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What indeed is the Seal of Prophet hood
The Quran says that Muhammad is the seal of the prophets:
Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Apostle of God, and the Seal of the Prophets: and God has full knowledge of all things. S. 33:40 Y. Ali
Now at first glance this text seems to imply nothing more than that Muhammad was the culmination of prophethood, that he was the last in a series of spokespersons that Allah had sent. Reading the hadith literature, however, it is obvious that according to Muslim sources this seal was more than a statement regarding Muhammad’s status in relation to the previous prophets.
Oh really? Let us quote one of the best tafsirs, tafsir Ibn Kathir comments on this verse:
He is the Last of the Prophets
[وَلَـكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيماً]
(but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything.) This is like the Ayah:
[اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ]
(Allah knows best with whom to place His Message) (6:124). This Ayah clearly states that there will be no Prophet after him. If there will be no Prophet after him then there will surely be no Messenger after him either, because the status of a Messenger is higher than that of a Prophet, for every Messenger is a Prophet but the reverse is not the case. This was reported in many Mutawatir Hadiths narrated from the Messenger of Allah via a group of his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them. Imam Ahmad recorded a narration from Ubayy bin Ka`b, from his father that the Prophet said:
«مَثَلِي فِي النَّبِيِّينَ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ بَنَى دَارًا فَأَحْسَنَهَا وَأَكْمَلَهَا، وَتَرَكَ فِيهَا مَوْضِعَ لَبِنَةٍ لَمْ يَضَعْهَا، فَجَعَلَ النَّاسُ يَطُوفُونَ بِالْبُنْيَانِ وَيَعْجَبُونَ مِنْهُ وَيَقُولُونَ: لَوْ تَمَّ مَوْضِعُ هَذِهِ اللَّبِنَةِ، فَأَنَا فِي النَّبِيِّينَ مَوْضِعُ تِلْكَ اللَّبِنَة»
(My parable among the Prophets is that of a man who built a house and did a good and complete job, apart from the space of one brick which he did not put in its place. The people started to walk around the building, admiring it and saying, "If only that brick were put in its place. '' Among the Prophets, I am like that brick.) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said "Hasan Sahih.''Another Hadith
Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
«إِنَّ الرِّسَالَةَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ قَدِ انْقَطَعَتْ فَلَا رَسُولَ بَعْدِي وَلَا نَبِي»
(Messengership and Prophethood have come to an end, and there will be no more Messengers or Prophets.) This worried the people, then he said:
(But there will be Al-Mubashshirat.) They said, `O Messenger of Allah, what are Al-Mubashshirat' He said,
«رُؤْيَا الرَّجُلِ الْمُسْلِمِ، وَهِيَ جُزْءٌ مِنْ أَجْزَاءِ النُّبُوَّة»
(The dreams of a Muslim man, and they are one of the parts of prophethood.) This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said, "Sahih Gharib.''Another Hadith
Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
«مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ بَنَى دَارًا فَأَكْمَلَهَا وَأَحْسَنَهَا إِلَّا مَوْضِعَ لَبِنَةٍ، فَكَانَ مَنْ دَخَلَهَا فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهَا قَالَ: مَا أَحْسَنَهَا إِلَّا مَوْضِعَ هَذِهِ اللَّبِنَةِ، فَأَنَا مَوْضِعُ اللَّبِنَةِ خُتِمَ بِي الْأَنْبِيَاءُ عَلَيْهِمُ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَام»
(The parable of myself and the Prophets is that of a man who built a house and did a complete and good job, except for the space of one brick. Whoever entered it would look at that space and say, how good it is, apart from the space of that brick. My position is like that of that brick, and the Prophets -- blessings and peace be upon them -- end with me.) It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and At-Tirmidhi, who said, "It is Sahih Gharib with this chain of narrators.''Another Hadith
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
«مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُ النَّــبِيينَ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ بَنَى دَارًا فَأَتَمَّهَا إِلَّا لَبِنَةً وَاحِدَةً، فَجِئْتُ أَنَا فَأَتْمَمْتُ تِلْكَ اللَّبِنَة»
(The parable of myself and the Prophets is that of a man who built a house and completed it apart from the space of one brick. I have come and completed that brick.) This was also recorded by Muslim. Another Hadith
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
«إِنَّ مَثَلِي وَمَثَلَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ مِنْ قَبْلِي كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ ابْتَنَى بُيُوتًا فَأَكْمَلَهَا وَأَحْسَنَهَا وَأَجْمَلَهَا إِلَّا مَوْضِعَ لَبِنَةٍ مِنْ زَاوِيَةٍ مِنْ زَوَايَاهَا، فَجَعَلَ النَّاسُ يَطُوفُونَ وَيُعْجِبُهُمُ الْبُنْيَانُ وَيَقُولُونَ: أَلَّا وَضَعْتَ ههُنَا لَبِنَةً فَيَتِمُّ بُنْيَانُك»
(The parable of myself and the Prophets who came before me is that of a man who built houses and made them complete and beautiful apart from the space of a brick in one of the corners. The people started to walk around, admiring the construction and saying, If only you put a brick here, your construction will be complete.) The Messenger of Allah said:
«فَكُنْتُ أَنَا اللَّبِنَة»
(And I am that brick.) It was also recorded by (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). Another Hadith
Jubayr bin Mut`im, may Allah be pleased with him, said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say:
«إِنَّ لِي أَسْمَاءَ أَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ، وَأَنَا أَحْمَدُ، وَأَنَا الْمَاحِي الَّذِي يَمْحُو اللهُ تَعَالَى بِيَ الْكُفْرَ، وَأَنَا الْحَاشِرُ الَّذِي يُحْشَرُ النَّاسُ عَلَى قَدَمَيَّ وَأَنَا الْعَاقِبُ الَّذِي لَيْسَ بَعْدَهُ نَبِي»
(I have several names: I am Muhammad, and I am Ahmad; I am Al-Mahi (the eradicator) through whom Allah will erase disbelief; I am Al-Hashir (the gatherer) at whose feet mankind will gather; and I am Al-`Aqib (the final one) after whom there will be no Prophet.) It was also recorded in the Two Sahihs. And there are many other Hadiths on this topic. Allah has told us in His Book, and His Messenger has told us in the Mutawatir Sunnah, that there will be no Prophet after him, so that it may be known that everyone who claims this status after him is a liar and fabricator who is misguided and is misguiding others. Even if he twists meanings, comes up with false claims and uses tricks and vagaries, all of this is false and is misguidance as will be clear to those who have understanding. This is what Allah caused to happen in the case of Al-Aswad Al-`Ansi in the Yemen and Musaylimah the Liar in Al-Yamamah, whose false miracles and nonsensical words showed everyone who was possessed of understanding that they were liars who were leading people astray; may the curse of Allah be upon them both. This is the case with every false prophet until the Day of Resurrection, until they end with Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (the Antichrist). Each of these liars is given by Allah signs which show the people of knowledge and the believers that his message is false -- which is part of the perfect kindness of Allah towards His creation. These liars do not enjoin what is good, nor forbid what is evil, unless they do so by coincidence or because it serves an ulterior purpose. They are the utmost in falsehood and immorality, in all that they say and do, as Allah says:
[هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ عَلَى مَن تَنَزَّلُ الشَّيَـطِينُ - تَنَزَّلُ عَلَى كُلِّ أَفَّاكٍ أَثِيمٍ ]
(Shall I inform you (O people!) upon whom the Shayatin descend They descend on every lying, sinful person.) (26:221-222) This is in contrast to the Prophets -- may blessings and peace be upon them -- for they are the utmost in righteousness, truthfulness, wisdom, uprightness and justice in all that they say and do, command and forbid. In addition to this they are supported with miracles and clear and obvious proof. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them always, as long as heaven and earth remain.
So as we see, the seal of prophet hood meant that the prophet Muhammad was the final prophet.
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