Famous Ulema and their fatwa on Khatm-e-Nabuwwat

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?

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Qazi Iyad’s fatwa on Khatm-e-Nabuwwat

Qazi ‘Iyad (died 544 A.H.) writes: ” He who lays a claim to prophethood, affirms that a man can attain the office of prophethood or can acquire the dignity of a prophet through purification of soul, as is alleged by some philosophers and sufis; similarly a person who does not claim to be a prophet, but declares that he is the recipient of Divine revelation, all such persons are apostates and deniers of the prophethood of Mohammed (pbuh), for Mohammed (pbuh) has conveyed the message of God to us that he is the final Prophet and no Prophet will come after him. He had also conveyed to us the Divine message that he has finally sealed the office of Prophethood and that he has been sent as a Prophet and a Messenger to the whole of mankind. It is the consensus of the entire Ummah that these words of the Holy Prophet are clear enough and eloquently speak of the fact that they can admit of no other interpretation or amendment in their meaning. Hence there is no doubt that all these sects are outside the pale of Islam not only from the view-point of the consensus of the Ummah but also on the ground of these words having been transmitted with utmost authenticity.” (Shifa, Vol. 2, pp. 270- 271)

​Allama Zamakhshri’s take on Khatemiyat

Allama Zamakhshri (467 A.H.-538 A.H) writes in his commentary entitled Kashshaaf, “If you ask how Mohammed can be the last of the Prophets when Hadrat `Isa (Jesus Christ) will appear towards the end of the world? I shall reply that the finality of Prophethood of Mohammed (pbuh) means that no one will be endowed with prophethood after him. Hadrat ‘Isa is among those upon whom prophethood was endowed before Mohammed (pbuh). Moreover, Hadrat ‘Isa will appear as a follower of Mohammed and he will offer prayers with his face towards the Qiblah of Islam, as a member of the community of the Muslims.” (Vol. 2, p. 215)

Mohammed (pbuh) has sealed the office of Prophethood for all time to come

Shaikh Isma’il Haqqi (died 1137 A.H.) while elucidating this verse in his commentary Ruh-ul-Bayan, writes: “Asim reads the word Khatam with a vowel stress on the letter ta which means the instrument of stamping and sealing, just as ‘Printer’ is the machine which imprints. The connotation of the word is that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was the last of all prophets and God has sealed the office of prophethood through his agency. In Persian the same meaning will be expressed by the term ‘Mohar Paighambran’. The seal of Prophets i.e., his (Mohammed’s) advent sealed the door of prophethood and the line pf prophets ended in him. Other reciters pronounce the word Khatim with the vowel point under the letter ta which means to say that Mohammed (pbuh) was the one who sealed the doors of prophethood. In Persian the same meaning will be expressed by the term ‘Mohar Konindai Paighambran,’ ‘Sealer of the prophets,’ so both ways the word Khatam bears one and the same meaning……..Henceforth the Ulema of the Ummah of Mohammed (pbuh) will inherit only spiritual eminence from him. The inheritance of Prophethood is extinct, for Mohammed (pbuh) has sealed the office of Prophethood for all time to come. The appearance of Hadrat Isa (pbuh) after Mohammed (pbuh) is not a contradiction of the finality of Mohammed’s prophethood. The term Khatam-un-Nabiyyin makes it clear that no one will be appointed a prophet after Mohammed (pbuh).

 

Hadrat Isa (pbuh) was appointed Prophet before Mohammed (pbuh) and Isa (pbuh) will appear as a follower of the Shari’ah of Mohammed (pbuh). He (Isa) (pbuh) will offer prayers with his face turned towards the Qiblah designated by Mohammed (pbuh). Hadrat Isa (pbuh) will be one among the faithful of Islam. He will neither receive any Divine revelation nor will issue new injunctions; he will act as a follower of Mohammed (pbuh). `Ahl-Sunnat wal Jam’at (the Sunni sect) believe that no prophet will come after our holy Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) because God has affirmed wa-lakin Rasul Allehe wa Khatam-un- Nabiyyin, and the Prophet has said: La Nabiya Ba`di (There will be no Prophet after me.) Henceforth anyone who says that a prophet will succeed Mohammed (pbuh) will become an apostate, because he has denied a basic article of faith. Similarly anyone who casts doubt about the finality of Mohammed’s prophethood, will also be declared an infidel, because the foregoing discussion has distinguished right from wrong. And any claim to prophethood after Mohammed (pbuh) is absolutely false.”

Ibn Hazm Andulasi on Khatm-e-Nabuwwat

Allama Ibn Hazm Andulasi (384 A.H.-456 A.H.) writes: “It is certain that the chain of Divine revelations has come to an end after the death of the Holy Prophet(pbuh). The proof of this lies in the fact that none but a prophet can be the recipient of Divine revelations and God has affirmed that Mohammed has no sons among ye men and he is the Messenger of God and that He has sealed the office of Prophethood.” (Al-Mohallah, Vol. 1, p.26)

Abu Yusuf and Tahavi on Khatm-e-Nabuwwat

In his book `Aqida-i-Salfia, while explaining the beliefs of the pious forbearers and particularly those of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Mohammed, Imam Tahavi (239 A.H.-321 A.H.) writes that Mohammed (pbuh) is a highly venerable servant of God. He is the chosen Prophet and the favorite Messenger of Allah. He is the last of the Prophets, Leader of the pious, chief of the Messengers of Allah and the beloved one of the Lord. After him every claim to Prophethood is an error manifest and worship of one’s evil-self.” (Sharah al-Tahawiya Fil-‘Aqidat-ul-Salfia, Dar-ul-Ma’arif, Egypt, pp. 15, 87, 96, 97, 100, 102)

Jarir Tabari on Khatm-e-Nabuwwat

Allama Ibn Jarir Tabari (224 A.H.-310 A.H.) in his renowned commentary of the holy Qur’an gives the following interpretation of the verse, ‘walakin Rasul Allahi wa Khatam-ul Nabiyyin’: “He has closed and sealed the prophethood and the door (of prophethood) shall not open for anyone till the end of the world.” (Vide Commentary of Ibn-i-Jarir, Vol. 22, p.12)

Abu Hanifa’s verdict on Khatm-e-Nabuwwat  

A glance through the history of Islam from the first century up to the modern times reveals to us the fact that the ulema of all periods in every Islamic country of the world are unanimous in their conviction that no new prophet can be raised after Mohammed (pbuh). They all agree in the belief that anyone who lays a claim to Prophethood after Mohammed (pbuh) and anyone who puts faith in such a claim is an apostate and an outcast from the community of Islam. A man in the time of Imam Abu Hanifa (80 A.H.-150 A.H.) laid claim to Prophethood and said “Let me show you the proofs of my prophethood.” The great Imam thereupon warned the people: “Anyone who asks of this man the credentials of prophethood, shall become an apostate, for the Prophet of God (pbuh) has explicitly declared: “No prophet will come after me.” (Manaqib al-Imam-i-Azam Abi Hanifa, Ibn Ahmad al-Makki, Vol. I, p.161, published in Hyderabad, India, 1321 A.H.)

The End Of Prophecy With The Prophet

The comprehensiveness of the rules and precepts of Islam and the end of prophecy with the Holy Prophet of Islam have been clearly expressed in the Qur’an:

`And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly. and justly; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing’ (6:115).

‘Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the Last of all Prophets, and God is cognizant of all things’ (33:40).

In the Arabic language, wherever the word `khatam’ is attached to a word, it conveys the meaning of `the last’ and in this verse it refers to `the last of the prophets’. Nabi means any type of divine messenger. 1

Obviously, the word messenger can be applied to all prophets so by saying that Muhammad is the last of all prophets, God means that he is the last of all messengers and that after him there will come no prophet, nor any messenger from God, nor any person with a new holy book.

`Surely this Qur’an guides to that which is most upright and gives the good news to the believers who do good that they shall have a great reward (17:9).

Therefore, human beings have no need for any other prophet, any other rules and regulations, or any other school of thought because all they need is to be found in the Qur’an.

There are so many documents and testimonies to the fact that the Prophet was the last of all prophets that in Islam this reality is considered one of the clearest points.

Now your attention is drawn to some narrations:

The Prophet has himself said, `You must know that there will come no Prophet after me and no faith after my faith of Islam…’.2

Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) has said, `God has ended Holy Books with your Book, the Qur’an, and prophets with your Prophet…’.3

Hazrat ‘Ali (peace be upon him) has said, `God assigned Muhammad, peace and the mercy of God be upon him and his descendants, to be a prophet after all other prophets and has ended revelation with him’. 4

The Prophet said to Hazrat ‘Ali, `Your relation to me is like that of Aaron to Moses, peace be upon him, with the difference that there will come no prophet after me’.” 5

Imam Riza (peace be upon him) has said, `The faith of Muhammad (peace and the mercy of God be upon him and his descendants) will not be abolished until the Day of Resurrection, and no prophet will come after him until that day’. 6

These and many other traditions and narrations are perpetual proclamations of the Prophet as the last of all prophets and Islam as the only comprehensive faith.

The splendour of the purport of this faith as well as its profound precepts and comprehensive rules ensure its perpetuity till the Day of Judgment.

Now that God has endowed us with such a matchless magnificent faith, surely it is our duty to communicate it to all other people so all will benefit from this holy faith.

  1. Jami’ ul-Javami’, p.275; Tafsir al-Mizan, Vol. 2, p.144; Tafsir ul-Kashif, Vol. 3, p.164; Tafsir ul-Biyadwi, p.477; al-Bayan, Vol. 7, p.91; Ruh ul-Ma’ani, Vol. 22, p.32.
  • 2  Mustadrak, Vol. 2, p.262.
  • 3.Usul ul-Kafi, Vol. 1, p.177.
  • 4.Najh ul-Balaghah, Fiyd ul-Islam, sermonn 133, p.403.
  • 5.Kamil, Vol. 2, p. 278.
  • 7.Uyun akhbar ul-Reza, Vol. 2, p.80.