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THE TWELVER SHI‘I UNDERSTANDING ON THE FINALITY OF PROPHETHOOD

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Author(s): R. Cecep Lukan Yasin

Journal: Al-Jami'ah : Journal of Islamic Studies
ISSN 0126-012X

Volume: 48;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 129;
Date: 2010;
Original page

ABSTRACT
This article discusses the issue of the finality of prophethood, an issue that is  considered as a fundamental principle of Islam. Although the Qur’an (33:40) has explicitly mentioned that the prophethood has ended with Muhammad, the khatam al-nabiyyin, two scholars Yohanan Friedmann and Ignaz Goldziher argued that the issue did not gain universal acceptance because the primary  meaning of the phrase, the khatam al-nabiyyin, is not certain. The doctrine of the finality of prophethood was used to refute and silence the claims of other individuals to prophecy. The focus of this paper is exploring and examining the Qur’anic phrase, the khatam al-nabiyyin, and the doctrine of the finality of  prophethood from Shi’i’s perspective. Two main questions would be addressed this article: 1) how the Shi’i theologians and western scholars differentiate between a Messenger and a Prophet? 2) How to understand the Shi’i doctrine of the finality of prophethood in the light of the doctrine of the Imamate? The article comes to conclusion that, within Shi‘i thought, there are two views in regard to the doctrine of the finality of prophethood: one tradition accepted the Shi‘i position that prophethood and messengership have indeed come to an end, and the other tradition, while never outright rejecting the doctrine, it sought to continuously expand the boundaries of orthodoxy and explore other interpretations of the doctrine of finality. Keywords: prophethood, Shi‘i, Messenger, Prophet, the Imamate, orthodoxy
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