by Maulana Ataullah Kaleem
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
… Those who follow the Messenger, the Immaculate One, whom they find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel which are with them. (Al-Quran 7:158)
No doubt there are many prophecies regarding the advent of the Holy Prophet Muhammad in the Bible, but in the above quoted Quranic verse, the Torah and the Gospels are especially mentioned; because Moses and Jesus were prominent figures among all Israelite prophets.
Muslims look upon the source of Bible as holy and divine and its medium as truthful men. And here is a verse of Al-Quran which confirms this statement:
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. (Al Quran 2:137)
Of course, Muslims regard the Christian Scriptures as interpolated, but interpolation still implies retention of some original truths.
The principle that the Holy Prophet Muhammad testifies to the truth of all previous revelations, furnishes a strong foundation for harmony between the various religions of the world, as well as for the unity of the human race. The fact that all of the foregoing prophets testify to the truth of Prophet Muhammad constitutes a yet stronger testimony to the truth of Islam and the Unity of religions.
Moses prophesied about Muhammad.
In Deuteronomy 18:17-19, Moses prophesied:
And the Lord said unto me. They have well spoken that which they have spoken, I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”
The foretold prophet in this prophecy was not Jesus Christ, nor any other Israelite prophet, because none of them ever claimed to be the prophet promised here. We read in the Gospel of John (1:19-21) that in the time of Jesus, the Jews were expecting the advent of three prophets. Firstly Elias, secondly Christ, thirdly a prophet of such universal fame that in his case no other specification was thought necessary. “The Prophet” was enough to convey what was meant. Jesus claimed to be the Christ and he regarded John the Baptist as Elias (Matthew 11:14, 17:10-13). Further, he prophesied about his second advent in the last days when true faith would disappear from the earth (Luke 18:8).
Muhammad to come before the Second Advent of Jesus
Peter describing the time of “That Prophet” says:
He shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. (The Acts 3:20-22)
These words of Peter evidently imply that the advent of “that prophet” will take place before the second advent of Jesus Christ. Jesus pointed out in the parable of the vineyard that after him shall come the Lord of vineyard and added:
The kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth fruits thereof. (Matthew 21:43)
Thus Jesus has made it clear that the Prophet who was to come after him was not to be of the Israelites, but from another nation – their brethren, the Ishmaelites.
This prophecy has been fulfilled in the person of Muhammad, the Holy Founder of Islam. For in the first place, he came from among the descendents of Ishmael, the brethren of Israelites; so that the promise of God concerning Ishmael be fulfilled: ” I have blessed him… and I will make him a great nation.” (Genesis 17:20)
Secondly, he was the prophet who came with a new law — the law of the Quran. None of Israelite prophets including Jesus of Nazareth, with the exception of Moses, brought a new law or dispensation; not did any of them claim to have been like unto Moses. On the other hand, it has been expressly written about Muhammad in the Holy Quran that he was the prophet like unto Moses.
“We have raised a prophet among you like unto the prophet that We sent to Pharoah” (73:16). Again, it invites the attention of the Jews to the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:18 in these words: “A witness from among the Israelites has borne witness of one like him.” (Al-Quran 46:11)
The third proof is that Muhammad spoke naught from himself as it was written in the prophecy (‘whatsoever he shall hear that he shall speak in my name’). In the Holy Quran, all the chapters begin with the words: “In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful”.
Lord Manifests On Mount Paran
There is an important prophecy in the Bible:
And he said, the Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Paran, and he came with ten thousand saints; from right hand went a fiery law for them. (Deuteronomy 33:2)
Coming from Sinai refers to the appearance of Moses and rising up from Seir alludes that of Jesus. The prophet who shone forth from Mount Paran could be no other than the Holy Prophet of Arabia, as Paran is the ancient name of the part of Arabia where the children of Ishmael, the ancestors of Muhammad, settled. The Arabic form of the word Paran is Faran or Pharan. Jacut’s Geographishes Worterbuch (F. Westenfielt, Leipzig, 1862, Vol. III, P834) says that Faran is a name of Mecca. The word Faran seems to be the Arabic Farran. It means two refugees. It appears that the place took the name from Hager and Ishmael, who came there as refugees. Dr. A. Benisch call it in his translation of Pentateuch the desert of Paran.
What unmistakably points to the identity of Muhammad is the phrase: “he came with ten thousands of saints” and “from his right hand went a fiery law for them.” At the time of the conquest of Mecca, ten thousand holy men followed at his heels and he was the bearer of the law of the Quran. Hence, the prophecy has been wonderfully fulfilled in the person of Holy Prophet Muhammad, (peace and blessings of God be upon him).
Arabia is the land of the Promised One
A third prophecy is:
The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companions of Dedanim. The inhabitants of the Land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him they fled. For they fled from the swords, from the drawn swords and from the bent bow, from the grievousness of war. For thus hath the Lord said unto me, within a year, according to the years of a hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail; And the residue of number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall diminished: for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken it. (Isaiah 21:13-17)
The first point to bear in mind in connection with this prophecy is that Arabia is the scene of the Prophecy. This is most significant. Muhammad appeared in Arabia.
Secondly, the prophecy speaks of “Him that fled”. The flight of Muhammad is momentous event in the history of the world. It is upon the flight of Muhammad from Mecca that the Muslim calendar begins.
Thirdly, “fled from drawn swords” conclusively proves the fulfillment of the prophecy in Muhammad who fled from Mecca when his house was surrounded by his deadly enemies who stood there, drawn swords in had, thirsty for his blood.
Fourthly, another clear testimony in favor of Muhammad is found in: “within a year… all the glory of Kedar will fail… the mighty men of Kedar shall diminish.” This was fulfilled in the battle of Badr which occurred within a year from the flight of Muhammad, and in which battle, the Quraish of Mecca (Kedar) sustained a crushing defeat; most of their mighty men fell.
Rev. C. Forster locates the Kedar in Hedjaz and identifies them with Koraish. See: The Historical Geography of Arabia by Rev. C. Forster, pp. 244-265.
The Name Muhammad Mentioned in the Bible
There is an important prophecy in the Song of Solomon (5:9-16). In this prophecy, the one who is spoken of here is the beloved of God. One of the titles of Muhammad is Habibullah — the beloved one of God. Secondly: “My beloved is white and ruddy”. This was the color of Muhammad, Thirdly, “Chiefest among then thousands”. We have already shown that Muhammad was at the head of ten thousand followers at the time of the conquest of Mecca. The fourth and most striking point in this prophecy is the name of Muhammad in verse 16. It reads: “Yea, he is altogether lovely” in English Bible. In the Hebrew Bible, the word is “Muhammad-im”. See Hebrew Bible printed for the British and Foreign Bible Society by Trowitzsch & Sons, Berlin, P. 1159.
The Promised Comforter of the Gospel
The prophecy runs as follows:
If ye love me, keep my commands. And I will pray to the Father and He shall give you another Comforter. That he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth. (John 14:15-17)
But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things..(John 14:26)
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7)
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me.” (John 16:12-14)
John 14:26 says that the Holy Ghost is the Comforter. This claim is contrary to the plain and unambiguous words of John 16:7, wherein Jesus says that his going away, i.e., the death of Jesus is inevitably necessary of the coming of the Comforter. The New Testament says that John was filled with the Holy Ghost even before he was born (Luke 1:14), and speaks of Jesus himself as receiving the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove (Matthew 3:16) Thus, the Holy Ghost was wont to visit men before Jesus as well as in his own time. To what, then is the reference in the words, “If I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you.” Surely not to the Holy Ghost; for it is a matter of common knowledge that the Holy Ghost was co-existing with Jesus, and it would be sacrilegious to think for a moment that Jesus was without the Holy Ghost. So, the Comforter was someone other than the Holy Ghost.
This also supports our assertion that there have been many interpolations in the existing Christian Bible. It is quite obvious that the Comforter cannot be the Holy Ghost, as Jesus uses the pronoun “he” instead of “it” in connection with the Comforter.
Comforter Was To Bring Complete Teachings
According to the prophecy: The Comforter, the Spirit of truth, “will guide you into all truth”. The Holy Prophet Muhammad was the only prophet who claimed to have brought the complete teachings through the Holy Quran about which Devenport Says:
” The Quran is the general code of the Muslim world; a social, civil, commercial, military, judicial, criminal, penal and yet religious code; by it everything is regulated; from the ceremonies of religion to those of daily life; from salvation of the soul to the health of the body; from the rights of general community to those of society, from morality to crime, from punishment here to that of the life to come.”
According to the prophecy: the Comforter would not speak of himself but “whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak”. The spirit descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost was not the Comforter who should not speak of himself, for this spirit broke even the body in which it dwelt. “Me, I, my, we, ourselves” were words uttered by Peter, John, Phillip, James, and by twelve when they assembled together. Hence, the words of prophecy cannot be twisted to the Holy Ghost, which was given to them already as is clear from John 20:22 — “And when he (Jesus) had said this, he breathed on then, and saith unto them. Receive ye the Holy Ghost. ”Moreover, the Holy Ghost, being the third person of the Trinity, is a co-partner in the God-head and has a fair claim to at least one third of it. Why, then should it be reduced to the status of a recipient, hearing anything from any other person. It is, on the hand, the active agent imparting words to others who should communicate them to mankind. Obviously, the passage refers to a man inspired by God, who will transmit to others nothing beyond what is revealed to him. “He doth not speak of himself, but it is the word of God that is revealed to him” says the Holy Quran (53:4-5).
The Comforter is repeatedly spoken of in the Bible as the “Spirit of Truth” and it may be observed here in passing that the word Comforter cannot, by stretch of fancy, be twisted to fit in with the Holy Ghost, for nowhere in the Bible is the latter called the Spirit of Truth. Furthermore, Jesus speaks of Him as another Comforter. Jesus himself, of course, was one Comforter. The other Comforter foretold, therefore, must also be mortal like himself.
The Quranic picture is the same in this respect when it proclaims the advent of the Holy Prophet thus: “Qul Jaa’al Haqqo Wa Zahaqal Baatilo, Innal Baatila Kaana Zahooqa” — Say, the Spirit of Truth is come and falsehood is vanished. (Al-Quran 17:82)
It is futile to object that the Holy Prophet was a man and not a “Spirit”. The Bible itself has used the word “Spirit” in a large variety of senses, as for example: “The Spirit is willing but flesh is weak” where it signifies the spiritual part of man. Again, it is also used to stand for God, both in the Holy Quran and the Bible, as descending upon the righteous, and yet again it signifies a holy person: That which is born of the spirit is spirit”. The Christian contention that the word “spirit” cannot apply to corporal being is therefore without basis.
Muhammad Cleared Jesus of All False Charges
Another function of the Comforter is: “He shall glorify me,” which implies the presence of a human being to bear evidence. What the Holy Ghost can, at best, do is no more than to install into human minds. This, however, is anything but glorifying. Even granting, for the sake of argument, that the Holy Ghost did actually bear witness through human beings, the question arises whether he did purify Jesus of the false charges laid at his door. The Jews heaped curses upon him and alleged that he had died on the cross, which they regarded according to the Scriptures as an accursed death. Did the Christians, inspired by the Holy Ghost, clear him of this? No! On the contrary, they assisted the Jews in their blasphemous propaganda, by admitting his death on the cross. Furthermore, they imputed to him the most abominable offense, namely, that he called himself the son of God in the literal sense.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of God be upon him) alone fulfilled these prophetic words of the Gospel. He it was who emphatically pronounced the divine word: “I shall purify thee (O Jesus) of all the false charges imputed to thee by the disbelievers.” (Al-Quran 3:56) How far the Holy Prophet succeeded in achieving this can be judged from the fact that every Muslim looks upon Jesus (peace be upon him) as the righteous servant of God, as His Prophet. Belief in Jesus forms a part of Muslim’s faith.
Another characteristic of the Promised Comforter, as set forth in the Gospel, has proved another stumbling block to the Christians. “That he (the Comforter) may abide with you for ever” gives them the erroneous impression that the Comforter, in order to be immortal, must need be a “spirit” and not a human being, which betrays their ignorance of the Bible itself.
The very words of Jesus in this connection will suffice to remove this erroneous idea: “He shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you for ever”, clearly indicate that the Comforter will abide for ever in a certain sense in which Jesus himself shall not.
As a matter of fact, when Jesus spoke of the cessation of his own life and the continuation of that of Comforter, he implicitly referred to the duration of their existence through their teachings and their spiritual influence on mankind.
When a Prophet is raised up for the reformation of a people, he is equipped with a two-fold weapon – a code of laws wherewith to regulate the life of man, and a personal magnetism exercising an ennobling influence upon whomsoever he may come in contact with. In both these respects, Jesus has ceased to exist long since, while the Holy Prophet of Islam lives on to this day and shall live on for ever.
Jesus came with a set of laws and spiritual force, whereby he effected a considerable reformation among his own people for a time. But, by and by the laws that were suited to the stage of society ceased to be of practical utility when found with the subsequent growth and development of that society, and the spiritual force that had wrought miracles of old, lost its efficacy and vanished. Thus arose the need for another Comforter who should bring with him a perfect law, not for a particular clan or clime but for the whole of the human race.
Civilization was, by this time, sufficiently grown up, to receive teachings which went far beyond the mental capacity of the Jews of his time. A perfect law to regulate the whole human society was thus required to replace the inadequate code of Jesus. Muhammad was raised to meet the need in reference to which the Holy Quran says: “And We have not sent thee but as an embodiment of mercy for all the worlds (i.e., for all peoples and all ages)”. (Al-Quran 21:108)