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Basis in Hadith
The hadith, of course, are subject to the question of authenticity when we use it primarily as a source of what the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam taught. But it can also be used as a source of how Muslims in the first few centuries of the Islamic calendar understood his teachings.
The documentation of ahadith stating clearly that the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam was the last in the line of true prophets begins in the second century and continues up to the fourth century. In the second-century book, Sirat Rasulul Allah by Ibn Ishaq (d. 151), we read that on the eve of his departure for the battle of Tabuk:
The Messenger of God left Ali behind him to look after his family, and ordered him to stay with them. The hypocrites thereupon began to speak ill of him, saying that he had been left behind because he was a burden on him and he wanted to get rid of him. Taking his weapons, Ali went after the Messenger of God and caught up with him when he halted in al-Jurf. He told him what the hypocrites were saying. The Messenger of God replied: ‘They lie. I left you behind because of what I have left behind (i.e. my family), so go back as my representative to my family and yours. Are you not happy, Ali, that you stand in relation to me as Aaron did in relation to Moses (when he was left behind by Moses before going to the Mount Sinai), except that there will be no prophet after me?’ So Ali returned to Madinah and the Messenger of God went his way.
Also recorded in the second century, Jubayr bin Mutim (may Allah be pleased with him) said he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say:
I have several names: I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad, I am the al-Mahi (the Eradicator) through whom Allah will erase disbelief; I am the al-Hashir (the Gatherer) at whose feet mankind will gather; and I am al-Aqib (the final one) after whom there will be no Prophet. (Bukhari, Muslim and At-Tirmidhi)
Imam Ahmad recorded a narration from Ubayy bin Kab, from his father that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
My parable among the prophets is that of a man who built a house and did a good and complete job, apart from the space of one brick which he did not put in its place. The people started to walk around the building, admiring it and saying, If only that brick were put in its place. Among the prophets, I am like that brick. (At-Tirmidhi)
Other similar ahadith are also recorded.
The Prophet is the one missing brick, and he completes the house of prophethood so that no empty niche is left there to provide room for another prophet.
Narrated Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
I have been given preference over the other prophets in six ways: I have been given the ability to speak concisely; I have been aided by fear (cast into the hearts of my enemies); the spoils of war have been made permissible for me; the entire earth has been made a Masjid and a means of purification for me; I have been sent to all of mankind; and the prophets end with me. (Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
The Prophet (PBUH) also said:
Nothing is left of prophethood (after me) except al-mubashshirat. People said: What is meant by al-mubashshirat. He said: good dreams. (Bukhari, see also Muslim, Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad, the hadith about the forty-six parts of prophethood is also found in Mu’watta Malik)
In other words there is no possibility of prophetic revelation in the future. At the most if someone receives an inspiration from God he or she will receive it in the form of “good and true dreams.”
Incidentally, this and some of the other ahadith quoted earlier are consistent with what we said above, namely, that end of prophethood does not mean that all divine communication with individuals has ceased. Revelation has ceased but inspiration may still occur.
Outside Bukhari and Muslim, we find, in addition to the hadith about ‘Umar from Tirmidhi, the following:
One day the Prophet (PBUH) came out of his house and joined our company. His manner gave us the impression as if he were leaving us. He said: ‘I am Muhammad, the unlettered prophet of God’ and repeated this statement three times. Then he affirmed: ‘There will be no prophet after me.’ (Musnad Ahmad)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
There is no prophet after me and there is no community of followers (of true prophets) after my community. (Bayhaqi, Tabarani)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) affirmed:
The chain of messengers and prophets has come to an end. There shall be no messenger nor prophet after me. (At-Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad)
This last tradition answers a question that seems to have arisen in the interpretation of the Quranic verse 33:40. The verse describes the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the seal of the prophets which raised the question whether he also concluded the series of messengers. The tradition answers the question in the affirmative.
Since the revelation to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has been preserved since the time of revelation in its pristine form, and it is complete and perfect, there is no need for a new prophet nor any new revelation.
If people say Prophet Jesus (PBUH) will come after Muhammad (PBUH), the answer is that Jesus came before Muhammad and is only returning. On his return, Jesus will be a follower of Islam and Prophet Muhammad.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Walaikum Asalam and please keep in touch.
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