Muhammad – the Holder of the Seal

MAY 1985 MUHAMMAD—THE HOLDER OF THE SEAL 27 MUHAMMAD—THE HOLDER OF THE SEAL BY Saleem Nasir Malik God appointed the Holy Prophet Muhammad the Holder of the Seal. This degree of excellence was barred to all other Prophets since the beginning of time. One who meticulously follows his footsteps, can be awarded the attributes of Prophethood. But the Holy Pro- phet is gifted with much more than this. A spiritual and intimate linkage with him can elevate an “Ummati” to the exalted status of a Prophet. It was thus that thousands of the followers of the Holy Prophet were converted by his grace into saints of a high order. But there was ‘One’ among the Ummah who was wrapped in the silver linings of a Prophet. He was none other than the Mahdi and the Promised Messiah whom the Holy Prophet had himself described as a Pro- phet, on four occasions (Sahih Muslim). The perfect man to whom the Holy Quran was revealed, was not limited in his vision nor was there any deficiency in his sympathy in the sharing of sorrows. Both from the point of view of time and space, his soul was charged with perfect sympathy for human beings. He was, therefore, bestowed a full share of the manifestations of nature and he was made Khatamal-Anbia, meaning not that no one would henceforth receive any spiritual grace from him, but that he possessed the Seal of Prophethood and that without the attestation of that Seal, no grace could reach anyone and that for his people, the door of converse with the Divine would never be closed. Beside him, there was no Prophet who possessed the Seal. It is only through this Seal that a Prophethood can now be bestowed for which it is a con- dition that the recipient must be a follower of the Holy Prophet. His (the Holy Prophet’s) high courage and sympathy did not wish to leave his people in a condition of inferior status and bar to them the door of revelation, which is the root of all spiritual and temporal understanding. Yet in order to preserve the sign of the closing of all (previous) prophethoods, he desired that the grace of revelation should be reserved for the ranks of his followers only. It was in this sense that the Holy Prophet had been appointed as Kahlamal-Anbia. 28 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS MAY 1985 It is, therefore, established till the day of judgement that a person who does not show true obedience to him (the Holy Prophet) and who does not devote his full being to obeying him, cannot become the recipient of perfect revelation (Wahi-i-Nabuwwat). Direct Pro- phethood has been ended with the Holy Prophet. But Prophethood which means the receipt of (perfect) revelation through the grace of Muhammad will continue till the Day of Resurrection. This is so that the door of perfection of mankind should never be closed and this sign should never disappear from the world’ (Haqiqatul-Wahi). God does not create another God like Himself because His at- tribute of Unity and of being Peerless, is eternal and it prevents Him from doing so. But He does create a sample of His Peerless Being by investing in one of his creation a reflection of His attributes. This process started with the beginning of the world and would continue till the ultimate cloud of dust, the final frozen wasteland emerges and puts an end to all that is animate in the universe. The lineage of Prophethood can, therefore, never lapse nor can its true profile ever change. This has been the Divine intent so far and this is His purpose for which mankind was created. The institution of Prophethood is eternal and its denial is delusive sophistry. We are not dealing here with the birth pangs of a new idea nor with some aberration from the thoughtful thinking of the renowned muslim theologians of the past. This ‘Ummat’ has never suffered from a paucity of religious scholars and there are few instances where the idea of the finality of Prophethood has synchronized un- conditionally with the meaning of Khataman-Nabiyyin in any of the Ahadees or commentaries of the Holy Quran during the last 1400 years. This is not the end of the line. The Quran and the Traditions are replete with prophecies about the appearance of Mahdi and the Promised Messiah in the Latter Days. The Messiah, in accordance with the Quranic Nuss is a Prophet, not only in his second advent but till eternity. The truth of the matter is that there is a consensus in the ‘Ummah’ about the appearance of a Prophet after the Holy Pro- phet, notwithstanding the loud but empty protestations of the present-day brand of ulema. The core of the controversy however, rests with the identification of the coming Jesus. Our opponents allege that Jesus of Nazareth who appeared among the Jews 2000 years ago, is still physically alive somewhere in the heavens and is destined to be the Promised Messiah for the Muslims and the rest of mankind. The Ahmadiyya MAY 1985 MUHAMMAD—THE HOLDER OF THE SEAL 29 view is that Jesus son of Mary died a natural death in his own time. The Quran and the traditions clearly state that a man from among the ‘Ummah’ would appear in the Latter Days in the power and spirit of Jesus and would.be designated ‘ISA’ and the Promised Messiah. The Holy Prophet distinguished beyond a shadow of doubt Jesus of Nazareth from Ahmad, the Promised Messiah for the Muslims by clearly describing the distinctive features of both the Prophets in ‘Sahih Bukhari.’ It proves, if nothing else, that Jesus son of Mary and the Promised Messiah of this ‘Ummat’ are two en- tirely different persons; one was already dead and the other had yet to appear. It does nothing for Jesus of Nazareth and less than nothing for the Mullahs who await the resurrection of the dead in this world and not the Hereafter. As already pointed out, the freeze on Prophethood applies to such claimants only as are outside the pale of Islam and the Quran. An ‘Ummati’ Nabi cannot bring a new shariah nor could he operate out- side the zone of the eternal Prophethood of the Holy Prophet. This is the true meaning of Khatmi-Nabuwwat as explained in the Quran and the ‘Ahadees’. There are thousands of instances of this type of Prophethood in the Mosaic Dispensation. The only difference is that after the appearance of the Holy Prophet, all spiritual denomina- tions are restricted to the Muslim Community till the Day of Judg- ment. It is thus clear that it is not the Ahmadis who violate the prestige of the Holder of the Seal. In fact we are dealing with a determination of the Maulvis to destroy the basis on which Islamic values have been built. The appearance of Jesus of Nazareth among the Muslims would demolish for all times the supremacy of Islam on all other religions. Not only this; it would also shatter the Seal of Pro- phethood of Muhammad, the Leader and Chief of all mankind. There are no doors that could not be unlocked; except the door of Khatmi-Nabuwwat which could never be unlocked by an outsider. True theology has never been the metier of half-baked Mullahs. If you sow the wind, you can only reap the whirlwind. Our Maulvis ex- alted the status of Christ so much that they never felt contended till he sat on the right hand of God in the Heavens. On the other hand, the Holy Prophet lay buried on earth. A true Muslim would shudder even to think of the consequences of a situation such as this. The wrath of God fell on this people for this insult to the holiest and noblest of all mankind—the Holy Prophet. Physical might and 30 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS _ MAY 1985 power of the world was transferred to the Christians for this reason only. All scientific knowledge and sophisticated technology became the hand-maiden of the non-Muslims. The Muslim nations of the world with all their oil wealth, man-power and immense resources, stood like beggars at the door of their Christian Lords for seeking crumbs of favor from here and there. Less dear to the heart of our Maulvis, but equally important is this issue; there is yet time to make amends. The Ahmadis are at present at the top of the hate-list of their co-religionists. The Muslims have been living in the middle of nowhere for the last one hundred years. Let them reconsider their anti-Ahmadiyya stance, so painfully primitive uptil now. O, our Muslim friends; Spare a glance of sympathy. For the sake of Muhammad, the Chosen one, the Best of the Creation, if for nothing else. The Promised Messiah said: It is my principle that till one prays for one’s enemy, one’s mind is not wholly cleared. God has said: ‘Call on Me, I shall respond to you’ (40:61). He has not said that He will not accept a prayer in respect of an enemy. I believe that to pray for an enemy was the practice of the Holy Prophet, peace be on him; that is how Hazrat Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, became a Muslim. There should be no personal enmity with anyone and one should not be miserly and tyrannical. I am grateful that I can recall not one among my enemies for whom I have not prayed more than once. That is what I tell you and teach you. God Almighty is as much averse to anyone being persecuted and being treated as an enemy as He is averse to anyone being associated with Him… He does not desire that man kind should cut asunder from each other, and He does not desire that anyone should be associated with Him. This is the way that entails praying for those who deny us. Thereby one’s mind is cleansed and expands and one’s resolve becomes firm…. It is an attribute of God that He forgives the evil ones for the sake of the good ones. You, who have established a relationship with me, should become a people concer- ning whom it has been said that whosoever keeps company with them will not encounter misfortune. [Malfoozat, Vol. Ill, pp. 26-7]