HomeMST Reviewvol. 19 no. 2 (2017)

Prophecy and Holiness: From the Deathbed of Muhammad Rasul Allah to the Peaceful Valley of Ibrahim Khalil Allah

Thomas Mooren



This article explores the meaning of prophecy and holiness in Islam. The thesis of the author is that here, at the deathbed of Muhammad, certain options of understanding Islam, his revelation, the work, and the role of the person of Prophet Muhammad (and his family) in daily piety, etc., can already be detected in nuce. Historically, we will have to deal with the great “schism” between Sunnis and the Shia. Within this context what can be the role of Abraham, called by the Qur’an Khalil Allah (friend of God), in searching for a synthesis between holiness and prophecy? The death of the prophet Muhammad has split the followers of Islam into two communities—the Sunnites and the Shi’ites. It has been established that Muhammad was the seal of prophecy but not the seal of holiness. It seems that the split between the Sunnites and the Shi’ites has reached its deepest level and turned out to be a choice between prophecy and holiness. The author, however, claims that one cannot stand without the other. Prophecy cannot be deprived of the aspect of holiness and holiness as imbued too with true prophecy. For the author, the ideal Muslim must be a ‘synthesis’ between the two poles of ‘prophecy and holiness’. This prophet could be Ibrahim (Abraham). Finally, how can his role as God’s friend work as an inspiration for the contemporaneous interreligious dialogue, above all between Muslims, Jews, and Christians?