Chapter 17: the Prophecies of the Bible
Once in a while, God gives a certain proof to the people in order to leave them without any excuse. To this effect, He has risen up prophets and confirmed their missions through miracles.
The prophets before they passed away assigned certain tasks to people to carry out thereafter and prophesied the coming of a next prophet, specifying his identity. They also advised people to follow the next prophet so that the people might believe in him and take the right path.
According to this very principle, our Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family, who would not be succeeded by any prophet to the end of the world, introduced Imam Ali, peace be upon him, as his successor and announced that the mission of divine prophecy had come to an end. He said to Imam Ali: "Your relationship to me is just like the relationship of Aaron to Moses, except for the fact that there will be no prophet after me."
In the heavenly Books, which God sent as revelations to prophets before Muhammad, He prophesied the coming of a final Prophet so that intelligent people might expect his coming.44 Moses, an authoritative prophet who has the divine Book of Torah, has prophesied in it the divine mission of the revered Prophet of Islam and has given signs describing him.
The existing Bibles, although subject to alterations, still contain passages suggesting the same allusions. In this treatise, we are going to give a summary quotation of them.
The First Prophesy
The Bible's book of Deuteronomy, chapter 18, verses 15-22, quote Moses as saying: "Jahova, thy Lord, will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken. According to all that thou desirest of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
And the Lord said unto me, they have well spoken that which they have spoken. 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. 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. But the Prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word, which the Lord hath not spoken?
44-in his letter to the King of Abissinia. Abu Taleb writes: "Be aware O. King, that Muhammad is a prophet like Moses and Jesus … You can read the news of him in your own Scripture".
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord; if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."
In these phrases, Moses prophesies to the children of Israel the advent of a great prophet who has the following specifications:
1-He is among Moses' brothers and Israeli nation. 2-His position is like that of Moses himself. 3-He utters words of God. 4-He conveys whatever God commands him. 5-Whoever does not listen to his divinely inspired words, will be called to account by God. 6-He does not speak on his own behalf. 7-The proof of the truth of his words is his prophecies, which come true. 8-It is dangerous to oppose him. However, one should not be afraid of opposing a prophet who makes false assertions.
All these characteristics are contained in the above passage and all entirely correspond with those of the Prophet of Islam. Now we shall briefly explain each specification:
1-He is among Moses' brothers and Israeli nation. The Holy Qur'an, the Bible and the history testify that Abraham had two sons named Samuel, and Isaac.
Isaac, too, had a son called Jacob who was also called Israel. Jacob had twelve sons who are the forefathers of the children of Israel. Samuel had several children with whom he stayed in Arabian Peninsula and formed one of the important Arab tribes.
Ismaelites are considered the brethren of the children of Israel, because their common ancestor was Abraham who is one of the greatest men in history and equally respected by the Jews, Christians and Muslims. The two tribes in question have descended from his two sons, Samuel and Isaac. The glorious prophet of Islam is a descendant of Samuel and thus considered among the brothers of Israeli tribe.
2-His position is like that of Moses himself.
Like Moses, the respected Prophet of Islam had a divine Book and had worked miracles. He experienced stages in life similar to those of Moses: he rebelled by the sword, fought against the unbelievers and finally defeated them. 3-He utters words of God.
The greatest miracle of our Messenger of God is the Holy Qur'an, which is called "the everlasting miracle." No one has been and will be able to offer a book equal to it.
Although this Book is in Arabic and in Arabic alphabet and the Book itself invites all humanity to produce a book equal to it in eloquence, nobody has been able to do that and the opponents who, for centuries, have fought Islam by waging tremendous wars and spending large amounts of money, have never been able to produce something as valuable as the Qur'an. It is because the Holy Qur'an is the word of God and not human beings. As a result, a human being is unable to make something like it.
4-He conveys whatever God commands him. The Prophet of Islam conveyed to mankind whatever he heard from God. He showed to humanity all good and evil paths about which he was informed through revelations.
The Prophet delivered a sermon during the Welfare Pilgrimage saying: "O people! I enjoined you to do whatever drives you nearer to Heaven and whatever takes you away from the fire of Hell, and prevented you from doing anything which drives you towards Hell and away from Heaven."
The Holy Qur'an says: "The Messenger has no duty except conveying the message clearly."
The Prophet of Islam faced numerous difficulties and frustrations in preaching divine precepts and commandments and since his mission was a divine mission he feared nothing and resisted the tortures inflicted on him by Quraish (his own tribe) and finally decided to migrate from Mecca, his native town, to Medina.
5-Whoever does not listen to his divinely - inspired words, will be called to account by God.
A divine religion requires that a wrongdoer should be punished. The religious law of the Prophet of Islam has appointed hard punishments for sinners and ordained that everybody should be rewarded or punished for what he has done.
The Qur'an says: "He who doeth wrong will have the recompense thereof, and will not find against Allah any protecting friend or helper. And who so doeth good works, whether of male or female, and he (or she) is a believer, such will enter paradise." (Sura "Women" verses 123-124). Italso says: "And whosoever sins against God and His Messenger, he will be a prey to the fire of Hell in which he will stay permanently." (Sura "Jinn" verses 23).
6-He does not speak on his own behalf.
The Prophet of Islam never spoke words expressing his own opinion and when a question was asked from him, he waited until a revelation came to him and he received the correct answer from God. The Qur'an says: "He does not speak out of self-interest anything except it has been a revelation" (Sura "Star", verses 3-4)
7-the proof of the truth of his words is his prophecies, which come true. The respected Messenger of Islam made during 23 years of his divine mission numerous prophecies, which came true. The Qur'an, Sura "Rome", says:
"Rome, situated in the remotest part [of the world], after being defeated, will defer [the enemy]." Indeed, this prediction came true.
8-It is dangerous to oppose him.
When the Prophet of Islam made known his divine mission, he was faced with powerful opponents each of whom tried to stop his influence and progress. But he continued his invitation resolutely and feared nothing and God the Almighty brought contempt and disaster to his enemies. In the Battle of Badr alone, the first Islamic war, seventy senior people of the Quraish tribe, who had long been hostile to the Prophet, was killed. In the subsequent battles, too, the real advance was made by the Prophet who at last conquered Mecca and Islam continued to flourish.
These explanations make it clear that the Prophet of Islam possessed all the characteristics mentioned in Moses' Words. So it is certain that Muhammad was the same prophet whose advent had been promised in the Old Testament, for after Moses no prophet possessing all these characteristics has come except Muhammad, the Son of Abdullah.
Some of Jewish theologists have thought that this prophecy is about Joshua, but the fact is that all these characteristics do not correspond with those of that prophet. For example, he is not among the brethren of the Israelites, but is among himself. Furthermore, Joshua is not like Moses in position, because at the end of Deuteronomy (10:34), after the allusion to his divine mission, we read: "No prophet like Moses has ever risen in Israel whom God has known face to face."
Christian's claim that the prophet named in the Old Testament is no one else but Jesus Christ. This assertion, too, is baseless, because not all the specifications of the promised messenger recorded in the Old Testament exist in Jesus Christ. For instance:
1-Jesus rose from among the Israelites and not from among their brethren. 2-Jesus did not fight against the enemies and did not make an armed uprising as did Moses. 3-In the existing Gospels we read that Jesus said: "And I have so many other things to tell you, but at present you cannot bear hearing them" (John, 16:12). Thus how can we say that he conveyed to people whatever was revealed to him?
4-The predictions recorded in the present Four Gospels do not correspond with one another, for the Gospel of Matthew (12:40) says that Christ predicted that he would stay for three days and nights in the heart of the earth (his grave). But the Gospel of Mark (the end of the chapter 15 and the beginning of the chapter 16) states that Jesus remained in the grave less than this period of time.
This Gospel says that Jesus was buried the evening before Saturday and on Sunday at sunrise his sepulchre was found empty.
From these points we conclude that the promised messenger mentioned in the Old Testament is somebody other than Jesus Christ. The Second Prophesy: Shining Forth from Mount Paran In Deuteronomy we read: "And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran" (33:1-2).
Here Moses mentions his advent and his divine mission on mount Sinai, the advent of another prophet from the mount Seir and a third prophet from the mount Paran. The mount Sinai is the place where Moses talked with God. Seir is situated in Judea where Jesus Christ received his divine mission and the mount Paran is in Mecca. In Genesis (21:21) we read that Samuel "dwelt in Paran desert", and we know for certain that Samuel did come to live in Mecca.
It is obvious, too, that the mount Paran is equivalent to the mount Hara where the Prophet of Islam worshipped God. It is in that place where for the first time the divine revelation was sent down to him in the form of the first verses of the Sura "The Clot" and thus he received his divine mission as the messenger of God.
The Third Prophesy: The Donkey-rider and The Camel-rider Isaiah the Prophet recounts his dream, in which, "...he saw a couple of riders, one on a donkey, the other on a camel" (Isaiah, 21:7). This is a prophecy about "one on a donkey" and "the other on a camel" which Isaiah saw in his dream.
The analysis of the passage: As noted by the Gospel and judging from the history of Christianity, the sacredness of the shoe of Jesus' donkey, the Ahafer Church Building, and literature and the arts, we realize that Jesus Christ used to ride on an ass.
We also know that the Prophet of Islam usually rode on a camel, because there are a lot of camels in the Arabian desert, and horses and donkeys cannot be used to cross the dry and barren deserts of that territory. As a result, "One on a donkey", and "the other on a camel", seen by Isaiah the Prophet, correspond respectively with Jesus Christ and the Prophet of Islam.
The Fourth Prophesy: The Prophecy made by Habakkuk the Prophet In another part of the Old Testament we read: "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of praise" (Hab, 3:3).
As The Bible Dictionary puts it, "Teman" means "the Southern Desert" Obviously the Arabian Peninsula is situated to the north of Jerusalem. We previously made it clear that Paran is Mecca. Therefore, this prophecy indicates to the advent of the Prophet of Islam.