Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the Fourth Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, from time to time offered to people of all nationalities, faiths and beliefs the opportunity of raising questions and issues that were of interest to them. Presented below are answers to some questions that were raised in a session held at Mahmud Hall, London Mosque on 18 April 1999. Compiled by Amatul Hadi Ahmad.
Questioner: Could you please advise me as to which verse in the Holy Qur’an refers to the appearance of another Prophet after the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him?
Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad: The Holy Qur’an has addressed this issue in a number of ways. Firstly, the Holy Qur’an informs us that God took a covenant from all his Prophets [and through them from all their followers] that they would accept the Prophet who was to follow after them, provided the Prophet that followed did not disagree with the principles of the preceding Prophet.
[In Chapter 3, Verse 82 of the Holy Qur’an, it is stated]:
And remember the time when Allah took a covenant from the people through the Prophets, saying ‘Whatever I give you of the Book and Wisdom and then there comes to you a Messenger, fulfilling that which is with you, you shall believe in him and help him’. (3:82)
This Covenant was also taken from the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Holy Qur’an states this clearly:
And remember when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from thee, and from Noah, and Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus, son of Mary, and We indeed took from them a solemn covenant. (33:8)
In other words, God is stating that He took this covenant of Prophets from all the Prophets and He is now taking this covenant from Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) Prophet of Allah. This indicates that there was a Prophet of God yet to come or this covenant should not have been taken from the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
Moreover, the essential qualifications of the Prophet yet to come were to be the same as of all the previous Prophets, [thus qualifying him for the title of ‘Prophet’]. In other words, should a Prophet appear after you [O Muhammad, Prophet of God] who supports the principles enunciated by you and the teachings which have been founded by you, then that Prophet should not be rejected. In fact, you should advise your people to support such a Prophet.
In my view, this is the prime verse which supports the Ahmadiyya interpretation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) lofty status as the Seal of all the Prophets, that is Khataman-Nabiyeen.
Another way in which the Holy Qur’an deals with the issue of the appearance of a subordinate Prophet after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), is by issuing the following edict in Chapter Al-Nisa where it states:
And whoso obeys Allah and this Messenger of His shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, namely, the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs, and the Righteous. And excellent companions are these. (4:70)
In other words, after Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), those who follow Allah and this Prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) would be among the people who are the recipients of rewards from Allah. What are these rewards?
The recipient of these rewards would be persons from among the Prophets, from among the Truthful who would form the second order. These are people who adhere to perfect truthfulness and attain the status of the Truthful. After this category is the reward of those who are martyrs in the name of Allah and then those who are pious and do righteous deeds.
These are the four spiritual rewards that were bestowed upon persons before Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and these are the four spiritual rewards that would be bestowed upon persons who, in following the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), attained the four stations mentioned above.
There are many other references in the Holy Qur’an to a Prophet who was to come after the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), in his Ummah, as a Prophet subordinate to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). However, for the time being, the above two references should suffice.