The aforementioned book discusses the full meaning of “Khatm al-Nabuwwa.” The Shaikh in a very scholarly manner explains that when Allah taala calls the Messenger of Allah “Khatam an-Nabiyyin,” this is clearly in the context of praise. However just the fact that the Messenger of Allah , peace and blessings be upon him, came at the end of a line of prophets in terms of time, is not in itself something of virtue. Thus there must be more to this epithet that does establish virtue for and the loftiness of the Messenger of Allah , peace and blessings upon him. Shaikh Qasim argues this is that the attribute of Khatam (seal or finality) means that the origin and spring of Prophethood is the Prophet Muhammad , peace and blessings be upon him, and the prophethood of all other prophets extends from it.
Thus it would be said Prophethood as an intrinsic property (bil-Dhat) belongs only to the Prophet Muhammad , peace and blessings be upon him. As for the other prophets their prophethood extends from and is a reflection (bil-`Ard) of his prophethood. To explain further what he means, the Shaikh gives the example of light. We see that when the sun rises light appears on the walls, roads and fields. These things can be said to have light, however that is by virtue of the sun and is borrowed from it. As such it will be said this light they have is the sun alones and it is the sun that possess real light because it is by virtue of its own being and not borrowed from anything. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, position is like that of the sun in that his person has the quality of prophethood in essence (bil-Dhat) and has not gained it from anyone. The Prophethood of all other prophets extends and is taken from his Prophethood, peace and blessings be upon him. As such their prophethood, like the light of the wall, is borrowed (bil-`Ard). Since the prophethoods of all prophets come to an end at the prophethood of the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, thus it will be said, Prophethood finishes with the person of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. This is the fuller meaning of the “Finality of Prophethood” or “Khatm al-Nabuwwah.” The Shaikh obviously bolstered his opinion by many proofs from the Holy Qur’an and Hadith that support this meaning.
It should be noted that no where in the book does he deny that the Messenger of Allah , peace and blessings be upon him is the last and final prophet in terms of his, peace and blessings be upon him, place in time. Rather, as I have mentioned the Shaikh was saying the greatness of the Messenger of Allah , peace and blessings upon him, cannot be established by his merely coming at the end of a line of prophets. It is obvious this does not, in any sane person’s understanding, mean that the Shaikh is also saying that the Messenger of Allah , peace and blessings be upon him, is not the final prophet chronologically.
The narration of Ibn Abbas r.a.
Shaikh Qasim’s explanation also had in mind the 7 earths narration of Ibn Abbas r.a. It is narrated in Dur al-Manthur of Imam Suyuti that:
“Verily Allah created seven earths. Upon each earth is an Adam like your Adam, a Nuh like your Nuh, a Ibrahim like your Ibrahim, Isa like your Isa and a prophet like your Prophet”
If it is kept on its apparent meaning, one of the meanings is that just as there is a final prophet of the prophets of our earth so too will there be for the prophets of those earths. Thus the unrivalled greatness and virtuosity of Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, as the final Prophet is no longer found. Through the above explanation of Shaikh Qasim, even if this meaning is taken of Ibn Abbas r.a. narration, it does not take away from the superiority and virtuosity of the Prophet Muhammad over all prophets including those on the other earths even with the existence of last prophets in those lines of prophets. In this way, not only is the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, chronologically the last Prophet on our earth (in terms of time), and all claimers of prophethood after him are liars and dajjals, but also he is the seal and master of all the prophets of all the earths. (See Asiradarvi’s biography: “Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautvi Hayat awr Kaarname,” pp. 414-419.
This was the greatly researched opinion of Shaikh Qasim. However, this is not the only opinion regarding the narration of Ibn Abbas and the meaning of “Khatm al-Nabuwwah,” such that we are obliged to follow it.
 There are scholars such as Shaikh Abd al-Hay Laknawi who held there are prophets like our prophets on the six earths and there are also six final prophets. He also adds, nevertheless our final Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, is still greater than them for several reasons he mentions, see Majmuat al-Fatawa, vol.1 p.20.
 There is also another view, that of Shaikh Aloosi who said that these prophets in these six earths are being likened to the prophets of our earth in that they are guides and distinguished above the other inhabitants there. Thus there is no question of “final prophets” being there too who could detract from the virtue of the Finality of our Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him.
 Similarly, many scholars have simply rejected the narration of Ibn Abbas r.a., these include many scholars such as Ibn Kathir, Ibn Hajr and Abu Hayyan.
The scholars mentioned in 1, 2 and 3, who are the majority, however differently they have viewed the narration of Ibn Abbas r.a. have all upheld the basic meaning of “Khatam” as final in terms of time only, without considering a fuller meaning to the word “Khatam.”
However, the opinion of Shaikh Qasim is one of erudition and based upon evidence. In fact such depth of understanding and research is the mark of true scholars. One should remember that Scholars have always had differences of opinion and as long as this is based upon evidence, and does not entail denial of the definitive texts, it has always been tolerated.
One should ask those who Takfir what is the basis of doing Takfir? The Shaikh has not denied the finality of the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah , peace and blessings upon him, any sense. Nor has he denied a definitive text of the Holy Qur’an.
If one looks at how the Ahl-Sunnah have viewed Takfir, one will always note that the jamhoor of the scholars did not do takfir for the real deviations of many sects who denied particular beliefs based on verses because, however defective was their basis, they did argue using texts. At the most they would declare them innovaters and Fussaq.
Thus to do takfir of such a great Imam is abandoning the methodology of the ahl-al-sunnah, especially in view of the fact he has not rejected any definitive text. Thus one can only attribute this to personal grudges and sectarian prejudices.
Those who do such rash and thoughtless takfir of such Muslim scholars are merely destroying their Next-life at their own hands. The Messenger of Allah , peace and blessings be upon him, said: “When a Muslim says to his brother ‘Kafir,’ one of the two will certainly be so.” (Sahih Muslim).
Read the whole article at http://www.as-suffa.org/qa/2007/05/2...asim-nanautvi/