Do not suppose the statements of the prophets to be true; they are all fabrications. Men lived comfortably till they came and spoiled life. The sacred books are only such a set of idle tales as any age could have and indeed did actually produce.
- Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri
Quote Source: Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics: Life - Mulla (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics) (Volume 8)
I can not bring myself to agree with this statement, I personally feel discomfort or need is the mother of all invention. I think there have always been prophets in one form or another and they continue to spring up as the need arises.
Unfortunately these prophets usually are out for selfish needs and even if not not much time passes in the grand scheme of things before selfish people get a hold of the influence these unselfish prophets generate.
Keep in mind that almost all acts are selfish in one way or another as they appease what we our selves to be the best action at the time for whatever reason we conjure ourselves at the time we conjure them. For example we feed the starving because we feel it would be better if they were fed. or we teach the uneducated because we feel they would be better off taught. Some people feel this sort of action is selfless but its not. it may be beneficial to others but you do such things because they are things you would like to see done or you feel it it beneficial for you to do so.
Prophets often think what they are doing will be beneficial to the world, and what they do may actually benefit the world in some ways but it's hard to determine the effects their actions will have which will cause dis-benefit.
Going forward we can only tell for sure what has happened and we can't be sure thing would not have happened without the profits but we can tell certain things have happened as a result of what prophets have preached. From this we can determine more bad has come of the intention of the prophets than has good even if this is the result of the selfish needs of others who took advantage of the less however still selfish needs of the prophets.