Ask A Question About Islam And Muslims
The prophets are 124000, while the Rasools (Messengers) are 313 only out of all the prophets. Every messenger is a prophet but no vice versa.
Rasool (messenger) is higher in degree than Nabi, because Nabi gets revelations and teachings from Allah (SWT) to guide him with out a message to convey, while Rasool gets revelations and message to convey to others.
Did Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) practice any kind of mysticism which culminated into Allah (SWT) bestowing prophethood on him?
A literal reading of Twelver Shi'a hadith indicates that Allah created and appointed the prophet as a Prophet prior to his existence in this world. So it was not due to activities that he chose to do, such as mysticism, that he became a prophet.
Of course, he had some practices which can be called "mystical" such as spending time alone in the cave of Hira for worship. It is natural that someone who is very close to God would want to choose to do those activities.
My understanding is that the time "before" this world is outside of chronological time, and therefore Allah did this with full knowledge of what was before and after. So therefore Allah knew the Prophet's merits over all people, rather than just only pre-designing him as the Prophet. That is, it is a combination of the individual merit of the Prophet and the creational will of Allah. This was why he was born with 'ismah; otherwise, it might be unfair for Allah to grant some poeple 'ismah and not others. Other people may have different understandings. But in any case it was not solely due to the Prophet "earning" the prophethood through ascetic or mystical practices.
However, some other people, including some people who are not Muslims but who feel the Prophet was close to God, might see it this way and might agree with your view.
Can you refer me to some books that discuss the evidence of God's existence as well as the prophethood of Muhammad (s)?
Although the fact of the existence of God is very clear for any one who thinks properly, those who need more detailed evidence can read thousands of books written by leading scholars and thinkers. You can read many books on this website al-Islam.org discussing the evidence of God's existence and the prophethood of Muhammad (SAWA).
hundreds of websites which are easily accessible on the internet have hundreds of books on these subjects.
Is there any basis to the accusation that some Shia claim that Jibreel (a) betrayed the trust and the prophethood belonged to Ali rather than the Prophet Muhammad (s)?
To add to the answer:
The Qur'anic discussion of angels emphasizes that they are obedient to the command of Allah and "do what they are told". (16:50)
They are also directly aware of the existence of Allah in a way that is more veiled for most humans, and don't experience the animal desires that humans do (which lead to things like greed, jealousy, etc), so they would have no reason to disobey Allah especially in something big like this.
According to some Shi'i narrations, both the Prophet (S) and Imam Ali (A) instructed some of the angels in worship before the time of the earthly realm, so they would have been acquainted with both of them and not had a reason to prefer one over the other. Many narrations about this beforetime also indicate the angels' acknowledgment of the Prophet (S) along with the rest of the Ahl al-Bayt (A) and not prioritizing one over another.