Monday, February 26, 2007

A Prophet like Moses

The Qur’an mentions in Surah Al-Araf chapter 7 verse 157:

"Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures) in the law and the Gospel".

Book of Deuteronomy chapter 18 verse 18:

"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."

The Christians say that this prophecy refers to Jesus (pbuh) because Jesus (pbuh) was like Moses (pbuh). Moses (pbuh) was a Jew, as well as Jesus (pbuh) was a Jew. Moses (pbuh) was a Prophet and Jesus (pbuh) was also a Prophet.

If these two are the only criteria for this prophecy to be fulfilled, then all the Prophets of the Bible who came after Moses (pbuh) such as Solomon, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Malachi, John the Baptist, etc. (pbut) will fulfill this prophecy since all were Jews as well as prophets.

However, it is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who is like Moses (pbuh):

Both had a father and a mother, while Jesus (pbuh) was born miraculously without any male intervention.

[Mathew 1:18 and Luke 1:35 and also Al-Qur'an 3:42-47]

Both were married and had children. Jesus (pbuh) according to the Bible did not marry nor had children.

Both died natural deaths. Jesus (pbuh) has been raised up alive. (4:157-158)

Muhammad (pbuh) is from among the brethren of Moses (pbuh). Arabs are brethren of Jews. Abraham (pbuh) had two sons: Ishmail and Isaac (pbut). The Arabs are the descendants of Ishmail (pbuh) and the Jews are the descendants of Isaac (pbuh).

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was unlettered and whatever revelations he received from Almighty God he repeated them verbatim.

"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."

[Deuteronomy 18:18]

Both besides being Prophets were also kings i.e. they could inflict capital punishment. Jesus (pbuh) said, "My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36).

Both were accepted as Prophets by their people in their lifetime but Jesus (pbuh) was rejected by his
people. John chapter 1 verse 11 states, "He came unto his own, but his own received him not."

Both brought new laws and new regulations for their people. Jesus (pbuh) according to the Bible did not bring any new laws. (Mathew 5:17-18).

It is Mentioned in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 18:19

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not harken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."

Desperate attempts are made by many to refute this prophecy. Such attempts have been replied to below in the comments section.

You can also read it here.


Joh said...

A Prophet Like Moses Was Not Mohammad.It's Jesus
Moses was speaking about a Prophet like him from among the children of Isreal.Moses was not speaking to the Muslims when he spoke about this Prophet but to the Jews.So this prophet was mainly for Israel.The Jews were waiting for this prophet after the death of Moses.
When they saw John the Baptist baptizing the Jews thought he was that prophet Moses spoke about and.they sent priests from Jerualem to ask John "Are you that prophet?," John;1 He replied saying ,"No."
Yes Jesus was that prophet Moses spoke about.When he did the miracle of feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish many Jews belived in Him saying "Truly he is the prophet who is to come into the world." John;6 Mohammad was not from the land of Israel He was not from any of the twelve tribes.But Jesus was born in the land of Israel and was from one of the twelve tribes.He was a Jew.
Now what was a Prophet like Moses for ?
Moses made the old covenant.Jesus made the New Covenant.
Moses was the mediator of the old covenant.Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant.Moses was a Prophet God raised from the Israelites and for the Israelites and a Prophet like Moses also had to come from among the Isralites and for the Israelites.Moses was from one of the twelve tribes so the prophet like Moses was to come from one of the twelve tribles.
What Moses did was this. Moses delivered the Israelites and brought to their homeland.He made a covenant with them.He gave them the law and commandments
He was a Shepherd ,a Judge and Prophet for the Israelites.Mohammad was not from among the Isralites.Mohammad did not shepherd the children of Israel.He did not lead them or guide them as Moses did Mohammad did not make a covenant with the children of Israel as Moses did.Surely Mohammad was not the prophet Moses was talking about. But Jesus was from one of the tribles of Israel from the land of Israel as Moses had said." A Prophet like him from among their brothren. Now Moses did tremendous miracles for the nation of Israel.So did Jesus .But Moahmmad did no miracles for the Jews.
Just the Jews rejected Moses first saying who made you a ruler and judge over us ?Jesus was also rejected by them.But God made this Moses whom the Israelites had rejected a Prince and Ruler among them.This happened in the case of Jesus too.Moses brought great deliverance to the Israelites.But Mohammad did nothing for the Israelites.
Mohammad did not restore the land back to the Jews.But Jesus will come and do that.Mohammad did not show any brotherly love to the Jews.But Moses did He loved them and took good care of them.Moses did mighty miracles for the Israelites.All the things he did was for them.All the miracles Jesus did was for the Jews and in the land of Israel..Mohammad did not do any miracles like that for the Jews.But Jesus did. Jesus performed many signs and miracles that no man has ever done.Jesus said I am the good Shepherd.He told his disciples "You will sit on the thrones with me and judge the twelve tribes of Israel." Jesus like Moses came as a Judge and Ruler in Isreal.That is what he is coming back for.

Invitation to Truth said...

18: I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.

We notice from the above:

1) A prophet like Moses

2) From among their brothers

3) God’s words will be put in his mouth.

Let’s talk about point “2”. Is it possible that God could be talking about the Ishmaelites? Even if the same word was used to point at the Israelites in other places, from reading the above, could it be about the Ishmaelites? If the word “Brethren” could actually refer to their cousins regardless of how the author of Deuteronomy used it in other places, then can we have a reason to believe he was referring to their cousins.

Another question: Could this actually refer to the other brothers of the Israelites, not the Ishmaelites?

Yes. But how do we know it is speaking about the Ishmaelites and no other?

The answers will be provided below.

Now concerning point “3”, didn’t every prophet speak in the name of God? Even if the prophet spoke to an angel from God. Didn’t this angel transmit the words of God accordingly and accurately? So in a sense if the prophet transmitted what he heard from the angel, we can assume that God practically spoke to this prophet. Isn’t this a valid argument?

So far, we have no reason to believe that the prophet mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:18 is Jesus or Muhammad peace be upon them all. However, point “2” will be the determining factor and will be discussed below.

The word “Brethren” used in Deuteronomy 18:18 could refer to any of their brothers, not specifically the Israelites and it could also refer to the Israelites themselves. However, with the help of other verses and looking into the other criteria we would eventually conclude that they were referring to the Ishmaelites.

Genesis (25:18):” The Ishmaelites ranged from Havilah-by-Shur, which is on the border of Egypt, all the way to Asshur; and each of them pitched camp in opposition to his various kinsmen.”

Genesis (16:12):” He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone, and everyone's hand against him; In opposition to all his kin shall he encamp."

Numbers (20:14)” 4 From Kadesh Moses sent men to the king of Edom with the message: "Your brother Israel has this to say: You know of all the hardships that have befallen us,”

This demonstrates the possibility and the versatility in which the word “brother” could be used. Esau was a brother of Jacob and yet would be considered either a brother or a cousin to the Israelites. Like wise, the nation of Ishmael could be considered either their cousins or their brothers.

The fact remains, the word “brethren” could be used to denote other meanings other than immediate relatives. Comparing to how the word was used in other verses does not prove that Deuteronomy 18:18 refers to a prophet FROM the Israelites. It is still a possibility that the word “brethren” in Deuteronomy 18:18 could refer to their actual cousins. The context of Deuteronomy 18:18 do not show in any way that the prophet will be specifically an Israelite, yet it is a possibility.

Now let us examine why the word “Brethren” could refer to the Ishmaelites.

Reading Genesis (17:20):” As for Ishmael, I am heeding you: I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.”

We extract the following from the above verse:

1) Ishmael is blessed.

2) He will be fertile.

3) His nation will multiply

4) AND will be made into a great nation.

We can clearly see the distinction between being “a numerous nation” and “a great nation”. These two phrases could not indicate the same meaning.

Now can we ask what is “a great nation” mean?

As understood from first five books of the Old Testament, Israel was a numerous nation also by the time they reached the boarders of Palestine and yet they were called “a great nation”.

Let’s examine the verses below:

Deuteronomy, chapter 4:”

6 Observe them carefully, for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations, who will hear of all these statutes and say, 'This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.' (The nation of Israel was already a huge nation in number. We see that they are called a great nation, but is it because they are numerous?)

7 For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?

8 Or what great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before you today?”

As we can see, the nation of Israel is called great because:

1) They worship God and only God.

2) They have the law of God.

An honest look at the Muslim nation today reveals that they worship the same God of Abraham and they also have a set of laws given to them in the Quran. Is this a valid comparison? Indeed.

The nation of Ishmael has been blessed, they are numerous, and they are a great nation (a great nation for worshipping the true God and for having the law of God written down in the Quran).

So now, there is a higher probability from Deuteronomy 18:18 that “brethren” could actually refer to the GREAT NATION of the Ishmaelites. Also, there is still a chance that the prophet could be from the Israelites themselves. However, the other sons of Abraham have been excluded now, and that is because only two sons from Abraham have been blessed, Ishmael and Isaac peace be upon them.

At this point, it is important to report an alleged saying by Jesus from the gospels:

Matthew (21:43) “Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”

So here we are confronted with another fact, the kingdom of God will be given to another nation. A probable nation at this point would be the Ishmaelites, for they are blessed and are a great nation according to the Old Testament.

· God’s words will be put in his mouth.

We all should know that every prophet will speak what God would command him to. Examining Deuteronomy 18:18 would still not reveal the identity of the prophet if we look into this criteria. If we are to assume that Muhammad was God’s prophet then we are also to assume that God has put his words in Muhammad’s mouth. The same thing goes for Jesus, and every single prophet of God.

If God spoke to Muhammad –peace be upon him- through an angel, why can’t we then assume that God spoke through Muhammad-peace be upon him- also? Is it not fair enough to assume that this angel of God will deliver God’s word accurately? Yes.

· The prophet

Reading the gospel of john shows us that the Jews expected the Messiah and The Prophet, two distinct persons. The discoveries of the Qumran scrolls reveal such belief among some of the Jews also.

Matthew, chapter 16:”

14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

16 Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

Reading the above verses reveals the following:

1) Some of the Jews are confused about the identity of Jesus –pbuh-

2) Jesus admits he is the Messiah.

John, chapter 7:”

40 Some in the crowd who heard these words said, "This is truly the Prophet."

41 Others said, "This is the Messiah." But others said, "The Messiah will not come from Galilee, will he?

42 Does not scripture say that the Messiah will be of David's family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?"

43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.”

Examining the verses above reveals the following:

1) Some Jews thought he was The Prophet.

2) Others thought he was The Messiah.

3) The Jews are definitely confused.

We understand from the above verses that the Jews expected two characters; some other passages reveal three characters. Now reading the verses below would clear up some of the confusion:

John 6:”

14 When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly THE PROPHET, the one who is to come into the world."

15 Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.”

Now can we assume that the Jews were correct when they thought he was THE PROPHET? Were they not confused about his identity? The Jews were indeed confused. Anyway, Jesus leaved and didn’t want them to declare him as King of the Jews. That is understandable since we can assume that he was not that prophet (the ruler). He was the Messiah as he confirmed earlier.

Let’s examine the following verses to clear the confusion now:

John, chapter 1:”

19 And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites (to him) to ask him, "Who are you?"

20 he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, "I am not the Messiah."

21 So they asked him, "What are you then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I am not." "Are you THE PROPHET?" He answered, "No." “

We notice the following:

1) The Pharisees asked him about three characters. Presumably, they are well versed with the Old Testament.

2) We see the clear distinction between “The Prophet” and “The Messiah”.

3) John the Baptist did not object to their reasoning about the three characters and this is important to remember.

Reviewing the above we conclude:

1) Most of the Jews were in confusion about the identity of Jesus, was he The Prophet or The Messiah?

2) When they though he was The Prophet they tried to declare him as king but he escaped indicating that he is not that Prophet they were looking for and also for the reason mentioned by Jesus that he has no kingdom here on earth.

3) The Pharisees knew exactly who they were asking about when confronting John the Baptist and John the Baptist answered them accordingly for he also understood their questions and did not object to it at all. John the Baptist knew that he was not Elijah, he was not The Messiah, and he was not THE PROPHET. Three distinct characters.

4) Jesus admitted that he was the Messiah.

Reading through John:

John, chapter 5:”

46 For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me.

47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?" “

Jesus never claimed to be THE PROPHET, the one the Jews were expecting also beside the Messiah, but according to the verses above he did claim that Moses wrote about him.

Deuteronomy, chapter 18:”

20 But if a prophet presumes to speak in my name an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, he shall die.'

21 "If you say to yourselves, 'How can we recognize an oracle which the LORD has spoken?',

22 know that, even though a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if his oracle is not fulfilled or verified, it is an oracle which the LORD did not speak. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously, and you shall have no fear of him. “

Could Jesus be one of those many prophets who would be sent to the Israelites? Yes he could. We then could assume that Moses spoke about Jesus through the verses above.

We have seen the clear distinction between THE PROPHET and THE MESSIAH. John the Baptist knew what the Pharisees were asking about and he answered them accordingly. Jesus claimed to be the Messiah not THE PROPHET. As a matter of fact when the Jews thought he was THE PROPHET he departed which supports the theory that he was not that prophet the Jews were waiting for.

Indeed Jesus called himself a prophet but he did not call himself “The Prophet”.

Sadly though, according to the Trinitarians, this prophet of God (Jesus) was killed. Now if we assume Deuteronomy (18:20) to be a true verse, we are left with two choices, either Jesus was not a prophet and that is why he was killed or he was indeed a prophet and was not actually killed. As a Muslim, I would take the second choice.

· Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad

We will first examine the claims made by Silas about the similarities between Jesus and Moses.

1) He claimed that The Prophet should speak God’s words. This has been touched on above.

2) He claimed that he should meet God face to face. Well, Muhammad –pbuh- did also on the night called “Isra’a Wa Me’araj”

3) He claimed that the prophet should perform miracles:

Muhammad –pbuh- indeed performed miracles also. The Quran itself is seen as a miracle. If we are to examine the Biography of the Prophet we see how the Quraish tribe called him a magician because the words he spoke made people submit and declare their Islam after hearing it. Also, you can find many other references to miracles performed by Muhammad-pbuh-, like feeding hundreds of people, knocking out the rocks before the “Ahzab” battle, and having water dripping from the tips of his fingers.

As for refusing to perform a miracle in front of the unbelievers, let’s not forget that Jesus himself refused to perform a miracle when asked by the Pharisees. Also let’s not forget how the Jews called Jesus POSSESSED when he revived a dead person.

Miracles are enhancement of faith and for those who don’t recognize them, they are doomed. This could be found in many verses in both the Quran and the Bible.

The phrase “I am but a man” is mostly misunderstood as that Muhammad could not perform a miracle because God didn’t support him with one, but if we examine the life of the prophet we see that he performed many. To understand this “I am but a man” we should pay attention to other verses from the Quran:

Quran, chapter 25:”

7 And they say: "What sort of an apostle is this, who eats food, and walks through the streets? Why has not an angel been sent down to him to give admonition with him?”

8. "Or (Why) has not a treasure been bestowed on him, or why has he (not) a garden for enjoyment?" The wicked say: "Ye follow none other than a man bewitched."

9. See what kinds of comparisons they make for thee! But they have gone astray, and never a way will they be able to find!”

Did you think they were going to believe even if he performed miracles for them? No.

The unbelievers did not understand the fact that Muhammad could be nothing more than a man. In their mind a prophet is someone who is walking with an angel, living in gardens and so on. That is what the phrase “I am but a man” implies. Muhammad-pbuh- was a human, and a prophet would live like all other prophets. Every single prophet of God was mocked and when they performed miracles they still did not believe. Both Jesus and Muhammad were called possessed, what difference do we have now between the both in this regard? They both at some point refused to perform miracles and when applicable they did perform miracles.

Also, let’s not forget the greatest miracles of all, the Quran. Muhammad’s miracle is eternal. People used to submit right whenever he recited them. Until this day, we see people crying like little babies in prostration when they hear the Quran. As Muslims, why shouldn’t we then not consider the Quran a better miracle than the ones performed by other prophets of which are only considered incidental?