In speaking to the Muslims of the Lord, they often tell me: “Your Bible speaks of Mohammed. Jesus Himself foretold His coming.”
I answered them, “Here is a Bible, could you tell me where Mohammed is mentioned? ”
Most of them reply: “I do not know where, but the Koran says it would have been predicted in your Bible! ”
One of the biggest arguments put forward by Muslims in their discussion with Christians revolves around the coming of Mohammed, which they say is announced in the Bible. The whole problem stems from a passage in the Koran that says, “Those who follow the Messenger, the illiterate Prophet, whom they find written in the Torah and the gospel” (Sura 7: 157).
This has led Muslim experts from the early days of Islam to seek in both the Old and New Testaments evidence that their prophet was indeed prophesied by the earlier prophets.
Some of the books written by Muslims on this subject rely on a range of verses drawn from just about all the Old Testament and one or two of the New Testament. However, two major examples are for the most part advanced: Deuteronomy 18:18 and John 14:26 (or John 16: 7).
But Christians know that these passages in particular refer to Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Muslims refer to Deuteronomy 18:18-19 where God said to Moses:
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.
They believe that this prophet is none other than Mohammed. But even a brief overview of the background of the prophecy will reveal that the text did not have the Ishmaelites in sight.
It is clear that God was addressing the Jewish Levites. The words in the Bible, “Their brethren”, speaks of the other tribes of Israel. Moses declared that God would raise up a prophet like himself from among the Jews, from among his brethren. This prophet would be a Jew, and we know that Mohammed was not a Jew. He was born an Arab and the Arabs were not one of the tribes of Israel. So Mohammed is not the brother of Moses. This alone should tell us that this prophecy is definitely not about Mohammed.
Who is better suited to be the prophet spoken of by Moses? Surely, it is Jesus Christ. The whole New Testament explicitly states that the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18 was fulfilled in Jesus Christ of Nazareth (John 5: 46-47; Acts 3: 19-23).
Muslims also refer to Isaiah 29:11-12 where it is written:
And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.”
Ahmed Deedat insists:
(a) the book to which it refers here is the Koran.
(b) The person to whom the book is given is Mohammed (see Koran 7: 158).
(c) The one who orders Mohammed to read is the angel Gabriel!
According to Deedat, Mohammed’s experience in the cave of Hira, later known as Djebel-Ennour (The Mountain of Light), and his response to this very first revelation is the exact fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah.
Before discerning what it is, let us point out that the reference (7: 158) that Ahmed Deedat gives, testifies simply that Mohammed was ‘nabi ummi‘ which would mean “prophet of the nations” expressing those who have not received a book . This is not a statement meaning that Mohammed did not know how to read. Besides, we find nowhere in the whole Koran such a declaration that he was personally illiterate. On the contrary, the Koran teaches us that Mohammed could read.
In addition, several historians and Muslims claim that Mohammed was a reader, and was known to be able to both read and write. This is notably the case of Mohammed Talbi, an Arab associate, a great specialist in medieval Muslim history, and a former dean of the University of Tunis, who in his book The Breath of the Spirit qualifies this history of legend:
“Contrary to legend, born of false apologetic worries, he was a cultivated and literate man [Mohammed]. One who read the Bible in his beautiful family who had no need to meet a monk during a trip to Syria to be initiated into Judeo-Christianity. Ummi’s description of the Koran, which tradition has interpreted as “illiterate,” means that he was “the prophet of the nations” (Koran 7:157-158), … The Koran confirms this interpretation: “Say to those who have received the book, and to the Ummiyyin. “Those who received the book” are obviously Jews and Christians. Who are the Ummiyyin? They are of all the others, all the non-Jewish nations “(Koran 62:2).
The meaning of ummi is thus well established. It does not mean “illiterate” in any way. It designates the goīm or the gentiles, that is to say all non-Jewish nations that had not yet received a revealed Book. (Mohamed Talbi Universality of the Qur’an Ed: Southern act cool “The Breath of the Spirit” pages 10:12)
Finally, it is the Sunnah, which teaches us that Mohammed was literate:
Narrated by Ursa, According to Anas bin Malik: One day the Prophet wrote a letter, or had the idea of writing a letter. It was told the Prophet that they would not read the letters unless they were sealed. So the Prophet got a silver ring with “Mohammed the Apostle of Allah” engraved on it. I was watching the white of the ring sparkle on the prophet’s hand. Sahih Bukkari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 65
Here we see that Mohammed wrote and sealed a letter.
Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Thursday! What (great thing) took place Thursday ” Then he began to weep until his tears wet the gravel of the earth. Then he said, “On Thursday when Allah’s Apostle’s illness got worse…. he said,” Seek me what to write, so that I can write something for you.
Sahih Bukkari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 288
Similar hadiths can be found at the following references:
Sahih Bukkari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 393
Sahih Bukkari Volume 9, Book 92, Number 468
Sahih Bukkari, Volume 4, Book 59, Number 716
Sahih Bukkari, Volume 4, Book 59, Number 717
Sahih Bukkari, Volume 7, Book 70, Number 573
The imprtant thing here is that this is not from a Christian source opposing Mohammed or Deedat’s argument. These are Islamic texts refuting the interpretation that Mohammed was an illiterate man.
Interpreting Isaiah 29: 12
This being said, the simple analysis of this verse in its context, which Ahmed Deedat did not care to discover, will demonstrate to us that he has totally mis-interpreted the Bible.
This is the announcement of a punishment on Israel:
And I will encamp against you all around, and will besiege you with towers and I will raise siegeworks against you. And you will be brought low; from the earth you shall speak, and from the dust your speech will be bowed down; your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost, and from the dust your speech shall whisper. Isaiah 29: 3-4
As part of the punishment, we read that God will also take away their ability to read and understand the words of God because they disobeyed the Lord.
Verse 10 clearly states that the prophets will be put to sleep, thus no longer able to receive revelation from God:
Astonish yourselves and be astonished; blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not with wine; stagger, but not with strong drink! For the LORD has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes (the prophets), and covered your heads (the seers). And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.” And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men. Isaiah 29: 9-13
Ahmed Deedat would like to argue that this is related to Mohammed? If Ahmed Deedat is right then Mohammed would therefore have had a heart far from God, and worshipped according to a man-made religion. (Isaiah 29:13) and Deedat would be suggesting that Mohammed’s inability to read was a punishment of God.
Instead, the passage in Isaiah says absolutely nothing about Mohammed, good or bad! It is signifying that God put the Jews into a deep spiritual sleep, so that without any worry about their souls, and believing themselves well informed, they would not be able to read what God’s words mean.
Moreover, this judgment concerns Israel, and Mohammed was not a Jew, on the contrary, Mohammed claimed to be a descendant of Ishmael! The claim of Ahmed Deedat is rather absurd, because Ahmed Deedat describes his own prophet, Mohammed as a man with a heart far from God, and a creator of a religion that was not according to the will of God but invented by men (the traditions of men). John 14:26
Muslims also bring this argument:
“From your Bible, did not Jesus say that a prophet will come whose name will be the Comforter? Is not this a prophecy about Mohammed?”
Muslims also quote verses like John 14: 16-20 where Jesus said,
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
Would you like to read the whole passage aloud and tell me honestly who Jesus is talking about?
From the earliest centuries of Islam, Muslim experts put all their effort into trying to make us believe that this Comforter is Mohammed, the prophet of Islam. They claim that the Greek word “paracletos”, translated “Comforter” should have been written “pareklutos” or “highly praised” meaning Ahmad or Mohammed. In other words, without any evidence whatever, except a desire to bring Mohammed into the Bible, they are really saying that the Christians have changed the Bible word. We might ask, “Why?”
However any scholar in this field will tell you that there is no evidence of such a change. All existing Greek manuscripts prior to Mohammed say: paracletos, and not paraklutos. There are still more than 70 Greek New Testament manuscripts which are dated prior to Mohammed and none of them refer to the word paraklutos! All have paracletos. In fact, the word paraklutos does not appear anywhere in the Bible! For those who look more closely at the specific details of the coming and the identity of this paracletos or “Comforter” they will conclude very quickly that it cannot apply to the person of Mohammed.
Let us examine these details about the coming and the identity of this paracletos or “Comforter” and see if they correspond to the profile of Mohammed:
1) He will give you another Comforter.
Even if Muslims claim the word in the ” Original was Paraklutos, the verse would read as follows: “He will give you another highly praised one,” which would have no logic (given the context) and would be completely off topic. Jesus was rather saying this here: “I was your consoler,” not your highly praised one, “your help and your comfort. I still have many things to teach you, I am going away and for this reason I will send you another comforter like me. “
2) He will give you another Comforter, the Spirit of truth
The most evident fact evoked here is that this Comforter is none other than the Holy Spirit. Was Mohammed ever called “Spirit of truth?”
3) He will remain with you forever.
At no time was Mohammed with those disciples of Jesus, much less permanently with them. Mohammed was born in the 7th century after Christ. He lived 62 years and died. Did he always live and remain with his own disciples, let alone the disciples of Jesus? His body is buried in Medina. As for that promised Comforter, Jesus said that He would abide with His disciples forever. It is impossible that the one we are dealing with here is Mohammed.
4) The Spirit of truth, which the world can not receive
According to this prophecy, the world can not receive this Comforter because it can not see Him. Thousands of people saw and touched Mohammed during his lifetime as he was visible. This invisible Comforter can not be Mohammed.
5) You know Him, for He dwells with you.
Jesus speaks clearly of someone to whom the disciples were very familiar. Did they know Mohammed? Of course not ! He came into the world five centuries later.
6) And He will be in you.
The Comforter was going to be in the disciples.
How is it possible that it is Mohammed? Mohammed was flesh and blood and is no longer of this world. Mohammed never was and never will be in the hearts of the disciples of Jesus.
What can we conclude?
Did Mohammed live in the time of the apostles of Jesus?
Has he ever been called the “Spirit of truth”?
Has he ever lived with the disciples?
Did he dwell in the hearts of the apostles?
This prophecy simply does not concern the person of Mohammed.
Who is it?
The Bible tells us the truth in the following verses: “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I have told you” (John 14: 26).
There is therefore no shadow of doubt that the Comforter is none other than the Holy Spirit of God.