Khatmu-n-Nubuwwah – The Seal of Prophethood

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Written by Missionary Saheed O. Mikail- Falade

ما كان محمد أبا أحد من رجالكم ولكن رسول الله وخاتم النبيين وكان الله بكل شئ عليما

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the seal of the Prophets and Allah has full knowledge of all things” (Quran 33 verse 41)

All protocol duly observed:

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبراكاته

INTRODUCTION :

That a moon begins as a crescent and arrives at its perfection on the fourteenth night when it is called the full moon (Badr), is not an illusion but a well-known fact and a Universal Reality which is bereft of Scepticism. Such is a similitude of the seal of prophethood of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as the grandeur, excellence, and blessings of prophethood reached their apogee with the advent of that paragon of virtue, epitome of knowledge and best of mankind – Muhammad Rosulullah (SAW).

One of the accusations  leveled on the Ahamadiyyah Muslim Jama’at, among many others is that Jama’at Ahmadiyyah does not accept the holy prophet Muhammad (SAW) as Khatamun Nabiyyeen and has adopted a new doctrine which deviates from that of the Ummat (generation)of the past 1,300 years ago. Like many other unfounded allegations, this is not only absurd but also baseless.

The founder of Ahmadiyyah Muslim Community, Hadhrat Imam Mahdi and Promised Messiah (AS) once said in Al – Hakam 17th March, 1905 and I quote: “It is alleged that I and my Jama’at do not accept the Holy prophet Muhammad (SAW) as Khatamun Nabiyyeen. This is a great lie upon us. The strength certainty and full understanding with which we believe in the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to be Ktatamun Nabiyyeen and accept him as such, others do not believe in a hundred thousandth part of it”.

          Now, back to the afore quoted verse i.e

ما كان محمد أبا أحد من رجالكم ولكن رسول الله وخاتم النبيين وكان الله بكل شئ عليما

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and  Khatam-un-Nabiyyeen …”

Here, in the translation of the verse, the Arabic Appellation “Khatamun Nabiyyeen” is retained because on it hangs the meaning of the verse or better still, it is a pivot upon which the vessel of misconceptions rotates.

It is equivocally asserted that the Holy Quran teaches discontinuity of prophets of all kinds even among the followers of the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW). Therefore, I will like to look at the clause “Khatamun Nabiyyeen” from several perspectives which include:

  1. The literal and Metaphorical meanings of  the word “Khatmun” or “Khatam”
  2. The word Khatam in Arabic Grammar vis- a- vis Ahadeeth of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
  3. The assumed Polemics of the Opponents from the Glorious Quran and Ahadeeth in favour of discontinuity of Prophethood.
  4. The Holy Quar’an ‘s, the Sahabas’s and Imam Mahdi’s (as)   views on the concept of prophethood
  5. The stands of the Early Islamic Scholars ; and
  6. The Jama’at’s stand and the summary.

THE LITERAL AND METAPHORICAL MEANING OF THE WORD “KHATMUN” OR “KHATAM”

Etymologically, the word “Kahatam” is derived from the root word “Khatmun”. Literally, the words- “Khatmun” or “Tab’un” and the words- “Khatam” or “Khatim”  are almost synonymous and they could have the following meanings : a signet ring, a seal or stamp, a mark, impression or imprint. Also, the primary signification of the word “Khatmun” is the act of covering over the thing. It likewise signifies the protection of what is in a writing by marking or stamping a piece of clay upon it, or by means of a seal of anykind. Thus, keeping what I have said in view, the word “Khatam” has “signet- ring” as one of its primary meanings. And ring is worn so as to seek beautification. In Lisanul Arab, under “هجر “, a famous and reknown expert of Arabic Lexicon- Ibn Arabi says: قال الأعربي: يقال الختم الهجار والزينة

i.e, “ Khatam” could mean beautification and adornment”.  Therefore, “Khatam” also signifies embellishment or ornament, the best and most perfect.

Tropically, secondarily and metaphorically, the word “khatmun” or “Khatam” will mean reaching the end of the thing, the end or last part or portion and result or issue of a thing; the hollow of the back of neck among others. Some of the most outstanding Arabic Lexicons of Qur’an such as: Mufradat Imam Raghib, lane, Aqrab, Fath-ul-bari and Zurqanii support both primary and secondary meanings of the words “Khatmun”, “Khatam” or ‘Khatim”

  Thus, the expression: “Khatamun Nabiyyeen” would mean the seal of the prophets; the best and most perfect of the prophets; the embellishment and Ornament of the prophets. And of course, at the secondary level, it means last of the prophets but last of what kind of prophets? This is the question to be answered later.

THE WORD KHATAM IN ARABIC GRAMMAR VIS A VIS AHADEETH OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAW)

I will like to look at the word khatam grammatically in two faces. Firstly, keeping in mind the context of the verse now, let’s carefully examine the word “khatam” grammatically as it is used in the verse

ما كان محمد أبا أحد من رجالكم ولكن رسول الله وخاتم النبيين وكان الله بكل شئ عليما

In Arabic Grammar, the word “ولكن” is called  حرف الإستدراك and about  “حرف الإستدراك” it is written in the famous Lexicon- “As – Sihaa by “Al Jaoharii”: ولكن خفيفة وثقيلة: حرف عطف للإستدراك والتحقيق يوجب بها بعد نفي

i.e, “That the word “ولكن“either with “Tashdeed” of  “ ن  “ i.e., “  ولكنّ “ or without it i.e., “ولكن   “, is a word used for making a description specific and it is compulsory that, if before the word “  لكن“ or “لكنّ  “ the clause of sentence is negative, the positive clause always follows. As it is described above, that after “ولكن  “ it is compulsory that a positive clause of sentence should follow, we can see that “رسول الله  “  that “he is a Prophet” is a positive statement then, compulsorily “ وخاتم النبيين  “ must also be a positive conjucture or complementary. Hence, Arabic Grammar does not, in its rule to take the meaning of

“وخاتم النبيين “as “Last of Prophets” but Seal or Best of Prophets” for the former gives  negative meaning.

          Secondly, it has been proved beyond any iota of doubt in books of the Eminent Scholars and even in books of Ahadeeth that whenever the word “ خاتم  “ is used as “ إضافة        “ or “  مضاف    “ i.e Noun in Apposition either in Nominative Case, Accusative Case and Genitive Case. And the “  إليه مضاف “ i.e., “Appositive noun” is in “ جمع “ i.e., in plural form as we have it in case “النبيين  “ which must, under the rule  be in Genitive Case i.e.  مجرور  بإضافة then, the meaning will never be “Last’ but “Best” or Seal” or  Most Perfect”.

We have several clues and evidences of this usage in the books of Ahadeeth as well as in the books of the Early Prominent Scholars of Islam. Some of these clues go thus:

  1. In “ الأدب العربي للصف الثاني الثانوي   “ Al- Hassan bin Wahab wrote in one of his couplets of postmortem eulogies in praise of Abu Tamam a reknown Arabia poet, who died in 231 A.H, where he called him i.e., Abu Tamam “ خاتم الشعراء “ i.e. “Best of the Poets”. He says:

فجع القريض بخاتم الشعراء # وغدير روضتها حبيب الطائي

ماتا معا فتجاورا في حفرة # وكذاك كانا قبل في الأحياء

Meaning:

  • Poetry is grieved because of the “Seal of Poets” And the pond of it orchards Habib of Tayy!
  • They died together and shared the same grave; as they used to be when they were alive!

          Now, can we say there were no other poets since the demise of Abu Tamam in 9th Century? There were countless of Arab Poets and non Arab Poets of medieval period i.e, Islamic Golden Age (7th – 13th). Among Arab poets after Abu Tamam were: Al – Mutanabbi, Al – Jariir, Abu – Firas al Hamdani etc. and among non Arabs of the period were: Abu Sa’eed Abul Khyr, Monsur Al – Hallaj, Farrukhi Sistanii etc.

  • In Hadith Musnad Ahmad Bin HAmbal and Kan –ul- Ummal fis-Sunanil Aqwal wal Af’aal, it was reported that Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) called Hadhrat Abdul Mutallib, his Uncle “Khatamul Muhajiriin” i.e “Best of the Emmigrants”. The text of the hadeeth goes عن سهل بن سعد السّاعدي قال: لمّا قدم رسول اللّه (صلعم) من بدر استأذنه العبّاس ان يأذن له ان يرجع إلي مكّه حتّي يهاجر منها إلي رسول الله (صلعم): أطمئنّ ياعمّ فإنّك خاتم المهاجرين في الهجرة كما انا خاتم النّبيّن في النّبوّة

i.e Hadhrat Sahl Bin Sa’ad As Sa’idee said: When the Messenger of Allah (SAW) returned from the battle of  Badr, his uncle Abass sought permission to return to Mecca, and from there migrate to the Messenger of Allah (SAW). At this, the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Rest assured O Uncle! You are as “Khatamul Muhajireen” in Hijrah-“migration” as I am Khatamu –n – Nabiyyeen” in Nubuwwah- “Prophethood”–(Kanzul Ummal Volume 13 page 519).

3-      Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also called Hazrat Ali (RA) “Best or the Seal of the Saints or Mystics”. In Musnad Ahmad and Kanzul Ummal, he (SAW) was reported to have said: “ أنا خاتم الأنبياء وأنت يا عليّ خاتم الأولياء“ i.e, “I am the Seal of Prophets and you, Ali is the Seal of the Saints”.

Here, if we accept Hazrat Ali has the “Last of Saints”, why do we have the likes of Imam Ghazal, Sheikh Abdul Qadri Jaylaanii wa Kaylanii, Imam Abu Abdullah Ibn Arabi, Shah Waliullah of Delvi etc who lived  after Ali (RA) and whose mystical ways of life are model for the contemporary Sufis. The fact here is that after Ali (RA), there would no be any saint of his calibre in grandeur and excellence.

  • In September 1974, during the exclusive interview section between one of the pressmen of the most popular magazine of the era called “AFRICA” and the then Boxing Heavyweight Champion – Muhammad Ali, these conversations transpired concerning the forth- coming international Heavyweight Championship fight between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali in Zaire, the press man asked: “What do you think the impact of the Zaire bout is going to be on Africa Boxing”?

Muhammad Ali: “None at all. After us, there won’t be no more boxing in Africa. We’re just a one nightstand; this ain’t   going to make no more fighters”. At the end of the interview, the pressman also asked: “What do you think is the future of the boxing after your fight in Zaire with George Foreman”?

Muhammad Ali: “I am the end of boxing; I am the Seal after me it’s all over. No more footwork. No more shuffles. I mean for heavyweights. No more Poems. No more predictions. No more Colour. No more Class. I’m the Last. I am the master.”

Even when Muhammad Ali could call himself “   خاتم الملاكمين “ i.e, “Seal, Best or Last of Boxers” a lay man  could easily decode that this is a style of extolling oneself. He said: No more footwork and No more Shuffles. These are the Skillful acts of a boxer on a ring which simply means that “No any other person, even after him who could as skilful as he was during his reign. Therefore, this is a syllogistic polemic or inference which is not necessarily to be valid. Besides, there have been many Heavyweight Champions after him even, in the modern and contemporary time e.g.   Iron Mike Tyson (now Malik Abdul Aziz), Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and currently, Wladimir Khitschko, and his brother Vitali Khitschko are World Boxing Heavyweight Champions.

In a nutshell, keeping in view all my explanations, I think every one in search of truth should have convincingly understood that the word خاتم as it is used for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is used in the concept of أفضليّة i.e., “Best of the Bests”

THE ASSUMED POLEMICS OF THE OPPONENTS FROM THE GLORIOUS QURAN AND AHADEETH IN FAVOUR OF DISCONTINUITY OF PROPHETHOOD.

          At this junction, I think it’s pertinent to quickly look at the several arguments put up by our Muslim brothers both from the Glorious Quran and Ahadeeth to buttress their points on finality of prophethood and Insha Allah, where necessary, refutations and corrections shall be made.

 Firstly, Quran chapter 5 verse 4 is usually quoted by our Muslim brothers where Allah (SWT) says: “  اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم وأتممت عليكم نعمتي ورضيت لكم الإسلام دينا       “

i.e, “This Day I have perfected your Religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”

Our brothers are of the view that “نعمتي ““My Favour” denotes “  نبوّة “ i.e, “Prophethood”. And Allah says He had made it completed “ أتممت عليكم i.e, Completed it upon generation of Muhammad (SAW). So, this verse according to them means that prophethood of Holy prophet Muhammad (SAW) had terminated with the revelation of this verse.

          Now, if the phrase “أتممت عليكم “is the clue to prove the “finality of prophethood”, then what do our brother opine about these other verses of the Holy Quran:

ثمّ آتينا موسي الكتاب تمام علي الذي أحسن وتفصيلا لكلّ شئ وهدي ورحمة لعلّهم بلقاء ربّهم يؤمنون

i.e.,  “ Moreover, We gave Moses (AS) the Book completing the favour upon him who did good and an explanation  of all necessary things, and a guidance and a Mercy. That they might believe in the meeting with their Lord” (Q6 VS115)

          As it is clear from this verse that Moses’s book TAORAH (Old Testament) was also “ تماما “completing like Quran. The question now arises. If the Old Testament was complete then what was the need of sending many prophets after him- Moses? (A.S). Why INJEEL (New Testament) was revealed after completion of TAORAH?

At this junction, if we read the Holy Quran with a careful mind, we will come to know that whenever the word “ نعمت “ i.e “favour” is used, it is interpreted by Quran as follows:

١.  ومن يطع اللّه ورسول فؤلئك مع الذين أنعم الله عليهم من الّنبيّين والصّدّيقين والشّهداء والصّالحين وحسن أولئك رفيقا 

“And who so obeys Allah and this Messenger of His shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, namely, the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs, and Righteous. An excellent companions are these.” (Q4 VS 70)

٢.  وإذ قال موسي لقومه ياقوم أذكروا نعمة اللّه عليكم إذ جعل فيكم أنبياء وجعلكم ملوكا وآتاكم ما لم يؤت أحدا من العالمين

“And remember when Moses said to His people: “O my people! Call in mind the favour of Allah upon you, when He appointed Prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the people.” (Q5 VS 21)

The two aforementioned verses clearly open that the words “نعمة “i.e., “favour” in Quran is used in the following essence:

  1. Nubuwwat i.e Prophethood
  2. Siddiqiyyat i.e State of being truthful
  3. Shuhadat i.e Martyrdom
  4. Salihiyyat i.e Righteousness
  5. Mulukiyyat i.e Kingship

          Thus, if we go with the meaning of our non Ahmadi brother it will mean that not only Nubuwwah i.e., Prophethood had terminated but Siddiqiyyat, i.e., State of being truthful, Shuhadat, i.e., Martyrdom, Salihiyyat, i.e., Righteousness, and Mulukiyyat, i.e., Kingship had altogether been ceased! This is not only untrue, but also against the known historical facts. The true fact is that after the blessed advent of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), all the five ranks were not terminated and up till today, people are becoming Siddiqeen, Shuhadaa, Soliheen and Muluuk. Even Nabiyyeen i.e state of being prophet is not an exceptional for Allah,(SWT) also bestowed this on this Ummah.  Alhamdulillah Rabbil ‘Alameen.

Now, apart from the misconstrued verses quoted above, there are several Ahadeeth which they also believed to have supported “End of Prophethood”. Here are few of them:

  1. In Bukhari, Kitab- ul- Anbiya, Bab Ma Dhukira Ann Bani Israil, Hadith Number 3268, Holy Prophet (SAW) was reported to have said “لانبيّ بعدي “No prophet after me”

2        In “ جامع الصحيح لإمام حسين مسلم بن الحجّاج الجزء الثالث  ORأو في سنن النّسائي باب فضل مسجد النبيّن والصلاة فيه Holy Prophet (SAW) was reported to have said: (35 صفحة  2 مجلّد   )

… فإنّي آخر الأنبياء وإنّ مسجدي آخر المساجد i.e, “ I am the last of the Prophets and my Mosque is the last of the Mosque”

3        In (127 مسند الإمام أحمد ابن حنبل : المجلّد الرابع , صفحة  ) Holy prophet (SAW) was also reported saying:  … إنّي عبد اللّه وخاتم النبيّين i.e. “I am the Servant of Allah and Seal of Prophets”

As I said earlier, all the aforementioned Ahadeeth are in consonance with finality of prophethood, according to our muslims brothers. However, here are my submission:                                                                                       In the first Hadith quoted i.e.,   لا نبيّ بعدي , the word “  لا “   needs grammatical analysis.

In Arabic Grammar, there are different types of “لا “. The “   لا “which is used in the hadith is called “لا

 النّافي للكمال  “i.e, “La” which appears to negate the  excellence not “لا النّافي للجنس “i.e., “La” which appears to negate possibility of the species. Thus, in this case, the hadith could simply mean that “there will not be a prophet who will have the same excellence and grandeur as I have but other kind or species of prophets of less excellence may emerge”.

Likewise, one of the above quoted Ahadeeth says:  … فإنّي آخر الأنبياء وإنّ مسجدي آخر المساجد

i.e., “I am the Last of the Prophets, and my mosque is the Last of the Mosques. It is a pity that people, atimes out of sentiment and ignorance interpret the Holy Quran or Ahadith of the Holy Prophet (SAW) wrongly and thereby mislead hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

 While explaining this hadith, the  2nd Khalifah of Imam Mahdi (AS) – Hadhrat Mirza Bashrudeen Mahmud Ahmad  in his book – Invitation to Ahmadiyyah said and i quote: “If Holy Prophet is literally the Last of the Prophets, as they believe, then the mosque which he built in Medina ( مسجد النبوي ) is literally the Last of the Mosques. It would be wrong, therefore, to build any mosque after the Holy Prophet’s mosque at Medina. But nobody sees any contradiction between the meaning put today on the first part of the saying and the meaning put on the second part of the same saying. The first part is taken to mean the termination of every kind of prophethood with the advent of Holy Prophet (SAW). But the second part is not likewise taken to mean the end of mosque building despite the fact that “آخر  “  preceded both words i.e., “   آخر الأنبياء  and “ المساجد آخر  meaning “ Last of Prophets and Last of Mosques” respectively.

These very people who believe in the termination of prophethood see no harm in building more mosques. In fact, their Zeal for building mosques is excessive. There are towns which contain more mosques than are really required; many, therefore, remain without worshippers. In many towns, mosques are to be found at short distances from each other, so that their superfluity is glaring evident”. Hence, if the expression, “the last of the prophets” entails the abolition of  prophethood of all kinds, then the expression “last of the  mosques” must entail the abolition of mosque building after the prophet’s mosque.

In addition, our Muslim brothers should know that this is linguistic style of holy prophet’s speeches.To buttress this, there is an hadith in the same book of  (Bukhari, Kitab Imam Wa Nudhur, Bab Kayfa Kanat  Yameenu Nabiyy). Holy prophet was reported to have said:        وإذا هلك قيصر فلا قيصر بعده إذا هلك كسري فلا كسري بعده                                                                  

“i.e., “Khosrow will be ruined, and there will be no Khosrow after him and Caeser will be ruined and there will be no Caesar after him” The question now is “What does this means? Does it mean that after that Khosrow II, the then Khosrow Parvis known as “Khosrow the Victorious” died 628 AD, there was no other Khosrow? Or does it mean that after the demise of Ceasar no other Ceasar ruled? It will be pertinent to know here that “Khosrow” was just a title of the then “Persian Kingdom” of the Empire while “Ceaser” was also a title of any “Emperor of the then “Roman Empire”. History has recorded many Khosrows and Ceasars after these two great men of the ancient time.

Therefore, the prophecy simply means that the greatness, victory and glory recorded by these two would never be matched or surpassed by any of the subsequent generation of the two “Empires”. Besides, “Al – Khuttabii” said in his book – Fathul- Barii, a well known and noble book of interpretation of Sahih Bukhari that: فلا قيصر بعده يملك مثل ما يملك  معناه

i.e., “That when the Ceaser will die, than there will not be any Caeser again who will reign like him”.

Lastly, before I quit on the style of prophet’s speeches and his linguistic analogical style, let me bring this famous Arabic Idiom as my supportive clue. In Maodua’at Kabir Page 59 & 81, we read “ لا فتي الاّعليّ ولا سيف إلا ذو الفقار

i.e “There is no man like Ali (RA) and there is no sword like “Dhul Fiqar” (The Sword of Hadrat Ali (RA) ). Going through the wordings of this idiom these questions may be asked:

(1) Was there no man born after Hadhrat Ali either in Arabia Land or any other place in the World?

(2) And was there no sword made after Dhul Fiqar – Ali’s sword? Certainly the answers are nothing but Capital No! Many men of action were born after Hadhrat Ali (RA) and many swords were made after Dhul Fiqar. There are many Men of  Bravery and the World recognized them as “THE GREATS” such as:

  • Cyrus – The Great  i.e.,   {Cyrus II, The Conqueror & Founder of Achaemenian Empire in Iran}
  • Alexander­ – The Great  i.e.,  {Alexander III, The King of Macedonia of Persian Empire}
  • Nepoleon of France              {In history we have Nepoleon I, II, & III}
  • Adolf Hitler of Germany      {The Cause of 2nd World War 1939 – 1945}
  • Idi Amin of Uganda              {who ruled between 1971 –1979 although wicked but brave ruler}  to mention but few.

However, the excellence in bravery and praiseworthiness which Hadhrat Ali (RA) possessed was not possessed by any other “Great” of the World. Likewise, the defeats done by “Dhul Fiqar” were not executed by any other sword.

THE HOLY QUR’ANS, THE SAHABAS’S AND IMAM MAHDI’S (AS)  VIEWS ON THE CONCEPT OF PROPHETHOOD

          In the Glorious Quran, Allah (swt) did not leave us in scepticism nor in darkness as per whether or not prophet comes after departure of Holy prophet Muhammad (SAW). There are several verses of Quran which unambiguously explain this controversial concept but Allah says in Quran 3 verse 8 :

وما يذّكر إلا ّأولوا الألباب

i.e “. . . And non heed except those gifted with understanding”.Thus, some of the verses that prove continuity of prophethood after the demise of Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) are as follows:

                                   اهدنا الصّراط المستقيم     صراط الذّين أنعمت عليهم    

i.e., “Guide us in the right part”.“The path of those on whom Thou bestowed Thy blessings . . .. Q1 vs 6 -7. On these verses from Suratul Fatihah, Hazrat Imam Mahdi (AS) said: “It is a pity that ignorant Muslims of this age do not appreciate the Holy prophet (SAW) as he deserves, and therefore they stumble at every step. They interprete the Seal of Prophethood in a manner that is derogatory of the Holy prophet (SAW) and does not hold him to praise as if he had no power to bestow spiritual grace upon his followers or help perfect them spiritually, and had been appointed merely to teach them the law. God Almighty has taught Muslims the prayer:

اهدنا الصّراط المستقيم صراط الذّين أنعمت عليهم    

If the Muslims are not the heirs of the previous prophets and have no share in the favours that were bestowed upon them, why were they taught this prayer? It is a pity that Muslims, on account of their bigotry and ignorance, do not reflect duly on these verses” (Haqiqat- ul- Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in vol 22, pp 99-104, foot note).

          Now, a very curious fellow may reasonably ask: fine!, we pray that Allah guide us to the path of those He has bestowed His favours or blessings upon who are those? To answer this, Allah said in another verse of the Holy Quran:

.  ومن يطع اللّه ورسول فؤلئك مع الذين أنعم الله عليهم من الّنبيّين والصّدّيقين والشّهداء والصّالحين وحسن أولئك رفيقا 

i.e. “And who so obeys Allah and this Messenger of His shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings (or favours), namely, the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous. And excellent companions are these”. (Q 4 vs 70.)

In explaining this verse, the 2nd Khalifah of Imam Mahdi – Hazrat Bashrudeen Mahmud Ahmad once said: “It is evident from this verse that when a believer prays for the path of those who have been rewarded by God’s blessings, he prays for the company of prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the virtuous. Therefore, as God has taught us this prayer (Q1 verses 6-7) through His prophet, a prayer we repeat about fifty (50) times every day and as the straight path for which we pray has been explained by God Himself as the path at the end of which believers find themselves in the company of prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the virtuous, who can then assert and how can it be possible that, for the followers of the Holy prophet, the door to every kind of prophethood is closed? Would not such a thought be ridiculous? Can God teach anything ridiculous? Is it possible that He should, on the one hand, exhort us to pray for our inclusion among the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the virtuous and the other, tell us that the reward of prophethood is now banned for over? God forbid that this should be so”.

          Thus, the Sahabas (Companions) of Holy Prophet (SAW) fully understood this explanation that was why they too gave their submissions on support for continuity of prophethood. The following Ahadeeth are the views of the companions on the “Seal of Prophethood.”These Ahadeeth were culled from these 2 books:

 ١. (تفسير الفخر الرّازي للإمام محمد الرّازي فخر الدّين (الجزء الحادي عشر) )

٢. (الدّرّ المنثور في التفسير المأثور)

The Ahadeeth go thus :

١. واخرج ابن أبي شيبة عن الشعي رضي اللّه عنه قال : قال رجل عند المغيرة بن أبي شعبة ” صلّي الله علي محمّد خاتم الأنبياء لا نبيّ بعده, فقال المغيرة حسبك إذا قلت خاتم الأنياء, فإنّا كنّا نحدث إنّ عيسي عليه السلام خارج, فإن هو خرج فقد كان قبله وبعده  

i.e Hazrat Sha’y (RA) narrated that: One man said while he was with Hazrat Mugheerah bin Sha’bah: “May the blessing of Allah be upon Seal of the prophets, No prophet after him”. And upon hearing this, Hazrat Mugheerah quickly said: “Shut up! When you said he, (SAW) is the last of prophets, and we have been told that Prophet Isa, (AS) (Jesus Christ) is coming, if he eventually comes he (Jesus) has come before him (SAW) and has also come after him (SAW)”

(Durr – e- Manthoor  vol 5, page 386)

٢. واخرج أبي شيبة عن عائشة رضي اللّه عنها قالت : قولوا خاتم النبيّين ولا تقولو لا نبيّ بعده

i.e. “Hazrat Aisha, Allah be pleased with her, has once emphatically said: “Say he (SAW) verily is the Seal of Prophets but SAY NOT that there is No prophet after him”.(Durr- e – Manthoor  vol 5, page 386)

٣. عن أبي عبد الرحمان السّلمي قال : كنت أقرئ الحسن والحسين, فمرّ بي عليّ بن أبي طالب رضي اللّه عنه وإنّا أقرئهما فقال لي : إقرئهما وخاتم النبيين بفتح التّاء

i.e., “ Hazrat Abu Abdur Rahman Assalmiyye narrates that he used to teach Hazrat Hassan and Hussein (Allah be pleased with them). Once Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib (Allah be pleased with him) passed nearby me while I was teaching them, so he said to me “Teach them Khataman – Nabiyyeen with voval a: on Ta.

(Durr- e- Manthoor  vol 5, page 386)

As I said ealier on, all these are the evidencies that even the companions of our noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW) including one of his lovely wives – Hadhrat Aysha (RA) did not get confused but rather strongly convinced that the continuity of prophethood after departure of holy prophet (SAW) is undoubtful Reality.

THE STANDS OF THE EARLY RESERVED, RENOWNED AND PROMINENT SCHOLARS OF ISLAM ON THE CONCEPT OF FINALITY OF PROPHETHOOD

At this junction, I wouldn’t have done justice to this vital issue, if I fail to highlight the views of some of the erudite scholars of Islam on this topic. Therefore, here are the views of few of them:

1. In:    “الإنسان الكامل في معرفة الأواخر ولأوائل” للشيخ عبد الكريم بن إبراهيم الجيلي (الجزء الأول)

We read:

” فانقطع حكم نبوّة التّشريع بعده, وكان محمّد (صلعم) خاتم النّبيّين لأنّه جاء بالكمال ولو يجيئ أحد بذالك”

i.e., “Hazrat Sayyad Abdul Kareem Jilani has written – “The coming of the “Law-bearing prophets,” after the Holy prophet (SAW) has ceased as he has been exalted to be the Seal of Prophets for he, (SAW) came with completion (of prophethood) and no other one will come with that” (Al – Insanul Kamil page 115)

2. In:

“الفتوحات المكيّة للشيخ العلامة محي الدين أبي عربي (قدّس روحه) (المجلّد الثّاني)

We read:

“فإنّ النبوّة الّتي انقطعت بوجود رسول الله (صلعم) إنّما هي نبوّة التّشريع لا مقامها فلا شرع يكون ناسخا لشرعه (صلعم) ولا يزيد في حكمه شرعاً آخر وهذا معني قوله (صلعم) : إنّ الرّسالة والنّبوّة قدانقطعت فلا رسول بعدي ولا نبيّ” أي لا نبيّ بعدي يكون علي شرع يخالف شرعي بل إذا كان يكون تحت حكم شريعتى”

i.e., “Hazrat Imam Mohyddeen Ibne ‘Arabii has written: “The prophethood that terminated with the person of the prophet of Allah (SAW) was no other than the law-bearing prophethood not prophethood itself and this is the meaning of his word (SAW): “Verily Apostleship and Prophethood Ceased with me. Therefore, there shall be after me neither an apostle nor a prophet i.e “there shall not be after me a prophet with a law other than mine except that he shall subject to my law.

(Al – Futuhatul Makiyyah Vol 2 page 3)

3. In:

روح المعاني في تفسير القرآن العظيم والسبع المثاني” للشيخ العلاّمة أبي الفضل شهاب الدّين السّيّاد محمود (الجزء الحادي والعشرون).

We read:

“وخبر لا وحي بعدي باطل وما اشتهر إنّ جبريل عليه السلام لا ينزل إلي الأرض بعد موت النبي (صلعم) فهو لا أصل له, … ولعلّ من نفي الوحي عنه عليه السلام بعد نزوله أراد وحي التشريع وما ذكر الوحي لا تشريع فيه فتأمل”

i.e., “Allama Abdul Fadhl Shihabuddeen Assayyad Mahmud says in his commentary on the Holy Quran: “The tradition, that there is no revelation after me” is absurd. The notion that Angel Gabreal will not descend to the earth after the demise of the Holy prophet (SAW), has no foundation at all. . . . Most probably what is meant by the negation of revelation regarding prophet ‘Isa (Jesus Christ) (AS), after his descent is the revelation of the Law. But what has been described is the revelation without the Law.(Rooh- al- Maan Vol 2, page 41)

4. In:

كتاب ختم الأنبياء للشيخ أبي عبد الله محمّد بن علي بن حسين الحكيم التّرمذي (بحوث ودراسات بإدارة معهد الأدب    الشرقيّة في بيروت)   (i.e., Association of Beyrouth Muslim Researcher)    

We read:

“فاتوا محمّد فهو خاتم النبيّين” ومعناه عندنا: أنّ النبوّة تمت بأجمعها لمحمّد, (صلعم) فجعل قلبه, لكمال النبوّة, وعاء عليها, ثمّ ختم! … هذا يظنّ أنّ “خاتم النبيّين” تأويله إنّه آخرهم مبعثاً. فأيّ منقبه في هذا؟ وأيّ علم في هذا؟ هذا تأويل البله الجهلة  

i.e., “Hazrat Abu Abdullah Muhammad Bin Ali bin Hussain Al – Hakeem of Tirmidhi says:- According to Us, (i.e., The Muslim Researchers of  Bayreuth in Germany ) The word “Khatamun- Nabiyyeen” means that prophethood has manifested itself in its full and complete manner in the person of Holy Prophet (SAW). His heart (SAW) became a vessel for the complete perfection of prophethood and then his heart (SAW) was sealed. How can the glory and superiority of Muhammad (SAW) be manifested, if we claim that he was the last to appear in the World. This is, no doubt, an interpretation of the Foolish and the Ignorant (Kitab Khatmul Anbiyaa page 341)

5. Lastly, we read that “Hazrat Moulana Abul Hasanat Abdul Hayee an amiable scholar from Indian sub-Continent once said: “After the demise of the holy Prophet (SAW) it is not impossibility for someone to be exalted to the position of a simple Prophet. But a Prophet with a new law is indeed forbidden.

(Daf’e alwaswaas fi Athar ibn Abbas page 16)

One fact I want to establish here is that all these sayings of these scholars are totally in consonance with what Allah, (SWT) Himself said about this in His Glorious Book, they also support the sayings of Holy prophet (SAW), his companions and did not in any way contradict the views of Imam Mahdi (as) on this matter, despite the fact that all these afore-mentioned scholars were not Ahmadies and some of them even lived before the advent of Imam Mahdi (as). O my dear listeners! What does this synthesized agreements of facts mean to you? It tells any seeker of truth that “Truth always prevails”. This remains me of “Aristotle” who once said: “Plato is friend and the truth is a friend, but truth is a greater friend than Plato” (Nicomachean Ethics I). “Abraham Lincoln”, one of the past American Presidents also once said: “Truth is incontrovertible. Ignorance may deny it, malice may distort it, hatred may abhor it but there it is unchanging”.

On this note, I will like to conclude here by giving this summary or synopsis:

  1. That the holy prophet was the Seal of the prophets i.e., no prophet, past or future can be regarded as true unless his prophethood bears the Seal of the Holy Prophet (SAW). The prophethood of every past prophet must be confirmed and testified to be the Holy prophet and nobody can attain to prophethood after him except by being his follower. All claims to prophethood must be judged and tested by reference to the revelation received by the Holy Prophet and to his teaching
  2. That the Holy Prophet (SAW) was the best, the noblest and the most perfect of all the prophets and that he was also a source of embellishment for them.
  3. That the Holy Prophet was the last of the Law- bearing Prophets. This interpretation has been accepted by many eminent Muslim theologians, saints and servants such as Ibn ‘Arabi, Shah Waliyyu- Allah, Imam ‘Ali Qari, Mujaddid Alf – Thani, etc just as I have elucidated within my writing and,
  4. That the Holy Prophet was the last of the prophets, but only in the senses that all the qualities and attributes of prophethood found their most perfect and complete consumption and expression or word    “خاتم” is of common use to refer to excellence and perfection.

          Therefore, it was on this conclusion that Hadhrat Imam Mahdi (AS) for whom I doff my cap and who I strongly believe to be a follower and dependent prophet under the dispensation and attestation of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in numbers of couplets of his poems which go thus:

١.  وانّ إمامي سيّد الرّسل أحمد # رضيناه متبوعا وربيّ ينظر

“Surely, My Imam is Ahmad, (Muhammad) Chief of Messengers sent. Pleased are we as his followers My Lord thus bears witness

٢.  ووالله انّي قد تبعت محمّدا # وفي كلّ آن من سناه أنوّر

By Allah, I have followed Muhammad (SAW). Every moment, illuminations from him I draw. 

      ٣. وليس طريق الهدي إلاّ اتّباعه # ومن قال قولاغيره سيتبّر

Without following him there is no guidance. Whoever says a thing without him, destruction is his sure companion.

In another scale of poetry Imam Mahdi (As) also writes:

       ٤.  لا شكّ انّ محمدا خيرالوري # ريق الكرام ونخبة الأعيان

 No doubt, it is Muhammad (SAW) who is the best of all creation; He is the essence and vital force of the elect of God.

٥.  تمّت عليه صفات كلّ  مزيّه # خيمت به نعماه كلّ زمان

All Noble qualities, pertaining to every kind of superiority, have reached perfection in him; And also the spiritual bounties of all times, have reached their climax in him (Allah will now grant these only to those who truly follow him).

٦. والله إنّ محّمدا كردافة # وبه الوصول بسدّة السّدطان

By Allah! The Holy prophet Muhammad (SAW) is certainly like the Prime Minister in his spiritual relation to Almighty God and it is through him alone that there can be access for anyone to the threshold of the king (Almighty God).

٧. إنّي لقد أحييت من احيآئه # واها لإعجاز فما أحياني

Indeed I have come to life due to his life giving tourch.

Bravo! What a miracle! How perfectly he brought me to spiritual life!

٨. يا سيّدي قد جئت بابك لا هفا # والقوم بالإكفار قد آذاني

O my spiritual Master I have surely come to your door complaining that your followers have hurt me deeply by declaring me a disbeliever

٩. أنظر إليّ برحمة وتحنّن # يا سيّدي أنا احقر الغلمان

Please glance towards my humble self, with mercy and kindness, O my Spiritual Master! I am to lowliest one among your servants.

Conclusively, while I strongly believe that this of course, can not be the last submission on this topic, yet, I am convinced as I believe you also do, that this is indeed a valuable contribution to an ongoing discourse.

Eager adventurers can still navigate via the intellectual and scholastic views quoted in this work. While stopping here for now, I say:

ياربّ صلّ علي نبيّك دائما # في هَذه الدّنيا وبعث ثان

As – salam ‘Alaykum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuhu

REFERENCES

  1. Tafseerul Kabeer by Hadrat Mirza Bashruddeen Mahmood Ahmad {Khalifah Masih  II (RA)} Volume 4
  2. The Essence of Islam by Promised Messiah, Hadraht Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of  Qadian (AS) Volume III
  3. Invitation to Ahamadiyyat by Hadrat Mirza Bashruddeen Mahmud Ahmad (Khalifat Masih II)
  4. “معجم الطّلاب” Students dictionary (Arabic – English, English – Arabic) by Abed Al Hafiz Baydoun (MBA American University, Beirut.)
  5. “قنديل صداقت” “Beacon of truth” – Useful References from Authentic and Distinctive Books on Islam. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Publication
  6. Downloaded Materials from the “Net” & Issues about Khatm- e- Nabuwwat by Abdul Azeem Ahmad Lecturer Jamia, Ilaro, Nigeria
  7. Encyclopedia Britannical, students’ Edition 2010.
  8. Oxford Advanced Learners  Dictionary of current English by  HORNBY & AFRICA MAGAZINE (1994)
  9. “”القصيدة  Al –Qoseedah in praise of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(AS)
  10. “Extracts” culled from former personal works

اللهمّ انفخ روح بركاتك في كلامي هذا

آمين ثمّ آمين

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