Commentary (Tafseer) of Khatam un-Nabiyyin
"Behold! thou didst say to one who had received the grace of God and thy favor: "Retain thou (in wedlock) thy wife and fear God". But thou didst hide in thy heart that which God was about to make manifest: thou didst fear the people but it is more fitting that thou shouldst fear God.
"Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee: in order that in future there may be no difficulty to the believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter had dissolved with the necessary (formality-their marriage) with them. And God's command must be fulfilled.
"There can be no difficulty to the Prophet in what God had indicated to him as a duty. It was the way of God amongst those of old that have passed away. And the command of God is a decree determined.
"(It is the practice of) those who preach the message of God and fear Him, and fear none but God. And enough is God to call (men) to account. Mohammed is not the father of any of your men, but (he) is The Apostle of God and the last of the Prophets. And God has full knowledge of all things". (Qur'an, 33:37-40)
This (verse) is revealed in the fifth Ruku of Chapter Al-Ahzab. In this 'Ruku' Allah has replied to the objections of the unbelievers and the hypocrites, who were ridiculing and slandering the Holy Prophet because of his marriage with Ummul-Mumineen Zainab bint Jahash.
They said that Zainab was previously married to Zaid bin Haritha, who prior to Islam, was adopted by the Holy Prophet as his son. The detractors said, as such Zainab was the daughter-in-law of the Holy Prophet; and when the Holy Prophet married her, after her divorce from Zaid, he married his daughter-in-law which is haram even in the Shari’ah brought by Muhammad (S).
Replying to that, Allah said in verse No. 37 that that marriage was entered into by the order of Allah, and performed by Allah so that the Muslims should be made free to marry the wives of their adopted sons if the said so-called sons were to divorce them.
Verses Nos. 38 and 39 declare that no power can detract a prophet from doing what he was told by Allah to do. And it is not the job of the prophet to be afraid of the masses in performing the commands of Allah. They fear only Allah, and no one else. And it is the way of Allah from ever that makes the prophets to convey the message of Allah without any hesitation, without taking anything else into their consideration.
After that comes this verse; and it cuts at the roots of all such objections of the enemies of the Holy Prophet (S).
Their first objection was that the Holy Prophet had married his daughter-in-law, which is forbidden in Islam. Replying to that, Allah said: "Muhammad was not father of anyone from among your men folk".
It reminds the unbelievers that Zaid bin Haritha (whose divorcee Zainab was), was not the son of the Holy Prophet, and as such Zainab was not the daughter-in-law of the Holy Prophet. Marrying the divorcee of Zaid therefore cannot be said to be forbidden by any logic. Even his enemies knew that Muhammad was not the father of Zaid.
Second objection: Agreed that Zaid was not the son of the Holy Prophet by birth; but was he not his son by adoption? Agreed that it was not illegal for Muhammad to marry the divorced wife of Zaid. But was that marriage necessary? Agreed that that marriage was legal and lawful. But what was the need of entering into such a marriage which could make Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) the target of ridicule?
Replying to that, Allah said: "But Muhammad is the messenger of' Allah".
The significance of this answer is that, being a Messenger of Allah, it was essential for him to remove all superstitions and prejudices and all baseless taboos which were choking the life out from the society. It was essential for him to act in such a way that nobody could remain in any doubt about the legality of such marriages and about the fact that an adopted son was not a son at all.
Then comes the phrase: "'The Last of The Prophets".
The significance of this phrase is that, after the Holy Prophet of Islam not even a prophet is to come (let alone a Rasul whose job is to bring a new Shari'ah). No prophet was to come after him, so that if any deficiency were left unreformed in the legal or social system of the society or religion, the later prophet would remove that defect.
Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) was the last Messenger; he was the Last Prophet. And therefore it was essential for him to effect reforms to all the bad practices of the society, to refute all superstitions during his lifetime, because there was no Nabi to come after him, let alone a Rasul.
Then comes the sentence: "And Allah has the full knowledge of everything".
Why this assertion? Allah wants to convey the idea that Allah knows that if Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) left this world without reforming the bad elements of the society, no prophet was to come after him to fill that gap; and if Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) without giving effect to all the reforms of the society, no such person was ever to appear who would have such respect, prestige and reverence among the masses that his every word and his every action would have the force of Law.
It was the prerogative of the Holy Prophet of Islam; and nobody had, or was to have, such respect that if he did one thing it became lawful for up to Qiyamah (Resurrection day), and if he forbade one thing, that became unlawful for up to Qiyamah. This prestige was bestowed by Allah upon the Last Prophet and Allah knew that if he did not reform such bad customs no other person would ever be able to give effect to such reforms after the Holy Prophet.
Looking at this verse in this context, it is crystal clear that we cannot accept a new meaning to this verse invented by a homemade claimant of prophethood from Qadian, that 'Khatam un-Nabiyyin' means 'Seal of the prophets" which in its turn means that the prophets coming after the Holy Prophet of Islam would become prophet by the seal of the seal of the Holy Prophet, and by his confirmation. If we were to entertain such idea, all the force and logic will be wiped out. Not only that it will lose its logic - it will be tantamount to refuting whatever was put forward in the preceding phrases and sentences. This verse will become a self-contradictory statement.
We have seen that Allah wanted to reply to the objections of the enemies of the Holy Prophet, by saying that:
1. The Holy Prophet married Ummul-Mumineen Zainab bint Jahash by order of Allah.
2. The aim of that marriage was to remove the prejudice and superstition and traditional taboo of the pagan Arabs and many other nations who treated the adopted sons as the real sons.
3. It was necessary, nay essential for Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) to marry the divorced wife of his adopted son, so that Muslims should not feel shy of such marriages; they should be persuaded by the practical example of the Holy Prophet that such marriages are perfectly lawful, because an adopted son is no son at all.
4. To show the urgency of those marriages, Allah says that Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) is the Messenger of Allah and it was Imperative for him to give effect to that marriage to provide a practical example.
And then the Qadianis say that, Allah says: "Many Prophets will come after Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) who will be made Prophets by the confirmation from him, and who will be in a position to give effect to whatever reforms were needed in their times”.
And what would have been the effect of such declaration?
As soon as the enemies of the Holy Prophet (S) were to learn this they would easily have said:" Then what was the urgency that Muhammad himself should perform this marriage; to show the Muslims legality of such marriages? As other prophets were to come after him, any other prophet could have legalized such marriages by showing his own example! There was no need on the part of Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) to perform that marriage".
Thus, the whole force of the arguments showing the urgent need of that marriage is negated, wiped out and cancelled. Not only this: a weapon is given in the hands of the enemies of the Holy Prophet to attach him and ridicule him saying that "he married the divorced wife of his son while there was no urgency for him to do so. After all, other prophets coming after him could have shown to the world that there was nothing wrong in such marriages”.
It is clear from this explanation, that if the interpretation of the Qadianis is accepted then not only the logic of the replies will be lost, but the verse will become a mass of contradictory statements. Allah says: "If this Qur'an would have been from other than Allah, then they would have found in it much contradiction." (Qur'an 4:82)
If an interpretation creates contradictions in a verse, it means that that interpretation is not from Allah; it is from other than Allah - it is from Satan.
Another interpretation d the Qadianis is that 'Khatam un-Nabiyyin' means 'Afzal un-Nabiyyin' i.e., Muhammad is the superior to all prophets. In other words, other prophets would come after him, but he is the greatest, most respected and most honored of all prophets.
Apart from the fact, that this interpretation shows that Qadianis themselves are not same what new meaning they should give to the phrase 'Khatam un-Nabiyyin', the same defect of contradiction is inherent in that interpretation also.
How? The unbelievers and the hypocrites could have retorted that when other prophets were to come after Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S), though inferior to him, but prophet of Allah all the same, they could have carried out such reform and that there was no need or urgency for Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) to perform that marriage and put himself in ridicule unnecessarily.
Finality of Prophethood, Khatm an-Nubuwwah
By: Allamah Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi
A) Continuity of Religious Leadership
God, in His grace, never left mankind without a religious guide. That guide may be a prophet; a 'Rasul' or an 'Imam '. The first man, Prophet Adam (a.s.), was made a vicegerent of Allah on this earth, so that he might lead his children on the right path.
Since then, prophets and messengers were sent to all the regions and all the peoples. Allah says in the Qur'an: "And there never was a people without a warner having lived among them". (Qur'an, 35:24)
In all, there came 124,000 prophets from God. Many of the prophets were sent to one or two villages, some even to one family or one man. Others were sent to a bigger area; still others to a whole tribe. But none of them, before our Holy Prophet, was sent to the whole mankind.
Our Holy Prophet was sent to the whole mankind for up to the end of the world. No other prophet is to come after him. He was, and is, the Last Prophet.
(B) Evolution of Religious Guidance
It appears from the history of divine religions that God sent from time to time many 'Shari'ahs' (Divine Laws) which were suitable to that particular era. Prophet Noah (a.s.) brought a Shari'ah which was simple to a great extent. And that Shari'ah was followed by other prophets up to the advent of Prophet Abraham (a.s.). Prophet Abraham (a.s.) was given a Shari'ah which was more elaborate and more comprehensive than the previous one.
The Shari'ah of Prophet Abraham remained in force for the children of Israel up to the time of Prophet Moses (a.s.). When Prophet Moses (p.u h.) was given Torah (Law), it was a really comprehensive and fully detailed Shari'ah, which was followed by all the prophets of Bani Israel till Prophet Jesus (a.s.) came. Prophet Jesus (a.s.) perfected the Shari'ah of Prophet Moses (a.s.) and made adjustments according to the time. The, Shari'ah of Prophet Jesus (a.s.) remained valid till the arrival of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S).
Coming to the other branch of the family of Prophet Abraham (a.s.) we find that the children of Ismael were expected to follow the Shari'ah of Prophet Abraham (a.s.) up to the time of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S). When he came, he abrogated and cancelled all the previous Shari'ahs, and brought the final, most comprehensive and most suitable and moderate Shari'ah of all, which can meet the challenge of the changing trines without any difficulty up to the Day of 'Qiyamah (the Day of Resurrection).
(C) Why 'Shari'ahs' were Changed?
It may be asked: Why the changes in Shari'ahs? Why the gradual revelation? And why the separate 'Ulul-Azm' (Prominent) prophets coming one after another? Well, when a child is born, the parents make some garments for him. And as the child continues to grow, the old clothes are discarded, and new ones made according to the growth of the body of the child, this continuous during his childhood, during his adolescence, during his teenage, till a time comes after 25 or 30 years, when the body reaches its maximum height and attains its full growth.
After that, the size which fits him at that time continues to fit him up to the end of his life. Nobody will suggest that as the child at the age of 25 years is expected to be 5 ft. 6 in. tall, he should be given the clothes of that size on the day of his birth. Nor will anybody think that a young man of 30 years should wear the same clothes which he used to wear when he was 10 years old. Likewise, we may suppose that the humanity was a child in the days of Prophet Adam (a.s.) and Noah (a.s.), which reached its adolescence in the days of Prophet Abraham (a.s.) and continued to grow (mentally, socially and spiritually). Accordingly, Allah continued discarding and abrogating old Shari'ahs and sending new ones according to the social, intellectual and spiritual needs of the times.
This continued up to the time of Prophet Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S). This time may be compared as the age of 25 or 30 years of a man when he reaches the full height and the highest peak of his strength. Now there is no chance that he will outgrow his clothes, and the size of what age remains in force till his last day. When humanity reached that stage, Allah sent the final Shari'ah which was to serve the mankind to the last day of the world. After Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) there was no need for any Shari'ah; there was no need for any new Prophet or messenger from God. And it was for this reason that he was declared by Allah to be the last of the prophets.
Question: Admitted that the body does not grow in height after about 25 years; but still there appear changes in the body. A person may gain or lose considerable weight, necessitating some changes in the measurement of his clothes. Therefore, now can you say that there will never be any need for a new Shari'ah after Islam?
Answer: Clothes usually do not adjust themselves according to the build of a body. But Islam has a built-in capacity to cover all the possible situations which a man faces during his life-time. In this respect, we may compare it with those sophisticated electronic devices which automatically adjust to the temperature, light, humidity and other relevant factors of the operating time. If you take a good camera, you will find that its lens makes all the necessary adjustments according to the distance and light without any need for you to make those adjustments manually.
Likewise, Islam has all the rules for all the possible situations, and as soon as a given situation changes, the Shari'ah' automatically recognizes the change and another set of rules applicable to the new situation comes into force immediately and automatically.
This flexibility is the unique feature of Islam which is not found in any other religion. And this feature eliminates the need of a new Shari'ah.
Of course, the need for an interpreter of the Qur'an and protector of the Shari'ah will remain forever. But Allah appointed Imams for this purpose, after the Last Prophet. The chain of the Prophethood came to an end and a new system of religious leadership, known as 'Imamat' was introduced. The Holy Prophet said "Bani Israel, prophets were leading them; when a prophet died another prophet succeeded him. But after me there is no prophet, and surely there will be Caliphs".
Khatam un-Nabiyyin' in Tradition
By: Allamah Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi
One often hears Qadiani missionaries asserting that the phrase " Khatam un-Nabiyyin "m has not been interpreted as "the Last Prophet" by the Holy Prophet himself. The fact is that the Holy Prophet himself has explained this phrase in these words.