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  • 9/19/2012

Nahjul Balagah and its Lessons for the Mankind 

part 30


The End of Prophethood

”‍... Among them was either a predecessor who would name the one to follow or the follower who had been introduced by the predecessor." (Sermon 1, Nahj-ul-Balagha)

In the previous lesson, we mentioned that human beings have never suffered from the absence of the Prophets or revealed Books. Here in the above statement, the Commander of the Faithful points out that all the Prophets have had the same direction, although their followers stand against each other today (Jews against Christians and Christians against Muslims ... ) He actually means that there have been no dispute or quarrel among the Prophets, all of them traversing the same path, conveying the same message and knowing each other quite well. Everyone of them introduced the Prophet after him and talked honorably about the one before him. For example, Moses informed his followers that Jesus Christ would be his successor and Jesus Christ mentioned, in turn, the name of Moses. Thus, the disputes and wars running among the followers of the Prophets are quite illogical, originating from egotism and selfishness.

We see, therefore, that this situation (the successive coming of the Prophets, heavenly Books and the Prophets' followers such as the Imams) continued along with history and humanity's evolution till God appointed Muhammad peace and the mercy of God be upon him and upon his, descendants as the last Prophet.

In this regard, the Commander of the Faithful continues with the following words: «In this way, ages passed by and time rolled on, fathers passed away while sons took their places till God deputed Muhammad (peace and the mercy of God be upon him and his descendants) as His Prophet, in fulfillment of His promise and in completion of His Prophethood.»

What has God promised which should definitely be fulfilled? The answer can be traced in the Qur'an where it gives good tidings, in the words of Jesus Christ, of the advent of Muhammad, saying: ”‍And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said.- 0 children of Israel, I am the apostle of God(sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of an Apostle to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. ...It is He who has sent His Apostle with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion ... » (61: 69)

Thus, God's promise is the victory of Mohammed's religion (or prophethood) over all of humanity's intellectual courses and social experiences. This does not mean, however, that during the Prophet's lifetime this aim should have been achieved (as it was not achieved in practice due to the Prophet's departure), nor does it mean that the Prophet of Islam should, in the long run, overcome all religions, nations and schools of thought (although this has been realized many times in history and the Islamic government has approached a worldwide extent)

The proclamation of truth actually has a more delicate significance. In fact, the thought and mentality of human beings and their creativeness, initiative and innovation increasingly provide them with new ways and manners.

Ideologies come into being, grow up and become widespread in this way, and thinkers and philosophers (such as Plato Socrates and ... ) make their plans for humanity's social life or the basis of these new ways and manners.

Now, the path (school) of the Prophets will gain absolute victory over all the ways designed by human beings at a time when the whole content of the prophethood is given to the people. The path of Moses was certainly the path of God but no one claims that it was the most perfect path ever disclosed for humanity. It was quite appropriate for the time of Moses but it lacked that much capacity to encompass various necessities of human life at all ages and times. It is likely that such man-made schools of thought shall appear in the course of the coming centuries as to be more perfect than the school (religion) of Moses.

Thus, Moses' religion was not the one to overcome all other schools and religions because the line of prophecy had not come to an end and the cup of prophethood had not overflowed. Moses filled a part of this cup and Jesus filled another part but they could not go forward because human beings did not have the capacity to absorb more. The people were, in effect, mentally weak. Otherwise, God would have bestowed on them the whole message of prophethood through His first appointed Prophet.

But when the people got the essential readiness, God deputed His Last Messenger to provide them with all (the knowledge and awareness) that could be contained in the human mind and to complete the culture of prophethood, fulfilling the divine promise and overcoming all religions and man-made schools of thought.7



Other Links:

Nahjul Balagah and its Lessons for the Mankind (part 25)

Nahjul Balagah and its Lessons for the Mankind (part 26)

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