The Holy Prophet (saw) in the Bible

The Holy Quran attests to the fact that the Holy Prophet (saw) was propheciesed in the Bible, in both, the Torah and Gospels. Rather than presenting dozens of prophecies in the books, some of which can be rather ambiguous, I have opted to choose just two, one from the Torah and the other from the gospel of John. I have put these prophecies to the test, i.e. discussing them with Christian preachers and have seen our interpretations to be quite robust. The first one, is from the fifth book of the Torah: Deut 18:18 – 20:

“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.

And whoever will not give heed to my words which he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.

But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 

The following points can be derived from the above prophecy:

  1. That the Prophet was to be similar to Moses.
  2. He will be among the ‘brethren’ of the Israelites.
  3. God himself will speak words to that Prophet who will in turn relate them back to people.
  4. Whoever lies about receiving revelation from God, that person will die.

So who qualifies and satisfies the above criteria? Our Christian friends believe it is Jesus. However was Jesus a Prophet like Moses? According to all Christians, Jesus is unique, the divine son of God, sinless and perfect. How can anyone be similar to Jesus? He can be said to be among the brethren of the Israelites, but the third point about God putting words in his mouth and him relaying it to the people is not entirely suitable for the ‘son of God’, as the gospels contain few words from God the Father Himself. The Christian Jesus does however fulfill the final criteria; he was put to death! Therefore if the above is true, then (God forbid) Jesus was a liar and was punished for fabricating revelation. This point itself completely rules out the Christian Jesus being the Prophet.

On the other hand, another personality seems to fulfill the above very well. He is no doubt the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sw) of Islam. Analysing each point:

  • (1) Both Prophets had normal births. Both had wives and children. Both had revelations which they wrote down. But had introduced a new Law in their teachings. Both became accepted Leaders of their respective tribes/people, and most importantly both are believed to be full human by all people and religions.
  • (2) ‘Brethren’ in Hebrew this is אח (Ahgh) meaning: brother, born of same mother (& father). Also of half brother, (Gen 20:5). A. Relative (Gen 13:8). (The Brown Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, F.Brown, S.Driver, C.Briggs)

The word has been used many times in the OT, in Gen 20:5 regarding Abraham and his wife Sarah: “Did he not himself say to me, `She is my sister’? And she herself said, `He is my brother (Ahgh).’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.”

Gen 13:8 is: “Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen; for we are kinsmen (Ahgh)’”

The same word is used in Numbers 20:14 referring to the Edomites: Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, “Thus says your brother (Ahgh) Israel: You know all the adversity that has befallen us:” The Edomites were descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Israel (Gen 36:43). Thus they were not Jews, nor Israelites. We also have Deut 23:7 where God commands the Israelites: “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother (Ahgh); you shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were a sojourner in his land.”

So from a Lexical point of view, ‘brethren’ has a much broader meaning than ‘an Israelite’. It would encompass the Edomites, and the half brothers of he Israelites; and definitely the Ishmaelites; from whom the Holy Prophet of Islam was descended.

  • (3) The Holy Prophet claimed to have received direct revelation from God. And this is what comprises the Holy Quran.
  • (4) The Prophet of Islam was protected from being killed by anyone. He died a natural death at the age of 62 in Medina. Thus if (God forbid) he was a liar, God would have had him put to death as verse 20 mentions. But he proved to be a true Prophet of God.

So with all the facts laid out, it is clear who the Promised ‘Prophet like Moses’ was. It was not Jesus, but the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw).

The other Prophecy which is worth analyzing is from the fourth Gospel, that of John. Jesus speaks of the coming of the Paraclete; translated as ‘Comforter’.

There has been much debate over what or who the Paraclete is. To the Christians, it is the Holy Spirit, while to the Muslims, it is the Prophet of Islam. If we examine the role of the Paraclete, we’ll see 6 distinct roles he will do:

  1. He will dwell with the people and in the people forever. (John 14:17)
  2. Jesus must go away, for if he does not go away the Paraclete will not come. (John 16:7)
  3. He will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness. (John 16:8)
  4. He will guide the people to all truth, truth which even Jesus was unable to preach to the people. (John 16:13)
  5. He will not speak on his own authority, but what he hears he will speak. (John 16:13)
  6. He will glorify Jesus. (John 16:14)

Examining each point:

1. It is true that the Holy Spirit does abide with the people and in the people forever. Jesus speaks about his followers abiding in him and he abiding in them. (John 15:4), this of course is not to be taken literally, but symbolically. Likewise do Muslims claim that the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (sw) also lives with and in them, his legend lives on, and he is remembered by billions of people to this day.

2. Does this mean that the Paraclete is not present when Jesus is present? If this is the Holy Spirit, this is confusing. As mention of the Holy Spirit is made before Jesus’ birth, when his aunt Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. (Luke1:41) Her husband, the Prophet Zechariah is also filled with the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1:67) So the Holy Spirit existed before Jesus was even born. Did it exist while Jesus was in the earth?  The Holy Spirit is said to have descended on Jesus in the form of a dove! (Luke 3:22) but above Jesus states that the Paraclete cannot come until he goes. Did the Paraclete depart from Jesus? Did the Prophet of Islam arrive when Jesus was still present? No.

3/4. If the Holy Spirit was to convince the world of sin and righteousness, what was Jesus doing? Was he not explaining what sin and righteousness was?

The Paraclete would teach all about sin and righteousness, something Jesus was unable to do. This what the Holy Prophet did, as he brought forward a complete and perfect teaching.

5. Is the Holy Spirit below God? Does it speak what it hears? The Holy Spirit is seem to be the third entity of the Trinity, if the Holy Spirit does not speak on its own authority, then it is subordinate to God and therefore makes little sense for it to be part of the Trinity.

However, the Prophet of Islam is subordinate to God, and he is said to have received direct revelation from God, and recorded it in the Quran, word for word. This is what Jesus is talking about when the Paraclete will not speak of himself, but only what he hears.

6. The Paraclete will glorify Jesus. The Holy Quran clear Jesus of the many charges raised against him: “And for their (Jews) saying, `We did slay the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah;’ whereas they slew him not, nor did they bring about his death upon the cross, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified; and those who differ therein are certainly in a state of doubt about it; they have no certain knowledge thereof…” (4:158)

And

“When the angels said, `O Mary, Allah gives thee glad tidings of a son through a word from HIM; his name shall be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the next, and of those who are granted nearness to God;” (4:46)

Furthermore, Jesus also states in John 14:16 that he will pray to God to give the peopleanother Paraclete, if the Paraclete is the Holy Spirit, what sense that make for God to give the people another Holy Spirit? How many are there? But of course, Jesus was talking about a Prophet, that he will pray to God to give the people another Prophet.We have another reference to a Paraclete, this time in the letter of 1John 2:1; “have an advocate (Paraclete) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” Here, Jesus is called the Paraclete. So why does Jesus say above that he must leave for the Paraclete to arrive? When he himself is described as a Paraclete in the NT? It is clear that a Paraclete is a Prophet of God, Jesus is described as one, and he foretells the coming of anotherone, of another Prophet to come in the future. That being none other than the Holy Prophet of Islam who fulfills all the above points.

As mentioned above, there are numerous other prophecies in the Bible regarding the coming of the Holy Prophet, and people can present them in the comments if they wish.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “The Holy Prophet (saw) in the Bible

  1. Exactly the same word was used by Allah in the Qur’an:

    Innaa arsalnaa ilaykum rasoolan shaahidan 3alaykum KAMAA arsalnaa ilaa fir3awna rasoolaa. (73:16)

    “Verily, We have sent to you a Messenger, who is a witness over you, even as We sent a Messenger to Pharaoh.”

    The word is KAMAA which is the Arabic for KAMO in Hebrew, and it means LIKE, AS, EVEN AS, IN THE SAME WAY AS, etc.

    It does not point to any specific similarity, as in fact there are so many similarities that a whole description of them would take up several lines, and prophecies are never so clear as to force people to accept their fulfilment. There is always an element of mystique and haziness in divine prophecies and only the pure of heart understand them. So, the similarities are summarised in Moses (a.s.)’s scripture as “like (Kamo) unto thee”, and in Muhammad (s.a.)’s scripture as “even as (Kamaa) We sent a Messenger to Pharaoh”.

    Please note that neither Kamo nor Kamaa denote identicality. So they were to be SIMILAR to each other, but not IDENTICAL.

    In even a cursory study of Jesus (pbuh)’s and Muhammad (pbuh)’s relative similarities to Moses (pbuh), the Holy Prophet (s.a.) wins hands down.

    As I had specified previously, the verb farraqa applies to BELIEF in, and not to differences in rank of, the prophets.

    We do not make any distinction between Jesus, Moses, Muhammad or any other prophet (peace be upon them all) in our BELIEF in them. We believe in all of them with the same degree of conviction, and believe firmly that they were all equally sent by God. However, we recognise their differences in rank, scope and qualities, as God Himself has mentioned them. Despite these obvious differences between them, we do not accept some and reject others. We accept them all and make no distinction in their status as messengers of God.

    So the word KAMO or KAMAA refers to their lives, missions and qualities, whereas the verb farraqa does NOT address these, but addresses BELIEF in them. It’s a case of apples and oranges.

  2. There is absolutely nothing “risky” in quoting the prophecy mentioning the name of Muhammad (s.a.) in Songs of Solomon. A word can be used in unpleasant instances, but that does not detract from the fact that a name was heard and was inscribed as whatever word sounded the closest. So the revealed word must have been “Muhammad” which was understood as “Mahamad” and then pluralised to “Mahamad-im”.

    This is what happened to the Holy Prophet when he said: “Kaana fi al-Hindi Nabiyyan aswad al-lawni ismuhu Kaahina.” (There was a Prophet in India, dark of colour; his name was Kaahina). Now, the name was in fact Kanhaiyya, but the Prophet (s.a.) heard it as a word in Arabic – Kaahina. In another instance, he was told that the Mahdi would come in a place called Kad’a which was what he understood from Qadian in the revelation.

    Therefore, whatever the meaning of the word Mahamad, and the ways it has been used elsewhere, this prophecy is considered to be a valid one by successive Khulafa of our Jama’at who have not hesitated to quote it. Christian and Jewish scholars opposed to Islam will of course discourage people from using these lines of Songs of Solomon, especially in their Biblical study lectures, so that Muslims lose a very valid argument to prove the Prophet’s truth. So let us not be influenced by the hidden agendas they have in the so-called knowledge they dish out. I have no doubt in my mind that we Ahmadis understand their texts far better than they do. So there is absolutely no reason to be impressed by what they affirm.

  3. näviy äqiym lähem miQerev áchëyhem Kämôkhä w’nätaTiy d’väray B’fiyw w’diBer álëyhem ët Käl-ásher átzaûeNû (I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee)

    I do not read Hebrew. I think the phrase translated to ‘like’ in this verse is ‘Kämô’ (http://lexiconcordance.com/hebrew/3644.html). Do you know its contextual meaning? Does it point towards a specific type of similarity? If it is the equivalent opposite of Arabic ‘farraqa’ then that would invalidate your point.

  4. @ Brother Khadim:

    Point number 1: The assumption made here is that since Muslims have been forbidden to make a distinction between prophets, it must be because they are all similar to each other.

    In fact, the contextual meaning of Arabic verb “farraqa” (“to make a distinction”) used in the verse you quoted is presented in another verse, which is:
    “Surely, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and desire to make a distinction (yufarriqoo) between Allah and His Messengers, and say, ‘We believe in some and disbelieve in others,’ and desire to take a way in between…” (4:151)

    Hence, the distinction is in BELIEF in them, not in their RANK or TYPE. If a person starts differentiating between messengers by saying that he believes in some but not in others, it is then that he is making the forbidden distinction mentioned above.

    For, distinction in rank, there is. It is Allah Himself Who declares it, and Muslims can only say the same, namely that some prophets are greater then others, acording to this verse:

    “These Messengers have We exalted, some of them above others: among them there are those to whom Allah spoke; and some of them He exalted by degrees of rank…” (2:254)

    Therefore, there is certainly a difference in prophets’ ranks, types and qualities. However, in their capacity as prophets, they all equally deserve to be believed in, even if they are dissimilar in their qualities and respective missions.

    If we take just this one single point, it will be enough to show that Jesus (pbuh) cannot be the one mentioned here. He was in no way similar to Moses, neither in his birth, his mission, his role as a non-lawbearing prophet, his celibacy, his non-combative life, and several other aspects. On the other hand, in all these areas, Muhammad (pbuh) is similar to Moses (pbuh).

    Point number 2: It is conceivable that the words “Akhehem” (their brethren) referred to the Israelites themselves; however, this would be a strange way to enunciate the prophecy. Why did Moses (pbuh) not simply say: “I will raise a prophet… among THEM” ? Why say :”among their BRETHREN”? There is a clear indication in this choice of words that the prophet would appear among a people whom the Israelites considered to be their brethren, genetically related to them.

    Points 3 and 4 of course apply to all prophets.

  5. Salam

    I agree that as far as the criteria of the Promised Prophet are concerned, all Prophets can fulfill it. However, I think the question to be asked is, which Prophet has claimed to fulfill this prophecy? I don’t think Jesus claimed it, not any other OT Prophet, however the Holy Prophet does claim so, since he claims to have fulfilled the prophecies mentioned in the Torah, to which this one stands out over all others, my opinion of course.

    I think the purpose of the article was to aid us in showing our Christian friends that it was the Holy Prophet and the Christian Christ who fulfilled this prophecy, since the latter does not fulfill all the criteria according to their understanding.

    The other ones mentioned in the link are all well and good, but I’d advise to ‘try them out’. I tend to keep clear of the Hebrew poetry, the Isaiah text is particular difficult to understand. And as far as the Prophet’s name being mentioned in the Bible in Songs of Solomon, this is risky since the Hebrew word has been used in numerous instances in the OT, some in rather unpleasant instances.

    The above is just my opinion of course.

    Jazak Allah

    Mashhood

  6. ‘theartofmisinformation‘ has summarised the prophecy as:
    “1. That the Prophet was to be similar to Moses.
    2. He will be among the ‘brethren’ of the Israelites.
    3. God himself will speak words to that Prophet who will in turn relate them back to people.
    4. Whoever lies about receiving revelation from God, that person will die.”

    Taking one at a time:
    1. “ Say ye: We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, and Jacob, and his children, and what was given to Moses and Jesus, and what was given to all other prophets from their Lord. We make no difference between any of them; and to Him we submit ourselves.” (Quran 2:137)
    The ‘we make no difference between any of them’ is sufficient for me to accept Isa (as) to be similar to Musa (as). Not to say that Muhammad (saw) did not fulfil this criterion, just that Isa (as) also did.

    2. Isa (as) was from the brethren of the Israelites.

    3. Isa (as) was a prophet of God, and this was his task by definition.

    4. Isa (as) died a natural death at old age.

    My question regarding the numerous other prophecies that point towards to Muhammad (saw) has been answered in the article http://www.alislam.org/library/links/Biblical_prophecy.html

    I am still however not convinced of the “tried and tested” status of quoting this verse as claimed by ‘theartofmisinformation’ and ‘Mashhood Ahmad’. I would not be able to present it (on its own) to someone, while being unsure myself that (on its own) it refers to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and not Prophet Isa (as).

  7. Salam

    I do believe there to be numerous other prophecies in the OT referring to the Holy Prophet (saw), which is why I think the last paragraph was laid out for people to discuss here in the comments. The Deut 18 seems quite clear cut, in that it is definitely a Prophecy of the coming of someone after Prophet Moses, and is the most common in our discussions with our Christian friends. I think if we stick with these two we can’t go wrong, but of course like you said, there will be others, but they need to be tried and tested thoroughly before presenting.

    Jazak Allah

    Mashhood

  8. @Khadim: Salaam. Could you be more specific in your question please? In what way does the true Jesus (pbuh), whom we believe in, fulfil the criteria laid down in the prophecy of Moses (pbuh)?

  9. The prophecy in the Torah:
    You have refuted the claim that this prophecy refers to the Christian Jesus. It does not appear to me however that the criteria laid out were not fulfilled by the Jesus (as) we believe in as Ahmadi Muslims. There must be more in the numerous other prophecies that points towards Muhammad (saw) right?

Join the Discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s