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 By Syed Abul Ala Maududi

II.& & & & & What distinguishes Mohammad from the other Prophets?

(i)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & He was the last Prophet of God.& &

(ii)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & God revived through him the same genuine faith, which had been conveyed by all the Prophets.&

(iii)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & This original message was corrupted, and split into various religions by people of different ages, who indulged in interpolations and admixture. God eliminated these alien elements and Islam, in its pure and original form, was transmitted to mankind through Mohammad.&

(iv)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & Since there was to be no messenger after Mohammad, the Book revealed to him was preserved word for word2 so that it should be a source of guidance for all times.3

(v)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & The life of Mohammad, and the manner in which he conducted himself, was also recorded in a unique manner by his companions and by later compilers of the Tradition. A more complete and authentic account of the life, sayings, and actions, of any Prophet or historical personage, has never been compiled.4&

(vi)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & In this way, the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet together became a reliable source of knowing what is Islam, what it stands for, what guidance it provides, and what obligations it places upon us.

& & & & & & & & III.& & & & & As Muslims, we believe in all the Prophets who preceded Mohammad— not only those who are mentioned in the Qur’an, but also those who are not so mentioned and this is such an integral part of our faith that if we were to abandon it we should cease to be Muslims. But for instruction we turn to Prophet Mohammad alone Not on account of any prejudice, but because

a)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & As the last of God`s Prophets he brought us the latest divine dis­pensation,

b)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & The Word of God which reached us through Mohammad& & & is pure divine language, free of human admixtures, and preserved in its original form Its language is a living language, spoken, written and understood by millions of people, and whose grammar, vocabulary, idiom, pronunciation, and script have remained unchanged from the& & & & & & & & & time of revelation till today

c)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & As 1 have said earlier, we have a complete historical record of the life, character, conduct, sayings, and actions of the Prophet Mohammad, preserved with meticulous care, accuracy and detail since this cannot be said of other prophets we can believe in them but we cannot emulate them

& & & & & & & IV.& & & & & It is our belief that Mohammad`s mission was for the world as a whole and for all times, for,& & & &

(i)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & Its universality has been clearly confirmed by the Qur’an,& & & & &

(ii)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & It is a logical consequence of the finality of his prophet hood. A prophet, after whom there was to be no other, had to be a guide and leader for all men and for all ages,& & & &

(iii)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & God has provided through him a complete code which man needs to follow the right path, and this in itself, supports the concept of finality, because without completeness the need for other prophets would remain

(iv)& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & It is a fact that during the last 1400 years no man has arisen whose life and work bears even the slightest resemblance to that of a prophet. Nor has anyone presented a book, which could be remotely considered as divine communication. Still less has there been a man to claim legitimate authority as a lawgiver for mankind.

& & & & & & & & & & V.& & & & & It must, at this point, be understood why the need arose for God to communicate with man through His prophets. This has to be examined in the context of the sources of human knowledge .At the preliminary stage we gain knowledge through empirical observation. At higher levels comes deductive reasoning accompanied by scientific investigation. Man is sufficiently well equipped in these fields not to require direct divine assistance. Though, no doubt, there is an ever present divine will help man in his research and innovative endeavors and revealing to him progressively the mysteries of His creation. Some gifted individuals achieve, in moments of rare inspiration, new insights or discover new laws of nature. But there is another type of knowledge, which is beyond the reach of our senses or scientific study. This sphere of knowledge does not submit to any instrument of scientific examination. Philosophy and science can only speculate about it. Human theories about ultimate realities, based on reason, never achieve the level of certainty, and their authors, conscious of their limitations do not present them as conclusively proved. In respect of these realities man is dependent on whatever knowledge is communicated to him by God. How is this knowledge conveyed? Not through the operations of some publishing house, where books are printed and handed over to each man, with instructions to read them, and to discover the truth about himself, about the universe, and about the manner in which he should organize his life. To convey this knowledge to mankind, God chooses prophets as His messengers. He reveals the truth to them and they communicate it to the people.