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Muhammad (peace be on him) in the Holy Bible-- The Comforter, The Spirit of Truth
Prophecies regarding the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being mentioned in the Holy Bible has been has been a point of contention between Muslim and Jewish/Christian apologists for a long time. In the following hub I intend to present the argument that the case for the prophecy of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Holy Bible is indeed strong.
The Covenant of Abraham as the Father of Mankind
Everyone knows that prophet Abraham (peace be on him) is the holy patriarch of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. In the Book of Genesis, God makes a covenant with Abraham that he will be the father of humanity. In Genesis 12: 2-3, God says to Abraham, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great . . . and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed”.
Abraham had two sons who were prophets, Ishmael and Isaac- peace be on them. The lineage of the Biblical prophets whose accounts are given in the Old and New Testament came from the progeny of Isaac. However, in Genesis God says that He will raise great nations from them both, Isaac and Ishmael . . .
[Genesis 17:20-22]: “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee (Abraham). Behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. Twelve princes shall he beget and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant I shall establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year . . .”
This prophecy of raising a great nation through the lad Ishmael (pbuh) would be the first mention of the coming of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was the founder of the Muslim nation, so to speak.
The prophet Moses (peace be on him) also spoke of the coming of a prophet from among the brethren of the Israelites in the book of Deuteronomy. Moses (pbuh) compares this prophet to himself . . .“Thy Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, unto him ye shall hearken”(Deuteronomy 18:15).
These verses say that this prophet to come will be like unto Moses (pbuh). By historical record we know that both Muhammad and Moses were two of the great law-givers and administrators of a judicial system. No prophet from the direct lineage of Moses (pbuh) was a law-giver. Jesus Christ (peace be on him) has clearly stated that he had come to affirm the law, not abolish it (Matthew 5:17). Also, both prophets were pursued for destruction by powerful enemies yet both were victorious.
Verse 73:15 of The Holy Quran says, “Verily, We have sent you a Messenger who is a witness over you, as we sent a Messenger to Pharaoh”
The Goy Godol (Great Nation)
When Yahweh or Allah speaks of Him raising a great nation then this means that the founding of that act is from God. It has now been around 4,000+ years since this covenant was established. Historical legacy confirms that the founding of this nation occurred when the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) launched the religion of Islam. There is even Jewish analysis that this great nation that was supposed to be raised from the progeny of Ishmael (pbuh) can now be recognized as Islam . . .
In the Midrash Bereshit Rabbah,there is an ancient rabbinic text, spoken by Rabbi Bachya, citing from Rabbi Chananel. He said: ‘we see from the prophecy in this verse,sheneim ‘asar Nesīim (twelve Leaders), that 2337 years elapsed before the Arabs, Ishmael’s descendants, became goy gadol (a great nation) with the rise of Islam in 624 C.E., through this period, Ishmael hoped anxiously, until finally the promise was fulfilled and they dominated the world. We, descendants of Isaac, for whom the fulfillment of the promises made to us is delayed due to our sins should surely anticipate the fulfillment of God’s promises and not despair.’ [Rabbi Nosson Scherman (ed.), Hamishah Humeshi Torah ‘im Targum Onqelos Peresh Haftorah ve Hamesh Megīlot (Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, Ltd, 1996), pp.76.
The Prophet who would speak only Yahweh’s words
In the Book of Deuteronomy verse 18:18 another important piece of information is given regarding the coming of this prophet. It says, “I will raise them up a Prophet, from among they brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him . . .”
The Holy Quran is the only scripture of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) which is believed by its adherents to be the direct word of God dispensed through the archangel Gabriel (pbuh) to the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Each word is taken as spoken by Yahweh or Allah.
Each Surah of chapter of the Holy Quran begins with the words, "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful".
The Ishmaelite Messianic Mosaic Prophet by Muslim-Jewish Community
- The Moslem Jewish Community: The Ishmaelite Messianic Mosaic Prophet
Article by the Muslim-Jewish Community on prophecies in Old Testament about Prophet Muhammad and that the word "Mahamadim" in Song of Solomon 5:16 would be a reference to prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
Paran and the Ten Thousand
There may be a couple of significant clues given in the holy Bible that reveal the prophecy of the coming of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Seal of the Prophets. One such clue is the repeated mention of an area known as Paran. The Arabic form of this area would be known as Faran. Arab geographers refer to the hills between Mecca and Medina as “Faran”. In local parlance, this place is also known as “Bariyyat Faran” or the wilderness of Faran. In Genesis 21:20-21, it says that God was with the lad Ishmael who dwelt in the wilderness of Paran.
However, there is a second powerful clue that this prophecy may well be regarding the holy prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In Deuteronomy 33:2 it says, “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 thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them”. This verse may be interpreted as manifestations of God as represented by His prophets. The rising from Mount Sinai would be Moses (pbuh) as given in Exodus 19:20. The rising of Seir would be prophet Jesus (pbuh). The rising from Paran is then mentioned along with 10,000 saints. This number is revealing. When the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made his landmark bloodless conquest of Mecca, historical record states that the size of that conquering force was 10,000. The rising from Paran is also mentioned along with a ‘fiery law’. The law would be the Holy Quran which is regarded by Muslims as a book that bears a heavenly-law.
Song of Songs 5:10 states that this person is a leader of "ten thousand" which in Deuteronomy 33:2 is associated with Paran and historically with the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Therefore, the case is strong that the highly praised one in Song of Solomon is the prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The One Most Praised
Many verses in the Holy Bible speak high praise of someone. The name Muhammad means “one who is highly praised”. For example in Habakkuk, we have be following verse 3:3-7, “I God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hands: and there was the hiding of his power. Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations, and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting. I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.”
And then in Isaiah 21:13-16 we have the following words, “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 who was thirsty . . . for they fled from the swords, from the drawn swords, and from the grievousness of war. For thus hath the Lord said unto me . . . all the glory of Kedar shall fall”. Tema and Kedar are mentioned in Genesis 15:13-16 among the sons of Ishmael (pbuh) who dwelt in the wilderness of Paran. This prophecy speaks of the burden of war which the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had experienced due to the campaign of his adversaries (the descendants of Kedar) to destroy him and his movement. Indeed, as the prophecy stipulates, their glory did fall and they were profoundly defeated in battle.
The Song of Solomon is sometimes represented as love songs between Solomon and his wives. But holy scripture does not pander to love songs. Here too we have a mention of the figure of “10,000” and whoever is being spoken of is certainly a “highly praised” one.
Song of Solomon 5:15 describes this person as "Lebanon", a land of the Arabs. Verse 11 says: "his head is as fine gold, his locks are wavy/bushy, and black as a raven". Verse 10 describes this man as being "radiant and ruddy" which means he was slightly light-skinned while being ruddy or rosy in complexion. This physical description matches exactly with the authentic Islamic sources in Sahih Al Bukhari say Muhammad was slightly light skinned, with a rosy color.
Perhaps no non-Muslim has praised Muhammad (pbuh) as much as the french philosopher Alphonso De Lamartine. De Lamartine argues that Muhammad (pbuh) would be the greatest man who ever lived. He says . . .
Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of the rational dogmas, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may ask, is there any man greater than he?
Michael Hart in his landmark book "The 100 Most Influential in History" picked Muhammad (pbuh) as the most influential person to ever have lived.
Muhammad (pbuh) The Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Paraclete of The Gospels
In the Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 26 says that: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Note that in the verse the Comforter (also known as the Paraclete of The Gospels) will be a teacher of all things. The quote above by Alphonso De Lamartine that Muhammad (pbuh) states that Muhammad(pbuh) had so many dimensions and facets to his life from philosopher to warrior that he is incomparable in history. This is one support for the case that Muhammad (pbuh) is the teacher of all things being talked about in the above given verse.
And then in John 16:7-14: 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. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgement, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. How be it 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: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Here, again we have a reference to The Comforter and we have another clue—he shall not speak of himself but only that which he shall hear—this is a legacy that exists only with the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that the entire text of the Quran are no his words but words spoken to him.
The Spirit of Truth in Christian theology and thinking is known as The Paraclete of The Gospels and is presented as a spiritual phenomenon only i.e. The Holy Spirit or as part of the Trinity. However, the Spirit of Truth was already with Jesus (pbuh) as given in John 5:6, “This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” Here, Jesus is also referred to as The Spirit of Truth. The reference above in John 16: 7-14 says that Jesus must depart for this Comforter or Spirit of Truth to come. Therefore, this reference has to be to the prophet who was to come- the prophet Muhammad (peace be on him).
The Dream and Prophecy of Daniel (pbuh) of the Stone that will shatter the tiered Statue
This particular prophecy is by the prophet Daniel (peace be on him). It is in the form of a dream by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar had called upon the sages of his court to interpret and reveal the meaning of the dream but none could. However the prophet Daniel (pbuh) was able to interpret the dream. The dream is narrated in Daniel 2:31-35 as follows . . .
"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth".
The interpretation of this dream as given by prophet Daniel(pbuh) is as follows . . .
Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain, without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure (Daniel 2:37-45).
Historically, the Babylonian empire was succeeded by Persia/Midia which was then succeeded by the Greek empire founded by Alexander the Great. Next, the Greek empire was succeeded by the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire in time moved its capital to Constantinople and occupied territories in Asia particularly Syria. However, this part of the empire was fragmented, weak and had been in conflict with the Persian Sassanid dynasty. As the Islamic movement grew and consolidated its power-base in Arabia, it came into conflict with the Roman Byzantine empire that ruled Syria. Possibly, the first reported event in this conflict was when a Muslim emissary to the Roman emperor was murdered resulting in the battle of Mutah. The conflict escalated into a full scale war during the times of the Rashideen Caliphate as the Roman armies were shattered in defeat (i.e. the battle of Yarmouk). This would be the stone striking the feet of the statue and shattering it to pieces. The Roman empire then contained vestiges of all the former empires mentioned in the dream. The rock became a mountain as the Islamic Empire gradually grew to become the next world power.
Muhammad in the Bible Booklet PDF
Source and Reference
Most of the content of this Hub is derived from the writings of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mehmud (1889-1965), the second Caliph (spiritual successor) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The content was first published in his book "An Introduction to the Study of The Holy Quran". The fifth edition of this book was printed in 1996. The content specifically relating to prophecies regarding the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has been compiled in a booklet called "Muhammad (pbuh) in the Bible" and covers far more extensive content than given in this Hub.
Lastly, it is not the purpose of this Hub to promote a prophet as higher than the prophets of other religions. Islam subscribes to a universality among the prophets of God. It is a fundamental article of faith to believe in all prophets sent by God and the rejection or denouncement of one leads to denouncing them all. This guiding principle is stated in the following verse 3:84 of the Holy Quran . . .
Say, ‘We believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to us, and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we submit.’
After studying the case presented in this Hub
Disclaimer: The contents of this hub do not represent The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam or The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The official website of The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam or The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is www.alislam.org