very religion has an individual that provides guidance to its followers on behalf of a divine being. This agent is known as Prophet and the message or direction received by the prophet is called as prophecy or revelation. As you know, different religions including Islam, Christianity and Judaism are founded on the teachings of these prophets. In Islam there are no female prophets but in Christianity there are female prophets.
For Muslims Quran is a complete document, and in Holy Quran, there are names of twenty six prophets and all of them are male. In addition to this, Quran says:
“For We surely sent among every People a messenger.”Al Quran
But there is no mention of female prophets. In Christianity on the other hand, there are female prophets mentioned in the Old Testament. According to Old Testament female prophets are just like other prophets sent by God to deliver his message.
Female prophets in Old Testament
In Old Testament, women prophets are mentioned in few places. Their details are being given below.
In the Old Testament, you can find reference of Prophetess Miriam and she emerges in the Exodus. Miriam was the sister of Aaron and Moses. Since her childhood, she prophesied a number of things including the birth of his brother who would be a source of deliverance for Israelites from the enslavement of Pharoah. The new Pharoah had ordered to kill the new born boys in order to stop the increasing number of Israelis. But the prophecy of Miriam proved true. In Micah, the sixth of the twelve Old Testament books, God says:
“I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.” (Micah 6:4)Old Testament
In this way Miriam’s prophecy proved right when she along with Moses and Aaron led her people to their promised land and relieved them of the slavery. On their way to the land, when they crossed the Red sea, Miriam again played an important role as described in Exodus:
“Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted. Both horse and driver He has hurled into the sea.”(Exodus 15:20–21)
Deborah is another powerful prophetess according to Bible. It was believed that she heard God’s messages and shared them with others. She is one of the five prophets that are declared as female prophets in the Old Testament. Additionally, she is also one of the only female judges mentioned in the Bible. She had a prominent role as a warrior as well. In book of judges, Judges 5 in the Old Testament, the song of Deborah is a tribute to the valor of Deborah:
“Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, break out in song! Arise, Barak! Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam. The remnant of the nobles came down; the people of the Lord came down to me against the mighty… So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”
Huldah was a prophetess in the reign of King Josiah. She was famous during her times because she advised people on different issues and her words were considered as divine. King Josiah trusted her. She prophesied a national disaster because of disobedience to the commands of God. As a result of this prophecy, new reforms were introduced and it resulted in prosperity. King and the people began to follow the path of God.
With these female prophets discussed in the Bible, you can very well differentiate the existence and role of female prophets in Islam and Christianity. There are no female prophets in Islam but Christianity believes in the existence of the female prophets.