Summary of 3.4 "Location"
We continued showing that in the Bible itself there are plenty of prophecies concerning the advent of Prophet Mohammed. We have shown in previous series the lineage of the Prophet. He comes from the Ishmaelite side of Abraham and we dismissed some of the biased views towards Ishmael being an illegitimate son, which is not supported in the Bible at all. We, also, discussed in what sense Prophet Mohammed was similar to Prophet Moses and focused on Deuteronomy chapter 18 verses 18.
Particularly, we have shown that there are also a number of hints in the Bible concerning the location from which that prophet is to come. We made special reference to the Book of Deuteronomy chapter 33 verses 1-3 in which it mentions three distinct places: Sinai, Seir, and Paran. We said that Paran is the English equivalent to Arabic’s Faran, which is actually Mecca. We have given evidence from Genesis and other historical and traditional sources that Mecca was the place where Prophet Ishmael was settled and as such is referenced as the place where the prophet to come would descend and that is none other than Prophet Mohammed.
Secondly, we have seen another hint concerning the location. There is mention in the Book of Habbukukk and also in Isaiah about the location and details concerning the forced immigration of the prophet under persicution to Medina and that they were supported there and the people of Medina shared everything they had with them and defended them. It is quite interesting to note that particularly in Isaiah, chapter 21 verses 14-17, vividly describes and even that would occur hundreds of years later when Prophet Mohammed and his followers actually had victory, within a year (according to the prophecy in the Bible and historical sources) against the pagans who came to destroy them.
We mentioned that in the same chapter of Isaiah, 21, verses 13, there is mention of Arabia in the context of the previous prophecy, which is further support that again, the only major prophet to come from Arabia, after Ishmael is none other than Prophet Mohammed.
Finally we mentioned the Psalms of David, particularly Psalm 84 verses 6, mentions Mecca using its alternate name Baca. As we have shown last time, that Mecca and Becca are alternative terms used in the Qur'an to refer to the same place. If looked at, in English, Mecca is phonetically said Macca and that Becca phonetically is said Bacca, which is pronounced practically exactly the same as Baca, the term used in the Bible. Obviously the Psalm is mentioning Mecca and there is no Prophet after Ishmael coming from the entire branch of the Ishmaelites other than Prophet Mohammed.
This shows very clearly that this prophecy in the Book of Deuteronomy, applies to none other than Prophet Mohammed may peace and blessings be upon him.
3.5 Characteristics (Isaiah Chapter 42)
Host: For today’s topic we will be focusing on the Book of Isaiah chapter 42 verses 1- 11, what other major points would you like to bring up concerning this biblical reference?
In a nutshell, we find in the Book of Isaiah in the 42nd chapter there is a very clear and revealing profile of the prophet to come, which is consistent, again, with all the prophecies that we’ve already mentioned.
First, we’ll be showing that the prophet being prophesied will be known as the servant and messenger of God. That is a very clear title and very famous title of Prophet Mohammed. This is particularly clear in verse one and nineteen in chapter 42. Secondly, the chapter prophesies that the faith of the prophet to come would be a universal faith, which is clearly implied in verses one, four and six. Thirdly, the prophet will be given a complete code of law, which is clear from verse four. There are descriptions of the coming prophet; he would be patient and victorious against those seeking to destroy him. This is implied in verses 2, 4, and 13.
The most remarkable thing in this chapter and the prophecy in it is that it says that this prophet to come will be from the descendents of Kedar, from the villages and cities of where the Kedar dwelt. Kedar, according to the Bible, is actually the equivalent of Arabia. Kedar being today’s Arabia is clearly implied in chapter 11.
In this prophecy, in Isaiah, there is no other person where this prophecy perfectly fits but one and that is Prophet Mohammed may peace and blessings be upon him.
Host: Let’s go to the Book of Isaiah, chapter 42 verses 1-11, and look at it in more depth. The first verse (in the King James Version) says, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgments to the Gentiles.”
There are three points I want to discuss in this verse. First of all, it describes the prophet as being known or acting as the servant of God. He would be a servant, but a beloved servant of God. This, I indicated earlier, is very relevant to a title given to the prophet, which appears in verse 19: the term messenger. Putting the two together: this person would be the servant and messenger of God. Additionally, the term messenger is also used in the Book of Malachi chapter 3 verses 1-3. Therefore, it’s consistent.
On this point it is very well known that even though all prophets in a sense can be regarded as servants and messengers of God. We find, however, that there is no prophet who had been so well known with this title of servant and messenger of God other than Prophet Mohammed.
Throughout the entire Muslim world, a billion or 1/5 of the world population, everyday, five times a day, mention and praise Prophet Mohammed in the call to prayer. Additionally, during the prayer itself, God and Mohammed are praised and mentioned. Again the term used to refer to Prophet Mohammed, when mentioned in the call to prayer and in the prayer itself, is abduhu wa rasuloohu, which translates into ‘God’s servant and messenger’.
The creedal formula, which a person says in order to embrace Islam is: I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except for Allah and that Mohammed is his abduhu wa rasuloohu (His servant and messenger). In voluntary prayers, which many Muslims partake in aside from the obligatory five daily prayers, again there’s the mention and repetition of Mohammed being God’s servat and Messenger. In all the prophetic traditions, the passages always begin saying ‘it was narrated by the messenger of Allah.’
During Prophet Mohammed’s lifetime people usually addressed him saying things like ‘O messenger of Allah, tell us…’ So the evidence is very consistent historically that there is no prophet that has been so widely known with that title more than Prophet Mohammed may peace and blessings be upon him.
The second point, there is mentioned in the verse ‘mine elect.’ The equivalent of that term in Arabic is al mustafa, which is in fact another name for, actually one of the famous names attributed to, Prophet Mohammed. He was known as al Mustafa, the elect or the person selected by God both in terms of the meaning of the word and the metaphoric indication of being elected as well; this term fits him both as name and a description.
Thirdly, the verse as you recited it says that God placed his spirit upon him. Of course, when talking of the spirit of God you’re also referring to revelation. Interestingly, we find that the Qur'an itself describes itself, in one verse, as the spirit of God. The exact verse says, wa kathalika awhayna ilayka ruhan min amrina. “Thus have We have inspired in thee (Mohammed) a Spirit of Our Command.” (Qur'an 42:52)
Putting these three points together, in regards to the verse in the Bible, I think it’s a perfect fit.
Host: Let’s move on to the second verse, “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.”
This is, obviously, a description of the decency of the prophet as derived from his teaching and his character: his actual behavior, particularly in discussions or in relating with other people. We find the evidence of that very consistent. The Qur'an, for example, forbids compulsion in religion as it appears in chapter 2 verses 256 of the Qur'an. Even though the Qur'an did allow Muslims to engage in warfare, it did so for the purpose of defense or for the purpose of fighting oppression but never for compulsion.
As we have indicated in a previous program, the teaching of the prophet, who is prophesied in the Bible, has been very clearly indicated in the Qur'an. For example, in chapter 16 verses 125, it says, “Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” In other words, talk to others with wisdom and the best possible manner.
In discussion with non-Muslims, in verse 46 chapter 29, it says, “Do not argue with the People given the Book(s) except in the best manner.” The Qur'an makes it clear in chapter 4 verses 148, it says, “Allah loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done.” And this directly relates to the section in the second verse in chapter 42 in the Book of Isaiah.
A very wise man, Luqman, while advising his son, says, “Be modest in your bearing and subdue your voice. For certain, the most repugnant of voices is the braying of the ass.” (Qur'an 31:19) Again, the teachings in the Qur'an are consistent in not raising ones voice and being vulgar in discussion and when relating with other people.
Not only do we find this as a matter of teaching but even through the consistent evidence, historically, about the character and behavior of Prophet Mohammed may peace and blessings be upon him, we find that these teachings were not just confined to the Qur'an but fully embodied themselves in Prophet Mohammed’s behavior even when dealing with his enemies.
Host: Moving on now to the third verse: “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench, he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.”
There are three points in this verse that I would like to focus on. According to some scholars, the word reed itself is in reference to Egypt because, for example, in the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 29 verses 6 and 7, there is mention of reed being something that grows in Egypt. Therefore, it could be used as a metaphor for Egypt. If that is true, then it can be a reference to the recommendation and the exhortation that the prophet made for the well treatment of others and in particular the people of Egypt.
We have sited in a previous program the kind of tolerance and guarantees that were given to the people in the monastery of Saint Katharine in Sinai. It had always been strongly encouraged to be kind towards the Egyptians, especially since some of their rulers were not as aggressive as the rulers of other empires at the time. They were, relatively, more receptive to the gestures made by the prophet towards them. Some actually claimed that even the Egyptians were helping liberate the Muslim army from the Roman tyranny.
The smoking flax is rather an ambiguous phrase. It could have two meanings. One interpretation that this could possibly refer to is respecting and honoring science and knowledge. There are lots of entries found in the Qur'an as well as the sayings of Prophet Mohammed honoring knowledge and encouragement towards knowledge and science. Suffice to say that the very first verse that came down to Prophet Mohammed was the command read.
Another interpretation, from other translations of the Bible, also talk of faintly lighted smoking flax that he will not extinguish. If anyone reviewed the history of the world at the time that Prophet Mohammed lived, a smoking flax could be a reference to a civilization that could be eating away at itself, the corruption that was on earth at that time was threatening the whole tree of civilization as some historians believe. And so going back to the interpretation of the phrase, he, the prophesized prophet, will not quench or destroy that civilization but rather save it from those degenerating forces; whether those forces were in matters of beliefs, actions or cruelty and tyranny of the two superpowers or empires of that time: the Persians and the Byzantines.
The third point I would like to bring up, in the new revised edition of the translation of the Bible it says ‘bring justice to the nations’ instead of ‘he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.’ He will liberate other nations under the yoke of the tyrannical empires of that time and bring justice and this is a matter of history. It would take a whole session to discuss the issue of how justice was brought and many people who suffered all kinds of cruelties were liberated under Islamic rule. This is something that has been acknowledged even by those who are critics of Islam.
Host: Moving on to the fourth verse: “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”
This is consistent with what we’ve been talking about before. When it says he will not fail or be discouraged until he sets judgment on earth it definitely refers to a prophet who will not only preach and be persecuted, but a prophet who will persevere and he will not die until he brings forth a community of believers and establishes a new order that is to bring justice.
I don’t think that you could claim that after Prophet Moses any prophet truly meets these points other than Prophet Mohammed may peace and blessings be upon them both. Even at the time when Muslims were very few in number, when they were mercilessly persecuted and had no hope whatsoever, the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Mohammed, used to always repeat that God would give them victory over their persecutors and that God would give them victory over the superpowers of that time and that they would be able to bring justice to other nations.
If you compare that, for example, to another great prophet before him, Prophet Jesus may peace and blessings be upon him, we find in the Gospel according to John chapter 16 verse 9, there is evidence that Prophet Jesus was justifiably discouraged, saying ‘they believe not on me,’ and goes on to talk of a prophet who is not honored even in his own country. In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 13, when he talks of the parable of the fig tree, again almost implying that he lost hope that the Israelites would come around and believe in him as a prophet and hopefully believe in the next prophet to come.
A second point concerning the ‘isles shall wait for his law,’ this is again a confirmation that this prophet will have a law. If I recall correctly, Matthew chapter 5 verse 17, Jesus says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” So this does not refer to Prophet Jesus, even though Muslims believe in his prophet-hood.
According to the Dictionary of the Bible, it says the word isles could also mean dry places. So whether you’re talking about isles in the literal sense or as dry places it perfectly fits the advent of Islam. Islam spread throughout the desert areas as well as the farthest isles. The biggest example is the largest Muslim country is Indonesia, about a hundred and twenty million Muslims, in the isles there where Islam spread exclusively through merchants and through trade. In addition, to many other isles in Malaysia and isles in the Caribbean and all over the world, the point is that Prophet’s law has reached remote areas.
Host: Moving on to verse #5: “Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk theirin.”
This verse simply says that God ordains all this. Lets discuss verses 5-7 together.
Host: Verses 6 and 7: “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to the nations; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”
Let’s focus on the part that says ‘to open the blind eyes.’ This should not just be taken in the physical sense of curing the blind but rather in the spiritual sense as well, being able to see the truth. Those who are imprisoned such as a person who is deaf spiritually or not receptive to the truth, the prophesied prophet will be able to cause such a person to see the truth. Additionally, he would bring those who are imprisoned in the darkness to see the light.
Darkness, in the spiritual sense, could be a reference to the darkness of ignorance or darkness of dogmatism and brainwashing, which is not based on a solid foundation of faith. This is very consistent with what the Qur'an describes itself: as bringing light to the people. For example, in verse 174 chapter 4, the Qur'an describes itself as nooran mubeenan, ‘a clear light (that is) manifest.’
The first verse of chapter 14 uses terminology that is almost identical to what appears in this verse in the Book of Isaiah. It says, “A book which We revealed unto thee, in order that thou (Mohammed) mightest lead mankind out of the depths of darkness and into the light- by leave of their Lord- to the way of Him the Exalted in power, worthy of all praise.” It has been agreed upon that the description of the Qur'an as a document and a holy book, by which God will open eyes which are blinded and open ears which are deaf and guide hearts which are mislead.
Host: Moving along then to verses 8: “I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
There are two basic points I’d like to discuss with this verse. First of all, it says ‘My glory I will not give to another.’ I think a very reasonable interpretation of the word glory here would mean the honor of prophet-hood; that is the revelation that God honors to the previous prophets in the past would not be given again to another. To Muslims this would sound like a very clear indication of the fact that Prophet Mohammed is the last of all the prophets and messengers and no one else would receive divine revelation after him.
The second point gives the reference to ‘graven images,’ which shows or at least hints that he will be raised in a place where idolatry is rampant and that is precisely what was occurring in Arabia before the advent of Prophet Mohammed peace and blessings be upon him.
Host: Verse 9 and 10: “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and 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, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therin; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.”
There are two interesting points here. The first is ‘sing unto the Lord a new song’ and of course in the scripture a song can also mean and refer to a scripture. So does this mean that there will be a new revelation? Not only a new revelation but perhaps in a new language, a new song. As we know, the Qur'an is the only scripture that has been revealed in Arabic and most of the Old Testament was revealed in a specific language- could that be a reference to a new revelation in a new language?
The other is the singing of praise in all parts of the world. As I mentioned before, the call for prayer and the regular five daily prayers in Islam, there are always hundreds and hundreds of Muslims every day that repeatedly praise God from all corners of the earth.
Host: Going on to verses 11: “Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voices, the villages that Kedar doth inhibit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.”
If there is any doubt about the interpretation of any of the previous verses this one puts them to rest. It mentions specifically the villages of Kedar. In the Bible itself, in the book of Genesis, chapter 25 verses 13, it says that Kedar was the second son of Ishmael and we said before that Ishmael dwelt in the wilderness of Paran, which is in Arabia. This is the clearest and most straightforward proof that can put all doubts to rest.
Not only that, we find in the Bible the term Kedar is oftentimes used in reference to Arabs or to Arabia in particular. For example, the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 27 verses 21, uses the term Kedar in reference to Arabia. Other Christian sources also back this up. An example is the Dictionary of the Bible (edited by James Hastings, 63d Edition). It says, “Kedar would coincide with the Persian province of Arabia in the south of Palestine and to the Egyptian boarder.” (pg. 547) Anyone with the slightest knowledge in geography knows that the south of Palestine to the boarder of Egypt is nothing but Hijaz that is the province of Arabia, which houses Mecca and Medina: the two holiest shrines of Islam.
The last part is quite interesting it says to ‘let them shout from the top of the mountains.’ Anyone who has been on the pilgrimage to Mecca or even saw footage of the pilgrimage would know that on the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijja, the 12th month in the Lunar Islamic calendar, nearly a million or more gather together specifically on Mount Arafat shouting and chanting out praise of God.
This is a vivid description of what is to happen hundreds of years after the Isaiah’s prophecy was made and is something that has continued since over 1400 years ago and continues even today.
Host: Lets go back to the chart. Can you highlight the major points we’ve discussed in these eleven very revealing verses in the 42nd chapter in the Book of Isaiah?
First we said that there is mention in the first and 19th verse that the prophet to come would be considered a servant and messenger of God and we’ve shown that this applies so clearly to none other than Prophet Mohammed. These verses say that the prophet will bring about a universal faith, and he will have a complete code of law, which applies either mainly to Prophets Moses and Mohammed. The verses describe the prophet to come as having patience in his dealings with people and in the way he argues and discusses with them.
He will have victory over his adversaries, which brings us to a verse that we didn’t get to, verse 13 in the same chapter we’ve been discussing, says, “He shall prevail against his enemies.” Yes, it says the Lord will do so, yet it can also hint that God will give victory to his servants over His adversaries. Finally, the most striking point was that the prophesied prophet would be coming from Kedar, which according to the Bible is Arabia. All of these points apply so fully to none but one person and that is Prophet Mohammed may peace and blessings be upon him.