According to the Qur’an and the Ahadith it is clear that prophethood is open and a prophet can be raised from the Muslim ummah, and one in specific, the latter day messiah would definitely be raised in the end times. Now people sometimes ask why the Muslim ummah would need a prophet. This question itself is a foolish question as a messiah is prophesied to come as a prophet by the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) himself. Furthermore, Allah has Given us many signs which show that there was a need of prophethood during the time of Ahmad(as) and that he arrived at the most appropriate time according to the Qur’an and sunnah.
A prophet is needed when the people are devoid of guidance and the Holy Prophet(saw) made it clear that this would indeed occur in the Muslim ummah, and that a prophet would be sent to revive Islam. Allah States in the Qur’an:
Corruption has appeared on land and sea because of what men’s hands have wrought, that He may make them taste the fruit of some of their doings, so that they may turn back from evil. (Chapter 30 Verse 42)
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad(ra) states:
“The words “land and sea” may signify: a) such nations as had no experience of Divine revelation and those that believed in Heavenly scriptures or (b) nations whose cultures and civilizations were based purely on reason and collective human experience and those whose cultures and civilizations were based on Divine revelation; (c) peoples living on the continents and those living in the islands. The verse means to say that the nations of the world had become corrupt to the very core–politically, socially, and morally, and their corruption was the result of “what their hands had wrought” (Five Volume Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, Pages 2069-2070)
The Holy Prophet(saw) stated that a time would come when Muslims would be totally devoid of guidance. He (saw) stated:
عن علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه، قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:”يوشك أن أو سيأتي على الناس زمان لا يبقى من الإسلام إلا اسمه، ولا يبقى من القرآن إلا رسمه، مساجدهم يومئذ عامرة وهي خراب من الهدى، علماؤهم شر من تحت أديم السماء، منهم أو من عندهم خرجت أو تخرج أو يمدح الفتنة وفيهم تعود“
‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (ra) narrates that the Messenger of Allāh (sa) said: “A time will come in the near future when there will be nothing left of the Islam except its name. And there will be nothing left of the Holy Qur’ān except its words. The mosques of that age will apparently be full of people, but will be empty of righteousness. Their ‘Ulamā’ will be the worst creatures under the heaven. Discourse will rise from them and will come right back to them.”(Mishkat Kitabul Ilm)
The Holy Prophet(saw) further described the ummah by stating:
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr: That the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “What befell the children of Isra’il will befall my Ummah, step by step, such that if there was one who had intercourse with his mother in the open, then there would be someone from my Ummah who would do that. Indeed the children of Isra’il split into seventy-two sects, and my Ummah will split into seventy-three sects. All of them are in the Fire Except one sect.” He said: “And which is it O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “What I am upon and my Companions.(Jami’at Tirmidhi #2641)
We should remember that the Holy Prophet(saw) did not leave us alone in this condition. He(saw) gave us the cure, and the prophecy of a reformer who would bring Islam back.Prophet(saw) made it clear that this person would be of the lineage of Salman Farsi(ra) meaning from the Persian Lineage as Ahmad(as) was. He(saw)
Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were sitting with the Prophet (ﷺ) Surat Al-Jumu’a was revealed to him, and when the Verse, “And He (Allah) has sent him (Muhammad) also to other (Muslims)…..’ (62.3) was recited by the Prophet, I said, “Who are they, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” The Prophet (ﷺ) did not reply till I repeated my question thrice. At that time, Salman Al-Farisi was with us. So Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) put his hand on Salman, saying, “If Faith were at (the place of) Ath-Thuraiya (pleiades, the highest star), even then a man from these people (i.e. Salman’s folk) would attain it.” (Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Hadith #4897)
The Non Ahmadi Muslims themselves await the latter day messiah and are aware of his need and cannot deny it, as it was foretold by our Master Muhammad(saw). If one was to say that Holy Prophet(saw) was chronologically the last prophet, what would that person do about the prophecies of the latter day prophet who was foretold by the Holy Prophet(saw) himself? In reality, the Holy Prophet(saw) was the last law bearing prophet and this is what he (saw) claimed. He (saw) told us to accept the latter day prophet even if we have to crawl on mountains of ice to get to him. A prophet is sent when the people are misguided and the world is full of corruption. How can we claim that the need of prophethood exists but the door of prophethood is forever closed?
Allah has made it clear that when the people become evil and misguided, a prophet is sent for their reformation. Allah states in the Qur’an:
“And most of the ancient peoples had erred before them, And We sent Warners among them.” (Chapter 37 Verses 72-73)
The Holy Prophet Muhammad(Saw) was the last prophet but only in the sense of a law bearing prophet. The claim of the Holy Prophet(saw) himself was that he was the last prophet and that prophets can come under him, and one prophet who was guaranteed was the latter day messiah.
Allah has further given us more signs of when a prophet would be needed. Allah states in the Qur’an:
And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah and be not divided; and remember the favour of Allah which He bestowed upon you when you were enemies and He united your hearts in love, so that by His grace you became asbrothers; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah explain to you His commandments that you may be guided.(Chapter 3 verse 104)
Allah has Told us to be together and not be divided, but when we look at the ummah it is clearly divided. There is only one jamaah which is united under one khalifa as prophesied and that jamaah is Ahmadiyyat. The Holy Prophet (saw) stated:
Narrated Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman: The people used to ask Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) about the good but I used to ask him about the evil lest I should be overtaken by them. So I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! We were living in ignorance and in an (extremely) worst atmosphere, then Allah brought to us this good (i.e., Islam); will there be any evil after this good?” He said, “Yes.” I said, ‘Will there be any good after that evil?” He replied, “Yes, but it will be tainted (not pure.)” I asked, “What will be its taint?” He replied, “(There will be) some people who will guide others not according to my tradition? You will approve of some of their deeds and disapprove of some others.” I asked, “Will there be any evil after that good?” He replied, “Yes, (there will be) some people calling at the gates of the (Hell) Fire, and whoever will respond to their call, will be thrown by them into the (Hell) Fire.” I said, “O Allah s Apostle! Will you describe them to us?” He said, “They will be from our own people and will speak our language.” I said, “What do you order me to do if such a state should take place in my life?” He said, “Stick to the group of Muslims and their Imam (ruler).” I said, “If there is neither a group of Muslims nor an Imam (ruler)?” He said, “Then turn away from all those sects even if you were to bite (eat) the roots of a tree till death overtakes you while you are in that state.”(Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Hadith #206)
This hadith itself shows that a life without an imam and unity is a useless life. This is the sad life the Muslims are living because of their rejection of the latter day prophet whom the prophet(saw) told us to accept. Allah also states:
And be not like those who became divided and who disagreed among themselves after clear proofs had come to them. And it is they for whom there shall be a great punishment,(Chapter 3 Verse 106)
The only way the true believers would become reunited would be with the coming of a prophet. Allah did not leave believers in such a condition of division and sent His messenger to reform Islam and create the jamaah which the Prophet(saw) prophesied. Why would Allah leave the Muslims in division and darkness if He has stated:
Allah is the friend of those who believe: He brings them out of every kind of darkness into light. And those who disbelieve, their friends are the transgressors who bring them out of light into every kind of darkness. These are the inmates of the Fire; therein shall they abide.(Chapter 2 Verse 258)
Allah has Clearly Stated that He is the friend of the believers and continues to guide them from darkness into light. It is not possible that He would leave this ummah without guidance. Allah States:
He it is Who sends down clear Signs to His servant, that He may bring you out of every kind of darkness into the light. And verily, Allah is Compassionate and Merciful to you.(Chapter 57 Verse 10)
Allah has Explained how he brings the people from darkness into the light. He Has Clearly Stated that He sends down clear signs to his servant and reveals signs upon him which causes the people to come back to the true teachings.
It is clear that Islam would need a reformer and the time which the Holy Prophet(saw) told us for the coming of the messiah was indeed the 14th century and this prophecy did not fail. Allah Sent Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) who fulfilled all signs and gave Islam life once again.