The concept pf the finality of the prophet is of great importance because some sects’ such as Ahmadiyya doubted this concept. This issue requires serious attention on all Muslims otherwise we will be entangled with a false belief.
The hierarchy of prophet hood stops with Prophet Muhammed hence the final prophet. This is a vert important concept in Islam that we Muslims strongly believe in. Just as Muslims emphasis on the unity of the ummah, that is the same they we emphasize the seal of the prophet hood.
The age of maturity of humanity, the final law is termed as ‘Islam’. In relation to practice, Islam is revealed in such a way that it connects all ages, generations and nations while in terms of belief, its contents are perfected.
Reasons for the finality of the Prophet.
a. Evidence of finality of the Prophet in the Quran
In the past, prophets were sent to nations with the same messages to particular generations while with prophet Mohammed the prophet hood changed a great deal, he was sent with the same message but to the whole mankind. He was the prophet for all races, tribes, prophet of the previous times, current and future times. The purpose was to unite human race therefore his message was not limited by a particular place or time. The message he sent was very comprehensive and relevant which gave no room for future need of prophet. This message was for all ages, all nations. The Quran is the only book that has perfected the message, free from error or corruption for the whole mankind.
“Say, O people, I am an Apostle of God to you all;” and it says: “This day have I made perfect your religion for you and made complete my favor to you.” (5:3)
"O people! Muhammad has no sons among ye men, but verily, he is the Apostle of God and the last in the line of Prophets. And God is Aware of everything." (Surah Al Ahzab: 40)
Prophet Eesa himself made stated that there were lots of things he wanted to share with his followers which they cannot bear but as soon as the paracelete comes he will tell them the truth. This signifies that in the past truth had been sent but with some corruption and it is only with the coming of the prophet that the truth will be perfected. This is why he is named khatimun nabeeyeen (seal of the prophets).
The Quran didn’t just confirmed to us the finality of prophet hood but also the message has been perfected hence the adoption of the word “khatam’ meaning ‘end’ and ‘seal”.
Undoubtedly the perfection brought by the prophet signifies him as the final prophet which gives no room for rising of new prophets. Furthermore, perfection of law as seen in the Quran signifies it as the final book paving no way for revelation of new books. Quran perfected the laws while prophet hood was perfected in Prophet Muhammad consequently making the Quran the last book of revelation and Prophet Mohammed the seal of the prophets.
b. Evidence of finality of prophet in the hadith
Prophet Mohammed in his own words stated that he is the final prophet evidenced by the prominent bukhari and Muslim hence the authenticity.
“Sa‘d, son of Abi Waqqas, reported that the Apostle of God, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, said to Ali: You stand to me in the same relation as Aaron stood to Moses except that there is no prophet after me.”(Bukhari and Muslim)
The prophet informed Ali that he can’t be a prophet because there won’t be a prophet after him.
“And surely there shall be among my follower’s thirty liars, every one of them asserting that he is a prophet and I am Khatam-un-Nabiyyin (the seal of the prophets), there is no prophet after me.”
This means that anybody that claims to be a prophet is a liar.
“My likeness and the likeness of the prophets before me is the likeness of a person who built a house and he made it beautiful and made it complete except the place of a brick of the corner. So people began to go round about it and to wonder at him and to say: Why have you not placed this brick? He (i.e., the Prophet) said, So I am that brick and I am the seal of the prophets.”(Bukhari)
The prophet informed us that after the cornerstone was placed, it left no room for new Prophets unless if we remove or pull out some of the bricks or cornerstone that have been already placed there.
"The chain of Messengers and Prophets has come to an end. There shall be no Messenger nor Prophet after me. (Tirmidhi, Kitab-ur-Rouya Babu Zahab-un- Nubuwwa, Musnad Ahmad, Marwiyat-Anas bin Malik)”
"I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad, I am the effacer and infidelity shall be erased through me; I am the assembler. People shall be assembled on Doomsday after my time. (In other words Doom is my only successor.) And I am the last in the sense that no prophet shall succeed me. (Bukhari and Muslim, Kitab-ul-Fada'il, Bab: Asmaun-Nabi; Tirmidhi, Kitab-ul- Adab, Bab: Asma-un-Nabi; Muatta', Kitab-u-Asma in-Nabi, Al- Mustadrak Hakim, Kitab-ut-Tarikh, Bab: Asma-un-Nabi.)”
These hadith above prove to us beyond any reasonable doubt that the prophet himself mentioned that he was the final.
c. Evidence from companions
When Musailama came, he claimed that he was appointed by god to be a co-prophet (partner) of the prophet, he did not deny that the prophet existed.
He was charged because he claimed to be a prophet after line of prophets ended in Prophet Mohammed which led him to mislead some people .The action taken on him signifies the consensus of the companions of this issue.
d. Evidence from consensus of Ulama from the Ummah
“A man in the time of Imam Abu Hanifa (80 A.H.-150 A.H.) laid claim to Prophet Hood and said "Let me show you the proofs of my prophet hood. The great Imam thereupon warned the people: "Anyone who asks of this man the credentials of prophet hood, shall become an apostate, for the Prophet of God (PBUH) has explicitly declared: "No prophet will come after me. (Manaqib al-Imam-i-Azam Abi Hanifa, Ibn Ahmad al-Makki, Vol. I, p.161, published in Hyderabad, India, 1321 A.H.)”
“Allama Ibn Jarir Tabari (224 A.H.-310 A.H.) in his renowned commentary of the
Holy Qur'an gives the following interpretation of the verse, walakin Rasul Allahi wa
Khatam-ul Nabiyyin': He has closed and sealed the prophet hood and the door (of
Prophet hood) shall not open for anyone till the end of the world. (Video Commentary of Ibn-i-Jarir, Vol. 22, p.12)”
“In his book `Aqida-i-Salfia, Imam Tahavi (239, A.H.-321 A.H.) while explaining the beliefs of the pious forbearers and particularly those of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, writes that Muhammad (PBUH) is a highly venerable servant of God. He is the chosen Prophet and the favorite Messenger of Allah. He is the last of the Prophets, Leader of the pious, chief of the Messengers of Allah and the beloved one of the Lord. After him every claim to Prophethood is an error manifest and worship of one's evil-self. (Sharah al-Tahawiya Fil-'Aqidat-ul- Salfia, Dar-ul-Ma'arif, Egypt, pp. 15, 87, 96, 97, 100, 102)”
The need for human beings to constantly seek guidance
In suratul fatiha Allah himself asks us to seek for guidance. The power of guidance is very strong, it is stronger than seeking for help, rizq, forgiveness etc. Each time we recite surah fatiha in salat, we seek for guidance to the straight path (17times a day). Imagine you are so hungry to the point that you cannot lift a finger, won’t you cry out for food? Won’t you be desperate? Won’t you keep calling till you eat and get satisfied? This is the same with guidance, Allah made it compulsory for us to recite fatiha and seek for guidance to the state that a prayer is invalid without fatiha hence the importance of guidance. It’s like asking for guidance during fajr, if we get it or don’t get it, we ask again in zuhr and so on. That is why we pay that may Allah guide us to the straight path, through the straight path and all the way to the end. Because if we don’t constantly seek for it, we will certainly be misguided along the way before we reach the end.
God did not create us and abandon us without guidance. He guided us and it is up to us to learn and benefit from the guidance.
"Then if there comes to you (Adam and your offspring) guidance from me (in the form of a Prophet or Holy Book), then whoever follows my guidance he shall neither go astray, nor shall be distressed." (Quran 20:123)
Certain acts such as ; sincere repentance, being thankful, truthfulness, seeking God’s pleasure are deemed to be acts worthy of gods guidance which acts like; arrogance, transgression, lying etc. are not worthy of Gods guidance.
Mankind does not need another prophet nor another book of revelation because what we are required to know has been given to us by Prophet Muhammed and the holy Quran. Therefore in order to walk in the path of righteounessness we have to follow the prophet and the teachings of the Quran as it has revealed the whole truth preserved from all sorts of corruption.
The finality of the prophet is evidenced in the Quran and Sunnah, the companions and the ulema and every Muslim during the last thirteen hundred years have believed in the finality of the prophet.
As Muslims we should constantly beg for guidance from Allah, it is like the water we drink every day.