Finality of Prophethood

[ BACK ] It has been conclusively show above that the Promised Messiah regarded and treated as Muslim all those Muslims who did not believe in his claims but refrained from denouncing him as kafir. This fact is sufficient to demolish the entire Qadiani edifice based on the doctrine that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet. Since people remain Muslims without believing in the claims of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and do not become kafir by not believing in him, it follows that the Promised Messiah was not a prophet. According to accepted Islamic doctrines, Muslims must believe in all the prophets, without any exception whatsoever. Therefore, as the Promised Messiah says "no person becomes a kafir by denying my claim," it follows that he is not a prophet.

Promised Messiah believed in finality of prophethood.

Besides the above argument, the Promised Messiah also made numerous statements upholding the principle that no prophet whatsoever can come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad. We quote some of these below:

I. At one place, he quotes the Khatam an-nabiyyin verse of the Holy Quran (33:40), and translates it into Urdu as follows:

"That is to say, Muhammad is not the father of any man from among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the one to end the prophets"

He then comments:

"This verse also clearly argues that after our Holy Prophet no messenger (rasul) shall come into the world"

(Izala Auham, published September 1891, p.614.)


2. "The Holy Quran does not permit the coming of any messenger after the Khatam an-nabiyyin, whether he would be a new messenger or a former one."

(Izala Auham, p.761.)

3. "I firmly believe that our Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Khatam al-anbiya, and after him no prophet (nabi) shall come for this Muslim people, neither new nor old."

(Nishan Asmani, published May 1892, p.28.)


4. "It does not befit God that He should send a prophet after the Khatam an-nabiyyin, or that He should re-start the institution of prophethood after having terminated it."

(A'inah Kamalat Islam, published Febraary 1893, p.377.)


5. "The real fact, to which I testify with the highest testimony, is that our Holy Prophet is the Khatam al-anbiya, and after him no prophet will come, neither any old one nor any new one."

(Anjam Atham, published January 1897, p.27, footnote)


6. "The Holy Prophet had repeatedly said that no prophet would come after him, and the hadith 'There is no prophet after me' was so well-known that no one had any doubt about its authenticity. And the Holy Quran, every word of which is binding, in its verse 'he is the Messenger of Allah and the Khatam an-nabiyyin', confirmed that prophethood has in fact ended with our Holy Prophet."

(Kitab al-Barriyya, published January 1898, p.184.)

7. "By saying 'There is no prophet after me', the Holy Prophet Muhammad closed the door absolutely to any new prophet or the return of any old prophet."

(Ayyam as-SuIh, published August 1898, p.152.)


8. "If another prophet were to come, whether new or old, how could our Holy Prophet Muhammad be the Kh~am al-anbiya?"

(Ayyam as-SuIh, p.74.)


9. "The Holy Prophet Muhammad was the Khatam alanbiya, and no prophet was to come after him."

(Tazkirat ash-Shahadatain, published October 1903, p.43)


10. "Prophethood ended with him [Holy Prophet Muhammad not only because of his being the last in time but also because all the accomplishments of prophethood came to an end with him."

(Lecture Islam, Sialkot, November 1904, p.6.)


11. "There is now no need to follow separately all the prophethoods and all the books which have gone before because the prophethood of Muhammad includes and encompasses them all ... Therefore, with this prophet-hood [of Muhammad] all prophethoods come to an end. And so it ought to have been, because that which has a beginning has also an end."

(AI-Wasiyya, December 1905, pp.10-Il.)


12. "Allah is that Being Who ... made Adam, sent messengers, sent scriptures, and last of all sent Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, who is the Khatam al-anbiya and the best of messengers."

(Haq'iqat al-Wahy, published May 1907, p.141.)


The writings quoted above range from the time Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be the Promised Messiah in 1891 till near the end of his life. So it cannot be argued that these were his "earlier books" after which he changed his views.

It may be noted that the Promised Messiah has here proved from the Holy Quran and the Hadith that no prophet, new or old, can come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad. However, the Qadianis, very frequently in their publications, purport to give evidence from the Holy Quran, the Hadith, and the writings of Muslim religious authorities since the time of the Holy Prophet, to try to show the reverse, that prophethood has not ended with the Holy Prophet Muhammad and that prophets can still appear after him. The same sources cited by the Qadianis were also in the view, and under the study, of the Promised Messiah. But he drew from them the opposite conclusion and wrote that "the Holy Quran does not permit the coming of any messenger after the Khatam an-nabiyyin," and that "the Holy Prophet Muhammad closed the door absolutely to any new prophet or the return of any old prophet."

M. Mahmud Ahmad's belief that prophets can still come.

Although it is a well-known Qadiani doctrine that prophethood has not ended with the Holy Prophet Muhammad and that prophets can come after him till the end of the world, nonetheless we quote below from some of the writings of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad laying down this belief. He writes in his book Anwar-i Khilafat:

"Likewise they say that however much a person may advance in virtue and goodness, nay even surpass many prophets in righteousness and piety, may attain the utmost knowledge of God, but God will never make him a prophet, never raise him to that dignity. Their thinking thus is due to not assigning to Allah the attributes due to Him; otherwise to say nothing of one prophet, I say there shall be thousands of prophets, and a person who rises to the dignity of prophets like John can become a prophet. They question the prophethood of the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, but I say, even now there can be a prophet." (p.62)

"I ask, Is prophethood a mercy or a curse? If it is a mercy, then why has it come to an end after the Holy Prophet Muhammad? It should have increased all the more after him. He was a prophet of a very great status. Therefore a prophet who comes after him must also be of a great status, not that no one could at all become a prophet." (p.64)

"Even if someone placed a sword on my neck and told me to say that no prophet can come after the Holy Prophet, I would say to him: you are a liar, a great liar, prophets can come after the Holy Prophet, most certainly they can." (p.65)

It can be clearly seen how utterly opposed these views are to the beliefs expressed by the Promised Messiah as quoted earlier.

Use of term prophet for Promised Messiah.

The Qadianis, along with the opponents of the Ahmadiyya Movement, seek to mislead people by quoting from the Promised Messiah's writings the use of the words nabi (prophet) and rasul (messenger) as applying to him. They thus try to show that the Promised Messiah claimed to be a prophet. What they are reluctant to quote, however, are the extensive explanations given by the Promised Messiah of the meaning and the sense in which these terms apply to him, and his flat denials of claiming to be a prophet. As this subject has been fully dealt with in our other literature, here we merely give one simple argument. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ah mad always wrote, from the time he claimed to be the Promised Messiah till the end of his life, that these terms applied to him not in their real sense but in their metaphorical sense, the sense in which they apply to every saint (wali or muhaddas) in Islam. Some of his statements are given below:

1. "The coming Messiah, because of being a muhaddas [A muhaddas is one who is not a prophet but receives revelation from God], is metaphorically also a prophet."

(Izala Auham, p.349.)

2. "It is true that, in the revelation which God has sent upon this servant, the words nabi, rasul and mursal (prophet and messenger) occur about myself quite frequently. However, they do not bear their real sense. ... We believe and acknowledge that, according to the real meaning of prophethood, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad no new or former prophet can come. The Holy Quran forbids the appearance of any such prophets. But in a metaphorical sense God can call any recipient of revelation as nabi or mursal... The Arabs to this day call even the message-bearer sent by a man as a rasul, so why is it forbidden for God also to use the word mursal in a metaphorical sense."

(Siraj Munir; published March 1897, pp.2-3.)


3. "I say repeatedly that in these revelations the word mursal or rasul or nabi which has occurred about me is not used in its real sense. The real fact, to which I testify with the highest testimony, is that our Holy Prophet is the Khatam al-anbiya; and after him no prophet will come, neither any old one nor any new one. ... As we have just explained, sometimes the revelation from God contains such words about some of His saints (auliya) in a metaphorical and figurative sense; they are not meant by way of reality. ... The epithet 'prophet of God' for the Promised Messiah to come, which is to be found in Sahih Muslim etc. from the blessed tongue of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, is meant in the same metaphorical sense as that in which it occurs in Sufi literature as an accepted and common term for the recipient of Divine communication. Otherwise, how can there be a prophet after the Khatam al-anbiya?"

(Anjam Atham, pp.27-28, footnote,)


4. "The Holy Quran clearly states that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Khatam al-anbiya. But our opponents make Jesus the Khatam al-anbiya, and they say that the mention of the Messiah as 'prophet of God' in Sahih Muslim and elsewhere refers to real prophethood."

(Kitab aI-Barnyy'a, p.191, footnote.)


What the Promised Messiah here calls the wrong view held by his opponents, namely, that mention of the Messiah as 'prophet of God' in Hadith "refers to real prophethood," has become one of the principal doctrines of the Qadianis. One of the very basic arguments advanced by the Qadianis is that, as the coming Messiah has been called a 'prophet of God' in Hadith reports, it follows that the true claimant to this office, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a real prophet of God.

5. "These words (rasul, etc.) are used by way of metaphor, just as in Hadith also the word nabi has been used for the Promised Messiah."

(Arba'in, published December 1900, No.2, p. 8, footnote.)


6. "Here the words rasul and nabi which have been used about me in the revelation from God, that he is the messenger and prophet of God, are meant in a metaphorical and figurative sense."

(Arba'in, No.3, p.25, footnote.)


7. "God speaks to, and communicates with, His saints (auliya) in this Ummah, and they are given the colour of prophets. However, they are not prophets in reality."

(Mowahib ur-Rahman, published January 1903. pp.66-67.)


8. "And I have been called nabi (prophet) by Allah by way of metaphor, not by way of reality."

(Haqi-qat al-Wahi', Supplement, p.64.)


The Promised Messiah has consistently explained that a saint in Islam, such as himself, can be called 'prophet' (nabi) and 'messenger' (rasul) only in a metaphorical sense, and this does not mean that he becomes a prophet in reality, because in actual fact the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Last Prophet, after whom no prophet whatsoever can come, new or old.

Denials of claiming prophethood by Promised Messiah.

We quote below some of the denials issued by the Promised Messiah to the allegation that he claimed to be a prophet:

1. "Question: In the booklet Fath-i Islam you have made a claim to prophethood. Answer: There is no claim of prophethood; on the contrary, the claim is of being a muhaddas, which has been put forward by the command of God."

(lzala Auham, p.421.)


2. "I have heard that some leading Ulama of this city [Delhi] are giving publicity to the allegation against me that I lay claim to prophethood. ... these allegations are an entire fabrication, I do not make a claim to prophet-hood. ... After our leader and master, Muhammad mustafa, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, the last of the messengers, I consider anyone who claims prophethood and messengership to be a liar and kafir."

(Statement issued 2 October 1891. Majma'a Ishtiharat, vol. 1, pp. 230-231.)


3. "Those people have fabricated a lie against me who say that I claim to be a prophet."

(Hamamat aI-Bushra; published 1894, p.8.)


4. "I have not claimed prophethood, nor have I said to them that I am a prophet ... I did not say anything to the people except what I wrote in my books, namely, that I am a muhaddas and God speaks to me as He speaks to the muhaddases. ... It does not befit me that I should claim prophethood and leave Islam and join the disbelievers. ... How could I claim prophethood when I am a Muslim."

(Hamamat aI-Bushra, p.79.)


5. "By way of a fabrication, they slander me by alleging that I have made a claim to prophethood and that I deny miracles and the angels. It should be remembered that all this is a fabrication."

(Kitab al-Barriyya, p.182, footnote.)


6. "I make no claim to prophethood. This is your mistake, or you have some motive in mind. Is it necessary that a person who claims to receive revelation should also be a prophet?"

(Jung Muqaddas, June 1893, p.67.)


7. "I am not a prophet but a muhaddas from God, and a recipient of Divine revelation."

(A'inah Kamalat Islam, p.383.)


8. "Another stupidity is that, in order to provoke the ignorant people, they say that I have claimed prophethood. This is a complete fabrication on their part."

(Haqiqat al-Wahy, p.390.)


9. "Let it be clear to him [an opponent Maulvi] that I also curse the person who claims prophethood, and I believe that 'There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger', and I have faith in the finality of prophet-hood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. ... there is no claim of prophethood on my part either, only a claim of sainthood (wilayat) and reformership (mujaddidiyyar)."

(Announcement issued January 1897. see Majma'a Ishtiharat, vol. ii, pp.297-298.)


10. "Can a wretched imposter who claims messengership and prophethood for himself have any belief in the Holy Quran? And can a man who believes in the Holy Quran, and believes the verse 'He is the Messenger of Allah and the Khatam an-nabiyyin' to be the word of God, say that he is a messenger and prophet after the Holy Prophet Muhammad?"

(Anjam Atham, p.27, footnote.)