The belief in the Finality of Prophethood and Messengership is part of the fundamental creed of Islam and it is the belief of the first and best generation of Islam as well as those who succeeded them and those who succeeded them. It is a fundamental belief of those Muslims who adhere to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah and who do not break off from the main body of Muslims. Imam Abu Ja’far At-Tahawi (d.321 A.H.) states in Al-‘Aqeedatut-Tahawiyah;
‘…and that He (Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the last of the Prophets.’
Imam Abu Muhammad ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi (d.620 A.H.) states in ‘Luma’atul-I’tiqaad;
‘Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets, and the Master of the Messengers.’
An additional aspect of belief concerning the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is that he was sent to mankind and that he was a mercy to all.
“Say (O Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah” (Surah Al-A’raf, 7:158)
“And We have sent you (O Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) not but as a mercy for the 'Aalameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists)” (Surah Al-Anbiya’, 21:107)
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
‘I have been given five things which were not given to anyone else before me. Every Prophet used to be sent specifically to his own people but I have been sent to all humanity. The spoils of war have been made lawful for me, yet they were not lawful to anyone else before me. The Earth has been made pure for me and a source of purification and a place for prayer so a person can pray anywhere the time for prayer finds him. Allah has made me victorious by instilling fear in my enemies for a distance of one month’s journey. I have been given the right of intercession.’ (Reported by Bukhari)
It is absolutely clear that all textual evidences from the Qur’an and the Sunnah explain in detail the fact that the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent to all of humanity, hence, there is no need for any additional messages or messengers. Is it at all logical that though Islam carefully emphasizes this concept, mankind still has a need for ‘new’ messengers to come and add to or subtract from the religion? Sometimes the argument is made that a particular people in particular circumstances need a particular message. Allah, The Exalted, has given the response to this argument in the Qur’an itself;
“Say (O Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): "No wage do I ask of you for this, nor am I one of the Mutakallifûn (those who pretend and fabricate things which do not exist).It (this Qur'an) is only a Reminder for all the 'Aalameen (mankind and jinns)” (Surah Saad, 38:86-87).
One of the motivations of those who claim some form of special relationship with Allah, The Most High, is to make those things which Allah has made prohibited permissible and to make the permissible prohibited usually for material, social, or political gain for themselves. However, these attempts are usually in direct opposition to the well-known texts of Islam so the only way to justify any drastic changes in the religion, the false-prophets must establish some sort of sultaan (authority) for themselves and their doctrines. What better sultaan than direct revelation from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)? Nevertheless, any changes in the deen of Islam have been emphatically warned against by the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
‘Whoever does an act that is not in accord with our matter (the Sunnah) will have it rejected.’ (Reported by Bukhari, Muslim)
Narrated by Ibn Mas’ood (radhiya’llahu’anhu) ;
‘The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) drew a straight line for us. Then he said, “This is the path of Allah.” Then He drew lines to the left of it and to the right of it. He then said, “These are divergent paths. Upon each of those paths is a devil calling to that path.” (Reported by Ahmad, Ibn Majah)
It is astonishing that even after all of the evidence, we still find different groups in the past and in the present who try to blur the lines of Prophethood and Messengership either by the actual words on their tongues or by their actions. It is not necessary to proclaim ‘wahy’ (revelation) with one’s speech to fall into the category of a false prophet or messenger. If one has in fact endowed himself with the notion of infallibility, enjoins his followers to disobey Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) by changing specific aspects of the shari’ah or by bringing entirely new beliefs/laws as a result of some special ‘insight’ or ‘inspiration’ he has been blessed with that the previous generations were not privy to, then he has positioned himself in the place of Allah’s Last Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
As was mentioned previously, the belief of a believer must not only be uttered by the tongue but it has to be confirmed in the heart and evident in the actions. When we say,’ I bare witness that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger’, it must be accompanied by what already exists in our hearts and the deeds of our limbs must be in accordance with our declaration. What those who follow such individuals must realize is that by obeying these types of people while in disobedience to Allah and his Messenger, it becomes tantamount to disbelief and shirk as in the case of the Jews and Christians who obeyed their Rabbis and monks while disobeying the commandments of Allah.
“They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah…” (Surah At-Taubah, 9:31)
It is reported that ‘Adi ibn Haatim heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) recite this verse and said,’ O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)! They do not worship them. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘They certainly do. They made lawful things as unlawful and made unlawful things as lawful and they (the people) followed them and by doing so they really worshipped them.’ (Reported by Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Jarir)
Even though all of these evidences refute the notion of nubuwwah and rasaalah after the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), the fact that they must appear in succession up until the last days has been foretold by the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) himself so it becomes necessary to equip ourselves with the truth so we do not fall prey to their lies.
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