Chapter

The Elaboration of Institutional Theory

Abdou Filali-Ansary and Sikeena Karmali Ahmed

in Islam

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780748639670
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653188 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639670.003.0010
The Elaboration of Institutional Theory

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This chapter discusses the seal of Muhammad's prophecy. It focuses on the second fact of Muhammad's message which is noted by Muhammad Iqbal. In this chapter, the focus is on how the term ‘seal of prophecy’ is understood and interpreted. It aims to discover whether Muhammad was the last of the prophets. It is proposed in this chapter that the ‘seal of prophecy’ can be understood in two ways. First, it is interpreted that the line of prophets was closed from the inside, as it were, and that the last prophet concludes this line while remaining a part of it. He is necessarily an integral part of this line that he concludes, and cannot depart from it or transcend it in any way. The second interpretation is that the seal of prophecy is closure of the prophetic line from the outside, as it were. Seen in these terms the seal of prophecy is one that puts a definitive end to the human need to rely on an external source of knowledge and norm for conduct. It therefore announces the opening of a new era in human history, in which humans, having reached maturity, no longer require a guide on whom to rely in every aspect of existence no matter how trifling. The task of the Prophet of Islam is, therefore, to guide people to a new sense of responsibility and acceptance of the results of their own choices.

Keywords: Muhammad; Muhammad Iqbal; seal of prophecy; prophetic line; prophecy

Chapter.  18983 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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