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The Quran => Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only => : Reader Questions April 04, 2014, 12:51:29 AM

: Regarding your article titled 'End of Prophethood - Continuation of Messengers'
: Reader Questions April 04, 2014, 12:51:29 AM
I had a chance to go through your following article
Honestly, I am a bit confused and worried. Prophethood came to an end 1400 years ago. But you say that messengers are different and could still come. So my concern is who could be the possible messengers for past 1400 years? What if we just consider them a normal human being? If we don't call a Messenger 'A Messenger' specifically, then are we going to end committing a sin and/or blasphemy ? 
Same types of arguments have been used by Ahmadis and No.19 Group/Sect in the past, therefore I am a bit uncomfortable or worried with your points to be honest.

Moreover, it has been said that everyone from Adam A.S. till Prophet Mohammad SAW was a Nabi or Prophet and  we are not suppose to differentiate or give status amongst the Prophets sent by God. But Prophets also came with scriptures so can we assume that number of Books are equal to the number of Prophets?  Then how are you going to explain Jews having just Torah despite receiving guidance from Moses, Ishmael, Zechariah and Aaron and many more. Did Prophets came with complete scriptures or just parts of it / them in those cases?

God Bless you
Allah Hafiz and Take Care
: Re: Your article titled 'End of Prophethood - Continuation of Messengers'
: Joseph Islam April 04, 2014, 12:54:02 AM
Wa alaikum assalam brother,
Please don't be confused or worried. What have believers to worry about? That a messenger might come into our midst or someone might come to present clear messages of the scripture to others? Why should that be a cause for worry other than such a belief may conflict with what we have been taught from childhood?
After all, we must be prepared to put ‘confirmation bias’ aside (the tendency of individuals to prefer or seek out information that confirms their existing beliefs).
Ultimately, it is not important what I believe, or want to believe, or what you may respectfully believe or want to believe. As I trust you will appreciate, we are only to derive the best arguments from the Quran. If the Quran says messengers will come then who are we to argue? As you read in the article, verses are quite clear in what they state.
"O ye Children of Adam! whenever there come to you messengers from among you, rehearsing My verses (Arabic: ayati) to you, those who are righteous and mend (their lives), on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve"
I can't comment on '19ers' or 'Ahmadi's' as I am neither of these groups. I am simply a student of the Quran and disagree on many points with these groups. Prophets do come with books and or authority or even confirm a Book in their midst (like prophet Aaron aiding prophet Moses with authority).
It is also incorrect to say that the Jews only had the Torah. The 'Tanakh' which is the canon of the Hebrew 'Bible' consists of the 'Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim. The Nev'im (Prophets) includes books such as Joshua, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Jonah, Zechariah and others. The Quran implicitly confirms this.
Say: "We believe in God, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and what was given to Moses, Jesus, AND THE PROPHETS, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Him we are submissive" 
The Psalms given to David is mentioned separately (4:163)
The Quran also shows distinction between the scrolls of Moses and that of Abraham (87:19) implying that the latter document may have also been in possession of the 7th century community.
Therefore dear brother, please do not be alarmed. Just assess the verses that have been shared and allow them to speak to you with an open mind.
Only God knows how many 'ordinary humans' have passed on the 'message' to their communities all over the world at different time and how many will continue to do so in their capacity as message bearers.
"And for every nation there is a Messenger. And when their Messenger comes (on the Day of Judgment) it will be judged between them fairly, and they will not be wronged"
I hope this helps, God willing
: Re: Your article titled 'End of Prophethood - Continuation of Messengers'
: Reader Questions April 04, 2014, 12:55:03 AM
Thanks brother.
It really helped me. But based on that if I see someone trying to clear Message of the Quran and my heart or sixth sense says that he could be a messenger too albeit with his own personal shortcomings and weaknesses, and I also differ with him on some points (in a respectable way) and refuse to call him a Messenger. Then, would I be held accountable in the court of God?
Can messenger be sinless or just an ordinary human being?

Best regards,
: Re: Your article titled 'End of Prophethood - Continuation of Messengers'
: Joseph Islam April 04, 2014, 12:57:21 AM
Dear brother,

You are only expected to adhere to an argument or a message as long as it satisfies your conscience and rational mind. It is only when you know deep inside that an argument X is true or is very convincing, yet you still carry on denying it, that is when one enters the realm of disbelief.

Also please remember, that even prophet Muhammad was expected to be followed up till the point a believer considered his view to be right. Please take a look at the following verse:

"O Prophet! When believing women come to you to take the oath of allegiance / pledge to you (Arabic: yubayi'naka) that they will not associate in worship any other thing whatsoever with God, that they will not steal, that they will not commit adultery (or fornication), that they will not kill their children, nor produce any lie that they have devised between their hands and feet, and that they will not disobey you in any just matter (or what is right / good), then accept their allegiance and pray to God for forgiveness for them: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
The highlighted part in Arabic reads "wa la (and not) ya'sinaka (they will disobey you) fi ma'rufin (the right)” or in a more fluid expression:

‘that they will not disobey you in any just matter (or what is right / good)’
‘ma'rufin’ in Arabic in this context clearly refers to anything which is fair, just, right, recognised and honourable.
This point is actually very significant as it challenges the common Muslim thinking that:

(a) A prophet or messenger should be obeyed in total submission, without reflection, in every matter blindly and without any question whatsoever (which in itself stands in some tension with the advice given in verse 17:36 - "And do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed! the hearing and the sight and the heart - of each of these you will be questioned"). This level of 'bayt' (allegiance) has often given unwarranted licence to many false prophets and cult leaders to take full advantage of their vulnerable followers.
(b) That a prophet or messenger can never make errors of judgment which clearly is not the case as shown in the Quranic references below.

066.001                Prophet questioned for banning something which he should not have done.
080.001                The prophet frowned (abasa) and turned away. The complete narrative is an admonishment (80.11).
009:113                Praying for disbelievers when it was not fit for the Prophet to do so.
008:067-069       The Prophet should not have taken prisoners of war unless certain conditions had been met.

Therefore, I believe that one is only held accountable for the clear message that they deny. It doesn’t matter who has delivered it. So what really matters is what you believe inside not what you say. God knows what is inside your heart.

We all have shortcomings. It is part of human nature. Messengers are also human beings.

I hope that helps, God willing