What is the significance of the hadith ‘La nabiyya ba‘di’?


A non-Ahmadi lady wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, and requested Huzoor-e-Anwaraa to answer some of her questions about the Jamaat.

Huzoor-e-Anwaraa, in his letter dated 22 August 2021, gave the following reply to her:

“[…] The truth about the Holy Prophet’ssa uttering the words لَا‭ ‬نَبِيَّ‭ ‬بَعْدِي about himself was elucidated by Hazrat Aishara (about whom the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Learn half of the knowledge of religion from Aishara!’) in the following words:

قُولُوا خَاتَمُ النَّبِيِّينَ، وَلا تَقُولُوا لا نَبِيَّ بَعْدَهُ

“‘Say he is Khatam an-Nabiyyin, but do not say that there is no prophet after him.’ (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Juz’ 6, Hadith 2019)

“The reason for this statement of Hazrat Aishara was that after the passing of the Holy Prophetsa and the period of the Rightly-Guided Caliphate, the misconception started to spread among people that the door of all types of prophethood had been closed after the Holy Prophetsa.

“Since Hazrat Aishara was also aware of the other glad tidings mentioned by the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophetsa about the Messiahas of Muhammadsa who was to be sent among the Akharin, in order to remove this misunderstanding that had arisen among the people in that era, she said that you should use the term Khatam an-Nabiyyin (Seal of the Prophets), that is, now, any prophet who would appear in the world, he would only follow the Holy Prophetsa and would come as a result of his blessings and would be subject to his sharia. She told the people, however, not to say that no prophet of any kind could come after him because this was against the Holy Prophet’ssa status of Khatam an-Nabiyyin. The Holy Prophet Muhammad’ssa status of Khatam an-Nabiyyin is confirmed only when one of his followers [ummati] attains the position of a zilliburuzi or ummati prophethood through the blessings of the Holy Prophetsa and owing to his following and obeying him.

“The Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, peace be upon him, while elucidating this fact, stated:

“‘I swear by God Who has sent me — and cursed be those who fabricate lies about Him — that He has sent me as the Promised Messiah. Just as I believe in the verses of the Holy Quran, so do I believe — without the least difference — in the manifest Revelation which has been revealed to me, and the truth of which God has demonstrated to me through repeated signs. I am ready to swear in the precincts of the Holy House of God [Baitullah] that the pure Revelation which descends upon me is the word of the same God Who spoke to Mosesas, to Jesusas, and to the Holy Prophetsa

“‘The earth has borne witness to my truth, as have the heavens. Both have proclaimed that I am the Vicegerent of God. But it was necessary, in accordance with the prophecies, that I should be denied. This is because those whose hearts are in veils do not accept the truth. I know that God will surely support me as He has always supported His Messengersas. No one can stand against me, because Divine support is not with them. 

“‘Wherever I have denied being a Prophet or Messenger, it has only been in the sense that I have not brought an independent law nor am I an independent Prophet. I am a Messenger and Prophet only in the sense that I have received spiritual grace from the Messengersa whom I follow, and, having received his name for myself, and through him, I have received knowledge of the unseen from God. But I have not come with a new law. I have never denied being called a Nabi (Prophet) in this sense. Indeed, it is in this very sense that God has addressed me as Nabi and Rasul; and it is in this sense that I do not deny being a Nabi or Rasul. As for my statement:

من‭ ‬نيستم‭ ‬رسول‭ ‬و‭ ‬نيا‭ ‬ورده‭ ‬اَم‭ ‬كتاب

“‘[I am not a Messenger and have brought no book.]’

“‘It only means that I am not a law-bearing Prophet. 

“‘However, it must be borne in mind and should never be forgotten, that, despite being addressed as Nabi and Rasul, I have been informed by God that this bounty has not descended upon me directly. There is a holy being in heaven whose spiritual grace is with me and he is Muhammad, the Chosen Onesa. It is on the basis of this relationship, and by merging myself in him, and by receiving his names — Muhammad and Ahmadsa — that I am a Rasul as well as Nabi, which, in other words, means that I have been commissioned by God and I receive knowledge of the unseen from Him. Thus the Seal of Khatamun Nabiyyin remains intact, for I have received his name by way of reflection and Zill, through the mirror of love.’ (Eik Ghalati Ka Izala: A Misconception Removed [English], Tilford: 2007, pp. 9-11)

“In another of his works, he wrote:

“‘Remember, our belief is that the Holy Quran is the Final Book and the Final Law, and until the Day of Judgment, no Prophet can appear who brings a new law or who receives revelation without having followed the Holy Prophetsa. In fact, this door is firmly closed until the end of time; however, the door to revelation received through obedience to the Holy Prophetsa is open until the Day of Judgement. That revelation which is the result of following the Holy Prophetsa can never be terminated. But law-bearing or independent Prophethood has now come to an end.’ (A Review of the Debate between Batalavi and Chakrhalavi [English], Tilford: 2014, p. 12) […]”

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