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Eleven Facts on the Finality of Prophethood and Messengership

By Yūsuf Badāt

ONE: The Qurʾān Declares Muḥammad ﷺ as the Final Prophet

مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّـهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا

“Muḥammad ﷺ is not the father of any of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of God, and the Seal of the prophets. God has full knowledge of all things.” (33:40)

فهذه الآية نص في أنه لا نبي بعده وإذا كان لا نبي بعده فلا رسول بالطريق الأولى والأحرى لأن مقام الرسالة أخص من مقام النبوة فإن كل رسول نبي ولا ينعكس

“This verse is evidence in the matter that there is no prophet after Muḥammad ﷺ. When there is no prophet after him then for sure there is no messenger after him, for the post of a messenger is more elevated than that of a prophet. Every messenger was a prophet but not vice versa.” (Ibn Kathīr)

TWO: Muḥammad’s ﷺ Own Words Prove His Finality

وَخُتِمَ بِيْ النَّبِيُّوْنَ “I am sealed as the last Prophet.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

THREE: Final Brick in the Palace of Prophethood

مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُ الأَنْبِيَاءِ مِنْ قَبْلِي كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ بَنَى بُنْيَانًا فَأَحْسَنَهُ وَأَجْمَلَهُ إِلاَّ مَوْضِعَ لَبِنَةٍ مِنْ زَاوِيَةٍ مِنْ زَوَايَاهُ فَجَعَلَ النَّاسُ يَطُوفُونَ بِهِ وَيَعْجَبُونَ لَهُ وَيَقُولُونَ هَلاَّ وُضِعَتْ هَذِهِ اللَّبِنَةُ – قَالَ – فَأَنَا اللَّبِنَةُ وَأَنَا خَاتَمُ النَّبِيِّينَ ‏

“My example and that of the prophets before me is that of a person who built a palace quite impressive and beautiful, leaving out one brick in a corner. People go around it, appreciating the building, but objecting, “Why has a brick not been fixed here?” He ﷺ said, “I am that brick and I am the last of the prophets.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

FOUR: Muḥammad ﷺ Born with a Seal on His Back Testifying to His Finality

عَنْ سِمَاكٍ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ جَابِرَ بْنَ سَمُرَةَ قَالَ رَأَيْتُ خَاتِمًا فِي ظَهْرِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَأَنَّهُ بَيْضَةُ حَمَامٍ
Jābir Ibn Samurah (may God be pleased with him) reported, “I saw the seal on his ﷺ back as if it were a pigeon’s egg [in size].” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

عَنِ الْجَعْدِ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ السَّائِبَ بْنَ يَزِيدَ يَقُولُ ذَهَبَتْ بِي خَالَتِي إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَتْ يَارَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ ابْنَ أُخْتِي وَجِعٌ‏ فَمَسَحَ رَأْسِي وَدَعَا لِي بِالْبَرَكَةِ ثُمَّ تَوَضَّأَ فَشَرِبْتُ مِنْ وَضُوئِهِ ثُمَّ قُمْتُ خَلْفَ ظَهْرِهِ فَنَظَرْتُ إِلَى خَاتَمِ النُّبُوَّةِ بَيْنَ كَتِفَيْهِ مِثْلِ زِرِّ الْحَجَلَةِ‏

Sā’ib bin Yazīd (may God be pleased with him) reports, “My aunt took me to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “O God’s Messenger ﷺ! This nephew has got a pain in his legs.” So he ﷺ passed his hands on my head and prayed for God’s blessings for me. He then performed ablution and I drank from the remaining water. I stood behind him and saw the seal of prophethood between his shoulders [on his back], and it was like the egg of a partridge [in size].” (Sahih Muslim)

FIVE: One of His Names is ‘Āaqib’, Meaning the ‘Final’ or ‘Last’ One

إِنَّ لِي أَسْمَاءً أَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ وَأَنَا أَحْمَدُ وَأَنَا الْمَاحِي الَّذِي يَمْحُو اللَّهُ بِيَ الْكُفْرَ وَأَنَا الْحَاشِرُ الَّذِي يُحْشَرُ النَّاسُ عَلَى قَدَمِي وَأَنَا الْعَاقِبُ الَّذِي لَيْسَ بَعْدِي نَبِيٌّ
“I have several names, I am Muḥammad, I am Aḥmad, I am Māḥī, the one by whom God wipes out disbelief, I am Ḥāshir, the one whom the people gather around, and I am ʿĀaqib, the one after whom there is no prophet.” (Tirmidhī)

SIX: Muhammad ﷺ is the Only Prophet Sent to All Mankind

قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا
“Say, “O people! I am sent to every one of you, as the Messenger of God.” (Qurʾān 7:158)

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِّلنَّاسِ
“I have sent you O Muḥammad to all humanity.” (Qurʾān 34:28)

وقالالقاسمي في تفسيره محاسن التأويل تمت الرسالات برسالته إلى الناس أجمعين
“Messengership concluded with Muḥammad being sent to all humanity.” (Tafsīr Maḥāsin Al-Tʾāwīl)

SEVEN: There is Mainstream Scholarly Consensus on His Finality

وهذا الأمر أجمع عليه أهل الإسلام، قال الإمام ابن عطية في تفسير قوله تعالى أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ هذه الألفاظ عند جماعة علماء الأمة خلفاً وسلفاً متعلقة على العموم التام مقتضية نصاً أن لا نبي بعده، صلى الله عليه وسلم

“The finality of Muḥammad’s ﷺ messengership is a consensus amongst Muslims. Imam Ibn ʿAṭiyyah in his commentary of verse 33:40 states, “According to a contingent of classical and contemporary scholars from the Muslim community, the wordings of this verse demand, very clearly, that there is no messenger after Muḥammad  ﷺ.” (Tafsīr Ibn ʿAṭiyyah)

EIGHT: Hadīth Warning of False Prophets

وَإِنَّهُ سَيَكُونُ فِي أُمَّتِي ثَلاَثُونَ كَذَّابُونَ كُلُّهُمْ يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ وَأَنَا خَاتَمُ النَّبِيِّينَ لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي
“There will be 30 false liars amongst my followers who will all claim that they are prophets. Know that I am the final prophet. There is no messenger after me.” (Tirmidhī)

NINE: The Return of Jesus

ولا يعترض على ختم النبوة بنزول عيسى آخر الزمان فإنه لا يأتي بشريعة ولكنه يعمل بشريعة نبينا محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم
The fact that Jesus (ʿEīsa) son of Maryam (peace and blessings upon him) will return at the end of times does not oppose Muḥammad being the last prophet, for Jesus will not bring a new legislation rather he will follow the laws and teachings of Muḥammad

ﷺ. وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَيُوشِكَنَّ أَنْ يَنْزِلَ فِيكُمُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَكَمًا مُقْسِطًا فَيَكْسِرَ الصَّلِيبَ وَيَقْتُلَ الْخِنْزِيرَ وَيَضَعَ الْجِزْيَةَ وَيَفِيضَ الْمَالُ حَتَّى لاَ يَقْبَلَهُ أَحَدٌ
“By Him in Whose hand is my life, the son of Mary will soon descend among you as a fair judge. He will destroy the cross [and it’s false related beliefs], eradicate swine and abolish Jizya. Wealth [at that time] will pour forth [and be abundant] to such an extent that no one will be in need to accept or take it.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

TEN: The Final Religion has the Final Prophet

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا
“This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Qurʾān 5:3)

أخرج الإمام الطبري عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنه قال الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وهو الإسلام قال أخبر الله نبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم والمؤمنين أنه قد أكمل لهم الإيمان فلا يحتاجون إلى زيادة أبداً وقد أتمه الله عز وجل فلا ينقصه أبداً وقد رضيه الله فلا يسخطه أبداً
ʿAbd Allāh Ibn ʿAbbās (may God be pleased with him) declared regarding the Qurʾānic verse 5:3, “Islam is the culminating and final religion. God informed his Prophet and also the believers that He completed their faith and religion for them. Therefore there will never be a need for any addition. God concluded the religion; therefore there can never be a flaw in it. God is pleased with the religion, therefore He will never be angered [at the one who wholesomely practices it].” (Ṭabarī)

ELEVEN: The Qurʾān is the Only Timeless Miracle Ever Given to Any Prophet

رسالة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم، الرسالة الخاتمة، ولأن دينه خاتم الأديان لذا كانت معجزته عقلية خالدة، باقية ما بقي الزمان يقول عفيف طبارة إن معجزات الرسل السابقين الدالة على صدق نبوتهم هي وقائع تنقضي، يراها الذين عاصروا الأنبياء فيؤمنون حث الإيمان بمن جاءت على يدهم ولا يراها الذين يأتون من بعدهم، بل تصل إليهم أخبارها فيضعف تأثيرها على الأمم التابعة

“The messengership of Muḥammad ﷺ is the final one. His religion is the culmination and conclusion of all religions. This is the very reason why his miracle [the Qurʾān] is logically perpetual with humanity forever. The miracles of previous prophets were proof regarding the truthfulness of their prophethood. These were miraculous occurrences that ended [with the passing of the prophets]. Those who were present during the prophets’ eras witnessed the miracles and strengthened their faith. The people who came after the prophets did not witness nor see those miraculous occurrences.” (Al-Durar)

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