Human nature is such that we naturally imitate those with whom we are familiar and mimic people we love and respect, a child will imitate words mannerisms and general characteristics that it encounters, there will always be a certain level of influence from our upbringing. Needless to say as we grow into adulthood we form our own ideas but influences are always around.
A simple example would be that we see multitudes getting the same haircut or dressing a certain way simply because of their favourite celebrity. It is also true to say that we may choose a totally different path from the one we grew up with, but as a general norm the above examples stand.
The All-Knowing Lord who created our nature in His wisdom chose to send Messengers who were the highest examples and would be worthy of imitation. These Messengers had to be human beings in order for us to be able to relate, had Allah(swt) sent Angels then we would have complained that the Angel dosen’t understand what we as Humans have to endure.
There are examples in the Quran where Angels were sent as Messengers for a specific purpose and not as Messengers to guide and be examples for the humans. When the Angel came to Lady Marium(s.a) to announce the birth of Jesus (a.s), this Angel is called a messenger in the Quranic Ayat but this message is of course different to that of the Prophets (a.s) and Imams (a.s).
Allah(swt) is Al-Adil (The Just) and it is against the justice of Allah(swt) that HE (swt) would send Angels to be the examples for men, or men for angels, additionally Allah (swt) does not enforce his will even though he has the power to do so, Allah (swt) has given his servants a free choice to accept, reject, or ignore.
The Prophets(a.s) and Imams(a.s) are true examples of what the human being should aim to become, Islam teaches that humans are pure in essence and can with Allah’s(swt) help reach high levels of purity, not an easy task but we should continue striving to achieve this.
All Messengers came with the same message which is why there is no distinction made between any of them, the core being the belief in the One True God, the prescribed message was always of Islam but it was presented according to the level of development within humanity at those times. According to narrations there have been 124,000 Prophets(a.s) who were assigned this lofty station, some came for entire nations some for small groups and some to teach a particular family or even an individual. Prophet Mohammed (saaw) is unique in that he was the final messenger the ‘Seal of Prophethood’ and came for everyone, the universal messenger.
Contrary to the virtuous and compassionate nature of the pure souls, we have the other extreme when self proclaimed leaders come to positions of power, this more often than not leads to egotism and self importance, these leaders in the main are looking after their own interests and the interests of those that they favour. Even if someone came to power with every good intention the chances are that they will succumb to temptation and injustice will ensue. Imam Ali (a.s) “One who comes into power often oppresses”. Pharaoh is a very good example of this, in fact Pharaoh became so arrogant due to his temporary worldly station that he professed himself to be God ! (28.38) And Pharaoh said: O chiefs! I do not know of any god for you besides myself;
In conclusion, Allah(swt) Himself knows to whom power and authority should be given, these leaders are pure souls, they are absolute monotheists which means they champion the rights and needs of all.
(2.136) Say: We believe in Allah (swt) and (in) that which had been revealed to us, and that which was revealed to Ibrahim (a.s) and Ismail (a.s) and Ishaq (a.s) and Yaqoub (a.s) and the tribes, and (in) that which was given to Musa (a.s) and Isa (a.s), and (in) that which was given to the Prophets from their Lord, we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit.
(25.20) And We have not sent before you any messengers but they most surely ate food and went about in the markets
(21.107) And We have not sent you ‘O Prophet’ but as a mercy to the worlds.
(17.95) Say: Had there been in the earth angels walking about as settlers, We would certainly have sent down to them from the heaven an angel as an apostle.
Ayatollah Khamenei “If the Holy Prophet (saaw) were among us today, he would invite us to have unity”
The Quran has named 25 Prophets(a.s), others are mentioned but only the example or story without the name given. Prophet Moses (a.s) is the most cited Prophet in the Quran as there are vast lessons for every nation from Prophet Moses’s (a.s) story.
Adam, Idris (Enoch), Nuh (Noah), Hud, Saleh, Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Lut (Lot), Yaqoob (Jacob), Yousuf (Joseph), Shu’aib, Ayyub (Job), Musa (Moses), Haroon (Aaron), Dhu’l-kifiel (Ezekiel), Dawood (David), Sulaiman (Solomon), Ilias (Elias), Al-Yasa (Elisha), Yunus (Jonah), Zakariyya (Zechariah), Yahya (John the Baptist), Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad (saaw)