Today, we point out Prophet Mohammad PUH as the Last and Greatest Messenger of God; terms of compatibility of the divine religion of Islam with temporal conditions; and the eternity and immortality of Islam.
Belief in the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (Blessings upon him and his progeny), as the Last and Greatest Messenger of God is considered as one of the important Islamic beliefs. In accordance to this belief, no other prophet will be appointed by God to prophet hood after the Prophet of Islam. In contrast to other religious schools of thought, which have come for a particular phase in time and a particular location; the divine religion of Islam is the roadmap for the future until the end of history of mankind, and no temporal boundaries have been considered for this sacred religion. It should be noted that one of the reasons behind continuation of emergence of new prophets was the deviations that had taken place in previous religions. As the result of human interference, innovations (bad’ahs) were made in previous religions and their teachings were derailed from the main path. Thus, previous religions were no longer qualified for guidance of mankind. However, when mankind reached a state of maturity in which he realized he should immune religious teachings from any deviations, the situation changed. This is the development which took shape in the era of Prophet of Islam, and thereafter, there was no need for emergence of other prophets.
Thus, the era of emergence of Prophet Mohammad is different from the eras of emergence of other prophets. This is because in that phase in time, mankind gradually matured and no need was thereafter sensed for the divine appointment of another prophet after the divine appointment of Prophet of Islam. Meanwhile, belief in all prophets is in fact a continuous historical current which has taken shape as of the very beginning of formation of human community, and will continue until the ultimate victory of the righteous path. Although differences are at times observed between the religious laws of divine prophets, all of these religious instructions maintain the same foundations, and there is no conflict in their missions. Several ayahs of Holy Quran have approved the prophet hood of previous prophets and have praised and admired the efforts of these pioneers of mankind. Holy Quran has honored prophets, including the prophets of Judaism and Christianity.
The main difference between the mission of the Prophet of Islam and the mission of other prophets is that other prophets’ plans were temporary. In this manner, belief in Prophet Mohammad as the Last and Greatest Messenger of God means Islamic teachings render a complete and perfect plan and roadmap for the entire mankind until the end of history.
When the latest and most comprehensive divine instructions are rendered to mankind, there is no need for the emergence of a new prophet.
Now, the question which some may ask is how can a religion, which presents the latest teachings for savior of mankind, be in line with historical and social developments, and present the appropriate lifestyle in different conditions and circumstances?
Although temporal conditions change; all of the facts governing the world of nature and mankind do not go through changes. In fact, in this developing world, there are a series of fixed and sustainable facts, which always remain fresh. Do characteristic traits such as fairness, gentlemanliness, kindness, generosity, and altruism ever become obsolete traditions? So, we conclude that a series of facts remain fixed and have nothing to do with temporal parameters and factors, despite the passage of thousands of years.
Meanwhile, in order to study the level of coordination of sacred religion of Islam with temporal conditions, we should take a look at the components of this divine religion which are namely religious beliefs, ethical values, and Islamic rulings.
Beliefs are transparent, fixed, and certain, and do not change in any circumstance. Change in religious beliefs is impossible. For instance, belief in monotheism, or the prophet hood of the Prophet of Islam are among the principles of the divine religion of Islam and are unchangeable.
In regard to ethical values, it can be said that the general ethical principles are unchangeable throughout the course of history. Fairness, righteousness, gentlemanliness, and altruism are always good and appropriate, while violation of other people’s rights, theft, and seizure of others’ belongings have always been considered as bad and inappropriate. For instance, no one can claim that lying has been good for a number of centuries, and is bad in other phases in time. So the passage of time doesn’t lead to changes in ethical principles.
In regard to Islamic rules and regulations, it should be said that Islamic rulings are divided into fixed and variable rules. Undoubtedly, rulings such as the necessity of observance of daily prayers, and fasting, are fixed.
However, for instance, terms of protection of an Islamic land may change based on temporal conditions and locations.
The 60th ayah of Surat al-Anfal notes: “Prepare against them whatever you can of military power and war-horses, awing thereby the enemy of Allah, and your enemy, and others besides them, whom you do not know, but Allah knows them.”
This ayah instructs Muslims to be fully prepared in the face of enemies. Undoubtedly, preparedness for combat, changes in shape and form, in different phases in time. Based on this ayah, the goal behind collection of weapons and combat preparedness is to scare the enemy and prevent it from any incursions against Muslims. In the past; horses, swords, spears, and shields were considered as part of warfare and could be preventive. However, currently, due to existence of planes, choppers, artilleries, tanks, armored vehicles, missiles, and other advanced military weapons and equipment, the form and shape of confrontations has changed and it is necessary for Muslims to use advanced weapons and tactics.
These weapons should be preventive to an extent that they would scare the enemies from any incursions against Islamic lands, and to shape a crushing response against any possible aggression.
This was an example of how the principle of protection of the land and belongings of Muslims, which is a certain Islamic ruling, becomes in line with the conditions of each era.