Section 5: No Believer Shall Have Any Choice Against the Command of the Prophet of Allah

Surah Al-’Ahzab – Verse 35

اِنَّ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ وَالْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْقَانِتَاتِ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالصَّادِقَاتِ وَالصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّابِرَاتِ وَالْخَاشِعِينَ وَالْخَاشِعَاتِ وَالْمُتَصَدّ‌ِقِينَ وَالْمُتَصَدّ‌ِقَاتِ وَالصَّآئِمِينَ وَالصَّآئِمَاتِ وَالْحَافِظِينَ فُرُوجَهُم ْوَالْحَافِظَاتِ وَالذَّاكِرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيراً وَالذَّاكِرَاتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْراً عَظِيمًا

35. “Verily the Muslim men and the Muslim women, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obedient men and the obedient women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women, and the humble men and the humble women, and the alms-giving men and the alms-giving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their modesty and the women who guard (their modesty), and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember Allah (much), for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.”

The Occasion of Revelation

A group of commentators have said that when ’Asma’ Bent-i-‘Umays, the wife of Ja‘far-ibn-Abitalib, accompanied with her husband, came back from Ethiopia, she went to visit the Prophet’s wives.

One of the questions she began asking was that whether there was anything of the verses of the Qur’an revealed about women. They responded a negative answer to her.

Then she came to the Prophet (S) and, concerning it, she said:

“O’ the Messenger of Allah! Women are in loss!”

The Prophet (S) asked her:


She answered:

“For the reason that there has not come in the Islam and Qur’an anything about the excellence of women.”

It was here that the above verse was revealed (and gave them certainty that the men and women are equal with Allah from the point of nearness and rank. The important thing is that they should have the conditions of excellence from the view of belief, action, and Islamic morals).

This verse has numerated ten virtues for the general men and women in the subjects of belief, ethics, and practice. If we study the differences that Arabs and non-Arabs used to consider between men and women and we search the heart-rending history of woman, the value of this verse will be made clear.

Next to the discussions about the duties of the Prophet’s wives mentioned in the former verses, now, in this verse, there are some comprehensive and expressive statements stated about the whole men and women as well as their outstanding qualities.

After mentioning ten specialties from among their ideological, ethical, and practical qualities, their great reward has been pointed out at the end of the verse.

A part of these ten specialties is about the stages of belief: (confession by the tongue, attesting by the heart, and practicing by the limbs).

Another part of them speak about controlling the tongue, the stomach, and lust, which are three important factors in the life and morals of human beings.

Another part of the discussion is about the subject of supporting the deprived, standing against hard and heavy events with patience, which is the root of faith, and finally, it is about the main element of the continuation of these qualities, i.e., remembering Allah.

It says:

“Verily the Muslim men and the Muslim women, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obedient men and the obedient women…”

Some commentators have taken the words: ‘Islam’ and ‘faith’ mentioned in the above verse, with the same meaning, but it is clear that this repetition indicates that the purpose of them is two different things.

It refers to the same matter which is mentioned in Surah Al-Hujurat, No. 49, verse 14, which says:

“The dwellers of the desert say: ‘We believe’. Say: ‘You do not believe but say: ‘We submit’, and faith has not yet entered into your hearts, and if you obey Allah and His Apostle, He will not diminish aught of your deeds; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

This shows that Islam is that very confession by tongue which sets man in the row of Muslims and includes him in their ordinances, but faith is something testified by the heart and mind. Some Islamic narrations have referred to this difference, too.

In a narration we read that one of the companions of Imam Sadiq (as) once asked him about the meaning of ‘Islam’ and ‘Faith’, and he also asked him whether they are different from each other.

In answer to him, the Imam (as) said:

“Yes, Faith accompanies Islam, but Islam may not accompany faith.”

The man requested him (as) to explain it more, and the Imam (as) continued saying:

“Islam is a confession denoting that there is no god but Allah, and testifying to the messengership of the Messenger of Allah (S).

Whoever confesses these two, his life will be protected (in Islamic government), the marriage of Muslims with him is permissible, and he can inherit from Muslims. Some group of people are involved in this very apparent of Islam.

But ‘Faith’ is a light of guidance and reality that will be established in the hearts from the quality of Islam, and by which the deeds will be appeared (and come into being).”1

The Arabic word /qanit/ is derived from the word /qunut/ in the sense of ‘obedience accompanied with veneration’, an obedience which originates from Faith and belief. This fact points to the practical aspects and effects of Faith.

Then, the verse refers to another man’s quality, which is one of the most important qualities of the true believers. That is, ‘tongue protection’.

It says:

“…and the truthful men and the truthful women…”

It is understood from the Islamic narrations that the man’s veracity of faith lies in the veracity of his tongue. A tradition says:

“A man’s faith does not become true until his heart becomes true; and his heart does not become true until his tongue becomes true.”2

And since the foundation of Faith is patience in difficulties and its function in spiritualities is as the function of ‘the head’ for ‘the body’, the fifth qualification of the believers stated as follows:

“…and the patient men and the patient women…”

On one side; we know that one of the worst ethical corruptions is pride and the love of rank.

The opposite point of it is humbleness, therefore concerning their sixth quality, the verse says:

“…and the humble men and the humble women…”

Besides the love of rank, the love of wealth is a great corruption, too, so that being captured in its grips is a painful captivity, and its opposite is charity and helping to the needy.

So, in their seventh quality, the verse says:

“…and the alms-giving men and the alms-giving women…”

We said that there are three things that if a man protects him from their vice, he will be secure from many ethical vices and corruptions. They are: tongue, stomach and sexual lust.

Here the verse points to the second and the third ones of these things as the eighth and the ninth qualities of the true believers as follows:

“…and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their modesty and the women who guard (their modesty)…”

At last, the verse refers to their tenth and their last quality, on which all former qualities depend for their continuation, where it says:

“…and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember Allah (much)…”

Yes, in any case and in any condition, they remove the curtains of negligence and unawareness from their hearts by the remembrance of Allah. By this means, they cast away the temptations of Satans, and if they may commit a fault, they immediately try to compensate it so that they do not become far from the straight way.

Concerning the purpose of the Arabic phrase: /ŏikr-i-kaθir/ (remembrance of (Allah) much), there are mentioned different commentaries in the Islamic narrations and in the statements of the commentators, so all of them are apparently of the kind of mentioning the denotation expansion, and the vast meaning of this phrase envelops all of them.

Among them is a tradition stated by the Prophet of Islam (S) who said:

“When a man awakens his wife at night and both of them make ablution and establish (night) prayer, they will be written among those men and women who remember Allah very much.”3

Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:

“Whoever recites Hadrat Zahra’s hymns at night he will be involved in this verse.”4

Some of commentators have said that the meaning of ‘the remembrance of Allah much’ is that a person remembers Allah in the states that he stands, he sits and at the time he goes to bed.

However, ‘remembrance’ is a sign of having thought, and contemplation is preliminary condition for action; and the aim is never a mere remembrance with no contemplation and practice.

At the end of the verse, the great reward of this group of men and women, who possess these ten abovementioned qualities, is stated as follows:

“…for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.”

At first, it washes out their sins which cause the pollution of their soul and spirit with the water of forgiveness. Then, He gives them a great reward, the greatness of which is not known to anyone save Allah (s.w.t.). In fact one of these two is for the negation of afflictions and the other is for the attraction of pleasures.

The application of the Qur’anic word /’ajran/ (reward) is itself an evidence for its greatness; and qualifying it by /‘azim/ (great) is an emphasis on this greatness; and also this greatness being absolute is another evidence for its vast scope. It is evident that the thing which Allah counts great is extraordinary great.

This point is also noteworthy here that the Arabic verb /’a‘adda/ (he has prepared), mentioned in perfect present tense, is a statement for showing the certainty of this reward and that there is no fail in it; or it is an indication that Paradise and its bounties are prepared just now for the believers.

At the end, you may also make notice of this matter that: sometimes some persons consider that Islam has set the main scale of personality for ‘men’ and women have not a fair considerable place in the programs of Islam.

May be, the source of their mistake is a few legal differences, while each of them has a particular reason and philosophy. But, apart from such differences that relate to their social position and natural conditions, there is not any difference between men and women in Islamic programs from the point of human aspects and spiritual ranks.

The abovementioned verse is a clear evidence upon this reality, because, at the time of stating the qualities of believers and the most fundamental theological and ethical issues, it has set them beside each other equally and has mentioned the same reward for both of them with no difference.

In other words, the bodily difference of man and woman, as well as their spiritual difference, can not be denied, and it is evident that this difference is necessary for the continuation of the system of the society of mankind and creates some effects in some legal laws of man and woman.

But never Islam criticizes the human personality of women, like the manner that some Christian clergymen in former centuries did. Islam does not consider any difference between man and woman from the point of human spirit.

Surah An-Nahl, No. 16, verse 97 in this regard says:

“Whoever does a righteous deed, whether male or female, and is a believer, We shall certainly give him to live a goodly pure life and, definitely, We will pay them a recompense in proportion to the reward for the best of what they used to do.”

Islam has maintained the same economical independence for woman that for man; (contrast to many laws of the former nations, and even today, that they absolutely maintain rather no economical independence for woman).

That is why that in Islamic biography and criticism of traditionists we find a particular section related to the learned women who were in the row of traditionists and jurisprudents whom have been mentioned as some unforgettable persons.

If we refer to the history of Arab before Islam and study the circumstance of the female in that society, that how they were deprived from the least human rights, and that occasionally they had not the right of living and some of them were buried alive after birth, and also if we observe the situation of woman in the world of today some of whom have been changed into the form of some unauthorized factors with no authority in the hand of some persons who claim civilization, we will testify that how a great service Islam has given to woman, and how a great right it has over them.

Surah Al-’Ahzab – Verse 36

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلاَ مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَي اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْراً أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً مُّبِينًا

36. “And it is not for any believer, man or woman, to have the choice in their affair when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger indeed he has strayed off a manifest straying.”

The commands of the holy Prophet (S) are incumbent to be fulfilled as those of Allah. In the system of religious government, obedience of Allah is superior to the people’s rules, because those people’s views are valuable which are not opposite to the ordinance of Allah.

However, we know well that the essence of Islam is ‘submission’, the submission that has no condition before the command of Allah.

This meaning has been stated in different verses of the Qur’an through various sentences; including the above verse which says:

“And it is not for any believer, man or woman, to have the choice in their affair when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter…”

They must make their will obedient to the Will of Allah in the same way that their whole entity is dependant to Him.

The Arabic term /qada/ (decree) in this verse is ‘a religious decree’, a law, a command, and an arbitration; and it is evident that neither Allah needs people’s obedience and submission, nor does the Prophet have any hope.

In fact, it is their own interests that sometimes, as the result of their limit information they (people) are not aware of them, but Allah knows and instructs them to His Messenger.

This is similar to the fact that a skilful physician tells a patient that he treats his sickness, if the patient absolutely submits his orders and never shows any interference from him. This is the utmost sympathy of the physician to the patient; and Allah is much higher than such a physician.

Therefore, at the end of the verse, this matter is pointed out where it says:

“…and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger indeed he has strayed off a manifest straying.”

Such a person will lose the path of happiness and will be drawn to wrong way and wretchedness; since he has ignored the command of the Lord of the world, the Beneficent, and that of His Messenger, which is guarantee of his good faith and happiness, and what a mislead is more manifest than this!

Surah Al-’Ahzab – Verse 37

وَإِذْ تَقُولُ لِلَّذِي أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ زَوْجَكَ وَاتَّقِ اللَّهَ وَتُخْفِي فِي نَفْسِكَ مَا اللَّهُ مُبْدِيهِ وَتَخْشَي النَّاسَ وَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَاهُ فَلَمَّا قَضَي زَيْدٌ مّـِنْهَا وَطَراً زَوَّجْنَاكَهَا لِكَيْ لاَ يَكُونَ عَلَي الْمُؤْمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ فِي أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَآئِهِمْ إِذَا قَضَوْا مِنْهُنَّ وَطَراً وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ مَفْعُولاً

37. “And (remember) when you said to him on whom Allah had conferred favour (of faith) and you (too) had conferred favour (of freedom): ‘Keep your wife (in wedlock) and be in awe of Allah’, and you concealed within your self what Allah would bring to light, and you feared the people, and Allah had a greater right that you should fear Him. But when Zayd had accomplished his concern with her (i.e., divorced her), we joined her in marriage to you, so that there should not be a difficulty for the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons when they have accomplished their concerns with them (i.e., have divorced them), and the command of Allah shall be performed.”

Then, the Qur’an refers to the well-known story of Zayd and his wife, Zaynab. This story relates to the story of the wives of the Prophet (S) which was mentioned in the former verses, and it is one of the sensitive issues of the life of the Prophet (S).

It says:

“And (remember) when you said to him on whom Allah had conferred favour (of faith) and you (too) had conferred favour (of freedom): ‘Keep your wife (in wedlock) and be in awe of Allah’…”

The objective meaning of ‘favour’ is the favour of faith and guidance which He had given to Zayd-ibn-Harithah, and the favour of the Prophet (S) was that he manumitted him and favoured him as his own son.

It is understood from this verse that there had happened a conflict between Zayd and Zaynab which continued so long that they were at the threshold of divorce. Regarding to the word /taqul/, which is a simple present Arabic verb, the Prophet (S) continuously and frequently advised and hindered them of being separated and divorced.

Whether this conflict was either for the lack of concord of the social condition of Zaynab, who was from a famous tribe, and that of Zayd, who was a manumitted slave, or because of some rude manners of Zayd, or neither of them, but there was not a spiritual and ethical accord between them.

Sometimes it happens that two persons are good but they are different from the point of thought and taste so that they can not continue their common life with each other.

However, there is not a complicated problem here, but the verse continues saying:

“…and you concealed within your self what Allah would bring to light, and you feared the people, and Allah had a greater right that you should fear Him…”

Of course, the Prophet (S) was going to choose Zaynab as his wife for compensating the defeat that his niece, Zaynab, was faced with that even a manumitted slave had divorced her if the activities of reconciliation between the two spouses were not successful and they had to accept to be divorced, but he (S) was afraid that people would object him for two things, and the opponents might raise a tumult about it.

The first: Zayd was the holy Prophet’s adapted son and, according to an ignorant custom, an adopted son had the same ordinances that a real son had. Among them was that they considered that to marry with the divorced wife of an adopted son was unlawful.

The second: How was the Prophet (S) ready to marry the divorced wife of a manumitted slave? Was it suitable for his rank?

It is understood from some Islamic narrations that, however, the Prophet (S) had made this decision by the command of Allah and there is a frame of reference upon this meaning in the later part of the verse.

Thus, this subject was an ethical and humane one, and also it was an effective means for breaking two wrong ordinances of the Age of Ignorance (marriage with the divorced wife of the adopted son, and marriage with the divorced wife of a slave).

So, the verse continues saying:

“…But when Zayd had accomplished his concern with her (i.e., divorced her), we joined her in marriage to you, so that there should not be a difficulty for the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons when they have accomplished their concerns with them (i.e., have divorced them)…”

And this action was something which should be fulfilled.

The verse continues:

“…and the command of Allah shall be performed.”

The Arabic term /’ad‘iya’/ is the plural form of /da‘iya/ in the sense of ‘adopted son’. The Arabic word /wataran/ means ‘an important need’.

The choice of this meaning concerning the divorce of Zaynab is, in fact, for the delicacy of the statement that it explicitly mentions ‘divorce’ so that it would not be considered as a blemish by women and even by men, as if these two had been in need of each other to have a common life with each other for a length of time, and their separation had been for the sake of the end of this need.

The application of the Qur’anic phrase /zawwajnakaha/ (we joined her in marriage to you) is an evidence that this marriage was a divine marriage.

That is why, as history indicates, Zaynab used to boast over other wives of the holy Prophet (S) for this matter and she said:

“You have been joined in marriage to the Prophet (S) by your relatives, but I have been joined in marriage to the Prophet (S) from heaven by Allah.”5

It is worthy noting that the act of Prophet’s marriage with Zaynab happened in the fifth A.H.6

Another notable matter is that, for removing any ambiguity, the Qur’an states very clearly that the main aim of this marriage had been breaking a pagan tradition in the field of self-restraint of marriage with the divorced wives of the adopted sons.

This is a general hint to the numerous marriages of the Prophet (S) which was not a simple matter, but it pursued some goals which had an effect in the fate of his godly school.

The Qur’anic sentence: “…the command of Allah shall be performed” points to this matter that in such issues we must show decisiveness, and an action which is performable should be performed, and being surrendered to the tumults, in the issues which relate to the general and fundamental goals, is meaningless.

Surah Al-’Ahzab – Verse 38

مَا كَانَ عَلَي النَّبِيّ‌ِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ فِيمَا فَرَضَ اللَّهُ لَهُ سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَراً مَّقْدُوراً

38. “There is no difficulty to the Prophet (in doing) that which Allah has ordained for him, and such has been the way of Allah with those who have passed before, and the command of Allah is a decree determined.”

This holy verse is as a resolution upon the previous verse indicating that a religious leader must be decisive and does not fear the blames nor does he wait for the consent of others. So, to complete the former discussions, this verse says:

“There is no difficulty to the Prophet (in doing) that which Allah has ordained for him…”

Wherever Allah commands him to do something, he must put it in action without any hesitation and nothing is permissible to be considered against it.

In carrying out the commands of Allah (s.w.t.), the heavenly leaders never must obey the words of others, or consider the political circumstances and the wrong customs existing in the environment. It may happen that that command is for breaking these very wrong conditions and wiping out the existing ugly innovations.

According to Qur’anic sentence which says:

“…do not fear the scorn of any blamer…”7,

they must fulfil the command of Allah without any fear from the blames and tumults.

In principle, if we want to wait to attract the consent and pleasure of everybody in order to carry out the command of Allah, such a thing is impossible. There are some groups of people who may be pleased only when we submit to their desires and that we follow their school.

The Qur’an says:

“For, never will the Jews be pleased with you nor the Christians unless you follow their religion…”8

And concerning the verse under discussion the matter was as such, since, as we said before, the marriage of the Prophet (S) with Zaynab, in the common thought of the people in that environment, consisted of two objects: one was marriage with ‘the wife of the adopted son’ which was like the marriage with the wife of a real son in their view; and this was an innovation which had to be broken out.

The other was the marriage of a personality such as the Prophet (S) with the divorced wife of a manumitted slave, which was a blemish and vice among those people, because it would make the Prophet (S) in a row with a slave.

This wrong culture should be dismissed, too, and some humane values might substitute it, and suitability of two spouses must be fixed only on the base of faith, Islam, and piety.

In principle, breaking the traditions and rooting out the superstitious and none-humane customs is always accompanied with oppositions, and the Divine prophets must never heed them. Therefore, in the next sentences, the verse implies that this way of treatment of Allah (s.w.t.) had been current for the prophets of the former nations and you are not the only one who is faced with such a difficulty.

The verse continues:

“…and such has been the way of Allah with those who have passed before…”

For fixing the decisiveness in such fundamental matters, at the end of the verse, it says:

“…and the command of Allah is a decree determined.”

The application of the sentence: “a decree determined” may refer to the certainty of Allah’s command, or it may refer to observing wisdom and interest in it, but the more suitable case for this verse is that both meanings might be used for it. That is, the command of Allah is both accurate and seriously indispensable.

It is interesting that we study in history that for the marriage with Zaynab, the Prophet of Allah (S) invited people for eating food so generally and vastly that he had not done it for any one of his wives.9

As if he wanted to show by this action that he would never be terrified by the superstitious traditions of his environment, but on the contrary, he boasted for performing this command of Allah. Moreover, by this way, he wanted to make the ears all over Arabia hear this breaking the pagan tradition.

Surah Al-’Ahzab – Verse 39

الَّذِينَ يُبَلّـِغُونَ رِسَالاَتِ اللَّهِ وَيَخْشَوْنَهُ وَلاَ يَخْشَوْنَ أَحَداً اِلاَّ اللَّهَ وَكَفَي بِاللَّهِ حَسِيباً

39. “Those who convey the messages of Allah and fear Him, and do not fear any one but Allah; and Allah is sufficient to take account.”

This verse refers to the conclusiveness and courage of the emissary in conveying the command of Allah to people, but we must know that in some aspects, in order to attract the hearts conciliation, mildness, and silence are necessary.

So, this verse points to one of the most important general programs of the Divine prophets, where, concerning them, it says:

“Those who convey the messages of Allah and fear Him, and do not fear any one but Allah…”

You, too, should not have the least horror from anyone in conveying the messages of Allah when He commands you to marry the divorced wife of your adopted son, Zaynab, in order to break the wrong pagan tradition in the field of marriage, and you must never afraid of the words of this one or that one, because this is the way of treatment of all Divine prophets.

In principle, the duty of the prophets in many stages is to break such traditions, and if they let them have the least fear in it, they will not be successful in fulfilling their messengership.

They must go forth conclusively, tolerate eagerly the wrong words of some opponents, and heedless to the evil circumstances and the plots of corruptive people, they must go on their own programs, because all accounts are in the power of Allah.

So, at the end of the verse, it says:

“…and Allah is sufficient to take account.”

He both keeps the account of the prophets’ devotions in this way to reward them, and takes account the wrong and evil words of the enemies to punish them.

In fact, the sentence: “Allah is sufficient to take account” is an evidence for this matter that the Divine leaders must not have any fear in conveying their messengership, since the reckoner of their labours and the giver of rewards is Allah.

The purpose of the Qur’anic term /yuballiqun/ here is ‘to convey’, and when it relates to ‘messages of Allah’, it means: whatever Allah has taught the Prophets in the form of revelation, they must teach people and cause them to penetrate into their hearts by means of reasoning, warning, glad tiding, advice, and admonition.

The Qur’anic word /xašyat/ is in the sense of fear accompanied with respect and veneration, and that is why it differs with the word /xauf/ which lacks this quality. It sometimes is used in the sense of ‘absolute fear’, too.

Surah Al-’Ahzab – Verse 40

مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ مِن رّ‌ِجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيّـِينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلّ‌ِ شَيْءٍ عَلِيماً

40. “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets, and Allah is Cognizant of all things.”

This holy verse is the only verse which consists of both the name of the holy Prophet (S) and has mentioned his messengership in the form of two titles: “Muhammad”, “The Messenger of Allah”, “The Seal of the Prophets”.

It is also the last word that Allah has stated here about the marriage of the Prophet (S) with ‘Zayd’s divorced wife’ for breaking a wrong pagan tradition. It is a short and compact answer as the last answer to them. By the way, this holy verse, with a special relationship, has stated here another important fact, i.e. the subject of being the seal of the prophets.

It says:

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men…”

That is, Muhammad was not the father of Zayd, nor that of any other men; and if one day he was called by this name, it was only an old custom which was dismissed by the advent of Islam and the descent of the Qur’an, and it was not a natural relationship.

The Prophet (S), of course, had some real children by the names of: Qasim, Tayyib, Tahir, and ’Ibrahim, but, according to the historians, all of them died in childhood, and, therefore, their names were not counted among the names of ‘men’.10

At the time of the revelation of the above verse, Imam Hassan and Imam Husayn (as), whom were called the Prophet’s children, were still young children, though later they reached old ages, so the sentence: “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men” surely had been true about everybody at that time. And if in some traditions we read that the Prophet (S) himself said:

“I and Ali are the fathers of this Ummah”

certainly his purpose was not to be a relative father, but this originated from his rank of teaching, training, and leading them.

Yet the marriage with the divorced wife of Zayd, that the Qur’an explicitly mentions its philosophy as for breaking the wrong traditions, was not a thing that caused murmurs among people, or that they could take it as a document for their evil aims.

Then, the Qur’an implicitly adds that your connection with the Prophet (S) is only through messengership and being the seal of the prophets.

It says:

“…but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets…”

Thus, the beginning of the verse causes the relative relation as a general rule and, at the end of the holy verse, it fixes the spiritual relation originated from messengership and being the seal of the prophets, by which the relation of the beginning of the verse with its end is made clear.

Moreover, the holy verse also hints to this facts that the Prophet’s passion is above the passion of a father to his child, because his passion is the messenger’s passion to the Ummah, specially the holy Messenger who knows there will come no messenger after him and he must foresee whatever is necessary for the Ummah until the Hereafter carefully and with utmost sympathy.

Of course, whatever has been needed in this field Allah (s.w.t.), the Knower, the Aware, has provided, including: the fundamentals of the Faith and the Articles of the Practice of the Faith, the universals and the details in all fields. So, at the end of the verse it says:

“…and Allah is Cognizant of all things.”

However, the Arabic word /xatam/, as philologists have said, means something by which the affairs are put to end. It also means something by which papers and the like are sealed.

The above verse is enough for proving that the Prophet of Islam (S) is the last divine prophet, but it is not the only evidence of the fact that the Prophet of Islam (S) is the seal of the prophets, because not only there are some other verses in the holy Qur’an which point to this meaning, but also there have been recorded numerous narrations in this regard.

In Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 19 we recite:

“…and this Qur’an has been revealed to me that I may warn you thereby, and whomever it reaches. Do you indeed testify that there are other gods with Allah?’ Say: ‘I do not testify’. Say: ‘He is only One God. And verily I am quit of that which you associate (with Him)’.”

The vastness of the concept of ‘whomever this statement reaches’ makes clear the universal messengership of the Qur’an and the Prophet of Islam (S), from one side, and the subject of ‘being the seal’ of the prophets, on the other side.

There are some other verses in the Qur’an which prove the generality of the invitation of the Prophet of Islam (S) for all humankind, such as: Surah Al-Furqan, No. 25, verse 1 that says:

“Blessed is He Who sent down the Furqan (the Distinction of right and wrong) upon His servant that he may be a warner to the worlds;…”.

Or like Surah Saba, No. 34, verse 28 that says:

“And We have not sent you to all mankind but as a bearer of glad tidings and as a warner, but most people do not know.”

And the verse that announces:

“Say: ‘O mankind! I am the messenger of Allah to you all…”11

The vast meanings of the Qur’anic words /‘alamin/ (the worlds), /nas/ (mankind), and /kaffatun/ (all) also verify this concept.

Besides that, the consensus of the scholars of Islam from one side, and the necessity of this matter among Muslims, on the other side, and the numerous narrations cited by the Prophet (S) and other leaders of Islam, on the third side, make the matter more clear. Here, we suffice to a few examples of the narrations:

1- A tradition from the Prophet (S) indicates he said:

“My lawful things are lawful until the Day of Hereafter, and my unlawful things are unlawful until the Day of Hereafter.”12

This meaning shows that the continuation of this religion is until the end of the world.

The abovementioned tradition has also been narrated in this form:

“The lawful (things) of Muhammad is always lawful until the Day of Hereafter, and his unlawful (things) is always unlawful until the Day of Hereafter. There will not be (anything) other than that and there will not come (anything) other than them.” 13

2- The famous tradition of Manzilat which has been recorded in different books of two great sects of Islam: Sunnites and Shi‘ites, about the event of remaining Ali (as) in Medina in place of the Prophet when he (S) went out toward the Battle of Tabuk, makes the subject of the seal of prophets completely clear, too.

This tradition denotes that the Prophet (S) told Ali (as):

“You are to me like Aaron to Moses save that there is no prophet after me.”

(Therefore, you have all the positions of Aaron with respect to Moses but prophethood.)14

In another tradition from the Prophet (S) we read he said:

“I came and put an end to the prophets.”15

The above tradition is also mentioned in Sahih-i-Bukhari16, in Musnad-i-Ahmad Hanbal, in Sahih-i-Tarmathi, Nisa’i and many other books. It is one of very famous traditions which has been referred to by the commentators of Shi‘ites and Sunnites, such as Tabarsi in Majma‘-ul-Bayan, and Qurtubi in his commentary under the verse.

3- The holy Prophet of Islam (S), as the seal of the prophets, has also been explicitly mentioned in many sermons of Nahj-ul-Balaqah, including sermon No. 173 which, qualifying the Prophet of Islam (S), says:

“The Prophet is the trustee of Allah’s revelation, the last of His prophets, the giver of tidings of His mercy and the warner for His chastisement.”

In sermon No. 133 we recite about the holy Prophet (S):

“Allah deputed the Prophet after a gap from the previous prophets when there was much talk (among the people). With him Allah exhausted the series of prophets and ended the revelation…”

After numerating the programs of the former prophets, the first sermon of Nahj-ul-Balaqah continues saying:

“…Allah deputed Muhammad (S) as His Prophet, in fulfilment of His promise and in completion of His prophethood…”

4- At the end of the sermon of Farewell Pilgrimage, which the Prophet (S) expressed in his last pilgrimage and in his last year of his life as an inclusive testament for people, the subject of being last Prophet has also been stated, where it says:

“Behold, and the present ones of you convey the absent ones of you (that) there is no prophet after me, and there will be no (other) Ummah after you.”

Then he raised his hands to the heaven so high that the whiteness of his armpit appeared and said:

“O Allah! Bear witness that verily I conveyed (what I should say).”17

5- There is a tradition recorded in Kafi narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) who said:

“Allah ended the prophets with your Prophet, therefore there will be no prophet after him at all; and with your Book He put an end to the heavenly Books, therefore there will be no Book after it at all.”18

In this regard there are a great deal of traditions recorded in Islamic sources, in a manner that there are cited 135 traditions upon this subject in the books of Islamic scholars narrated from the Prophet (S) and the great leaders of Islam.19

  • 1. ’Usul-i-Kafi, Vol. 2, P. 21
  • 2. Mahajjat-ul-Bayda’, Vol. 5, P. 193
  • 3. The commentary by Qurtabi, and Majma‘-ul-Bayan under the verse
  • 4. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse under discussion
  • 5. Kamil by Ibn-i-’Athir, Vol. 2, P. 177
  • 6. Ibid
  • 7. Surah Al-Ma’idah, No. 5, verse 54
  • 8. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 120
  • 9. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Vol. 8, P. 361
  • 10. The commentary of Qurtubi and the commentary of Al-Mizan, following the verse
  • 11. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 158
  • 12. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Vol. 2, P. 260
  • 13. ’Usul-i-Kafi, Vol. 1, chapter Al-Bad‘-war-Ra’y, tradition 19
  • 14. This tradition has been narrated by Muhibb-ud-Din Tabari, in Zakha’ir-ul-‘Uqba, P. 71; and by Ibn-i-Hajar, in Sawa‘iq-ul-Muhraqah, P. 177; and Tarikh-i-Baqdad, Vol. 7, P. 452; and some other books like Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, and Yanabi‘-ul-Muqaddah
  • 15. Sahih-i-Muslim, Vol. 4, P. 1790-1791
  • 16. Kitab-ul-Manaqib
  • 17. Bihar, Vol. 21, P. 381
  • 18. ’Usul-i-Kafi, Vol. 1
  • 19. Ma‘alim-un-Nubuwwah, section: The Last Prophet.