Muhammad was the last prophet

Sura 33 verse 40Why Mohammed was not allowed to have a son

"Mohammed is not the father of any of your husbands, but the Messenger of God and the seal of the prophets."

Verse 40 from Sura 33 is the only textual testimony in the Koran for the central theological claim, according to which Mohammed was the last prophet. At the same time, it is one of only four verses in which the Arab prophet is mentioned by name.

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The verse connects Muhammad's status as the last prophet with the fact that he left no son at the time of his death.

Powers is an internationally recognized expert on Islamic inheritance law. (priv.) According to the Quran commentators, verse 40 teaches that Muhammad was not the father of a man named Zaid; Zaid is the only believer who is mentioned by name in the Koran alongside the Prophet (33:37). Who was this man who gave rise to the revelation of verse 40?

Around the year 580, Zaid Ibn Haritha was enslaved at the age of about twenty. Later he was sold to Mohammed. Around 605, Mohammed gave Zaid a choice between freedom and slavery. Amazingly, Zaid chose slavery. Mohammed then ordered Zaid's release and adopted him as his son.

he mutual right to inheritance between father and son was established and Zaid's name was changed: From now on he was Zaid Ibn Mohammad - Zaid, son of Mohammed.

Zaid was the third person and the first adult male to join the community of believers - that is, to become a Muslim. Among the people they called him the darling of the Messenger of God. In Mecca he married Umm Aiman ​​and in Medina he married Zaynab bint Jahsch. Umm Aiman ​​bore him a son named Usama, one of the Prophet's grandsons.

In 627 Mohammed fell in love with Zaynab. Zaid divorced his wife so that his father could marry his previous daughter-in-law (33:37). In connection with this episode, the Koran abolished the institution of adoption (33: 4-5).

Mohammed informed Zaid that from now on there could no longer be any father-son relationships between the two men. As might be expected, Zaid expressed no regret over the loss of his status as the son and heir of the Prophet. He returned to his birth name Zaid Ibn Haritha. The Islamic sources will later refer to him as mawlâ "or as a friend of the Messenger of God.

In 629, Mohammed appointed Zaid to command a military expedition to southern Jordan. He died a martyr's death near the town of Mu’ta.

At the moment of his passing, he hurried to the paradise garden. This is what the biography of the prophet, the Sîra, says. And further: there was a beautiful woman with dark red lips waiting for him.

According to tradition, '’isha, the youngest wife of Mohammed, said: "Had Zaid survived the Prophet, he would have succeeded him."

One of the first Koran commentators, the scholar Muqâtil Ibn Sulaymân, wrote on verse 40: "If Zaid had remained Muhammad's son any longer, he would have been a prophet."

The existence of a man named "Zaid, son of Mohammed" thus clearly represented a political danger for the early leaders of the Muslim community. And not only that. This would also have posed a theological danger - namely for the doctrine of the end of prophecy, of Mohammed as the seal of all prophets.

These dangers were eliminated by the revelation of several verses in sura 33 - including verse 40 as well as verses 4, 5 and 37.

The audio version is a slightly shortened version of this text for reasons of broadcasting time.