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January 6th, 2009

Khatim and Khatam in the Holy Quran (abridged version)

The following has been submitted by our friend Bashir.

This is a research study on the occurrence of these two words in the Holy Quran. My research is based on the premise that the Holy Quran is perfect, complete and consistent. This study shows that Allah does not use words differently.

Understanding the Quran has been a blessed effort of many reseachers before me. I will attempt with all solidarity intended to impress upon my reader the “Rosetta Stone” of Quranic understanding. In this case the “Rosetta Stone” is in terms of decoding the word khatam. This type of research has never been presented in essay or book format. Most of my research revolves around the book of M. ali entitled, “The Last Prophet”.

I searched the occurrence of the letters Kha-Ta-Meem in the Holy Quran(via also, in english it would K-T-M. This study focuses on the occurrence of three words only when they are joined together. My research shows 8 matches of the above mentioned letters. There is some variation in Arabic spelling, but meanings are always the same.

The words seal/sealed/sealing occur in the Koran 19 times. But, the letters KHA-TA-MEEM weren’t used exclusively by ALLAH when describing the sealing off of something. There is another Arabic word that translates into the english word seal/sealed/sealing. That word also has variations. It uses the root of TA-BA or T-B, with 2 variations. YUT-BA and NUT-BA are the variations. The English equivalent would be Y-T-B or N-T-B.


My research shows that Allah used the word Khatam 4 times. Chapter 45 Verse 24, Chapter 6 Verse 47, Chapter 2 Verse 8 and the famous Chapter 33 Verse 41.

Every time this word was used it meant seal. There was absolutely no other meaning. A better definition would be “sealed off”. An even better definition would be “finishing touch”. Allah put the finishing touch on their hearts, or Allah put the finishing touch on prophethood.

I think the best translation is the word “enclosed”. Enclosed means to surround on all sides. This fits best into the 8 instances mentioned above. Enclosed is the perfect word that describes the picture of khatam in the Holy Quran. Picture ALLAH wrapping someones heart into an unbreakable lamenant. Then picture ALLAH lamenating prophethood.

In 3 out of 4 instances Allah mentions sealing off the hearts/ears/mouths of men. This is a seal that is unbreakable. The one other instance is in terms of prophethood. Allah does not differentiate between the prophets. Allah never differentiated between them. The Quran never specifies in terms of law-bearing and non-law bearing. Prophets are all the same, they all brought a book, i.e. revelation, they all received prophetic revelation through the agency of Gabriel.

The final occurrence of the word Khatam in the Holy Quran appears in the famous Chapter 33 Verse 41. I have to understand the word in contrast with the other occurrences. In other words, I think that the word khatam was used universally. Each and every occurrence depicts the same action. Whenever this word appeared, in whatever variation, it meant enclosed.

Khatim appears in the Quran 2 times. Chapter 42 Verse 25 and Chapter 36 Verse 66.

Both times it means sealed, or sealed off. It appears that Allah used the word khatim and khatam as interchangeable. They both mean seal.


A third variation exists, this variation appears in Chapter 83 Verse 26&27. It appears as MUKTUM and KHI-TA-MO. Both of these mean seal.

My research proves that ALLAH always used these words the same way. It doesn’t matter what variation was used. Every time the KHA-TA and MEEM appear in the Holy Quran, it always means SEAL.

12 Responses to “Khatim and Khatam in the Holy Quran (abridged version)”


    ……………..The last of a company of men; (Ll, TA)  as also KHA-TA-MUN, and KHA-TA-MUN : (K:) whence KHAT-TA-MUN-NABIYEEN [THE LAST OF THE PROPHETS] in the Kur [xxxiii. 40] ; accord to one reading, KHA-TO-MA, with damm to the TA; (TA:) ………………………….

    Obviously Malik Ghulam Farid didnt use LANE for Chapter 33 Verse 40.  I wonder who he used????

    I have a scanned copy of LANE’s definition if anyone is interested.  I also have Noorudins sons explanation.  Abdul Mannan Omar wrote a book entitled “Dictionary of the Holy Quran”.  Omar also wrote last. 

    So far, Malik Ghulam Farid is the only writer that I have found that insists that KHATAM in chapter 33 means father and best more than it means last and final. 

  2. An interesting discussion is going on in another blog on the topic “The meaning of Khaatam in Lexicons and dictionaries”.
    Original article is written by Farhan Khan (a former Qadiani).
    An interesting response is given by Anjum (some one with AAIIL beliefs). Click following link:

  3. January 7th, 2009 at 1:30 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    The issue originally in dispute was the claim that Khatam-un-nabiyyin (Seal of the Prophets) means that the Holy Prophet is the seal of the prophets to come after him, i.e. his seal or stamp can make his followers into prophets. This was the standpoint put forward by the Qadiani Jamaat, argued with the AAIIL. How and when this standpoint was dropped and changed into the claim that khatam means greatest and best, I don’t know.

    In his book Barahin Ahmadiyya Part 5, written around 1905 and published in 1908 posthumously, Hazrat Mirza sahib has shown how the term khatam-ul-anbiya can be applied to Jesus. As those references show, it can only be applied to him if it means last of the prophets. For the 3 references from that book, please see this link.

  4. M. Ali refers to statements made by HMBMA in a court:

    “The Question of Prophethood and Mirza Mahmud Ahmad:

    For a long time, I wished Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad [Referred to later as Mian Sahib. (Translator)] should himself take up his pen on the basic question of prophethood. I kept on writing to him to do so,……………………………. He has broken his silence now by submitting a statement in a court at Gurdaspur. I am extremely happy at this gesture, because the whole dispute, in principle, can now easily be settled. If according to the Holy Quran and the Hadith, the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Last Prophet, and no prophet can appear after him, except that someone should use this term by way of metaphor or simile; or, if there is no definite proof of the closure of the door of prophethood, after the Holy Prophet being the Last Prophet, then undoubtedly a person can become a prophet.”

    The Point of Dispute:

    The issue which needs to be solved, is brief and simple. Both of us, that is to say, Mian Sahib and I believe that the words Khatam an-Nabiyyin have been used in the Holy Quran about the Holy Prophet. The whole discussion, now is only about the true nature of their meanings. According to Mian Sahib, the meaning of Khatam an-Nabiyyin is a person by following whom, prophets will be made in future. According to me, it means the ‘Last of the Prophets’. Mian Sahib has asserted that the meanings he has offered have been mentioned in the Arabic lexicons exactly in the same manner as stated by him; that is, he has not given any interpretation of his own at all, and that these words do not mean ‘Last of the Prophets’ in the lexicons. Thus the words of his statement (in the Court) published in his paper Al-Fazl are as follows:

    “The meaning of this term has always been rendered thus. We do not give any interpretation of it; on the other hand, these are the meanings given to it in the lexicons. Some people also render Khatam an-Nabiyyin as the ‘Last of the Prophets’ but in the dictionary ‘last prophet’ is not the meaning of this term.” (Al-Fazl , June 26-29, 1922)*

    HMBMA appeared to have said that the true definition of SEAL of the prophets meant that others couild be made prophets by this seal.  In other words it was a seal of attestation, not a seal of closure. 

    I think that all lexicologists had always written that Chp. 33 verse 40 was a seal of closure.  And it also meant last of the prophets.

  5. Strangely enough, I asked the same question that M. ali asked.  Let me explain. 

    2 years ago I asked my local imam in terms of how was it possible that the early muslims believed that other prophets could be made, but then at some point all muslims changed this into a doctrine of finality.  I argued that it was impractical.  There was no other sect that believed that Khatam didnt mean last.  My local imam told me that muslims developed the belief of finality because of their intense love of the HP.  I walked away dissatisfied.  Even the shias believed that the HP was the last prophet. 

    This is what M. ali wrote:

    But Mian Sahib did not unravel the knot by his strange logic, that when in the Arabic idiom the word khatam did not mean last at all, how this belief could come to be generally accepted; that is, who invented the creed that Khatam an-Nabiyyin meant the ‘Last of the Prophets’, or was this creed introduced by the Companions of the Holy Prophet after his death? Were they ignorant of the Arabic idiom? As has been asserted by Mian Sahib, there was only one meaning of this term; that is, he, by following whom prophets will be made in future. Then, who introduced the belief of the Holy Prophet being the ‘Last of the Prophets’? I hope Mian Sahib’s sharp wit would certainly solve this problem, that the meaning of Khatam an-Nabiyyin as the ‘Last of the Prophets’ was so common before the lexicologists compiled their lexicons that they also accepted this meaning without giving much thought to it. Mian Sahib’s exaggerated imagination does not stop here. He goes on to state: “This, too, is not inconceivable, that after hearing the verse meant the Last Prophet, some people started using these words in that sense.”

  6. Malik Ghulam Farid(MGF) has earned the distinction as the only muslim scholar in the history of islamic literature to ever interpret Khatam as not meaning LAST. 

    In the context of the Quran khatam means sealed off or enclosed.  But in Chap. 33 it has another significance.  That significance is as  LAST.  In terms of dictionaries of the Quran and lexicologists, of course. 

    Chapter 33 was revealed after the battle of the ditch.  Another significant event was the HP’s marriage to Zainab.  Verse 40 doesnt appear to match the subject-matter. 

    In my opinion all the meccans already knew that the HP was the final messenger until Jesus’ return.  ALLAH appears to have reminded the muslims that Muhammad(saw) is in no need of another wife.  Muhammad(saw) is no need of off-spring.  If Muhammad was supposed to have off-spring, ALLAH would have already allowed that to happen. 

    ” He is not the father of any your men, but he is the apostle of ALLAH and the seal of the prophets”

    If Muhammad(saw) had a son that prophethood would have continued.  But ALLAH did not allow this.  ALLAH ended the chain of prophets.  Muhammad(saw) was a direct relative of Abraham, through Ishmael.   With Muhammad not having any sons, prophethood ended.  It’s as simple as that. 

  7. Interesting reading intepretation from both AMI ( And lahore ahmadiyya (LAM) on this issue

    I interest in bro bashir stated above:
    “2 years ago I asked my local imam in terms of how was it possible that the early muslims believed that other prophets could be made, but then at some point all muslims changed this into a doctrine of finality.  I argued that it was impractical.  There was no other sect that believed that Khatam didnt mean last.  My local imam told me that muslims developed the belief of finality because of their intense love of the HP.  I walked away dissatisfied.  Even the shias believed that the HP was the last prophet”. 

    If we read H Quran,
    it was same what happened to Yusuf as and Musa as even Jesus as
    It’s Possibel happen to Muhammad saw too?

    in fact:
    – Both groups, perform beauty Islam teaching.
    – LAM intepretation seem like what majority muslim belief,
    – AMI interpretetion seem oppose tendency of majority (orthodox)muslim belief, and reveal what eminent learned muslim schoolers

    What the role/need  of Reformer/Imam/Imam Mahdi/Isa/Prophet decend ?

    For me, as reader is simply, ask Allah swt for guidence,

  8. Bashir I don’t intend to get into a debate on this, it has been discussed ad nauseum in the literature.

    All I would say is reflect further on that verse. If khatam=last interpretation is correct, the verse is saying: ‘Muhammad (saw) does not have any sons BUT he is the last prophet’. Does that make sense? It rather means: ‘Muhammad (saw) does not have any sons but he will have spiritual sons bearing his stamp’

    The verse actually implies prophethood will continue, not stop

  9. Hafiz Sher Muhammad Sahib [scholar of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement] has interpreted this verse in his book La Nabi Badi in somewhat similar manner as T. Ijaz mentioned in his post but there is just one significant difference.

    According to him the first words of the verse tell that Muhammad (SAW) does not have any sons. Then the verse says that he is the prophet of Allah which means that he is the spiritual father of many. So the verse till this point means that Muhammad (SAW) does not have any physical son but he does have many spiritual sons. Here the point arises that whether he is a spiritual father as other prophets were spiritual fathers for a limited time and their spiritual fatherhood ended by the appearance of a new prophet after them.

    The expression Khatam al-nabiyyin answers this point. It tells that the spiritual fatherhood of Holy Prophet will never end because he is the Last Prophet. His spiritual fatherhood will remain alive forever. It will not happen that another prophet will arise after him and his spiritual fatherhood will end. People will attain nearness of God by following him.

  10. I am still learning.  I am not a scholar.  I have actually started reading about early islam.  I plan to collect the books of Tabari, Wackidi, Ibn Hisham etc etc.   I will learn Islam as good as I learned ahmadiyyat.  Remember, I am an independent researcher.  That’s my mindset.

    That being said, I am starting to think that Khatam always meant sealed off, enclosed or finished off.  Before the Quran there doesnt appear to be any literature in arabic that we can use as study material.  The Quran appears to be the first writing in the arabic language.  These were barbaric people.  The arabs didnt have a dictionary on usage.  The arab language wasnt a perfectly spoken language.  There were no scholars in the arab peninsula.  All these facts mean something.  I think they mean that the Koran is the first official dictionary.  The Quran itself is the rosetta stone of the arabic language. 

    Because of Chp. 33 Verse 40, it seems that the arabs attached another significance to the word of khatam.  That was as last.  So in other words, khatam didnt mean last before the advent of the HP. 

    “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Khataman nabiyeen, and God has knowledge of all things”.

    I think this means that the DNA of the prophets has died.  An old prophet(jesus) already has the DNA of prophethood.  The prophets came to an end. 
    Muhammad doesnt need another woman(in reference to Zainab).  Muhammad has no need of more than 4 wives.  It is GOD who wished so. 

    The strand of prophethood is dead.  Muslims have something better than prophethood, that is the Quran.  Muhammad has left something better than prophethood, THE QURAN. 

  11. I did research….here are my findings.

    Muhammad (saw) married his fourth wife( Zainab bint Khozeima) in DEC of the 4th year after hijra.  He married the fifth wife(Omm Salma) a month later.  Muhammad married Zainab bint Jahsh 6 months later. 

    See Muir

    I was confused by Muir’s chronological list of suras revealed at Medina, he doesnt list Chapter 33 there…very strange.

    Chapter 4 was revealed roughly during marriage 4 and 5, or maybe before that, I havent seen a definite answer as of yet.  The arabs saw wife number 6 as an excess.

    One more thing this marriage seemed strange to Muhammad’s contemporaries because Muhammad was marrying the former wife of his adopted son, and the adopted sons were counted the same as a biological son.   Zainab was not a young woman… She was at least 40 years old. 

    Allah defended Muhammad with CHp. 33 verse 40, should I write anything else???  How about the Quran:

    Chp. 33 verse 38
    “There can be no difficulty to the Prophet in what Allah has indicated to him as a duty. It was the practice (approved) of Allah amongst those of old that have passed away. And the command of Allah is a decree determined. ”

    Verse 40 is just 2 verses later….this was revealed to clear the name of Muhammad in terms of wrongdoing.

    God explained that this was not an excess, see Chp. 33 verse 40. 

  12. In Barahin Ahmadiyya, Part 5 the Promised Messiah writes:

    “I was khatam-ul-walad for my father. No child was born after me.” (Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 21, p. 113)

    In Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, he writes:

    “After me, no boy or girl was born to my parents, and I was khatam-ul-aulad for them”. (Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 15, p. 479)

    The meaning of khatam here is clear.