This verse clearly states that the Prophet Muhammad has been foretold even in the distorted versions of the Torah and Gospel among the Jews and Christians. It is not referring to the original Torah which was revealed to Moses or the original Gospel which was revealed to Jesus.
Several verses of the Qur’an state that previous prophets and religious texts foretold the coming of the Prophet Muhammad. Verse 157 of Chapter 7 states: “Those who follow the Messenger, the unschooled one, who has been described in the Torah and Gospel with them…”
This verse clearly states that the Prophet Muhammad has been foretold even in the distorted versions of the Torah and Gospel among the Jews and Christians. It is not referring to the original Torah which was revealed to Moses or the original Gospel which was revealed to Jesus. These two do not exist any longer except with Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance). It is referring to the Bible that existed during the time of the Qur’an’s revelation and that which also exists with us today.
From among all the Biblical verses that speak about the coming of the Prophet, we will discuss two verses, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.
Verse Number 1: Deuteronomy 18:18
“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 command him.”
Whom is this verse talking about? The Christians claim that this verse is speaking about Jesus. The Muslims claim that it is talking about Muhammad. We will present our arguments and the world can judge.
First, if it was talking about Jesus, it would say “I will raise them up a prophet from among themselves,” not “from among their brethren.” The Israelites are the children of Jacob, who is also known as Israel. He is the son of Isaac, son of Abraham. Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Jacob’s children are known as the Israelites. And the children of Ishmael are known as the Arabs. In this sense, the Arabs and Israelites are brethren.
Certainly, brethren can include the brothers among the Israelites; however, the verse is addressing Moses, an Israelite. And Moses is addressing his people. Therefore, why doesn’t it say “from among them” or “your brethren” (i.e. the Israelites) but rather “from among their brethren”? This indicates two wholes: one whole the Israelites and another whole their brethren (i.e. the Ishmaelites).
“Like unto thee”
The next part of the verse states that this prophet is like Moses. We have to study the major similarities between Moses and Jesus and Moses and Muhammad to see who it suits more. Of course, we can mention universal similarities which all human beings have, such as eating, sleeping, becoming ill, or minor similarities. However, such a comparison will not benefit anyone and is illogical.
Moses and Jesus
- Christians believe that Jesus is God and the Son of God. This is a fundamental principle in Trinitarian Christianity. If one does not believe in this, he is not a Christian. But Christians do not say that Moses is God or the Son of God. Therefore, this is a major difference between Moses and Jesus. If Christians say that Jesus is not God or the Son of God, or that Moses is also God and the Son of God, then their entire belief system will be turned upside down.
- Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of humanity. But they do not believe that about Moses. This belief is a core requirement of Christianity. If one does not believe in it, he will not be saved and is not considered a Christian. This is another major difference between Jesus and Moses. Either the Christians will have to deny what they believe about Jesus or believe the same thing for Moses, both of which puts the very foundation of their religion in question.
- Christians believe that Jesus was miraculously born from only a human mother and Moses had a natural birth from human parents. This is another major difference. Certainly, there are many other major differences between Moses and Jesus which clearly show that Deuteronomy 18:18 is not talking about the coming of Jesus but someone else. Nevertheless, the above examples should suffice anyone who approaches this subject with an open mind.
Moses and Muhammad
- Both Moses and Muhammad were married and had children. Jesus never married and did not have any children. Muslims, Christians, and Jews believe that Moses went into the wilderness and met Jethro (Shu’ayb) and married one of his daughters. No Christian theologian believes that Jesus ever married. There is some speculation, however, in Hollywood and other make-belief venues that Jesus married Mary Magdalene. These as just speculations or false accusations and are outside the realm of an intellectual discussion.
- Moses and Muhammad had natural births from a human father and mother, while according to both Muslims and Christians, Jesus had a miraculous birth from only a mother. Certainly, miraculous events took place in relation to the births of both Moses and Muhammad; however, their births were not out of the ordinary. Christians only refer to the birth of Jesus as the Immaculate Conception.
- Moses and Muhammad and their respective messages were eventually accepted by their people, while the Israelites rejected Jesus and his message. He had only a small group of people accept him. John 1:1 states: “He (Jesus) came unto his own, but his own received him not.”
- Both Moses and Muhammad brought laws for their people. But according to Christianity, Jesus did not bring any new laws. Matthew 5:17-18 states that Jesus said: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets, but I have come to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
- Both Moses and Muhammad died natural deaths. But Christians believe that Jesus was crucified. So in this manner, Jesus and Moses are different, and Muhammad and Moses are similar.
- Both Moses and Muhammad established governments. Moses and Muhammad became the rulers over their people. They had executive powers over their people. But Jesus did not.
- Both Moses and Muhammad had an exodus. Moses led his people to freedom from Egypt to Palestine, and this migration was called the Exodus. Muhammad led his away from the oppression of the people of Mecca to Medina, and this migration was called the Hijrah. Both events were major episodes in the histories of these two great prophets.
“And will put my words in his mouth…”
This prophet will speak only God’s words. What is interesting is that whenever God’s words were revealed to Muhammad, he told them to the people exactly as it was revealed to him. That is why we see throughout the Qur’an verses that start with the command “Say!” (Qul). He was told to say such and such, and he even included the “Say!” when relating it to the people.
Moreover, verses 53:1-4 of the Qur’an state, “By the star, when it goes down: your companion (Muhammad) does not go astray, nor is he misled: nor does he speak out of desire; it is not but revelation revealed to him.” Scholars have used this verse to show that whatever Muhammad says is God’s word.
Verse Number 2: John 16:13-14
“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 show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.”
Who is the spirit of truth?
Christians claim that it is the Holy Spirit. However, the original Greek word for it was either pariklytos, which means “the praised one” (Muhammad in Arabic) or parakletos, which means a comforter, an advocate, or the spirit of truth. We know that Jesus spoke of the praised one and mentioned his name. However, in order to bury this truth, the words were played with. Instead of mentioning the name that Jesus stated, its meaning was spread among people in order to hide the truth.
At any rate, when we study these verses closely, we see that they do not refer to the Holy Spirit. In reality, they cannot refer to anyone other than Prophet Muhammad. John 16:7: “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.”
Jesus has to go away in order for the Comforter or Spirit of truth. But the Bible clearly states that the Holy Spirit was on the earth while Jesus was there. From among the verses that testify to this are Genesis 1:2, 1 Samuel 10:10, 1 Samuel 11:16, Isaiah 63:11, Luke 1:15, 1:35, 1:41, 1: 67, 2:25-26, 3:22 and John 20:21-22. For example, Luke 3:22 states: “And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon him (Jesus)…”
Furthermore, the Bible uses the word “spirit” to mean prophet. 1 John 4:1-3 states: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits to see if they are from God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
In addition, the verses under discussion say that the Spirit of truth “shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak.” We already demonstrated this under the explanation of Deuteronomy 18:18. It also says: “That he shall glorify me,” meaning this spirit or prophet will glorify Jesus. We see that the Qur’an and sayings of Prophet Muhammad are full of praises about Jesus. In reality, no one has praised Jesus as much as Prophet Muhammad.
The summary of all that has been said shows that these verses can only be about Muhammad. As the Qur’an (39:17-18) says: “Give the good news to those of My servants who hear the different sayings and choose the best one from among them; they are the ones guided by God, and they are the possessors of intellect.”