Commentary (Tafseer) of Khatam un-Nabiyyin
"Behold! thou didst say to one who had received the grace of God and thy favor: "Retain thou (in wedlock) thy wife and fear God". But thou didst hide in thy heart that which God was about to make manifest: thou didst fear the people but it is more fitting that thou shouldst fear God.
"Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee: in order that in future there may be no difficulty to the believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter had dissolved with the necessary (formality-their marriage) with them. And God's command must be fulfilled.
"There can be no difficulty to the Prophet in what God had indicated to him as a duty. It was the way of God amongst those of old that have passed away. And the command of God is a decree determined.
"(It is the practice of) those who preach the message of God and fear Him, and fear none but God. And enough is God to call (men) to account. Mohammed is not the father of any of your men, but (he) is The Apostle of God and the last of the Prophets. And God has full knowledge of all things". (Qur'an, 33:37-40)
This (verse) is revealed in the fifth Ruku of Chapter Al-Ahzab. In this 'Ruku' Allah has replied to the objections of the unbelievers and the hypocrites, who were ridiculing and slandering the Holy Prophet because of his marriage with Ummul-Mumineen Zainab bint Jahash.
They said that Zainab was previously married to Zaid bin Haritha, who prior to Islam, was adopted by the Holy Prophet as his son. The detractors said, as such Zainab was the daughter-in-law of the Holy Prophet; and when the Holy Prophet married her, after her divorce from Zaid, he married his daughter-in-law which is haram even in the Shari’ah brought by Muhammad (S).
Replying to that, Allah said in verse No. 37 that that marriage was entered into by the order of Allah, and performed by Allah so that the Muslims should be made free to marry the wives of their adopted sons if the said so-called sons were to divorce them.
Verses Nos. 38 and 39 declare that no power can detract a prophet from doing what he was told by Allah to do. And it is not the job of the prophet to be afraid of the masses in performing the commands of Allah. They fear only Allah, and no one else. And it is the way of Allah from ever that makes the prophets to convey the message of Allah without any hesitation, without taking anything else into their consideration.
After that comes this verse; and it cuts at the roots of all such objections of the enemies of the Holy Prophet (S).
Their first objection was that the Holy Prophet had married his daughter-in-law, which is forbidden in Islam. Replying to that, Allah said:
"Muhammad was not father of anyone from among your men folk".
It reminds the unbelievers that Zaid bin Haritha (whose divorcee Zainab was), was not the son of the Holy Prophet, and as such Zainab was not the daughter-in-law of the Holy Prophet. Marrying the divorcee of Zaid therefore cannot be said to be forbidden by any logic. Even his enemies knew that Muhammad was not the father of Zaid.
Second objection: Agreed that Zaid was not the son of the Holy Prophet
by birth; but was he not his son by adoption? Agreed that it was not
illegal for Muhammad to marry the divorced wife of Zaid. But was that
marriage necessary? Agreed that that marriage was legal and lawful. But
what was the need of entering into such a marriage which could make
Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) the target of ridicule?
Replying to that, Allah said:
"But Muhammad is the messenger of' Allah".
The significance of this answer is that, being a Messenger of Allah, it was essential for him to remove all superstitions and prejudices and all baseless taboos which were choking the life out from the society. It was essential for him to act in such a way that nobody could remain in any doubt about the legality of such marriages and about the fact that an adopted son was not a son at all.
Then comes the phrase:
"'The Last of The Prophets".
The significance of this phrase is that, after the Holy Prophet of Islam not even a prophet is to come (let alone a Rasul whose job is to bring a new Shari'ah). No prophet was to come after him, so that if any deficiency were left unreformed in the legal or social system of the society or religion, the later prophet would remove that defect.
Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) was the last Messenger; he was the Last Prophet.
And therefore it was essential for him to effect reforms to all the bad
practices of the society, to refute all superstitions during his
lifetime, because there was no Nabi to come after him, let alone a
Then comes the sentence:"
And Allah has the full knowledge of everything".
Why this assertion? Allah wants to convey the idea that Allah knows that if Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) left this world without reforming the bad elements of the society, no prophet was to come after him to fill that gap; and if Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) without giving effect to all the reforms of the society, no such person was ever to appear who would have such respect, prestige and reverence among the masses that his every word and his every action would have the force of Law.
It was the prerogative of the Holy Prophet of Islam; and nobody had, or was to have, such respect that if he did one thing it became lawful for up to Qiyamah (Resurrection day), and if he forbade one thing, that became unlawful for up to Qiyamah. This prestige was bestowed by Allah upon the Last Prophet and Allah knew that if he did not reform such bad customs no other person would ever be able to give effect to such reforms after the Holy Prophet.
Looking at this verse in this context, it is crystal clear that we
cannot accept a new meaning to this verse invented by a homemade
claimant of prophethood from Qadian, that 'Khatam un-Nabiyyin' means
'Seal of the prophets" which in its turn means that the prophets coming
after the Holy Prophet of Islam would become prophet by the seal of the
seal of the Holy Prophet, and by his confirmation. If we were to
entertain such idea, all the force and logic will be wiped out. Not only
that it will lose its logic - it will be tantamount to refuting whatever
was put forward in the preceding phrases and sentences. This verse will
become a self-contradictory statement.
We have seen that Allah wanted to reply to the objections of the enemies of the Holy Prophet, by saying that:
The Holy Prophet married Ummul-Mumineen Zainab bint Jahash by order of Allah.
The aim of that marriage was to remove the prejudice and superstition and traditional taboo of the pagan Arabs and many other nations who treated the adopted sons as the real sons.
It was necessary, nay essential for Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) to marry the divorced wife of his adopted son, so that Muslims should not feel shy of such marriages; they should be persuaded by the practical example of the Holy Prophet that such marriages are perfectly lawful, because an adopted son is no son at all.
To show the urgency of those marriages, Allah says that Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) is the Messenger of Allah and it was Imperative for him to give effect to that marriage to provide a practical example.
And then the Qadianis say that, Allah says: "Many Prophets will come after Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) who will be made Prophets by the confirmation from him, and who will be in a position to give effect to whatever reforms were needed in their times”.
And what would have been the effect of such declaration?
As soon as the enemies of the Holy Prophet (S) were to learn this they would easily have said:" Then what was the urgency that Muhammad himself should perform this marriage; to show the Muslims legality of such marriages? As other prophets were to come after him, any other prophet could have legalized such marriages by showing his own example! There was no need on the part of Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) to perform that marriage".
Thus, the whole force of the arguments showing the urgent need of that marriage is negated, wiped out and cancelled. Not only this: a weapon is given in the hands of the enemies of the Holy Prophet to attach him and ridicule him saying that "he married the divorced wife of his son while there was no urgency for him to do so. After all, other prophets coming after him could have shown to the world that there was nothing wrong in such marriages”.
It is clear from this explanation, that if the interpretation of the Qadianis is accepted then not only the logic of the replies will be lost, but the verse will become a mass of contradictory statements. Allah says:
"If this Qur'an would have been from other than Allah, then they would have found in it much contradiction." (Qur'an 4:82)
If an interpretation creates contradictions in a verse, it means that that interpretation is not from Allah; it is from other than Allah - it is from Satan.
Another interpretation d the Qadianis is that 'Khatam un-Nabiyyin' means 'Afzal un-Nabiyyin' i.e., Muhammad is the superior to all prophets. In other words, other prophets would come after him, but he is the greatest, most respected and most honored of all prophets.
Apart from the fact, that this interpretation shows that Qadianis themselves are not same what new meaning they should give to the phrase 'Khatam un-Nabiyyin', the same defect of contradiction is inherent in that interpretation also.
How? The unbelievers and the hypocrites could have retorted that when other prophets were to come after Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S), though inferior to him, but prophet of Allah all the same, they could have carried out such reform and that there was no need or urgency for Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) to perform that marriage and put himself in ridicule unnecessarily.