Next to the exalted person of the Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihe Wasallam) is the rank of all the prophets and the messengers, Greetings and Blessing unto all of them. Though they possess some preferences one on the other, but none besides them, even if he is a saint or an angel or holy companion or may be a member of the household of a prophet can ever attain the rank and status of a prophet irrespective of the nearness of Allah, which he/she attains. None can be more beloved and friendlier with Allah than the prophet. They were the Supreme Chiefs of the Exalted Assembly.
In fact they were so exalted that the Rab-ul-A’alameen (Raiser of the World) commands the Master and the Chief of the Prophets "Such are they (the prophets) who are guided by Allah, so follow them, who are guided" They are those who were guided by Allah so the Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihe Wasallam) was asked to follow them. Allah also reveals at another place in Quran "Then follow the religion of Ibrahim the Hanif (Upright). It was he (Ibrahim) who left all those who claim falsehood and bent towards the true religion". In short all the prophets are honorable and respectable and their dispositions are most high so it is obligatory on us to respect them.
Their slight denial or the act of finding faults with them or any act involving their contempt or any kind of insolence in their presence tantamount to infidelity. This kind of action against the Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihe Wasallam) is also regarded to be the disbelief in Allah. Further any comparison between them and the pious caliphs on the basis of equality or preferring any pious caliphs to a prophet is also an act of apostasy and atheism. It is a permanent obligation on the Muslims so they always look upon the prophets with such respectful attitude, which they actually deserve.
Beware! That even one hundredth part of such respect cannot be pronounced on others. So Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (Radi Allaho Anho) who happened to be the bondman of Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihe Wasallam) was ordered to follow their path (of the prophets) and to follow them in all other respects. Let our (human) wisdom beware that there is absolutely no chance of argument in this regard.