The Seal of Approval is granted
In 1891 Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be upon him), the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, claimed on the basis of Divine revelation, that he was the Promised Messiah and Mahdi whose advent had been foretold by Muhammad, the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and by the scriptures of other faiths. He claimed to be a true Prophet of God, a prophet that did not bring any new law but was a follower and subservient to Holy Prophet Muhammad.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, wrote more than 80 books. He consistently attributed his status of Prophethood as a manifestation of the attribute of the “Seal of the Prophet” that was bestowed upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Following are some excerpts from the writings of the Promised Messiah that shed light on the attribute of the “Seal of the Prophets”.
Only one door to Prophethood
“This status and title has been bestowed on me only because I am a true follower and servant of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). If I had not been from his Ummah and if I had not been his follower, then even if my services and talents had been as massive and tall as the mountains of this world, I would not have acquired or been bestowed the title and honor of direct communication with God. This is true because all doors to prophethood are now closed, except the portal and the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). After him, there can be no independent prophet with a new law or code. Now, the only type of prophethood that remains is that which is without any new shariah other than of Islam and which is bestowed on a true follower or servant of the Holy Prophet of Islam.” (Tajalliyat-i-illahiya pg. 24-25)
“It is no longer necessary to follow separately each previous prophet and his teachings, since the message brought by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) encompasses and surpasses all previous teachings. All other paths leading to God are now closed. All verities leading to God are contained in this teaching. There is no other truth after this. All true prior teachings are contained in these teachings. His prophethood is the culmination of all prophets and rightly so.” (Al-Wassiyyat, pg. 17-18)
The Seal of Approval
“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah has full knowledge of all things.” (33:41)
There are many manifestations of the Holy Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) attribute of the “Seal of the Prophets”. The most striking one is the “seal of approval” that the Holy Prophet was granted for the continuation of prophethood from within his followers.
Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
“And whoso obeys Allah and this Messenger of His shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, namely, the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs, and the Righteous. And excellent companions are these.” (4:70)
The followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad have been given the glad tiding that they can even attain the status of Prophethood by obeying Allah and the Prophet Muhammad. This is a distinguishing characteristic of Prophet Muhammad as no other prophet before him has been given this seal of approval. Before Prophet Muhammad it was not necessary to follow the preceding prophet to attain the status of Prophetohood.
In relation to following the other prophets Allah says:
“And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and they are the Truthful and the Witnesses in the sight of their Lord, they will have their reward and their light…” (57:20)
Of course the followers of other prophets will be rewarded by Allah in this world and the hereafter but there rewards fall short of attaining the status of Prophethood – a blessing that only the followers of Muhammad, the seal of Prophets, are bestowed with.
Other Manifestations of the Seal
Apart from the most distinguishing status of the seal of approval there are many other manifestations of the attribute of seal of the prophets, including but not limited to:
Prophet Muhammad’s message was for all people and all times in contrast to the message of other prophets that was for a specific audience and for a limited time.
Prophet Muhammad was granted the Qur’an – God’s final book which is protected by God Himself till the end of the time.
Prophet Muhammad, through the Holy Qur’an, made it obligatory to all Muslims to believe in all Prophets and not to distinguish between prophet in their belief.
Prophet Muhammad declared all Prophets to be innocent servants of God thus absolving them of any and all false allegations.