Mohy-us-Sunnah Baghawi ( died 510 A.H.) writes in his commentary Ma`lam-al-Tanzil: “God brought the line of Prophets to an end with him. Hence he is the final Prophet…….Ibn `Abbas affirms that God(in this verse) has given His verdict that no Prophet will come after the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).” (Vol. 3, p. 158)
Allama Baidawi(died A.H. 685), in his commentary, Anwar-ul-Tanzil, writes: “In other words he, Muhammed (pbuh), is the last of all Prophets. He is the one in whom the line of Prophets ends or the one whose advent has sealed the office of Prophethood. The appearance of Hadrat ‘Isa (peace be upon him) after Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) is not a contradiction of the finality of Muhammed’s Prophethood, because Hadrat Isa will appear as a follower of the Shariah of Muhammed.” (Vol. 4, p. 164)
‘Allama Hafiz-ud-Din Al-Nasafi (died A.H.710), in his commentary, Madark-ut-Tanzil, writes: “And he Mohammed (pbuh) is the one who has brought the line of prophets to an end…in other words he is the last of all prophets. God shall not appoint another prophet after him. In respect of Hadrat `Isa (peace be upon him) it may be stated that he is among those who were appointed Prophets before the time of Mohammed (pbuh). And when Hadrat `Isa appears again, he will be a follower of the Shar’iah of Mohammed, and one among faithful.” (p. 471)
`Allama `Alau-din Baghdadi (died A.H. 725) in his commentary, Khazin, writes: “Wa Khatam-un-Nabiyyin,’ in other words, God has ended prophethood in him, Mohammed (pbuh). Henceforth there is no prophethood after him, nor is there any partner with him in prophethood…Wa Kan Allahu Bikulle Shaiin `Alima, God is aware that no prophet will come after him.” (pp. 471-472)
Allama Jalal-Ud-Din Suyuti (died A.H. 911) writes in his commentary entitled Jalalain, “God is aware of the fact that no prophet will succeed Mohammed (pbuh) and when Isa (pbuh) will reappear in the world he will act according to the Shariah of Mohammed (pbuh).” (p. 768)
Allama Ibn Nujaim (died A.H. 970) in his renowned work of the canons of Fiqh entitled, ‘Al-Ashbah wan-Nazair’, Kitab- us-Siyyar:Bab: al-Raddah, writes: “A person who does not regard Mohammed (pbuh) as the last Prophet of God is not a Muslim, for the finality of Mohammed’s prophethood is one of those fundamental articles of faith which a Muslim must understand and believe.” (p. 179)
Mulla Ali Qari (died A.H. 1016) in his commentary Fiqh Akbar, writes: “To lay a claim to Prophethood after the ministry of our Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is a sheer infidelity by the consensus of Ummah.” (p. 202)
In Fatawa-i-Alamgiri which was compiled by the eminent scholars of the Indian sub-continent at the command of Aurangzeb Alamgir, in the 12th century Hijri, it is recorded: “A man who does not regard Muhammed (pbuh) as the final Prophet of God, is not a Muslim, and if such a man claims to be a messenger or prophet of God, he shall be proclaimed an apostate.” (Vol. 2, p. 263)
Allama Shoukani (died 1255 A.H.) in his commentary, Fath-ul-Qadeer, writes: “A majority of people have read the word Khatam with the vowel point under the letter ta but ‘Asim reads the same word with vowel stress on ta. The first reading means that Muhammed (pbuh) ended the line of Prophets (peace of Allah be upon them) i.e., in other words the Holy Prophet came last of all the Prophets. The second reading means that the Holy Prophet was the seal by which the office of Prophethood was finally closed; and that his advent lent grace to the group of Allah’s Prophets.
Allama Alusi (died 1270 A.H.) in his commentary, Ruh-ul-Ma’ani, writes: “The word ‘Prophet’ is common, but the word ‘Messenger’ has a particular significance. Hence when the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is called the ‘Seal of Prophets,’ it necessarily follows that he is also the ‘Seal of Messengers.’ The implication of the Holy Prophet’s position as ‘the Last of all Prophets and Messengers of God’ is that by his(pbuh) elevation to the dignity of Prophethood in this world, the same dignity has henceforth been abolished and no man can attain that dignity now.” (Vol. 22, p. 32)
“Anyone who claims to be the recipient of Divine revelations as a prophet after the advent of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), shall be declared an infidel. There is no difference of opinion among Muslims on this point.” (ibid., vol.22, p.38) “The affirmation in the Book of God of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) as `the Last of the Prophets’ is unequivocal. The Sunnah has clearly explained this and the Ummah has reached a consensus on it. Hence anyone who lays a contradictory claim against this position shall be declared an apostate (ibid., vol.22, p. 39)
These are the expositions of the leading savants, jurists, scholars of Hadith and commentators of every realm of Islam, from the sub-continent of India to Morocco and Spain (Andulus) and from Turkey to Yemen. We have indicated their years of birth and death in each case so that the reader may realise at first glance that this list includes eminent authorities of every century of the Islamic History falling between the first and thirteenth century. We might even have added expositions by the learned doctors of Islam belonging to the fourteenth century; but we omitted the Ulema of the 14th century purposely because someone might state that these scholars had explained the meanings of Khatam-i-Nabuwat as ‘the Seal of all Prophets’ to refute the claim of the ‘new prophets’ of the modern age.
It cannot, however, be said that the ulema of the past centuries entertained feelings of animosity against a later day personality claiming to be a prophet. These writings also make it clear beyond doubt that from the first century up to the present-day the entire Muslim world has unanimously taken the expression Khatam-un-Nabiyyin to mean `the Last of all Prophets.’ Muslims of all periods have been unanimous in the belief that the office of prophethood has been sealed after the advent of the holy Prophet(pbuh). There has never been any difference of opinion among muslims that any person who prefers a claim to prophethood and those who believe in such a claim to prophethood are outside the pale of Islam.
It is now up to all reasonable persons to judge that in the face of all this massive evidence- the plain dictionary meaning of the phrase ‘Khatam-un-Nabiyyin’ the interpretation of the Quranic verse in its true perspective, the exposition of the Holy Prophet himself and the consensus on the finality of prophethood of Mohammed (pbuh) of the entire body of muslims all over the world from the time of the companions of the Holy prophet to the present day followers of Islam-what scope is left for an alternative interpretation and what justification can they give for opening the door of prophethood for a new claimant. Furthermore, how can those people be recognized as Muslims who have not only expressed their opinion in favour of opening the door to prophethood, but they have, in fact, catapulted a man into the mansion of the Prophets of God and have become the followers of this trespasser?