Hazrat Shah Waliyyullah Dehlavi, Mujaddid (reformer) of the twelfth century, a scholar who is recognized as a distinguished authority by the White Paper, writes:
The Holy Prophet(sa) being Khatamun-Nabiyyin means that there will not be anybody who is commissioned by God with a new law for mankind. (Tafhimat-e-Ila-hiyyah, vol. 2, p. 85)
Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotawi says:
According to lay people, the Holy Prophet’s(sa) being khatam means that his era came after the era of the past Prophets and that he is the last Prophet.
Now here he is attributing the notion to the lay people, he declares firmly that this is not the view of the scholarly and enlightened people. What is the view of these people, he goes on to say:
But it is apparent to those endowed with insight that coming in a particular sequence holds no honour in itself. How then can the verse:1
be interpreted to convey a compliment to the Holy Prophet(sa). If one does not consider Khataman-Nabiyyin to be a praiseworthy trait or a rank of honour, only then can Khatamiyyat be interpreted as the last.
In other words, this interpretation cannot be held without, God forbid, dishonouring the Holy Prophet(sa). He continues:
But I know that this will be intolerable to every Muslim. (Tahdhirun-Nas, p. 4–5, by Muhammad Qasim Nanotawi)
Who are the Muslims then, we or the mullahs of Pakistan? Your top scholar, who is the founding father of the Deoband Movement, says that anyone who considers the Holy Prophet(sa) to be last in time cannot be a Muslim. But you are presenting the same as a fundamental tenet of Islam.
Let us turn to a Muslim scholar from the Barelavi sect, who are opposed to the Deobandis. Barelavis and other Sunnis, who do not accept Deobandis, allege that the Deobandis not only started a sect but also laid the foundation for the Ahmadiyya Movement. They accuse the founder of Deoband [Maulana Qasim Nanotawi] of paving a path for Mirza Sahib [the Promised Messiah(as)], from which he made his claim of prophethood (God forbid).
A well-known scholar of the Barelavis, Maulavi Abul- Hasnat ‘Abdul-Hayee of Farang Mahal, Lucknow, expounding his view on Khatm-e-Nubuwwat, writes:
The advent of a mere Prophet after the Holy Prophet(sa) or in his era is not an impossibility. However, such a Prophet cannot be a bearer of a new law. (Dafi‘ul-Wiswas, p. 16)
The Maulana further asserts that it is not only his belief, but all the Sunni scholars have been making similar explanations:
Sunni scholars also explain that in the era of the Holy Prophet(sa), there cannot be any law-bearing Prophet. His prophethood is universal and whichever Prophet will share the same era, he will be a follower of the law brought by the Holy Prophet(sa). (Majmu‘ah Fatawa by Muhammad ‘Abdul-Hayee of Lucknow, vol. 1, p. 17)
1 but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets (Surah al-Ahzab, 33:41)