Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
on the views of the classical great scholars of Islam about prophethood
No prophet can come but revelation to saints in
It is claimed in Qadiani literature that the great classical scholars
in Islamic history expressed the view in their writings that prophets
will continue to come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace
and the blessings of Allah be upon him), and that his being the
Khatam-un-nabiyyin does not prevent the coming of a prophet
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad knew of the writings of these great figures.
So the question is, Did he also conclude from their writings that
Islam teaches the coming of prophets after the Holy Prophet Muhamamd?
We quote below some of his statements that refer to the beliefs
of these great Ulama and his acceptance of their beliefs.
(The underlining within his statements is done by us.)
1. When denying the allegation that he claimed to be a prophet,
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad announced that he accepted the belief
of the Ahl-i Sunna wal-Jamaat, the generality of
the Muslims and their Ulama, that no prophet could come after
the Holy Prophet Muhammad:
In accordance with the belief of the Ahl-i Sunna
wal-Jamaat, I accept all those matters that are
proved from the Quran and Hadith, and after our leader and master
Hazrat Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon
him, the Khatm-ul-mursalín, I consider anyone who
claims prophethood and messengership to be a liar and kafir.
Majmua Ishtiharat, 2019 edition, v. 1, p.
Other allegations made against me are that
a claim to prophethood and deny the finality of prophethood. All
these allegations are entirely untrue and false. In all these
matters my belief is the same as that of the other Ahl-i Sunna
Now I make a clear and plain affirmation
of the following matters before Muslims in this house of God:
I believe in the finality of prophethood of the Khatam-ul-anbiya,
may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, and I consider
the person who denies the finality of prophethood as being without
faith and outside the pale of Islam.
Majmua Ishtiharat, 2019 edition, v. 1, p.
By way of a fabrication, they slander me by saying that
I have made a claim to prophethood.
But it should be remembered
that all this is a fabrication. Our belief is that our leader
and master Hazrat Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah
be upon him, is the Khatam-ul-anbiya, and we believe in
angels, miracles and all the beliefs of the Ahl-i Sunna.
Kitab-ul-Bariyya, p. 182, footnote; in Ruhani
Khazain, vol. 13, p. 215216.
2. Discussing the Hadith reports which say that no prophet
can come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, he wrote that no one in
Islamic history had doubted these reports:
The Holy Prophet had repeatedly said that no prophet
would come after him, and the hadith There is no prophet after
me was so well-known that no one had any doubt about its
Kitab-ul-Bariyya, p. 184, footnote; in Ruhani Khazain, vol. 13, pp. 217.
3. When his Muslim critics objected that he could not be
the like of a prophet because he was not himself a prophet,
he gave the following reply referring to the belief of the entire
Objection: Only a prophet can be the like of a prophet.
Answer: The entire Umma is agreed that a non-prophet
substitutes for a prophet as a burooz. This is the
meaning of the hadith report: The ulama of my Umma are like the Israelite prophets. Look, the Holy Prophet
has declared the ulama to be like prophets.
sent prophets into the world so that He can raise their likes
in the world
this is accepted by all.
Ayyam-us-Sulh, p. 163-164; in Ruhani Khazain, vol. 14, p. 411412.
He states here that all the Muslim Umma, referring of course
to the universally-accepted beliefs of the great scholars of Islam
throughout history, is agreed that it is a non-prophet who becomes
the like of a prophet. In the same book he also writes:
It is established from authentic Hadith that a muhaddas too, like prophets and messengers, is included among those sent
Another hadith report says: The ulama
of my Umma are like the Israelite prophets. The
Sufis through their visions have confirmed this hadith from the
Holy Prophet. It should also be remembered that in Sahih
Muslim the Promised Messiah is referred to by the word nabi, that is, in a metaphorical and figurative way.
Ayyam-us-Sulh, p. 75; in Ruhani Khazain, vol. 14, p. 309.
The spiritual writers of Islam, he says, have confirmed the authenticity
of this hadith, according to which the likes of the prophets arise
among the Muslims, and the Promised Messiah too has come in fulfilment
of the same hadith and the word nabi applies to him in the
metaphorical manner in which it applies to one who is a muhaddas.
Again, referring to this hadith he comments as follows on the writings
of some classical spiritual scholars of Islam:
“Of all the leaders of Sufi-ism that there have been till
the present day, not even one has disagreed with the point that
in this religion the path to become the likes of prophets is
open, as the Holy Prophet Muhammad has given the glad tidings
for spiritual and godly learned persons that: The ulama
of my Umma are like the Israelite prophets. The words
of Abu Yazid Bustami given below, which are recorded in Tazkirat-ul-Auliya by Farid-ud-Din Attar, and are also found in other reliable works,
are on this basis, as he says: ‘I am Adam, I am Seth, I am Noah,
I am Abraham, I am Moses, I am Jesus, I am Muhammad, peace be upon
him and upon all these brothers of his.’ ... Similarly, Sayyid Abdul
Qadir Jilani, in his book Futuh-ul-Ghaib, refers to this
point, i.e. that man, by leaving his ego and annihilating himself
in God, becomes the like, rather the very form, of the prophets.”
Izala Auham, p. 258260; in Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 3, p. 230231.
4. He wrote that when the great spiritual figures of Islamic
history refer to prophethood after the Holy Prophet Muhammad what
is meant is the continuance of revelation to saints in Islam, who
can be metaphorically called prophet because of their receiving
revelation from Allah:
Sometimes the revelation from God contains such
words about some of His saints in a metaphorical and figurative
sense; they are not meant by way of reality. This is the whole controversy
which the foolish, prejudiced people have dragged in a different
direction. The name prophet of God for the Promised
Messiah, which is to be found in Sahih Muslim etc. from the
blessed tongue of the Holy Prophet, is meant in the same metaphorical
sense as that in which it occurs in Sufi literature as an accepted
and common term for the recipient of Divine communication. Otherwise,
how can there be a prophet after the Khatam-ul-anbiya?
Anjam Atham, footnote, pages 2728; in Ruhani
Khazain, vol. 11, p. 28.
Thus nubuwwat was an accepted and common term,
used metaphorically in Sufi literature, for the phenomenon of revelation
to saints in Islam. It did not indicate that there could be a prophet
after the Khatam-ul-anbiya.
5. The great spiritual figures of Islamic history wrote
about the continuance of revelation to saints, not about the continuance
of the coming of prophets, as he states:
With our Holy Prophet, Allah brought prophets to an end.
There is no prophet after our Holy Prophet
You know that the books of this nation are full of mention of
the communication of Allah with His saints.
Have you not
read in the book Futuh-ul-Ghaib by Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani
how he mentions the truth about revelation and says that Allah
speaks to His saints in beautiful and eloquent talk, disclosing
to them secrets and informing them of news, bestowing upon them
the knowledge of the prophets, the light of the prophets, the
insight of the prophets and the miracles of the prophets. But
this is by way of inheritance, and not in the original sense.
It is clear from his writing that just as revelation descends
upon prophets so does it descend upon saints
The Mujaddid and the Imam Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind in a letter
to a disciple Muhammad Siddiq, giving him some exhortations, says:
Know that the word of God with a mortal is sometimes from
very close quarters, and this is with prophets. Sometimes it is
the same with the perfect ones among their followers, and when
it comes abundantly to one of them he is called a muhaddas.
Tuhfa Baghdad, pages: 7, 13, 2021 footnote; in Ruhani Khazain, v.
7, pages: 9, 16, 2728 footnote.
Contexts in which the scholars wrote
The scholars, whom the Qadianis quote, expressed the quoted views
generally in two contexts.
1. In the context of discussing the continuation of revelation
and attributes of prophethood among auliya of the
Muslims after the Holy Prophet Muhammad. If they mention some type
of prophethood as continuing, that is just their term
for certain prophetic qualities that Muslims can possess such as
receiving revelation. For example, the famous Mujaddid Alif Sani
(d. 1624) wrote about Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar:
These two men, on account of their eminence and
greatness, are counted among the prophets and have their qualities.
Maktubat, Daftar I, part iv, letter no. 251, p. 64.
So if someone refers to prophethood among Muslims as
continuing, in the sense in which Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar
can be counted among prophets, they are not talking about real prophethood
but sainthood since no Muslim considers Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat
Umar as real prophets. In the words of Hazrat Mizra Ghulam Ahmad
already quoted above, such a term:
is meant in the same metaphorical sense as
that in which it occurs in Sufi literature as an accepted and common
term for the recipient of Divine communication. Otherwise, how can
there be a prophet after the Khatam-ul-anbiya?
2. In the context of their misunderstanding that Jesus will
return to this world. Under this misconception, they tried to explain
how a prophet could still come after the Holy Prophet. To allow
for this, they wrote that a prophet of some kind could still come.
But Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad rejected this, calling it a contradiction.
About such views he wrote:
on the one hand they declared the Holy Prophet
Muhammad as the Khatam-ul-anbiya while on the other they
also maintained the belief that after the Holy Prophet a prophet
is yet to come, i.e. Jesus, who is a prophet.
Kitab-ul-Bariyya, p. 189, footnote; in Ruhani Khazain, vol. 13, p. 207.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad resolved this contradiction by saying
God by naming the Holy Prophet Muhammad as Khatam-un-nabiyyin in the Holy Quran, and the Holy Prophet himself by saying There
is no prophet after me in Hadith, had settled the matter
that no prophet can come after the Holy Prophet, in terms of the
real meaning of prophethood.
Kitab-ul-Bariyya, p. 200, footnote; in Ruhani Khazain, vol. 13, p. 218.
the real intent of the Holy Prophet Muhammad was
that the Mujaddid, from among the mujaddids of this
Umma, who would have to come to the aid of Islam to defend
it against the Christian onslaughts, shall have the name ‘Messiah’.
Kitab-ul-Bariyya, p. 198, footnote; in Ruhani Khazain, vol. 13, p. 216.