(3) RISALAT: THE APOSTLESHIP

God alone and none else could ~ granted His creatures
knowledge and guidance. With the creation of man began the
divinely commissioned apostleship (Risalat) for the guidance of
mankind. Every person on earth had a warner and guide, an
apostle from God in his own language.

And for every people (was sent) an apostle; and when
their apostle came, the matter between them was decided
with equity and there shall not (in the least) be done
(any) injustice. (10:47)

And indeed raised We in every nation an apostle (of
Ours), (preaching) that "Worship ye God (only) and shun
ye (the worship) of idols" so of them there were some
whom God guided, and of them were others on whom
error was confirmed. (16:36)
Verily We sent thee with truth, as a bearer of glad tidings
and a warner; and there is not a people but a warner
hath gone among them. (35:24)

And we sent not any apostle but with the language of the
people that he might clearly explain (Our
commandments) unto them; then God leaveth to stray
whom He willeth and guideth whom He willeth, and He is
the Mighty, the Wise. (14:4)

A guide from God should necessarily be infallible, is. sinless by
nature, and all the apostles of God were naturally so. otherwise
the one who is himself fallible cannot reasonably preach
sinlessness to others. The demand of Islam regarding the
apostles of God is found in the following verse of the Holy
Qur'an:

Say ye (O Muslims!), "We believe in God and that which
hath been sent down unto us and that which was sent
down unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob
and the tribes, and which was given to Moses and Jesus,
and that which was given unto the apostles from their
Lord. No difference do we make between any of them
and to Him (alone) have we submitted (ourselves)."
(2:136)

The above verse is clear in its declaration that a Muslim has to
believe in God and the Holy Qur'an and all the heavenly
Scriptures revealed to the ancient prophets who preceded the
Prophet Muhammad, and there should be no distinction made
about their personal purity and truthfulness, and a Muslim is
be
who has submitted himself to God.
Though the names of all those apostles of God are not given
in the Holy Qur'an, the number of them is reported to be a lakh
and twenty4our thousand, and this number may mean the
innumerable numbers of guides given to humanity since its
advent on earth.

And verily sent We apostles before thee, of them there
are those whom We have mentioned unto thee; and of
them are those whom We have mentioned not unto thee;
and it was not given to any apostle to bring a sign
(miracle) save with the leave of God, but when came the
97

behest of God, (it) was executed with truth, and those
who stood on falsehood were then the losers. (40:78)

The first of them was Adam and the Last the Holy Prophet
Muhammad, with whom concluded the apostleship and after
whom neither any other apostle came nor would ever come until
the end of the world. A Muslim has to believe in the finality of
the apostleship of Muhammad, the last Apostle of God.

Belief in the Prophets preceding the Holy Prophet
Muhammad:

This is another proof of Islam's being the universal religion of
man that, unlike any other religious order of the world, Islam
demands faith in the infallibility and the truthfulness of all the
prophets preceding the Holy Prophet Muhammad, that they were
truly Messengers of God sent for the guidance of the human race
throughout the world.
A Muslim has to believe in a lakh and twenty-four thousand
prophets, of whom only a very few have been mentioned in the
Holy Qur'an. The following are a few of the verses concerning
the divinely sent Messengers of God:

This Our argument We gave to Abraham against his
people; We exalt (any one) whom We please; Verily thy
Lord is All- Wise, All-Knowing.
And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias; every
one was of the righteous (ones).
And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot; and
every one We did exalt (with Our apostleship) over the
worlds.
These are they to whom gave We the Book and the
authority of apostleship; so if these (people) disbelieve it,
indeed have We (already) entrusted it unto a people who
are not disbelievers. (6:84-90)

And indeed We did send apostles before thee and gave
We unto them wives and offspring! And it is not for an
apostle to bring or show a sign (miracle) but by God's
permission; for every term there is a book prescribed
(13:38)

And indeed We did send apostles before thee among the
people of yore. (15:10)
Indeed sent We Our apostles with clear proofs, and sent
We down with them the Book and the Scale that people
may establish themselves in justice; and sent We down
from wherein is latent (in its use) mighty power and also
benefits for mankind and that God may prove who
helpeth Him and His apostles in secret; Verily God is
All-strong and Ever-Present. (75:25)

The advent of Muhammad1 the Last Apostie1
prophesied:

In the Old Testament:

The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from
the midst of thee of thy brethren, like unto me, unto him
shall ye hearken. (Dent. 18:25)

I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren
and will put My words into his mouth, and he shall speak
unto them all that I shall command him.
And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not
hearken unto My words which he shall speak in My name
I shall require it of him. (Deut. 18:18,19)

In the New Testament: The Holy Prophet Jesus had also
prophesied the advent of this Promised Guide:

And I will pray the Father, and he' will give you another
Comforter that he may abide with you for ever. (John
14:16)

Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you
that I go away, for if l go not away the Comforter will not
come unto you, and if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And when he is come he will reprove the world of sin and
of righteousness and of judgment (John 16:7,8)

But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the
Father will send in my name he shall teach you all things
and bring all things to your remembrance whatever I
have said unto you. (John 15:25)
I have yet many things to say unto you, but he cannot
bear them now. Howbeit, when the Spirit of Truth is
come, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall not
speak of himself whatsoever he shall hear that shall he
speak and he will show you things to come. (John 16:12-
13)

The above verses clearly identify the Holy Prophet Muhammad as
the one promised by God, and the Holy Qur'an as the Word of
God put into his mouth, and state that he will speak only that
which is revealed to him by God.

He (Our Apostle Muhammad) speaketh not by himself but
only that which hath been conveyed to him by revelation.
(53:3)

The quoted verses of the Christian Scriptures clearly show that
the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the "Comforter", "The Holy
Ghost", and "The Spirit of Truth" foretold by the Holy Prophet
Jesus, and "The Prophet" prophesied by Moses.
The Christian Scriptures further declare that the coming of
the Promised Prophet, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, had been
continuously prophesied by all the ancient prophets:

Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that
follow after, as many as have spoken have likewise
foretold these days (Acts 3:22)

The Apostleship of the Holy, Prophet Muhammad:

The following are a few of the verses of the Holy Qur'an
referring
to the position of the Holy Prophet Muhammad as the Apostle of
God:

And Muhammad is not but an Apostle; (other) apostles
have already passed away prior to him; Therefore if he
dieth or be slain, will ye turn upon your heels? And he
who turneth upon his heels will by no means do harm to
God in the least, and shortly will God reward the grateful
ones. (3:143)

Whatever good befalleth thee (O man) it is from God and
whatever evil befalleth thee, it is from thyself We have
sent thee (O Our Apostle Muhammad) unto mankind as
(Our) Apostle; and God is sufficient witness (thereof)
Whoso obeyeth the Apostle, he indeed obeyeth God;
and whoever turneth away, We have not sent thee upon
them to watch. (4:79-80)

O mankind! Verily the Apostle Muhammad hath come
unto you with truth from your Lord; Believe (in him), it is
good for you. (4:170)

Indeed hath come unto you an Apostle from among
yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress,
(he is) solicitous regarding your welfare, towards the
faithful (he is) compassionate, (and) merciful (9:128)

And We sent thee not (O Our Apostle Muhammad) but a
Mercy unto (all) the worlds. (21:107)

And We sent thee not (O Our Apostle Muhammad) but a
Bearer of glad tidings and a Warner (25:56)

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but an
Apostle of God and the seal of the prophets; and God is
Of all things ever the Knower. (33:40)

O (Our) Prophet (Muhammad), Verily We have sent thee
as a Witness, and as a Bearer of Glad Tidings and as a
Warner.
And as the Inviter unto God by His command, and
an illuminating torch.
And give you the glad tidings unto the believers that
there shall be for them from God a great grace. (33:45,
46,47)

And (O Our Apostle Muhammad), We sent thee not but
unto the whole of mankind, a Bearer of glad tidings and
a Warner, but most of the people know (it) not (34:28)

There are many other verses of the Holy Qur'an referring to the
Holy Prophet Muhammad and his unique position as the Last
Prophet of God.
Muhammad the Last Apostle of God:

The Holy Qur`an, the final Word of God, declares in clear terms
that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the last of the apostles of
God, meaning that no other Prophet, apostle or messenger will
ever come after him:

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but an
Apostle of God and the Seal of the prophets; And God is
Of all things ever the Knower. (33:40)

After this heavenly declaration, a Muslim has to believe as an
article of faith that no prophet did come, or will ever come,
after
the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and if any one claims to be a
prophet he is definitely a liar and an imposter.

Why Prophethood ended with the Holy Prophet:

Prophethood or apostleship is only the office through which the
Word of God is conveyed in revealing to the human world the
code of living or the religion. Prophet after prophet was sent to
various parts of the earth according to the mental evolution of the
different ages. Finally the divine guidance was consolidated in a
universal teacher to unite all mankind under a single
constitutional order in a final divinely regulated and perfect code.
The religion was finally declared to have been perfected and was
given the name "Islam", Submission.

This day have I perfected for you your religion, and have
completed my favour on you, and chosen for you Islam
(to be) the Religion.

The greatest of the favours of God is his guidance, and in
sending His last Apostle Muhammad and perfecting the religion
for man the divine favour was complete. Once perfected, there
was no need to send any other apostle. Hence the conclusion of
prophethood saw the institution of Imamat, the Divine Guidance
towards the true meaning of the Holy Qur'an and its correct
interpretation in practical life. Imamat is only for the
preservation of the Word of God and the correct guidance on the
path preached and practised by the last Apostle of God, the Holy
Prophet Muhammad.
The Strict Surrender to the Verdict of the Holy Prophet
demanded:

Every Muslim, as ordained by the following ordinance from the
Lord, must accept the verdict of the Holy Prophet without
reluctance and with implicit submission.


So No! By thy Lord! They believe not (really) until they
have set thee up as their judge in all that they dispute
about among themselves and thereafter find not in their
selves any vexation (at all) against what thou decideth
and submit (themselves) with total submission. (4:65)

Particularly concerning the faith, one must remember the verdict
of the Holy Prophet as to the only source of the correct meaning
of the Holy Qur'an:

I leave behind me amidst you Two great things, The
Book of God (the Holy Qur'an) and my Ahlul-Bait (the
members of the Holy Family, namely Ah and Fatema and
their godly issue). Should ye be attached to these Two,
never, never shall ye go astray from me, for verily these
Two will never be separated from one another or until
they meet me at the Spring of Kauthar
(See Tafsire-Kabir, Tafsire-Durre,
Manthur and others)

According to the above ordinance of God, and the declaration of
the Holy Prophet, every Muslim has to follow only Ameerul
Momineen Ali ibne Abi Taleb as his Maula or Lord in the place
of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet, before the great assembly
of the Hajies at Ghadeer-e-Khum while returning from his last
Haj (pilgrimage), which historic event none of the historians
could fail to report, raised All by the Prophetic strength of his
own arms from the improvised pulpit, declaring him to be the
Maula, the Guardian and Master of the Muslims in his place.
And immediately coming down from the pulpit, he commanded
every one to address All as the Ameerul-Momineen, and Omar
ibne Khattab was the first one commanded to do so, which he
did, acknowledging Ah as the Ameer, or the Commander of the
Faithful. Why the appointment of the Ameer by the Holy
Prophet was set aside, and whether setting aside the verdict of the
Holy Prophet and the appointment of another was legal and
acceptable is left to the readers to judge. The Holy Prophet had
declared:

Of whomsoever I am the Maula (or the Lord), this Ah is
his Lord.

Under the above apostolic declaration, he who holds the Holy
Prophet as his Lord must necessarily hold Ali as his Lord,
meaning that he who does not hold Ali as h is Lord, does not
hold the Holy Prophet as his Lord.
Be in known that it is under this divine ordinance of God
communicated to us through the Holy Prophet at Ghadeer-e-
Khum that the Shias, or the followers of the Islam- original,
follow Ali as their guide or Imam in the place of the Holy
Prophet Muhammad after his departure from this world. And to
identify themselves from those who do not follow the verdict of
God and the Holy Prophet, they call themselves the Shias of Ali,
ie. the followers of Ali, the Maula or the Ameer appointed by the
Holy Prophet at God's Command. The readers must judge
whether this is justifiable.

 

 

Index