Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's article

Is Muhammad the Last Prophet?


By Sami Zaatari

 

 

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/last_prophet.htm


Sam Shamoun has written article where he brings up the issue of who is the final prophet in Islam, Jesus or Muhammad. The argument is based on a common fallacy and miss-understanding by Christians in general, since to them, if the prophet Muhammad is the final prophet, and that the hadiths make the claim that Jesus will return, this then means that Jesus is the final prophet and not Muhammad.

 

 Shamoun wrote:

The Quran claims that Muhammad is the seal or the last of the prophets:

Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of God and the last (end) of the Prophets. And God is Ever All-Aware of everything. S. 33:40 Hilali-Khan

This has been widely understood to mean that there will be no more prophets after Muhammad. Regarding the above text, a commentary attributed to Muhammad's first cousin and renowned Muslim scholar Ibn Abbas says:

(Muhammad is not the father of any man among you) i.e. Zayd, (but he is the messenger of Allah) but Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (and the Seal of the Prophets) with him Allah has sealed the advent of prophets, such that there is no prophet after him; (and Allah is Aware of all things) of your words and works. (Tanw? al-Miqb? min Tafs? Ibn ?Abb?; source <http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=33&tAyahNo=40&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0> )

The hadith reports have Muhammad claiming to be the final prophet:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "The Israelis used to be ruled and guided by prophets: Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What do you order us (to do)?" He said, "Obey the one who will be given the pledge of allegiance first. Fulfil their (i.e. the Caliphs) rights, for Allah will ask them about (any shortcoming) in ruling those Allah has put under their guardianship." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 661 <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/056.sbt.html> )

Narrated Jubair bin Mutim:
Allah's Apostle said, "I have five names: I am Muhammad and Ahmad; I am Al-Mahi through whom Allah will eliminate infidelity; I am Al-Hashir who will be the first to be resurrected, the people being resurrected there after; and I am also Al-'Aqib (i.e. There will be no prophet after me)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 732 <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/056.sbt.html> )

 

But the Quran and ahadith contradict this claim since these sources say that Jesus is returning to the earth in the end of days:

And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of God," -- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]: But God raised him ['Iesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And God is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise. And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him ['Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), as only a Messenger of God and a human being], before his ['Iesa (Jesus) or a Jew's or a Christian's] death (at the time of the appearance of the angel of death). And on the Day of Resurrection, he ['Iesa (Jesus)] will be a witness against them. S. 4:157-159 Hilali-Khan

 

The foregoing has been traditionally interpreted to mean that Jesus was taken physically, bodily into heaven from where he will return to the earth. Once he returns, all the Jews and Christians will believe in him as God's Messenger and Prophet. Here is what the commentary of Ibn Abbas says regarding Sura 4:159:

(There is not one of the People of the Scripture) the Jews and Christians (but will believe in him) in Jesus, that he was not a sorcerer, Allah, His son or His partner (before his death) after the soul of Jesus expires, that is after he comes down again and then dies after every single Jew in their time, (and on the Day of Resurrection he) Jesus (will be a witness against them) through delivery of the message. (Tanw? al-Miqb? min Tafs? Ibn ?Abb?; source <http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=4&tAyahNo=159&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0>;  bold emphasis ours)

 

 

My Response

Many things need to be understood here. First, when the Quran and hadiths say that the prophet Muhammad is the final prophet, it means that he will be the final prophet sent to mankind with a revelation from God. Secondly, it means there will be no new prophets coming after him with a different book being given to them by God, with different regulations and rules etc.

When Jesus does return, he will not bring anything new, he will not preach a different message, rather he will stick with the Quran and the sunnah which was revealed unto the prophet Muhammad. So hence, this does not contradict the essence of what is mean when Muhammad is called the final prophet.

Even in Shamouns very article, he quotes Muslim sources which testify to this fact, that Jesus will rule by Muhammad's law, which is essentially God's law since all the laws and rules the prophet made where from God. Here are those sources which Shamoun himself quotes:

Still, others claim that even though Jesus comes after Muhammad he will judge by the law given to the latter:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said "How will you be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and he will judge people by the Law of the Quran and not by the Law of Gospel?" (Fateh-ul Bari page 304 and 305 Vol 7). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 658 <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/055.sbt.html> )

Al-Jalalayn say in reference to Sura 33:40 that:

 

Muhammad is not the father of any man among you: he is not Zayd's biological father and so it is not unlawful for him to marry his [former] wife Zaynab [after him]; but, he is, the Messenger of God and the Seal of the Prophets, and so he will not have a son that is a [fully grown] man to be a prophet after him (a variant reading [for khatim al-nabiyyina] has khatam al-nabiyyin, as in the instrument [known as a] 'seal', in other words, their [prophethood] has been sealed by him). And God has knowledge of all things, among these is the fact that there will be no prophet after him, and even when the lord Jesus descends [at the end of days] he will rule according to his [Muhammad's] Law. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source <http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=33&tAyahNo=40&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0>;  bold

 

So as you can see, Jesus will be ruling with the Quran and sunnah, not a new different law.

 

Shamoun tries to refute this claim by saying:

First, Muhammad himself didn't come to establish a new religion, but to complete and perfect the religion and practices of Abraham who was supposedly a Muslim:

Ibrahim was not a Jew nor a Christian but he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim, and he was not one of the polytheists. Most surely the nearest of people to Ibrahim are those who followed him and this Prophet and those who believe and Allah is the guardian of the believers. S. 3:67-68 Shakir

Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to God, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in Faith? For God did take Abraham for a friend. S. 4:125 Y. Ali

The Quran further asserts that Abraham and Ishmael instituted many of the practices of Islam:

And when We made the House (at Makka) a resort for mankind and sanctuary, (saying): Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray). And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, (saying): Purify My house for those who go around and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship). And when Abraham prayed: My Lord! Make this a region of security and bestow upon its people fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day, He answered: As for him who disbelieveth, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire - a hapless journey's end! And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House, (Abraham prayed): Our Lord! Accept from us (this duty). Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower. Our Lord! And make us submissive unto Thee and of our seed a nation submissive unto Thee, and show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Relenting, the Merciful. Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Thy revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall make them grow. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Mighty, Wise. And who forsaketh the religion of Abraham save him who befooleth himself? Verily We chose him in the world, and lo! in the Hereafter he is among the righteous. When his Lord said unto him: Surrender! he said: I have surrendered to the Lord of the Worlds. S. 2:125-131 Pickthall

 

Shamoun refutes himself by making this claim, he refutes himself in his very first statement when he said:

First, Muhammad himself didn't come to establish a new religion, but to complete and perfect the religion and practices of Abraham who was supposedly a Muslim

 

The prophet Muhammad indeed perfected the religion and practices of Abraham, but it also must be said that the prophet Muhammad perfected the religion and practices of all prophets from Adam to Jesus. This is exactly what Muslims say, the prophet Muhammad was the completion, the last rock to the house, he completed everything, hence when Jesus comes he will rule by the Quran and the sunnah, not a new law.

 

Shamoun then says:

In light of the foregoing, it should come as no surprise that Muhammad is commanded to follow Abraham's religion and to imitate his guidance and that of the other prophets:

They say: "Become Jews or Christians if ye would be guided (To salvation)." Say thou: "Nay! (I would rather) the Religion of Abraham the True, and he joined not gods with God." S. 2:135 Y. Ali

Say: "God speaketh the Truth: follow the religion of Abraham, the sane in faith; he was not of the Pagans." S. 3:95 Y. Ali

He hath ordained for you that religion which He commended unto Noah, and that which We inspire in thee (Muhammad), and that which We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein. Dreadful for the idolaters is that unto which thou callest them. Allah chooseth for Himself whom He will, and guideth unto Himself him who turneth (toward Him). S. 42:13 Pickthall

 

The ahadith state:

Narrated Mujahid:
That he asked Ibn 'Abbas, "Is there a prostration in Surat-al-Sad?" (38.24) Ibn 'Abbas said, "Yes," and then recited: "We gave ... So follow their guidance." (6.85,90) Then he said, "He (David) is one them (i.e. those prophets)." Mujahid narrated: I asked Ibn 'Abbas (regarding the above Verse). He said, "Your Prophet (Muhammad) was one of those who were ordered to follow them." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 156 <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/060.sbt.html> )

Thus, if Jesus following Muhammad's religion implies that he is not to be viewed as a prophet or messenger coming after Muhammad, then by the same token Muhammad cannot be a messenger or prophet since he did nothing more than follow the religion and cult of Abraham.

 

RESPONSE

This is a straw man by Shamoun, since our claim is not that Jesus isn't a prophet when he returns, no one says that. What we do say is that it does not contradict the claim of the Quran that the prophet Muhammad is the final prophet, and by that it means that there will be no prophets after Muhammad who bring a new revelation, a new book and so on. As Shamoun himself said, the prophet Muhammad perfected the religion and practices of Abraham.

 

Shamoun then tries to assert that Jesus will not follow the prophet Muhammad's law:

Moreover, Jesus doesn't completely judge by the law of the Quran since he abolishes the jizya, a poll tax which the Quran imposes on Jews and Christians:

Fight against those who (1) believe not in God, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by God and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Isl?) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. S. 9:29 Hilali-Khan

The reason why the jizyah tax would be abolished is because there would be no non-Muslims alive! All other faiths and religions other than Islam will perish in the time of Jesus, from Christianity to Judaism to Sikhism to Buddhism to every other religion. So if there are no non-Muslims, then who will pay the jizyah? The jizyah tax is a tax to be used if there are non-Muslims, since there are no non-Muslims then the jizyah tax cannot be applied, hence it is abolished.

 

Shamoun even acknlowedges this point! he writes:

Yet the abolishment of the jizya implies that, at Christ's return, there will no longer be any unbelievers. After all, jizya is taken from those individuals from the people of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians) who refuse Islam, but when Jesus returns they will all believe or be killed which explains why jizya will no longer be imposed. This is even expressly stated in the following report:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus (peace_be_upon_him). He will descent (to the earth). When you see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4310 <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/abudawud/037.sat.html> )

 

However so, Shamoun tries to make a problem out of this by claiming:

To put it simply, it is not Muhammad who eradicates unbelief but Jesus Christ when he returns from heaven. Therefore, it is Jesus, not Muhammad, who is Al-Mahi!

More importantly, Jesus will actually do what Muhammad was supposed to do, namely abolish unbelief. Muhammad is reported to have called himself al-Mahi, the one by whom Allah would eradicate unbelief:

 

Narrated Jubair bin Mutim:

I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'I have several names: I am Muhammad and I am Ahmad, and I am Al-Mahi with whom Allah obliterates Kufr (disbelief), and I am Al-Hashir (gatherer) at whose feet (i.e. behind whom) the people will be gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), and I am Al-Aqib (i.e. who succeeds the other prophets in bringing about good)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 419 <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/056.sbt.html> )

 

Jubair b. Mut'im reported on the authority of his father that he heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: I am Muhammad and I am Ahmad, and I am al-Mahi (the obliterator) by whom unbelief would be obliterated, and I am Hashir (the gatherer) at whose feet mankind will be gathered, and I am 'Aqib (the last to come) after whom there will be no Prophet. (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5810 <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/muslim/030.smt.html> )

 

Shamoun is trying to now say Jesus is the one who completely stops unbelief, and not the prophet Muhammad. However so, Shamoun should really read his sources more carefully, since the hadith he quotes refutes him:

  

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus (peace_be_upon_him). He will descent (to the earth). When you see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4310 <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/abudawud/037.sat.html> )

 

Note, the hadith says that ALLAH will destroy all religions NOT JESUS. so the fact there will be no unbelievers in the time of Jesus is not because of him, but because of GOD. so hence this refutes Shamoun.

Secondly, during the time of the prophet Muhammad, he did indeed destroy unbelief, the Arabs went out of paganism and into Islam, it was a great reform of Arabia, the greatest reform that ever took place.

 

So in conclusion we summarize our points:

1- The prophet Muhammad is the final prophet

2- This means that there will be no NEW revelations after him

3- Jesus does return, and Jesus is a prophet, but Jesus does not bring any new revelation or book with him

4- Jesus will rule his people by the Quran and Sunnah

5- Hence the prophet is indeed the final prophet according to Islamic understanding.

 

Praise Allah!

http://www.muslim-responses.com/

 

HomeNew Site UpdatesThe Noble QuranProphet MuhammadThe BibleChristianityAnswering the CriticsAbout UsContact