Risalah or belief in prophethood is one of the seven articles of faith. Prophethood is the channel of communication between God Almighty and humanity, this is the medium through which the human being is able to understand the reason for creation, and realise the will of the creator. Through this medium the humans understand and comprehend the magnitude of benefit in applying the will of the Lord and severity of detriment in neglecting it. As Muslims God has ordained for us to believe in all prophets from Adam to Jesus, culminating in the belief in Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) as the messenger to all mankind regardless of colour, race, tongue or ethnicity. The belief in the Prophethood of The Beloved, The Most Noble Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) is incomplete, deficient and curtailed unless one believes that he is the Final Prophet of God and there is to be no Prophet after him. The slightest denial or defiance of this fundamental is sufficient to cast one out the fold of Islam and throw one into the camp of kufr and apostasy.
This brief article wishes to provide the reader with adequate proof for belief in the finality of the prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) and show that He is the final and the last Prophet of Allah and there is to be no new prophet after him.
As this is a matter of aqeedah (dogma), we must begin with highlighting the sources of law, which are acceptable when determining aqeedah qatiya (belief which is certain and necessary in order for one to be classified as a Muslim). Therefore the mutakalimun (dialectics) say that aqeedah can only be formulated from a source that is Qat’i-ul-thabut (definite in text) and Qat’i-ud-dalalah (definite in meaning).
This means that there must be certainty that the source of the belief is from Allah or his Messenger, hence definite in text.
Secondly the source must be unequivocal, unambiguous and explicit in what is being said. An example of this is the belief in tawhid, the oneness of Allah. It is mentioned amongst other places, in Surah Ikhlas, (Say, He is Allah) states in Almuhkam that the words Khatim and Khatamah with regards to everything means its end and its termination.
This verse is an unequivocal statement from the Qur’an, which states that Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) has concluded the line of prophets, and that he is the last and final Prophet of God.
Finality of Prophethood and Coming of Jesus in the Last Days:
A question arises here, we all believe that in the lasy days before doomsday, Jesus Christ Peace be upon him will descend to the World again, lead the Muslim army aggainst the Kuffar and Dajjal, Kill Dajjal the Antichrist and bring all misguidance to an end. The question is, does the reappearance of Jesus Christ, who was a prophet to the Israelites, negate the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam).
This question has been raised and answered by numerous exegesists of the Quran, hence Allamah Zamahshari the great Muttazilite Scholar and a grand lexicon states in his Tafsir Kasshaf: Imam Baydhawi raises the same question and states:
The answer to the above objection in light of the scholars is that the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s being the last prophet means that nobody would be appointed as a prophet after him; it does not imply that somebody who was appointed a prophet earlier and prior to the birth of Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) would be dismissed from his prophethood or that such a prophet would not be able to return to this world. It is well known that Christ was appointed a prophet 600 or so years prior to the birth of our noble prophet.
Furthermore when Christ, peace be upon him, does return for the reformation of the Ummah of the Holy Prophet, he will carry out the reform and revival in accordance with the laws and the teachings of the holy Prophet. and would not bring down or implement a new law alien to the Sharia of Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam), as if he is actually an ummati one. Now this is a verse from the Quran, therefore it is certainly from Allah; hence it is definite in text. Also it is unequivocal or uncertainty with regards to the meaning. Now if anyone were to believe in more that one God would automatically step out of the fold of Islam, as this would be denial of a fundamental belief that is proven by a definite text that is definite in meaning. Hence belief of the above mentioned type an only be proven by a clear verse of the Holy Prophet of Islam, (a statement of the Prophet narrated by such a number of companions and narrators through the generations that it would be impossible for them to all agree on a lie). All other types of evidences which do not measure up to the above criteria can however be used in a supportive capacity. Having set the scene, let us now analyse the belief that Prophet Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) is the last prophet of Allah and there is to be no other Prophet after him.
Proof from the Qur’an that our Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) is the final Prophet of Allah:
Surah 33 Verse 40
”Muhammad is not a father of any of your men, but he is a messenger of Allah and the last of the prophets”.
In this verse the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) has been mentioned as Khatam ul Nabiyeen, translated as last of the Prophets. There are two ways to read the word Khatam, Imams Hasan and Asim read the word as Khatam whereas other leading scholars read it as Khatim. The meaning remains the same in both cases, that is the last of the prophets’. In both the cases the word means the last as well as the seal. The meaning of the seal is also the last because the seal is applied to something when it is intended to be closed. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) has been called the seal of the prophets because the process of sending prophets has come to an end on his advent.
All the famous lexicons of the Arabic language have affirmed the fact that the words, Khatim and Khatam carry the same meaning in this sentence. Hence Ibn Sidah or follower of Hazrat Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam). As a final statement on this verse we quote Hafiz Ibn Kathir who states:
‘ Allah has told us in His Book, and His Messenger has told us in the Mutawatir Sunnah, that there will be no Prophet after him, so that it may be known that everyone who claims this status after him is a liar and fabricator who is misguided and is misguiding others. Even if he twists meanings, comes up with false claims and uses tricks and vagaries, all of this is false and is misguidance as will be clear to those who have understanding. This is what Allah caused to happen in the case of Al-Aswad Al-Ansi in the Yemen and Musaylimah the liar in Al-Yamamah whose false miracles and nonsensical words showed everyone who was possessed of understanding that they were liars who were leading people astray; may the curse of Allah be upon them both. This is the case with every false Prophet until the Day of Resurrection, until they end with Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (the Antichrist).
Each of these liars is given by Allah signs which show the people of knowledge and the believers that his message is false which is part of the perfect kindness of Allah towards His creation. These liars do not enjoin what is good, nor forbid what is evil, unless they do so by coincidence or because it serves an ulterior purpose. They are the utmost in falsehood and immorality, in all that they say and do, as Allah says: Shall I inform you (O people!) upon whom the Shayatin descend They descend on every lying, sinful person.) (26:221-222) This is in contrast to the Prophets – may blessings and peace be upon them – for they are the utmost in righteousness, truthfulness, wisdom, uprightness and justice in all that they say and do, command and forbid. In addition to this they are supported with miracles and clear and obvious proof. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them always, as long as heaven and earth remain. From this verse 40 of surah 33 the entire Ummah has unanimously understood that Prophet Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) is the last Prophet of Allah and there will never be a Prophet after him ever.
Finality of the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) from Hadith:
The above mentioned statement of Ibn Kathir conveniently brings us to analysing the Finality of Hazrat Muhammad’s Finality from the hadith literature. Muslims Scholars have compiled books listing over 200 statements from the Prophet, which unequivocally state that he is the Final Prophet of Allah and there is to be no Prophet after him. We will only mention a few of the ahadith for the benefit of our readers.
The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) said ‘ The example of all the Prophets before me and of myself is like a man has built a very strong and well decorated house in one corner wall of which a space has been left vacant for one brick; people roam about in the house to see it and admire the construction but all of them say why did not the builder put a brick in that space also which would have completed the construction. I am that last brick (of the palace of prophethood). In some versions he said ‘I have filled up that vacant space and thus completed the palace of Prophethood’. (Narrated By Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmizi From Jabir Bin Abdullah Ansari. Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal and Tirmizi From Ubai Bin Ka’b. Imam Muslim and Ahmad Bin Hanbal from Abu Saeed Khudri).
The gist of this eloquent smile is that prophethood is like a grand palace composed of Prophets. This grand palace was complete in all respects before the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) except for the placement of one brick. The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) completed this grand palace by filling up the vacant space for one brick. Now there is no more space for any Prophet or Messenger in the palace of Prophethood. Any additional brick to a magnificently constructed buliding would be considered an eyesore just as one brick less would be considered a matter of surprise.
Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal recorded that Anas Bin Malik said that the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) said: ‘Messengership and Prophethood have come to an end, and there will be no More Messengers or Prophets. This worried the people, then he said: But there will be Al-Mubashshirat. They said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, whar are Al-Mubashshirat’ He said, the dreams of a Muslim man, and they are one of the parts of Prophethood’. Tirmizi also records this Hadith.
Abu Hurairah said that the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) said: ‘I have been given preference over the other Prophets in six ways: I have been given the ability to speak concisely; I have been aided by fear (cast into the hearts of my enemies); the spoils of war have been made permissible for me; the entire earth has been made a Masjid and a means of purification for me; I have been sent to all of mankind; and the Prophets end with me’. This was recorded by Musim, Tirmizi and Ibn Majah; At-Tirmizi said, ‘It is Hasan Sahih’.
Jubayr Bin Mut’im, may Allah be pleased with him, said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: I have several names: I am Muhammad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam), and I am Ahmad (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam), I am Al-Mahi (the eradicator) through whom Allah will erase disbelief; I am Al-Hashir (the gatherer) at whose feet mankind will gather; and I am Al-Aqib (the final one) after whom there will be no Prophet. Narrated By Bukhari and Muslim.
The above mentioned statements of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) have shown beyond certainty that He (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) is the Final Prophet of Allah and there is to be no Prophet after him. Therefore belief in any new Prophet after the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) would amount to apostasy. In fact The Prophet himself has foretold us that there will false claimants to prophethood after him and we, as Muslims must reject every single one of them. Hence the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) stated: Thawban said that the Holy Prophet said, ‘In my ummah there shall be 30 liars, each will claim prophethood, and I am the Final Prophet, there is no Prophet after me’. Narrated by Ibn Mardwaih. It does not therefore surprise us that every now and then a liar rises and claims prophethood in some shape or form, for it has been foretold by one who has been given the knowledge of ma kaan wa ma yakoon (Knowledge of what is and what is to be) by his Lord Almighty, one who has never uttered a lie nor gone astray (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam).
The Muslim Community has overwhelmingly rejected every such claim of prophethood after our noble Prophet, for such a claim, or belief in it, is contrary to the fundamental Islamic belief that our noble Prophet is the last Prophet of Allah, as has been shown by the clearest evidence. We have and always will consider such claimant to be apostates, outside the fold of Islam, for they deny that which is proven by the most definite, clear and explict method, There is no ambiguity uncertainty with regards to the authenticity and necessity of this belief, hence there no hesitation in pronouncing one who rejects it in any form or shape, a Kaafir. In order to ensure conciseness we have left out numerous verses and ahadith of the Noble Prophet (Sallaho Alahi Wasallam) on this subject, at the same time we have not used other sources of evidence such as Ijma (consensus), analogical reasoning and statements of great scholars on this subject. May Allah make this effort as source of guidance for All. Aameen Bijahi Habibihil Kareem.