The advent of a prophet is not an everyday occurrence. Nor is the presence in person of the Prophet essential for every land, people and period. The life and teachings of the Prophet are the beacon to guide a people to the right path, and as long as his teachings and his guidance are alive he is, as it were, himself alive.
The teachings of earlier prophets have been adulterated by their followers, their instructions were distorted and their life-examples were besmirched by attaching fictitious events to them.
Not one of the earlier books – Torah, Zabur (Psalms of David), Injil (Gospel of Jesus), for example – exists today in its original text and even the adherents of these books confess that they do not possess the original books.
The life-histories of the earlier Prophets have been so mixed up with fiction that an accurate and authentic account of their lives has become impossible. Their lives have become tales and legends and no trustworthy record is available anywhere.
Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) teachings stand uncorrupted and are incorruptible.
The Qur’an – the book he gave to mankind – exists in its original text, without a word, syllable or even letter having been changed.
The entire account of his life – his sayings, instructions and actions-is preserved with complete accuracy.
In everything affecting our lives we can seek the guidance of Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) and the example of his life. That is why there is no need of any other Prophet after Muhammad, the last Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him).
Furthermore, there are four conditions which necessitate the advent of a new Prophet over and above the need to replace a deceased Prophet. These may be summed up as follows:
That the teachings of the earlier Prophets have been distorted or corrupted or they have died and their revival is needed.
That the teachings of the Prophet who has passed away were incomplete and it is necessary to amend them, improve on them or add something to them.
That the earlier Prophet was raised for a particular nation or territory and a Prophet for another nation, people or country is required.
The situation when a Prophet is raised to help and assist another Prophet.
None of these conditions exist today. The teachings of the last Prophet Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) are alive, have been fully preserved and made immortal.
The guidance he has shown onto mankind is complete and flawless, and is enshrined in the Holy Qur’an. All the sources of Islam are fully intact and each and every instruction or action of the Holy Prophet can be ascertained without the least shadow of doubt.
Secondly, God has completed His revealed guidance through the Prophet Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) and Islam is a complete religion for mankind. God has said that, “Today I have perfected your Faith – religion – for you, and have completed My bounty upon you,” and a thorough study of Islam as a complete way of life proves the truth of these Qur’anic words. Islam gives guidance for life in this world and in the hereafter and nothing essential for human guidance has been left out. There is no ground for new prophethood on the plea of imperfection.
Lastly, the Message of Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) was not meant for any particular people, place or period. He was raised as the World Prophet – the messenger of truth for the whole of mankind. The Qur’an has commanded Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) to declare: “O mankind, I am God’s Messenger to all of you.” He has been described as “a blessing for all (the people of) the world” and his approach has been universal and human. That is why after him there remains no need for new prophethood and he has been described by the Qur’an as Khatam-an-Nabiyyin (the last of the chain of the true Prophets).
The only, source, therefore, for the knowledge of God and His Way is Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him). We can know of Islam only through his teachings which are so complete and so comprehensive that they can guide men through all ages to come. The world does not need a new prophet; it needs only such people as have full faith in Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him), to become the standard-bearers of his message, propagate it throughout the world, and endeavour to establish the culture which Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) gave to man. The world needs such men of character as can translate his teachings into practice and establish a society which is governed by Divine Law, whose supremacy Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) came to establish.