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Featured Seal of the Prophets - Does it mean Muhammad is the final Prophet?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by adrian009, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Khatam an-Nabiyyin, usually translated as Seal of the Prophets, is a title used in the Quran to designate the Prophet Muhammad. Among Muslims, it is generally regarded to mean that Muhammad was the last of the prophets sent by God.

    The title khatam an-nabiyyin or khatim an-nabiyyin, is applied to Muhammad in verse 33:40 of the Qur'an. The popular Yusaf Ali translation reads,

    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.
    — The Qur'an – Chapter 33 Verse 40

    Khatam an-Nabiyyin - Wikipedia

    This is commonly understood that Muhammad is the final Prophet for all time despite eschatological beliefs in regards a future Madhi or Qa'im.

    Mahdi - Wikipedia

    One consequence of understanding Muhammad as being the final prophet, is that other religions such as the Baha'i Faith believe there can be prophets after Muhammad. Baha'is consider the forerunner of the Baha'i faith, the Bab and the founder of the Baha'i faith, Baha'u'llah to be Prophets who have a similar station. Many Muslims of course strongly disagree and will sometimes consider the Baha'i Faith an apostate religion. This has led to persecution of Baha'is in severalof Islamic countries including Iran.

    Báb - Wikipedia

    Bahá'u'lláh - Wikipedia

    What I would like discussed in this thread is to hear from Muslims as to why this single verse in the Quran has come to be understood as Muhammad being the final Prophet of all time. It would also be useful for those who believe in Muhmmad but also a Prophet after Muhammad (eg Baha'is and Ahmadiyyas), why this verse doesn't mean the final Prophet for all time.

    Bahá'í Faith - Wikipedia

    Ahmadiyya - Wikipedia

    If it doesn't mean Muhammad was the final Prophet for all time as believed by Muslims, what does it mean?

    NB - Anyone who has something constructive to contribute is also welcome to post.
     
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  2. Spartan

    Spartan Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a prophecy that Muhammad gave that's come true?
     
  3. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Hi @Spartan
    That's a little off topic.
    You may be interested in an OP I started last year....

    Was Muhammad a Messenger of God?

    or....

    Does the Bible mention Islam?

    Otherwise it would be very interesting to explore the prophecies of Muahmmad and what if any of them came to pass. You could start an OP and tag me.
     
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  4. Komori

    Komori Member

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    Functionally, the word khatam means 'last;' that's how it is used and how it's glossed in dictionaries. Wherever you can envision the concept of a seal, it is always connected to the end or closure of something. Think about it. A seal marks the end of a document, when you seal an envelope, you close it, etc. Moreover, if you look at all the qira'at of the Qur'an, khtm in Q. 33:40 is vocalized in two different ways, and these two are connected. Either it can be read as khatam (seal), as in the Hafs recitation, but it can also be read as khatim (last), as in the Warsh recitation. Both of these are valid. So there is very good reason just in the Qur'an for holding to the view that the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) was the last of the prophets (nabiyyin) and that he closed the cycle of prophecy (nubuwwa). This, however, does not mean that humanity is left without guidance from God. The Shi'a recognize that, in spite of this, the cycle of providential guidance (walaya) continues. Moreover, there is also the statement of the Imam 'Ali that "alchemy is the sister of prophecy."
     
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  5. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Thanks for that @Komori

    Are there any other Quranic verses that are relevant to this theme? How about Hadith or in the Sunnah? What if anything is the Quranic basis for the rightly guided Imams of the Shi'a tradition?
     
  6. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    From Meher Baba's perspective, Muhammad is indeed the last but not for all time but for the Cycle of Prophets/Avatars. Some Muslims identify a Madhi who is believed to follow. The Quran also speaks of End Times. So from that perspective, Muhammad would be the last before those times are upon us.
     
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  7. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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  8. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Just like in Rabbinic Judaism much of the Hadiths are oral tradition claimed to be back to Moses; yet we do not have evidence for it, and much of them contradict the original sentiments like on this.

    The Quran says a 'seal', which is like a lid on a jam jar which means a 'closure'; it doesn't mean 'last', and there is a more specific word to mean that... Like a 'summary' of what came before it.

    As we examine the Quran we can show multiple statements that do not concur with the 'Last':

    40:34-35 And Joseph had already come to you before with clear proofs, but you remained in doubt of that which he brought to you, until when he died, you said, 'Never will Allah send a messenger after him.' Thus does Allah leave astray he who is a transgressor and skeptic." Those who dispute concerning the signs of Allah without an authority having come to them - great is hatred [of them] in the sight of Allah and in the sight of those who have believed. Thus does Allah seal over every heart [belonging to] an arrogant tyrant.

    So the Quran clearly states that they shouldn't say "Last Prophet".

    7:35-36 O children of Adam, if there come to you messengers from among you relating to you My verses, then whoever fears Allah and reforms - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. But the ones who deny Our verses and are arrogant toward them - those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally.

    Here the Quran makes clear, that if there are further messengers who then cite the Quran, we are to accept them as a messenger; which clearly means Muhammad stated there are more to come, as did Yeshua in the Gospels (Matthew 23:34).

    The reason for the belief in the "Last prophet" is because of Hadiths being made up, and it isn't logical or consistent with the Quran.

    In my opinion. :innocent:
     
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  9. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    (a) 33:40. Muhammad is not the father of any man among you; rather, he is the Messenger of God and the Seal of the prophets. And God is Knower of all things.
    • Commentary
      • ["The Study Qur'an"
        • SEYYED HOSSEIN NASR (Editor-in-Chief), University Professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University
        • CANER K. DAGLI (General Editor), Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross
        • MARIA MASSI DAKAKE (General Editor) is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University
        • JOSEPH E. B. LUMBARD (General Editor) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Arabic and Translation Studies at the American University of Sharjah
        • MOHAMMED RUSTOM (Assistant Editor), Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Carleton University]
      • Muhammad is not the father of any man among you refers to the Prophet’s relationship with Zayd ibn Ḥārithah, whom the Prophet had claimed as his son after Zayd’s father disowned him and whom others had referred to thereafter as the “Son of Muhammad” before the revelation of this sūrah; see 33:5c. Although this proclamation clarifies the Prophet’s biological relationship with members of his community and the rights and restrictions pertaining thereto, it is also understood as opening onto the spiritual reality of the Prophet as the father of all true believers (Aj, Ṭs); see 33:6c. That the Prophet is the Seal of the prophets is understood to mean that he is the last Prophet sent to humanity. The Prophet is reported to have said, “No prophethood shall remain after me, save for true visions” (IK, Q), and “Messengerhood and prophethood have ceased. There will be no messenger or prophet after me” (IK). The most frequently cited ḥadīth pertaining to his place as the Seal of the prophets states, “My likeness among the prophets before me is that of a man who has built a house, completed it, and beautified it, yet left empty a place for a brick. Then the people come to the house, are amazed by it, and say, ‘If only you were to place this brick, your house would be complete!’ I am this brick” (IK, Q). According to the Prophet, being the Seal of the prophets is one of six qualities that distinguish him from other prophets: “I have been favored above the prophets in six things: I have been endowed with consummate succinctness of speech; I have been made triumphant through dread; war booty has been made lawful for me; the whole earth has been made a place of worship for me and a means of purification; I have been sent to all created beings; and the succession of prophets has been completed in me” (IK).
    "Seal"
    • Nasr et al., pg. 11. "Some advocate saying it ["Āmīn"] aloud, while others recommend saying it under one’s breath (Q). Most understand āmīn to mean, “O God! Answer us,” which functions as a supplication (IK, Q). Others say that it is one of the Names of God (Q), while others say it means, “Thus shall it be” (Q). This last meaning is closest to the meaning of the Hebrew cognate “Amen.” In this sense, it is a declaration of affirmation and is understood as the seal upon one’s prayers (Q)."
    • Nasr et al., 63:3. "That is because they believed, and then disbelieved; so a seal was set upon their hearts such that they comprehend not."
      • This verse means either that the hypocrites first believed and then came to disbelieve or that they affirmed with their tongues, although they disbelieved with their hearts (Q). A seal was set upon their hearts (cf. 2:7; 6:46; 7:100–101; 9:87, 93; 10:74; 16:108; 17:46; 18:57; 30:59; 40:35; 41:5; 42:24; 47:16) implies spiritual insensitivity and ignorance, as the heart is considered the principle faculty of knowledge and understanding (see 6:25; 22:46). That a seal has been placed upon the heart as a barrier to religious understanding may be understood either as an inherent insensitivity toward revelation or as a Divinely imposed punishment in response to moral transgression and disobedience (see, e.g., 10:74; 42:24; 2:7c).
     
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  10. leov

    leov Well-Known Member

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    Is anything in Islam not covered in its core by Christ Jesus, or Islam is an application for specific people?
     
  11. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    But the Mahdi is different from being a prophet. The Mahdi, according to Islamic eschatology is a "redeemer" of mankind.

    Well for one, the founder of your faith was already influenced by Shi'ite Islam therefore, in an Islamic perspective there was nothing profound nor independent nor unique that differs from Islam. The persecution aspect is definitely wrong but I think one of the things that perhaps set people who come from divine providence apart is their profound message.

    There are like two or maybe three active Muslims. This discussion is best left in the Islam DIR in this case otherwise you're inviting people who disagree with Islam, or anti-Muslim in this conversation if you want a sincere answer from Muslims.
     
  12. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    The problem with this is that it sets the stage for anyone thereafter to be a prophet. A schizophrenic can proclaim to be a prophet.
     
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  13. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    @adrian009

    From "The Qur'an: an Encyclopedia" Edited by Oliver Leaman, (2006 Routledge).
    • RIDDA AND THE CASE FOR DECRIMINALIZATION OF APOSTASY
      • Page 548:
        • On conversion. From the earliest days of Islam to this day, apostasy continues to be considered in Islamic societies one of the most grievous acts that a Muslim person could ever commit. Islamic law insists that is impermissible for a Muslim to follow the path of irreligion or to convert to a religion other than Islam, and that no effort should be spared to prevent a member of the community from doing so (al-Jaziri, n.d: 422–7; al-Jaza) iri,1979: 535). Understanding how conversion to a religion such as Christianity came to be seen as ‘unacceptable’, even as inconceivable, may prove quite intriguing,particularly since the Qur'an does not seem to preclude the possibility that adherents of other monotheistic faithsare also among the saved and ‘need haveno fear, and neither shall they grieve’. This inconceivability, Watt (1974: 250) observes, stems from the general tendency in the Muslim world to assume that a person in their right mind would never ‘turn down the better in favour of the inferior’. Muslims cannot, according to this view, understand the motive for renunciation or conversion because they believe that ‘anyone who penetrates beneath the surface of the inner essence of Islam is bound to recognise its superiority over the other religions’. This issue, however, is not always seen or argued through the ‘principle’ of superiority of one religion over another (Nursi, 1998: 505). For Nursi (d. 1960), people of other monotheistic faiths can indeed be on a path compatible with Islam; they may even be within it, and are saved, without them necessarily knowing or intending to be on that path. But while he regards the nonacceptance of Islam by people of other faiths as perfectly excusable to a degree, he deplores the Muslim’s acceptance of a faith other than Islam, after he or she had earlier heard of the Prophet Muhammad and was familiar with his message. The Prophet Muhammad is the ‘seal of all prophets’, meaning not that he is simply the last of them, nor that he annuls whatever message they brought, but that he embodies the culminating point of all that was revealed, affirming, thus, all that had preceded him. It is for this reason, Nursi argues, ‘a person who denies Muhammad, who with his miracles and works was the pride of the universe and glory of mankind, certainly can in no respect receive any light and will not recognize God’. The Muslim person who converts to another religion or does not accept Muhammad’s prophethood has ‘owing to his denial, accepted annihilation and nihility’. Hence for someone such as Nursi the issue is not so much about ‘turning down the better in favour of the inferior’ but precisely over ‘what religion, if any at all, does the apostate in effect turn to after he or she renounces the ‘‘seal’’ of prophecy that affirms and embraces all the other revelations?’ It is following this line of argument that many scholars have upheld that for a Muslim to gain salvation, ‘all the ways are closed except the way of Muhammad’.
     
  14. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    There are active Muhammadans; a Muslim by definition follows all the messengers without distinction (2:285, 4:150-151, 10:47, 4:136, etc).
    There are certain criteria required to be a prophet, anyone can claim to be one, yet to qualify takes actual real connection with the Divine.

    Since hearing the voice of God, and schizophrenia are classified as the same thing; that doesn't then disqualify someone from actually having heard God...

    In a mental hospital environment the difference between the doctor, and the patient, is the patient makes stuff up, and hasn't evidence for it.

    Thus if a person who claims to hear voices has advanced knowledge of religious texts, we should try dealing with it in a more logical way, and assess the data, instead of the academic opinion.

    In my opinion. :innocent:
     
  15. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    leov,

    • re #1. I take the first part of your question to mean: Is there anything of importance in Islam that is missing in Christ Jesus (i.e. traditional Christianity)?
      • My facetious answer: Not much, if you're comfortable denying Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, and Jesus' explicit prediction that another and final prophet was to come after him.
    • re #2. No.
     
    #15 Terry Sampson, Sep 25, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  16. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Muhammad corrects the Gentiles from the false doctrines made up by the Pharisees (John, Paul, and Simon); the Bible warned it will be tampered with by the false teachings, this has already happened at the beginning of the harvest (Wheat and Tares).

    Muhammad then says Christ will return before Judgement Day (43:60-61) to declare which bits are edited.

    Muhammad's message in the Quran tells the Muslims to follow the Gospel of Yeshua (3:55); it is later additions by the Hadiths, that made Muhammadans separate into their own religion.

    True Islam as the Quran ascribes, is that the Source of our reality (God Most High = Allah) sends messengers to every nation (10:47); the Quran is an Arabic version of the same message we all have, and says it acts as a criterion to assess the rest.

    In my opinion. :innocent:
     
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  17. Wasp

    Wasp Active Member

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    As you can see from the words that follow that is not what this verse means. The point is that despite the obvious virtues of Yusuf, the people didn't recognize his greatness as a man until he died and even then they claimed there would never be anyone like him - that they have no reason to ever accept any prophet.
    It doesn't say relating to you anything saying it's from God, but if you recognize a message..
     
  18. Wasp

    Wasp Active Member

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    How about the law?
     
  19. Wasp

    Wasp Active Member

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    I don't see how that necessarily follows taking into account the nature of the question. A person who believes in a prophet after Muhammad doesn't technically have to reject Muhammad.
     
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  20. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    The main aspect of the verse is challenging those who are arrogant, and said there are no more prophets after Joseph... It does not mention his virtues.
    If other Messengers come after Muhammad citing his words, what does that make: is Muhammad the last messenger if someone can cite his words, and we are to respect them according to the verse?

    In my opinion. :innocent:
     
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