What we wish to do here is examine some proofs and then explain them. So firstly we must state that the words Prophet and Messenger are the synomyns, in terms of language.
The definition of a Prophet is he;
1. Who receives revelation in this world from Allah (the Exalted)
2. Informs of the unseen; some of the past/present
3. His miracles manifest upon a challenge of prophethood
4. See Angels and speaks to them (Commentary Aqida Tahwwiyyah by Al-Madani and Jawhar At-Tawheed by Imam Al-Laqqani)
In terms of sacred law the difference between a Prophet and Messenger is; a Prophet backs up the previous message (he doesn't bring a new law nor is he ordered to convey it) and a Messenger brings a new law (he is ordered to convey it).
This is also one of the facts of a messenger/ prophet that they confirm the previous prophet/ Messenger.
Prophethood was passed from father to son, father to son, father to son.
So when the passage speaks about the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) not being a father of any of the men. This means that Prophethood ended; it stopped; the passing of prophetic chain has ceased.
The great lineage of the Prophets had come to an end and it was to travel no more. "Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but the Messenger of Allah and the Last of Prophets. And Allah has knowledge of everything." [Qur'an 33:40]"
Translated, Last of the prophets is خاتم النبين Khatam here is the active participle or Ism Fa'il which is the active participle in Arabic which means that a person is doing that action. Like a opener is fatih. Khatam can mean seal, stamp, make impervious, inaccessible, conclude, finish, terminate or last. (p.227 Hans Wehr Dictionary)
So we can take meaning last as it says here or we can take seal either way, we can understand the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is one doing the sealing, the one doing the finishing, the one concluding, the one making prophethood inaccessible, Prophethood began with him and ended with him. As He was the first Prophet created in the realm of the souls and the last one sent to mankind. (Dohw Al-Amali sharh ala Bad Al-Mali).
This is illustrated vividly in the following narration;
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Certainly my example and the example of prophets before me is like the example of a palace, most elegant and most beautiful constructed by a person except with a blank space for a brick in one of its corners that made people (who were) going around it wonder and exclaim (in perplexion): “Why is there no brick inlaid here?!” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “I am that brick and I am the last of the prophets.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, p.501 and; Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, p.248)
The following illustrate this further; Amir b Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported on the authority of his father that the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) addressing 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "You are in the same position in relation to me as Aaron was in relation to Moses although there is no prophet after me." Sa'd said: I had an earnest desire to hear it directly from Sa'd, so I met him and narrated to him what (his son) Amir had narrated to me, whereupon he said, "Yes, I did hear it." I said, "Did you hear it yourself?" Thereupon he placed his fingers upon his ears and said, "Yes, and if not, let both my ears become deaf." (Bukhari Book #031, Hadith #5913)
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah said, "The tribe of Israel used to be ruled and guided by prophets: Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number." The people asked, "O Prophet of Allah! What do you order us (to do)?" He said, "Obey the one who will be given the pledge of allegiance first. Fulfil their (i.e. the Caliphs) rights, for Allah will ask them about (any shortcoming) in ruling over those who Allah has put under their guardianship." (Bukhari Book #56, Hadith #661)
Jubair bin Mutim (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "I have five names: I am Muhammad and Ahmad; I am Al-Mahi through whom Allah will eliminate infidelity; I am Al-Hashir who will be the first to be resurrected, the people being resurrected there after; and I am also Al-'Aqib." (i.e. There will be no prophet after me)." (Bukhari Book #56, Hadith #732)
Saad (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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 (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Will you not be pleased that you are to me like Aaron is to Moses? But there will be no prophet after me." (Bukhari book #59, Hadith #700)
It is narrated by Uqba bin Aamer, (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “If there could ever be a prophet after me, indeed Umar bin Khattab would have been such”. (At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2, p.209)
There are more hadith on this but I wanted to stop at this point making it very clear that no Prophet could follow him and then what about the station of Messenger?
Is the station of Messenger still open seen as prophethood is ended?
The term Prophet and Messenger are used interchangeably in the Quran and you can see this clearly when you look at the examples of the way in which the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bestow peace and blessing upon him) is mentioned, using both terms.
For a Messenger to come there needs to be a new law, there is no new law to come, the Shariah is the final law for mankind.
“Truly the religion with Allah is Islam.” The Family of Imran 3:19
Allah said, "Whoso desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him; in the next world he shall be among the losers." The Family of Imran 3.85
"Muhammad is a Messenger of Allah." 48:29
"Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam for your religion." The Table spread 5:3
These are proofs that no other religion could appear nor could another Messenger come with a new message after the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) his law is final and conclusive.
To further prove this see the following hadith:
The Prophet of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) affirmed, "The chain of Messengers and Prophets has come to an end. There shall be no Messenger nor Prophet after me." (Tirmidhi, Musnad Imam Ahmad, Marwiyat-Anas bin Malik)
So there is no possibility of another Prophet or Messenger to come after Muhammad (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him).
What about Jesus (upon him peace)?
Jesus (upon him peace) will return to kill the Antichrist and re-establish the sacred law before the end of time. He will follow the law of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and will not bring about new message he will affirm the previous Message.
Also note he is not a new prophet, he was a prophet before and now he is coming again. Therefore he is not bringing anything new he is affirming and this is an exception to the normal rule of the prophets. And as any Arabic student will tell you there is always an exception to the rule!
The Prophet of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Allah the Almighty has sent unto the world no Prophet who did not warn his people about the appearance of the Imposter (Al-Dajjal). I am the last in the line of Prophets and you are the last community of believers. Without doubt, then, Anti-christ shall appear from amongst you." (Ibn Majah, Kitabul-fitan, bab:Dajjal).
What about Ibrahim the son who passed away?
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had three sons all of whom died in childhood or in Ibrahim's case a few months after birth. We said before that Prophethood passed from father to son.
Now there is a narration that the Prophet said,لو عاش لكان صديقاً نبياً
"If Ibrahim had lived he would be a truthful prophet."
Reported by Ibn Majah chapter on funerals no. 1511.
First of all according to Yahya ibn Ali Al-Shawkani this is a forged narration. (Siddiqqi Hadith literature p.212)
Some people use this as proof that prophethood could have passed on. Lets examine the words, لو lo means you are wishing for something that you know could never come true. For example I could say; If only today was Friday but I know that today is Saturday and that could not be Friday because that has gone. In either case the hadith is rejected.
Also ponder that the outward of this narration contradicts the Quran passage saying that he is not a father of any of the men. So normally if there is a contradiction of hadith and Quran we either join them or look for an explanation like what we have explained above. So in any case the hadith cannot be used a proof, at all.
Bukhari narrates that Ibn Abu Awfa said, "If there could be a prophet after Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) it would be his son but there is no prophet after him."
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "He means that if he was not the seal of prophethood then his son would have been a prophet after him." (Tafsir Al-Khateeb As-Sharbini page.318)
This now cannot be understood in other way as it is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The progeny of Muhammad (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) is from our lady Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her) and our master Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). So there was no passing on of Prophethood as it has ceased. And all the Prophet's (may Allah bestow peace and blessings be upon him) children who had offspring died in infancy.
We have proved that the stations of prophethood and messengership have both ended. It ended with His message, it was not passed on nor was there a new message. No one can now claim that they are a prophet or a Messenger, they cannot claim that they are bringing a new message or following a message previous to Islam. So from the Prophet Muhammad's (may Allah bestow peace and blessings be upon him) time until the day of judgement, all claims of prophethood are false and baseless.
Disbelief is defined as someone who rejects the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). (Jawhar Al-Kalamiyya Sheikh Tahir al-Jazaair chapter one). Those who do not affirm this cannot consider themselves Muslims.
This is a lie against Allah (the Exalted) and this is worst sin that anyone can do, do you really want to be caught out by God? This can only be an act of foolishness. I have not used all the evidences that I had, I have picked some and not others, so if you find other information that is appropriate to this subject then do not be surprised. This article refutes those who claim to follow another prophet in and outside Islam, as well as another messenger. As well as those try to fabricate a possibility which in itself is a rejection of the first Quranic verse presented and anyone who rejects a Quranic verse leaves the fold of Islam.
Imagine a relay race, there are several runners, each runner takes the batton and runs with it to the next runner who then takes it on to the next runner. This cycle continues until the final runner receives the batton, he takes it to to end of the race. This is likeness of prophethood, each one carried the light and passed it on until it came to a end when it was given to the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) and he completed it.
“Their intention is to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths. But Allah will complete His light, even though the disbelievers hate it” (Quran As-Saff 61:8)
Prophethood is not a station that someone can achieve, it is a station that someone is given. All claims of prophethood outside this are false and without truth.