As part of our colloquium series, Associate Emeritus Professor Husain Kassim will be delivering a talk, titled "The Seal of Prophets: Jesus, Mānī, and Muḥammad." Please join us for this talk!
This investigation examines the claim of Jesus (4 B. C. E), Mānī (216 C. E), and Muḥammad (570 C. E), to be the ‘Seal of Prophets’. This concept of the ‘Seal of Prophets’ is closely related to the theologically developed concept of Paraclete in John’s Gospel. It is this concept of Paraclete, Mānī claims that he is the Paraclete of Jesus foretold by Jesus himself. Muslim scholars maintain that Muḥammad is the Paraclete of Jesus and The ‘Seal of Prophets’ (Q 33:40).
According to Matthew and John “whoever comes after the death of Jesus, he is false Prophet and heretic.” (Matt 7: 15, Matt 24 NIV; John First Epistle Chapter 2:18). Thus, Mānī and Muḥammad both were considered false Prophets.
Mānī claims in his authored works Kelley Library and CMC Writings in Coptic language, that he is the Paraclete of Jesus. Regarding Muḥammad, the Qurʾān portrays Muḥammad as the ‘Seal of Prophets’. Muslims understand this to mean that anyone who claims to be Prophet after Muḥammad’ death is false Prophet.
From the perspective of historical development of religious traditions, Smith asserts that during the third century religious traditions were in the process of developing from a certain content in a definable form. Mānī discerned “the form, appropriated it, and set about to fill such a form with new content”.[i] In Islam, the Qurʾān claims that it is perfect and complete definable scripture as revealed to Muḥammad. Thus, the claim of Jesus, Mānī, and Muḥammad as the ‘Seal of Prophets’ is interpreted in in each within their own religious and cultural traditions, despite the fact what is held in the Christian religious and cultural tradition.
[i] Wilfred Cantwell Smith, The Meaning and End of religion (Harper & Row Publishers, 1963, p. 95
Husain Kassim is Associate Emeritus Professor, University of Central Florida. He has taught as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bremen, Distinguished Chair in the Intercultural Theology and Religion at the University of Salzburg, and as Visiting Professor at the University of Karachi. Dr. Kassim is the author of Hermeneutics in the Genre of Mukhtaṣar, Sarakhsī: The Doctrine of Juristic Preference in Islamic Jurisprudence, Aristotle and Aristotelianism in Medieval Muslim, Jewish, and Christian Philosophy, Legitimizing Modernity in Islam, and Islamicate Societies as well as several articles in the area of Islamic Studies.