Unveiling the Historical Context of the Finality of Prophethood in Islam

Historical Context of the Finality of Prophethood in Islam 

The concept of the finality of Prophethood holds a pivotal place in Islamic theology, affirming the belief that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last and final messenger sent by Allah to guide humanity. To comprehend the significance of this doctrine, it is essential to delve into the historical context in which it emerged and the Quranic injunctions that affirm it.

Historical Context:

The emergence of Islam in 7th-century Arabia took place amidst a backdrop of polytheism (worshipping more than one god), tribal rivalries, and socio-political upheaval. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born into the Quraysh tribe in the city of Mecca, where idol worship and economic disparities prevailed. As he received revelation and began preaching monotheism (worshipping one God), his message challenged the existing power structures and religious norms of the time.

The Quranic Revelation:

The Quran, revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) over twenty-three years, serves as the primary source of guidance for Muslims, and contains several verses affirming the finality of Prophethood. In Quran,

Surah Al-Ahzab (33:40), Allah declares, “Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets.” This verse unequivocally establishes Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the Seal of the Prophets, marking the culmination of divine guidance. This verse explicitly states that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last messenger sent by Allah, thereby affirming the finality of Prophethood in Islam.

Surah Al-Ma’idah (5:3): In this verse, Allah says, “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” The completion of religion signifies that the guidance brought by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is comprehensive and final, leaving no need for further prophets or revelations.

Now let’s read the Hadiths, emphasizing the finality of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) prophethood:

Sahih Muslim, Book 30, Hadith 5834:

Narrated by Abu Huraira: “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: My similitude in comparison with the other prophets before me is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a corner. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty, but say: ‘Would that this brick be put in its place!’ So I am that brick, and I am the last of the prophets.”

Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 162:

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: “I have been favoured over the Prophets in six ways: I have been given the gift of concise speech, I have been supported with fear, the spoils of war have been made permissible for me, the whole earth has been made a place of prayer for me and a means of purification, and I have been sent to all of mankind, and the line of prophets has ended with me.”

Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, Hadith 651:

Narrated by Abu Huraira: “The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘Allah has not sent any prophet but me, and I was sent to all mankind.'”

Sahih al-Bukhari 4416, Book 64, Hadith 438

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) set out for Tabuk. Appointing `Ali as his deputy (in Medina). `Ali said, “Do you want to leave me with the children and women?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Will you not be pleased that you will be to me like Haroon to Moses? But there will be no prophet after me.”

These Hadiths clearly affirm the finality of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) prophethood, his unique position among the prophets, and his mission to all of humanity. They serve as a reminder to Muslims of the completeness and universality of the message brought by the Seal of the Prophets.


The historical context in which the concept of the finality of Prophethood emerged in Islam underscores its significance as a central tenet of faith. Rooted in the Quranic revelation and affirmed by the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the finality of Prophethood serves as a foundational principle that shapes Islamic belief, identity, and worldview. 

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