Abraham is widely regarded as the Patriarch of monotheism and the common father of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. Through His second son, Isaac, came all Israelite prophets including such towering figures as Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus, may peace and blessings be upon them all. The advent of these great prophets was in partial fulfillment of God’s promises to bless the nations of earth through the descendants of Abraham (Genesis 1 2:2-3). Such a fulfillment is wholeheartedly accepted by Muslims whose faith considers the belief of these prophets, an article of faith.
BLESSINGS OF ISHMAEL AND ISAAC
Was the first born son of Abraham (Ishmael) and his descendants included in God’s covenant and promise? A few verses from the Bible may help shed some light on this question:
1. Genesis 12:2-3 speaks of God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants before any child was born to him.
2. Genesis 17:4 reiterates God’s promise after the birth of Ishmael and before the birth of Isaac.
3. In Genesis, ch. 21 . Isaac is specifically blessed but Ishmael was also specifically blessed and promised by God to become “a great nation” especially in Genesis 21:13, 18.
4. According to Deuteronomy 21:15-17 the traditional rights and privileges of the first-born son are not to be affected by the social status of his mother (being a “free” woman such as Sarah, Isaac’s mother, or a “Bondwoman” such as Hagar, Ishmael’s mother). This is only consistent with the moral and humanitarian principles of all revealed faiths.
5. The full legitimacy of Ishmael as Abraham’s son and “seed” and the full legitimacy of his mother, Hagar, as Abraham’s wife are clearly stated in Genesis 21:13 and 16:3.
After Jesus, the last Israelite messenger and prophet, it was time that God’s promise to bless Ishmael and his descendants be fulfilled. Less than 600 years after Jesus, came the last messenger of God, Muhammad (peace be upon him), from the progeny of Abraham through Ishmael. God’s blessing of both of the main branches of Abraham’s family tree was now fulfilled. But are there additional corroborating evidence that the Bible did in fact foretell the advent of prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?
MUHAMMAD: The Prophet Like Unto Moses
Long time after Abraham, God’s promise to send the long-awaited Messenger was repeated this time in Moses’ words. In Deuteronomy 18:18 , Moses spoke of the prophet to be sent by God who is:
1. From among the Israelite’s “brethren”, a reference to their Ishmaelite cousins as Ishmael was the other son of Abraham who was explicitly promised to become a “great nation”.
2. A prophet like unto Moses. There were hardly any two prophets who were so much alike as Moses and Muhammad (peace be upon them both). Both were given a comprehensive law code of life, both encountered their enemies and were victors in miraculous ways, both were accepted as prophets/statesmen and both migrated following conspiracies to assassinate them. Analogies between Moses and Jesus overlooks not only the above similarities but other crucial ones as well (e.g. the natural birth, family life and death of Moses and Muhammad but not of Jesus, who was regarded by His followers as the Son of God and not exclusively a messenger of God, as Moses and Muhammad were, and as Muslims believe Jesus was).
THE AWAITED PROPHET WAS TO COME FROM ARABIA
Deuteronomy 33:1-2 combines references to Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. It speaks of God (i.e. God’s revelation) coming from Sinai, rising from Seir (probably the village of Sa’ir near Jerusalem) and shining forth from Paran. According to Genesis 21:21 , the wilderness of Paran was the place where Ishmael settled (i.e. Arabia, specifically Mecca).
Indeed the King James version of the Bible mentions the pilgrims passing through the valley of Ba’ca (another name of Mecca) in Psalms 84:4-6 .
Isaiah 42:1-13 speaks of the beloved of God. His elect and messenger who will bring down a law to be awaited in the isles and who “shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set judgment on earth.” Verse 11 connects that awaited one with the descendants of Ke’dar. Who is Ke’dar? According to Genesis 25:13 , Ke’dar was the second son of Ishmael, the ancestor of prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
MUHAMMAD’S MIGRATION FROM MECCA TO MEDINA: PROPHESISED IN THE BIBLE?
Habakkuk 3:3 speaks of God (God’s help) coming from Te’man (an Oasis North of Medina according to J. Hasting’s Dictionary of the Bible), and the holy one (coming) from Paran. That holy one who under persecution migrated from Paran (Mecca) to be received enthusiastically in Medina was none but prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Indeed the incident of the migration of the prophet and his persecuted followers is vividly described in Isaiah 21:13-17 . That section foretold as well about the battle of Badr in which the few ill-armed faithful miraculously defeated the “mighty” men of Ke’dar, who sought to destroy Islam and intimidate their own folks who turned to Islam.
THE QUR’AN (KORAN) FORETOLD IN THE BIBLE?
For twenty-three years, God’s words (the Qur’an) were truly put into Muhammad’s (pbuh) mouth. He was not the “11th author” of the Qur’an, the Qur’an was dictated to Muhammad (pbuh) by Angel Gabriel, who asked him to simply repeat the words of the Qur’an as he heard them. These words were then committed to memory and to writing by those who hear them during Muhammad’s lifetime and under his supervision.
Was it a coincidence that the prophet “like unto Moses” from the “brethren” of the Israelites (i.e. from the Ishmaelites) was also described as one in whose mouth God will put his words and that he will speak in the name of God., ( Deuteronomy 18:18-20 ). Was it also a coincidence the “Paraclete” that Jesus foretold to come after Him was described as one who “shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak (John 16:13).
Was it another coincidence that Isaiah ties between the messenger connected with Ke’dar and a new song (a scripture in a new language) to be sang unto the Lord (Isaiah 42:10-11 ). More explicitly, prophesies Isaiah “For with stammering lips, and another tongue, will he speak to this people” (Isaiah 28:11 ). This latter ‘verse correctly describes the “stammering lips” of Prophet Muhammad reflecting the state of tension and concentration he went through at the time of revelation. Another related point is that the Qur’an was revealed in piece-meals over a span of twenty-three years. It is interesting to compare this with Isaiah 28:10 which speaks of the same thing.
Up to the time of Jesus (peace be upon him), the Israelites were still awaiting for that prophet like unto Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy 18:18 . When John the Baptist came, they asked him if he was Christ and he said “no”. They asked him if he was Elias and he said “no”. Then, in apparent reference to Deuteronomy 18:18 , they asked him “Art thou that Prophet” and he answered, “no”. ( John 1: 1 9-2 1).
In the Gospel according to John ( Chapters 14, 15, 16 ) Jesus spoke of the “Paraclete” or comforter who will come after him, who will be sent by Father as another Paraclete, who will teach new things which the contemporaries of Jesus could not bear. While the Paraclete is described as the spirit of truth, (whose meaning resemble Muhammad’s famous title Al-Amin, the trustworthy), he is identified in one verse as the Holy Ghost ( John 14:26 ). Such a designation is however inconsistent with the profile of that Paraclete. In the words of the Dictionary of the Bible , (Ed. J. Mackenzie) “These items, it must be admitted do not give an entirely coherent picture.”
Indeed history tells us that many early Christians understood the Paraclete to be a man and not a spirit. This might explain the followings who responded to some who claimed, without meeting the criteria stipulated by Jesus, to be the awaited “Paraciete”.
It was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was the Paraclete, Comforter, helper, admonisher sent by God after Jesus. He testified of Jesus, taught new things, which could not be borne at Jesus’ time, he spoke what he heard (revelation), he dwells with the believers (through his well-preserved teachings). Such teachings will remain forever because he was the last messenger of God, t he only Universal Messenger to unite the whole of humanity under God and on the path of PRESERVED truth. He told of many things to come which “came to pass” in the minutest detail meeting, the criterion given by Moses to distinguish between the true prophet and the false prophets (Deuteronomy 18:22 ). He did reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment ( John 16:8-11 ).
WAS THE SHIFT OF RELIGIOUS LEADERSHIP PROPHESIED?
Following the rejection of the last Israelite prophet, Jesus, it was about time that God’s promise to make Ishmael a great nation be fulfilled (Genesis 21:13, 18 ).
In Matthew 21:19-21, Jesus spoke of the fruitless fig tree (A Biblical symbol of prophetic heritage) to be cleared after being given a last chance of three years (the duration of Jesus’ ministry) to give fruit. In a later verse in the same chapter, Jesus said: “Therefore, say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruit thereof” (Matthew 21:43). That nation of Ishmael’s descendants (the rejected stone in Matthew 21:42) which was victorious against all super-powers of its time, as prophesied by Jesus: “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Matthew 21:44).
OUT OF CONTEXT COINCIDENCE?
Is it possible that the numerous prophecies cited here are all individually and combined out of context misinterpretations? Is the opposite true, that such infrequently studied verses fit together consistently and clearly point to the advent of the man who changed the course of human history, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)? Is it reasonable to conclude that all these prophecies, appearing in different books of the Bible and spoken by various prophets at different times were all coincidence? If this is so, here is another strange ” coincidence”!
One of the signs of the prophet to come from Paran (Mecca) is that he will come with “ten thousands of saints” (Deuteronomy 33:2 KJV). That was the number of faithful who accompanied Prophet Muhammad to Paran (Mecca) in his victorious, bloodless return to his birthplace to destroy the remaining symbols of idolatry in the Ka’bah.
God says as quoted by Moses: “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.” (Deuteronomy, 18:19)
JESUS WAS A PROPHET AND ALSO A PARACLETE
A Christian who has studied the Bible would be proud to admit that the prophecy made by prophet Moses for the coming of “a Prophet like me” (Deut. 18:15), undoubtedly refers to the coming of Jesus Christ, since Jesus himself had acknowledged before Jews; “Moses wrote of me.” (see John 5:46). These learned Christians have no problem in admitting the fact that Jesus was “a prophet like his predecessor Moses”.
In his Epistle quoted below, apostle John records that Jesus was “a Paraclete”.
“My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have a Paraclete with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John. 2:1
John has also recorded in his Gospel 14:16, quoted below, that Jesus (after his departure) will pray to the God, and the God will give us “another Paraclete”. This opens up a way for a future date male Prophet to be “a Paraclete”, as well. To say: only a “Spirit” can be a Paraclete and not a male individual, would be to deny: “Jesus was a Prophet and a Paraclete”.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you into the age (to come).” John 14:16
Note: We often read the above verse ending as; “for ever”. The fact of the matter is; “into the age” is the literal translation of the original Greek phrase; ‘eis ton aiona’.
In the next verse, i.e. 14:17, John records, “another Paraclete” is the “Spirit of Truth” (not the Holy Spirit). WHAT WILL “HE” DO?
Jesus Christ did indicate that the Paraclete will do certain things in his time. Let us examine if “he”, Prophet Muhammad, did those things.
1. “But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own initiative, but whatever he hears, he will speak…” Jn. 16:13
Note: The Qur’an is a compilation of the “Divine Revelations” that were received by Prophet Muhammad, over a period of 23 years, through the archangel Gabriel. The Prophet used to recite whatever he used to hear. His companions used to write down whatever he recited. The Qur’an does not contain the writings or teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), as often mentioned by some misinformed authors.
2. “He shall glorify me.” John 16:14
Note: The Qur’an glorifies the birth of Jesus through Virgin Mary. It confirms; Jesus was a Messiah, a Messenger of God, the Spirit from God, the Word of God and the Righteous Prophet.
3. “He shall take mine and shall disclose it to you.” Jn. 16:14
Note: Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did declare himself a Messenger/Prophet of God like Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
4. “He will teach you all things.” John 14:26
Note: The Qur’an teaches a way of life. It guides mankind, how to live a pious life socially, politically and spiritually.
5. “He will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John. 14:26
Note: The Qur’an speaks about the teachings of Jesus and even quotes him.
6. “He will bear witness of me” John 15:26
Note: The Qur’an attests the miracles performed by Jesus the Messiah. It also mentions one astonishing miracle performed by Jesus that the Gospel writers have not recorded (V:110). The Qur’an acknowledges that these miracles and signs were performed with the leave of Allah, by His righteous Servant and Messiah, Jesus. The same is also attested in the Book of Acts 2:22; 3:13 (NASB).
A MALE SALVIFIC FIGURE LIKE JESUS
The passage quoted below from the world renowned and distinguished Anchor Bible confirms that the original concept among the noted Christian scholars and populace, for the Paraclete was for a male salvific figure, but that concept was later confused with the “Holy Spirit”.
“The word parakletos is peculiar in the NT to the Johnannine literature. In 1 John ii 1 Jesus is a parakletos (not a title), serving as a heavenly intercessor with the Father. …Christian tradition has identified this figure (Paraclete) as the Holy Spirit, but scholars like Spitta, Delafosse, Windisch, Sasse, Butlmann and Betz have doubted whether this identification is true to the original picture and have suggested that the Paraclete was once an independent salvific figure, later confused with the Holy Spirit.” (Page 1135)
THE NEGATION OF “HOLY SPIRIT”
The concept that the Paraclete (comforter, advocate) is the “Holy Spirit” is unequivocally negated by the following verse:
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Paraclete shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7
This verse clearly indicates that the coming of the Paraclete was subject to the departure of Jesus. His departure from this world was a *pre-condition* for the arrival of the Paraclete.
We know that the “Holy Spirit” was already present during and before the ministry of Jesus. The Holy Spirit was in existence since the day of the Creation and was hovering upon the surface of the earth (Gen. 1:2). It was also present with the prophets of the Old Testament. No Bible believing Christian can deny that the “Holy Spirit” was present at River Jordan when Christ was Baptized by John the Baptist. Since there is no more than ONE “Holy Spirit”, Jesus would not have made his own departure a *pre-condition* for its arrival.
“HE” NOT “IT”
“When the Paraclete comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness of me.” John 15:26
This verse further clears the confusion, if there is any. Here the Paraclete is called the “Spirit of Truth” and not the “Holy Spirit”. These are two separate terms and two independent entities. The first entity takes the pronoun “he” being a male figure. Whereas, the second one takes the pronoun “it”. The Greek word ‘pneu’ma’ (spirit) is of neutral gender and takes the pronoun “it”. Whereas, in almost all the verses referring to Paraclete quoted below, the pronoun used is “he”.
“But the Paraclete, the Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26
1. In the older MSS, Codex Syriacus discovered in 1812 on Mount Sinai by Mrs. Agnes S. Lewis (and Mrs. Bensley), the text of John 14:26 reads; “Paraclete, the Spirit”; and not “Paraclete, the Holy Spirit”. “The Spirit” is a reference to “the Spirit of Truth” as in 15:26.
2. In 1 John 4:6, the terms “the spirit of truth” and “the spirit of error” are used for the human beings.
3. History records that prophet Muhammad was known for his Truth and Honesty, long before he received the Divine Revelations.
A PROPHET IN THE LAND OF KEDAR
Prophet Isaiah is considered to be one of the major prophets of the Old Testament. In the Book of Isaiah there are several prophecies about the coming of the Messiah. In chapter 42, Isaiah begins with a prophecy for the coming of prophet Jesus. After verse number nine, God declares through Isaiah, the “new things” that are to “spring forth” in the
Land of Kedar.
In the Bible there is only one personality called Kedar. He was the grandson of prophet Abraham, through his son Ishmael (see Gen. 25:13). Kedar’s descendants had settled in Paran (Syno-Arabian dessert). In the Rabbinic literature Arabia is called the “Land of Kedar”. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a descendant of Kedar.
God declares through Prophet Isaiah:
“Behold, the former things are come to pass, and the new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. `Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth’. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voices, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare His praise in the inlands.” Isaiah Chapter 42, Verses 9-12.
God did reveal in the Land of Kedar, through prophet Muhammad (pbuh)- a direct descendant of Kedar, a “New Song” – The Qur’an (Koran). This happens to be the only Scripture to be revealed in the language of the Kedarites. The verses of the Qur’an are recited like a poem. Nearly 1.2 billion Muslims, residing all over the world, recite this “new song” and Glorify Allah, in their daily prayers, five times in a day. The initial Revelation came to prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in a cave of Mount Hira near the city of Mecca. There are several mountains near Mecca. During the annual Islamic Pilgrimage called “Hajj”, Muslims from all over the world, assemble in Mecca and shout Glory to the Lord from the top of Mount Arafat. The pilgrims continuously give Glory to Allah on their ways, to and from Mecca.
THE LORD SHALL GO AS “A MIGHTY MAN OF WAR”
“The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.” Isaiah 42:13
In the Old Testament, the God often speaks “I” will do this, or “I” have done this; whereas, He has chosen human beings to do these jobs on His behalf. (see 2 Samuel 12:7-12).
Prophet Muhammad did go forth as “a mighty man of war” against the Pagan Arabs, the enemies of The Lord. He did stir up jealousy among the most influential and dominating Pagan tribe in Arabia. With a war cry and roar of “Allahu Akbar” (“The God is the Greatest”), the Prophet of Islam did prevail upon the enemies of Lord – the idolaters. No doubt, the Islam was spread with a “war cry”, but that was not a cry of a man seeking the personal power. It was a cry of the Lord, who no longer wanted to hold HIS PEACE against HIS ENEMIES. After the victory, Allah bestowed HIS FAVOR upon mankind and gave the Message of “TRUE PEACE” – The Islam. Once a person whole heartedly submit himself or herself to Allah (become a Muslim), the “True Peace” from Allah is bound to enter his or her body, mind and soul. The relationship of that individual with Allah is now direct, having no Church or Papal Authority acting as a vicar or an intermediary.
“I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself, now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.” Verse 14.
The prophets that came before Muhammad had all tried with peaceful missions. But, the concept of sharing God’s Glory continued to surface again and again, in one way or other. It was with the war cry, through the descendants of Kedar (Arabs), these sinful practices were destroyed and devoured, inside and outside of Arabia. The spread of Islam was swift, wide spread and at once.
ISLAM TURNS THE DARKNESS INTO LIGHT
“And I will bring the blind by a way they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things I will do unto them, and not forsake them.” Isaiah Chapter 42, Verse 16.
It is an undeniable fact that before the advent of Islam, the pagan Arabs were like the blinds. Their religious and social concepts were crooked. The revelation of this “new song” brought them out of that darkness. Earlier, God had not sent any prophet to these people. By sending Muhammad, God fulfilled His above promise and also the following promise to Abraham;
“And *also* of the son of the bondwoman I will make a nation, because he is thy seed.” Genesis 21:13.
Please note the word “also” in above promise. The nations of Judaism and Christianity came out from the descendants of Abraham and Sarah. The nation of Islam came out from the descendants of Abraham and Hagar. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are three children of Abraham by God’s Covenants with Abraham.
“They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images; they say to the molten images, ‘Ye are our gods.'” Isaiah 42 Verse 17.
History records that Prophet Muhammad did put the pagan idolaters to great shame when he demolished before them, their 365 idols that were installed in Ka’bah (Mecca), the most respected place of pilgrimage in the whole of Arabia. Today, Ka’bah is the Grand Mosque of Islam. Muslims from all over the world face towards Ka’bah while reciting their daily ritual prayers.