An Auspicious Outcome
About 170 years ago, the Babi movement , and after a short while, the Bahai faith developed in Iran. The founders of those new movements, i.e. Mirza Ali Mohammad Shirazi (Bab), and Mirza Husain Ali (Bahaullah) claimed that they have been inspired by the same God, who had revelated the Islam religion. They confirmed the holy Quran and the family of the holy messenger (Ahl al-Bayt). They acknowledged the Shia school of thought as the right path, among the Islamic sects; yet they introduced themselves as the founders of new religions.
Apart from the assertions of the new movements and the reactions of the Iranian society towards them, it can be a natural question, for the Muslim people, who encounter the Babi & Bahai claims, that if they consider the Islam as a true and right religion, then according to the Islamic teachings, the holy Prophet of Islam is the “last and seal” of the prophets.
It is clear that acceptance of this principle, refutes any “new claim of Divine inspiration”. Therefore, both Babis and especially Bahais, have tried to make questions about the authenticity of this Islamic principle , and relating it to the misunderstanding of the Muslim scholars.
So, from the very beginning of establishment of these two new movements, there have been very discussions between them and the Muslims.
The current book is intended to discuss the subject of correctness of “seal of prophecy” in the Islamic thoughts and teachings. In the first look, it may seem to be an inter-religious discussion. Although the study of this book will fortify the acceptance and believe in this Islamic principle; but it’s clear that its verification may have an outer communal application. Its study can be useful for the Bahai and non-Bahai researchers, as it will help to evaluate the verification of the claims of the Babi and Bahai leaders.
The current book is the compilation of 4 pocket books, in the series of “Bahai research small books”, which are now available in one volume to the respected readers.
The four main lines about the principle of “seal of prophecy” which are discussed in this book are:
1. The “seal of prophecy” of the holy Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h & h.f.), in the meaning that there will be no divine prophet after him.
2. The holy Quran as the last and “seal” of the divine books; which means that no more Divine book will be inspired.
3. The “seal of Islam”, in the meaning that no new religion will be divinely established.
4. Explanation and justification about the “seal of prophecy” in the light of divine guidance.
The above topics, which seem to be supplement to each other, have been studied from 7 views:
1. from the view of the holy Quran
2. from the view of the holy Prophet(p.b.u.h)
3. from the view of Amir al-Momenin Ali(p.b.u.h)
4. from the view of the other holy Imams(p.b.u.t)
5. from the viewpoints of the Shia scholars
6. from the viewpoints of the Sunni scholars
7. from the view of the deniers
It is clear that the main proofs and reasons to verify the “seal of prophecy” are the 4 of the above views, i.e. the holy Quran and the words and traditions of the holy Prophet and the infallible Imams from his Ahl al-Bayt (p.b.u.t).
Because the main question in this research is to see if the “seal of prophecy” is from the teachings of Islam or not? So, in order to find the answer, we should refer to the primary resources (the Quran and the Traditions).For adding the other 3 chapters, we had other intentions:
The chapters 5&6 are going to show the extension and generality of this principle among the Muslim generations, communities, and chains of scholars. Chapter 7 contains words and quotations from the Bahai leaders and writers. They are only sources acceptable to the Babi and Bahai readers, and just to convince them. In other words, we do not need them in proofing the authencity of the Seal of Prophecy.
We have provided some references in the 7 chapters. There are more references, but not mentioned here; either they have not been available to the writer of the book, or in order to consider brevity. Some of the references mentioned in one chapter, are applicable in other chapters, but we have avoided any duplicity and repetition.
For the clarity and fluency of the texts, we have tried to omit the Arabic texts or put them in the footnotes.
We hope that this book will be useful to the researchers of the Bahai field. We will appreciate to receive the views, comments , and respected critics of the whole readers through Bahai Research Publishing Inc.