prophet (SAS) became a prophet at the age of 40 years. Since he was also a Rasool (one to whom a Shariah and a book was given), it means that he was made a Rasool at the same time. The scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah have not divided nor differentiated between him becoming a prophet and becoming a Rasool. Allah Has made him a Rasool, and so, when he became a Prophet, he also was bestowed with the title of being a Rasool.
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan.