Submitted by Ikram.
Qadianis base their claim of Prophethood for Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian on two verses of Holy Quran that they enumerate as 4:70 and 7:36. Both of these verses are included in their arguments on a web page titled “Khatamun Nabiyyeen – Does the Holy Quran allow Prophets to come?” on their site WhyAhmadi.org.
Following is the analysis of these verses in light of Qadiani claims, that are refuted. For comparison, verses from translation of Quran by Muhammad Ali are also given below:
4:70. 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 an excellent companions are these. [WhyAhmadi.org]
4:69. And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, they are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favours from among the [nabis] prophets and the [siddiqs] truthful and the [shahids] faithful and the [salihs] righteous, and a goodly company are they! [Muhammad Ali, as quoted in Islamic Review, p. 5]
“We are told by Allah that the blessings that He bestows are the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous. So Allah is clearly informing us that the blessings of Prophethood are still open for us, why are we trying to close it. Do we not want this great blessing?” [WhyAhmadi.org, emphasis added]
Assumptions – of “cause and effect” in the above verse in light of Qadiani view:
Given – Whoso i.e. both men and women.
Premise – If the status of the Truthful, the Martyrs, and the Righteous can be attained by one’s actions then why it should not be supposed that likewise the status of prophethood can be also be attained?
Cause – Whoso obeys Allah and this Messenger of His
Effect – status of even prophethood can be achieved.
Fallacy – that the office of prophethood can be realized, whereas it is an office that is conferred:
3:179. …Allah chooses of His messengers whom He pleases… [Muhammad Ali]
72:27. except a messenger whom He chooses… [Muhammad Ali]
Analysis – of absurdities:
If the cause (obedience to Allah and Messenger – Muhammad) as a law produces the effect (prophethood), then where ever the cause is found its effect must also be found.
But, if cause is found without its effect or effect is found without its cause, then this relationship is not a law.
Since eternity till Muhammad, and almost fourteen centuries since, not a single woman has been conferred the office of prophethood, despite women being given revelations (e.g. mothers of Moses and Jesus). Why? Did not Quran self-contradict by mentioning Whoso. Is no woman is capable to obey Allah and this Messenger like men, even thought we have Mary on record to have devoted her chaste life in prayer. Despite the cause, the desired effect never happened for our mothers. Why the discrimination, even thought Quran is on record that Allah does not impose on any soul a duty beyond its ability (2:286), be it a man or a woman? Either, we must state equivocally that the above verse is not for half the humanity, i.e. for women the cause does not produce the desired effect or fundamentally there is no relationship between the cause and the effect.
If the Misconception outlined above is taken on its face value as the law, then by obedience to Allah and Muhammad there is nothing to prevent one from becoming a prophet – the promulgator of the law and the “teacher of the book and authority.”
Nowhere in the above verse it is stated that such a prophet will not be maker of the law. The promulgator of the law not only enjoins other to follow the law but himself follows his own law, for no one can conceive of a law, and no one is likely to follow a law unless the promulgator himself follows the law. This new prophet not only disassociates himself from the original set of laws to which he was obedient to begin with, but he enjoins others as well to cut themselves away from the law, essentially the prophet and the followers make a “revolt” to previously ordained prophet. Now what about the new prophet who himself is the violator of the verse obeys Allah and this Messenger, as the previous Messenger does not hold sway for him.
The verse clearly states among (‘ma‘ i.e. with) excellent companions without conferring the ‘identify’. Thus by obedience to Allah and Messenger one attains the ‘companionship’ of theProphets, the Truthful, the Martyrs, and the Righteous and not the ‘identity’ of theProphets, the Truthful, the Martyrs, and the Righteous. Simply put, by being in company of lawyers and judges, one does not become one himself, but such ‘companions’ do share common values but not ‘identify.’
What is here spoken of is a general and a very broad enjoyment which even ordinary conformity to God and the Apostle will confer upon all mankind. That benefit which is conferred is “companionship”, which is enjoyable by not merely those of the same “identity” but even by others who are not of the same identity but merely conforming to God and the Messenger.
It is not the purpose of this verse to show what men actually become by obedience to God and the Messenger. This verse merely indicates what humanity enjoys in common on account of “obedience to God and the Messenger” irrespective of their being of the one class or another, But the verses indicating as to what they actually become are different, regarding which it can be said with certainty that there is not even a single verse indicating that by “obedience” one can become a prophet or nabis. On the contrary, however, we have other verses mentioning that by “obedience to God and the Messenger” people do become siddiq, or shahid, or salih.
57:19. And those who believe in Allah and His messengers, they are the truthful and the faithful ones with their Lord. They have their reward and their light…
29:9. And those who believe and do good, We shall surely make them enter among the righteous. [Muhammad Ali]
While the word of God should have so profusely reiterated the attainment of all the minor grades of spirituality by those who are obedient, it is inconceivable how the convertibility of one into the greatest of all spirituality, i.e., prophethood, should have been mentioned, if at all, only once, and that not regarding identity but about “companionship “. The fact is that while by “obedience to God and the Messenger” attainment of all the three grades – truthfulness, faithfulness and righteousness is contemplated, the attainment or convertibility of one by effort into a nabi or prophet is not even dramatic according to the Qur’án.
7:36. O children of Adam, if Messengers come to you from among yourselves, rehearsing My Signs unto you, then whoso shall fear God and do good deeds, on them shall come no fear nor shall they grieve [WhyAhmadi.org]
7:35. O children of Adam, if messengers come to you from among you relating to you My messages, then whoever guards against evil and acts aright — they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve. [Muhammad Ali, as quoted in Islamic Review, p. 7]
Although Allah has addressed us by saying “O children of Adam”, it is obvious if you read the verse before and after it, that Allah is addressing the Muslims. Therefore, Allah is informing us that we should accept any Prophet when he comes to us! Some Muslims object that in this verse it says Messengers – rasool will come and that there is a difference between a Prophet Nabi and Messenger rasool. This is nonsense and is totally unsupported by the Holy Quran.
If we again refer to the first verse we quoted Chapter 33 verse 41, it says that ‘Muhammad is a Messenger (rasool) of Allah and Khataman Nabiyyeen (Prophet)’. These spiritual titles have been given to many prophets there is no difference between them, a Prophet is also a messenger and a messenger is also a prophet. [WhyAhmadi.org]
It is not necessary to dilate upon this verse as the mere indication that rasool, or messengers, will come in the future does. not alter the position we have taken above. It will be enough to point out that the use of the term rasool in the Qur’an is more general and much wider than the word nabi. The word rasool etymologically means “the sent one” and in that sense the word rasool is used in the Qur’an in various circumstances for prophets or nabis, for even the companions of the prophet, the apostles of Jesus, and for angels. The use of this term, therefore, is very wide, and is based merely on its significance of the “sent ones”. As all sent ones cannot be the same, all messengers cannot become prophets or nabis. It will be quite true to say that all nabis are messengers, but it can never be said that all messengers are nabis, in the same manner as it can be said that all kings are men, but it cannot be said that all men are kings. Those who might be indicated, therefore, as capable of coming must be, if at all they do, of a non-nabi or of a non-prophet type.
While thinking outside the box I, Ikram, will further add:
72:26 He [alone] knows that which is beyond the reach of a created being’s perception and to none does He disclose aught of the mysteries of His Own unfathomable knowledge,
72:27 unless it be to an apostle whom He has been pleased to elect [there for]: and then He sends forth [the forces of heaven] to watch over him in whatever lies open before him and in what is beyond his ken. [Muhammad Asad]
If the above verses are re-read in contemporary sense, at least in the realm of Science they are fitting the Einsteins, Hawkings and Abdus Salams of today. It is these people who are given the unfathomable knowledge (of the theoretical physics), which is yet beyond the reach of a created being’s perception? Isn’t scientific knowledge sub-set of His unfathomable knowledge? Then, do we have to have Messengers only in shape of classical “Rasools?” Isn’t it a job description of a apostle to bring knowledge of God, including science to Man?
References – The above article is a rephrase and adaptation of “FINALITY OF PROPHETHOOD IN ISLAM” by M. Ahmad Bacha, B.A., published in The Islamic Review, January 1959.