Finality of Prophethood

The Significance of “Finality of Prophethood” 
By Dr. Ayesha Khan 

[Dr. Ayesha Khan is an Emergency Medicine physician at Stanford University. She devotes much time to non-profit work to better healthcare systems in developing countries. She is also an active member of the U.S. branch of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement and a frequent presenter at its annual conferences.]

Introduction Muslims have differences in the interpretation of many issues in Islam. However, almost universally, all Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad was the last of a dispensation of prophets sent by God to guide  humanity. The principle of the finality of prophethood is central to the Muslim identity, and the reason for this centrality succinctly conveyed in 33:40

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the messenger of Allah and the seal of the prophets. 

Three foundational truths are conveyed in this verse as follows: 

1. That he (Prophet Muhammad) is a messenger of God, a continuation of the dispensation that has come before to other nations through their messengers. 

2. That with him the religion is complete (the seal). So rather than like the messengers prior him, who brought a message to a certain people at a certain time, the Prophet Muhammad brought the guidance for all people for all times. Nothing more is to be added to it, it is “sealed.” 

3. The fatherhood of the Prophet Muhammad is a spiritual one, such that his children are all those to whom he brought the message and making humanity one family.

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