Bible Prophecies of Muhammad (part 1 of 4): Witnesses of Scholars
Description: The Biblical
evidence that Muhammad is not a false prophet. Part 1: The difficulties
faced in discussing biblical prophecies, and accounts of some scholars who
attested that Muhammad has been alluded to in the Bible.
The Bible is the sacred scripture of Judaism and Christianity. The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament, with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the Old Testament being slightly larger because of their acceptance of certain books not accepted as scripture by Protestants. The Jewish Bible includes only the books known to Christians as the Old Testament. Furthermore, the arrangements of the Jewish and Christian canons differ considerably. Prophet Muhammad has been prophesized in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Jesus and the Apostles are believed to have spoken Aramaic. Aramaic continued in wide use until about AD 650, when it was supplanted by Arabic. The present day Bible is not, however, based on the Aramaic manuscripts, but on Greek and Latin versions.
Quoting the Bible prophecies does not entail that Muslims accept the present day Bible in its entirety as God’s revelation. For the Islamic belief on previous scriptures.
It is not a pre-condition of acceptance that a prophet be foretold by an earlier prophet. Moses was a prophet to Pharaoh even though he was not prophesized by anyone before him. Abraham was God’s prophet to Nimrod, yet no one prophesized his coming. Noah, Lot, and others were true prophets of God, yet they were not foretold. The evidence of a prophet’s truth is not limited to old prophecies, but it includes the actual message brought by him, miracles and more.
Discussing prophecies is a delicate matter. It requires sifting through Bible versions and translations, recently discovered manuscripts and searching out Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic words and investigating them. The task becomes especially difficult when: “prior to the printing press (15th century), all copies of Bibles show textual variations.” This is not an easy subject for lay people. For this reason, the best testimony comes from ancient and modern experts in the area who acknowledged the prophecies.
We have records of early Jews and Christians, both monks and rabbis, who witnessed that Muhammad was the fulfillment of specific Bible prophecies. The following are some examples of these people.
The Awaited Prophet
Pre-Islam Jews and Christians of Arabia were awaiting a prophet. Before the appearance of Muhammad, Arabia was home to Jews, Christians, and pagan Arabs who, on occasion, went to war with each other. The Jews and Christians would say: “The time has come for the unlettered prophet to appear who will revive the religion of Abraham. We will join his ranks and wage fierce war against you.” When Muhammad actually appeared, some of them believed in him, and some refused. This is why God revealed:
“And when there came to them a Book [Quran] from God confirming that which was with them – although before they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved – but [then] when there came to them that which they recognized, they disbelieved in it; so the curse of God will be upon the disbelievers.” (Quran 2:89)
The first witness was Buhaira, the Christian monk, who recognized Muhammad’s prophethood when he was still young and told his uncle:
“…a great fortune lies before your nephew, so take him home quickly.”
The second witness was Waraqah bin Nawfal, a Christian scholar who died soon after a solitary meeting with Muhammad. Waraqah attested Muhammad was the Prophet of his time and received revelation exactly like Moses and Jesus.
The Jews of Medina were anxiously awaiting the arrival of a prophet. The third and fourth witnesses were their two famous Jewish rabbis, Abdullah bin Salam and Mukhayriq.
The sixth and seventh witnesses were also Yemeni Jewish rabbis, Wahb ibn Munabbih, and Ka’b al-Ahbar (d. 656 CE). Ka’b found long passages of praise and the description of the Prophet prophesized by Moses in the Bible.
The Quran states:
“Is it not a sign to them that the learned men of the Children of Israel knew it (as true)?” (Quran 26:197)
 Bible.” Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9079096)
“Aramaic language.” Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9009190)
“biblical literature.” Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-73396)
 ‘Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources’ by Martin Lings, p. 29. ‘Sirat Rasul Allah’ by Ibn Ishaq translated by A. Guillame, p. 79-81. ‘The Quran And The Gospels: A Comparative Study,’ p. 46 by Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah of Azhar University.
‘Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources’ by Martin Lings, p. 35.
‘The Quran And The Gospels: A Comparative Study,’ p. 47 by Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah of Azhar University.
‘The Quran And The Gospels: A Comparative Study,’ p. 47-48 by Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah of Azhar University.
Bible Prophecies of Muhammad (part 2 of 4): Old Testament Prophecies of Muhammad
Deuteronomy 18:18 “I (God) will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee (Moses), and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”
Many Christians believe this prophecy foretold by Moses to be in regards to Jesus. Indeed Jesus was foretold in the Old Testament, but as will be clear, this prophecy does not befit him, but rather is more deserving of Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. Moses foretold the following:
1. The Prophet Will Be Like Moses
2. The Awaited Prophet will be from the Brethren of the Jews
The verse in discussion is explicit in saying that the prophet will come amongst the Brethren of the Jews. Abraham had two sons: Ishmael and Isaac. The Jews are the descendants of Isaac’s son, Jacob. The Arabs are the children of Ishmael. Thus, the Arabs are the brethren of the Jewish nation. The Bible affirms:
‘And he (Ishmael) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.’ (Genesis 16:12)
‘And he (Ishmael) died in the presence of all his brethren.’ (Genesis 25:18)
The children of Isaac are the brethren of the Ishmaelites. Likewise, Muhammad is from among the brethren of the Israelites, because he was a descendant of Ishmael the son of Abraham.
3. God Will Put His Words in the Mouth of the Awaited Prophet
The Quran says of Muhammad:
“Neither does he speak out of his own desire: that [which he conveys to you] is but [a divine] inspiration with which he is being inspired.” (Quran 53:3-4)
This is quite similar to the verse in Deuteronomy 18:15:
“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” (Deuteronomy 18:18)
The Prophet Muhammad came with a message to the whole world, and from them, the Jews. All, including the Jews, must accept his prophethood, and this is supported by the following words:
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” (Deuteronomy 18:15)
4. A Warning to Rejecters
The prophecy continues:
Deuteronomy 18:19 “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.” (in some translations: “I will be the Revenger”).
Interestingly, Muslims begin every chapter of the Quran in the name of God by saying:
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem
“‘In the Name of God, the Most-Merciful, the Dispenser of Grace.”
The following is the account of some scholars who believed this prophecy to fit Muhammad.
The First Witness
Abdul-Ahad Dawud, the former Rev. David Benjamin Keldani, BD, a Roman Catholic priest of the Uniate-Chaldean sect After accepting Islam, he wrote the book, ‘Muhammad in the Bible.’ He writes about this prophecy:
“If these words do not apply to Muhammad, they still remain unfulfilled. Jesus himself never claimed to be the prophet alluded to. Even his disciples were of the same opinion: they looked to the second coming of Jesus for the fulfillment of the prophecy (Acts 3: 17-24). So far it is undisputed that the first coming of Jesus was not the advent of the Prophet like unto thee and his second advent can hardly fulfill the words. Jesus, as is believed by his Church, will appear as a Judge and not as a law-giver; but the promised one has to come with a “fiery law” in his right hand.”
The Second Witness
Muhammad Asad was born Leopold Weiss in July 1900 in the city of Lvov (German Lemberg), now in Poland, then part of the Austrian Empire. He was the descendant of a long line of rabbis, a line broken by his father, who became a barrister. Asad himself received a thorough religious education that would qualify him to keep alive the family’s rabbinical tradition. He had become proficient in Hebrew at an early age and was also familiar with Aramaic. He had studied the Old Testament in the original as well as the text and commentaries of the Talmud, the Mishna and Gemara, and he had delved into the intricacies of Biblical exegesis, the Targum.
Commenting on the verse of the Quran:
“and do not overlay the truth with falsehood, and do not knowingly suppress the truth” (Quran 2:42)
Muhammad Asad writes:
“By ‘overlaying the truth with falsehood’ is meant the corrupting of the biblical text, of which the Quran frequently accuses the Jews (and which has since been established by objective textual criticism), while the ‘suppression of the truth’ refers to their disregard or deliberately false interpretation of the words of Moses in the biblical passage, ‘The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken’ (Deuteronomy 18:15), and the words attributed to God himself, ‘I will raise them up a prophet from among thy brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth’ (Deuteronomy 18:18). The ‘brethren’ of the children of Israel are obviously the Arabs, and particularly the musta’ribah (‘Arabianized’) group among them, which traces its descent to Ishmael and Abraham: and since it is this group that the Arabian Prophet’s own tribe, the Quraish, belonged, the above biblical passages must be taken as referring to his advent.”
 “He (Jesus) came unto his own, but his own received him not” (John 1:11)
 John 18:36.
 ‘Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources’ by Martin Lings, p. 1-7.
 Ibid, p. 156
 ‘Berlin to Makkah: Muhammad Asad’s Journey into Islam’ by Ismail Ibrahim Nawwab in the January/February 2002 issue of Saudi Aramco Magazine.
 Muhammad Asad, ‘The Message of The Quran’ (Gibraltar: Dar al-Andalus, 1984), p. 10-11.
Bible Prophecies of Muhammad (part 3 of 4): New Testament Prophecies of Muhammad
John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” (American Standard Version)
In this verse, Jesus promises that another “Comforter” will appear, and thus, we must discuss some issues concerning this “Comforter.”
The Greek word paravklhtoß, ho parakletos, has been translated as ‘Comforter.’ Parakletos more precisely means ‘one who pleads another’s cause, an intercessor.’ The ho parakletos is a person in the Greek language, not an incorporeal entity. In the Greek language, every noun possesses gender; that is, it is masculine, feminine or neutral. In the Gospel of John, Chapters 14, 15 and 16 the ho parakletos is actually a person. All pronouns in Greek must agree in gender with the word to which they refer and the pronoun “he” is used when referring to the parakletos. The NT uses the word pneuma, which means “breath” or “spirit,” the Greek equivalent of ruah, the Hebrew word for “spirit” used in the OT. Pneuma is a grammatically neutral word and is always represented by the pronoun “it.”
All present day Bibles are compiled from “ancient manuscripts,” the oldest dating back the fourth century C.E. No two ancient manuscripts are identical.  All Bibles today are produced by combining manuscripts with no single definitive reference. The Bible translators attempt to “choose” the correct version. In other words, since they do not know which “ancient manuscript” is the correct one, they decide for us which “version” for a given verse to accept. Take John 14:26 as an example. John 14:26 is the only verse of the Bible which associates the Parakletos with the Holy Spirit. But the “ancient manuscripts” are not in agreement that the “Parakletos” is the ‘Holy Spirit.’ For instance, the famous Codex Syriacus, written around the fifth century C.E., and discovered in 1812 on Mount Sinai, the text of 14:26 reads; “Paraclete, the Spirit”; and not “Paraclete, the Holy Spirit.”
Why is it important? It is significant because in biblical language a “spirit,” simply means “a prophet.”
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
It is instructive to know that several biblical scholars considered parakletos to be an ‘independent salvific (having the power to save) figure,’ not the Holy Ghost.
The question, then, is: was Jesus’ parakletos, Comforter, a ‘Holy Ghost’ or a person - a prophet - to come after him? To answer the question, we must understand the description of ho parakletos and see if it fits a ghost or a human being.
When we continue reading beyond chapter 14:16 and chapter 16:7, we find that Jesus predicts the specific details of the arrival and identity of the parakletos. Therefore, according to the context of John 14 & 16 we discover the following facts.
1. Jesus said the parakletos is a human being:
John 16:13 “He will speak.”
John 16:7 “…for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.”
It is impossible that the Comforter be the “Holy Ghost” because the Holy Ghost was present long before Jesus and during his ministry.
John 16:13 Jesus referred to the paraclete as ‘he’ and not ‘it’ seven times, no other verse in the Bible contains seven masculine pronouns. Therefore, paraclete is a person, not a ghost.
2. Jesus is called a parakletos:
“And if any man sin, we have an advocate (parakletos) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1)
Here we see that parakletos is a physical and human intercessor.
3. The Divinity of Jesus a later innovation
Jesus was not accepted as divine until the Council of Nicea, 325 CE, but everyone, except Jews, agree he was a prophet of God, as indicated by the Bible:
Matthew 21:11 “...This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.”
Luke 24:19 “...Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.”
4. Jesus prayed to God for another parakletos:
John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another parakletos.”
 Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.
 “Besides the larger discrepancies, such as these, there is scarcely a verse in which there is not some variation of phrase in some copies [of the ancient manuscripts from which the Bible has been collected]. No one can say that these additions or omissions or alterations are matters of mere indifference.” ‘Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts,’ by Dr. Frederic Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 3.
 1 John 4: 1-3
 ‘...Christian tradition has identified this figure (Paraclete) as the Holy Spirit, but scholars like Spitta, Delafosse, Windisch, Sasse, Bultmann, 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.” ‘the Anchor Bible, Doubleday & Company, Inc, Garden City, N.Y. 1970, Volume 29A, p. 1135.
 Genesis 1: 2, 1 Samuel 10: 10, 1 Samuel 11: 6, Isaiah 63: 11, Luke 1: 15, Luke 1: 35, Luke 1: 41, Luke 1: 67, Luke 2: 25, Luke 2: 26, Luke 3:22, John 20: 21-22.
Bible Prophecies of Muhammad (part 4 of 4): More New Testament Prophecies of Muhammad
5. Jesus describes the function of the other Parakletos:
John 16:13 “He will guide you into all the truth.”
God says in the Quran of Muhammad:
“O mankind! The Messenger has now come unto you with the truth from your Lord: believe, then, for your own good!...” (Quran 4:170)
John 16:14 “He will glorify Me.”
The Quran brought by Muhammad glorifies Jesus:
“…who shall become known as the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, of great honor in this world and in the life to come, and [shall be] of those who are drawn near unto God.” (Quran 3:45)
Muhammad also glorified Jesus:
“Whoever testifies that none deserves worship except God, who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, and that Jesus is the servant of God, His Messenger, and His Word which He bestowed in Mary, and a spirit created from Him, and that Paradise is true, and that Hell is true, God will admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)
John 16:8 “he will convince the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.”
The Quran announces:
“Indeed, they have disbelieved who say, ‘God is the Christ, son of Mary’ - seeing that the Christ [himself] said, ‘O Children of Israel! Worship God [alone], who is my Lord as well as your Lord.’ ‘Indeed, whoever ascribes divinity to any being beside God, unto him will God deny paradise, and his goal shall be the fire: and there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers!’” (Quran 5:72)
John 16:13 “he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak.”
The Quran says of Muhammad:
“Neither does he speak out of his own desire: that [which he conveys to you] is but [a divine] inspiration with which he is being inspired.” (Quran 53:3-4)
John 14:26 “and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
The words of the Quran:
“…while the Messiah had said, ‘O Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord.’” (Quran 5:72)
…reminds people of the first and greatest command of Jesus they have forgotten:
“The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.’” (Mark 12:29)
John 16:13 “and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
The Quran states:
“That is from the news of the unseen which We reveal, [O Muhammad], to you…” (Quran 12:102)
Hudhaifa, a disciple of Prophet Muhammad, tells us:
“The Prophet once delivered a speech in front of us wherein he left nothing but mentioned everything that would happen till the Hour (of Judgment).” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
John 14:16 “that he may abide with you forever.”
…meaning his original teachings will remain forever. Muhammad was God’s last prophet to humanity.  His teachings are perfectly preserved. He lives in the hearts and minds of his adoring followers who worship God in his exact imitation. No man, including Jesus or Muhammad, has an eternal life on earth. Parakletos is not an exception either. This cannot be an allusion to the Holy Ghost, for present day creed of the Holy Ghost did not exist until the Council of Chalcedon, in 451 CE, four and half centuries after Jesus.
John 14:17 “he will be the spirit of truth”
…meaning he will a true prophet, see 1 John 4: 1-3.
John 14:17 “the world neither sees him...”
Many people in the world today do not know Muhammad.
John 14:17 “...nor knows him”
Fewer people recognize the real Muhammad, God’s Prophet of Mercy.
John 14:26 “the Advocate (parakletos)”
Muhammad will be the advocate of humanity at large and of sinful believers on Judgment Day:
People will look for those who can intercede on their behalf to God to reduce the distress and suffering on Day of Judgment. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus will excuse themselves.
Then they will come to our Prophet and he will say, “I am the one who is able.” So he will intercede for the people in the Great Plain of Gathering, so judgment may be passed. This is the ‘Station of Praise’ God promises Him in the Quran:
“…It may be that your Lord will raise you to Station of Praise (the honor of intercession on the Day of Resurrection)” (Quran 17:79)
Prophet Muhammad said:
“My intercession will be for those of my nation who committed major sins.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
“I shall be the first intercessor in Paradise.” (Saheeh Muslim)
Some Muslim scholars suggest what Jesus actually said in Aramaic represents more closely the Greek word periklytos which means the ‘admired one.’ In Arabic the word ‘Muhammad’ means the ‘praiseworthy, admired one.’ In other words, periklytos is “Muhammad” in Greek. We have two strong reasons in its support. First, due to several documented cases of similar word substitution in the Bible, it is quite possible that both words were contained in the original text but were dropped by a copyist because of the ancient custom of writing words closely packed, with no spaces in between. In such a case the original reading would have been, “and He will give you another comforter (parakletos), the admirable one (periklytos).” Second, we have the reliable testimony of at least four Muslim authorities from different eras who ascribed ‘admired, praised one’ as a possible meaning of the Greek or Syriac word to Christians scholars. 
The following are some who attest that the Paraclete is indeed an allusion to Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him:
The First Witness
Anselm Turmeda (1352/55-1425 CE), a priest and Christian scholar, was a witness to the prophecy. After accepting Islam he wrote a book, “Tuhfat al-arib fi al-radd ‘ala Ahl al-Salib.”
The Second Witness
Abdul-Ahad Dawud, the former Rev. David Abdu Benjamin Keldani, BD, a Roman Catholic priest of the Uniate-Chaldean sect. After accepting Islam, he wrote the book, ‘Muhammad in the Bible.’ He writes in this book:
“There is not the slightest doubt that by “Periqlyte,” Prophet Muhammad, i.e. Ahmad, is intended.”
The Third Witness
A synopsis of the life of Muhammad Asad has already been given above. Commenting on the verse:
“…an apostle who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad” (Quran 61:6)
…where Jesus predicts the coming of Muhammad, Asad explains that the word Parakletos:
“…is almost certainly a corruption of Periklytos (‘the Much-Praised’), an exact Greek translation of the Aramaic term or name Mawhamana. (It is to be borne in mind that Aramaic was the language used in Palestine at the time of, and for some centuries after, Jesus and was thus undoubtedly the language in which the original - now lost - texts of the Gospels were composed.) In view of the phonetic closeness of Periklytos and Parakletos it is easy to understand how the translator - or, more probably, a later scribe - confused these two expressions. It is significant that both the Aramaic Mawhamana and the Greek Periklytos have the same meaning as the two names of the Last Prophet, Muhammad and Ahmad, both of which are derived from the Hebrew verb hamida (‘he praised’) and the Hebrew noun hamd (‘praise’).”
 Quran 33:40.
 See also Saheeh Al-Bukhari
 ‘Sirat Rasul Allah,’ by Ibn Ishaq (85-151 CE)p, 103. ‘Bayn al-Islam wal-Masihiyya: Kitab ‘Abi Ubaida al-Khazraji ,’ p. 220-221 by Abu Ubaida al-Khazraji (1146-1187 CE) p. 220-221. ‘Hidaya tul-Hayara,’ by Ibn ul-Qayyim, p. 119. ‘al-Riyadh al-Aniqa,’ by al-Suyuti, p. 129.
 Read his biography here: (http://www.muhammad.net/biblelp/bio_keldani.html.)