In an attempt to refute the enormous amount of evidence presented wherein the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) categorically said that he was the last prophet and messnger, most Bahais will say yes. But in the same breath, they will also say that the Bab and Bahaullah did not claim to be prophets and messengers but manifestations. They will also say that the other prophets were to warn of the coming of the Day of Judgment and the Bab and Bahaullah inaugurated this Mighty Day.

Now to this I will say 2 things.

Firstly, many Bahais at the same time claim that the coming of each of the messengers was also another Day of Judgment in the sense that mankind had to judge whether they would believe in the messenger or not

Also, secondly, Bab and Bahaullah also made prophecies just like all the other prophets. For example, didn't Bahaullah prophecy the coming of another Manifestation in 1000 years and didn't he also claim that his Baha cycle would last for (hold your breath!) 500,000 years? If so then Bahaullah was also prophecying and warning of another coming major Day of Judgment. You see these semantics are now getting silly. Its like me claiming now that I am an "enlightener" and everyone in my "cycle" will be called "enlighteners" and so when Bahaullah said that no new "manifestation" would come in 1000 years it doesn't exclude me because I am an "enlightener" not a "manifestation". Besides the silliness, these Bahai arguments are mute because the Bab and Bahaullah DID use the words prophets and messengers for themselves. For example :

"For they [the Manifestations] one and all summon the people of the earth to acknowledge the Unity of God, and herald unto them the Kawthar of an infinite grace and bounty. They are all invested with the robe of Prophethood, and honoured with the mantle of glory." (5)
Ref: Bahaullah Kitab-i-Iqan 152-153

The Light of Divine Guidance, Second Volume, by Shoghi Effendi, pp. 8-9 says, real Bahá'í would be one who is convinced that Bahá'u'lláh was a world-teacher and a Messenger of God bearing to mankind a great Message,

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 159 says says,
No one hath been or will ever be invested with prophethood other than Thee (Bab) , nor hath any sacred Book been or will be revealed unto any one except Thee

Some Answered Questions, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 152 says,
Therefore, the reality of prophethood , which is the Word of God and the perfect state of manifestation, did not have any beginning and will not have any end; its rising is different from all others and is like that of the sun

Some Answered Questions, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 164-165 says,
The Manifestations of universal Prophethood Who appeared independently are, for example, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh.

Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, by J. E. Esslemont, pp. 8-9 says,
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. -- Matt. vii, 15-17, 20 In the chapters that follow, we shall endeavor to show whether Bahá'u'lláh's's claim to Prophethood stands or falls by application of these tests:...

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 61-62 says,
O peoples of the earth! Verily His Remembrance is come to you from God after an interval during which there were no Messengers ,+F1 that He may purge and purify you from uncleanliness in anticipation of the Day of the One true God;

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 124-125 says,
And beware lest thou regard as an idle fancy the good-pleasure of God; it is the same as the good-pleasure of His Messenger(the Bab) . Consider the followers of Jesus. They were eagerly seeking the good-pleasure of God, yet none of them attained the good-pleasure of His Apostle which is identical with God's good-pleasure, except such as embraced His Faith.

Paris Talks, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 103 says,
They cannot answer us, but instead, they write all they can think of against the Divine Messenger , Bahá'u'lláh. Do not let your hearts be troubled by these defamatory writings! Obey the words of Bahá'u'lláh and answer them not.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 313-314 says,
Therefore, the divine Prophets are one, inasmuch as They reveal the one reality, the Word of God. Abraham announced teachings founded upon reality, Moses proclaimed reality, Christ established reality and Bahá'u'lláh was the Messenger and Herald of reality.

Messages to the Bahá'í World: 1950-1957, by Shoghi Effendi, p. 94 says,
Efforts are moreover being strenuously exerted for the establishment of similar endowments in the twenty-one remaining countries. Following the completion and adoption of the design for the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in the cradle of the Faith, steps have been taken for the preparation of no less than three additional designs, one for the Temple scheduled to be erected in the heart of the European Continent, another for the one to be erected in the near future in the African Continent, and the third for the one contemplated for Australasia, paving the way thereby in each of the remaining continents of the globe for the erection of a House to be consecrated to the worship of the one true God,and to the glory and honor of His Messenger for this Day.

Messages to the Bahá'í World: 1950-1957, by Shoghi Effendi, pp. 103-104 says,
the contamination of the atmosphere of the earth--these stand out as the signs and portents that must either herald or accompany the retributive calamity which, as decreed by Him Who is the Judge and Redeemer of mankind, must, sooner or later, afflict a society which, for the most part, and for over a century, has turned a deaf ear to the Voice of God's Messenger in this day--a calamity which must purge the human race of the dross of its age-long corruptions,

Then we get some Baha'is who will say, that, yes, the Qur'an says that Muhammad (pbuh) was the last prophet but it doesn't say that he was the last messenger (the Prophet Muhhamd (pbuh) in his sayings explicitly said on so many occasions that he was the last prophet and messenger AND to make it even more clear he said that no new community of believers will be raised by God after his nation, the muslims).

So we tell Bahais that being a prophet is a pre-requisite to being a messenger. You cannot be a messenger without also being a prophet. The Bahai's will retort that no, the messengership might occur together with prophethood but they are separate things and that, yes, Bab and Bahaullah were messengers but not prophets. Now, I have already quoted many quotes from the Bahai scriptures that say that the Bab and Bahaullah were prophets (not the least of which is the first quote given wherein Bahaullah himself says that ALL manifestations are also prophets).

So then we ask our creative Bahai friends, what is the difference between messenger and prophet and the asnwer he gives goes something like this: messengers are revealed books to and a code of law while prophets have no revealed book and only follow the messenger under his shadow and confirm him. So we say fine, then explain the followng:

  1. David is referred to only as a prophet in the Qur'an though the Psalms (a book) was revealed to him

  2. Ishmael, Lot, Aaron, Hud, Salih, Shu'ayb, as well as Joseph are all referred to as messengers. Pray tell, what book was revealed to them and what code of law? In the case of Aaron he was in the shadow of Moses and Ishmael and Lot were in the shadow of Abraham.

  3. [al-A`raf 7:67.16] He (HUD) said: O my people (the 'Ad) ! There is no foolishness in me, but I am a MESSENGER from the Lord of the Worlds

  4. [Maryam 19:54.21] And make mention in the Scripture of ISHMAEL. Lo! he was a keeper of his promise, and he was a MESSENGER (of Allah), a PROPHET

  5. [ash-Shu`ara' 26:141] (The tribe of) THAMUD denied the messengers (of Allah) ash-Shu`ara' 26:142] When their brother SALIH said unto them: Will ye not ward off (evil) ?[ash-Shu`ara' 26:143.6] Lo! I am a faithful MESSENGER unto you,

  6. [ash-Shu`ara' 26:160] The folk of LOT denied the messengers (of Allah),[ash-Shu`ara' 26:161] When their brother LOT said unto them: Will ye not ward off (evil) ?[ash-Shu`ara' 26:162.6] Lo! I am a faithful MESSENGER unto you

  7. [ash-Shu`ara' 26:176] The dwellers in the WOOD (MIDIAN) denied the messengers (of Allah),[ash-Shu`ara' 26:177] When SHU'AYB said unto them: Will ye not ward off (evil) ?[ash-Shu`ara' 26:178.6] Lo! I am a faithful MESSENGER unto you

  8. [Ta Ha 20:46] He said: Fear not. Lo! I am with you twain (MOSES AND AARON) , Hearing and Seeing. [Ta Ha 20:47.12] So go ye unto him and say: Lo! we are two MESSENGERS of thy Lord. So let the children of Israel go with us, and torment them not. We bring thee a token from thy Lord. And peace will be for him who followeth right guidance.

Also in 3:81 the Holy Qur'an says:
"Behold! God took the covenant of the PROPHETS, saying I give you a BOOK and wisdom, then comes to you a MESSENGER (i.e the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)), confirming what is with you, do you believe in him and render him help. God said: "Do you agree and take this My covenant as binding on you? They said : "we agree". He said, then bear witness and I am with you among the witnesses."

As you can see this little theory of Bahais once again doesn't stand up to the test put forward by the Bahais themselves. So what answer is there?

God alone knows the true difference of messenger versus prophet or even if there's a difference. Obviously it is not as simple as Baha'is claim that messengers receive a book and a new code of law and prophets follow them under their shadow (a comparison often given is like David and Solomon who were prophets following Moses who was a prophet and a messenger).

The only answer I have received from Bahais when confronted with all this evidence was basically (to paraphrase) : "well yes there are prophets and there are prophets". Well to be honest with you, once you get into those kind of realms of personal conjecture by Bahais with nothing else to say, you have to say the argument can't progress further because in this terrain logic is a foreigner and self-serving argumentation the host. Suffice to say when one says someone is the last of prophets, he actually means it. He doesn't mean he's the last of one kind of prophethood and not of another.

Finally, the above arguments are mute as Baha'u'llah admitted Muhammad (pbuh) to have ended both prophethood and Messengerhood:

"Salutations and peace be upon the Lord of mankind, the educator of the nations, He, through whom messengership [risálat] and prophethood [nubuwwat] have been consummated [intahat]." (Bahá'u'lláh, Ishráqát 293)

"I beseech Thee ... by Him Whom Thou hast ordained to be the Seal of the Prophets and of Thy Messengers."
(Ref: Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers 29)

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