Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat has firm faith that the Holy Prophet Muhammad was Khataman Nabiyyin (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

The detractors of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya persistently claim in their propaganda that Ahmadis deny the Khatme Nabuwwat of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him; that Ahmadis believe in a prophethood parallel to that of the Holy Prophet; that Ahmadis elevate the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to a status above the status of the Holy Prophet etc. All these stated beliefs are falsely attributed to Ahmadis. These are manifestly incorrect and concocted in bad faith. A person’s belief is only that which is professed by him rather than the one that is alleged to him. The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community stated in an address:

Our firm belief, which we uphold in this life and with which, by God’s grace, we shall leave this worldly abode, is that our Lord and Master, Muhammad, the Chosen One, is Khatamun-Nabiyyin [Seal of the Prophets] and Khairul-Mursalin [the best among the Messengers.] Through him faith was perfected and the blessing, through which one can reach God by adopting the path of salvation, has reached its pinnacle.” (Translated from Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 3, p. 169–170)

In his book Kashtee Nuh he addresses his followers in the following words:

“On the face of the Earth there is no guidance for mankind except the Quran, and there is no guide for man other than Muhammad Mustafa, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. So strive to create a bond of true love with this Prophet of majesty and grandeur, and prefer none else above him in any manner.” (Translated from Kashtee Nuh, Rohani Khazain, Vol. 19, page 13-14)

Khatme Nabuwwat is a philosophically profound concept that not only describes the lofty status of the Holy Prophet but also makes clear the position of Islam as the final living religion that will serve as the only God-sanctioned guidance for mankind until the Day of Judgement. It is not for a layman to comprehend the full significance of the concept of Khatme Nabwwwat. It requires application of thought, knowledge of religious matters, perception of spiritual ranks, and most of all it requires help from the Quran and the Hadith. To insist upon it to merely mean ‘the last prophet’ may be termed intellectual naivety.

The Holy Prophet(pbuh) said that he was Khatam even when Adam was being rolled in the primordial mix of his creation. (Musnad Ahmad bin Hambal, Vol. 4, page 127) A study of Islamic history would reveal that different scholars and groups have taken different, many a time conflicting positions on the meaning of this word. Given this, it is not possible to treat all interpretations as equally credible. We have to take recourse to the Quran and Hadith and identify those interpretations that find their support in these two venerable sources rather than limit ourselves to the narrow interpretation that finds favour with the present-day mullah.

The expression Khataman Nabiyyin occurs in the Holy Quran in Sura Ahzab. The verse runs as follows: “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men but he is the Messenger of Allah and Khataman Nabiyyin. Allah has the knowledge of everything.” (33:41). To explain the meaning of Khataman Nabiyyin we first give here two sayings of the Holy Prophet himself and then a few quotations from the writings of eminent Muslim divines of different eras and countries.

The Holy Prophet(pbuh) said: “I was Khataman Nabiyyin before Adam was born.” (Tafseer Ibn Kaseer on the authority of Musnad Ahmad bin Hambal). When his son Ibrahim died he said. “If Ibrahim had lived he would have been a righteous prophet.” (Ibn Majah, Vol I, Kitabul Janaiz).

Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her), wife of the Holy Prophet and the daughter of the first Caliph of Islam, is reputed for her intelligence, piety, and learning. She is reported to have said: “Say that he is Khataman Nabiyyin but do not say that there is no prophet after him.” (Durr-e-Mansoor, Vol. 5, 386) The words fit in so well with the context of the Quranic verse. She means to say that the word Khatam in this verse does not mean the last in point of time. Maulana Muhammad Shafi Mufti of Deoband says that this saying of Hadhrat Ayesha is also found in Taveelul Ahadith and adds: “The apparent meaning of La Nabi Ba’di is that no prophet, whether old or new, can come after the Holy Prophet. As this meaning adversely affects the universally accepted Islamic doctrine and the unanimous belief of the companions of the Holy Prophet regarding the second advent of the Messiah (peace be upon him), therefore Hazrat Ayesha and Mugheera (may Allah be pleased with them) have given the instruction that such words should not be used as might go in any way against the universally accepted doctrine.” (Khatm-e-Nubuwwat fil Quran, p. 67).

In the Shia commentary of the Holy Quran (Majmail Bahrain by Abdul Hasan Ali bin Muhammad – died in 445 A.H.), it is written under the word Khatam that the meaning of Khataman Nabiyyin is that Holy Prophet was the ornament of Prophets.

Sheikhul Akbar Muhyuddin Ibn Arabi (b. 560 A.H. at Murcia, Spain, and died in 638 A.H. in Damascus), a most learned and eminent divine, also interprets the expression Khataman Nabiyyin in the same way. Maulvi Khuda Baksh Khan, President High Court Hyderabad Deccan, quotes Abu Yahya from Asaru Bilad where he writes about Ibn Arabi that “He was a great learned divine, well versed in religious sciences and philosophy … he has no parallel in his greatness.” (Mahbubul Albab, p. 512). Explaining the expression, Ibn Arabi says: “Prophethood has not been totally abolished. That is why I had said that only prophethood bringing a new Shari‘ah. has come to an end. This is the meaning of words La Nabiyya ba‘di… The study of the hadith about Caesar and Chosroes has led me to understand that, by saying La Nabiyya ba‘di, the Holy Prophet(sa) is employing the same kind of expression as there would be no Caesar after this Caesar and there would be no Chosroes after this Chosroes.” (Al-Futuhatul- Makkiyyah, vol. 3, p. 103)

Maulana Jalaluddin Roomi (born at Balkh in 609, died at Koniya in 672 A.H.) is an outstanding Muslim personality. He explains the meaning of Khatam by saying that the like of the Holy Prophet has never been and will never be. It denotes perfection. The original is in Persian. Here is the English translation: “Prophethood reached finality in his person in this way that none so ever has been like him and none shall be like him. Whenever a master craftsman excels in a craft, does no one say that craftsmanship has reached its end in him?” (llhami Manzoom, Daftar 6, compiled by Maulvi Feroz Khan, 1350 A.H; p. 19)

Syed Abdul Karim (b. 767 A.H. and died 811 A.H.) of Djil in the district of Baghdad has had great influence in the moulding of religious ideas in the greater part of Islam and especially in East India. (Encyclopedia of Islam). He says: “The institution of Tashri’eei Nubuwwat ceased after him and Muhammad (peace be upon him) became Khataman Nabiyyin.” (Al Insanul Kamil, Cairo, 1304 A.H; Chap. 36, p. 76).

Imam Shaarani (b.898 AH. and lived in Cairo) was a very learned Muslim authority. He says: “Know that prophethood after Muhammad (peace be upon him) has not ceased absolutely. It is only Tashri’eei Nubuwwat that has ceased.” (Al-Yawaqeeto wal Jawahar, Vol I, 1304 A.H; p. 43)

Imam Muhammad Tahir Gujrati (b. 914 AH.) is another eminent Muslim authority. He says: “This also is not against the tradition because what the Holy Prophet intended by these words is that there is no prophet who can cancel his Shariat.” (Takmala Majmaul Bihar, p.85).

Mulla Ali bin Muhammad Sultan Al-Qari (born at Herat and died in 1014 AH.) was a great Hanafi Faqih. He has written commentaries upon Mishkat, Fiqah Akbar, Shifa, Shamail, Ainul Ilm, etc. He makes the meaning of Khataman Nabiyyin very clear: “If Ibrahim had lived and had become a prophet and in the same way Omer had become a prophet, both would have been the followers of the Holy Prophet like Isa and Khizr and Ilyas (peace be upon them). So it would not contradict the word of God Khataman Nabiyyin because its meaning is that there will not come a prophet after him who can cancel his law and who is not from among his followers.” (Mauzooat Kabir, p. 69, Muhammadi Press, Lahore, 1302 A.H.)

Allama Zurqani (d. 1122 A.H.), in Sharah Mawahibul Lodunnia, Vol. II, p. 163, writes that the word Khatam means perfection and adornment.

Hazrat Sheikh Ahmad Sirhandi (b. 971 and died 1134 A.H.) was well known as Mujaddid Alf Thani and great authority. He says: “The attainment of the high characteristics of prophethood by way of obedience and inheritance after the coming of the Khatam of Prophets (peace be upon him) is not against his being Khatam.” (Maktoobat Imam Rabbani, Vol. I, Newal Kishore Press, Kawnpur, 1303 A.H; p.432)

Shiekh Qurabud Din Ahmad (b. 1114, died 1176 A.H.), better known as Shah Wali Ullah Muhaddis of Dehli is of the same opinion. He says: “Prophets have been ended with Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the sense that there will be found no one after him who is commissioned by God with Shariat for men.” (Tafheemat-e-Illahiyya, Part Il, Barqi Press Bijnaur, p. 72, 73).

In his famous commentary of the Holy Quran (Fathul Bian, Vol VII, p. 286) Abu Tayyib Siddiq bin Hasan bin Ali, Albukhari, Alqanouji (born 1248 A.H. at Brielli) says that the meaning of Khataman Nabiyyin is that the Holy Prophet is the seal of prophets with which they were adorned.

Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanutvi (born 1248 A.H., died 1297 AH.) was the founder of the famous Madrassa Deoband. He says: “Common folk think that the Holy Prophet was Khatam in the sense that he came after the old prophets and is the last in point of time, but it will be clear to the erudite that coming first or last in point of time is in itself no excellence.” (Tahzir-un-Nas, p. 3 Qasmi Press, Deoband). Further on he says that “The Holy Prophet(phuh) is not possessed of the fatherhood of any man in its general sense but the spiritual fatherhood of followers, as well as prophets, does belong to him” (p. 10). On page 25 of the same book he also says: “Even if it is assumed that after the time of the Holy Prophet is born a prophet, it will not be against his being the Khatam.”

Maulvi Abdul Haye Farangi Mahalli of Lucknow (born 1264, died 1304 A.H.) writes in his book Daj-e-ul-Waswas, p.12: “The mere appearance of a prophet during the era of the Holy Prophet is not an impossibility whereas the appearance of a prophet bringing a new Shariat is absolutely impossible.”


All these quotations show that recognized Muslim saints of different countries, ages and climes have been interpreting the expression, Khataman Nabiyyin in a manner that allows the appearance of a prophet who does not bring a new Shariat after the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), and this has not been considered against his being the Khatam. So, Ahmadiyya Muslim belief in Khatme Nubuwwat is based on the Holy Quran, the Hadith, and their interpretation by great Muslim saints.

Guided by clear and repeated revelations from Allah the Almighty, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi wrote:

This honour was given to me only because I was a disciple of the Holy Prophet s.a.w. If I were not from the Ummah of the Holy Prophet s.a.w. and had not followed him, I would not have had the honour of receiving God’s revelations even if my good deeds had reached the heights of world’s tallest mountains, as all the prophethoods have come to an end except the Muhammadi Prophethood. No law-bearing prophet now can ever come, but a non-law-bearing prophet who is from the Ummah is possible. On this basis, I am an Ummati and also a Nabi. May peace and the choicest blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, the Khataman Nabiyyin. (Tajalliyat Ilahiyya)

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