Suratul Ahzab (verse 40 continued and verses 41 – 42)

‘Such statements (claiming to be prophets) and actions occurred from the hands of Aswad Al Ansi of Yemen and Musailamah Al Kazzab (the liar) from Yamamah (both of whom claimed to be prophets). Every man of intelligence and understanding, understood that they were liars and were misguided. May Allah curse both of them. In the same way, everyone who makes such claims until the Day of Judgement will be deemed as a liar. This false claim of being a prophet (made by people) will continue until it ends with the Dajjal (the Antichrist)’ (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.3 pg. 494 – Amjad Academy Lahore Pakistan)

The gist of the above quotation of Hafiz Ibn Katheer has been mentioned by many scholars in their respective books. All have clearly stated that the entire Ummah has unanimously stated that there will be no prophet or messenger after the Prophet Muhammad (S.A). This must be the belief of every Muslim.

The words of the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (S.A) are explicit, definite and straightforward on this matter. Therefore, there is no room and allowance for interpretations and exceptions. It is in this regard, the great scholar Qazi Abul Fadhal Ayadh (died 544 A.H) wrote in his famous work, ‘Ash Shifaa’, ‘The entire Ummah is unanimous (upon the fact) that the words and statements [that mention that there will be no prophet after the Prophet (S.A)] are in their literal and clear meaning. The understanding (and message) gained from the statements is what is meant (from the literal and clear words). There is no interpretation and no specification (or exception). Therefore, there is no doubt regarding the disbelief (kufr) of all groups (who follow those who make a claim of prophethood). (Ash Shifaa – Ma’ariful Quran vol.7 pg. 179)

The belief in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A),  saying that there is no prophet after him,  does not mean that Prophet Isa (Jesus) (A.S) would not return as a prophet. Indeed, he will return as a prophet to the world again, but not as a new prophet. He was already made a prophet by Allah, and this station (of prophethood) shall not be taken away from him. As such, when he returns, he will be recognized and known as Prophet Isa (A.S), but will carry out and implement the teachings of  Prophet Muhammad (S.A).

While explaining verse 40 of Sura Ahzab, the great exegete, Abu Hayan writes, ‘The words of the verse bring about an established text (which establishes the belief) that there is no prophet after  Prophet Muhammad (S.A). The meaning of this is that no one will be appointed as a (new) prophet after him. This does not negate the descent of Isa (A.S) at the end of time, since he was appointed as a prophet before the Prophet Muhammad (S.A). When he descends he will practice upon the Shariah of Prophet Muhammad (S.A), and will perform Salaah towards his Qibla, as if he is a part of the Ummah. (Tafseer Al Bahrul Muheet vol.8 pg. 485 Darul Fikr Beirut 1992)

The verse ends by saying, ‘And Allah is Ever All Aware of everything’. It means that Allah is fully aware and knowledgeable of the statements and actions of everyone. Nothing from the state of man is hidden from Him. He has full knowledge of what is better for His prophet and of the decree He has made for him in all situations.

Sura Al Ahzab continues in verses 41 and 42 and states:

41. O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.

42. And glorify His Praises morning and afternoon.

Here, Allah orders His servants that they should remember Him in abundance. The commentators state that the verse means that the believers must be engaged in the Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah in abundance. They should utter the sacred and blessed words of ‘laa ilaha illallah’, ‘Alhamdulillah’ etc.

The believers must continue to praise Allah and thank Him for the numerous favours and blessings which He has bestowed upon them. They should glorify Him night and day, and in the morning and evening.

Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) said, ‘No one is excused for leaving out the Dhikr of Allah except one who has lost his senses’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.14 pg. 174)

One should engage oneself in Allah’s remembrance for most of the time, as ordered in the above verse. While explaining this verse, Qatada (A.R) said, ‘Say Subhanallah wal Hamdulillah wa laa ilaha illallah wallahu Akbar wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billah’. (Tafseer Al Bahrul Muheet vol.8 pg. 486)

From the command given in the above verse, one can clearly understand that being engaged in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah is a very important act of worship for the believer. By ordering the believers to do His dhikr in abundance, Allah has not fixed a time, limit or quantity for His remembrance. Instead, He has left it open so that one can always be engaged in the dhikr. Whether one is on journey or at home, sick or healthy, busy or unoccupied, one can be engaged in Allah’s dhikr at all times.

Traditions from the Prophet (S.A) have mentioned many great benefits and virtues of doing the dhikr of Allah. Some of these are:

1)     It brings one closer to Allah.

2)     It increases and strengthens the Imaan.

3)     It polishes the heart and causes it to shine with light.

4)     It brings about light on the face.

5)     It is the life and soul of every act of worship.

6)     It brings peace, tranquility and contentment in the heart.

7)     Angels keep the company of those who are engaged in the dhikr of Allah.

8)     It brings Allah’s mercy and compassion to the person.

9)     It brings about the love of Allah in one’s heart. Allah begins to love this person and He orders the creations of the heavens and the earth to love this person also.

10) Allah continues to remember the servant as long as the servant remembers Him.

 Dhikr brings life to the heart and takes away its rust and hardness.