The holy Quran and the holy Prophet's Ahadith (teachings) eloquently prove that prophethood (‘nabuwwat’ and ‘risalat’) came to an end with our Prophet Muhammad(SAW).
By Muhammad Yusuf Ludhianvi
Islamic Belief on Finality of Prophethood
According to the Quran Sunnah and Ijma and Quyas
The holy Quran and the holy Prophet's Ahadith (teachings) eloquently prove that prophethood (‘nabuwwat’ and ‘risalat’) came to an end with our Prophet Muhammad(SAW). There are decisive verses to that effect. Being the last Prophet in the chain of prophethood, no one ever shall now succeed him to that status of dignity.
"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."
(Holy Quran, 33:40)
Interpreters of the Holy Quran
All the interpreters of the Holy Quran agree on the meaning of ‘Khatam-un-Nabieen’ that our Prophet(SAW) was the last of all prophets and none shall be exalted to the lofty position of prophethood after him. Here are a few examples:
Imam Hafiz Ibn-e-Katheer (Allah’s mercy on him)
"This verse is conclusive of the precept that our Prophet(SAW) is the last and that there shall be no ‘Nabi’ (Prophet) after him. When there shall be no ‘Nabi’ to follow him, the ordainment of a ‘Rasool’ (Messenger) can not arise by logic of anteriority because the status of a ‘Rasool’ is more exclusive then that of a ‘Nabi’. Every ‘Nabi’ is not a ‘Rasool’, but every ‘Rasool’ is a ‘Nabi’. There exists a continuous and unbroken chain of recitations of Ahadith from a large number of venerable ‘sahabah’ or Companions of the Prophet (Allah be pleased with them), that there shall be no ‘Nabi’ or ‘Rasool’ after Muhammad(SAW)". (Tafseer Ibn-e-Khateer, Vol. 3, P. 453)
Note: Every prophet is called a ‘Nabi’ whether he was given shariat or not; and the prophet who was given a shariat is called a ‘Rasool’.
Hujjat ul Islam, Imam Ghazali
"No doubt the Ummah (all Muslims) has unanimously understood from this word (‘Khatam-un-Nabieen’) and its circumstantial reference to mean non-existence of a ‘Nabi’ or ‘Rasool’ ever after Muhammad(SAW) and that (this word calls for) no reservation or tacit interpretation in it; hence its dissident is certainly the one who rejects the Ummah's unanimity". (Al Iqtisad fil Etiqad, P. 123)
Finality of Prophethood and Ahadith
The Prophet(SAW) unequivocally declared that he was the final Prophet. There are a large number of Ahadith to sustain this article of Islamic faith. Not only that but the Prophet(SAW) was also pleased to bring forth such expositions of this word (‘Khatam-un-Nabieen’) that all doubts relating to his finality in prophethood stand void and misinterpretations exposed. Many people having theological distinctions to their credit have stressed upon the unbroken and consecutive nature of those Ahadith which concern finality of prophethood. Opinions of some of them are quoted below:
Hafiz Ibn-e-Hazam says on page 77 of his Kitab-ul-Fasl:
"All those personages who have dwelt upon the subject of Muhammad'(SAW) prophethood, his miracles and expounded the holy Quran, have stated that he(SAW) had informed that there would be no prophet after him".
Hafiz Ibne-Khateer writes under the caption, "finality of prophethood":
"And on this (Finality of Prophethood) there have come from Allah's Messenger(SAW) "mutawatir" (absolutely certain and numerous) Ahadith which have by an unbroken chain of his companions (Allah be pleased with them)".
Allama Syed Mahmood Aloosi writes in Tafseer Roohul-Mani:
"That he (Muhammad(SAW)) was the final prophet, is ordained by the Quran, acknowledged by the Sunnah and agreed upon by the Ummah; hence a claimant to the contrary will be (determined as) Kaffir (unbeliever) and put to death if he is persistent".
To conclude therefore finality of prophethood is an article of faith by the Quran’s text and Mutawatir Ahadith. Some are reproduced below:
The Last Brick
“From Abu Huraira, (Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s messenger(SAW) said:
“Certainly my example and the example of prophets earlier than me is like the example of a palace most elegant and most beautiful constructed by a person except (that he left in it) a blank space for a brick in one of its corners and that made the people (who were) going around it wonder (at its marvellousness) and exclaimed (in perplexion): “Why not is this brick inlaid in here!” The Prophet(SAW) said, “I am that (corner’s last) brick and I am the last of the prophets”.
Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, p.501 & Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, p.248
The above Hadith is also related by Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah, (Allah be pleased with him,) and is included in Musnad Ahmad, Sahih Muslim and Jama-e-Tirmizi. Sahih Muslim’s narration ends with theses words:
“Said Allah’s messenger(SAW) “So I am in place of this brick; I came and so I completed the chain of the prophets”.
The above Hadith is also related by Hazrat Abi bin Kaab, (Allah be pleased with him,) as recorded in Musnad Ahmed and Tirmizi”.
“My example among the prophets has a likeness (in the sense) that a man constructed a palace most lovely and perfect and extremely elegant but left the place of one brick incomplete in it (for subsequent inlaying); then people went around the palace and wondered (on its excellence) and said, “Would that space for one brick be also filled up!” The holy Prophet(SAW) said, “I am in place of this brick among the prophets”.
(Musnad Ahmed, Vol.1, p.137 & Tirmizi, Vol.2, p.201)
Line of Prophethood Terminated
“From Abu Huraira, (Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s messenger Muhammad(SAW) said: “I have been bestowed with excellence over (other) Prophets in six respects: (1) I have been gifted with comprehensive words, (2) I have been helped through awe (being put in the hearts of enemies) (3) spoils have been made lawful to me, (4) the whole earth turned into a mosque for me and a means of purification, (5) I have been ordained as the Prophet for all humanity, and (6) the line of the Prophets has been terminated with me”.
(Sahih Muslim, Vol.1, p.199, Mishkat, p.512)
One Hadith containing similar subject matter is narrated in Sahihain from Hazart Jabir, (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet(SAW) said: “I have been gifted with five qualities not bestowed upon anybody before me”. At the end of this Hadith are the following words:
“Former prophets were sent to their people alone, whereas I have been sent as the Prophet to all mankind”.
Address to Hazrat Ali
“From Saad bin Abi Waqqas, (Allah be pleased with him): said Allah’s messenger Muhammad(SAW) to Hazrat Ali, (Allah be pleased with him) “You have the same relation with me as Aaron had with Moses (peace be upon them) except that there shall be no prophet after me”.
(Sahih Bukhari Vol.2, p.633)
Difference With Tribe of Israel
“Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) relates from the Prophet(SAW) that the Bani Isreal were led by their own prophets, when one prophet died another prophet took his place but there shall be no prophet after me that there shall be Caliphs and they will be many”.
(Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Manaqib)
In the case of our Prophet(SAW) even such prophets will not come, except that there shall be religious revivalists of the Ummat.
“Verily, Allah the Exalted will send down to this Ummat such men at the head of every century as will revive the Deen for it” (the Ummat).
Abu Dawood, Vol. 2, p. 233)
Thirty Liars in the Ummah
“It is related by Hazrat Thauban, (Allah be pleased with him) that our Prophet(SAW) said “In my Ummat there shall be born thirty liars, each of them will pretend that he is a prophet but I am the last of the prophets, there shall be no prophet after me”.
(Abu Dawood and Tirmizi)
No Nabi No Rasool After Me
“From Anas bin Malik, (Allah be pleased with him) Allah’s messenger Muhammad(SAW) said: “Verily, ‘risalat’ and ‘nubuwwat’ are terminated, so there shall be neither a ‘rasool’ nor a ‘nabi’ after me’.
(Tirmidhi, Kitab-ur-Rouya Babu Zahab-un- Nubuwwa, Musnad Ahmad, Marwiyat-Anas bin Malik)
Last Prophet: Last Ummah
“From Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him): I heard the Prophet(SAW) saying “We are the last (Ummat) but will precede all on the Day of Resurrection except that the ‘Book’ was given to them before us”.
(Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
“From Hazrat Aisha (Allah be pleased with her): The Prophet(SAW) said I am the last Prophet and my mosque is the last mosque among the mosques of all the prophets”.
(Kanzul Ummal, Vol.12, p.270, Hadith No.34999)
“Hazrat Ali, (Allah be pleased with him) describing virtues of the Prophet SAW) says: “Between his shoulders was the signet of prophethood and he (SAW) was Khatamun-Nabieen”.
If There Were To Be A Prophet It Would Have Been Umar(RA)
It is narrated by Uqba bin Aamer, (Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Messenger Muhammad(SAW) said, “If there could ever be a prophet after me, indeed Umar bin Khattab would have been such”.
(Tirmizi, Vol. 2, p.209)
I Am Hashir, I am Aaqib, I am Muqaffi
“Hazrat Jubair bin Mut’am, (Allah be pleased with him) says: I heard the Prophet saying, “ Certainly there are some names for me, I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad, I am Mahi the obliterator as Allah shall blot out ‘kufr’ through me and I am ‘Hashir’, the gatherer of people who shall be resurrected at my feet and I am ‘Aaqib’ The last to come as there shall be no prophet after me”.
(Mishkat, p. 515)
It stands proved in the above written lines that (1) the Holy Quran, (2) unbroken chain of "Mutawatir" Ahadith, and (3) Consensus of the Muslim Ummah vouch that the holy Prophet Muhammad(SAW) was the terminator of the entire chain of venerable prophets with no exception (peace be upon them). Therefore no person after him(SAW) can be called a prophet in any meaning or sense and nobody can fix for himself a prophetic stance by his guile or guise. Consequently, he who does so or tries to do so or if anybody believes in the prophethood of that claimant, then such a person is a cast off from the fold of Islam.
And this ‘finality’ of the holy Prophet(SAW) is a status which is most dignified, an honour most distinguished and an esteem most high. It is therefore a grave insult to the holy Prophet(SAW), if somebody is so insolent as to lay a claim to the line of prophethood.
Moreover, even if one stretches ones human imagination to the furthest end and presumes there is some prophet who has come in the world, he should seek for a proof to substantiate his hypothesis, i.e. whether or not this new-comer-of-the prophet has been indoctrinated with some fresh disciplines. If it is said that no new learning’s were given to the new prophet; rather the same learning’s were again revealed to him as had already been revealed to the holy Prophet Muhammad(SAW) that would be an inexplicable repetition. With the existing Prophetic learning’s and the indiminishing Quranic reservoir of knowledge, such repetition by the "new prophet" should turn into a divine exercise in futility, whereas Allah the exalted is absolutely above anything futile. And if the plea is that this later claimant to prophethood was specifically bestowed with such learning’s as were not conferred upon the holy Prophet(SAW) then this is (Allah forbid) tantamount to (1) belittling doctrinal learning’s sent by Allah through Muhammad(SAW), (2) insinuating that the Quran lacks completeness and (3) hinting at the imperfection of the Islamic faith, thereby disbelieving in the Quranic verse (Holy Quran, 5:3), "This day I have perfected your Religion". Such thoughts and actions heap worst indignity upon the holy Prophet(SAW), the Quran and the religion of Islam.
Moreover, if just for the sake of argument, it is supposed that there is a prophet after our holy Prophet(SAW), then as a natural corollary it will become incumbent upon all to express allegiance to him and believe in whatever he says or does; and conversely disbelief in him will be deemed infidelity and Kufr! Otherwise, what else could prophethood signify? Such supposition in effect amounts to insulting the holy Prophet(SAW) and finding fault with him to the extent that one who believes in him and his entire religion is deemed an unbeliever (Kaffir) deserving hell for ever. It would mean that even belief in the holy Prophet Muhammad(SAW) would (Allah forbid) not be adequate to protect him from disbelief (Kufr) and the Hell.
May Allah the exalted grant all the Muslims his graciousness to remain attached to the cloak of the holy Prophet Muhammad(SAW).
By Muhammad Yusuf Ludhianvi