What’s the Difference Between a Rasul and Nabi, and Is the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) the Last of Both?

بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم تسليما

Seekers Guidance is an internet Islamic educational institution that teaches belief, law, spirituality, and other related topics. All for free.

They recently answered the following question on the difference between a Rasul and Nabi and whether Saydina Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is the last prophet or last messenger. Note that it was not answered in an argumentative manor or in the spirit of debate, but just as a response to a general inquiry.

The original link is here. Re-posted below:


Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: 1. What is the difference between a rasul and a nabi?
2. Is the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) the last of both?
3. What about in our times when people receive messages from Allah?

Answer: Walaikum As-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Firstly, may Allah reward you for your concern on such an important subject! Knowledge of revelation and prophecy is a crucial element of our creed (aqida), as it helps us understand the unique and special characteristics of the various Prophets (upon them be peace).

The Difference between a Prophet (nabi) and a Messenger (rasul)

In his commentary on the famous text of Sunni creed Jawhara al-Tawhid, Imam al-Bajuri provides useful definitions of the terms you asked about in your first question.

He defines a prophet (nabi) as a human being who is “free from all repulsive qualities, [and] given a revealed law that he enacts, even if he was not commanded to spread it.”

In contrast, Imam al-Bajuri defines a messenger (rasul) as someone who has the qualities of a prophet “but with the additional stipulation [of him being] commanded to spread [his message].”

In other words, the main difference between a prophet and a messenger pertains to spreading the revealed message (tabligh): messengers only include those commanded to spread the revelation they receive, while prophets include both those who received that command and those who didn’t. This means, as Imam al-Bajuri explains, that “every messenger is a prophet, but not vice-versa.” [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid `ala Jawharat at-Tawhid]

The Final Prophet and Messenger (peace be upon him)

In the 40th verse of Surah Al-Ahzab, Allah calls Muhammad (peace be upon him) the “messenger of Allah and the seal of the prophets” (khatam al-nabi’in). Given that the definition of a prophet is broader than that of a messenger, this verse indicates that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last of the prophets as well as the last of the messengers.

Indeed, this one line teaches us two important facts about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Firstly, he (peace be upon him) was a messenger of Allah, meaning that he received revelation and was also commanded by Allah to spread that message. Secondly, he (peace be upon him) is the final prophet, meaning that no one after him will receive revelation. Indeed, even ‘Isa/Jesus (peace be upon him) will rule by the laws of Islam upon his return to earth.

The finality of this message is even further emphasized by Allah in one of the last verses He revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Today I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and approved Islam for you as a religion” (5:3). [For a more complete discussion of 33:40, see the relevant commentary from Mufti Muhammad Shafi’s Ma’ariful Qur’an]

Between Prophecy and Sainthood

Before discussing the differences between Prophets and Saints, it is first important to understand who a wali (saint) is. Imam al-Bajuri defines a wali as “a knower of God the Exalted and His attributes as much as is possible, one who is diligent to obedience [of God, and] an avoider of sins – meaning that he does not commit a sin without repenting [for it].” What’s important to note here is that the awliya (plural of wali) achieve their nearness to Allah only through following the Prophet (peace be upon him).

According to Sunni creed, it is possible for miracles (karamaat) to be manifested at the hands of the awliya. For example, the Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) miraculously warned faraway Muslim troops of an oncoming enemy. Similarly, while revelation (wahy) is specifically given to prophets, Allah also might speak to His righteous servants in dreams (ilham) or give them deep spiritual insights (kashf). It is related, for example, that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal spoke with Allah in a dream, wherein Allah told him that reciting the Qur’an is a means of achieving closeness to Him. [Bajuri, Tuhfat]

However, such miraculous events differ from Prophetic miracles (mu’jizaat) and revelation (wahy) in that they are not accompanied by any claim to Prophecy or revelation. Rather, they are personal gifts and blessings bestowed by Allah to his righteous servants. As such, they are not and cannot be used to alter the perfected guidance brought by the Prophet (peace be upon him). Furthermore, they are in reality miracles of the Prophet (peace be upon him), as such miracles occur only to those who wholeheartedly strive to follow his sunnah, both in terms of his inner character and outer actions. Such miracles confirm the exalted status of the Prophetic way. [Sabuni, Al-Bidaya fi Usul al-Din]

Conclusion – the Best Guidance is that of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

The above paragraphs convey the following crucial points about prophecy:

1. Muhammad (peace be upon him), as a prophet and messenger, was given revelation and commanded to spread it;
2. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the final prophet and messenger; and
3. Awliya may receive miracles and divine inspiration, but they cannot in any way alter the already complete message of Islam. To the contrary, such miracles only confirm the soundness and blessing of the Prophetic way, and are therefore miracles of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

With all of this in mind, we should come to the conclusion that all true religious guidance comes from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and that we only accept that knowledge which is connected to him through the Qur’an, Sunnah, and sound Muslim scholarship. Anyone who calls to other than this, or claims to have religious knowledge that contradicts this, must be avoided.

Allah knows best, and He is the best of Guiders.

Jazakum Allahu Khairan,

-Wasim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

A new claimant to prophethood in the Ahmadiyya

In this video the Ahmadiyya pscyhe is on full display.  We are able to see the fruits of the labor of MGA and hsi recent successor Masroor Ahmad.

My question to Ahmadis is simple.  Will you accept this Ahmadi as a prophet?  Will you climb over glaciers of ice to meet this Zahid Khan charachter?  Will Masroor Ahmad meet with him to discuss his claims?

Ahmadi Translation

Usually Ahmadis do not accept non-Ahmadi translations for many Quranic verses, Hadeeths and writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (MGAQ). Well, I don’t claim that non-Ahmadi translations are always accurate, however I sincerely urge Ahmadis who do not read Urdu or Arabic to seek advice from a 3rd party about the correct translation of those texts.

I know it’s difficult to convince Ahmadis to doubt Ahmadi translations; however I still hope that the following two simple examples from MGAQ’s own writings would encourage them to check how valid the current official Ahmadi translations are.

For example, Urdu-speaking Ahamdis had been told by their leaders that the word آخر“Akhir” does mean “Last” in both Arabic and Urdu languages, however they also claim that the word ”Khatam” خاتم can never mean “Last” if it is followed by a plural.

This claim is of course baseless and wrong, however if Ahmadis are not willing to consult a 3rd party, they may refer to MGAQ’s own translation for the word “Akhir” آخر.

 MGAQ wrote: [Arabic] ((This time is the time of the آخر Akhir/Last of Khalifas)) – RK, Vol 16, Khutba Ilhamiyya,p122.

 

 

 

You can see from the scanned page that the translation by MGAQ and his follower for the wordآخر “Last” is “Khatam” خاتم.

Similarly Arab Ahmadis had been told by their leaders that the Anti-Ahmadiyya translations from Urdu to Arabic are misleading. For example, Arab Ahmadis accept that MGAQ did actually say غبي “Ghabi” about the great companion Abu Hurairah (ra), however these Ahmadis claim that the word غبي (Ghabi) in Urdu is totally different from the Arabic word غبي (Ghabhi) which means “Stupid”.

Now let us read the original sentence by MGAQ:

 MGAQ wrote: [Urdu] ((Abu Hurairah was غبي “Ghabi”)) – RK, Vol 19, Ijaz Ahmadi, p127.

 

 

 

Arab Ahmadis do not accept that the Urdu wordغبي “Ghabi” is identical to the Arabic word غبي “Ghabi” which literally means “Stupid” in Arabic. However I hope they will change their mind after reading the following Arabic page written by MGAQ:

 MGAQ wrote: [Arabic] ((In their eyes [our opponents] the knowledgeable person is an ignorant and a “Ghabi” غبي)) – RK, Vol 8, Nur ul Haq, p3.

 

 

 

You can see from the scanned page that MGAQ’s own Arabic-Urdu translation for the word “stupid” is “Ghabi” غبي.

How do we treat our women?

Cult Girl Confessions released a scathing recent personal testimony of how women are really treated in the UK Ahmadiyya community. You can read it here: http://cultgirlconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/02/this-is-cult-he-used-to-be-my-leader.html

You can also read Maryam Amir-Ebrahimi’s excellent article titled Wifehood and Motherhood are Not the only ways to Paradise, on Shaykh Suhaib Webb’s blog. It talks about modern cultural problems, solutions and historical models of success. Sisters, this is your legacy!

Funny story with La Nabi Ba’adi

Once a man started to claim that he was a prophet. He said to the Muslims, “I am a new prophet who has come for your guidance. Accept me and do not reject me as Bani Isra’eel rejected their prophets!

So a humble Muslim approached him and asked, “What do you say about the hadith ‘There are no prophets after me.'” (in Arabic, la nabi ba’adi – no prophet after me)

This claimant of prophethood paused for a moment and said, “My name is La.”

In other words, he is saying his name is “No”, and he is the “No” who is referred to in the hadith “No prophet after me”. His absurd argument is that “No” is the name of the Prophet after Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم.

Jinn, Al-Dajjal and the Messiah

 بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا محمد و على آله و بسم

Have you ever been to a gathering and as the night progresses, the conversations depart from the substantive to eery Jinn stories? They’re spooky and fun. And there are always these vague second-hand stories told by someone’s uncle’s-brother’s-friend’s-nephew in Pakistan. Why are they always from Pakistan? Does the Pakistani government make citizenship easy for them? Must not be a condition on their passports…

But in all seriousness, we know that there is another species of sentient beings on this Earth who are generally outside of our domain of perception called Jinn. Some of the are evil, and some of them are Muslims. From their evil ones are those who use their ability of suggestion (waswasa) to cause people to go astray. The father of this species is Iblis. Generally speaking, this is where our level of concern with them should end.

For centuries, Muslims knew that the Jinn existed, but did not concern themselves with them much beyond that point. If they were interested in the presence of any being, it was the Angels, for their righteous company. Discussions were about stories with Angels, and the righteous actions associated with them. In other words, they were most interested in goodness. A proof of this is the statement of the Sahabi Hudhayfah bin al Yaman رحمه الله, who said The people used to ask about the good, and I would ask about the evil fearing that it will overtake me.” He was the exception.

But as time passed, conversations strayed from Allah, the Prophet and his Angels to Jinn. In the Subcontinent, there’s an obsession with Jinn, Al-Dajjal, who are his followers, when is the Hour and such. This is the very culture that Ahmadiyya was born into and it is reflected in its beliefs.

Islam certainly has an eschatological tradition, which speaks about the End of Times, the Major Trials and Tribulations, the anti-Christ (Al-Maseeh Al-Dajjal), the wars, and so on. But in general, Muslims did not and should not concern themselves with these things on a day to day basis. We do not dwell on things we cannot control or affect other than to make the necessary du’as. Instead, Muslims concerned themselves with what Shaykh Hamza Yusuf termed as “Sacred Monotony” – the daily acts of worship that truly define the faith and the simple peace it derives.

Regarding the end of times, the signs are interesting to hear and mubashiraat (glad news) to those who live to experience them, as it strengthens one’s faith and serves as a “roadmap” during difficult times. But just like anything that we cannot change, there is no point in dwelling on them other than as points of reflection. When they come, they will come. It is not for us to force them to come about. This is why there are but a handful of ahadith about these events, compared to literally thousands of ahadith about accepting Allah’s decree (al-Qadr).

But when you compare this to Ahmadiyya, we see a different picture. We see a faith that is obsessed with the end of times, obsessed with who is Dajjal, who is Imam Mahdi, who is the Messiah, etc. The faith is defined by “Who is the Messiah”, even before Tawheed. They make say otherwise, but consider the following picture:

The above picture is emblematic of this absurdity. The Ahmadiyya faith is calling to a Mahdi-figure before calling to the Oneness of God, before ‘La ilaha il Allah’, before saying ‘God has a plan for you’, or ‘God wants good for you’, etc. Straight to the Messiah. “Well gee, I know that you’re dealing with a messy divorce, a gang-infested neighborhood and doubting God’s wisdom in your life, but the Messiah came 100 years ago.”

Islam is based on the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, not merely in lip-service or some poem, but in what is actually discussed and taught. Islam is not a post-Messiah phenomena, nor will it be even when the one and only Messiah, ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام (Jesus) does appear. But in the Ahmadiyya, it is exclusively based around the Messiah, the Messiah, the Messiah. Not Allah, Allah, Allah.

One closing point…some might try to defend their position by arguing that we are in the “latter days”. Many Muslims, including yours truly, believe that we approaching the end of time, when there will be great periods of deception, confusion, extreme human suffering, famine, so much so that a person will wake up a firm believer and go to sleep a disbeliever. But the way to defend oneself in these times is not through arguing and debate, but through cultivating a connection to Allah that comes about through worships and knowledge of the faith. This lesson is not something unique to today time, even if we lived 1000 years ago, the same lesson would apply. Because our deaths are closer to us than the coming of the Messiah and his enemy.

May Allah guide us to the right path: Islam, not Ahmadiyya

و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

What Problem Did Ahmadiyya Solve?

بسم الله المحد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم تسيما


Each break-away group is usually based on a single perceived problem that they attempt to solve. An exampe is the now defunct group al-Batiniyya. Al-Batiniyya was a 10th century Ismaili movement, who were the dominant Shi’a group for centuries. While they had many arguments, the central problem the Batiniyya wanted to solve was that the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم was no longer with us, and as such, we cannot receive direct guidance from him. Therefore, they believed a living Imam was necessary, who would communicate with Allah and the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and report back immediate guidance. For the Batiniyya, this was the famous “Hidden Imam”.

One of the qualities of the sectarian mind Imam al-Ghazali detested was that it never followed its arguments to their full logical conclusions. Instead it would always stop at a certain point and refused to analyze any further. Al-Ghazali argued that the very problem the Batiniyya was attempting to solve was only made worse by their solution.

He responded, if the Prophet صلى الله عليه عليه و سلم is dead and therefore not reachable, the Imam is Hidden and also not reachable. Thus, their “Hidden Imam” did not solve the problem. The Batiniyya leaders responded that the scholars know the Hidden Imam’s recorded statements and use them as guidance in their time. This was no different than citing the recorded ahadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, while the Prophet himself was absent. The solution the Batiniyya presented seemed to make sense, but upon closer inspection, it did not solve their invented problem.

Compare this to Ahmadiyya. Lets put aside specific doctrinal differences for the moment and look at the model Ahmadiyya presents: Islam became corrupt, therefore, Allah sent a new prophet to refresh the religion and guide the Muslims. At firs glance this sems to make sense.

Everyone who is alive today never met Mirza Ghulam, never saw him, never even heard his voice, etc. How then does this alleged prophet help us if he is not even around in our time? What difference is there between the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and this man, if we never met either? It is as if they are saying the immediate guidance of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم does not apply to us because we are divorced from him by time and place, therefore, we need someone who we are also divorced from by time and place.

His followers would likely posit that the “khalifahs” are the inheritors of Mirza Ghulam. Therefore, if we follow the their “khalifahs”, we will be guided. This is the solution for the problem in their initial solution (Confusing, eh?). But if we are to follow religious leaders who take from Mirza Ghulam, how is that model different than the Muslim spiritual guides who already inherent from the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم? One group inherits from the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم and the other inherits from someone who claims to inherit from the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم. All that does is add an extraneous layer of complexity.

Do you see the parallel between the Batiniyya and Ahmadiyya? The solution the Batiniyya and Ahmadiyya present do not solve their problem. They both merely create clever arguments for why their specific doctrines are the solutions to non-existent problems.

For our Ahmadi readers, if you are told that Mirza Ghulam came to perform a certain task, follow that statement to its fullest conclusion. Check if he really solved a problem, or just created a clever rhetorical device. This applies to his “divine jama’at” he started, the volumes of unread books he composed, him being the Imam Mahdi, etc. And ask yourself, are these “problems” Ahmadiyya tries to solve really problems that torment the average Muslim, or merely questions they themselves create, for which they conveniently provide the solution?

These are the intellectual tools you need to help deconstruct Ahmadiyya’s alleged purposes. And when you are done, you will be left with a faith that offers no solutions, no purpose and no guidance.

May Allah guide us all to believe in the only Messiah, ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام

و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

An Overview of Imam Al-Ghazali

بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

Watch…

I know many people read this blog, but do not comment. If you have watched and have reflected upon it, send me an email from the “Contact Us!” link above. Sultanul Qalam, specific to you, watch the ending.

و صلى على محمد و آله

Sign of a Break-Away Sect

 بسم الله المحد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا نحمد و على آله و سلم تسليما

What constitutes a break-away sect? What are its signs and characteristics? There are many, but here I will quickly focus on one.

One of the major characteristics of a break-away sect is that they tend to focus on a particular aspect of a religion (ie details, secondary aspects) and as if it is a major, over-arching theme that defines the entire religion.

Case and Point: All Muslims believe in the Messiah, ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام, and that another person named Imam Mahdi, will be his contemporary and both will come towards the very end of the time. However, this is an eschatological detail, not the central theme of the religion. But in the Ahmadiyya faith, this aspect is the single, central defining theme of the faith, such that even its website cites that they are:

In other words, in their declaration of being Muslims, they felt the need to simultaneously declare that particularity that separates them from the traditional, orthodox Muslim community.

Of course, all break-away sects also focus on the major aspects of their respective faiths. But, their insistence on a particular interpretation of a particular detail as the over-arching theme that is invariably divergent from the mainstream is a strong indication that they are a break-away sect.

Finally, such sects follow a common pattern. For the first few generations they are able to place special emphasis on their particular interpretation of the detail. After two or three generations the interpretation is retained, but adherents focus more on the major elements of the faith. After a few more generations the particular interpretation is completely de-emphasized except for cultural or social reasons, and shortly afterwards adherents are resorbed back into the original group.

May Allah guide us all to what is True

و صلى الله سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

Dealing with the Modern Crisis: Islam vs Ahmadiyya

بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلم على رسول الله و على آله و سلم

The morality preached by both Muslims and Ahmadis is generally the same. Both communities are affected by a pervasive, attractive and in many ways deeply negative culture that tends to leads them away from the noble teachings that they are imbued with.

The result is an entire generation of youth who, even if their identity as Muslim or Ahmadi, still engage in the harmful and sinful behaviors of their larger cultural context. The leadership of these respective communities feel obligated to call their youth back.

Here are their approaches:

The Official Ahmadiyya Approach

  1. Mirza Masroor threatening to “kick out” young women who find it difficult to cover: Video available here. And if you “challenge” him, you’re a hypocrite.
  2. Spying and gossip about wayward youth (Leaked reports here)
  3. Public humiliations and ex-communications for people who engage in sinful behavior, justified in Tariq Magazine (Full Transcript here)
  4. Ban Facebook: The exact statement is “The practice of making and maintaining individual facebook pages/accounts is not permitted.” http://www.alislam.org/egazette/faq/facebook-policy/
  5. “Desi Uncle knows best” immaturity to modern problems.


The General Muslim Approach

Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan gives a wonderful presentation where he illustrates the Crisis of Faith and Confidence affecting the Muslim community. I’ll be honest, he’s brutal. If you’re an Ahmadi looking to bash Muslim communities, you’ll find plenty of fodder here.

But listen to the maturity and the depth of thought this one Muslim presents that puts Mirza Masroor’s lack of intellectualism to shame. For example, regarding Ahmadiyya’s “Ban Facebook” approach, Khan argues that Facebook is not the problem, it is merely a symptom of a larger problem. By simply banning Facebook, you will merely create an “Everything is haraam” mentality.

Instead, his solutions are:

  • Create A Culture Around Strong Friendship
  • Create an Open Forum
  • Internalization, Then Islamic Knowledge
  • Psychological Crisis Among Older Youth
  • Studying Islam in Secular Universities
  • Equipping Our Youth to Leave Being Defensive

The full talk is available here:The transcript is available here (Thanks MuslimMatters!)

And this is just one example, other organizations, institutions and individuals are rising to the challenge to address these problems.

Conclusion

Both the Muslim and the Ahmadiyya communities are facing the same crisis. One of them addresses it by ex-communications, public humiliations, spying, banning Facebook, and the “Holier than Thou” approach. The other deals with the root problems and posits positive, constructive solutions, and calls back wayward Muslims.

Which do you believe in?

و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله محمد