In the name of Allah, Most Gracious Ever Merciful. 

The ‘finality of Prophethood’ has become the shibboleth (i.e. a distinguishing long-standing outmoded dogma) of so-called muslim orthodoxy, but what is the truth behind it? The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Imam al Mahdi a.s., claimed to be a Prophet, and there is a controversy about his claim of Prophethood during discussion and debate between Ahmadi Muslims and other muslims.

Other muslims, sunnis as well as shi’ites, claim that there can be no Prophet after Muhammad s.a., even though they, at the same time, believe in the coming of Prophet Jesus a.s. in the latter days, about whom it is stated in the hadith literature, that he will receive (fresh) revelation, and will be a Prophet of Allah.

Let us now discuss the possibility of the coming of Prophets after the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. in the light of some verses of the Noble Qur’an.

The Coming of Future Messengers:

There are verses in the Qur’an (please note that the Ahmadiyya verse numbering includes the Basmala in the count, so the verse number differs by one) which mention the coming of future Messengers, viz:

[1] Allah the Almighty states:

اَللّٰہُ یَصۡطَفِیۡ مِنَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ رُسُلًا وَّ مِنَ النَّاسِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ سَمِیۡعٌۢ بَصِیۡرٌ

i.e. [22:76] “Allah chooses Messengers from among angels, and from among people. Surely, Allah is All- Hearing, All-Seeing.”

The verse is clear enough. It does not state that Allah chose Messengers in the past, and does not do so now, or will not do so in the future. It tells us, using the present/future tense, that Allah s.w.t. chooses Messengers. Thus the door to the coming of Messengers remains open.

[2] In another verse, we are told:

مَا کَانَ اللّٰہُ لِیَذَرَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ عَلٰی مَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ حَتّٰی یَمِیۡزَ الۡخَبِیۡثَ مِنَ الطَّیِّبِ ؕ وَ مَا کَانَ اللّٰہُ لِیُطۡلِعَکُمۡ عَلَی الۡغَیۡبِ وَ لٰکِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَجۡتَبِیۡ مِنۡ رُّسُلِہٖ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ۪ فَاٰمِنُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ وَ رُسُلِہٖ ۚ وَ اِنۡ تُؤۡمِنُوۡا وَ تَتَّقُوۡا فَلَکُمۡ اَجۡرٌ عَظِیۡمٌ

i.e. [Q. 3:180] “Allah would not leave the believers as you are, until He separated the wicked from the good. Nor would Allah reveal to you the unseen. But Allah chooses of His Messengers whom He pleases. Believe, therefore, in Allah and His Messengers. If you believe and be righteous, you shall have a great reward.

The same future tense is used in the above verse.

[3] Again, we are informed:

وَ مَا نُرۡسِلُ الۡمُرۡسَلِیۡنَ اِلَّا مُبَشِّرِیۡنَ وَ مُنۡذِرِیۡنَ ۚ فَمَنۡ اٰمَنَ وَ اَصۡلَحَ فَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَا ہُمۡ یَحۡزَنُوۡنَ

i.e. [Q. 6:48] “And We send not the Messengers but as bearers of glad tidings and as warners. So those who believe and reform themselves, on them shall come no fear nor shall they grieve.

[4] In yet another verse, we are instructed:

یٰبَنِیۡۤ اٰدَمَ اِمَّا یَاۡتِیَنَّکُمۡ رُسُلٌ مِّنۡکُمۡ یَقُصُّوۡنَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اٰیٰتِیۡ ۙ فَمَنِ اتَّقٰی وَ اَصۡلَحَ فَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَا ہُمۡ یَحۡزَنُوۡنَ

i.e. [Q. 7:36] “O children of Adam! if Messengers come to you from among yourselves, rehearsing My Signs unto you, then whoso shall fear God and do good deeds, on them (shall come) no fear nor shall they grieve.”

There is no way to understand this verse other than what is evident and apparent from it, which is that Messengers will indeed come in the future, from the time it was revealed in the 7th century CE. The english translations of these verses by Muslims as well as non-Muslim demonstrate this fact.

[5] Another verse is:

رَفِیۡعُ الدَّرَجٰتِ ذُو الۡعَرۡشِ یُلۡقِی الرُّوۡحَ مِنۡ اَمۡرِہٖ عَلٰی مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِہٖ لِیُنۡذِرَ یَوۡمَ التَّلَاقِ

i.e. [Q. 40:16] He is of most exalted attributes, Lord of the Throne. He sends the Word by His command to whomsoever of His servants He pleases, that He may give warning of the Day of Meeting,

Those who ignore these abundantly clear verses, do so in violation of other verses, such as:

اَفَلَا یَتَدَبَّرُوۡنَ الۡقُرۡاٰنَ اَمۡ عَلٰی قُلُوۡبٍ اَقۡفَالُہَا 

[Q. 47:25] i.e. Will they not, then, ponder over the Qur’an, or is it that on the hearts are their locks?

کِتٰبٌ اَنۡزَلۡنٰہُ اِلَیۡکَ مُبٰرَکٌ لِّیَدَّبَّرُوۡۤا اٰیٰتِہٖ وَ لِیَتَذَکَّرَ اُولُوا الۡاَلۡبَابِ

[Q. 38:30] i.e. (This is) a Book which We have revealed to thee, full of blessings, that they may reflect over its verses, and that those gifted with understanding may take heed.

The verses cited above cannot be understood in any way other than being about the coming of Messengers in the future, the grammar and context of the Arabic verses not permitting any attempt to relegate it to Messengers before the Prophet Muhammad s.a., or even Prophet Muhammad s.a. himself. Therefore, it will become highly questionable to interpret or understand any other verse/s in such a way as to conflict with these verses. 

It is possible that other verses may qualify the clear statement made in these verses, such as by specifying what type of Messengers may come in the future, e.g. restricting it to the followers of the Prophet Muhammad s.a., with the Holy Qur’an being the final Book of religious law. If anyone still keeps insisting that no Messengers can come at all despite the verses cited above being shown and explained to him/her, this would become a type of kufr or disbelief, as it rejects the clear and categorical, and thus decisive statement in the verses, about the coming of Messengers in the future.

One cannot ignore these verses in preference to other verses either, for the Qur’an states:

  اَفَتُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِبَعۡضِ الۡکِتٰبِ وَ تَکۡفُرُوۡنَ بِبَعۡضٍ ۚ فَمَا جَزَآءُ مَنۡ یَّفۡعَلُ ذٰلِکَ مِنۡکُمۡ اِلَّا خِزۡیٌ فِی الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا ۚ وَ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ یُرَدُّوۡنَ اِلٰۤی اَشَدِّ الۡعَذَابِ ؕ وَ مَا اللّٰہُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ

[Q. 2:86] i.e. “… Do you, then, believe in part of the Book and disbelieve in part? There is, therefore, no reward for such among you as do this, except disgrace in the present life; and on the Day of Judgment they shall be driven to a most severe chastisement; and surely, Allah is not unmindful of what you do. “

Another verse teaches us to believe in the entire Book, and not interpreting any verse in such a way as to conflict with another verse:

وَ الرّٰسِخُوۡنَ فِی الۡعِلۡمِ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ اٰمَنَّا بِہٖ ۙ کُلٌّ مِّنۡ عِنۡدِ رَبِّنَا ۚ وَ مَا یَذَّکَّرُ اِلَّاۤ اُولُوا الۡاَلۡبَابِ

[Q. 3:8] i.e. “… and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge; they say, ‘We believe in it; the whole is from our Lord.’ — And none heed except those gifted with understanding.

Thus, to interpret any other verses of the Qur’an, such as [Q. 33:41], in a way such as to conflict these clear verses on the coming of future Messengers, is a clear mistake.

[Q. 19:77] Allah increases in guidance those who follow the guidance.

[Q. 20:48] Peace be upon those who follow the guidance.