Wednesday, 9 October 2019

No Prophesy After Me Except the Mubashirat (Part 2)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The institution of prophesy is a divine blessing:
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ يَا قَوْمِ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنبِيَاءَ
When said Moses to his people: ‘O people remember the favor of Allah upon you when He made among you prophets’
(Sura 5:20)
So when the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) announced:
إِنَّ الرِّسَالَةَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ قَدِ انْقَطَعَتْ فَلاَ رَسُولَ بَعْدِي وَلاَ نَبِيَّ
‘Verily, apostlehood and prophesy have been terminated, so there is no apostle after me and neither a prophet.’
(Jami at-Tirmidhi #2272)
Sayyidina Anas bin Malik (radi Allahu anhu) narrates:
فَشَقَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ
‘The people were concerned about that.’ (ibid)

Unlike the contemporary mullas who seem to be very content with the idea that prophesy has ceased absolutely in every sense of the word (as they contend), the blessed Sahaba (radi Allahu anhum) were anxious and deeply concerned at the notion of the cessation of the divine institution and blessing of prophesy. That is why immediately after stating that the institution of prophesy has been terminated in his person, the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) qualified his statement and reassured his companions by revealing:
لَكِنِ الْمُبَشِّرَاتُ
‘But there shall be the Mubashirat’
رُؤْيَا الْمُسْلِمِ وَهِيَ جُزْءٌ مِنْ أَجْزَاءِ النُّبُوَّةِ
‘The vision of the Muslim which is a portion from the portions of prophesy.’
In the previous entry I explained with evidence that the Mubashirat is in it of itself a limited type of prophesy whose door is open until Judgment Day for the Muslim Umma. Keep in mind that while the gift of Mubashirat is a potentiality for every Muslim - male, female, adult and child - some Believers will excel in this institution, as the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) stated:
وَأَصْدَقُكُمْ رُؤْيَا أَصْدَقُكُمْ حَدِيثًا
‘The most truthful of you in vision is the most truthful of you in speech’
(Sahih Muslim)
In other words, there will be degrees in the manifestation of the gift of Mubashirat to the individuals of this Umma, and the most truthful of them shall naturally be gifted with these divine visions that are both a type of prophesy and a portion of prophesy with greater intensity, expression and frequency. Such individuals may be termed prophets in a figurative sense because they manifest within their persons a portion of prophesy and a specific form of prophesy that remains within this Umma.
Now those who in our time champion the cause of khatm an-Nubuwwa and argue that prophesy has ceased absolutely without qualification in every sense of the word, i.e., they subscribe to an unenlightened, narrow and intellectually defficient understanding of the Religion, often cite a statement that is attributed to the great Imam of jurisprudence, Abi Hanifa (rahimahullah):
وتنبأ رجل في زمن أبي حنيفة وقال : امهلوني حتى أجيء بالعلامات، فقال أبو حنيفة : من طلب منه علامة فقد كفر لقوله عليه السلام : «لا نبي بعدي
A man claimed prophesy in the time of Abi Hanifa and said: ‘Let me demonstrate signs (in favor of my prophesy).’ So Abu Hanifa said: ‘Whoever seeks from him a sign has disbelieved because of his (Prophet Muhammad’s) peace be upon him statement that there is no prophet after me.’
A certain Ahmad al-Makki has narrated this in his text entitled Manaqib al-Imam al-A’zam Abi Hanifa (v.1, p.161). However, as far as I can tell, this incident has no sanad and is therefore baseless. But if we accept it as a bonafide statement from Imam Abi Hanifa (rahimahullah) for the sake of argument, we must still reject it because such an idea clashes with the Holy Quran where Allah Most High repeated challenges the polytheist pagans, Jews and Christians to:
قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
‘Produce your proof if you are truthful’
The fact of the matter is that not every apparent claimant of prophesy should be dismissed outright (or worse - persecuted or murdered). On the contrary, every claimant’s claim should be carefully investigated. Is the claimant a professed follower of Islam, Prophet Muhammad and the Shari’a of Prophet Muhammad? Does he adhere to the Sunna and obey the divine commandments? Is he pious and of good character. Does he preach the Tawhid of Uluhiya and condemn shirk and innovations that have become common and widespread among the corrupt Muslims of our time? What particular sign or miracle does he present as a proof for his claim? These and other factors should be considered.

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