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.

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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)

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.”

Fakhruddin Razi on Khatm-e-Nabuwwat

Imam Razi (543 A.H.-606 A.H.), in his work Tafsir Kabir while explaining the meaning of the verse Khatam-un-Nabiyyin states: “In this context the term Khatam-un Nabiyyin has been used in the sense that a Prophet whose ministry is not final may leave some injunctions or commandments incomplete or unexplained thus providing scope for a succeeding prophet to complete the task. But the Prophet who will have no successor is more considerate and provides clear guidlines for his followers, for he is like a father who knows that after him there will be no guardian or patron to look after his son.”(Vol. 6, p. 581)

Imam Ghazali and Khatm-e-Nabuwwat

Imam Ghazali (450 A.H-505 A.H.) says `If the right of denying the authority of consensus be admitted, it will give rise to many absurdities. For example, if someone says that it is possible for a person to attain the office of Prophethood after our Apostle Mohammed (pbuh), we shall not hestitate to pronounce him as an infidel, but in the course of a controversy the man who wishes to prove that any reluctance in pronoucing such a person as an apostate is a sin shall have to seek the aid of consensus in support of his arguments, because reason is no arbiter against the possibilty of the existance of a `new prophet.’ As regards the followers of the `new prophets’ they will not be utterly incapable of making various interpretations of La Nabiya Ba`di, “There will be no Prophet after me” and Khatam-ul-Nabiyyin, `Last of the Prophets.’ A follower of the `new prophets’ might say that Khatam-ul-Naibiyyin, `Last of the Prophets’ bears the meaning “last of the prominent Messengers.” If you argue that “prophets” is a common word, he would very easily give this term a particular significance with regard to his own `prophethood.’ In respect of `No Prophet will come after him’, such a man would contend that this expression does not say that `No Messengers will follow him.’ There is a difference betwen a Prophet and a Messenger. The status of a Prophet is higher than that of the Messenger. The fact is that such absurdities can be indulged in ad infinitum. It is not difficult, in our view, to make different interpretations of a word. Besides, there is no ample scope for people to commit blunders ever and beyond these points in the exposition of these clear words. We cannot even say that those who make such interpretations are guilty of the denial of clear injunctions. But to refute those who have but their faith in the false expositions we shall say that the entire Ummah by a consensus of opinion recognizes that the words `No Prophet shall come after him’ and the context of the traditions suggests that the Holy Prophet meant that `No Prophet, nor Messenger shall follow him.’ Furthermore, the Ummah is agreed on the point that above words of the Holy Prophet leave no scope for a different interpretation than given to it by the consensus of the Ummah and he who would not join the consensus is no more than a dissident. (Al-Iqtisad Fil Aiteqad, p.114, Egypt)

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)