Bible About Muhammad “Say: ‘Do you see whether this message be from Allah (God Almighty), and yet you reject it, and a witness from among the Children of Israel bore witness of one like him.’ ” (the Holy Quran 46:10) Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, The subject of this evening’s talk – “What the Bible says about Muhammad” will no doubt come as a surprise to many of you because the speaker is a Muslim. How does it come about that a Muslim happens to be expounding prophecies from the Jewish and Christian Scriptures? As a young man, about 30 years ago, I attended a series of religious lectures by a Christian theologian, a certain Rev. Hiten, at the “Theater Royal”, Durban in South Africa. Pope or Kissinger?: This Reverend gentleman was expounding Biblical prophecies.
He went on to prove that the Christian Bible foretold the rise of Soviet Russia, and the Last Days. At one stage he went to the extent of proving that his Holy Book did not leave even the Pope out of its predictions. He expatiated vigorously in order to convince his audience that the Beast 666 mentioned in The Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, was the Pope, who was the Vicar of Christ on earth. Christian scholars are ingenious and indefatigable in their efforts to prove their case. Rev.
Hiten’s lectures led me to ask that if the Bible foretold so many things – not even excluding the “Pope” and “Israel”, – then surely it must have something to say about the greatest benefactor of mankind, prophet Muhammad, may the peace of Allah be upon him. As a youngster I set out to search for an answer. I met priest after priest, attended lectures, and read everything that I could lay my hands relating to the fields of Bible prophecies. Tonight I’m going to narrate to you one of these interviews with a Dominee of the Dutch Reformed Church. Lucky Thirteen : I was invited to the Transvaal (South Africa) to deliver a talk on the occasion of the birthday of the prophet Muhammad.
Knowing that in that province of the Republic, the Afrikaans language is widely spoken, even by my own people, I felt that I ought to acquire a smattering of this language so as to feel a little “at home” with the people. I opened the telephone directory and began phoning the Afrikaans-speaking Churches. I indicated my purpose to the priests that I was interested in having a dialogue with them, but they all refused my request with “plausible” excuses. No. 13 was my lucky number. The thirteenth call brought me pleasure and relief.
A Dominee Van Heerden (“Dominee” is the Afrikaans equivalent of “priest”) agreed to meet me at his home on the Saturday afternoon that I was to leave for Transvaal. He received me on his verandah with a friendly welcome. He said if I did not mind, he would like his father-in- law from the Free State, a 70 year old man, to join us in the discussion. I did not mind. The three of us settled down in the Dominee’s library.
Why Nothing? I posed the question: “What does the Bible say about Muhammad?” Without hesitation he answered: “Nothing!” I asked: “Why nothing? According to your interpretation the Bible has so many things to say about the rise of Soviet Russia and about the Last Days and even about the Pope of the Roman Catholics?” He said: “Yes, but there was nothing about Muhammad!” I asked again: “Why nothing? Surely this man Muhammad who had been responsible for the bringing into being a world-wide community of millions of believers who, on his authority, believe in: the miraculous birth of Jesus, that Jesus is the Messiah, that he gave life to the dead by God’s permission, and that he healed those born blind and the lepers by God’s permission. Surely this book (the Bible) must have something to say about this great leader of men who spoke so well of Jesus and his mother Mary?” The old man from the Free State replied: “My son, I have been reading the Bible for the past 50 years, and if there was any mention of him, I would have known it.” Not One by Name! I inquired: “According to you, are there not hundreds of prophecies regarding the coming of Jesus in the Old Testament.” The Dominee interjected: “Not hundreds, but thousands!” I said: “I am not going to dispute the thousand and one prophecies in the Old Testament regarding the coming of Jesus Christ, because the whole Muslim world has already accepted him without the testimony of any Biblical prophecy. Muslims have accepted the de facto Jesus on the authority of Muhammad alone, and there are in the world today no less than 900,000,000 followers of Muhammad, who love, respect, and revere Jesus Christ as a great Messenger of God without having the Christians to convince them by means of Biblical dialectics. Out of the ‘thousands’ of prophecies referred to, can you please give me just one single prophecy where Jesus is mentioned by name? The term Messiah, translated as Christ, is not a name but a title. Is there a single prophecy where it says that the name of the Messiah will be Jesus, and that his mother’s name will be Mary, that his supposed father will be Joseph the Carpenter; that he will be born in the reign of Herod the King, etc? No! There are no such details! Then how can you conclude that those ‘Thousand’ prophecies refer to Jesus, peace be upon him?” What is Prophecy? The Dominee replies: “You see, prophecies are word pictures of something that is going to happen in the future. When that thing actually comes to pass, we see vividly in these prophecies the fulfillment of what had been predicted in the past.” I said: “What you actually do is that you deduce, you reason, you put two and two together.” He said: “Yes.” I said: “If this is what you have to do with a ‘thousand’ prophecies to justify your claim with regards to the genuineness of Jesus, why should we not adopt the very same system for Muhammad?” The Dominee agreed that it was a fair proposition, a reasonable way of dealing with the problem. I asked him to open up Deuteronomy, chapter 18, verse 18, which he did.
I read from memory the verse in Afrikaans, because this was my purpose in having a little practice with the language of the ruling race in South Africa. “N Profeet sal ek vir hulle verwek uit die midde van hulle broers, soos jy is, en ek sal my woorde in sy mond le, en hy sy sal aan hulle se alle wat ekhom beveel.” (Deut 18:18) The English translation reads as follows: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” (Deut 18:18) Prophet Like Moses : Having recited the verse in Afrikaans, I apologized for my uncertain pronunciation; the Dominee assured me that I was doing fine. I inquired: “To whom does this prophecy refer?” Without the slightest hesitation he answered: “Jesus!” I asked: “Why Jesus? his name is not mentioned here” The Dominee replied: “Since prophecies are word pictures of something that is going to happen in the future, we find that the wordings of this verse adequately describe him. You see, the most important words of this prophecy are ‘soos jy is’, ‘like unto thee’, or’like you’ – like Moses; and Jesus is like Moses.” I asked the Dominee: “In which way is Jesus like Moses?” The answer was: “In the first place Moses was a Jew and Jesus was also a Jew; secondly, Moses was a Prophet and Jesus was also a Prophet – therefore Jesus is like Moses and that is exactly what God had foretold Moses – ‘soos jy is’.” “Can you think of any other similarities between Moses and Jesus?” I asked. The Dominee said that he could not think of any.
I replied: “If these are the only two criteria for discovering a candidate for this prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:18, then in that case the criteria could fit any one of the following Biblical personages after Moses:- Solomon, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Malachi, John the Baptist etc., because they were also all Jews as well as Prophets. Why should we not apply this prophecy to any one of these prophets, and why only to Jesus?” The Dominee had no reply. I continued: “You see, my conclusions are that Jesus is most unlike Moses, and if I am wrong I would like you to correct me.” Three Unlike : So staying, I reasoned with him: “In the first place Jesus is not like Moses, because, according to you, Jesus is God, but Moses is not God, is this true?” He said: “Yes.” I said: “Therefore Jesus is not like Moses!”. “Secondly, according to you, Jesus died for the sins of the world, but Moses did not have to die for the sins of the world. Is this true?” He again said: “Yes.” I said: “Therefore Jesus is not like Moses!”.
“Thirdly, according to you, Jesus went to Hell for three days, but Moses did not have to go there. Is this true?” He answered meekly: “Y-e-s!” I concluded: “Therefore Jesus is not like Moses!”. “But Dominee,.” I continued: “.these are not hard, solid facts, they are mere matters of belief over which the little ones can stumble and fall. Let us discuss something very simple, very easy that if the little ones are called in to hear the discussion, would have no difficulty following it, shall we?” The Dominee was quiet happy at the suggestion. Father and Mother “Moses had a father and a mother.
Muhammad also had a father and a mother. But Jesus had only a mother, and no human father. Is this true?” He said: “Yes.” I said: “Daarom is Jesus nie soos Moses nie, maar Muhammad is soos Moses!” Meaning: “Therefore Jesus is not like Moses, but Muhammad is like Moses!” (By now the reader will realize that I was using the Afrikaans language only for practice purposes. I shall discontinue its use in this narration). Miraculous Birth “Moses and Muhammad were born in the normal, natural course, i.e.
the physical association of man and woman; but Jesus was created by a special miracle. You will recall that we are told in the Gospel of St. Matthew 1:18 “.before they came together, (Joseph the Carpenter and Mary) she was found with child by the Holy Ghost.” And St. Luke tells us that when the good news of the birth of a holy son was announced to her, Mary reasoned: “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee”(Luke 1:35). The Holy Quran confirms the miraculous birth of Jesus, in nobler and sublimer terms. In answer to her logical question: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?’ The angel says in reply: ‘Even so, Allah createth what He willeth: when He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it ‘Be’, and it is’ (the Holy Quran, 3:47).
It is not necessary for God to plant a seed in man or animal. He merely wills it and it comes into being. This is the Muslim conception of the of birth of Jesus. (When I compared the Quran and the Biblical versions of the birth of Jesus to the head of the Bible Society in our largest city, and when I inquired: “Which version would you prefer to give your daughter, the Quranic version or the Biblical version?” The man bowed his head and answered: “The Quranic.”)(see Christ in Islam for the author). In short, I said to the Dominee: “Is it true that Jesus was born miraculously as against the natural birth of Moses and Muhammad?” He replied proudly: “Yes!” I said: “Therefore Jesus is not like Moses, but Muhammad is like Moses. And God says to Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy 18:18 ‘Like unto thee’, ‘Like You’, like Moses and Muhammad is like Moses.” Marriage Ties “Moses and Muhammad married and had children, but Jesus remained a bachelor all his life.
Is this true?” The Dominee said: “Yes.” I said: “Therefore Jesus is not like Moses, but Muhammad is like Moses.” Jesus Rejected by his People “Moses and Muhammad were accepted as prophets by their people in their very lifetime. No doubt the Jews gave endless trouble to Moses and they murmured in the wilderness, but as a nation, they acknowledged that Moses was a Messenger of God sent to them. The Arabs too made Muhammad’s life impossible. He suffered very badly at their hands. After 13 years of preaching in Mecca, he had to emigrate from the city of his birth. But before his demise, the Arab nation as a whole accepted him as the Messenger of Allah.
But according to the Bible, “He (Jesus) Came unto his own, but his own revived him not” (John 1:11). And even today, after two thousand years, his people, the Jews, as a whole, have rejected him. Is this true?” The Dominee said: “Yes.” I said: “Therefore Jesus is not like Moses, but Muhammad is like Moses.” “Other Worldly” Kingdom “Moses and Muhammad were prophets as well as kings. A prophet means a man who receives Divine Revelation for the Guidance of man and this Guidance he conveys to God’s creatures as received without any addition or deletion. A king is a person who has the power of life and death over his people.
It is immaterial whether the person wears a crown or not, or whether he was ever addressed as king or monarch: if the man has the prerogative of inflicting capital punishment, he is a king. Moses possessed such a power. Do you remember the Israelite who was found picking up firewood on Sabbath Day, and Moses had him stoned to death? (Numbers 15:13). There are other crimes also mentioned in the Bible for which capital punishment was inflicted on the Jews at the behest of Moses. Muhammad too, had the power of life and death over his people.
There are instances in the Bible of persons who were given gift of prophecy only, but they were not in a position to implement their directives. Some of these holy men of God who were helpless in the face of stubborn rejection of their message, were the prophets Lot, Jonah, Daniel, Ezra, and John the Baptist. They could only deliver the message, but could not enforce the Law. Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, also belonged to this category. The Christian Gospel clearly confirms this.
When Jesus was dragged before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, charged for sedition, Jesus made a convincing point in his defense to refute the false charge: Jesus answered: “My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my Kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). This convinced Pilate (a pagan) that though Jesus might not be in full possession of his mental faculty, he did not strike him as being a danger to his rule. Jesus claimed a spiritual Kingdom only; in other words he only claimed to be a prophet. Is this true?” The Dominee answered: “Yes.” I said: “Therefore Jesus is not like Moses but Muhammad is like Moses.” No New Laws “Moses and Muhammad brought new laws and new regulations for their people. Moses not only gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites, but a very comprehensive ceremonial law for the guidance of his people.
Muhammad comes to a people steeped in ignorance. They married their step-mothers and buried their daughters alive; drunkenness, idolatry, and gambling were the order of the day. There was hardly anything to distinguish between the ‘man’ and the ‘animal’ of the time. From this abject ignorance, Muhammad elevated the Arabs, in the words of Thomas Carlysle, ‘Into torch-bearers of light and learning. To the Arab nation it was as a birth from darkness into light. Arabia first became alive by means of it.
A poor shepherd people, roaming unnoticed in its deserts since the creation of the world. See, the unnoticed becomes world notable, the small has grown world-great. Within one century afterwards Arabia was at Granada on one hand and at Delhi on the other. Glancing in valor and splendor, and the light of Genius, Arabia shines over section of the world.’. The fact is that Muhammad gave his people a Law and Order they never had before. As regards Jesus, when the Jews felt suspicious of him that he might be an impostor with designs to pervert their teachings. Jesus took pains to assure them that he had not come with a new religion – no new laws and no new regulations.
I quote his own words: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law of the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot of one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.’ (Mathew 5:17-18). In other words he had not come with any new laws or regulation he came only to fulfill the old law. This what he gave the Jews to understand unless he was speaking with the tongue in his cheek trying to bluff the Jews into accepting him as a man of God and by subterfuge trying to ram a new religion down their throats. No! This Messenger of God would never resort to such foul means to subvert the Religion of God.
He himself fulfilled the laws. He observed the commandments of Moses, and he respected the Sabbath. At no time did a single Jew point a finger at him to say: ‘”Why don’t you fast’ or ‘why don’t you wash your hands before you break bread’, which charges they always levied against his disciples, but never against Jesus. This is because as a good Jew he honored the laws of the prophets who preceded him. In short, he had created no new religion and had brought no new law like Moses and Muhammad.” “Isn’t this true?” I asked the Dominee, and he answered: “Yes.” I said: “Therefore, Jesus is not like Moses but Muhammad is like Moses.” How they Departed “Both Moses and Muhammad died natural deaths, but according to Christianity, Jesus was killed on the cross.
Is this true?” The Dominee said: “Yes.” I averred: “Therefore Jesus is not like Moses but Muhammad is like Moses.” Heavenly Abode “Moses and Muhammad both lie buried in earth, but according to you, Jesus is in heaven. Is this true? The Dominee agreed. I said: “Therefore Jesus is not like Moses but Muhammad is like Moses.” Ishmael the First Born Since the Dominee was helplessly agreeing with every point, I said: “Dominee, so far what I have done is to prove only one point out of the whole prophecy – that is proving the phrase ‘Like unto thee’ – ‘Like You’, like Moses’. The Prophecy is much more than this single phrase which reads as follows: ‘I will raise them up a prophet from among their bretheren like unto thee.’ The emphasis is on the words “From among their brethren.” Moses and his people, the Jews, are here addressed as a racial entity, as a whole, and as such their brethren would undo …