“Muhammed is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets, and Allah is ever Aware of all things.” [Qur’an 33:40]
This will be a refutation of an article written by one of the self proclaimed proclaimed Prophet Rashad Khalafa.
You may find the original article here:
Reason and Motivation behind Rashad Khalafa’s deception.
Why would Rashad Khalafa want to create obfuscation with the words ‘Messenger’ and ‘Prophet’?
Well, when we look at the opening verse it clearly says that Muhammed (saw) is the Rasoul of Allah (swt) and that he is the wakhatama l-nabiyina or the seal of the nabiyina (seal of the prophets). Thus, to his credit Rashad understands the finality in the word ‘khatama’. However, his ruse revolves around the word ‘nabi’. Yes, Muhammed (saw) is the final prophet. However, is not the final messenger!
The first problem that many who follow the Qur’an Only Religion have is the problem of language. The overwhelming majority of them do not have recourse to the Arabic language. Thus, they end up making Taqlid to Rashad Khalafa, or that is to say that they put trust in him without sufficient knowledge to second guess what he claiming to be truth.
What this article tries to do is establish obfuscation between the word ‘Messenger’ and Prophet’.
Let us deal with the first piece of ‘evidence’ that is put forth.
“God took a covenant from the PROPHETS, saying, “I will give you the SCRIPTURE AND WISDOM. Afterwards, a MESSENGER will come to CONFIRM all existing scriptures. You shall believe in him and support him.” He said, “Do you agree with this, and pledge to fulfill this covenant?” They said, “We agree.” He said, “You have thus borne witness, and I bear witness along with you.” (Qur’an 3:81)
This of course is just devilish manipulation of the Arabic text and not a very good attempt either. As mentioned, those with no recourse to the Arabic will fall for it. Yet, Al hamdulillah there are readily available tools for those who are interested to find the truth.
Now notice that Rashad likes to translate the Arabic word ‘kitabin’ as scripture. I’ll come to this in a moment.
Why do you think he choose this translation as opposed ‘The Book’?
Now Rashad is very devious because he often will translate the Arabic word ‘Kitab’ which is singular, into English as scripture. He does this because the word scripture in English can be countable and uncountable. It can be a mass noun. Other examples of mass nouns are water, rice and literature, we do not pluralize them. However, they can lean themselves to the one reading or listening to the word to think in terms of plurality, or more than one unit of something.
He than has in English the phrase: “CONFIRM all existing scriptures.” Which word in the Arabic Qur’an in verse 3:81 above is used for scriptures? Can one of his followers point that out to us?
Also in 3:81 when Rashad translates it as “a MESSENGER will come to CONFIRM all existing scriptures.” Who do you think he is referring to? He is referring to himself of course.
Also it is never explained how he confirms that which is no longer in possession. How does the numerology of 19 confirm the Torah or the Injil for example? We are simply not told.
He makes reference to Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation of Qur’an 3:81:
“When Allah made (His) covenant with the PROPHETS, (He said): Behold that which I have GIVEN you of the SCRIPTURE AND KNOWLEDGE. And afterward there will come unto you a MESSENGER, CONFIRMING that which ye possess. Ye shall believe in him and ye shall help him. He said: Do ye agree, and will ye take up My burden (which I lay upon you)in this (matter)? They answered: We agree. He said: Then bear witness. I will be a witness with you.”
One wonders how he thinks this helps his case. “Confirming that which ye possess” is vastly different than “CONFIRM all existing scriptures.”
Now here comes the bizarre admission by Rashad: Also note his transition of the words Nabi and Rasoul into English as ‘messenger’.
“Verse 3:81 among many other verses, provides the definitions of “Nabi” (Prophet) and “Rasoul” (Messenger). Thus, “Nabi” is a messenger of God who delivers a new scripture, while “Rasoul” is a messenger commissioned by God to confirm existing scripture; he does not bring a new scripture. According to the Quran, every “Nabi” is a “Rasoul,” but not every “Rasoul” is a “Nabi.”
- Nabi is a ‘messenger’ of God who delivers a new scripture.
- Rasoul is a ‘messenger’ who confirms existing scripture; he does not bring a new scripture.
- According to the Qur’an every Nabi is a Rasoul.
- Not every Rasoul is a Nabi.
Surely it cannot be missed by the keen eye that points 1, 2 and 3 contradict each other when juxtaposed together. So this is enough proof to show that Rashad was not writing under the inspiration of God. These are his personal musings and nothing more.
Traditionally Muslims say that every Messenger is a Prophet and not every Prophet is a Messenger. The understanding here is that Prophets bring new revelations where as Messengers do not bring new revelations.
The Qur’an refutes Rashad.
“Then in the footsteps of the prophets, We sent Jesus, son of Mary, confirming the Torah revealed before him. And We gave him the Gospel containing guidance and light and confirming what was revealed in the Torah—a guide and a lesson to those who fear Allah.” (Qur’an 5:46)
“The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was a messenger of Allah (Rasulu Allahi) and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul from Him.” (Qur’an 4:171)
“And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah (Rasulu Allahi) to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” (Qur’an 61:6)
The Qur’an tells us that Jesus is Rasoul
The Qur’an tells us that Jesus was given a Gospel.
Allah (swt) has refuted what Rashad has claimed:
“Thus, “Nabi” is a messenger of God who delivers a new scripture, while “Rasoul” is a messenger commissioned by God to confirm existing scripture; he does not bring a new scripture.”-Rashad
Also, it would be rather odd for Jesus to be simply confirming what Yahya brought and mention a revelation called the ‘Injel’ given to Jesus and not mention what the revelation given to Yahya is called!
Basically, what Rashad wants to do is the opposite of what has been traditionally claimed concerning the titles of Rasul and Nabi.
“The Quranic definition of Prophet, and how all the prophets were given Scripture to deliver, is also confirmed in the following verse:”
[Quran 2:213] The people used to be one community when God sent THE PROPHETS as bearers of good news, as well as warners. HE SENT DOWN WITH THEM THE SCRIPTURE, bearing the truth, to judge among the people in their disputes.
“Those who are not sufficiently familiar with the Quran tend to think that Aaron was a “Nabi” as stated in 19:53, who did not receive a scripture. This claim can only be made by those who do not believe the Quran, since God ascertains in 2:213 that all the prophets were sent with the Scripture. Moreover, the Quran clearly states that Aaron received what Moses did ; both received a scripture or a statute book” (21:48, 37:117)
In other terms ALL THE PROPHETS are MESSENGERS, but NOT ALL the MESSENGERS are PROPHETS.
Prima Qur’an comments:
Actually if we look at the two references Qur’an 21:48 states: and Qur’an 37:117 states:
“And We gave them the Book (l-kitaba) which helps to make things clear” (Qur’an 37:117)
” And We verily gave Moses and Aaron (l-furqana) the Criterion (of right and wrong) and a light and a Reminder for those who keep from evil.” (Qur’an 21:48)
RASHAD KHALAFA AND HIS CONFUSION OVER THE MENTION OF L-KITABA (THE BOOK) IN THE QUR’AN
However, rather than being willfully ignorant, his choice of rendering the Arabic word as ‘scripture’ and uses it in the sense of a mass noun to obfuscate the issue shows a deliberate intent.
Notice that in 3:48 Jesus is being taught four things, the Taurat, the Injeel, the Book, and the Wisdom (hikma).
“And Allah will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel.” (Qur’an 3:48)
Where as Rashad translates it as: “”He will teach him the scripture, wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel.”
Why the redundancy? Why distinctly mention the Torah and the Gospel if they too are “scripture” ?
“Even as We have sent among you a Messenger (rasulan) from among you who recites to you Our revelations and purifies you and teaches you the Book and the wisdom and teaches you that which you did not know.” (Qur’an 2:151)
The above verse is calling the Blessed Messenger (saw) a rasulan. A “Rasoul” as Rashad likes to call it.
Allah (swt) is clearly telling us that this rasulan (Messenger) is teaching us ‘the Book’
Rashad translates 2:151 as:
“(Blessings) such as the sending of a messenger from among you to recite our revelations to you, purify you, teach you the scripture and wisdom, and to teach you what you never knew.” (Qur’an 2:151)
That can be explained in the following verse:
“Indeed, We have inspire (awhayna) you, as (kama) We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the tribes, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Zaboor.”
Several things to take note:
- This inspiration that is given to the Messenger (saw) is as (the Arabic word ‘kama’) what was revealed to not only prophets, but to ‘the tribes’ as well.
- Note that when it comes to David the theme is broken and a specific revelation is mentioned, the Zaboor!
The word ‘l-kitaba’ which is singular is a euphemism for the fact that all prophets share in the divine message. That what ever Allah (swt) inspires to them of truth comes from the same divine source also known as um al-kitab (the mother of the book) or the source of divine guidance in what ever form it may take.
“By the clear Book! Certainly, We have made it a Quran in Arabic so perhaps you will understand. And indeed, it is in the Mother of the Book with Us—highly esteemed, rich in wisdom.” (Qur’an 43:2-4)
This is what is sensible. Because we know that none of the Prophets all taught from a singular kitab or ‘book’ which they all had. Hence, why he has to translate the obvious into scripture to obfuscate the facts. We have not a single shred of empirical historical data that supports Rashad Khalafa and his view that all Prophets were given new scriptures. We do not have to blindly follow Rashad Khalafa and switch off our brains. We can employ historical critical methods and easily determine that his understanding is fallacious.
“We later gave him good news of Isaac—a prophet, and one of the righteous.” (Qur’an 37:112)
We know that Prophet Isaac is not mentioned to have brought any “new scripture” as Rashad claims.
MESSENGER PROPHET AND NOT PROPHET MESSENGER. STATING THE OBVIOUS
Lastly, Rashad goes about stating the obvious but simply does not connect the dots.
“And mention in the Book, Moses. Indeed, he was chosen, and he was a (rasoulan nabyya) messenger and a prophet.” (Qur’an 19:51)
“And mention in the Book, Ishmael. Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a (rasoulan nabyya) messenger and a prophet.” (Qur’an 19:54)
“They are˺ the ones who follow the (l-rasula l nabiya) Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whose description they find in their Torah and the Gospel. He commands them to do good and forbids them from evil, permits for them what is lawful and forbids to them what is impure, and relieves them from their burdens and the shackles that bound them. ˹Only˺ those who believe in him, honour and support him, and follow the light sent down to him will be successful.” (Qur’an 7:157)
Rashad is not stating anything new. Muslims know that there is a difference between being a Prophet and being a Messenger. Yet, Rashad by quoting these verses has done nothing to establish any of his earlier comments. Nor does he quote which scholars he seems to have an issue with or any quotations from any of these scholars.
Also note that where Rashad was rather fond of giving us English transliterations for verse 19:51 and verse 19:54 he stopped short of doing that for verse 7:157.
You would think that Rashad would really think about this. Why are only Ishmael, Moses described in that way and no one else? What was exclusive to them in their role as ‘Messenger Prophets’ that was not shared by any other Prophet? That is simply just not explained.
In the end the motive of Rashad Khalafa is very clear. It is to try and portray to his unwary cult that he is a Messenger of Allah (swt). Though, he has still not made it clear rather or not he considers himself a Prophet Messenger or a Messenger Prophet.
Remember his statement: “In other terms ALL THE PROPHETS are MESSENGERS, but NOT ALL the MESSENGERS are PROPHETS.“
Yet he has failed to show us a single example where any one in the Qur’an is called a Messenger (rasul) without also being called a Prophet (nabi).
May Allah (swt) guide us to what is beloved to Allah (swt).