After the verdict from Quran and traditions, the views of the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) are the third proof to establish the finality of prophethood and messengership of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh). The entire history of Islam is witness that the companions of the Holy Prophet were united on their belief in finality of prophethood of the Prophet (pbuh) and they also waged war against false claimants of prophethood.

In this context, the incident of Musaylamah is very famous. This person not only claimed prophethood, but also claimed a position for himself equal to the Holy Prophet (pbuh). He wrote a letter to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) saying – “From prophet Musaylamah to Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). I have been sent to share the weight of prophethood along with you.”

The famous historian Tabari says that Musaylamah even included the following sentence in the call to prayer (Azaan) – “I bear witness that Mohammed is the Messenger of God.”

Despite having belief in the Messengership of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh), Musaylamah was considered as a disbeliever and outside the fold of Islam. Not only this, a war was fought against him. Bani Haneef was one such person who brought faith in Musaylamah. He was led to believe that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) considered Musaylamah as his equal. It was made famous in Medina that some verses of the Quran were revealed in his favour.

Even though Bani Haneef was deliberately misguided and he was misinformed, the Muslim community considered him outside the fold of Islam and raised an army to fight him. Some people say that he was only a rebel and not a disbeliever. But this is not established from the circumstances. As per Islamic law, in a war fought with Muslim rebels, it is not permitted to capture any people as prisoners of war. But after the war with him, women and children from his side were taken as prisoners of war. This proves that he was considered by the community to be outside the fold of Islam. From amongst these women, one respected lady came to the house of Imam Ali (as) from whom a personality of the stature of Hazrat Mohammed Hanafiyyah was born.
(Ref: Al Bidaya Wan Nihaya, vol 6, page 316-325)

The above incident is a clear proof that the companions did not consider him as a rebel – rather they treated him as a disbeliever – only because he sought to continue the chain of prophethood after the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) and brought faith Musaylamah – a false claimant of prophethood. This action against Musaylamah was taken immediately after the death of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and the companions led by the first caliph Abu Bakr, led the united movement against him. The verdict of the companions regarding the finality of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is clear from this incident.

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