Prophet Muhammad in the Old Testament
Almost all the previous Prophets predicted the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings. Despite the changes they have undergone over time, we can still find indications to his coming in the Torah, Psalms and the Gospels.
A Prophet from among the brothers of the Israelites who resembles Moses
For example, the following verses of the Torah promise the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings:
The Lord said to me [Moses]: ‘What they say is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you among their brothers; I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to My words that the Prophet speaks in My Name, I will Myself call him to account.’ (Deuteronomy, 18.17-9)
It is clear from these verses that what is meant by ‘a Prophet like you among their brothers’ is a Prophet who will come from the line of Ishmael, since Ishmael is the brother of Isaac, who is the forefather of Moses’ people, the Children of Israel. The only Prophet who came from the line of Ishmael after Moses and resembled him in many ways, for example, in the bringing of a new law and waging of war on his enemies, is the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings. Also, the following verse of the Bible in Deuteronomy, 34.12 (Istanbul 1885), clearly states that no Prophet like Moses did ever appear among the Israelites:
With respect to his virtues and awesome deeds, no Prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knows face to face, no longer appeared among Israel.
The Quran points to the same fact:
We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness over you, even as We sent to Pharaoh a Messenger. (al-Muzzammil, 73.15)
The sentence, I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him, in the verse in question, means that the promised Prophet will be unlettered and speak whatever is revealed to him. God reiterates the same fact in the Quran:
He does not speak out of [his own] desire. It is but a Revelation revealed. (al-Najm, 53.3-4)
The Prophet who shone forth from Mount Paran
The following verse,
The Lord came from Sinai and dawned over them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran. (Deuteromony, 33.2)
refers to the Prophethood of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad respectively, upon them be peace. Sinai is the place where the Prophet Moses spoke to God and received the Torah. Seir, a place in Palestine, is where the Prophet Jesus received Divine Revelation. Paran is where God manifested Himself to mankind for the last time through His Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings.
Paran is a mountain range in Makka. It is mentioned in the Torah (Genesis, 21.19-21) as the area in the desert where Hagar was left by her husband Abraham, upon him be peace, to live with her son, Ishmael. The well of Zamzam appeared in it. As is stated explicitly in the Qur’an (14.35-7), Abraham left Hagar and Ishmael in the valley of Makka, which was then an uninhabited place within the mountain ranges of Paran.
The verse in Deuteromony, according to the Arabic version published in London in 1944 and the Ottoman Turkish version published in Istanbul in 1885), continues:
He came with myriads of holy ones; in his right hand appeared to them the fire of the Shari‘a.
This verse refers to the promised Prophet, Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, who would have numerous Companions of the highest degree of sainthood. The fire of the Shari‘a alludes to the fact that the promised Prophet would be allowed, and even ordered, to fight against his enemies.
Other verses in the Old Testament:
In the Psalms of David, there is the following verse:
O God, send to us after the interregnum (after the latest of the successive prophets) one who will establish (Your) way.’1
Here, ‘one who will establish (Your) way’ refers to the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings.
The following verse is from the Gospels:
A verse from the Torah says:
Surely God said to Abraham: ‘Hagar will certainly bear children. There will appear from her sons one whose hand will be above all, and the hands of all others will be opened to him in reverence.’2
Another verse from the Torah:
And He said, ‘O Moses, surely I will raise up for them a Prophet like you, from among their brothers (that is, from among the children of Ishmael); I will put my Word in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I Myself will call him to account.’ (Deuteronomy, 18:18-19.)
A third verse from the Torah:
Moses said: ‘O my Lord, I have found in the Torah a community, as the best of the communities, that will be raised for (the benefit) of mankind; they enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and they believe in God. Let it be my community!’ (God) said: ‘That is the community of Muhammad.’3
This is a verse from the Psalms:
O David, a Prophet will come after you, named Ahmad (Muhammad), the Truthful and the Lord, and his community will be forgiven.4
From the Seven ‘Abdullahs, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al- ‘As, who made extensive studies of earlier Divine books, ‘Abdullah ibn Salam, who was the first to embrace Islam from amongst the famous Jewish scholars, and the renowned scholar Ka‘b ibn al-Akhbar from amongst the foremost scholars of the Israelites, all pointed out the following verse in the Torah, which was not then corrupted to its present extent. The verse, after addressing Moses, addresses the Prophet to come in the following strain:
O Prophet, verily We have sent you as a witness, a bearer of good tidings, a warner and a protection for the unlettered. You are My slave; I have named you ‘the Reliant on God’, who are not harsh and stern, and not clamorous in the marketplaces; who do not repel the evil with evil, but instead pardon and forgive. God will certainly not take away his life until He straightens a crooked nation by means of him (by causing them) to proclaim ‘There is no deity but God.’5
Another verse from the Torah states:
Muhammad is the Messenger of God; his birthplace is Makka, he will emigrate to Tayba, the center of his rule is Damascus, and his community are unceasingly occupied with praise of God.6
In this verse, for the word Muhammad, a Syriac word meaning Muhammad is actually mentioned.
Another verse from the Torah:
You are My slave and Messenger; I have named you ‘the Reliant on God.’7
This verse is also addressed to a Prophet who will emerge after Moses from the progeny of Ishmael, the cousins of the children of Isaac.
Here is another verse from the Torah:
My slave is a ‘chosen one’, who is not harsh, nor he is stern.8
The meaning of ‘Mukhtar’, a chosen one, is the same as ‘Mustafa’, a name of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings.
The Prophet who will come after Jesus is referred to as ‘the Master of the world’ in several places in the Gospels. (John, 14:30)
This verse of the Gospel, which has come to describe him,
With him is an iron staff with which he will fight, as will his community.9
indicates that a Prophet will come with a sword to wage Jihad. In agreement with this verse of the Gospel, the following Qur’anic verse at the end of Sura al-Fath (Victory), which refers to some other verses of the Gospel as well as the one mentioned above, also states that his community, like him, will be under the obligation of waging Jihad.
And their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed that sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands in its own stem, filling the sowers with wonder and delight, so that it fills the unbelievers with rage at them. (48:29)
In the Torah, there is the following verse:
The flags of the holy ones are with him, on his right. (Deuteronomy, 33:2) 10
In this verse, the Companions of the Prophet are described as ‘the holy ones’, that is, his Companions are blessed, righteous, saintly friends of God.
In Chapter 42 of the Book of Isaiah, there are the following verses:
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope. (Isaiah, 42:1-4)
These verses are certain to describe the Prophet Muhammad, who would come in the last phase of human history.
There are the following verses in Chapter 4 of the Book of Micah:
In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up the mountain of the Lord, to the house of God. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.” (Micah, 4:1-2)
These verses obviously describe the Mount Arafat, the most blessed mountain of the world, and the nation of Muhammad, upon him be peace, together with the prayers and praises that would be offered by the pilgrims who would flock there from all climes.
The following verses are from Chapter 72 of Psalms:
He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.The desert tribes will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the kings of the Yemen and Seba will present him gifts. All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him. For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no-one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence for precious is their blood in his sight. Long may he live! May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long.
.May his name endure for ever; may it continue as long as the sun. All nations will be blessed through him. and they will call him blessed. (Psalms, 72:8-17)
These verses describe the Prophet Muhammad, the Pride of the World, in a very clear way. Since the Prophet David, has a prophet come other than the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, who has spread his religion from east to west, to whose name many rulers pay tribute, and whose way so many obey with deep adoration for him, and on whom one fifth of mankind call, every day, God’s peace and blessings? Is there anyone who fits this description other than the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings?
Prophet Muhammad in the New Testament
More emphatically and more frequently than any other Prophet, the Prophet Jesus, upon him be peace, gave the good tidings of the Last Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings.
The Capstone in the Gospel of Matthew
Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes? 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. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.’ (Matthew, 21.42-4)
The ‘capstone’ mentioned in the verses cannot be the Prophet Jesus for the verses refer to the crushing victories that the followers of the ‘capstone’ will win against their enemies. No people were ever broken to pieces or crushed because they resisted Christianity. Christianity gained ground against the Roman Empire only after it had lost its original identity and been reconciled with Roman paganism. The Western dominion over the world came after scientific thought’s triumph over the medieval Christian view of nature and was realized in the form of a ruthless colonialism. Whereas, Islam ruled almost half of the ‘old’ world for many centuries as a religion in its original purity and its enemies were many times defeated before it. In its struggle with other religions, Islam has always been successful. It is, again, Islam which is on the rise as both a pure, authentic religion and as a way of life, and which is the hope of salvation for humanity more than that, the Prophet Jesus himself alludes to this fact by stating explicitly that the kingdom of God will be taken away from his followers and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
Second, in a telling detail recorded in a hadith in the Sahih of al-Bukhari and that of Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, describes himself as the ‘capstone’ completing the building of Prophethood.
Paraklit, the Spirit of Truth
In the Gospel of John, Jesus promises the arrival of the Last Prophet using a variety of names:
But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the ‘Paraklit’ will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. (John, 16:7-8)
In these verses, the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, is referred to as the Paraklit. Paraklit11 is a Greek word meaning the Distinguisher between Truth and Falsehood. Although Christian interpreters have given this word different meanings such as Counselor (Gideons International) or Helper (American Bible Society) or Comforter (the Company of the Holy Bible), and claimed that it refers to the Holy Spirit, it is impossible even for Christians to establish whether the Holy Spirit has come down after Jesus and done what Jesus foretold he would do.
If, according to Christians, the Holy Spirit is the Archangel Gabriel, he came many times to the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, to bring Divine Revelations. Further, Jesus mentioned and predicted the Paraklit with other different names, but the same function, as is seen in the following verses:
When Paraklit comes – the Spirit of truth – who comes from the Father, he will testify about me. (John, 15.26)
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking what is mine and making it known to you. (John, 16.12-14)
I will not speak with you much longer, for the Prince of this world is coming. And I posses nothing of him. (John, 14.30)
Who has come after Jesus other than the Prophet Muhammad, as the Comforter who has comforted human beings against fear of death, against worries about the future, against spiritual ailments of all kinds? As the Helper, who has helped mankind to attain real peace and happiness in both worlds? As the Prince of the world, who has ruled almost half of the world for fourteen centuries, and who has become the beloved of billions? And as the Spirit of truth who testified to Jesus, brought glory to him by declaring his Prophethood against the denial of the Jews and false deification of him by Christians, and restoring his religion to its pristine purity through the Book he brought? What shortcomings do the Western Christians attribute to the Prophet Muhammad, in contrast to Jesus and other Prophets, that, while almost all of the Christians of the ‘Middle East’ believed in him and converted to Islam within a few decades of his death, they persist in their denial of him and offer no justification?
Mawlana Jalal al-Din al-Rumi, a great Sufi saint, expresses in the following stanza the good tidings of the Prophet Muhammad by the Gospel:
In the Gospel Mustafa is mentioned with his attributes, in him is the mystery of all the Prophets; he is the bringer of happiness. The Gospel mentions him with his external form and features, and also with his personal virtues and Prophetic qualities.
In spite of the changes they have been subjected to over time, the Old and New Testaments still contain references to the Prophet Muhammad, only some of which we have quoted. The late Hussayn Jisri found one hundred and fourteen such allusions and quoted them in his Risala al-Hamidiya.
In the books of other Prophets, God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, is mentioned with such Syriac and Hebrew names as correspond to Ahmad, Muhammad and Mukhtar. In the Pages of the Prophet Shu‘ayb, upon him be peace, his name is Mushaffah, meaning Muhammad. In the Torah, he is mentioned as Munhamanna, which means Muhammad, and as Himyata, meaning ‘the Prophet of al-Haram’. In the Psalms, he is named al-Mukhtar, and again in the Torah, al-Hatam al-Khatam. Both in the Torah and the Psalms, he is referred to as Muqim al-Sunna, which means the one who establishes and enforces the Divine way for mankind. In the Pages of Abraham, upon him be peace, and in the Torah, he is mentioned as Mazmaz, and again in the Torah, as Ahyad.
God’s Messenger himself said, My name in the Qur’an is Muhammad, in the Bible Ahmad, and in the Torah Ahyad. In the Bible, he is also referred to as ‘the Possessor of the Sword and the Staff’. In-deed, among the Prophets who carried the sword, the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, is the greatest one, who was also commanded to perform Jihad together with his community. The Gospel refers to him also as the one who wears a crown. What is meant here by crown is turban, and it is the Arabs who have worn headcovers with a wrapper around them since ancient times. Hence, the reference is undoubtedly to the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings.
In the tomb of Shamun al-Safa, the famous traveler Awliya’ Calabi saw the following verses in the Gospel, written on a gazelle hide: ‘I’tun (A youth) Azribun (from the progeny of Abraham) peruftun (is to be a Prophet.) Law ghýslin (He will not be a liar.) Bent afzulat (His birthplace is Makka;) ki kalushir (he will come with righteousness;) tunuminin (his blessed name) mavamid (is Ahmad Muhammad.) Isfedus (His followers) takardis (will prosper in this world,) bist bith (and also in the next.)
Certainly, Jesus frequently gave in the Gospels the glad tidings that the most significant leader of mankind would come, and mentioned him with some names in Syriac and Hebrew, which mean, as observed by meticulous experts, Ahmad, Muhammad, and Faruq (who distinguishes the truth from falsehood).
1.Although it does not exist word for word in the present editions of the Bible, it is recorded in Hujjat Allah ‘ala al-‘Alamin fi Mu’jizat al-Sayyid al-Mursalin by Yusuf Nahbani, p. 104.
2. Although it does not exist word for word in the present versions of the Bible, it is recorded by ‘Ali al-Qari in his Sharh al-Shifa’, 1:743. However, we read in the Torah, the following verses:
I will make the son of the maidservant (Hagar) into a nation.(Genesis, 21:13). Hagar, lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation (21:18).
. ‘Ali al-Qari, al-Shifa’ al-Sharif, 1:746.
4. Ali al-Qari, al-Shifa’ al-Sharif, 1:746.
5. Bukhari, Buyu’, 50; I. Hanbal, Musnad, 2:174; Darimi, 1:14-15.
6. Darimi, 1:14-15; Abu Na‘im, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, 1:72.
7. Kastalani, al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya, 6:192.
8. ‘Ali al-Qari, ibid., 1:739.
9. Yusuf Nahbani, Hujjat Allah ‘ala al-‘Alamin fi Mu’jizat al-Sayyid al-Mursalin, 105.
10.This is almost the same in many versions of the Bible, i.e., in the one published by The Bible Company established in Istanbul, but we come across a different translation, if not an alteration, in the version published by Gideon International, which reads: ‘He came with myriads of holy ones from the south, from his mountain slopes’ (Deuteronomy, 33:2).
11. Paraclete is originally a Greek word. According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, it derives from the Greek word parakletos meaning intercessor, advocate, pleader. However, Abidin Pasha, a nineteenth-century scholar from Yanya, Greece, who knew Greek very well and whose works on Greek literature were highly praised by Greek authorities, writes that the origin of Paraclete is piriklitos, meaning Ahmad, the one who is much praised. (Hussain Jisri, Risala al-Hamidiya, 59). We also read in the Qur’an that Jesus predicted the Prophet Muhammad with the name, Ahmad, a synonym of Muhammad (61:6). Christians assert that by Paraclete Jesus means the Holy Spirit, but it is questionable what connection the Holy Spirit has with interceding, pleading or advocating, which, in fact, refer to the main attributes of the Prophet Mu-hammad, upon him be peace and blessings, even though we accept that the word drives from paracletos. Besides, it should also be noted that translators of the Gospels intentionally refrain from writing Paraclete and, instead, they prefer to translate it, but all differently. Also, Jesus gives good tidings of the being to come not only with the name of Paraclete but also with such names as ‘the Prince of this world’ and the ‘Spirit of truth’, and with many other functions, which must, of course, belong to a Prophet, not to a ‘spirit’ or angel.