حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَشَّارٍ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ فُرَاتٍ الْقَزَّازِ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا حَازِمٍ، قَالَ قَاعَدْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ خَمْسَ سِنِينَ، فَسَمِعْتُهُ يُحَدِّثُ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ كَانَتْ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ تَسُوسُهُمُ الأَنْبِيَاءُ، كُلَّمَا هَلَكَ نَبِيٌّ خَلَفَهُ نَبِيٌّ، وَإِنَّهُ لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي، وَسَيَكُونُ خُلَفَاءُ فَيَكْثُرُونَ. قَالُوا فَمَا تَأْمُرُنَا قَالَ فُوا بِبَيْعَةِ الأَوَّلِ فَالأَوَّلِ، أَعْطُوهُمْ حَقَّهُمْ، فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَائِلُهُمْ عَمَّا اسْتَرْعَاهُمْ ”.
Narrated Abu Huraira:The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The Israelis 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 Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! 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 those Allah has put under their guardianship.” (Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith #3455)
The Qur’an has made it clear that one can be called a caliph and yet be a prophet as well. This is the same case with the latter day Messiah. In this hadith the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw compares his ummah to the Israelis and tells us that Prophets would come right after one another in their ummah, but in my ummah this would not happen and in that sense, there would be no prophet after me, meaning immediately after the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw. The Holy Prophetsaw referring to the Israelis itself shows that he is simply saying Prophets will not immediately come after one another, rather after me there would be no prophet until the messiah as The Holy Prophetsaw States:
حَدَّثَنَا هُدْبَةُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا هَمَّامُ بْنُ يَحْيَى، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ آدَمَ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ لَيْسَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُ نَبِيٌّ – يَعْنِي عِيسَى – وَإِنَّهُ نَازِلٌ .
Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus (as). He will descend.(Sunan Abi Dawud 4324)
The hadith of the caliphs makes it clear that in Islam there wouldn’t be Prophets immediately after the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw, rather the one who would appear after him would be the latter day messiah. The Holy Prophetsaw has also beautifully explained what would happen in regards to the caliphs:
“Prophethood would remain among you so long as Allah wills. Then Allah the Exalted would raise it up. Then Caliphate on the precepts of Prophethood would be established and remain among you for as long as Allah wills. Then Allah the Exalted would raise it up. Then despotic rule would remain among you for as long as Allah wills. Then Allah the Exalted would raise it up. Then a tyrranous rule would remain among you for aslong as Allah wills. Then Allah the Exalted would raise it up. Then Caliphate on the precepts of Prophethood would be established again.Then, the Holy Prophet (sa) remained silent.”(Mishkat)
Ahmadas states: His advent, thus has not closed the stream of Divine Grace but its course has been channelized through his person which is now, so to say, the new Headwork. A prophet, henceforth, shall appear only through allegiance to him, by receiving light from his light and as his shadow and reflection, and not otherwise. Hence, “all prophethood except Muhammadan prophethood has ended. No law-giving prophet shall ever come, and a prophet without law may, but only such as is primarily a follower of the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him). I am both a follower and a Prophet.” (Tajalliyate Ilahiyya , pp. 24-25)