Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
I was discussing the return of ‘Isa (Allah bless him and give him peace) with someone and I said that he will still be, at his return, prophet, and messenger Isa (Allah bless him and give him peace). My intention was obviously not to say that he will carry any message as Mohammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the final prophet and as Allah made Islam the final and complete religion for all of mankind. Rather I was thinking that as he did not die, he will still be “prophet Isa” meaning he will still hold his previous title of prophet preceding Mohammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Was I wrong? I have seen well-known shaykh saying yes and others saying no. And Allah knows best.
Also, did I, by ignorance, commit apostasy (may Allah protect us from that), and if so, what do? Recite Shahada if ever needed?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
The Prophet ‘Isa (may Allah give him peace) is a prophet of Allah and he will always be considered a prophet. Even after the messenger of Allah Isa passes away (after his second coming), he will still be referred to as a prophet.
However, his term of prophethood has ended; likewise, the prophethood of all the other prophets.
The Second Coming
When Prophet ‘Isa (may Allah give him peace) returns, he will return as a follower of the message and law of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace). He will be a type of reviver of the Prophet Muhammad’s (may Allah bless him and give him peace) message/law but will not bring his own message or law. Therefore, he is not a current term prophet.
Consider the Following Example
The former presidents of the United States are always referred to as Mr. President, however, each and every president is bound by the laws of the current president. Consider the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace) as the current and final Prophet and he will remain such till the end of time. All other prophets/messengers are still prophets/messengers but in a former sense.
Your statement that ‘Isa (may Allah give him peace) will be a prophet when he returns is not disbelief. The intended meaning is what has been explained above-he has and always will have the title of prophet, even though his term of prophecy has ended. No new prophet can ever be recognized after the final prophethood, the prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace).
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.