Answering the Baha’is

The Baha’is quote the following verse of Holy Qur’an to justify their claim that the chain of Prophethood hasn’t ended with the departure of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.s.).

“O children of Adam, verily apostles from among you shall come unto you, who shall expound my signs unto you: whosoever therefore shall fear God and amend, there shall come no fear on them, neither shall they be grieved.”(Qur’an 7:35)

The Baha’is claim:

i) Appearance of future Apostles of God is explicitly mentioned in the above verse.

ii) These Apostles (more that one Apostle -i.e. Mahdi and Isa bin Maryam) must come from among the Muslim ummah.

iii) These Apostles SHALL COME in the future.

Answer

The Baha’is have got it horribly wrong. They are very clearly quoting Qur’an out of context. Please read the verses before the above verse (7:11-35). Particularly see verses 11, 19, 26 and 27. All of them are the commands of Allah to Prophet Adam (as) who was the first Prophet. Allah is saying O’ sons of Prophet Adam, there shall come many prophets after Prophet Adam (a total of 123999 prophets after Prophet Adam).

About Jesus (as): He was a Prophet and came BEFORE prophet Muhammad (S). Prophet Jesus will return but he is not a new Prophet for he is older than Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Jesus also does not bring any new law for people. Christianity was abrogated when Prophet Muhammad came. Prophet Jesus will come as a follower of Imam Mahdi and will be his assistant. He will pray behind him. So Jesus (as) is not a new prophet. He is an old one who has lived long.

Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) is going to establish a world-wide government and all people throughout the world will live peacefully under his Government. Baha’is believe that “the Bab”(Mirza ‘Ali-Muhammad) was the Imam Mahdi who claimed as such in May 1844 A.D. (1260 AH). He was executed in Iran shortly after (in July 1850 AD).

The above paragraph is enough for an elementary-school-age child to reject the Baha’is. Because if he was really Imam Mahdi, then when did he establish the world-wide government in all corners of the world? “The Bab” could not even govern the city in which he was living! He was executed by people for his blasphemy six years later.

Imam Mahdi brings neither new religion nor new religious law. He does not cancel any regulations set by Prophet Muhammad. However there are some authentic traditions which state that although Imam Mahdi does not bring any new law when he comes, some people say: he is bringing a new religion.

Those traditions further explain that it is as a result of many innovations set by pseudo-scholars into to the religion of Islam. Imam Mahdi comes to reject any innovations and to revive the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad which was corrupted by people after him. As a result of ignorance of people to the true Sunnah of Prophet, they think he is bringing a new religion.

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Answering the Baha’is

The Baha’is say:

Allamah Majlisi in Behar’ul-Anvar Vol 13, p.323 mentions one of the discourses of Imam ‘Ali. In that discourse ‘Ali says: “I am the Commander of the faithful. I am the King among the pious….. I am the Khatam’u-Vasieen (which can be either taken as “The Seal of the guardians and successors”, or, as “The Ornament of the Guardians and successors”.) and the heir of the prophets and the representative of the God of the worlds.”

This Hadith is referred to as the Hadith Nuraniah as is reported by several people such as Sheikh Sadooq in “Uyoon’ul-Akhbar Ar-Rida”.

This tradition of Imam ‘Ali is a very interesting. One must be fair in one’s judgment. If we are to take, in this tradition, the term “Khatam” as “the Seal”, “the ender”, “one who completes”, then one is obliged to accept that ‘Ali was “the seal of the guardians, and successors”, after Muhammad, Who is the Seal of the prophets.

Yet, Shi’ahs believe that after Muhammad there was supposed to be twelve Imams, only the first of Whom was ‘Ali. So, assuming that the term Khatam in Khatam’u-Vasieen must have a similar meaning to the term Khatam in Khatam’u- Nabieen, then one is to question why were there more Imams after ‘Ali. How are we to reconcile the existence of the other Imams, Who came after ‘Ali, based on this interpretation? Let this be food for thought for the possessors of pure heart and open mind.

Answer: First I should say that in most of the traditions in this regard, the term “Sayyid al-Wasiyyin”(the master of executors) has been used for Imam ‘Ali, and not the above phrase (the ender of executors).

Every Prophet had an executor. Prophet Muhammad was the master of all other Prophets. Naturally his executor (wasi) is the master of all other executors (of previous prophets).

However there is no contradiction in the above tradition. Out of twelve Imams, only Imam ‘Ali (as) was the executor (wasi) of prophet (S). Because each person can only have one immediate executor (wasi). Prophet Muhammad was the last Messenger, thus his executor is the last executor among the executors of prophets. This is because there shall not come any prophet after Prophet Muhammad.

Imam Hasan (as), the second Imam, was the immediate executor (wasi) of Imam ‘Ali. However we could say Imam Hasan (as) was indirect executor of Prophet too. The third Imam was immediate executor of the second Imam and so on. Thus in this sense, Imam ‘Ali was the last immediate executor among the executors of prophets. I hope this is enough “food for thought for the possessors of pure heart and open mind”.

 

 

Answering the Baha’is

In the Book Shiite Encyclopedia, the author has retorted convincingly to a Baha’i writer’s doubts over the word ‘Khatam’ and it’s meanings. Here is the first question:

Question: Clearly, the concept of no Nabi, or prophet, appearing after Muhammad must have been associated with His immediate successorship, and had nothing to do with coming of future Messengers from God. Otherwise, it is not clear to me though.

You are using induction which is logically incorrect. If Qur’an wanted to say that “Muhammad is the last Nabi among his children,” it could say so! When such thing is not specified and nothing is exempted, then it covers every human being. There is no Prophet after Muhammad (S).

More over your Logic is convoluted. Here you are saying that ‘there will be no prophet from the household of Muhammad (S).’ In another place, you say that Mahdi is from the Family of Prophet (which is actually the belief of all Muslims who have the knowledge of their own books). In another place you say that “the Bab” was the promised Mahdi. In the other place you say that Bab was a messenger. The conclusion from the above sentences is that according to you, Mahdi who was the descendant of Muhammad, was a messenger. This “contradicts” what you just said above, that the verse (33:40) is saying Muhammad was the last Prophet among his family!!!

How nice is the verse 4:82 of Qur’an which describes that one can find many contradictions in something that is not from Allah (i.e., a man-made religion). A British-made religion is not any better.

Many of the Shi’ah commentators believe in a literal meaning of the term Khatam-u-Nabieen (Seal of the Prophets, after Whom no other Messengers of God shall come), however, there are other commentators who believe differently:

I did not see anything differently from the following tradition!

Ibn-i Babuyih known as Sheikh Sadoogh, another highly respected Shi’ah scholar/theologian argues in his book, Ekmaal-ud-Din vol I:

“All the Messengers of God who appeared prior to Muhammad, were succeeded by a Nabi (i.e. a prophet). Adam was a Rasool (Messenger of God), and His successor was Shais the Nabi (Seth the prophet). Noah was a Messenger of God and His successor was Saam the Nabi (Shem the prophet). Abraham, Moses, Jesus and David (peace be upon them!), were also God’s Messengers, Whose successors were Isaac, Jashua, Simon (St. Peter) and Solomon Who were all prophets. However, the successors of Muhammad, Rasool-Allah (the Messenger of God), were not called Nabis (prophets). They were referred to as Imams. Therefore, ‘Ali was not a Nabi, Hasan was not a Nabi, Hossein was not a Nabi, etc…., since, with the Manifestation of Muhammad, the usage of the term Nabi was abandoned (i.e. He was Khatam-u-Nabieen), and ended.

As you can see, Shaykh Sadooq is confirming that there will be neither prophet nor messenger after Muhammad (S). How could he explain it simpler than that?!

How Bahai’s misinterpret verse 2 of Ahzab

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّينَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنكَ وَمِن نُّوحٍ وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ وَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُم مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا

Verse 2: Chapter of Ahzab, verse 7
And remember We took from the prophets their covenant: As (We did) from thee: from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus the son of Mary: We took from them a solemn covenant

What the Bahais say:
This verse refers to Allah taking the covenant from the five prophets – Mohammed, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus the son of Mary (peace be upon them) regarding Bahaullah’s prophethood. Notice how similar the claim of the Bahais with regards to this particular verse is to the previous verse i.e. Surah Ale Imran: 81. Not surprisingly, they are equally mistaken with regards to this verse.

What is the basis of this interpretation:
This is another instance of the Bahais misinterpreting a verse to suit their own designs without any reference to the Quran and Sunnah. It is a lame attempt to show that Allah had extracted the covenant from the prophets with regards to Bahaullah, when the reality is far from this.

What the Muslims say:
This verse refers to Allah extracting the covenant of His Godhood from all the prophets with a specific mention of the five great prophets. In effect, this verse underscores the finality of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) in light of his being the first among all prophets to testify to Allah’s Godhood.

Perhaps there is no bigger blunder the Bahais have made with respect to the misrepresentation of the Holy Quran than by advancing this particular verse as proof of Bahaullah’s prophethood. When Allah takes a covenant from these five prophets (among the other prophets) it is regarding His Own Godhood and not Bahaullah’s Prophethood.

Pick up any book on the Holy Quran and Sunnah and you will find that this verse is among the clearest evidences on the finality of the prophethood of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). And unlike Surah Ahzaab: 40, where the Bahais have tried to wriggle out by making lame interpretations of the word ‘Khaatam‘, the interpretation of this verse has the word ‘Aakhar‘ with regards to the prophethood of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) which means ‘last’, ‘final’, ‘concluding’.

A. Interpretation of this verse from Ahle Sunnah sources
In Al Durrul Mansoor there are tens of traditions on this verse underlining the finality of Prophet Mohammed’s (pbuh) prophethood. As a matter of fact, these traditions highlight two important facts:
1. Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) was created before all the prophets.
2. Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) was sent by Allah after all the prophets.

I have mentioned traditions from Al Durrul Mansoor to illustrate both the above points.

Ibne Jarir narrates from Qutada regarding the verse: We took from the prophets their covenant: As (We did) from thee: from Noah…(Surah Ahzaab: 7) that Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) told us – I am the first prophet to be created and the last one from them (aakhirahom fil ba’as) to be raised. 
(Ref: Al Durrul Mansoor volume 5, page 184)

Hasan b. Hareerah narrates from Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) regarding: We took from the prophets their covenant…(Surah Ahzaab: 7) – I was the first prophet in creation and the last one from them (aakhirahom fil ba’as) to be raised…’ 
(Ref: Al Durrul Mansoor volume 5, page 184)

Ibne Abi Shaibah narrates from Qutada – when the Prophet (pbuh) recited this verse: We took from the prophets their covenant: As (We did) from thee: from Noah…(Chapter of Ahzaab, verse 7) he said – All goodness was initiated with me and I am the last prophet to be raised (aakhirahom fil ba’as).’ 
(Ref: Al Durrul Mansoor volume 5, page 184)

Abi Hareerah narrates regarding this verse – The best sons of Adam are five: Nuh, Ibrahim, Moosa, Esa and Mohammed (peace be on them) 
(Ref: Al Durrul Mansoor volume 5, page 184)

B. Interpretation of this verse from Shia sources
There is a very interesting tradition from Tafsire’ Qummi from Imam Sadiq on this verse:

“The first among all the creatures to testify to the covenant was Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). And that is why he is the closest and most proximate creature to Allah, the Almighty. He (Mohammed pbuh) had the highest position near Allah. Jibrail informed him about this on the night of the ascent (Meraaj) when he told him – ‘O Mohammed you have a position in front of Allah that none can claim to have it, be it a proximate angel or a prophet sent forth.’ If his soul (Mohammed’s soul) and his self had not been from that position, he would not have been able to reach it. Then he was with Allah as the verse (Surah Najm: 9) declares, ‘And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer.’

Then Imam Sadiq said, ‘The covenant was extracted from the prophets with regards to Godhood, prophethood and Imamat of Amirul Momineen (Ali bin Abi Talib) and the other Imams. Then Allah said – Am I not your Lord? Is Mohammed not your prophet? Is Ali not your Imam? Are the guided Imams not your leaders?’ They said, ‘Yes we beat witness (to all this)’.

‘The first covenant that Allah took from the prophets was regarding His Godhood – ‘We took from the prophets their covenant…’ In this verse, Allah mentions all the prophets in summarised manner (min Al Nabiyyeen). However, He mentions the most superior of them with name (Nuh, Ibrahim, Moosa Esa) and before naming all these prophets He says – ‘As (We did) from thee (O Mohammed)’ because Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) was superior to even these four most superior prophets. Then these five are the most superior of prophets and Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) was superior to the other four. 
(Ref: Tafsire’ Qummi volume 1, page 248)

Ali b. Ibrahim Qummi says, ‘Then Allah took the covenant from the prophets regarding His Godhood…then He took a covenant from all the prophets regarding prophethood of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).’ 
(Ref: Tafsire’ Qummi, volume 2 page 152)

Conclusion
The above verses conclusively prove the Finality of the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) from the Quran.

The above interpretations from Muslim sources should also be sufficient to highlight how the Bahais have misinterpreted the Quran. It is but logical that if we wish to seek a clarification about the Quran, then we should seek it from the one on whom the Quran was revealed and not from some person who was born more than 1200 years after the incident.

Ibn Kathir’s fatwa on khatemiyat

Allama Ibn Kathir (died A.H. 774) writes in his well- known commentary, “Hence this verse is a clear proof of the fact that no prophet will come after Mohammed (pbuh) and when it is said that no prophet will come after him it is a foregone conclusion that no messenger will succeed him either, for the office of a messenger holds prominence over the office of a prophet. Every messenger is a prophet, but all prophets are not messengers. Any one who lays a claim to prophethood after Mohammed (pbuh) is a liar, a disruptionist, an imposter, depraved and a seducer despite his wonderous jugglery and magical feats. Any one who would make this claim in future till the end of the world belongs to this class. (Vol. 3, pp. 493-494)

​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)

Islam is the final religion

The following verse clearly explains the superiority of Islam over all religions past and present. Allah declares,

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).”

(The Holy Quran, Chapter of Ale’ Imran, verse 85)

This verse decrees the establishment of Islam as the final religion of Allah. This verse invalidates all new religions that appeared after Islam like, Sikhism, Qadianism and Bahaism. Thus the doors of prophethood were closed on all future claimants, thereby establishing the finality of Islam as well as that of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.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.

The word Khatam in Holy Quran

The word Khatam has come on different scales of noun, verb, infinitive in the Holy Quran but the root is the same viz. Khatama.

The verses have been listed below in order of their occurrence in the Quran:

خَتَمَ اللّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ وَعَلَى أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عظِيمٌ

      “Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur)”.

(Surah Baqarah – Chapter 2, verse 7)

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَخَذَ اللّهُ سَمْعَكُمْ وَأَبْصَارَكُمْ وَخَتَمَ عَلَى قُلُوبِكُم مَّنْ إِلَـهٌ غَيْرُ اللّهِ يَأْتِيكُم بِهِ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ ثُمَّ هُمْ يَصْدِفُونَ

      “Say: Have you considered that if Allah takes away your hearing and your sight and sets a seal on your hearts …”

(Surah Anaam – Chapter 6, verse 46)

مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا

      “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.”

(Surah Ahzab – Chapter 33, verse 40)

الْيَوْمَ نَخْتِمُ عَلَى أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَتُكَلِّمُنَا أَيْدِيهِمْ وَتَشْهَدُ أَرْجُلُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

      “That Day shall We set a seal on their mouths. But their hands will speak to us, and their feet bear witness, to all that they did”.

(Surah Yaseen – Chapter 36, verse 65)

أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا فَإِن يَشَأِ اللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ وَيَمْحُ اللَّهُ الْبَاطِلَ وَيُحِقُّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

      “If Allah pleased, He would seal your heart.”

(Surah Shura – Chapter 42, verse 24)

أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَى سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَى بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّهِ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

      “Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his God and Allah has made him err having knowledge and has set a seal upon his ear and his heart…”

(Surah Jaasiyah – Chapter 45, verse 23)

يُسْقَوْنَ مِن رَّحِيقٍ مَّخْتُومٍ

      “They are made to quaff of a pure drink that is sealed.”

(Surah Mutaffifeen – Chapter 83, verse 25)

خِتَامُهُ مِسْكٌ وَفِي ذَلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ الْمُتَنَافِسُونَ

      “The sealing of it is (with) musk.”

(Surah Mutaffifeen – Chapter 83, verse 26)

The third instance of Khatam’s occurrence in the Quran in Surah Ahzab, verse 40 is of particular interest to our discussion. Why the other seven Quranic verses don’t need to be discussed while debating meaning of Khatama is something the Bahais can tell us. From my point of view all the eight verses are relevant to our discussion on Khatama, and in any case, the Quranic verses were not meant to be studied in isolation. Parts of Quran endorse other parts since there is no contradiction in it – ‘Do they not then meditate on the Quran? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy’ (Surah Nisa, verse 82).

Lets begin with the eight Quranic verses with the occurrence of Khatama; I have preserved Surah Ahzab, verse 40 for the end. In all the eight verses, there are some common and striking observations, which should not escape the attention of the Bahais:

  1. In all the eight verses, Khatama comes with the literal meaning of seal or close. All litterateurs I have mentioned in the Dictionary meaning of Khatama are unanimous in their view that Khatama in all these verses is applicable with the literal meaning of ‘seal/close’. No other literal or metaphorical meaning of Khatama can be applied to these verses.

  2. Seal is the only literal meaning that is appropriate for these verses. Using a different meaning from ‘seal/close’ can actually alter the interpretation of the verse completely.

    For example, take the first instance of Khatama in Surah Baqarah, verse 7,

    خَتَمَ اللّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ وَعَلَى أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عظِيمٌ

    ‘Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).’

    If we had to take the metaphorical meaning of ornamentation, then the verse would read like this:

    ‘Allah hath set an ornament on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).’

    Notice the meaning has changed completely. From a rebuke with the real meaning of ‘seal’, it has turned into a compliment with the metaphorical meaning of ‘ornament’! Hardly a penalty for the guilty ones! I leave it to the Bahais to decide whether Allah meant it as seal or ornament. Likewise in Surah Yaseen, verse 65, it is unlikely that Allah wants ‘to ornament their mouths. But their hands will speak to us, and their feet bear witness, to all that they did’. It is most likely that He wants to ‘set a seal on their mouths’.

  3. In addition to the fact that only the literal meaning ‘seal’ makes any sense of the eight Quranic verses, even the exegesis (Tafseer) of these Quranic verses reveals that Allah meant ‘seal’ and not ornamentation.

    Without delving in to the eight Quranic verses that mention ‘Khatama’, I will directly go the 40th verse of Surah Ahzab and see what the reliable Quranic scholars have had to say about the meaning of Khatama in their exegeses. Below is the list of Muslim scholars of the Quran and hadith. I have referred to all their exegeses in my quest to establish the meaning of Khatama as ‘seal’ as opposed to ornamentation:

    • Tafseer-e-Ibne Kathir by Imamul Hafiz Imamadud Deen Abul Fida Ismail Ibne Umar Ibne Kathir
    • Tafseer-e-Kashshaaf by Zamakhshari
    • Tafseer-e-Thaalabi by Allamah Abi Zaid Thaalabi
    • Tafseer-e-Thauri by Imam Abi Abdillah Sufyan Ibne Saeed Masrooq Al-Thauri (popularly known as Sufyan Thauri)
    • Tafseer-e-Jalalain by Jalaaluddin Suyuti and Jalaaluddin Mahalli
    • Tafseer-e-Qurtubbi by Abu Abdillah Muhammad Ibne Ahmed Al Ansaari Al Qurtubbi
    • Ad Durrul Manthoor Bi Tafseer Bi Maathoor by Imam Jalaaluddin Suyuti
    • At Tafseerul Shaheerat by Shaikh Muhammad Abdoh
    • Tafseer-e-Baizaavi by Baizaavi
    • Tafseer-e-Fakhre Raazi by Imam Fakhre Raazi

    Having read the tafseer of Surah Ahzaab, verse 40, I find that all the scholars of Quran that I have listed, have interpreted ‘Khaatam-al-Nabiyyin’ as ‘Seal of Prophets’. They have based their opinion on the basis of Quranic verses, the correct Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), historical events before and after the advent of Islam, Arabic literature and the rules of Arabic grammar. Anyone who studies their exegeses of the Quran like I have studied will reach a conclusion that I have reached viz. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is Seal of Prophets and not Ornament of Prophets.

  4. I have referred to most of the popular English translations of the Quran viz. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Marmaduke Pickthall, S V Ahmad Ali, M M Shakir and have found them all consistent in translating ‘Khatama’ as ‘Seal’. Even non-Muslim translators hostile to Islam, like Sale, Rodwell and Palmer, to name a few, have translated ‘Khatama’ as ‘Seal’. In other words, apart from the Bahais and Qadianis, no one seems to believe that ‘Khatama’ is ornament. On the contrary, they all believe that ‘Khatama’ means ‘Seal’. As far as the Bahais are concerned I am particularly interested in learning which Quran translation they have been referring to. If they have their own English translation of the Quran (approved by the Universal House of Justice), I would like to see it.

Having studied the meaning of Khatama, first from the viewpoint of Arabic literature and then from several exegeses of the Quran, I believe there is no reason to suggest that ‘Khaatam-al-Nabiyyin’ means anything other than ‘Seal of Prophets’. To put it plainly, it means Seal of Prophets because there is no reason to even remotely conclude otherwise.

I will make the same claim I have made in my earlier articles – if Bahais have reason to believe that Quranic scholars of repute like Jalaaluddin Suyuti, Ibne Kathir, Zamakhshari, Fakhre Raazi are wrong in their evaluation of ‘Khatama’ as ‘Seal’, then let them advance better names to challenge the Islamic stance on ‘Khatama’.

The Concept of Khatemiyat

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

khatam2The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is the last messenger of Allah, Quran is the divine book and Islam the last of Allah’s religions. But during the course of history one can witness corrupt and crooked minded people who have misused this belief to their advantage. Therefore, let us first analyse the literal
meaning of the word Khatemiyat.
Allama Ibn Manzoor (630-711 a.h.) in his famous lexicon, “Lesaanul Arab” (vol. 4, p 25) has
explained under the word “Khatama” as follows:
“The end of something, i.e. to reach to its end. May Allah end it with goodness. The end of anything means its fate and ultimate…. Even the Quran has used it in this meaning when it says,
‘Muhammad is not the father of anyone among you. But he is the messenger of Allah and the last
of the Prophets.”
You observed that all the meanings of the words “Khaatam” and “Khatm” imply end. It is not
used in the meaning of ornament or its like. If a ring is called as Khatam it is because letters and
messages were sealed with it thereby implying that the letter has come to an end and nothing
more remains to be written.

Moreover, in the verse under deliberation, the word ‘Khatam’ is added to ‘Nabiyyeen’ which proves that the Holy Prophet (s.a.) is the last of the prophets (a.s.). Another important point is that in the Arabic language, the word ‘Nabi’ means the one who gives the news and ‘Rasool’ implies the one who brings a message from Allah. Both these words are not the opposites of each other. Rather, they can be used to supplement each other. In other words, it is quite possible that one person is both a Nabi as well as a Rasool, although the former encompasses the latter. So, when it is said that the Holy Prophet (s.a.) is the last Prophet and that there is no Prophet after him, then it is obvious that there is no messenger after him. Also, in authentic traditions, both the terms Nabi as well as Rasool have been used e.g. There are no Rasool after me. There are no nabi after me.

III) Clearing the doubts Continue reading