The Significance of Khatme-Nabuwwat
Islam enjoins upon the faithful a solid belief in the divine decree of Khatme-Nabuwwat (Finality of Prophethood) in last of the Messengers and the mercy to the Universe, hazrat Muhammad(SAW). This tenant of Islam is so essential that the slightest doubt in its validity may bring one’s faith to ruin. Those who guard their belief in this basic doctrine are surely protecting their faith in the religion of Allah(SWT).
Individuals who believe in the possibility of new Prophets after hazrat Muhammad(SAW) are, in effect, advancing the notion that the religion of Allah(SWT) is not perfect and are attempting to open the door for the possible alteration, corruption, or rejection of the message of Islam. Mirza Ghulam Qadiani of India, for instance, abrogated Jihad, introduced his own novel interpretation of Quranic verses (in defiance to authentic Hadith), and gave birth to a new faith he called ‘Ahmadiyyat’. Hussain Ali (Bahaullah) of Iran modified the entire doctrine of Islam, replaced the Holy Quran with his own book, changed the direction of Qibla from Makkah al Mukarrama to Namka in Israel, and named this new faith ‘Bahaism’.
It should be evident how the mere rejection of the doctrine of Khatme-Nabuwwat enabled misguided or opportunist individuals to challenge the believers from within and divert unsuspecting public from the religion of Allah(SWT).
The Holy Quran has made it abundantly clear, in more than one hundred of its verses, that no new Prophet or prophetic revelation will be sent. Over two hundred hadith (sayings of the holy Prophet(SAW)) further support this injunction of the Quranic Message. The Holy Quran, hadith and Tafseer have been consistent on this point since the advent of Islam. In addition, close companions of the holy Prophet, great scholars, and the entire Ummah have agreed on this basic tenant and consider it Kufr to entertain the possibility of Allah(SWT) commissioning any other Prophet.
The great Imam and founder of the Hanifa School of thought, Imam Abu Hanifa(RA), was so certain of this view that he decreed the very act of questioning a claimant (demanding proof or miracles) to be an act of disbelief in itself. Naturally, this fatwa was issued to stress the importance of an absolute belief in the Finality of Prophethood and to encourage all Muslims to defend this doctrine from corruption for all times.
Any Muslim would shrink from asking a claimant to divinity for proof; that claim very clearly contradicts the teachings of Islam. The very same level of confidence and belief is also required when we are faced with impostor prophets and Messiahs:
There can not be another god besides Allah(SWT) and there can not be another prophet after Muhammad(SAW).
Our duty to defend this basic tenant becomes evident when we review some of the brightest moments in Islamic history. The first rightly guided Caliph, Hazrat Abu Bakr(RA), fought against the army of the impostor prophet Musailma, the Liar, despite the fact that, not only Musailma had recognized the Prophethood of Muhammad(SAW), but also the Muslim state was still in its infancy and without the needed resources. As the result of this war, 22000 soldiers of Musailma were eliminated; however, approximately 1200 precious Muslim lives -- including almost 600 Huffaz, Qaris, distinguished soldiers of Badr, and close Companions of the Holy Prophet(SAW) -- were also lost.
To appreciate these figures and understand the determination of early Muslims to protect the religion of Allah(SWT) from possible corruption, we will need to remember that, during the entire life of Rasool Allah(SAW), only 259 Muslim lives were lost in all the battles against the Kuffar. The non-believers had themselves suffered only 759 casualties. In short, our first Caliph, in unison with all the Companions (Sahaba), decreed that the impostor Prophet and his followers should not be allowed to spread their evil. Indeed, none of the companions rested until the complete elimination of the self proclaimed prophet and his followers. This decision of Hazrat Abu Bakr(RA) was so highly regarded, endorsed and accepted by the companions, that Hazrat Umar(RA) proposed an exchange with Hazrat Abu Bakr(RA). He said:
"I will exchange all good deeds of my life time for your acts of one night and one day. One night from those three nights you spent with Rasool Allah(SAW) in the Cave of Thaur and one day from the days of battles against impostor prophets to guard the Finality of Muhammad(SAW).”
Obviously, defending the Finality of Rasool Allah(SAW) should be of utmost importance for us: we should not even entertain the claims of false Messiahs and prophets who will appear from time to time.
It is a sad turn of events that some of our Muslim brothers, who claim to be liberal and broad minded, trivialize the significance and importance of the Islamic principal of Khatme-Nabuwwat and do not appreciate our duty to protect the Deen of Allah(SWT) from all enemies. We hope that this brief message has helped them realize the true message of Allah(SWT).
With Allah is Success and Peace of Allah be upon his Messenger Muhammad and his Followers and Companions.
Maulana Manzoor Ahmad Chinioti, President Khatme Nabuwwat University, Chiniot Pakistan, General Secretary, International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement, and Member of Punjab Assembly