By Abu Amina Elias for FaithinAllah.org
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
The coming of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was foretold by the previous prophets and remnants of this prophecy can still be found today in the scriptures of Jews and Christians.
Before we examine some of these passages, we need to understand the proper interpretation of the Bible in Islam. Allah has informed us that some of the verses of the Bible have been corrupted and changed from their original meaning.
أَفَتَطْمَعُونَ أَن يُؤْمِنُوا لَكُمْ وَقَدْ كَانَ فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ كَلَامَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُحَرِّفُونَهُ مِن بَعْدِ مَا عَقَلُوهُ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
Do you hope that they would believe for you while a party of them used to hear the words of Allah and then distort the Torah after they had understood it while they knew?
Surah Al-Baqarah 2:75
And Allah said:
وَإِنَّ مِنْهُمْ لَفَرِيقًا يَلْوُونَ أَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالْكِتَابِ لِتَحْسَبُوهُ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
Verily, there is among them a party who alter the Scripture with their tongues so you may think it is from the Scripture, but it is not from the Scripture. They say this is from Allah, but it is not from Allah. They speak lies about Allah while they know.
Surah Ali Imran 3:78
The fabrication of verses of the Torah, or the Old Testament, was condemned by the Prophet Jeremiah, peace be upon him. Jeremiah exposed the corruption of the scribes charged with the duty of writing the Torah.
The Book of Jeremiah states:
How can you say we are wise and the law of the Lord is with us? But, behold, the false pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.
Similarly, we have evidence that some verses of the Gospel, or the New Testament, have been changed to support the doctrines of the Church.
For example, the King James Version of the book of 1 John states:
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
1 John 5:7, KJV
However, the Revised Standard Version states:
And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.
1 John 5:7, RSV
The words “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one,” have been inserted into the text to support the Church’s doctrine of Trinity, although these words do not appear in most of the original Greek manuscripts. It is likely that scribes in the Church changed the text to counter the arguments of the Arians, those Christians who did not accept that Jesus was in a co-equal trinity with Allah.
Martin Luther, an important leader in the Protestant Reformation, commented on this verse:
It appears as if this verse was inserted by the orthodox against the Arians, which, however, cannot suitably be done, because both here and there he speaks not of witnesses in heaven, but of witnesses on earth.
Source: Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 1 John 5:7
Due to these fabrications, Prophet Muhammad told the Muslims to generally take a neutral stance when evaluating verses of the Bible.
Abu Huraira reported: The people of the Book would recite the Torah in Hebrew and explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
لَا تُصَدِّقُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ وَلَا تُكَذِّبُوهُمْ وَقُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْنَا الْآيَةَ
Do not believe the people of the Book nor disbelieve them, but say: We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob… (2:136)
Source: Sahih Bukhari 4215, Grade: Sahih
That said, our faith is not based upon verses of the Bible, but rather our faith is based upon the merits of Prophet Muhammad and the veracity of the Noble Quran. Nevertheless, we find some verses of the Bible that confirm what has been mentioned in the Quran. Such verses remain to encourage people to consider deeply the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad and Islam.
Allah has informed us that the coming of the Prophet was written in the original text of the Torah and Gospel.
الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِندَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالْأَغْلَالَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُوا النُّورَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ مَعَهُ ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
They are those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him, it is those who will be the successful.
Surah Al-A’raf 7:157-158
Thus, we have a clear prediction of Muhammad in the existing text of the Torah attributed to Moses, peace be upon him.
The Book of Deuteronomy states:
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren, and I will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not give heed to my words which he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.
The Torah informed the Jews of the coming of a prophet “from among their brethren,” which likely refers to the descendants of Ishmael. Muhammad and the Arabs are the descendants of Ishmael, the brother of Isaac, and thus are closely related to the Jews.
This new prophet would be “like you,” meaning Moses. Muhammad and Moses share many characteristics, such as the parallels between the Hijrah and the Exodus, the revelation of their laws and scriptures, and their confronting and defeating the tyranny of Pharaoh and Abu Jahl.
Furthermore, this prophet “will put my words in his mouth,” the precise and unchanging words of Allah. The Noble Quran is indeed the word of Allah “which he shall speak in my name,” preserved in its original language without having been corrupted by the scribes.
لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ مُنفَكِّينَ حَتَّىٰ تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ رَسُولٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ يَتْلُو صُحُفًا مُّطَهَّرَةً فِيهَا كُتُبٌ قَيِّمَةٌ
Those who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists were not to be parted from disbelief until there came to them clear evidence, a messenger from Allah reciting purified scriptures within which are upright writings.
Surah Al-Bayyinah 98:1-3
The Jews were further given criteria by which they could judge false prophets from true prophets, and we find that Muhammad did not meet the fate of a false prophet.
The Book of Deuteronomy states:
But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word which the Lord has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the Lord has not spoken, the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him.
Indeed, all false prophets are eventually exposed and Allah provides abundant signs of their deception.
وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الْأَقَاوِيلِ لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ فَمَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ عَنْهُ حَاجِزِينَ
If Muhammad had made up about Us some false sayings, We would have seized him by the right hand. Then We would have cut from him the artery, and there is no one of you who could prevent it from him.
Surah Al-Haqqah 69:44-47
However, Muhammad was entirely successful in his prophetic mission to bring monotheism to the world and to preserve the Noble Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah, as more and more people embrace Islam every day.
In addition, Allah has informed us that the coming of Muhammad was foretold by Jesus, peace be upon him.
وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُم مُّصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ
Jesus the son of Mary said, “O children of Israel, I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is praised.”
Surah As-Saff 61:6
The Book of John provides some compelling verses as evidence of the remnants of this prophecy, even though the original Aramaic spoken by Jesus has been lost.
The Book of John states:
This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
In this verse, it is clear that the Jews were expecting the coming of the Messiah (Christ), Elijah (an epithet for John the Baptist), and “the Prophet” mentioned in Deuteronomy. Later in the book of John we find a further description of the coming prophet.
The Book of John states:
I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, 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.
And it states:
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
And it states:
But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me, and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.
And it states:
Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.
Although the Aramaic text has been lost, these verses likely describe the original discourse of Jesus to his disciples and the believers on the coming of the prophet of Deuteronomy.
Muhammad Asad comments on these passages, saying:
This prediction is supported by several references in the Gospel of St. John to the Parakletos (usually rendered as “Comforter”) who was to come after Jesus. This designation is almost certainly a corruption of Periklytos (“the Much-Praised”), an exact Greek translation of the Aramaic term or name Mawhamana. It is to be borne in mind that Aramaic was the language used in Palestine at the time of, and for some centuries after, Jesus, and was thus undoubtedly the language in which the original, now lost, texts of the Gospels were composed. In view of the phonetic closeness of Periklytos and Parakletos it is easy to understand how the translator – or, more probably, a later scribe – confused these two expressions. It is significant that both the Aramaic Mawhamana and the Greek Periklytos have the same meaning as the two names of the Last Prophet, Muhammad and Ahmad, both of which are derived from the verb hamida (“he praised”) and the noun hamd (“praise”).
Source: Message of the Quran 61:6
Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments on these passages, saying:
Ahmad or Muhammad, the Praised One is a translation of the Koine Greek word Periclytos. In the present gospel of John 14:16, 15:26 and 16:7, the Greek word Paracletos is translated in the NIV as Comforter. Paracletos can mean an Advocate, or “one called to the help of another,” “a kind friend.” Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was known from birth as one who brought comfort and reconciliation to family, friends and strangers alike, especially in bringing together the ties of kinship and brotherly love.
Source: The Holy Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary 61:6
In fact, the Holy Spirit mentioned in these verses is the Angel Gabriel, the same Holy Spirit who revealed the Quran to Muhammad.
قُلْ نَزَّلَهُ رُوحُ الْقُدُسِ مِن رَّبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيُثَبِّتَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ
Say: The Holy Spirit has revealed it from your Lord in truth to make firm those who believe and as guidance and glad tidings to the Muslims surrendering to Allah.
Surah An-Nahl 16:102
Indeed, these verses and others were enough to cause many Jews and Christians inMuhammad’s time to recognize his truthfulness.
الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ ۖ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
Those to whom We gave the Scripture know him as they know their own sons. Verily, a party of them conceal the truth while they know it.
Surah Al-Baqarah 2:146
And Allah said:
الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمُ ۘ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ فَهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
Those to whom We have given the Scripture recognize it as they recognize their own sons. Those who will lose themselves do not believe.
Surah Al-An’am 6:20
Numerous Jews and Christians who met Muhammad embraced Islam such as Salman Al-Farisi, Abdullah ibn Salam, and others continue to embrace Islam until today.
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَكَفَرْتُم بِهِ وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَىٰ مِثْلِهِ فَآمَنَ وَاسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
Say: Consider if the Quran was from Allah and you disbelieved in it while a witness from the Children of Israel has testified to something similar and believed while you were arrogant? Verily, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.
Surah Al-Ahqaf 46:10
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, entered the synagogue and there was a Jew reading the Torah to them. When they came to the description of the Prophet they stopped reading. There was a sick man in the gathering and the Prophet said:
مَا لَكُمْ أَمْسَكْتُمْ
Why have you stopped reading?
The man said, “They came to a description of a prophet so they stopped reading.” Then the man came crawling until he took the Torah and read until he came to the description of the Prophet and his nation. The man said, “This is a description of you and your nation. I bear witness there is no God but Allah and you are the Messenger of Allah.” Later the man died and the Prophet said to his companions:
Take care of your brother.
Source: Musnad Ahmad 3941, Grade: Hasan li ghayri
Not only do many Jews and Christians recognize the prophecies of the Muhammad’s coming, but they also see that Islam affirms the teachings of pure monotheism, charity, justice, and mercy as taught by all of the prophets.
ۗ مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَىٰ وَلَٰكِن تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Never was the Quran an invented narration, but rather it is a confirmation of what came before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe.
Surah Yusuf 12:111
In the end, we hope Jews and Christians will realize that Muhammad is not a false prophet, but rather his advent confirms and fulfills their scriptures.
We ask Allah to guide open their hearts to faith and His religion and the straight path that leads to salvation in this life and in the Hereafter.
Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.