.. ubtedly be the Arabs. Abraham had two wives, Sarah and Hagar. Hagar bore Abraham a son, his first born, ‘.and Abraham called his son’s name, which Hagar bare Ishmael.’ (Genesis 16:15). ‘And Abraham took Ishmael his son.’ (Genesis 17:23). ‘And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.’ (Genesis 17:25).
Up to the age of thirteen Ishmael was the only son of Abraham, then God grants him another son through Sarah, named Isaac, who was very much the junior to his brother Ishmael. Arabs and Jews If Ishmael and Isaac are the sons of the same father Abraham, then they are brothers. And so the children of the one are the bretheren of the children of the other. The children of Isaac are the Jews and the children of Ishmael are the Arabs – so they are bretheren to one another. The Bible affirms: ‘And he (Ishmael) shall dwell in the presence of all his bretheren.’ (Genesis 16:12).
‘And he (Ishmael) died in the presence of all his bretheren.” (Genesis 25:18). The children of Isaac are the brethren of the Ishmaelites. In like manner Muhammad is from among the brethren of the Israelites because he was a descendant of Ishmael the son of Abraham. This exactly as the prophecy has it – “From among their bretheren” (Deut.18:18). There the prophecy distinctly mentions that the coming prophet who would be like Moses, must arise not from the Children of Israel nor from among themselves, but from among their brethren.
Muhammad therefore was among their bretheren! Words in the Mouth The prophecy proceeds further: ‘.And I will put my words into his mouth.’ What does it mean when it is said ‘I will put my words in your mouth’? You see, when I asked you (the Dominee) to open Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 18, at the beginning, and if I had asked you to read, and if you had read, would I be putting my words into your mouth? The Dominee answered: “No.” But, I continued: “If I were to teach you a language like Arabic, about which you have no knowledge, and if I asked you to read or repeat after me what I utter i.e. “Say: ‘He is Allah the One and Only; Allah, the eternal absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.’ (the Holy Quran 112:1-4) (I read them in Arabic). Would I not be putting these unheard words of a foreign tongue which you utter, into your mouth?” The Dominee agreed that it was indeed so. “In an identical manner”, I said: “The words of the Holy Quran, the Revelation vouchsafed by the Almighty God to Muhammad, were revealed. History tells us that when Muhammad was forty years of age he was in a cave some three miles north of the City of Mecca. In the cave the Archangel Gabriel commands him in his mother tongue: ‘Eqra!’, which means ‘Read!’, or ‘Recite!’ Muhammad was terrified, and in his bewilderment replied that he was not learned!.
The angel commands him a second time with the same result. For the third time the angel continues. Now Muhammad, grasps that what was required of him was to repeat! to rehearse! And he repeats the words as they were put into his mouth: ‘Read! In the Name of the Lord and Cherisher, Who Created. Created man from a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Read! and thy Lord is the Most Bountiful, He Who taught (the use of) the pen, taught man that which he new not”. (the Holy Quran 96:1-5). These are the first five verses which were revealed to Muhammad, which now occupy the beginning of the 96th chapter of the Holy Quran. The Faithful Witness When the angel departed, Muhammad rushed to his home.
Terrified and sweating all over he asked his wife Khadija to ‘cover-him up!’ He lay down, and she watched by him. When he had regained his composure, he explained to her what he had seen and heard. She assured him of her faith in him and that Allah would not allow any terrible thing to happen to him. Are these the confessions of an impostor? Would impostors confess that when an angel of the Lord confronts them with a Message from on High, they get fear-stricken, terrified, and sweating all over, run home to their wives? Any critic can see that his reactions and confessions are that of an honest, sincere man. During the next twenty three years of his life, words were ‘put into his mouth’, and he uttered them. They made an indelible impression on his heart and mind; and as the volume of the Sacred Scripture, the Holy Quran, grew, they were recorded on palm-leaf libre, on skins; and in the hearts of his devoted disciples.
Before his demise these words were arranged according to his instructions in the order in which we find them today in the Holy Quran. The words (revelation) were actually put into his mouth, exactly as foretold in the prophecy under discussion: “And I will put my words in his mouth.” (Deut 18:18). Unlettered Prophet Muhammad’s experience in the Cave of Hira, and his response to that first Revelation is the exact fulfillment of another Biblical Prophecy. In the Book of Isaiah, chapter 29, verse 12, we read: ‘And the Book is delivered to him that is not learned’ (Isaiah 29:12). ‘The Unlettered prophet’ (the Holy Quran 7:158). And the Biblical verse continues: ‘Saying, read this, I pray thee:’ ‘And he saith, I am not learned.’. ‘I am not learned.’ is the exact translation of the Arabic words which Muhammad uttered twice to the Holy Spirit, the Archangel Gabriel, when he was commanded: ‘Read!’).
Let me quote the verse in full without a break as found in the King James Version, or the Authorised Version as it is more popularly know: ‘And the Book is delivered to him that is no learned, saying: ‘Read this I pray thee’. And he saith: ‘I am not learned.” (Isaiah 29:12). Important note : It may be noted that there were no Arabic Bibles in existence in the 6th century of the Christian Era when Muhammad lived and preached. Besides, he was absolutely unlettered and unlearned. He never knew how to read and write Arabic, his own language, let alone knowing a completely different one.
‘He does not speak (aught) of (his own) desire: It is no less than inspiration sent down to him. He was taught by One Mighty in Power’ (the Holy Quran 53:3-5). Without any human learning, ‘he put to shame the wisdom of the learned’. Grave Warning “See!” I told the Dominee, “how the prophecies fit Muhammad like a glove. We do not have to stretch prophecies to justify their fulfillment in Muhammad.” The Dominee replied, “All your expositions sound very well, but they are of no real consequence, because we Christians have Jesus Christ the incarnate God, who has redeemed us from the Bondage of Sin!” I asked: “Not important? God didn’t think so! He had His warnings recorded in the scriptures. God knew that there would be people like you who will light-heartedly discount His words, so He followed up Deuteronomy 18:18 with a dare warning: ‘And it shall come to pass (it is going to happen), that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which he shall speak in My Name, I will require if of him.’ (In the Catholic Bible the ending words are ‘I will be the revenger’, ‘I will take revenge!’). “Does not this terrify you? God Almighty is threatening revenge! We shake in our pants if some hoodlum threatens us, yet you have no fear of God’s warning?” Miracle of Miracles! in the verse 19 of Deuteronomy chapter 18, we have a further fulfillment of the prophecy in Muhammad! Note the words ‘.My words which he shall speak in My Name’.
In whose name is Muhammad speaking?” I opened Yusuf Ali’s translation of the Holy Quran, at chapter 114, Surat An-Nas, or The Chapter of Mankind, the last chapter of the Quran, and showed him the formula at the head of the chapter, and the meaning: ‘In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful’. And the heading of chapter 113, and the meaning: ‘In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful’. And every chapter downwards 112, 111, 110,.was the same formula and the same meaning on every page, because the end surahs (chapters) are short and take about a page each. And what did the prophecy demand? ‘.Which he shall speak in My Name’; and in whose name does Muhammad speak? In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. The Prophecy is being fulfilled in Muhammad to the letter; every chapter of the Holy Quran except the 9th begin with the formula: ‘In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful’.
The Muslim begins his every lawful act with the Holy formula. But the Christian begins: ‘In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.’ Concerning Deuteronomy chapter eighteen, I have given you more than 15 reasons as to how this prophecy refers to Muhammad and not to Jesus. Baptist Contradicts Jesus In New Testament times, we find that the Jews were still expecting the fulfillment of the prophecy of One like Moses, refer John 1:19-25. When Jesus claimed to be the Messiah of the Jews, the Jews began to esquire as to where was Elias? The Jews had a parallel prophecy that before the coming of the Messiah, Elias must come first in his second coming. Jesus confirms this Jewish belief: “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not,.
then the Disciples understood that he spoke unto them of John the Baptist.” (Mathew 17:11-13). According to the New Testament the Jews were not the ones to swallow the words of any would-be Messiah. In their investigations they underwent intense difficulties in order to find their true Messiah. And this the Gospel of John confirms: “And this is the record of John (the Baptist), when the Jews sent priests and levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who art thou?’, and he confessed and denied not; but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ’ ” (This was only natural because there can’t be two Messiahs at the same time. If Jesus was the Christ then John couldn’t be the Christ!) “And they asked him: ‘What then? Art thou Elias?’ And he saith: ‘I am not’ ” Here John the Baptist contradicts Jesus! Jesus says that John is Elias and John denies that he is what Jesus ascribes him to be. One of the two (Jesus or John), God forbid!, is definitely not speaking the truth! On the testimony of Jesus himself, John the Baptist was the greatest of the Israelite prophets: “Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women, there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11).
We Muslims know John the Baptist as Yahya. We revere him as a true prophet of Allah. The Holy Prophet Jesus known to us as Eesa, is also esteemed as one of the mightiest messenger of the Almighty. How can we Muslims impute lies to either of them? We leave this problem between Jesus and John for the Christians to solve, for their “Sacred Scriptures abound in discrepancies which they have been glossing over as the ‘dark sayings of Jesus’ ” (See the Times Magazine December 30th, 1974, article How true is the Bible?). We Muslims are really interested in the last questions posed to John the Baptist by the Jewish elite – Art thou that prophet? And he answered, “No.”(John 1:21). Three Questions! Please note that three different and distinct questions were posed to John the Baptist, and to which he gave three emphatic No’s as answers.
To recapitulate: “Art thou the Christ?” “Art thou Elias ?” “Art thou that Prophet?” But the learned men of Christendom somehow only see two questions implied here. To make doubly clear that the Jews definitely had three separate prophecies in their minds when they were interrogating John the Baptist. Let us read the remonstrance of the Jews in the verses following: “And they asked him, and said unto him: ‘Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ. nor Elias. neither that Prophet ?’ ” (John 1:25).
The Jews were waiting for the fulfillment of three distinct prophecies: a. the coming of Christ. b. the coming of Elias, and c. the coming of that Prophet. “That Prophet” If we look up any Bible which has a concordance or cross-references, then we will find in the marginal note where the words the Prophet, or that Prophet occur in John 1:25, that these words refer to the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18.
And that that Prophet – the Prophet like Moses – “Like unto thee”, we have proved through overwhelming evidence that he was Muhammad and not Jesus! Muslims are not denying that Jesus was the Messiah, which word is translated as Christ. We are not contesting the Thousand and One Prophecies which the Christians claim abound in the Old Testament foretelling the coming of the Messiah. What we say is that Deuteronomy 18:18 does not refer to Jesus Christ but it is an explicit prophecy about the prophet Muhammad!.” The Dominee, very politely parted with me by saying that it was a very interesting discussion and he would like me very much to come one day and address his congregation on the subject. A decade and half has passed since then but I am still awaiting that privilege. I believe the Dominee was sincere when he made the offer, but prejudices die hard, and who would like to loose his sheep? The Acid Test To the Lambs of Christ I say, why not apply that acid test which the Master himself wanted you to apply to any would be claimant to prophethood? He had said: “By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes from the thorns, of figs from the thistles? Every good tree will bear good fruit and every evil tree will bear evil fruit..
By their fruits ye shall know them”. (Mathew 7:16-20). Why are you afraid to apply this test to the teachings of Muhammad? You will find in the Last Testament of God, the Holy Quran, the true fulfillment of the teachings of Moses and Jesus which will bring to the world the much needed peace and happiness. George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying: “If a man like Muhammad were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness.” The weekly news magazine Time dated July 15, 1974, carried a selection of opinions by various historians, writers, military men, businessmen an others on the subject: “Who were History’s Great Leaders?” Some said that it was Hitler; others said Gandhi, Buddha, Lincoln and the like. But Jules Masserman, a United States psychoanalyst, put the standards straight by giving the correct criteria wherewith to judge. He said: “Leaders must fulfill three functions: Provide for the well-being of the led, Provide a social organization in which people feel relatively secure, and Provide them with one set of beliefs.” With the above three criteria he searches history and analyses Hitler, Pasteur, Gaesar, Moses, Confucius and the lot, and ultimately concludes: “People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense.
People like Ghandi and Confucius, on one hand, and Alexander, Caesar, and Hitler on the other, are leaders in the second, and perhaps the third sense. Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Muhammad, who combined all three functions. To a lesser degree, Moses did the same.” According to the objective standards set by the professor of the Chicago University, Jesus and Buddha are nowhere in the picture of the “Great Leaders of Mankind”, but by a queer coincidence groups Moses and Muhammad together, thus adding further weight to the argument that Jesus is not like Moses, but Muhammad is like Moses. Deut 18:18 “Like unto thee”, like Moses! In conclusion, I end with a quotation of a Christian Reverend the commentator of the Bible, followed by that of his Master: “The ultimate criterion of a true prophet is the moral character of his teaching.” (Prof. Dummelow).
“By their fruits ye shall know them.” (Jesus Christ) A concluding suggestion : come let us reason together! “Say: ‘O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah (God); that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, lords and patrons other than Allah (God)’. If then they turn back, say: ‘Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (Bowing to God’s Will).’ ” (the Holy Quran 3:64) People of the Book is the respectful title given to the Jews and the Christians in the Holy Quran. The Muslims are here commanded to invite, O People of the Book!, O Learned People!, O People who claim to be the recipients of Divine Revelation, of a Holy Scripture; let us gather together onto a common platform, “that we worship none but Allah (God)”, because none but God is worthy of worship, not because “The Lord thy God is a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me.” (Exodus 20:25). But because He is our Lord and Cherisher, our Sustainer and Evolver, worthy of all praise, prayer and devotion. In the abstract the Jews and the Christians would agree to all the three propositions contained in this Quranic verse.
In practice they fail. Apart from doctrinal lapses from the unity of the One True God, Allah, may He be praised, there is the question of a consecrated Priesthood (among the Jews it was hereditary also), as if a mere human being – Cohen or Pope, or Priest, or Brahuman, – could claim superiority apart from his learning and the purity of his life, or could stand between man and God in some special sense. Islam does not recognize priesthood!. The Creed of Islam is given to us here in a nutshell from Holy Quran: “Say ye: ‘We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes (of the Children of Israel), 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 (in Islam).’ ” (the Holy Quran 2:136). The Muslim position is clear.
The Muslim does not claim to have a religion peculiar to himself. Islam is not a sect or an ethnic religion. In its view all religion is one, for the Truth is one: “It was the same religion preached by all the earlier prophets.” (the Holy Quran 42:13). It was the truth taught by all the inspired Books. In essence it amounts to a consciousness of the Will and Plan of God and a joyful submission to that Will and Plan. If anyone wants a religion other than that, he is false to his own nature, as he is false to God’s Will and Plan.
Such a one cannot expect guidance, for he has deliberately renounced guidance.