This is partly a reply to Bender's post 170
per my current understanding, the closest definition for "ism" in The Quran is something like "identifier" not an attribute.
see for example 12:78
12:78 They said: "O Al3azeezu, he has an elderly father, so take one of us in his place. Indeed we see you as one of the good doers."
Obviously Al3azeezu is not an attribute of Yusuf, but that is how his brothers identified him.
The same goes for AlAsma AlHusna, they are not attributes of Allah but identifiers of Him. Like "He is Al3azeezu AlHakeemu".
Anyways this is how I understand it at the moment.
I think we are back to splitting hairs. Of course names are identifiers, but they are not numbers. If we identified people by numbers randomly attributed, we could keep to the "identifier" idea without any problem. But names identify not randomly, identify because somebody uses them for a reason. All prophets names in the Qur'an and even non prophet names have a reason. When you say that Al 3adil is an identifier, I agree, but it identifies because it is pointing at something which pertains to the named, it is not a mark without a meaning. So in fact a name is also a title in the Qur'an. We are "perverted" by our present usage of giving names which mean nothing, whereas through history were for a long time given with a meaning. They still are in many places and on many occasions, and those names that are earned, may be called nicknames, alias or whatever, they may not be legal names of a person but they are certainly names by Qur'anic usage. Such a name may be attrributed to more than one person, then those persons would be distinguished by some other addition if the person meant did not get idenfied clearly, like with X the younger or X the older, or things like that.
So really this thing about Muhammad name or title, we may quietly say that it is both, so what? And, as I said in previous message some pages ago, if there is the prediction by 3isa ibnu Maryam that there will come a messenger whose name is Ahmad, which means the most praised, and then later on there is talk about a Muhammadun which means praised, is it really, really that preposterous to think that that passive participle, muhammadun, praised, is in fact a certification by the Qur'an, that that Ahmad prediction has been fulfilled, that the most praised has indeed been praised, that the prediction is a thing done?
Then there are allusions to the present to how what is said in the Qur'an is nto for the past (only I guess) but for all time, so what? That does not change a thing to the fact that the Qur'an was transmitted at a certain point in history, as to when exactly there are different opinions, but for us certainly in the past rather old past. So now we are all, or we should all strive to be Muhammaduun, fine, so in what that does change a thing to a past Muhammadun? And what is incoherent or surprising to having a praised messenger as khatam annabiyin? does that not stand as a praise to all prophets, as a praise to prophecy, as a praise to the unbreakable flow from God to humanity. Prophecy is living it is not dead, The praised one made it universal under his seal, God made it so. We are all under that seal. All past prophets, all people who received prophecy, in fact all people, all we have to do is to accept it.
This Muhammadun, as far as I am concerned not only does not do away with a Muhammadun person but in fact makes a perfect circle with all creation, because all creation is praised and everybody is praised for as long as we acknowledge that we spring from the divinity, that all we are is a flow from the divinity, prophecy is that, the certification that Divinity is always flowing to us and back, or not? the conscience of being a projection of the divinity, of the divine conscience and will, and as a divine deed wothy of praise because we are not by ourselves, but by the divine will.
I may be wrong, but I perceive in some people, not you Bender, a certain guilty selfconsciousness concerning al Rasul that transmitted the Qur'an, as if he was helplessly tainted by polygamy, cruelty, all the sins that have been piled on him by enemies and "friends" alike.
We should do away with that. Those are mental ghosts, noise. What remains is the khatam and the string of Allah to all of us, which we should not let go of. The khatam entails also a promise from our God, and this "our" is not as opposed to yours or their, but a closer feeling of God, who is not a stranger, but our intimate God.
This khatam and Muhhamadun thing is greater than our petty personal appreciations of this or that depiction of a man. It is a declaration of essence, of divine essence to humans. We are not tied to minute dos or don'ts and splitting hairs. We are free, free to feel, to think, to love, fee not to put limits to our divine aspirations.
Yes, sorry , this was a long sermon. The catholic church does not know what it lost when it didn't allow women to be priests. I would have made may be not the best, but the longest sermonist around. My excuses.