Monday, April 4, 2016

The Meaning of 'Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen'

The Dogma of 'Khatme Nabuwwat'

On Saturday 26 March 2016 after Salat-ul-Zuhr, a non-Ahmadi Muslim friend gave me a Muslim newspaper (STAR ​​No. 1625) dated 21 to 27 February 2016 wherein was written an article at page 30 on the Seal of Prophethood (part 4). An Imam spoke of the agreement by all the Ulema of the Ummah on the issue. When we look at this clause, we see that from the first century until today, in each successive generation, in the entire Muslim world, in every country, theologians are unanimous on this point that after the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) no one can be a prophet, and if someone claim the right to this post/ status or one who believes in such claimant, is a Kafir (infidel) and out of the pale of Islam. 

Then, the Imam in question reproduced the following evidence, namely the views of these theologians:

1.   Hazrat Imam-e-Azam Abu Hanifa (ra) [80-150 AH] said (like I told you last Friday): “La Nabi Ba’adi (No prophet after me). [Manaqib-ul-Imamul Azam Abu-Hanifa, Labin-e-Ahmedul-Makki, Vol.1, Pg. 161].

2.     Allama Ibn Jarir-Tabri (ra) [224-310 AH] commented on the verse of the Holy Quran “Walakir-Rasulullah, wa Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen” and explained that he is one who had shut the door of prophecy and has applied thereon a seal. [Tafsir Ibn Jarir, Vol.22, p. 12].

3.      Allama Ibn Hazam (ra) Andalusi [384-456 AH] wrote: “Without a doubt, the continuation of revelation ceased after the death of Rasulullah (pbuh). The proof is that the revelation is bestowed to a prophet and (he is) the last of the prophets.” [Al-Muhalla, Vol.1 p. 26].

4.    Hazrat Imam Ghazali (ra) [450-505 AH] wrote in his book ‘Iqtisaad’: “No doubt the Ummah has reached a consensus that through the words’ Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen’ ‘the Nabiya Badi’, there will be no Messenger and no Prophet until eternity.”

And then the Imam quoted others also and pronounced that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is the last prophet and said that those who pretend to receive a divine revelation or claim to be a prophet, will be declared infidel (Kafir) and has mentioned that in every Muslim country, the great scholars, Fuqaha, the ‘Muhadditheen’ and Mufassireen have all expressed the same opinion about Khatme Nabuwwat”.

The meaning of “Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen

Now I make a small comment on the meaning of Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen and also put forward the writings of prominent Muslim scholars.

As you know, the term Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen appears in the Quran in Surah Al-Ahzab. This verse says:

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen (Seal of the Prophets); and Allah has full knowledge of all things.” (33: 41)

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: I was the Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen before the birth of Prophet Adam.” (Tafsir ibn Kathir, on the authority of Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal).

When his son died, he (pbuh) said: “Had Ibrahim lived he would have become a prophet.” (Ibn Majah, Vol.1 Kitabul-Janaiz).

These very significant words agree with the text of the Holy Quran. They mean that the word Khatam does not mean the last’ in respect to the time factor.

The Interpretation of Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen by eminent Muslim scholars:

While discussing the subject of the advent of prophets and of Imamat, a sage of very great eminence, the sixth Imam of the Shia sect who lived in the first century of Islam (died in 148 AH/ 765 AD), Hazrat Jafar Sadiq, upon him be peace, while discussing the following Quranic verse: “For verily We granted the Book to the children of Abraham…”, said that God vouchsafed to the children of Abraham Messengers, Prophets and Imams. But what is ironical is that people believe in what God blessed the children of Abraham while they deny that this blessing extends to the progeny of Muhammad (pbuh).

2)     The very eminent saint, the sun of the world of mysticism, Hazrat Maulana Jalalud-Din Rumi, may the mercy of Allah be upon him, born in 604 AH/1207 AD, (died in 672AH/1273AD), said: “Strive hard in the path of virtue in a manner so that you may be blessed with prophethood and you still be a follower.” (Mathnavi Maulana Rumi, Chapter 1, p. 53)

3)    A very distinguished commentator from Spain, the great Sheikh Hazrat Muhyi-ud-Deen Ibn Arabi (died in 638 AH/ 1240 AD), said: “Prophethood among mankind shall continue till the end of days though Law-bearing prophethood has ceased. Law-bearing prophethood is merely a type of prophethood.”

4)     Hazrat Sheikh Muhyi-ud-Deen Ibn Arabi also said: “The height of Muhammad’s exaltedness is expressed by the fact that through the “Darood” prayer he has raised his own progeny to the level of prophets and he was granted the superiority over Hazrat Ibrahim through the fact that the Law he brought shall never be abrogated.” (Fatuhati Makkiyya, Vol. I, p. 545).

5)     The Chief of the Mystics and the Sheikh of his time, Hazrat Sheikh Bali Afandi (died in 960 AH), said: ‘“Khatamar Rusul” is he after whom no prophet with a new law shall be born.” (Sharah Fususul Hakam).

6)     The saint among the saints, the Imam and the Reformer of the second millennium, Hazrat Sheikh Ahmad Farooqi of Sarhind (died in 1034 AH / 1624 AD) said: “The advent of a prophet after the Khatamar Rusul Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), the Chosen One, peace and blessings be upon him, from among his own followers and as a heritage, does not in any way go against his status as the Khatamar Rusul. Therefore, Oh readers, do not be among those who doubt.” (Maktubat Hazrat Imam Rabbani Hazrat Mujaddid Alif Thani).

7)     Hazrat Mirza Mazhar Jan-e-Janaan Naqshbandi (died in 1195 AH/ 1781 AD), an acknowledged authority on Mysticism, famous literary person and master of poetry and prose said: “No perfection, except the perfection of Law-bearing prophethood, has ended. With respect to the other blessings of God Almighty, He is neither miserly nor niggardly.” (Maqamati Mazhari, p. 88).

8)     Hazrat Maulana Farangi Mahal (died in 1304 AH), has said: “The scholars of the Sunni sect also believe in and expound the fact that in the course of the Ministry of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be on him, there cannot appear a law-bearing prophet and his prophethood extends to the end of time. A prophet who appears during his ministry shall necessarily be a follower of the Law of Muhammad.” (Majmu’ah Fatawa, Maulvi Abdul Hayyi, Vol. I, p. 144).

9)   Hazrat Muhyi-ud-Deen Ibn Arabi, has said: “From the study and contemplation of the ‘Darood’ we have arrived at the clear-cut conclusion that there shall certainly be, from among the Muslims, such persons whose status, in the matter of prophethood, shall advance to the level of the prophets, if Allah pleases. But they shall not be given any book of Law.' (Fatuhati Makiyya, Vol. I, p.545).

10)  Ummul Momineen Hazrat Aisha, the Truthful (ra) who has been universally accepted to have taught half of the Islamic faith to the Muslims, said: “Oh Muslims! Do say that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was the Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen but never say that there shall be no prophet after him.” (Durri Manshoor, Vol. 5, p. 204).

11)  Shaikh-uI-Imam, Ibn Qateebah (died in 267 AH), after quoting what Hazrat Aisha, the Truthful, had said, commented: “This statement (of Hazrat Aisha) does not go against what the Holy Prophet (pbuh) had said, i.e., La Nabi Ba’adi. Because what the Holy Prophet actually meant was that no prophet would come after him who would abrogate his Code of Law.” (Tawil Mukhtaliful Ahadith, p. 236).

12)  The highly renowned Muhaddith and scholar of the Indian sub-continent, Imam Muhammad Tahir (died in 986 AH/1578 AD), stated: “This view of Hazrat Aisha is based on the assumption that Jesus, upon him be peace, was expected to come down. This view too does not contradict the saying of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), “There is no prophet after me.” What he meant to say was that there shall be no prophet after him who shall abrogate his Law.”

13)  Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah of Delhi (died in 1176 AD) wrote: “From the sayings of the Holy Prophet “La Nabiyya Ba’adi” and “La Rasul” we come to understand that the prophethood that has ceased is the Law-bearing one.” (Qiratul ‘Ainain Fi Tafadhulul Shaikhain, p. 39)

There are also other references to be cited by eminent Muslim scholars, on their interpretation of Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen and “La Nabi Ba’adi”.

Moreover, Allah (swt) has promised to send, in every century, an Imam to revive Islam, as the possibility remains that teachings are misinterpreted or are outright discarded. Oh you Muslims who believe in the Promised Messiah Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) and this humble one, the Khalifatullah of this era, you are indeed witnessing the fulfillment of this promise. Alhamdulillah. May Allah guide us always on the right path. Ameen.

---From the Friday Sermon of 01 April 2016 ~(22 Jamad’ul Aakhir 1437 Hijri) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius. 

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