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Islamic Ideology (04 Aug 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)

On the Meaning of Khatm e Nabuwwat

By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

04 August 2018

This article is based on a request to explain the meaning of Wakhātama L-Nabiyīna in verse 33:40 of the Quran, the different understanding of which is tearing the Muslims apart, especially in Pakistan. The triliteral root Khā Tā Mīm (خ ت م) occurs eight times in the Quran, in four derived forms:

Five times as the form I verb Khatama (خَتَمَ)

Once as the noun Khatam (خَاتَم)

Once as the noun Khitām (خِتَٰم)

Once as the passive participle Makhtūm (مَّخْتُوم)

Let us look at all the eight occurrences:

Verb - To Seal

خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ   

(2:7) Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ سَمْعَكُمْ وَأَبْصَارَكُمْ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِكُم مَّنْ إِلَٰهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُم بِهِ ۗ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُصَرِّفُ الْآيَاتِ ثُمَّ هُمْ يَصْدِفُونَ

(6:46) Say: "Think ye, if Allah took away your hearing and your sight, and sealed up your hearts, who - a god other than Allah - could restore them to you?" See how We explain the signs by various (symbols); yet they turn aside.

الْيَوْمَ نَخْتِمُ عَلَىٰ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَتُكَلِّمُنَا أَيْدِيهِمْ وَتَشْهَدُ أَرْجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ  

(36:65) That Day shall We set a seal on their mouths. But their hands will speak to us, and their feet bear witness, to all that they did.

أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا ۖ فَإِن يَشَإِ اللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ ۗ وَيَمْحُ اللَّهُ الْبَاطِلَ وَيُحِقُّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

(42:24) What! Do they say, "He has forged a falsehood against Allah"? But if Allah willed, He could seal up thy heart. And Allah blots out Vanity, and proves the Truth by His Words. For He knows well the secrets of all hearts.

أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّهِ ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ      

(45; 23) Then seest thou such a one as takes as his god his own vain desire? Allah has, knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart (and understanding), and put a cover on his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allah (has withdrawn Guidance)? Will ye not then receive admonition?

The seal in the verses above, refers to complete closure/blocking.


مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا   

(33:40) Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.

يُسْقَوْنَ مِن رَّحِيقٍ مَّخْتُومٍ    

(83:25) Their thirst will be slaked with Pure Wine sealed:

خِتَامُهُ مِسْكٌ ۚ وَفِي ذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ الْمُتَنَافِسُونَ 

(83:26) The seal thereof will be Musk: And for this let those aspire, who have aspirations:

The purpose of the seal in the verses 83:25, 26 is to preserve the contents from contamination, and provide proof of purity.

Muhammad Is The Seal Of The Prophets In Several Ways:

1.       He affirms and authenticates the prophethood of the previous prophets and their true teachings

2.       He affirms and authenticates the previous Books

3.       He points out to the parts that are contaminated

4.       He clarifies on the points on which the people differ

5.       Allah perfects and completes His religion and Message to mankind through him

The meaning of Wakhātama L-Nabiyīna in verse 33:40, in my opinion, is the prophet through whom the Deen of Allah is perfected and completed and who provides the final seal of authenticity to all the previous prophets and revelations as well signalling an end to the coming of prophets in the future.  What can come after the seal? The seal also signals closure.

Let us approach the question in a different way. What if Allah had planned to send more prophets in the future? What should we then expect the Quran to say?

Allah does not change His ways

 (17:77)   وَلَا تَجِدُ لِسُنَّتِنَا تَحْوِيلًا

(33:62, 48:23)   وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلًا

(35:43) وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّهِ تَحْوِيلًا

If Allah had intended sending more prophets for the guidance of the people, He would have, as per His Sunnat, taken a covenant from the Ummat of Muhammad, as he did from the previous people, to aid and help the prophets.

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُم مِّن كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنصُرُنَّهُ ۚ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكُمْ إِصْرِي ۖ قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا ۚ قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُم مِّنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ   

(3:81) Behold! Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying: "I give you a Book and Wisdom; then comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do ye believe in him and render him help." Allah said: "Do ye agree, and take this my Covenant as binding on you?" They said: "We agree." He said: "Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses."

(5:12) Allah did aforetime take a covenant from the Children of Israel, and we appointed twelve captains among them. And Allah said: "I am with you: if ye (but) establish regular prayers, practise regular charity, believe in my messengers, honour and assist them, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan, verily I will wipe out from you your evils, and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; but if any of you, after this, resisteth faith, he hath truly wandered from the path or rectitude."

لَقَدْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ رُسُلًا ۖ كُلَّمَا جَاءَهُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لَا تَهْوَىٰ أَنفُسُهُمْ فَرِيقًا كَذَّبُوا وَفَرِيقًا يَقْتُلُونَ

(5:70) We took the covenant of the Children of Israel and sent them messengers, every time, there came to them a messenger with what they themselves desired not - some (of these) they called impostors, and some they (go so far as to) slay.

The Ummat of Muhammad are not under any such covenant. Our covenant with Allah is as follows:

(48:8) We have truly sent thee  (Muhammad) as a witness, as a bringer of Glad Tidings, and as a Warner:(9) In order that ye (O men) may believe in Allah and His Messenger, that ye may assist and honour Him, and celebrate His praise morning and evening.(10) Verily those who plight their fealty to thee do no less than plight their fealty to Allah: the Hand of Allah is over their hands: then anyone who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and anyone who fulfils what he has covenanted with Allah,- Allah will soon grant him a great Reward.

The Only Covenant Is To Believe, Obey And Help Muhammad.

The Ummat of Muhammad has been freed from the stranglehold of the priestly class as well, and each Muslim, may read and study the Quran and follow it according to his understanding. The Quran is a Book that makes everything clear, beyond a shadow of doubt, for every seeker of the truth and there is no protection for following any falsehood under any pretext. Very clearly, Allah has given each of us the complete independence to follow His Book to the best of our knowledge and understanding. We may choose to follow an imam or a teacher, but we alone are responsible for what we do and what we believe in.

 Having said the above, I would also like to say, that the reaction to the Ahmediya’s beliefs, is beyond reason, and their claims are not very different from:

1.       The Mahdavis who believe in a Mahdi who has already come

2.       The Sunnis who believe in a Mahdi to come

3.       The Shia’s who believe in hereditary Imamat and a Mahdi in hiding who will come one day.

4.       The Sufis who believe their Pirs receive direct knowledge from Allah and/or the Prophet and in the power of the Pir to intercede with Allah.

The over reaction to the Ahmediya, is based on envy and jealousy, because they are among the best educated and prosperous communities, and little to do with their beliefs.

I consider it unfortunate that the Ahmediya’s call their imam a prophet, but then I equally consider every belief different from my beliefs as unfortunate. Beyond the problem with nomenclature, there is little that you can find fault with in their beliefs. If they had called their leader Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian an Imam rather than Nabi, there would have been no problem at all. In my opinion, the Ahmediya websites provide the best Tafseer on the Quran, and the Ahmediya are good Muslims, who honour the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Allah. Their beliefs do not dishonour Islam, and they are a people we can be proud of and be friends with. In any case, Allah has not taken a covenant from us to force others to believe as we do.

(6:159) As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.

While Allah asks us not to meddle in sectarian politics and leave the matter for Allah to decide, Pakistan has placed itself under a self-inflicted curse doing the opposite by it’s:

1.       Discriminatory Blasphemy Laws

2.       Discriminatory Law Declaring the Ahmediya Non-Muslim

and has given the sectarian bigots, the encouragement they needed to wreak havoc. The results are plain to everyone. Pakistan is weakened and is being torn apart by narrow sectarianism and will ultimately implode proving the following Ayat of Allah true:

قُلْ هُوَ الْقَادِرُ عَلَىٰ أَن يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابًا مِّن فَوْقِكُمْ أَوْ مِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِكُمْ أَوْ يَلْبِسَكُمْ شِيَعًا وَيُذِيقَ بَعْضَكُم بَأْسَ بَعْضٍ ۗ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُصَرِّفُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَفْقَهُونَ 

(6:65) Say: "He has power to send calamities on you, from above and below, or to cover you with confusion in sectarian strife, giving you a taste of mutual vengeance - each from the other." See how We explain the signs by various (symbols); that they may understand.

Pakistan can get rid itself of the curse of sectarian strife that is ripping it apart, by repealing those laws for:

 إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ ۗ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَالٍ

(13:11) Allah does not change a people´s lot unless they change themselves. But when (once) Allah decides on a people´s punishment, there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, besides Him, any to protect.

Hopefully, the people will come to their senses and change themselves by becoming tolerant of other people and their beliefs, before Allah completes His exemplary punishment.

Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/naseer-ahmed,-new-age-islam/on-the-meaning-of-khatm-e-nabuwwat/d/116038

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  • Nobody is sent by God. Mohammed is not god sent. Quran is not god sent. itis man made. If God were to sent a Messenger to guide Mankind, He must have sent  One to each street.Then only the sent Messiah could fulfill his assignment. aSingle  Arabian could hardly fulfil a tremendous assignment . It highly nonsense to believe that pr.Mohammed was sent by God to guide the whole world. 

    By dr.A.Anburaj - 9/13/2018 10:53:53 PM

  • If u dont believe in the finality of prophethood of muhammad... Ur belief is un islamic... Then even if u write beautiful tafseer, or pray 5 times... Do all the right deeds.... The articles of faith are to be upheld under all circumstances....and the tafseer need not to be beautiful... It needs to be accurate/appropriate.... Any deviation will invite the curse or wrath of God.... Let them include the point that muhammad is the seal of prophethood/messengers....
    By Irfan Magray - 8/13/2018 12:23:24 PM

  • Profet Muhammad (pub) is the last, no profet after him. Those who beleive other as profet after him. Really he/she is not muslim bcoz he/she is unbeleiver. No need to discuss further .
    By Zakariya Muhammad - 8/13/2018 12:18:42 PM

  • I was listening to a video of the late Dr Israr Ahmed on the Ahmediyya. I have a low opinion of our traditional Islamic scholars who are mostly extremely narrow minded bigots but Dr Israr Ahmed is even more extreme!  You do not ex-communicate a community that is 20 million strong. Instead, what is required of right thinking Muslims is to:

    1. Study the reasons why this phenomenon of someone declaring himself a Nabi has occurred in the first place. What falsehoods do the Muslims believe in which led to it and clean up our act. The answer here is simple. It is our false beliefs in the return of Jesus (pbuh) towards the end of times and also in the coming of a Mahdi. There are also scholars who have said that the Mahdi and Jesus are the same person and not two different persons. There are also scholars who have agreed that Jesus died and will not return. So if the Mahdi and Jesus are one and the same and a Mahdi will come and not Jesus, then the Mahdi is Jesus like. This is precisely the claim made by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad at the beginning of the 14th century Hijra because there is another hadith predicting the coming of a Mahdi in the 13th century. Having rejected Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claims, have the Muslims recanted on the false hadiths and the false interpretations of the Quran? This was a disaster waiting to happen because of the existence  of the false ahadith and the Muslims who believe in them. If it is kufr for the Ahmediyya to believe in what they believe, it is equally kufr for the Muslims to believe in the false ahadith even after these have been proved to be false.

    2. What made Muslims in such large numbers join the sect? What is missing among the mainstream Muslims that is found in this sect? There were no monetary or worldly incentives for people to join, but on the other hand people who wished to join had to sign a pledge to diligently observe every pillar and tenet of Islam and pay Zakat @6.25% which is 250% of what other Muslims pay. The missionary and religious zeal among the people who joined this sect is clearly far greater than what is found among the mainstream Muslims.

    The response to such a strong movement cannot be saying that the founder is wajib-e-qatal (deserving to be killed) and those who join it are murtad (apostates) for whom the appropriate punishment is death as Dr Israr has done. Such a response is both barbaric and insane.

    A terrible mistake facilitated by the false ahadith, false interpretations of the Quran and false beliefs almost the Muslims has happened and it is best to accept the mistake and make changes.

    The Ahmediyya community broke up into two groups - one which believes that their founder is not a nabi but zilli nabi or a shadow nabi and the other which believes that he was nabi. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself revised his claim and said that he was a zilli nabi and not a real nabi. There is therefore scope for rapprochement of the various groups and views. 

    To the Ahmedi's themselves, it must be obvious that all this business of the coming of a Mahdi, is a figment of the imagination of weak escapist minds. The prediction that the people will flock to the Mahdi in hordes and accept Islam making it the dominant religion has failed. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is therefore not such a Mahdi predicted in our false ahadith. Mahdi literally means only "rightly guided" and in that sense, anyone who is rightly guided can be called a Mahdi. The true legacy of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is not his views or his writings or his beliefs or his claims but the dynamism that he brought among the Muslims and the desire for excellence which needs to be celebrated and preserved. He was otherwise another mortal prone to error and his error does not take away anything from the great contribution his followers have made. His legacy is also not to blindly follow the imams (Taqleed) but to chart out a new path and his followers can best honour his memory not through Taqleed of his ways and views, but by rejecting what they find was an error of his judgment. We do not become lesser by acknowledging and accepting a mistake and nothing changes otherwise. What is there anyway in a name or nomenclature? What does actually change by calling him only an Imam and not Nabi? His argument that calling him a Nabi would make prophet Muhammad (pbuh) appear greater than Jesus (pbuh) was specious to begin with and contradictory to the Quran which instructs the Muslims not to make any distinction between the prophets. In any case, such a claim has made no difference to the perceptions of people.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/9/2018 11:29:00 PM

  • Umar Khan Sb asks "Why do you call them good Muslims?"

    The answer is very simple. Read the Quran verse 9:5 in which the only proof that is asked of a person who claims to be a Muslim is that he should “establish regular prayers and practise regular charity” For such people, Allah asks the Prophet (pbuh) to open to them the door of Islam “for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”

    Now who are we to close the door of Islam to a people who:

    1.     Pray five times a day plus Tahajjud

    2.     Pay 6.5% as Zakat when the rest of the Muslims pay only 2.5%

    3.     Observe fast during Ramadhan

    4.     Perform Hajj

    5.     Are engaged in spreading Islam in the world

    If you consider their practices, they are better Muslims than those who hate them on each of the five parameters.

    Now, for their calling Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the promised Mahdi, blame the ahadith rather than him. Do the Muslims recant on their numerous ahadith as falsehood that prophesise the coming of a Mahdi? I believe, the prediction is that he would come in the 13thcentury Hijra. “When one thousand and two hundred and forty years will pass, God will raise Mahdi.”(An-Najmus Saqih, Vol. 2, p. 209).  We are now in the 14th century. So, if no Mahdi has come, then the hadith is false. With the 13th Century coming to an end and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad not seeing anyone else more qualified than himself, do you blame him for courageously picking up the throne which no one else was prepared to touch and placing it on his own head? This tragicomic situation has arisen only because many of our ahadith are falsehoods. The ahadith contradict the Quran on every subject.

    Let us recant on our ahadith that falsely prophesise the coming of a Mahdi in contradiction of the Quran and concede that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the victim of a false hadith rather than a deliberate sinner and accept the Ahmadiya back into the fold of Islam. In any case, we are no one to shut the door on them and it does not behove us to play God. The Ahmadiya are more sinned against than sinning. What has attracted many Muslims to the sect is its zeal, dynamism, love of Islam and love of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and not any worldly gain. Are we so blind that we cannot see that they are a sincere people even if they are misguided in our opinion?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/9/2018 2:59:32 AM

  • Uska name hi uske dawaaey ko jhutla raha hai Ghulam Ahmed 😁😁ghulam bhi keh raha hai Nabi bhi keh raha hai be waqoof!!
    By Waseem Ashrafi - 8/9/2018 12:57:17 AM

  • Bla Bla Bla....
    The Thing is That "WHO" is not sure About Muhammad (pbuh) and his prophethood ....
    How we can think He knows Islam and doesn't dishonor ISLAM...
    And you New Age Islam also trying to create a new Islam Rather than Allah'S Islam...
    By Xëëshän Ä. Sïddïqüï - 8/9/2018 12:55:49 AM

    By Umar Khan - 8/9/2018 12:48:33 AM

  • من شك فى كفره او عذابه فقد كفر
    Who ever doubts in their (Qaadiyanis) kufr or in their Punishment has committed Kufr(has become an apostate/Murtadd)
    By Umar Khan - 8/9/2018 12:47:55 AM

  • Naseer Sb..
    Why did u call them GOOD MUSLIMS??
    Do u know calling them Muslims is Kufr Akbar
    Or even thinking about them as being correct on Islam makes a person Kaafir
    By Umar Khan - 8/9/2018 12:47:18 AM

  • کار نجار بدستہ گلکار
    By Saquib Jamie - 8/9/2018 12:46:04 AM

  • Why do Ahmadia call so? because, Ghulam Ahmad proclaimed. "I am Isa Ma'hood, I am Mehdi later on I am prophet, Wahhi is descending on me, and the same Quran is re-revealing to me. So his followers call him a Nabi." According his books -Izalah Auham, Ittimam-e-Hujjat, If you have any favorable feeling, then ask to the relatives of Muhammadi Begum about his Nabuwat.
    By Mohammed Ishaque Foujdar - 8/9/2018 12:45:08 AM

  • Ridiculous argument
    By Sanjay Narain Saigal - 8/9/2018 12:44:16 AM

  • Why can't we discuss publicly all religions, prophets and gods. Some of them seem to be extremely so brittle that just a whiff of air can shatter them. Why are people afraid of discussions. Remove the law of blasphemy and see what will ensue.
    By Piaray Waguzari - 8/9/2018 12:41:29 AM

  • Gumrah gumrah ahnaaf gumrah
    Naak bandh dimaag bandh deoband deoband
    Mere nabi ko napasand deoband deoband
    By Salafi Muzam Mil - 8/9/2018 12:40:58 AM

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