Guided by irrefutable word of Allah(SWT) in the Holy Quran and numerous Hadith, Muslims around the world do uniformly believe that, after Prophet Muhammad(SAW), the chain of prophethood has come to an end. According to this fundamental belief, anyone who now claims to be a Prophet of God should be viewed as an impostor, whose claim is contrary to the teachings of Islam.
All Muslim scholars consider such self-proclaimed prophets misguided opportunists, who have doomed their souls for worldly gains. Sadly, those unfortunate individuals, who follow the man-made ideology of such opportunists, won't fair much better in the hereafter, unless they are awakened by the truth of Allah(SWT) and abbandon the teachings of their self-motivated leaders.
It is those who believe not in the Signs of Allah that forge falsehood: it is they who lie!
(The Holy Quran, An-Nahl 16:105)
Close to one hundred verses of the holy Quran, directly or indirectly, support the doctrine of the Finality of Prophethood.
Verse 40 of the SurahAl-Ahzab (33), for instance, highlights this teaching in clear terms.
Two translations of this Ayah follow:
O people! Muhammad has no sons among ye men, but verily, he is the Apostle of God and the last in the line of Prophets. And God is Aware of everything.
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 Holy Quran, Al-Ahzab 33:40)
Muslim Scholars, since the time of our beloved Prophet(SAW), have correctly understood this verse to indicate that no new Prophet or Messenger will be sent to humanity until the day of judgment.
[Read: The Interpretation of well-known Muslim Scholars].
Numerous verses of the Quran indicate that the teachings of Islam have been completed, perfected, and preserved and have been meant universally for all the Worlds. Such statements eliminate every reason for which a new prophet may need to be commissioned to humanity. In this regard, we can briefly mention:
And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) save as a bringer of good tidings and a warner unto all mankind; but most of mankind do not know.
(The Holy Quran, Saba 34:28)
Say: "O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah, to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He That giveth both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, who believeth in Allah and His words: follow him that (so) ye may be guided."
(The Holy Quran, Al-Araf 7:158)
If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).
(The Holy Quran, Al-e-Imran 3:85)
The following portion of the last revealed verse of the Holy Quran is also a testimony that no Apostle with new instructions or interpretations of the holy Quran will ever need to be sent to the humanity:
This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Maidah 5:3)
The following verses, which appear at the very beginning of the holy Quran, indicate the qualities of the individuals, who will benefit from the holy Quran, and have been given an assurance of salvation. In its concise and precise form, Quran makes clear that these include revelations up to the time of Prophet Muhammad(SAW), and precludes the possibility of any future revelations, prophets, or religions.
This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who fear Allah, believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, give charity from what We have provided for them, and believe in the Revelation sent to you (O Muhammad) and before you, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who shall be successful.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Bagara 2:2-5)
Khatmay-Nabuwat in Hadith of Prophet(SAW)
Many verses of the Holy Quran allude to the special wisdom bestowed on the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) to understand and explain the revelations included in the Holy Quran. For example, in verse 4 of chapter 14 of the Quran, we read:
And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he [Hazrat Muhammad(SAW)] might make (the message) clear for them. Then Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Wise.
(The Holy Quran, Ibrahim 14:4)
The following teachings of Prophet Muhammad(SAW) deal with the issue of Finality of Prophethood. As apparent from the references, these Ahadith are authentic and have been recorded by many scholars and reported by numerous companions of the Prophet(SAW).
My position in relation to the prophets who came before me can be explained by the following example: A man erected a building and adorned this edifice with great beauty, but he left an empty niche, in the corner where just one brick was missing. People looked around the building and marveled at its beauty, but wondered why a brick was missing from that niche? I am like unto that one missing brick and I am the last in the line of the Prophets.
I have been endowed with the gift of pithy and perfect speech.
I was granted victory owing to my awe.
The spoils of war were made lawful unto me.
The whole earth has been made the place of worship for me and it has become the means of purification for me also. In other words, in my religion, offering of prayers is not confined to certain specified places of worship. Prayers can be offered at any place over the earth. And in case water is not available, it is lawful for my people to perform ablutions with earth (Tayammum) and to cleanse themselves with the soil, if water for bathing is scarce.
I have been sent by Allah to carry His Divine message to the whole world.
And the line of prophets has come to its final end in me.
(Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad, I am the effacer and infidelity shall be erased through me; I am the assembler. People shall be assembled on Doomsday after my time. And I am the last in the sense that no prophet shall succeed me.
(Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Muatta')
You (Hazrat Ali) are related to me as Aaron was related to Moses (pbuh). But no Apostle will come after me.If ever there arose a person from among my people who would hold communion with God, it would be none else but 'Umar bin Khattab.
Musnad recorded a similar hadith ending in 'Behold there is no prophethood after me.')
(Bukhari , Muslim, Tirmidhi)
We are the last (ummah) but will precede all on the Day of Resurrection except that the Book was given to them before us.I am the last in line of the prophets of God and my Masjid is the last Masjid.
The tribe of Israel was guided by prophets. When a prophet passed away, another prophet succeeded him. But no prophet will come after me; only caliphs will succeed me.
The chain of Messengers and Prophets has come to an end. There shall be no Messenger nor Prophet after me.
(Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, Anas bin Malik)
There will arise thirty impostors in my Ummah and each one of them will pronounce to the world that he is a prophet, but I am the last in the line of the Prophets of God and no Prophet will come after me.
(Abu Dawood, Tirmizi)
Allah will send no Apostle after me, but only Mubashshirat (Good vision or pious vision).
(Musnad Ahmad, Abu Tufail, Nasa'i, Abu Dawud)
No Prophet will come after me and there will, therefore, be no other community of followers of any new Prophet.
God Almighty hath sent unto the world no apostle who did not warn his people about the appearance of Dajjal (Anti-Christ, but Dajjal did not appear in their time). I am the last in the line of Prophets and you are the last community of believers. Without doubt, then, Dajjal shall appear from amongst you.
I am Muhammad, the unlettered prophet of Allah. I am Muhammad, the unlettered prophet of Allah. I am Muhammad, the unlettered prophet of Allah. There will be no prophet after me.
These are just a brief listing of the authentic teachings of Hazrat Muhammad(SAW) available on the issue of the Finality of Prophethood; should a true believer have any doubt about the Finality of Prophethood?
It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Ahzab 33:36)
The Historic Sermon of Prophet(SWT)
Hazrat Muhammad(SAW) saw it fit to mention this very important fact in his historic sermon, which was witnessed by over 120,000 individuals. Through it, he again warned the entire mankind to stay away from destructive man-made cults, in the following words:
...O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you...
Should we not heed the prophets'(SAW) warnings and stay away from false prophets?
We sent no messenger save that he should be obeyed by Allah's leave. And if, when they had wronged themselves, they had but come unto thee and asked forgiveness of Allah, and asked forgiveness of the messenger, they would have found Allah Forgiving, Merciful. But nay, by thy Lord, they will not believe (in truth) until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which thou decidest, and submit with full submission.
(The Holy Quran, An-Nisa 4:64-65)
The Opinion of Great Scholars of Islam
Throughout the centuries, Muslim Scholars have unanimously supported the fundamental doctrine of Finality of Prophethood in Prophet Muhammad(SAW). So much so, that the entire Ummah has recognized anyone who claims to be a prophet (in any capacity), supports someone else's claim to prophethood, or views such claimant as a religious leader, to be an unbeliever (Kafir).
Should we not accept the opinion of our knowledgeable Muslim Scholars?
O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.
(The Holy Quran, An-Nisa, 4:59)
Hoping to misguide individuals, who lack knowledge of linguistics and Arabic language, some unlearned opportunists have attempted to misinterprete the verse 33:40 of Al-Ahzab, which was mentioned earlier, since it is the best known verse in support of the doctrine of the Finality of Prophethood. Such individuals often claim the word khatam, in the context of the verse, to mean "stamp", "seal", "best", "decoration" or "ring"! They also claim that the word Nabiyyeen indicates the "law giving prophets".
The actual dictionary translations of the words khatam nabuwat, in this context, are as follows:
Khatam: Can be read in two ways: khatam, meaning last or seal; and khatim meaning seal or terminator.
The authorative dictionary of Lisanul-Arab indicates that both 'khatam' and 'khatim' mean "last of them" and the Qamoos dictionary says that it indicates the "last person", like a seal.
Nabuwat: Messengership; Prophethood of any kind, since all Messengers (rasuls or law giving prophets) are also Prophets.
In the word of Allah(SWT), the Quran was revealed in detail in the arabic language so Arabs would understand it without a problem. True to God's promise, no arabic speaking person will have a doubt of what is meant by Khatme-Nabuwat. Isn't it particularly amusing to find self-proclaimed "prophets", who according to historical records did not even have a working knowledge of the Arabic language, tried to reinterprete this verse?
Had We sent this as a Qur'an (in a language) other than Arabic they would have said: "Why are not its verses explained in detail? What! (a Book) not in Arabic and (a Messenger) an Arab?" Say: "It is a guide and a healing to those who believe; and for those who believe not there is a deafness in their ears and it is blindness in their (eyes); they are (as it were) being called from a place far distant!
(The Holy Quran, Ha-Mim 41:44)
(12:2, 13:37, 16:103, 20:113, 26:195, 39:028, 41:003, 42:7, 43:3, and 46:12 also illuminate the point that proper knowledge of arabic language is required to avoid mistranslating/misinterpreting the Holy Quran.)
The sheer amount of evidence provided here should suffice to convince anyone believing in the divinity of Islam that the prophet Muhammad(SAW) was the last Prophet of God and that anyone with a claim to prophethood should be considered an outcast from Islam. No one can better state this fact, than Allah(SWT) himself:
Who doth more wrong than such as forge a lie against Allah or deny His Signs? But never will prosper those who sin.
(The Holy Quran, Yunus 10:60) Those who believe not in the Signs of Allah, Allah will not guide them and theirs will be a grievous Penalty.
(The Holy Quran, An-Nahl 16:104)
Bear witness that we are Muslims and we have conveyed the true message of Allah so that you might benefit from it.
Therefore give admonition in case the admonition profits (the hearer). The admonition will be received by those who fear (Allah): But it will be avoided by those most unfortunate ones. Who will enter the Great Fire In which they will then neither die nor live.
(The Holy Quran, Al-A'la 87:9-13)