Muslims claim that Muhammad was a prophet, whose coming was prophesied in Christian Gospels and the Jewish Torah. World-famous Sufi Muslim intellectual Fethullah Gulen, for example, says: According to Islam, almost all previous prophets predicted Prophet Muhammad… Despite the distortions suffered by the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospels, we find indications of his coming.
Indeed, Muhammad himself made the same claim to the Jews and Christians of Arabia saying:
I am the one whose coming Abraham prayed for and Jesus gave glad tidings of, and I resemble my forefather Abraham more than anyone else [Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-'Ummal, 11:384].
When he failed to convince them and they rejected him and his Islam—Allah, the God of Muhammad and Islam, ordered their persecution and annihilation; the Jews suffering their first Holocaust at Muhammad’s hand: he slaughtered en masse the men of Banu Quraiza, Banu Nadir (earlier evicted by Muhammad from Medina and resettled in Khaybar) and Banu Mustaliq tribes, and enslaved their women and children [my book, Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery, gives a concise overview of Muhammad's pogrom of the Jews].
The claim that Muhammad was the promised future prophet of the Jews and Christians is rooted in Allah’s own claim in Qur’an 5:19:
Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them…
Connected to this prophetic succession is another Islamic claim that Muhammad was the “seal”—the finality—of prophethood [Qur’an 33:40]:
…he is the Messenger of God and the Seal of the prophets. And God is ever Knower of all things.
In other words, Muhammad was not only the Prophet, but also the final prophet, predicted in the Torah and Gospels.
Is that true? Not at all! This will be proven in Allah’s own words!
Before proceeding, let me briefly address a couple of troublesome issues with these verses.
Gospels/New Testament says Jesus was the final Messiah: Allah’s claim in Qur’an verses 5:19 that Gospels predict the coming of a future prophet is a big lie, which Allah repeats in Qur’an 61:6:
When Jesus, son of Mary, said: “O children of Israel! I am indeed a Messenger of God to you, confirming that which was [revealed] before me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name is Ahmad [Muhammad].”
While the Torah predicts the coming of prophets, Gospels are very clear that Jesus was the final savior of the Jews, and by extension, of all Gentile nations. Those of the Jews, who embraced Jesus, would enter the “true House/Children of Israel”, the Kingdom of God; because, the Old Israel had become defunct with Jesus’ promised coming. Those, who would reject Jesus, would bethrown out of the Kingdom of God, as he told the Jews:
“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit“? [Mat 21:43].
The overall theme of the New Testament is:
1. Jesus was the promised prophet;
2. With his coming, Judaism and God’s old Law in its entirety have become obsolete, of no value, whatsoever;
3. Those, who embraced Jesus, would constitute the “True Israel”, the Old Israel had become defunct;
4. Those, who embrace Jesus, would have guaranteed salvation by simply believing in Christ, without even requiring to follow any law.
Thus, in Christianity, Jesus was the finality in the God’s succession of prophethood; no future prophet would come, whatsoever. Therefore, Allah is wrong or ignorant to claim that Gospels mention the coming of a prophet.
Muslims also claim that Jesus was a true prophet of their Allah. If that is so, then, 1) Islamic claim that another prophet would come is baseless; or 2) their claim of Jesus being a true prophet of Islam is asham, a complete deception.
No finality of prophetic succession in the Torah:
The second problem with Muhammad’s prophetic claim is that he was the final prophet. In the Torah, Moses prophesies the coming of prophets in Deu 18:15:
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers.”
This verse spells no finality in the succession of prophethood whatsoever; prophets would continue coming whenever need arises throughout the existence of the Israelite nation; no end or finality is indicated in this verse.
Does Muhammad qualify to be a promised prophet of the Torah?
Was Muhammad’s claim to prophethood valid? Not at all, as we will see.
Jesus also made the same claim, and Apostle Peter pointed to the same verse (i.e. Deu 18:15) in the New Testament (i.e. Act 3:22) to justify Jesus’coming as a Messiah to the Jews. Malachi 3:1, which falls outside the Torah, also make a similar prophesy (“See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me…”), but the Gospel of Mark (1:2) attributes it somewhat wrongly to the ‘Book of Isaiah‘.
However, Muhammad, an illiterate prophet, completely failed to point out which verse in the Torah prophesied his coming as a prophet. Allah tried on Muhammad’s behalf, but erred big-time? [Qur’an 2:129]:
(Abraham prayed): “Our Lord, raise up intheir midst a Messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Your revelations, and teach them the Book and Wisdom, and purify them…”
It was not Abraham as claimed by Allah, but Moses—through whom the biblical God sent His first revelations—had prophesied the coming of prophets.
However, to the fulfillment of this prophesy, numerous Israelites have come with the claim of prophethood to the Jewish people throughout history—both before Jesus and after—well into the modern era (Even John the Baptist, a Jew, who had baptized Jesus, is also shown as such a prophet in the Gospels). Those, who came before Jesus, mostly received acceptance; those that came after Jesus, when the Israelites were in dispersion all over the world, received only limited and localized following of varying degrees.
Now let us see, who can qualify to be a prophet as predicted in Deu 18:15. God repeatedly says in the Old Testament that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac (Abraham’s son) and Jacob or Israel (Isaac’s son) [Exodus 3:15-16, 6:3 etc.]. When the Israelites in Egypt were oppressed by Pharaoh, “God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob” [Exodus2:24]. And it was the children of Jacob (God later named him ‘Israel’), who ended up in Egypt, suffering Pharaoh’s oppressions. Moses, commanded by God, led them out of their Egyptian captivity and oppression. And God made His final covenant with those, who came out of Egypt with Moses—i.e. the children of Jacob/Israel. God says of this covenant:
“I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egyptinto the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusite—a land flowing with milk and honey” [Exodus3:17].
God again makes it clear that His covenant is withthe children of Jacob, when He told Moses:“ This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob… if you obey me and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession” [Exodus 19:3-5].
Deu 18:15 clearly prophesies that God would choose a prophet “from among your brothers”—that is, from amongst those, who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership, namely the children of Jacob. In other words, God will choose prophets from amongst those, who carry the seed of Jacob as well as of his father Isaac and grandfather Abraham. The offspring of other children of Abraham and Isaac were not included in this final covenant of God.
But Muhammad and the Arabs, it is claimed, descended from Abraham’s son Ishmael. Ishmael was Abraham’s son through his slave-woman Hagar, not through Sarai, a free woman and his properly married wife. Moreover, Hagar was an Egyptian, not a Semite. Therefore, Ishmael was only half-Semitic. Semitic purity was essential to be included in the God’s covenant. So, Ishmael and his offspring fell outside the God’s covenant. Indeed, God made this clear when he said to Abraham:
“…it’s through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maid servant (i.e. Ishmael) into a nation also, because he is your offspring” [Genesis 21:12-13].
In other words, the offspring of Isaac would carry forward Abraham’s true legacy; Ishmael’s offspring, carrying the gene of a non-Semitic and slave woman, will also became a nation as they multiply, but would have no legitimate claim to Abraham’s true legacy.
Therefore, Muhammad—an offspring of Ishmael, not carrying the seed of Isaac and Jacob—could, in no way, qualify to be a promisedprophet of the Torah.
Indeed, Muhammad’s or Allah’s training in theTorah, it seems, was not that bad. The duo knew of this basic requirement—i.e. the necessity of carrying the seed of Isaac and Jacob, in addition to Abraham’s—to become a prophet as prophesied in the Torah. Initially Allah said the same [Qur’an 45:16]:
And verily we gave the Children of Israel the Scripture and the Command and the Prophethood, and provided them with good things and favored them above (all) peoples.
Here, Allah clearly agrees and affirms two cardinal facts in agreement with Old Testament: first,the Children of Israel—i.e. the Children of Jacob—were blessed with right to Prophethood; second, God’s covenantwas only with them amongst all nations.
In the following verse, Allah made this centralparadigm of the Torah succinctly clear:
We gave (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, and ordained among his progeny Prophethood and Revelation… [Qur’an 29:27]
This means, only those—carrying the seed of all three patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—can make a legitimate claim to prophethood.
Allah had revealed these verses in the build to later verses (5:19,61:6 etc.), which claim Muhammad’s prophethood as promised in the Torah and Gospels. Verses 45:16 and 29:27—affirming facts of the Torah concerning the genealogical requirement for prophethood—were, it appears, intended to create a favorable and friendly impression upon the Jews (and Christians) about Muhammad, so that Allah’s later claim that Muhammad was their promised prophet would be more acceptable to them.
But the Jews, who had thorough knowledge of their scripture, had no difficulty to refute Muhammad’s claim to prophethood—given Muhammad, an Arab and the offspring of Ishmael, could not be a promised prophet. They probably had knowledge of Muhammad verses, and it seems that they point out the falsity of Muhammad’s prophetic claim by pointing to Allah’sown verses that say only the children of Jacob could become a promised prophet.
Unaware of the Jews’ depth of their scriptural knowledge, Allah initially spoke with honesty of the true requirement for prophethood without realizing that it would disqualify Muhammad’s claim to prophethood; Allah got caught red-handed in His own words. He obviously had no answer ,except extreme embarrassment. All he could do to save his Godly credibility was to annihilate the Jews, to whom he got caught; this he eventually did by commanding Muhammad to put them to the sword.
Next, to legitimize Muhammad’s claim to prophet, Allah embarked on an extraordinary mission to create a completely new foundational paradigm of his creed, altering all that He had been affirming in His verses until now. First, Allah hit-back at the Jews, accusing them of corrupting the Torah, which He had earlier recognized as containing “true guidance”:
“Woe, then, to those who write the book with their hands and then say: This is from Allah, so that they may take for it a small price; therefore woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn” [Qur’an2:79].
Next, he had to create a totally new genealogy of prophetic requirement, so that Muhammad’s claim to prophethood becomes legitimate. Allah made Abraham a “true Muslim”, not Jew or Christian, so that Muhammad and his Muslim followers would become legitimate bearer of Abraham’s legacy, thus, justifying Muhammad’s claim to Abrahamic prophethood. So revealed Allah:
“Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allah’s (Which is Islam)…”?[Qur’an3:67].
Until now, Muhammad, following the Jews of Medina, was turning to Jerusalem while praying, wherestood God’s original sanctuary, the Temple of Jerusalem. Now, he changed the sanctuary of the Lordfrom Jerusalem to the pagan temple of Ka’ba at Mecca (his home town), which he now claimed to have been built by Abraham and Ishmael (Thus, Ka’ba, not the Temple of Jerusalem, became the true House of God):
And remember Abraham and Isma’il raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): “Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us…[Qur’an 2:127]
Next, Allah would include Ishmael also into the true legacy of Abraham (which is Islamic), which was carried forwardnot by his son Isaac alone, but all his sons:
And this was the legacy that Abraham left to (all) his sons, and so did Jacob; “Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the Faith for you;then die not except in the Faith of Islam.” [Qur’an 2.132]
Next, Allah would include Ishmael (Isma’il),mentioning by name, in the God’s true covenant, which is Islamic:
Say ye: “We believe in Allah, and the revelationgiven to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (inIslam).” [Qur’an 2:136]
Here, Allah claims Ishmael was also amongst those, whom He gave his religion, also received byMuhammad and his followers.
As the final step of twisting facts to suitMuhammad’s claim to prophethood, and his religion as the true religion, Allah turned the entire foundation of the Abrahamic faith into an Islamic one. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam,became true heir to Abraham’s legacy. So Allah reveals:
Or do ye say that Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacoband the Tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know better than Allah? Ah! who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they have from Allah?…[Qur’an2.140]
Here, Allah questions the legitimacy of identifying all the patriarchs and the twelve tribes (i.e. Children of Israel) as “Jews or Christians”. Instead, Allah, who knows better, claims they were believers in Allah, and hence, in Allah’s true religion—Islam. They were, therefore, Muslims, not Jews or Christians, in truth.
It’s interesting that even Muhammad and Allah failed to legitimize Muhammad’s claimto prophethood based on the Torah, and had to condemn it as corrupted, before perverting/rewriting all the Torah requirements for prophethood to create a completely new paradigmin the Qur’an to validate Muhammad’s legitimacy to prophethood; but renowned Canadian professor Jamal Badawi, trying to outdo Muhammad and Allah, outrageously tries to legitimize Muhammad’s prophetic claim based onthe Torah itself using all kinds of trickery.
While Islam claims that both Jewish and Christian scriptures prophesy the coming of Muhammad as a prophet, in Christianity Jesus was the final; no future prophet would come at all. The Torah prophesies the coming of prophets, but from amongst the Children of Jacob aka Israelonly. Muhammad, allegedly Ishmael’s offspring, falling outside Jacob’s descendents/genealogy, could make no claim to prophethood, whatsoever. Islamic God initially admitted this fact, albeit unwittingly. When He later tried to push Muhammad as a promised prophet to the Jews (and Christians), he got caught in His own words and was well nigh embarrassed. Angered, Allah accused the Jews of corrupting the Torah, and later altered all His earlier pronouncements about theTorah-agreeable prophetic requirements to establish the validity of Muhammad’s claim to prophethood.
So, was Muhammad a promised prophet of the Jews andChristians?
I leave it to readers to make their own judgmentand draw conclusions accordingly.