Muhammad (sws) in the Bible
Question asked by .
Answered by Adnan Zulfiqar

Is there any utterance about the advent of Prophet Muhammad (sws) in the Bible? Many Muslims claim so. What are your thoughts?


There are several places where the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (sws) is thought to have been mentioned in the Bible. In the New Testament’s Gospel according to John, Jesus (sws) prays to God that people are given another ‘Comforter’. There is also mention of the ‘Spirit of Truth’ who ‘will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak and he will show you things to come’, (John 16:13). As the scholar Abdus Sattar Ghauri has pointed out, it is clear from the Biblical text that Jesus (sws) stands as a separate entity to the ‘Comforter’ or ‘Spirit of Truth’. Furthermore, it is evident that the prophecy given to Moses (sws) spoke of the advent of a Prophet (sws). This figure was thought to be distinct from Christ (sws). Evidence of this can be found when John the Baptist is asked if he is Christ, Elias or the Prophet and he answers ‘no’ to all three (John 1: 19-21). Some connect this ‘Comforter’ with the ‘Holy Ghost’ mentioned in John 14:26. However, as Jamal Badawi has pointed out, this designation is ‘inconsistent’ with the profile given of the ‘Comforter’, as even the Dictionary of the Bible (J Mackenzie) seems to imply. As Badawi goes on to point out, the Prophet Muhammad (sws) fulfilled all the criteria of the ‘Comforter’ or ‘Paraclete’, such as: ‘He testified of Jesus (sws), taught new things which could not be borne at Jesus’ time, he spoke what he heard (revelation), he dwells with the believers (through his well-preserved teachings)’ and ‘such teachings will remain forever because he was the last messenger of God’. Furthermore, the requirement of ‘teachings remaining forever’ is not only clearly evidenced by the preservation of the Qur’ān over the course of the last 1400 years, but also in the incredible volume of Āhadīth literature which, through proper examination, provides further details on Prophetic teachings.

Evidence for Prophet Muhammad (sws) in the Old Testament is bountiful. Deuteronomy 18:18 shows Moses (sws) speaking of the prophet to be sent by God who must fulfill several criteria, the most compelling of which is to be from among the ‘brethren’ of the Isrealites. As Abdus Sattar Ghauri points out, this is clearly a reference to the Ishmaelites, their cousins, as evidenced by Genesis XVI: 10-12, and although modern translators have attempted to change this word to ‘people’, the Hebrew is best translated as brethren.  Furthermore, Mathew 21:43 has Jesus (sws) admonishing the Israelites by stating ‘the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation’. The language of the text indicates this nation will be different from the Israelites.

In addition, Badawi shows that Deuteronomy 33:1-2 combines ‘references to Moses, Jesus and Muhammad’ by speaking of God’s revelation coming from the Sinai, Seir (likely a the village Sa’ir near Jerusalem) and Paran (Genesis 21:21 indicates this is where Ishmael settled, which we now know as Makkah).

Finally, one of the clearest evidences of Prophet Muhammad’s (sws) advent comes from King Solomon where he uses the words ‘Muhammadim’ to describe the coming Prophet (sws). As Ghauri points out the actual Hebrew words are mydmhm vlkv, pluralized to show respect and majesty. Many Biblical translations have changed this proper noun to ‘lovely’, but the Hebrew Bible remains in tact with these words.

I hope that some of these references are helpful.  For more detailed arguments and evidence please examine the works of scholars like Abdus Sattar Ghauri, Jamal Badawi, Zakir Nayak, etc.


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