Saturday, 21 October 2017

Twelver Shiite Rejection of Khatam-an-Nubuwwa

In the Urdu translation of the renowned Twelver Shiite book Jilaa al-Ayoon of Mulla Baqir Majlisi, translated by ‘Allama’ Sayyid Abdul Hussain, the Twelver Shi’a ellucidate their dogma that the members of the Prophet’s Household, or Ahlul Bayt, particularly the Twelve Imams, each possessed the quality of Nubuwwa (prophethood) within them, despite technically not being prophets:
پس جناب امیر اور دیگر اہل بیت رسول بھی بعد رسول مثل رسول بقول اس آیت کے ولی ہیں۔ اور تمام انبیاء سے افضل ہیں۔ اور ان پر اطلاق نبوت و رسالت اس لۓ نہیں کہ نبوت جناب محمد مصطفی پر ختم ہے۔ آپ کے بعد کوئی نبی و رسول نہیں۔ لیکن معیار نبوت و رسالت سب اہل بیت میں تھا۔ اگر نبوت و رسالت ختم نہ ہوتی تو یہ بارہ کے بارہ ا‏ئمہ اہل بیت نبی و رسول ہوتے۔
 
“Therefore, Amir [Ali b. Abi Talib] and other Ahli Bait of the Messenger are, after the Messenger, like Messengers, according to this Ayat, Awliya. And they are superior to all of the Prophets. And the application of Nubuwwat (prophecy) and Risalat (messenger-ship) is not upon them because Nubuwwat is sealed with Prophet Muhammad Mustafa. After him there is no Prophet or Messenger. However, the quality of Nubuwwat and Risalat was in everyone of the Ahli Bait. If Nubuwwat and Risalat were not ended, then each of the Twelver Imams of the Ahli Bait would have been Prophets and Messengers.”
 
Reference: Jilaa al-Ayoon; v.2 p.20 (Urdu translation)

 
It is my contention that the Twelver Shi’a are in fact deniers of the Khatam-an-Nubuwwa or Finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad . Although they believe that technically the Twelve Imams are not to be called ‘Prophets’, but by believing that the Twelve Imams not only possess the substance and peculiar characteristics of Nubuwwa, but that the Twelve Imams are in fact superior to all actual Prophets, for all intents and purposes, the Twelver Shi’a believe that their Twelve Imams are essentially Prophets.

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