Why a Messenger after Muhammad?

All research or scholarship questions
SpiritualSeeker
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Why a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby SpiritualSeeker » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:33 am

Hello all,

Due to my readings and interest in shia islam, I am a bit confused as to why there would need to be a messenger after the Prophet Muhammad. He seemed to be the perfect example and he seemed to bring the perfect religion for ALL of mankind. He was uniting tribes and races. He spoke that people are not superior to others due to skin color but only through their levels of god consciousness. He came with the book the quran that has never been tampered with and his life has been passed down from his sleep to his waking life, and to his death. I just dont see why we need another mesenger if Muhammad came with such a complete message and his life and religion has been preserved. Are there any bahai explanations to this? Thanks
Last edited by BritishBahai on Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Minor typo in the title
Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.Thich Nhat Hanh

coatofmanycolours
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby coatofmanycolours » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:20 am

171
From these statements therefore it hath been made evident and manifest that should a Soul
in the “End that knoweth no end” be made manifest, and arise to proclaim and uphold a Cause
which in “the Beginning that hath no beginning” another Soul had proclaimed and upheld, it can
be truly declared of Him Who is the Last and of Him Who was the First that they are one and
the same, inasmuch as both are the Exponents of one and the same Cause.

For this reason, hath the Point of the Bayán—may the life of all else but Him be His sacrifice!
—likened the Manifestations of God unto the sun which, though it rise from the “Beginning that
hath no beginning” until the “End that knoweth no end,” is none the less the same sun.

Now, wert thou to say, that this sun is the former sun, thou speakest the truth; and if thou
sayest that this sun is the “return” of that sun, thou also speakest the truth. Likewise, from
this statement it is made evident that the term “last” is applicable to the “first,” and
the term “first” applicable to the “last;” inasmuch as both the “first” and the “last” have risen
to proclaim one and the same Faith.
172
Notwithstanding the obviousness of this theme, in the eyes of those that have quaffed the
wine of knowledge and certitude, yet how many are those who, through failure to understand
its meaning, have allowed the term “Seal of the Prophets” to obscure their understanding,
and deprive them of the grace of all His manifold bounties!

Hath not Muhammad, Himself, declared: “I am all the Prophets?” Hath He not said as We
have already mentioned: “I am Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus?” Why should Muhammad,
that immortal Beauty, Who hath said: “I am the first Adam” be incapable of saying also:
“I am the last Adam”? For even as He regarded Himself to be the “First of the Prophets”
that is Adam—in like manner, the “Seal of the Prophets” is also applicable unto that Divine Beauty.
It is admittedly obvious that being the “First of the Prophets,” He likewise is their “Seal.”
173
The mystery of this theme hath, in this Dispensation, been a sore test unto all mankind.
Behold, how many are those who, clinging unto these words, have disbelieved Him Who
is their true Revealer. What, We ask, could this people presume the terms “first” and “last”
—when referring to God—glorified be His Name!—to mean? ...

-Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Iqan

coatofmanycolours
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby coatofmanycolours » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:35 am

"...likened the Manifestations of God unto the sun which, though it rise
from the “Beginning that hath no beginning” until the “End that knoweth no end,”
is none the less the same sun." -Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Iqan

Friends; The sun rises at dawn, warming the earth, and sets at dusk. A period of
cooling follows in which men fall into a fitful sleep. Again, that same sun arises,
with glory and majesty, as it always will, awakening mankind once more.

I like manner, the Sun of Muhammad arose, stirring the hearts of all created things.
Later, His teachings, the words from God, became obscured and division took hold,
as was foretold in the sacred verses of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This was
when the thoughts of men, once so lucid, became clouded over and conflict replaced
unity among the believers.

This cycle repeats itself because of the weakness and forgetfulness of man, not because
of any weakness on the part of the Revealer of power and majesty -the Manifestation of
the wisdom and love of God.

-Peter

ps I have learned these things through the Bab and Baha'u'llah, otherwise, I would still be a
Roman Catholic today, lacking the renewal of understanding which was promised by Christ
and expected in the this great Day of Days.

SpiritualSeeker
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby SpiritualSeeker » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:37 pm

Thanks for the responses.

This is very difficult for me to get passed. Because the Islamic Faith is so filled with lectures and evidences that they claim show that there will be no prophet or messenger after Prophet Muhammad. But I will continue reading on with an open mind.
Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.Thich Nhat Hanh

SpiritualSeeker
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby SpiritualSeeker » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:05 pm

I was reading an article that claims the Prophet Muhammad was predicting the exact year that a new revelation was to come. it is from a sunni source (which sunni sources are really unreliable but for benefit of the doubt I will look into it)

the hadith is as follows

From Sahih bukhari through the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar (this individual is hated by shias) who said
"I heard Allah's Apostle while he was standing on the pulit, saying: 'The remaining period of your stay in comparison to the nations before you [christian and jewish ummah] is like the period between 'asr prayer and Sunset. The people of the Torah were given the Torah and they acted upon it till midday and then they were worn out and were given for their labor, one Qirat each. Then the people of the Gospel were given the gospel and they acted upon it till the time of 'Asr prayer, and then they were worn out and were given (for their labor) one qirat each. Then you people were given the Quran and you acted upon it till sunset and so you were given ttwo qirat each."

Sahih bukhari 9:559

(Im going to quote more of the article and perhaps someone can explain it to me)

continuing

"Please note how beautifully prophet muhammad is portraying the fact that three communities namely jewish Faith, christianity and Islam have fixed terms similar to the obligatory prayers. As the five muslim daily obligatory prayers have to begin and end in particular time frames, each religion and its ummah must also begin and end in a particular time frame.
1)Jewish---- till midday
2) Christian----till afternoon
3) Muslim--- till sunset

The implication of this hadith is no less than two other obligatory prayer s must follow the three mentioned above by the Prophet in order to complete the five. The other two obligatory prayers are the ummah or cummunities of Mahdi and isa ibn maryam (jesus). Since I am cognizant of the fact that you want every hadith to be in comformance with the verse of the Quran, I'd like to present the following verse of the Quran for your consideration:

"Establish regular prayers at the sun;'s decline till darkness of the night and the morning prayer and reading: for prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony

This verse of the quran commands the believers to pray, in accordance with the above mentioned hadith at sun's decline till darkness. That is to say the commandment of prayer which is one of the main pillars of islam remains valid until "gasq al-layl" or darkness of the night. According to the terminology of "jafr" the term 'ghasq al--layl
equals to 1261. and then the verse goes on to say: "for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony." that is to say, when the next messenger appear after that time (1261) they will re-establish the ordinance of obligatory prayer once again.

Per testimony of this verse of the quran, the Bab proclaimed his mission in 1260 years after the revelation of prophet muhammad as the awaited mahdi of the house of the prophet and changed the ordinance of obligatory prayer.

---- End of quotes from article.

I do not understand what the author is doing. Where did he get 1261? This is confusing me. It seems like he got it from ghasq al-layl but what is he using to derive 1261 from it? Is it the significants of the letters (with all due respect i cant base my decision on number systems) or is it something im understanding?
Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.Thich Nhat Hanh

Fadl
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby Fadl » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:30 am

SpiritualSeeker wrote:Hello all,

Due to my readings and interest in shia islam, I am a bit confused as to why there would need to be a messenger after the Prophet Muhammad. He seemed to be the perfect example and he seemed to bring the perfect religion for ALL of mankind. He was uniting tribes and races. He spoke that people are not superior to others due to skin color but only through their levels of god consciousness. He came with the book the quran that has never been tampered with and his life has been passed down from his sleep to his waking life, and to his death. I just dont see why we need another mesenger if Muhammad came with such a complete message and his life and religion has been preserved. Are there any bahai explanations to this? Thanks


Dear Spiritual Seeker,
Everything that you have said about the Prophet is true and, sadly, not sufficiently acknowledged outside of Islam. But within Islam, the facts which you have mentioned about the Prophet are well-known. Indeed, why a new prophet? I am intrigued that you have asked this question.

Despite the greatness and perfection of what the Prophet brought to the world, it seems evident that not only the world, but the ummah itself is far from the path of Islam, "submission" to the will of God.

Long after the Prophet smashed the idols of the ka'abah, men began devising and worshiping new idols, much more subtle and destructive than those they had carved of stone and worshipped centuries ago. These manmade idols of "vain imagination" which have led mankind astray to the false religions of materialism, racism, nationalism, patriotism, egotism, Marxism, atheism, fanaticism, etc.: all of which are the fuel of the present world engulfing flame.

The corruptible Caliphate has long been broken, the succession of the holy Imams have long ceased. In the mosques and Islamic schools, those who have dedicated their lives to God's holy book and Islam, have incited riots, bloodshed and hatred in the name of the Merciful. In many "Islamic" States, innocents are tormented and oppressed, unholy tyrants attempt to use the shariah, (a word which is NOT derived from shar "evil") which was designed fight against evil, as an instrument of evil.

Surely you have heard about some of the unfortunate acts of compulsion against certain religious minorities such as Copts and Baha'is, notwithstanding the fact the God has quite clearly prohibited compulsion of religion.

Surely you are not unaware of those "mujtahid" who would want return to the past and isolate themselves from the anything western, although the Prophet himself encouraged the umma to seek knowledge even in China, and brought an enlightened and advanced civilization that rivaled anything the world had hitherto witnessed, yet we see an ummah that has never been more decimate since the days before the Hijra notwithstanding the fact that not one word of the Holy Qur’an has been altered, and it has been translated into virtually ever language on earth.

So while everything you have said about the Prophet is true, I’m somewhat surprised that you should ask why there is a need for a new prophet after Muhammad. Were there no need for a prophet after Muhammad, why would Jesus and Imam Mahdi need to come into the world at all, since, as you rightly said, Muhammad had already done it all? Perhaps the reason is to restore Islam. But what Islam truly means is submission to God’s will, and not necessarily the proper name of a religious community. Bear in mind that, according to the Qur’an all the prophets of God practiced Islam, and this includes the prophets that many have identified as Jews, Christians, or Saebeans. In each day and age, the true Muslims were those who were obedient to God’s will ,who, made his will known through his messenger. This is why Jesus came to “fulfill” the law, not to destroy it, even though the most learned priests of his day accused him of breaking the sacred Mosaic laws. Who knows better the purport of God’s words, the learned, or the initiated of God? These questions are worth pondering indeed.

Praise God that, for whatever reason, you have draw close to Baha'u'llah and are investigating his mighty claims. I hope that you find that which you seek, which is truly the desire of the world.
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

SpiritualSeeker
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby SpiritualSeeker » Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:17 pm

Wow Loren that was a very good reply. I think you got some great points. As I am somewhat attracted to Shiaism I do see a little gap in it. That ofcourse is the 12th imam, Imam Mahdi. as we have been without guidance for over a thousand years. so it makes me wonder could the Bab truely be who was meant by the name mahdi? That is something for me to decide. I am becoming more attracted to the Bahai faith and a lot of it has to do with how Islam is today. Also some issues I have with the verse of lightly hitting ones spouse. (though there is a 3 phase method before the light hitting is done) I still find it negetive. Also I am finding that even if I were to practice Shiaism I would only have some pieces of the puzzle, because without a current Imam I would have not the guidance for this current age and the Shia would not know how to get the islamic world out of the hole they dug for themselves.

I feel excited about the bahai faith but this is a problem. Because when there is much excitement i could not use my rational mind to decypher if it is truely the Religion from God. So hopefully I can settle myself down and be calm and collect myself to continue for a longer time before I declare.

Many thanks
Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.Thich Nhat Hanh

nharandi
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby nharandi » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:49 pm

Spiritual Seeker,

I've been reading your various questions about the Faith, and have been wanting to jump in but have been so busy. I do want to say, though, that your endeavors are truly praiseworthy. Don't let anybody rush you. Independent investigation of truth, as a Baha'i tenet and general principle, while especially important as a seeker for faith, is important for all people at all times. What you're doing is very honorable and I really hope that you continue to take your time, ask questions, and find what you're looking for. As Baha'u'llah himself writes, "The essence of all that We have revealed for thee is Justice...discern with the eye of oneness His glorious handiwork, and look into all things with a searching eye."

If you haven't found the following site already, it has a wealth of information organized on different Baha'i topics that may be useful to you:

http://info.bahai.org/

Hope it helps :D

SpiritualSeeker
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby SpiritualSeeker » Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:33 am

Thank you nharanandi for your kind words and the link.

My main struggle with the bahai faith is about going around the clear cut words of the Prophet Muhammad that there is no prophet after him. Bahais say that it means only prophet and not a messenger, however it seems very clear. I dont think the Prophet would have been vague about the possibility of a new messenger rising after him. That is why it is said that Isa ibn maryam (jesus son of mary) will rule by the Quran and that he will pray behind the Mahdi (12th imam of the Shia). Maybe im being stubborn but I just dont see how i can take a biiiig leap of faith and accept there are messengers after Prophet Muhammad. I understand muslims have fallen far away from the teachings, but the original teachings still exist, I am not sure how to fix these issues, but nonetheless I will keep reading on.
Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.Thich Nhat Hanh

onepence~2
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby onepence~2 » Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:20 am

SpiritualSeeker wrote:

... (12th imam of the Shia). ....



yes ... i can see how that can be an issue ...

it has actually been an issue since ... ??? ... the dawn of time ...

*awe*

yes ... since the dawn of time ... people of a mystical life knew of a Primal Point ...
unknown though was where when why or how this Primal Point will be brought into the literal form

therefore , it is an absolutely extraordinary event for us that The Bab came to us in physical form
and proclaimed

"I am the Primal Point from which have been generated all created things."

such proclamations naturally led to inquiry ...
in which believers ascended into mercy
and deniers fell into inequity

and yet ... our 12th Imam went even further than declaring Himself the Primal Point ...

He taught of the coming Sovereignty of Him Whom God shall make manifest

"IT behooveth you to await the Day of the appearance of Him Whom God shall manifest. Indeed My aim in planting the Tree of the Bayán hath been none other than to enable you to recognize Me. In truth I Myself am the first to bow down before God and to believe in Him. Therefore let not your recognition become fruitless, inasmuch as the Bayán, notwithstanding the sublimity of its station, beareth fealty to Him Whom God shall make manifest, and it is He Who beseemeth most to be acclaimed as the Seat of divine Reality, though indeed He is I and I am He. However, when the Tree of the Bayán attaineth its highest development, We shall bend it low as a token of adoration towards its Lord Who will appear in the person of Him Whom God shall make manifest"

thus we find the 12th Imam as the Primal Point in adoration towards its Lord Who will appear in the person

undeniably this a huge awe inspiring event for humanity
and especially for those who profess submission to the will of God {Islam}

undeniably questions abound ... inquiries are to be made ... beliefs to be tested
pronouncements to be had with unfailing and unerring Justice which ultimately reaches to the same verdict
this is the day of The Day of Judgment

Claims of the Báb

is summed up rather nicely in Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/o/BNE/b ... hlight#fn1

The hostility aroused by the claim of Bábhood was redoubled when the young reformer proceeded to declare that He was Himself the Mihdí (Mahdi) Whose coming Muhammad had foretold. The Shí’ihs identified this Mihdí with the 12th Imám who, according to their beliefs, had mysteriously disappeared from the sight of men about a thousand years previously. They believed that he was still alive and would reappear in the same body as before, and they interpreted in a material sense the prophecies regarding his dominion, his glory, his conquests and the “signs” of his advent, just as the Jews in the time of Christ interpreted similar prophecies regarding the Messiah. They expected that he would appear with earthly sovereignty and an innumerable army and declare his revelation, that he would raise dead bodies and restore them to life, and so on. As these signs did not appear, the Shí’ihs rejected the Báb with the same fierce scorn which the Jews displayed towards Jesus. The Bábís, on the other hand, interpreted many of the prophecies figuratively. They regarded the sovereignty of the Promised One, like that of the Galilean “Man of Sorrows,” as a mystical sovereignty; His glory as spiritual, not earthly glory; His conquests as conquests over the cities of men’s hearts’ and they found abundant proof of the Báb’s claim in His wonderful life and teachings, His unshakable faith, His invincible steadfastness, and His power of raising to newness of spiritual life those who were in the graves of error and ignorance.

But the Báb did not stop even with the claim of Mihdíhood. He adopted the sacred title of “Nuqtiyiúlá” or “Primal Point.” This was a title applied to Muhammad Himself by His followers. Even the Imáms were secondary in importance to the “Point,” from Whom they derived their inspiration and authority. In assuming this title, the Báb claimed to rank, like Muhammad, in the series of great Founders of Religion, and for this reason, in the eyes of the Shí’ihs, He was regarded as an impostor, just as Moses and Jesus before Him had been regarded as impostors. He even inaugurated a new calendar, restoring the solar year, and dating the commencement of the New Era from the year of His own Declaration.

BritishBahai
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby BritishBahai » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:29 am

I think this is the most logical path to take if you're interested:
To look at the passages, step by step, which possibly hints at this finality.

Otherwise, if you dont, what you have said below can be applied to all previous messengers of God, since they all came at a bad time. That was the whole point of God sending Him here on earth...

SpiritualSeeker wrote:Hello all,

Due to my readings and interest in shia islam, I am a bit confused as to why there would need to be a messenger after the Prophet Muhammad. He seemed to be the perfect example and he seemed to bring the perfect religion for ALL of mankind. He was uniting tribes and races. He spoke that people are not superior to others due to skin color but only through their levels of god consciousness. He came with the book the quran that has never been tampered with and his life has been passed down from his sleep to his waking life, and to his death. I just dont see why we need another mesenger if Muhammad came with such a complete message and his life and religion has been preserved. Are there any bahai explanations to this? Thanks
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

Johnny Jansen
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby Johnny Jansen » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:07 pm

In islam it is clearly said that Muhammed is the last prophet. I did not read much about the Bahai faith. But isn't it strange that Bahai believers accept muhammed as a prophet and at same time does not believe what he says or what is written in the Quran?
Greetings,
Johnny

brettz9
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby brettz9 » Mon May 18, 2009 10:44 pm

Hello "Johnny",

We absolutely believe what Muhammad has written in the Qur'an. Except that for one, His Holiness does not technically say in the Qur'an that He is the last Prophet (it does mention He is the "seal" of the nabi) and Baha'u'llah explains the claim of the Prophet Muhammad as follows:

Notwithstanding the obviousness of this theme, in the eyes of those that have quaffed the wine of knowledge and certitude, yet how many are those who, through failure to understand its meaning, have allowed the term "Seal of the Prophets" to obscure their understanding, and deprive them of the grace of all His manifold bounties! Hath not Muhhammad, Himself, declared: "I am all the Prophets?" Hath He not said as We have already mentioned: "I am Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus?" Why should Muhammad, that immortal Beauty, Who hath said: "I am the first Adam" be incapable of saying also: "I am the last Adam"? For even as He regarded Himself to be the "First of the Prophets" — that is Adam — in like manner, the "Seal of the Prophets" is also applicable unto that Divine Beauty. It is admittedly obvious that being the "First of the Prophets," He likewise is their "Seal."

(Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Iqan, par. 172)

BruceDLimber
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby BruceDLimber » Tue May 19, 2009 8:01 am

Johnny, hi! :-)

Here's a bit more information to answer your question:

Muslims often interpret the Qur'an as stating that Muhammad, being the Seal of the Prophets, is the final prophet and that there will be no more Divine Messengers sent by God (or Allah).

In fact, IOV this whole “last prophet” thing is based upon a misunderstanding!

There are in fact several different explanations of the verse in the Qur’an saying Muhammad is the Seal of the Prophets (a statement we Baha’is accept, please note!):

• First off, there is a sense in which EVERY Divine Messenger is the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, and the Seal!

• Next, there are multiple Arabic words that all translate into English as "prophet."

One of these is "nabi," which refers to a minor prophet such as Jeremiah or Amos.

Another is Ras'ul, which means a major, religion-founding Divine Messenger like Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, or Baha'u'llah (our Founder). (And yes, Muhammad was a major--not a minor--Prophet.)

But the word actually used in the Qur'an is "nabi," meaning Muhammad was the Seal of the minor prophets! This says nothing whatever about the great Divine Messengers.

• Muhammad is also the Seal in the sense that He was the last Messenger during the Prophetic Age, which began with Adam and ended with Him. The Bab then closed out that Age and opened the Age of Fulfillment, of which Baha'u'llah is the first major Messenger.

• Finally, there is a sense in which the word commonly translated as "seal" also means "ornament," so that this verse of the Qur'an may simply be saying that Muhammad is the Ornament of the prophets! (Nothing whatever about any sort of finish.)

Best! :-)

Bruce

Fadl
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby Fadl » Wed May 20, 2009 7:18 am

Johnny Jansen wrote:In islam it is clearly said that Muhammed is the last prophet. I did not read much about the Bahai faith. But isn't it strange that Bahai believers accept muhammed as a prophet and at same time does not believe what he says or what is written in the Quran?
Greetings,
Johnny



Hi Johnny, you are positively correct when you say that in Islam "it is clearly said that Muhammad is the last prophet." I need not point out specifically the many things that are said about Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Noah, etc. in Christianity, and Judaism for you to realize that it is not necessarily so that what is "clearly said" (or probably more accurately what is understood) by the majority of a religious community is accurate. The words of Jesus were few, but millions have understood those words quite differently hence the thousands of denominations we have today.

It seems fair to say that while the Qur'an is a fixed text and the word of God, there is room to disagree about the meaning of those words. The question really is “what does the term ‘seal of the prophets’ mean?” because that is what is written in the Qur’an. It wasn’t Muhammad who said he was the last prophet, rather, through interpreting the meaning of “seal’ others did. Baha’is simply understand it to mean something different than the Muslims do, and our understanding is based on the teachings of one whom we believe to be God's messenger for this day, Baha'u'llah. Surely you would agree that God is the best commentator on his own word.

Also, how is it that Muslims believe Muhammad is the last prophet and that Jesus will come? After all, If Jesus returns (as we believe he did) and given that Jesus, for Muslims, is a messenger of God, would not the coming of Jesus indeed be a messenger AFTER Muhammad?

Just some food for thought.
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

Keyvan
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby Keyvan » Fri May 22, 2009 11:30 am

Sealing Prophethood (Nabi), was to lay forth the Administration of the Dispensation of the Quran. There was a need to distinguish this Dispensation from the Jewish Dispensation, in which after a Prophet died, the community was lead by a successive hierarchical Prophet. Since there were so many similarities between the Jewish Dispensation at the time of the establishment of the Dispensation of the Qur'an, this needed to be made clear.

Whether one is Sunni or Shia, they agree that the Administration after Muhammad was not prophets as in the Jewish Dispensation.

This was also important since even in Muhammad's time people were coming up to Him claiming to be Prophets like Him.

It had no relevance whatsoever to a FUTURE Dispensation. Also remember the Surah of Hud is basically an entire warning to the Muslims to accept the new Messenger when He comes. It's all about the stories of Messengers (Rasul) of the past who were rejected by the people They were sent to. It ends in a warning in 11:120.

011.120
YUSUFALI: All that we relate to thee of the stories of the messengers,- with it We make firm thy heart: in them there cometh to thee the Truth, as well as an exhortation and a message of remembrance to those who believe.
PICKTHAL: And all that We relate unto thee of the story of the messengers is in order that thereby We may make firm thy heart. And herein hath come unto thee the Truth and an exhortation and a reminder for believers.
SHAKIR: And all we relate to you of the accounts of the messengers is to strengthen your heart therewith; and in this has come to you the truth and an admonition, and a reminder to the believers.


Some dogmatically believe that all Prophets are Messengers since its a lesser station, and thus 33:40 which only makes a statement about Prophets (Nabi) can have an expanded meaning to include Messengers (Rasul). The Surah of Hud mentions the stories of Hud, Saleh, and Noah. All of whom are referred to as Messengers (Rasul) but never as Prophets (Nabi). Messengers are charged with the responsibility to bring a new Message to the people, creating a new Dispensation, whereas Prophets are charged with leading the religious community, just as the Jewish Prophets successively lead their community. The Messenger of a new Dispensation is effectively the first Prophet as well, so long as there is a community developed under Him to lead. Hud, Saleh, and Noah were all rejected by the people, so there was no community to lead, thus they were not Prophets.

Then there are some hadiths which are emphasized to this point by some critics.
1)Some are taken out of context,
2)Others you just have to take with a grain of salt because they are in fact Hadiths, of which there are endless, and many contradict each other
3)There are also hadiths that FORETELL the coming of another Messenger
4)None of the original commentators of the Qur'an mentioned a thing about Muhammad being the last Messenger, it was dogma developed over time.
5)
006.038
YUSUFALI: There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.
PICKTHAL: There is not an animal in the earth, nor a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are peoples like unto you. We have neglected nothing in the Book (of Our decrees). Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.
SHAKIR: And there is no animal that walks upon the earth nor a bird that flies with its two wings but (they are) genera like yourselves; We have not neglected anything in the Book, then to their Lord shall they be gathered.
If nothing was left out of the Book, then a statement on finality of New Messengers (Rasul) and pertaining Dispensations would surely not have been neglected, let alone indicated to the believers in the Surah of Hud.

Here is history as I personally see it. Let's also remember that for the longest time, and even still today, many Sunni Muslims try to make the point against Shia Muslims, that by honoring an Imamate its a degree of Prophethood, and thus a violation of 33:40. It was the Sunni community that lead the Muslim world in coming out with the first compilations of Hadiths, centuries after Muhammad. Of course in those compilations, we can see how after centuries of criticizing Shia on this note, would evolve those hadiths to a degree of interpretive recitation. And it was the Shia community which lagged behind and adopted those hadiths more or less - thus the Sunni interpretive hadiths had an influence over the Shia community so to speak. Of course there would be no protest of this dogma, since Shia did not want to look insincere to the point that the Sunni were chastising them for, but rather needed to focus their voice to distinguish that the Imamate was NOT prophethood, but rather something else - oversimplifying the matter.

brettz9
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby brettz9 » Fri May 22, 2009 6:47 pm

Thank you, Keyvan for that especially informative and interesting analysis... Lots of points for thought in this thread, thank you everyone...

Brett

Greg Newing
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby Greg Newing » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:08 am

Hi,

Though this is a bit of an old post...

If you or anyone reading this is interested, there is an entire book written for Muslims who are interested in the Baha'i Faith. In fact, it is written for Muslims who are asking this specific question.


It is called:

Islam and the Baha'i Faith by Moojan Momen

And, although many of the topics he touches on have been touched on in this post, I would highly recommend it.

I would also reccomend the Kitáb-i-Íqán as Baha'u'llah produced this work for... certitude XD!

Best of luck,


Greg

Baha'i Warrior
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Re: WHy a Messenger after Muhammad?

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:40 pm

Just because Muhammad is the last Prophet, that doesn't mean He is the last Manifestation of God or the last of His Chosen Ones. After the Seal of the Prophets verse, as Bahá'u'lláh indicates in His Writings, there is a prophesy of attaining the presence of God. Since no man can literally see God, this can only mean that God will send a Manifestation. A function of the Prophets, for one thing, was to prophesy the coming of Bahá'u'lláh. The Prophetic Cycle ended with the beginning of the Bahá'í Era, and the Cycle of Fulfillment was inaugurated. Bahá'u'lláh is the fulfillment, so His role doesn't involve prophesying Himself as the Prophets of old did, because He has already arrived.

And the Seal of the Prophets verse, we also know, certainly cannot mean that God will not sent Others. Indeed, are not Muslims awaiting the advent of the Qá'im (Mihdi) and Jesus' Return? Clearly, then, "Seal of the Prophets" cannot mean God will not send more Manifestations. In fact, Revelation does not end with the Qur'án. It is a popular belief in Islam that it does, but this belief is contradicted by the following Quránic verse (13:39):

Image

"What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm: for with Him is the source of revelation."

or

"Allah eliminates what He wills or confirms, and with Him is the Mother of the Book."


Let's face it, all the previous religions had followers that said that they were the last, and had verses to supposedly back it up. The Jews had their own "seal" verse, you could say (Dan. 12:9). But God never will abandon mankind to itself; He will always send more Guidance when it is needed.


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