A Claim Without Evidence
On page 6, the White Paper further asserts:
The Old and the New Testaments bear witness to the fact that all previous Prophets have invariably been foretelling the advent of the Prophets succeeding them. But, the Holy Qur’an makes no mention of a future Prophet. On the contrary, it contains numerous verses which categorically state that there will be no more Prophets. Moreover, there are several authentic and mutually supporting ahadith which support this view. (Qadiyaniyyat—Islam kei liye eik Sangin Khatrah [Qadiyaniyyat—A Grave Threat to Islam,] p. 6)
I have already answered their claim with regards to the ahadith. As for the Qur’anic verses, it is noteworthy that they have not put forth a single Qur’anic verse to support their claim. As noted earlier, they mentioned some ‘Thinkers of Islam’ and, rightly or wrongly, have quoted them to support their own viewpoint. They have also utilized some ahadith to substantiate their ‘thesis,’ including the one that mentions ‘thirty impostors.’ All these arguments have been refuted by me. They have not put forth a single verse from the Qur’an.
Nubuwwat within the Ummah of the Holy Prophet(sa)
We can now review what the Holy Qur’an says with regards to the one coming after the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him). These people claim that they have not found any such verse; that is because of their ignorance. With regards to the coming of the Promised Messiah(as), I have already mentioned a clear reference as noted in Surah al-Jumu‘ah, chapter 62 of the Holy Qur’an. Another reference is made in the following verses of the Holy Qur’an Surah an-Nisa’, chapter 4, verses 70–71:1
What a grand proclamation. It reveals the unique and lofty station of the Holy Prophet(sa). These verses say that from now on, only those who will ‘obey Allah and this Messenger’ shall be the recipients of the spiritual rewards of the highest order i.e. prophethood, truthfulness, martyrdom and righteousness. Here the word used is not just ‘Rasul’ (Messenger) but ‘ar-Rasul’ (this Messenger) pointedly referring to the Holy Prophet(sa).
Here, our opponents argue that the particle ma‘a means ‘with’ and not ‘among’ as we translate it. Meaning ‘it is they who shall be with those upon whom Allah has bestowed His blessings.’ Anyone with common sense would know that their argument is absurd. A grand divine decree has been announced conferring spiritual ranks of the highest degree on those who obey Allah and the Holy Prophet(sa). But our opponents would have you believe that your reward for obeying Allah and His Prophet would be that you would only be placed with people who have achieved these lofty spiritual ranks.
In the past, divine promises were made to people to be endowed with His favours, if they obeyed Allah and Prophet Moses(as), Allah and Prophet Abraham(as), Allah and Prophet Noah(as), Allah and Prophet David(as) and Allah and Prophet Solomon(as). Today, a divine decree is inviting believers to follow Allah and this Messenger, holding the loftiest spiritual rank, so they may become recipients of the promised rewards. Yet, our opponents say that it does not mean that you will be the recipients of those rewards, rather you will be placed with the recipients of those rewards. This is utterly absurd. It is an insult to the lofty station of the Holy Prophet(sa) and the Holy Qur’an.
The Holy Qur’an belies their translation of the particle ma‘a. At another place, we read:
and in death number us with the righteous. (Surah Al-e-‘Imran, 3:194)
Here the same particle ma‘a has been used, not min. The particle min means ‘from among,’ while the particle ma‘a means ‘with’ and ‘from among,’ depending on how it is used. The Muslims have been enjoined to implore Allah the Almighty saying: ‘Cause us to die with the righteous.’ Obviously, this does not mean that we should pray to die whenever a righteous one dies. This is the height of absurdity.
The fact remains that in the above example, chapter 4, verses 70–71, ma‘a cannot mean anything but min—from among. In Arabic, when referring to more than one person and expressing admiration ma‘a invariably means min— from among. But should the species change, it would not be so. As Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, chapter two, verse 154:
surely, Allah is with the steadfast. (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:154)
Here the species has changed, hence the particle ma‘a cannot be used in the sense of min —from among.
The Holy Qur’an clarifies this issue further. If you refer to the verse under discussion Chapter 4, verse 70: Among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings it further reads ‘among the Prophets’. That is to say:
Those receiving His blessings would be ‘among the Prophets, the martyrs and the righteous’ and not just in their company. The particle ma‘a has not been repeated. min has been used to elucidate the meaning and to eliminate any possibility of misinterpretation. Allah says:
There is another verse of the Holy Qur’an, in Surah al-Hajj, chapter 22, verse 76, which reads:
Allah chooses His Messengers from among angels, and from among men. Surely, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. (Surah al-Hajj, 22:76)
Our opponents acknowledge that this verse was revealed after it has been pronounced that the Holy Prophet(sa) was ‘Khataman-Nabiyyin.’ Yet the verse says ‘Allah chooses His Messengers from among angels and from among men’ instead of saying ‘Allah used to choose His Messengers…’ This clearly means that prophethood has not been terminated. It is a fundamental rule of grammar that ‘present continuous tense’ cannot be used for an action that has come to an end. I wish the so-called ulema would understand.
A prominent Shi‘a commentator, Tibri, on page 171 in volume 7 of his book Majma‘ul Bayan, commenting on this verse, writes:
Allah chooses His Messengers from angels, e.g. Gabriel and Michael; and from among men, i.e. the Prophets.
Here the reference is not to an ordinary messenger, but to a Prophet. At another place in the Holy Qur’an reference is made to a covenant. In Surah Al-e-‘Imran, chapter 3, verse 82, we read:
And remember the time when Allah took a covenant [from the People of the Book] through the Prophets, saying: Whatever I give you of the Book and Wisdom and then there comes to you a Messenger, who fulfills the message that is with you, it is incumbent upon you to believe in him and help him. And He said: Do you make that commitment, and do you accept the responsibility which I lay upon you in this matter? They said: Yes we make that commitment; and He said, ‘Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.’ (Surah Al-e-‘Imran, 3:82)
In Surah al-Ahzab, chapter 33, which includes the verse about Khatm-e-Nubuwwat, Allah the Almighty says in verses eight and nine:2
This covenant was taken not only from the earlier Prophets, but also from the Holy Prophet(sa) as the phrase ‘minka’ [from you] makes clear. If a future Prophet fulfilling all the above conditions was not to come, why was this covenant taken from the Holy Prophet(sa) that if a Prophet appears and supports your teachings, then it will be your duty to support and assist him. If the coming of the Prophet had been totally closed and a new order had been launched, why was it necessary to take this covenant from the Holy Prophet(sa). The covenant that he was asked to make was that there can be a Prophet but he will have to be a part of the ummah of the Holy Prophet(sa).
The above verses are quite clear. It is strange that our opponents still insist that they do not find anything on this subject in the Holy Qur’an. The fact of the matter is that there are prophecies in the Holy Qur’an as I have amply demonstrated above. Moreover, the Holy Prophet(sa) had made unambiguous prophecies about the coming of the Mahdi and Messiah. If you review our opponents’ belief, you would be amazed at how silly and incongruous it is. On the one hand, they insist that there would be no more Prophets, on the other hand, they believe when the second coming of Jesus(as) happens, he would be a Prophet.
They also believe that the Holy Prophet(sa) said:
There is no Prophet between me and him–that is, ‘Isa(as)–and he is certain to descend. (Sunan Abi Dawud, chapter Appearance of Dajjal)
There is a hadith narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira, who said:
The Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) said: There would be no Prophet or Messenger between me and the coming of Messiah. Verily, he is my Khalifah in my ummah after me [min ba‘di]. (Al-Mu’jam Al-Ausat, by Hafiz Tibrani)
By this statement, the Holy Prophet(sa) has resolved the issue of dajjals and La Nabiyya ba‘di [there is no Prophet after me]. He points out there will be impostors but do not consider the Messiah an impostor. He will be a Prophet.
The Holy Prophet(sa) further emphasized:
Remember, most surely, He (Jesus) will be my successor and will be from my ummah.
That is to say he was talking about a Messiah being raised from the ummah and not the Messiah from the Mosaic dispensation.
Hazrat Muhy-ud-Din Ibn-e-‘Arabi, writes in Al-Futuhatul-Makkiyyah, volume 1, page 545:
Jesus(as) shall descend amongst the Muslim ummah as an arbitrator without a new law. Most surely, he will be a Prophet. There is no doubt about it.
This statement is self explanatory. The ulema assert that Ibn-e-‘Arabi is referring to the old ‘Isa. However, at another place, Hazrat Muhy-ud-Din Ibn-e-‘Arabi, himself says:
He is bound to descend in the Latter Days in a new physical form. (Tafsirul-Qur’anil-Karim, by Ibn-e-‘Arabi, vol. 1, p. 296)
Here, note that Hazrat Ibn-e-‘Arabi states emphatically that the Messiah would be a new Messiah and that he will be a Prophet. Despite all this evidence, our opponents would continue to insist that there will be no new Prophet.
We now quote from Imam Ibn-e-Qayyim’s book. He writes:
To say that Prophet Jesus(as) had gone to the heavens at the age of thirty three is by no means correct. Nor has it been handed down to us in an uninterrupted chain of narration. It therefore need not be adopted. (Zadul-Ma‘ad fi hadyi khairil-‘ibad, by Ibn al- Qayyim al-Jauziyyah [691–751 AH], p. 27, Mu’assas- atur-Risalati Nashirun, Beirut, 2006).
Moreover, the author of Fat’hul-Bayan fi Maqasidil-Qur’an says that according to Imam Shami: the narration that Prophet Jesus(as) was raised to the heavens alive is of Christian origin. (Fat’hul-Bayan fi Maqasidil-Qur’an, vol. 2, p. 247)
Two points have been clearly made here. One, that the narrations being advanced in this context are by no means authentic and acceptable. Two, that according to Imam Shami, these narrations are actually of Christian origin that have been interpolated; otherwise there is no firm basis for them.
These views have been expressed by no less a person than Hazrat Ibn-e-Qayyim whose authority has been accepted by the ‘White Paper.’ He believes that Hazrat ‘Isa will certainly descend, but he will not be the ‘Isa of the past, because he was neither raised physically, nor will he descend physically. All the scholars who have been quoted above were righteous, pious, and had attained the cognition of God. After all, why did they make all these statments.
Imam Ibn-e-Qayyim, who has been cited as an authority, says at another places:
Had Prophet Moses(as) and Prophet Jesus(as) lived (till the time of the Holy Prophet(sa)), they would certainly have been among his followers. (Madarij-us-Salikin by Ibn-e-Qayyim, vol. 2, p. 496)
This is very significant. Imam Ibn-e-Qayyim having bracketed the two names together, is indicating to us that Moses(as) did not live till the times of the Holy Prophet(sa) neither did Jesus(as). This is the same Imam Ibn-e-Qayyim whom I had quoted earlier and who stated that stories about Jesus(as) ascending going to the heavens alive were all fictitious.
Mahdi and Messiah Are One Person
Ibn-e-Khaldun is also held in high esteem by our opponents. He is an outstanding scholar. He says:
Ibn Abi Watil and Sha‘bah have said that there has been discussion about the Mahdi being the Messiah who would be from the progeny of the Holy Prophet. I (Ibn-e-Khaldun) would like to say that this view is held by Sufis, too. They base their view on the hadith ‘La Mahdi Illa ‘Isa—There is no Mahdi but Jesus(as),’ meaning the Mahdi and Messiah would be from the ummah of the Holy Prophet(sa), whereas Jesus was from the ummah of Moses. (Muqaddimah Ibn-e-Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 407)
In this extract, Ibn-e-Khaldun has demonstrated the attitude of a truthful and pious scholar in contrast to the so-called scholars of today. He has pondered over the issue and has come forward with a very profound point of wisdom: The Messiah to come will be none other than the awaited Mahdi, because Jesus belonged to the ummah of Moses, whereas the future Messiah needs to be a follower and devotee of the Holy Prophet(sa).