Finality of Prophethood

Both the Qur’an and the Sunnah confirm that Prophet Muhammad is the “Last Prophet”. This means that prophethood has come to an end by the last and final Prophet and there will be no other Prophet to come after him. This is an issue that no two Muslim scholars disagree upon.

In this regard, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

The last Prophet is none other than Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as explicitly stated by Allah in His final revelation to humankind: (O people ! Muhammad has no sons among ye men, but verily, he is the Messenger of Allah and the last in the line of Prophets (khaatam an-Nabiyyin). And God is Aware of everything.) (Al-Ahzab 33: 40)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has further explained the finality of prophethood through a beautiful parable as he said: “The best illustration of my relationship to previous Prophets is the case of a man who built a mansion which he perfected and beautified, except for a the spot of a single brick in one of its corners (which he had left vacant). People went around the mansion, all of them fascinated by it, and exclaiming: ‘how excellent it would be if only this space had been filled!’ I am that brick and I am the seal of Prophets.” (Reported by Muslim and others).

In addition to the above explicit evidences we have several authentic hadiths including the following:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) observed: “The tribe of Israel was guided by prophets. When a prophet passed away, another prophet succeeded him. But no prophet will come after me; only caliphs will succeed me.” (Reported by al-Bukhari)

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah ((peace and blessings be upon him) said: “I have been given superiority over the other prophets in six respects: I have been endowed with the gift of pithy and perfect speech; I have been helped by fear (in the hearts of enemies): spoils have been made lawful to me: the earth has been made for me clean and a place of worship; I have been sent to all mankind and the line of prophets is closed with me.” (Reported by Muslim)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also affirmed: “The chain of Messengers and Prophets has come to an end. There shall be no Messenger nor Prophet after me.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi and Ahmad)

For a comprehensive elucidation of the issue of the finality of prophethood, we advise you to read Syed Abul A’la Maududi’s valuable book The Finality of Prophethood.