3.8 Other References and Conclusions
Host: In the last program you gave various points showing that the Comforter or the Advocate who was foretold by Jesus in the Gospel of John is in fact Prophet Mohammed, may peace and blessings be upon him, and not the Holy Ghost. Can you explain, for the benefit of the viewers, a little more about the original Greek term for the word Comforter or Advocate? Paraclete is the Greek word, I believe.
Paraclete is the English equivalent that is used because of the lack of better translation. The original Greek word for Paraclete is parakletos. This word has been translated, as we said, to the Comforter and the Advocate sometimes even translated to mean someone who admonishes etc. It is interesting to note that there is another Greek word, which is very close to parakletos and it is periclytos, which means the illustrious, the praised one or praiseworthy person.
This second word’s, periclytos, exact translation in Arabic is Ahmad. Ahmad is another name attributed to Prophet Mohammed and the two names Ahmad and Mohammed are both derived from the same Arabic root, which is hamd, praise.
Is it possible that the original Greek word was actually periclytos, which means Ahmad rather than parakletos, both of which are extremely similar? No matter which way it’s looked at this shows that Mohammed was foretold by name in the Bible and the Qur'an confirms this. When taken as parakletos, which means the admonisher, comforter, and advocate it still applies to Prophet Mohammed, may peace and blessings be upon him.
Host: Before we move on to the wrapping up and summarizing this whole series I have on last question. Are there any other statements, in the New Testament, which confirm that the expected one was actually Prophet Mohammed as we’ve discussed in previous sessions and not a spirit or the Holy Ghost?
There are many, but I’ll just point out one of the most important ones. In the Gospel of John (John 1:19-25) is the famous story when the Jews sent to John the Baptist priests and Levites asking him concerning the identity of the coming prophet. Notice that the questions were quite revealing and very interesting. They went to John the Baptist and asked him if he was Christ. He said that he wasn’t. They asked him if he was Elias, the second coming of Prophet Elias. He told them he wasn’t. Their third question is quite revealing; they asked him if he was that prophet. He told them he wasn’t. Notice that the Israelites, the priests and Levites who were learned of the scriptures, were expecting three distinct persons to come at the time of Jesus.
The first was Christ; that is known. The other was the second coming of Elias, which if not interpreted strictly as the same Elias could have been interpreted, also, as John the Baptist coming as Elias. This, actually, is stated by Jesus. The third person, who is not Christ and not Elias was that prophet. This means they were expecting a third person called that prophet. Who is this third prophet that they expected? The answer has been covered in the past and we come to that in the summery as well. It is that prophet which was foretold in the Book of Deuteronomy, in chapter 18 verse 18, where Moses says to the Israelites that God will send to them from among their brethren, the Ishmaelites, a prophet like unto Moses.
Host: Throughout this whole series, the seven preceding programs, you’ve quoted extensively from the Bible. How can you as a Muslim justify the use of other scriptures to make this point?
As we indicated in the first program, on the methodology of the whole series, that it is erroneous to believe that Muslims completely reject the Bible, reject each and every word of it, or that they accepted literally that each and every word is the word of God that has been accurately and scrupulously preserved and has come down to us in its original form. The Qur'an makes it an obligatory duty on Muslims to not only believe in previous prophets but also in the scriptures that were revealed to those prophets in their original, whole form.
In this matter, Muslims should adopt a cautious openness towards these scriptures. Openness, in a sense, that one cannot unfairly presume that the whole Bible has been altered. There is the possibility that some additional philosophical or theological arguments have been introduced, some statements that are ethnically oriented and reflect biases that may have been added by some of the writers and translators of the Old Testament. However, it is erroneous to say that the Bible from cover to cover is nothing but created statements that have no original revelation. On the other hand, one must be cautiousness that is in accordance to the Qur'an; one must watch for the areas, which may have undergone some changes. As we’ve indicated previously, the proper criteria for Muslims is to check the verses, passages, and statements made in the Bible that are consistent with the Qur'an and are confirmed by the Qur'an.
In this case, Muslims have no reason to reject those parts in the Bible. In this sense, Muslims should be quite open in looking into the Bible while using the Qur'an as the final and ultimate truth. On that particular topic on prophecies, we have seen ample evidence that there are plenty, clear prophecies in the Bible concerning the advent of the last prophet, Prophet Mohammed may peace and blessings be upon him.
Host: I understand that we have a seven-point chart that summarizes the profile of the expected prophet. First of all, in what sense do the prophecies in the Bible prove that the expected prophet was to be from Ishmael’s descendents?
This is the first point on the chart. The awaited prophet, who has been awaited for such a long time by various Israelite prophets in the Old Testament, and was referred to as a Paraclete by Jesus may peace and blessings be upon him, was to be from Ishmael’s descendents. In the second program in this series, we indicated that Abraham, the patriarch of Monotheistic faith, was promised by God in the Book of Genesis (chapter 12 and 17) that God would make of him a great nation and will bless him and bless all the families of earth through Abraham’s descendents.
We know that Abraham had two wives, the first Sarah and the second Hagar. From his second wife, his first son, Ishmael, was born. Sarah bore him his second son, Isaac. In the Book of Genesis, in several places especially in chapter 21 verses 13 and 18, God promises Abraham that both Isaac and Ishmael will come a great nation.
Both of Abraham’s children have been specified the blessing of prophet-hood. Throughout history the promise of God to Abraham has already been fulfilled through both branches of Abraham’s family. From the descendents of Isaac came all the Israelite prophets: Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, and of course Jesus may peace and blessings be upon them all. From the descendents of Ishmael comes Prophet Mohammed.
We’ve mentioned that the name Kadar appears frequently in the Bible. Kadar was the second son of Ishmael. In this sense, we can say that the Bible’s prophecies are very clear and very concise despite some prejudicial interpretations. The promise of God was equally for both of Abraham’s children, Ishmael and Isaac. We also know that Prophet Mohammed is definitely a descendent of Ishmael.
In the sixth program of this series, we provided further evidence that this advent prophet is to be of the descendents of Ishmael. For example, we discussed the prophecy about Jesse. In the Book of Isaiah, chapter 11 verses 1 and 2, talks of the prophet from Jesse. In the Encyclopedia Biblica, we find that Jesse is a contraction for Ishmael in Hebrew. It is the same name as Ishmael. In that previous program we went into detail on how this contraction is made. This is found in a Christian source, the Encyclopedia Biblica edited by Rev. T.K. Cheyne.
In this case, there is no doubt, whatsoever, as to who the ancestor of the prophet to come is. This prophet will come from the descendents of Ishmael.
Host: Moving on to the second point. What about Mohammed’s similarity to Prophet Moses?
We dealt with Mohammed’s similarities with Prophet Moses in great detail in the third program of this series. We created a chart showing the similarities that Prophets Jesus and Mohammed had with Prophet Moses. We looked at ten areas of comparison between them. With all we looked at we found that it is quite a mistake that the prophet like unto Moses is Jesus, since they have very little in common.
First of all, in the prophecy in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 18 verse 18, it says that God will ‘raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren.’ Here ‘their’ is the Israelites and we know that the brethren of the Israelites are the Ishmaelites.
Additionally, both Moses and Mohammed are regarded as prophets while Jesus is, by most, regarded as the Son of God. Mohammed and Moses have both a mother and a father, they had a normal birth, a normal family with wife and children, and normal death. The emphasis of their teaching was a combination of the spiritual and the legal. They were both leaders of their people in addition to prophets. They lead their people and established a community of believers. Their careers as prophets included being rulers where they both encountered their enemies and had victory. Their mission was completed and new order was established in their lifetime. Looking into all of this we find that similarity between Prophets Moses and Mohammed is near perfect. However, when comparing Moses to Prophet Jesus, may peace and blessings be upon them all, respected and acknowledged as he may be, he is not the prophet foretold in that verse since his similarities with Prophet Moses is practically limited to being a descendent of Isaac.
This point, of Moses and Jesus having the same ancestry actually helps build up the case for Prophet Mohammed since Jesus is from the Israelites and therefore is not a brethren of the Israelites. Mohammed, however, is from the Ishmaelites who are the brethren of the Israelites.
Host: Moving on to the third point in our summery. Can you recap the proofs that are foretold in the Bible that the coming prophet was to come from Arabia?
Several points were raised covering this. The most important reference we had made was to the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 33 verse 1-3, in which it says that “The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Paran.” We gave ample evidence that Paran, which is Faran in Arabic, is actually the name of Arabia in general. We gave evidence from the Bible itself. In the Book of Genesis, chapter 21 verse 21, says that Ishmael “dwelt in the wilderness of Paran.” It is very well known historically that Ishmael is the ancestor of the Arabs and therefore lived in Arabia. The Kabbah, the holy shrine from Muslims in Mecca, which Ishmael built with the help of his father Abraham, is still standing today.
Additionally, we mentioned another verse in the Bible, in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 21 verse 13. The term Arabia is mentioned in this verse, and in particular it says that the burden is upon Arabia; the burden of carrying the new religious revival and rejuvenation would fall on Arabia.
More surprisingly, even the name Mecca appears in the Bible. In the 84th Psalms of David, verse 6 talks of the valley of Baca. We mentioned that in Arabic, Mecca and Becca are the same. They were both mentioned in the Qur'an referring to the same place. As such, when Prophet David, may peace and blessings be upon him, says, “Who passing through the valley of Baca” it must be referring to Prophet Mohammed because no other prophet came from Mecca or Baca except for him.
In the sixth program in this series, we discussed the vivid descriptions in the Bible concerning the holy shrine, Kabbah, and how it would be called the New Jerusalem, how the door of the Kabbah would be permanently open to all and we know that for the past 1400 years until today, the Kabbah has been open. It also describes the holy shrine as being a house for all people and not for a particular ethnic group or race. Millions upon millions of people from all nations and all races come, every year, to the Kabbah, which is in Mecca, for pilgrimage.
Hundreds of years before Prophet Mohammed’s birth and hundreds of years before pilgrimage, Hajj, became part and parcel a practice in Islam, there has been descriptions of people traveling from all over to supplicate at the Kabbah. In the book of Isaiah, chapter 52 verse 1, chapter 56 verses 7 and 8, and chapter 60 verse 11 all describe Mecca.
Combining all these points, conclude the place of the prophet to come is none other than it’s in Arabia and in Mecca in particular, and that the prophet will be close to the Kabbah and again this all points to the advent being Prophet Mohammed.
Host: Can we go back to the point that Mohammed was a messenger and a ruler as well? How was that foretold in the Bible?
In the fifth program in this series, we went into detail in analyzing chapter 42 in the Book of Isaiah. This chapter gives several descriptions of the prophet to come. One of the points it raises answers your question. It says that he will be a ruler and will carry responsibility in addition to his preaching. This is in addition to his description as a servant and messenger of God, which is a very famous and well known title attributed to Prophet Mohammed. It brings up the point that this prophet’s faith would be universal and that he will bring a code of law to be followed. We know, again, that the most famous prophets to bring a complete code of law were basically Moses and the only one after him was Mohammed.
The chapter goes on to say that the isles would await his law. This refers to the spread of Islam all over the world. As is historically known, nearly 20% of the world population is Muslim.
It describes the prophet to come as a patient, victorious, and will not be discouraged as other prophets were. This chapter in the Book of Isaiah, also, says that he will live until he has complete victory over his adversaries and establish faith and justice on earth. However, the most surprising and conclusive evidence appears in the eleventh verse of this chapter. It mentions Kadar and the joy that the people living in the settlements of Kadar will have as a result of the coming of that prophet. We know that according to the Bible, itself, in the Book of Genesis, chapter 25 verse 13, Kadar was the second son of Ishmael. At times the Bible uses Kadar as a reference to Arabia. Therefore, this verse is referring to Arabia and the people residing there.
Not only are we talking about a variety of characteristics, but also in addition to being a prophet and a ruler, he clearly meets the criteria set in the first eleven verses of the 42nd chapter in the Book of Isaiah concerning the advent prophet.
Host: Let’s move on to the question of revelation. How did Mohammed receive the revelation and how is that related to the prophecies in the Bible?
Anyone who has the slightest knowledge about Islam would know that Prophet Mohammed, may peace and blessings be upon him, that he was meditating in the Cave of Hera, as he did every so often, when the angel Gabriel came to him and told him to read. Prophet Mohammed replied telling Gabriel that he was not a learned person and so could not read. Afterwards, Gabriel then said, “Read in the name of the Lord who created man.” (Qur'an 96:1) Gabriel then continued the first revelation.
Additionally, Prophet Mohammed was not using his own words when the revelation was revealed to him. All revelations were dictated to him by the angel Gabriel and Prophet Mohammed was, simply, repeating word for word what was told to him. He was very cautious and would repeat what was dictated to him quickly so that he would not miss any word given him. This is all fundamental information concerning the history of the revelation of the Qur'an.
As to how this was foretold in the Bible, there are plenty of conclusive and very clear evidence. One can be found in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 18 verse 18, where Moses describes the prophet that is ‘like unto’ him. He says that God would put His words in the advent prophet’s mouth. That is the coming prophet will not be speaking of his own accord and so the revelation will result in dictated scripture. That is exactly how the Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Mohammed.
Another example is also found in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 18 verse 20. It says that he, the advent prophet, will speak in the name of the Lord. As we indicated in the previous session, each chapter in the Qur'an starts with Bismillahi Alrahman Alraheem, which translates to: In the name of the Lord the most Beneficent and the most Merciful.
As we already stated, the first verse revealed to Mohammed says, “Read in the name of the Lord,” which gives a very clear hint if not an obvious indication to the nature of the prophet. These verses in the Book of Deuteronomy are consistent, fully, with the Qur'an; chapter 53 verse 3 and 4 talks about the same type of description concerning the revelation. It says, “Nor does he say aught of his own Desire. It is no less than divine inspiration.”
Additionally, in the Book of Isaiah chapter 42 verse 10, says that this new scripture given to the advent prophet would be in a new language. It says, “Sing unto the Lord a new song,” which can be taken as the new scripture will be in a new language that will praise and glorify the Lord.
We know that the Israelite prophets had the scripture in a certain language. The Qur'an was given to Prophet Mohammed in a different language: Arabic. It’s important to note that Arabic is still a widely spoken language and so the Qur'an is still widely read in it’s original form.
In the Book of Isaiah chapter 29 verses 11-13, there is an exact description- almost word for word, as to what happened to Mohammed in the Cave of Hera. It says, “And the book is delivered to him that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.” This is exactly word for word what took place when the angel Gabriel first came to Prophet Mohammed hundreds of years after this verse was penned.
Also in chapter 28 verse 11 in the Book of Isaiah is a very accurate description of the state of the prophet when he received the revelation and his fear of missing something dictated to him. This verse in the Bible is almost identical to the description in the Qur'an (chapter 75 verses 16-17) concerning the state of the prophet when receiving the revelation. There’s not much room to dispute the applicability of these verses to Prophet Mohammed.
Host: Can you summarize a few historical events from the life of Prophet Mohammed, which were foretold in the Bible?
We mentioned previously the prophecy in the Book of Deuteronomy that Prophet Moses gives. In the same Book of Deuteronomy, in chapter 33 verse 2, mentions that the Lord came “from Mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints.” As we indicated before, that’s the exact number of Muslims in the army that had a bloodless battle that gave them victory over Mecca from which they were driven out of by the pagan Arabs.
We mentioned, also, the Book of Habakkuk, chapter 3, talks about the prophet who would be away from his homeland. It’s talked of in clearer terms in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 21 verses 13-17, which describes the forced migration of the prophet and his followers under the threat of death and being persecuted. It also describes how they were received in Tema, which, as Christian sources describe it, is an oasis north of Medina: the second holiest shrine of Islam and the place to which Prophet Mohammed migrated.
The description given in the Bible are very vivid and clear that leaves no room to suspect that there is any other prophet in the history of man who faced exactly the same kind of historical events that Prophet Mohammed did with the exact description as given in the Bible. There were a number of people around him when these events transpired who relayed the same descriptions of them.
Host: What does the Bible have to say about when this advent prophet is to come?
In the beginning of this program we talked about the prophecy of John the Baptist, which indicates that people were still waiting for that prophet that was foretold in the Book of Deuteronomy (18:18). Up to the time of Jesus, this advent prophet had not come. Even after Jesus, as we indicated, he, himself, talks of the Paraclete and we already discussed and showed that this Paraclete is a man and a prophet. He indicates that this comforter, or Ahmad/ Mohammed, is to come after him. Again, in terms of any confusion as to when this prophet is to come, if he has not already come, or if he is yet to come was never clearly set in the Bible. He had not come before Jesus, he was foretold by Jesus, and the description and profile perfectly fits Prophet Mohammed.
Some people are still waiting for the Paraclete to come when it’s evident that he’s already come 1400 years ago.
Host: Let’s go back to the New Testament. What is the evidence concerning the shift of prophet-hood from the Israelite side to the Ishmaelite side of Abraham’s family?
It is both in the Old as well as the New Testament. For example, in the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 2 verse 3, indicates how many of the Israelites were rebelling against God. Additionally, there was a very clear threat in the Book of Jeremiah, chapter 31 verse 36, saying that if the Israelites continue in their rebellion against God then prophet-hood would be taken from them and they would cease to be a nation before Him.
The same thing is repeated by Prophet Jesus, may peace and blessings be upon him, in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 21 verse 43, where he talks of the fig tree and that the fig tree would be cut after three years if it doesn’t bear fruit. That’s exactly what happened: the owner of prophet-hood shifted from the Israelites to the other side of Abraham’s family taking their share in the spiritual leadership of humanity uniting them under one God.
Host: Can you provide some additional references that may be available concerning this series’ topic?
I would say to just read the Bible, carefully, no matter the edition or the version. Read it carefully and especially the verses and chapters I sited. In addition to this, a book called What the Bible says about Mohammed by Ahmad Deedat is a great source of information. Another great pamphlet titled “Biblical Studies from Muslims’ Perspective” written by S. Muffassir, a former Baptist priest who converted to Islam. One of the most scholarly works done is Mohammed in World Scripture by Abdul Haq Vidyarthi, which provides an exhaustive study of this subject and was a very useful source for this series.