Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
I heard an argument from an Ahmadi saying that verses 22:75 and 3:179 say “Allah chooses…” with a present imperfect and due to that it means the action is continuous. He uses that argument to say Allah will continue to send messengers, and Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) is not the last Messenger. Obviously, this is not the case. What would be a response to this argument? Particularly for the Quran grammar argument, he is using.
Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa baratuh.
I pray you are well.
Protect Yourself From Obfuscations
Firstly, the best response I can give you is to not listen to such sources of doubt. Listening to the arguments of such people can cause untold harm. Sometimes, the argument going into and it grows like a seed until one ends up with massive doubts about things that are otherwise certain realities.
Regardless of what his grammatical argument is, it contradicts a clear verse of the Quran:
“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men but is the Messenger of Allah and the seal of the prophets. And Allah has [perfect] knowledge of all things. “(Quran,33:40)
The verse clearly expresses that he is the ‘seal’ of the Prophets (Allah bless them all and grant them peace). The word seal is what is placed on a letter after it has been written, so nothing further can be added. This is very clear in the context of the end of a message and how the scholars of tafsir understood it.
The Use of the Present Tense
The verses you referred to are:
“Allah selects messengers from both angels and people, for Allah is truly All-Hearing, All-Seeing. “(Quran, 22:75)
“Allah would not leave the believers in the condition you were in until He distinguished the good from the evil [among you]. Nor would Allah [directly] reveal to you the unseen, but He chooses whoever He wills as a messenger. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And if you are faithful and mindful [of Allah], you will receive a great reward. “(Quran, 3:179)
Yes, the words for ‘choosing’ (Yastafi and Yajtabi) are present tense verbs, and the present tense can indicate repetition and continuation, but this is context-specific. Their case here, however, is that the present tense is used to indicate what can be seen as a rule, a law, or a general trend. (Samira’i, Ma’ani al Nahu)
For example, Allah used the present tense in the verse “Allah commands you regarding your children: the share of the male will be twice that of the female. “(Quran, 4:11) The word translated here as ‘commands’ is ‘yusi’ in Arabic. It is a present tense verb. This division of one’s estate was only revealed once.
Just because the verb is a present tense verb as we are going to say these instructions and commands will be revealed or reiterated to us repeatedly? Clearly not. There are very few verses that deal with inheritance, and the content of this verse is not repeated elsewhere.
The principle is further clarified when we look at verses talking about Allah guiding (yahdi), misguiding (yudillu), providing rizq (yarzuqu), etc. The point is that they express a rule or divine order of things. Perpetual occurrence is secondary and is context-specific.
I hope that clarifies the matter. It’s best you engage in learning that will strengthen your belief and practice without it being put at risk.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani