Muhammad (S) – The Prophet of Islam – Part 8
by Habib Siddiqui
It is claimed that true Prophets of God are foretold by others. Was Muhammad (S) predicted by others that came before him? The Qur’an affirms that Muhammad (S) was indeed foretold. (46:10, 61:6)
Before we take a deep dive into this subject, some background information on the nature of Prophethood may be in order.
Islam maintains that the fundamental message of all true Prophets of God was one and the same: There is no god but one God (Allah). The Qur’an says: “Wa Elahakum Elahun wahidoun. La Elaha illa Huwa ar-Rahmanur Raheem,” meaning: And your God is One God: There is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. (2:163) [See also Qur’an: 6:19, 16:22, 37:4, 38:65, 112:1] This claim is corroborated by verses in other Scriptures. For example, the Torah says: “Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad,” meaning: “Hear O Israel the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.” [Deut. 6:4] (Heb. Adon: Lord, Eloh: God, Echad: One; note: the Hebrew word Adon (meaning lord or Lord) may apply to both human beings and God.) [See also: Mal. 2:10]
The so-called New Testament, Christian Bible, is not far behind in this same message of unity of God. For example: “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29)
“And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he.” (Mark 12:32)
“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.” (Luke 18:19)
“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Cor. 8:6)
“… God is one.” (Gal. 3:20)
“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph. 4:6)
“For there is one God, ….” (1 Tim. 2:5)
“Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” (Rom. 3:30)
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)
Islam maintains that Allah has never left mankind without guidance and education from His prophets, without an uncorrupted Divine Book, without conclusive, effective and sure proof of His Godhood, or without a clear and bright path to His realm. The Qur’an says:
“And for every nation there is a messenger. And when their messenger cometh (on the Day of Judgement) it will be judged between them fairly, and they will not be wronged.” [10:47]
“For We assuredly sent amongst every People an apostle (with the Command: “Serve Allah and eschew Evil.” [16:36]
“And there is not a nation but a warner hath passed among them.” [35:24].
As is, however, clear from internal evidence not all the prophets, warners and messengers are named in the Qur’an:
“And Messengers (Prophets who received revealed books) We have mentioned unto thee (Muhammad) before and Messengers We have not mentioned unto thee; And Allah spake directly unto Moses.” [4:164]
Whenever people, deceived by the Devil (Satan), started breaking this covenant of worshipping One God and began to accept others as their gods, Allah, out His infinite mercy and wisdom, sent Messengers and Prophets for their guidance. Those Apostles reminded human beings of their covenant with God, and enjoined what is right and forbade indecency. This fact is also testified by Jesus who is reported to have said: “Verily I say unto you that if the truth had not been erased from the Book of Moses, God would not have given to David our father the second. And if the Book of David had not been contaminated, God would not have committed the Gospel to me; seeing that our Lord our God is unchangeable, and hath spoken but one message to all men. Wherefore, when the messenger of God shall come, he shall come to cleanse away all wherewith the ungodly have contaminated my book.” [Gospel of Barnabas: 124]
[Note: As can be seen, Jesus was aware that his Gospel (Evangel, Ar. Injil) would later be corrupted, thus requiring the advent of a Messenger of God to clear any confusion on the true faith that the Prophets had preached.]
None of the Apostles of God left this world without indicating and pointing out the one who is to take up his place after his departure and carry the mission of Prophethood forward; thus each one of them was predicted by the Prophet who passed away before him and in turn was testified by him. So, whom did Jesus (AS), the last of the Israelite Prophets, point out? The Qur’an answers: “And when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel Lo! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that what which was (revealed) before me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is Ahmad.” (Qur’an 61:6) [Note: Ahmad is another name of the Prophet Muhammad (S).]
Not surprisingly, in the Christian Bible Jesus is reported as saying:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Paraclete [comforter or Rahmatul-lil Alameen] will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth (Al-Amin), is come, he 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 shew you things to come.” [John 16:7-13]
“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever.” [John 14:16]
“But when the Paraclete is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me.” [John 15:26]
[Note: Jesus spoke old Syriac and not Greek. Our scholars contend that the original Arabic name Ahmad was shrouded in Greek word Paraclete, or classical Greek word Periqlytos. This is further corroborated by explicit statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of Barnabas (see below). (For a detailed analysis: see any of the references mentioned at the end of this part, e.g., Dr. Zakir Naik’s articles on comparative religion: http://www.irf.net/irf/main.htm)].
The Gospel of Barnabas reads: “The disciples answered, “O Master, who shall that man be of whom you speak, who shall come into the world?” Jesus answered with joy of heart: ‘He is Muhammad;, Messenger of God, and when he comes into the world, even as the rain makes the earth to bear fruit when for a long time it has not rained, even so shall he be occasion of good works among men, through the abundant mercy which he shall bring. For he is a white cloud full of the mercy of God, which mercy God shall sprinkle upon the faithful like rain.’” [GB:163]
Islam maintains that Allah had made every one of His Prophets descent from the most noble and virtuous parents. Whenever one of them passed away, his successor took up the duty of propagation of the religion [din] of God; this chain of His Benevolence and Blessings continued from generation to generations of mankind, till He finalized His message through the Prophet Muhammad Ahmad al-Mustafa (S), the son of Abdullah and Amina, in the land of Arabia.
Muhammad (S), like his predecessors, also came of very illustrious and noble ancestors and of a family which has left a history of excellent qualities and sublime characteristics, as well as high moral standards. It was a family which claimed as its members great Prophets like Abraham and Ishmael alayhis salam (AS: peace be upon them). Such is written in the book of Genesis: “And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, and Mishma, and Du’mah, and Mas’sa, Ha’dar, and Te’ma, Je’tur, Na’phish, and Ked’emah: These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are the their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.” [25:13-16]
Muhammad (S) was born in the holy city of Makkah, the most ancient of cities, tracing its origin to the first man, Adam. In this city is also the oldest sanctuary for mankind, the Ka’bah (Qur’an 3:96), whose trusteeship belonged to his forefathers, since the time of Ishmael. He was, therefore, brought in eminently pious surroundings, had immediate ancestors solemnly exalted in their character and none shall be able to surpass the glory, honor, nobility and eminence of his descendants.
Thus ages succeeded ages, till Allah desired to bring the teachings of His religion to the final and highest degree through His last messenger, Muhammad (S). This is mentioned in Surah al-Ma’idah: “This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you as religion [Din] AL-ISLAM.” [Qur’an 5:3]
Allah had made every one of His prophets to accept the leadership and greatness of this chosen Apostle and to predict his time and mission and this they did unfailingly. This was clearly in conformity with the prophetic covenant which is mentioned in the Qur’an: “When Allah made (His) covenant with the Prophets, (He said): Behold that which I have given you of the Scripture and knowledge. And afterwards there will come unto you a messenger, confirming that which ye possess. You shall believe in him and you shall help him. He said: Do you agree, and will you take up My burden (which I lay upon you) in this (matter)? They answered: We agree. He said: Then bear you witness. I will be a witness with you.” [3:81]
The second half of the 6th century C.E. was crying out for a new prophet to come in the world. Unlike other prophets of old, his message, however, could not have been limited to just one community, but must be universal in order to be the source of learning and fountain-head of knowledge, to be the Divine light to illuminate the darkness of ignorance. Among the Unitarian Christians, who settled in the Arabian peninsula, far from the zone of influence of the corrupt Trinitarian church, the expectation was too high for an Arab prophet, an Ishmaelite, to appear from the south. He would be the fulfillment of the good news propagated by Jesus through his true disciples:
“As for me, I am now come to the world to prepare the way for the Messenger of God, who shall bring salvation to the world. ... He will not come at your time, but will come some years after you, when my gospel shall be annulled, insomuch that there shall be scarcely thirty faithful. At that time God will have mercy on the world, and so He will send His messenger, over whose head will rest a white cloud, whereby he shall be known of one elect of God, and shall be by Him manifested to the world.” [Gospel of Barnabas: 72]
“I am not the messiah whom all the tribes of earth expect, even as God promised to our father Abraham saying: “In thy seed will I bless all the tribes of the earth.” But when God shall take me away from the world, Satan will raise again this accursed sedition, by making the impious believe that I am God and son of God, whence my worlds and my doctrines shall be contaminated, insomuch that scarcely shall there remain thirty faithful ones: whereupon God will have mercy upon the world, and will send His messenger for whom He hath made all things; who shall come from the south with power, and shall destroy idols with the idolaters, who shall take dominion from Satan which he hath over men. ...The name of the Messiah is admirable, for God Himself gave him the name when He had created his soul, and placed it in celestial splendor. God said: ‘Wait Muhammad; for thy sake I will to create paradise, the world, and a great multitude of creatures, whereof I make thee a present, insomuch that whoso shall bless thee shall be blessed, and whoso shall curse thee shall be accursed. When I shall send thee into the world as My messenger of salvation, and thy word shall be true, insomuch that heaven and earth shall fail, but thy faith shall never fail. Muhammad is his blessed name.” [GB: 96, 97]
As for the Diaspora Jews, their expectation was even greater, for they have not found the qualities of Moses in Jesus, and have, therefore, rejected his message altogether. Their Rabbis and other wise men assured them that the coming of the awaited Messiah was imminent; many of the predicted signs of his coming had already been fulfilled; and he would, of course, be a Jew, for they were the chosen people, and God’s mercy was locked up among them. The expected Messiah would be like Moses, for that is what the Book of Deuteronomy said: “And I will raise them up a Prophet amongst 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.” [18:18]
Among them, especially the Levites, Arabia had to be the place for the emergence of this Messiah, for so foretold Moses (AS) in the Book of Deuteronomy.: “The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.” (33:2) [Note: Paran is the valley of Makkah in Arabia.]
Similarly, the Prophet Isaiah (AS) said: “The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim. The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled. For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. For thus hath the Lord said unto me, within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fall; and the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken it.” [Isa. 21:13-17]
So, according to the Jewish Bible, the Messiah ought to appear in the valley of Paran (Makkah), and later flee from the drawn sword of the children of Kedar who had settled there, and take refuge in the land of Tema (Tayba or Madinah) where its people would become his helpers. The Messiah ought to be powerful like Moses who would defeat his enemies, for the Book of Isaiah again says so: “Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness of and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare His praise in the islands. The lord shall go forth as mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.” [42:10-13]
With that very expectation, a large group of Levites had already settled in Yathrib (Madinah) in the land of Tema, who would warn their Arab neighbors that soon with the coming of the Messiah among them, they would have upper hand and rule over the entire territory between the Nile to the Euphrates as was promised to their father Abraham in the Book of Genesis: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” [15:18]
It was there in the valley of Faran in Arabia, south of Jerusalem - the ancestral home of the Children of Israel - that Muhammad (S) was born on the 12th day of the Arabic lunar month - Rabiul Awal in 53 B.H (before Hijri - the Muslim calendar). The year was popularly known among the polytheist Arabs as the Year of the Elephant. And this is exactly what the Hindu scripture, Kalki Purana, had predicted about the birth-date of this last avatar, whom they call Kalki: “When the extremely handsome-looking child, Kalki [the last Prophet or avatar] was born on the 12th day of the Shukla Paksiya (first half of the lunar month) of Baishakh, his paternal family members were delighted.” [From the narratives of his Companions, it is clear that Muhammad (S) indeed was a very handsome man, whose face was brighter than the full moon.]
Before the child was born, his father, Abdullah, had died, and his mother, Amina, had already seen extra-ordinary dreams depicting that the child she was carrying in her womb was a holy one of Allah and that through him the ungodly worldly powers of the Byzantines and Persians would be toppled. A voice said to her: “Thou carriest in thy womb the lord of this people; and when he is born say: ‘I place him beneath the protection of the One, from the evil of every envier’; then name him Muhammad.” [Muhammad: His life based on original sources by Dr. Martin Lings] After the child was born, his mother accordingly named him Muhammad (meaning: praiseworthy or admirable). He was also called Ahmad (meaning: highly praised or one who constantly thanks/praises God). When you think about the fact that no human being, Arab or non-Arab, prior to his time, was ever named Muhammad or Ahmad, this choice of his name by his guardians is a miracle in itself. This is especially important given the fact that the Hindu scripture, Samaveda, foretold the name of this Prophet in the following manner: “The messenger whose name will begin with the letter ‘M’ and end with the letter ‘D’ and who will again legalize the eating of beef for all time to come, is the Rishi [Prophet] in accordance with God’s Law [Veda].”
Not only that, the identity of this messenger of God is more clearly mentioned in the Allo Upanishad [6th Sukta]: “Muhammad is Allah’s Rasul and is the best of all.” The same is again mentioned in the 9th Sukta and the Bhavishya Purana: “..... After Muhammad there will not be any new Messenger (of God).”
The Jewish Bible in its Book of Haggai does not fall behind this prediction either: “And I will shake all nations, and the Ahmad [Himdah] of all nations will come; and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts.” [2:7] [Note: In the popular KJV of the Bible, the Hebrew word Himdah or the Aramaic word Himada was translated as the “desire”. The Bible contains several such irresponsible editing/translations of names throughout its pages.]
When Muhammad (S) was born, his mother was too sick to care for him. As per custom of all the great families, he was raised in the desert by a Bedouin family, to be sucked and weaned, and spend part of his childhood. Even as a child, he was extremely lovely, had a very shining face and had the noblest disposition. Shortly after the weaning was over, his mother died, and he became an orphan at the tender age of six, and came under the supervision of his loving grandfather Abdul Muttalib, the custodian of the Ka’bah. At the age of nine, he lost him, too, and came to be reared by his uncle Abi Talib. In the best of prophetic traditions, the boy Muhammad tended to Abi Talib’s cattle in the valley and hills above Makkah, and never attended school.
At the age of twelve, Muhammad (S) accompanied his uncle on a business trip to Syria. On their way, they stopped near a Christian monastery at Bostra, where a monk by the name of Bahira lived. He was possibly a sophi, initiated in esoteric knowledge of recognizing the Mustapha (Heb. Mustaphi), the Elect, through one of his predecessors who traced their teachings to one of the true disciples of Jesus (possibly Shimon as-Safa or Simon Peter). The tradition must have been similar to what was practiced among the sophis of the Jewish Misphas, whose duty also lied in filtering the genuine Mustaphi from the false prophets. [Muhammad in the Bible by Prof. Abdul Ahad Dawud] What really surprised Bahira was to notice that whenever this caravan moved a small low-hanging cloud moved slowly above their heads to provide shade from the scorching heat. When the caravan stopped, the cloud ceased to move. He invited the caravan and inquired about the boy Muhammad (S). One glance at the boy’s face and his manners plus a look at the seal of prophethood between the shoulder blades convinced him that this was that last Prophet for whom he had been awaiting so long. Then he turned to Abi Talib and confirmed with him that the boy must have been an orphan for so was the sign he was informed about this prophet. Before the caravan set off, he advised Abi Talib to be extra careful about the boy and to guard him against the Jews, for if they know what he just came to know, they would try to harm him.
As a young man, Muhammad (S) never worshipped idols. He had the most exalted personality. His politeness, sincerity and character was sublime and nobody could excel his generosity. To support the cause of the downtrodden in his society, he formed a social welfare society, called Hilful Fadl. In his early twenties, he had already earned the title al-Amin (meaning: the Reliable, the Trustworthy, the Honest one), and this was owing to the reports of those who had entrusted their goods or merchandise to him on various occasions.
Khadija bint Khuwaylid, a rich widow, had heard about his honesty and decided to employ him to take her merchandise to Syria. As a companion, Maysarah, a young lad, was to accompany Muhammad (S) in this business trip. When the two reached Bostra, a new monk, named Nestor, had replaced Bahira. Nestor too observed something unusual about the young man Muhammad (S), just what his predecessor had noticed before. When Muhammad (S) would approach any tree, it seemed like the branches were trying to bend down to pay homage to him. And this he noticed very carefully. When Muhammad (S) rested beneath a tree, Nestor inquired about him from Maysarah, and told the latter that “None but a prophet is sitting beneath that tree.” That did not greatly surprise Maysarah, for he had his own proofs. He had already noticed that the summer heat was strangely unoppressive, and one day towards noon he had a clear vision of two angels shading Muhammad from the sun’s rays.
At the age of twenty five, Muhammad (S) married Khadija, who was fifteen years older than he. It was not long thereafter that Muhammad (S) would often retire himself in a cavern and meditate. When he reached the age of forty, one day during the month of Ramadhan there came to him an angel in the form of a man. The angel said to him: “Recite!” and he said: “I am not a reciter,” for he was an Ummi [unlettered person]. Then the angel embraced him hard and released him. Thereafter, the angel again said: “Recite!” And he said the same thing as before, then angel again embraced him. After the third time, Muhammad (S) now could recite the first five verses of the Surah al-Alaq (Qur’an). And that was the beginning of this prophetic revelation which continued until he died at the age of sixty three. The Kalki Purana mentions this incident as follows: “An angel, appearing in the shape of a human being, will appear to him in the mountain and will announce: I shall teach you; you should accept me as one who brings religious teachings to you.”
This incident was also the fulfillment of the Mosaic prophecy about the Prophet in Deut. 18:18. The Qur’an rightly says: “Say (O Muhammad): it is not for me to change it of my own accord. I only follow that which is inspired in me. Lo! if I disobey my Lord I fear the retribution of an awful Day.” [Surah Yunus 10:15] Also in Surah an-Najm, Allah says: “Nor doth he (Muhammad) speak of (his own) desire. It is naught save an inspiration that is inspired, which one of mighty powers hath taught him.” [Qur’an 53:5] The Qur’an further testifies to his prophethood by saying: “Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong.” [7:157]
Muhammad (S) had four great companions, who later became the first four the rightly guided Caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rashidoon). They were - Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali (RA). The Bhabishya Purana writes: “Then there would be four disciples of this great prophet. All of them will be greater than the saints of the forest.”
Before his migration to the land of Tema, one night Muhammad (S) was taken by the angel Jibril (Gabriel) to the far distant mosque Bait-al Aqsa in Jerusalem where he led prayer service of all the prophets, and thus sanctifying the otherwise desecrated place of worship, which was already in its ruins, thanks to Roman destruction of the Temple under Titus. From there, he was taken on his heavenly journey to the far distant place: Sidratul Muntaha and beyond that when the five daily prayers were commissioned on his followers. This nightly journey is mentioned in the Qur’an: “Glorified be He who carried His servant by night from the Masjidil Haram (Ka’bah) to the Masjidil Aqsa (the Far distant mosque in Jerusalem) the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer.” (Surah Bani Israel 17: 1)
This Isra also fulfilled the prophetic tradition of the Book of Malachi: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: And the Adonai (lord) whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the YHWH Sabaoth (Lord of the Hosts).” (3:1) The Adon mentioned here is none but Muhammad (S) who came suddenly to visit God’s temple in Jerusalem and later punished the Levites for their arrogance and rejection of truth, as foretold in the verse number 3. [For details on this subject: consult Rev. David Benjamin Keldani’s book - Muhammad in the Bible.]
After thirteen years of preaching, when it became unbearable to live any longer in Makkah, Muhammad (S) left for Yathrib, soon to be named the city of the Prophet, Madinatun-Nabi (abbr. Madinah). Islam is about people, and no people has ever become civilized without the historical necessity of going through migration, so very wisely the Muslim calendar begins with the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (S). This migration or Hijra fulfilled the prediction in the book of Isaiah (21:13-17). Shortly, thereafter, the battle of Badr took place, when the Muslim army aided by the newly converts from the children of Tema – the Ansars of Madinah - crushed the war-lords of Kedar – the Qurayshites of Makkah, thus again fulfilling the Biblical prediction. Several Jews and Christians, recognizing the Prophethood of Muhammad, became his followers.
The Hindu scripture, Atharva Veda, rightly predicts the scenario of Muhammad’s (S) migration from nearly 60,000 opposing Makkan polytheists: “O people, listen this emphatically! The man of praise (Muhammad) will be raised among the people. We take the emigrant in our shelter from sixty thousand and ninety enemies whose conveyances are twenty camels and she camels, whose loftiness of position touches the heaven and lowers it.” (Kanda 20, Sukta 127, Mantra 1-3)
In the adjoining territories of Persia, there was a truth-searching man, Salman al-Farisi, who had undergone severe trials for his search for the truth. In a Christian monastery, where he became a convert, he was told by the old priest that the time for a Prophet to appear in Arabia was very imminent. As a slave, Salman landed in a Jewish slave-owner’s home in Madinah. When he learnt about the immigration of the Prophet, he went to see him and testified that Muhammad (S) was indeed the Messenger of God.
There was a Jew who accused Muhammad (S) that he had lent him some money and that he wants to get it back right then and there. However, the Prophet (S) did not have the money to pay him off. The man waited on him inside the mosque and started harassing him. Seeing this, some of the Companions became very agitated but Muhammad (S) prevented them from doing any harm to his guest. Muhammad (S) was so calm and generous that he truly epitomized patience and was a mercy to all nations. After harassing for several long hours, the Jew eventually testified that Muhammad (S) was the prophet prophesied in the Book of Isaiah: “Behold My servant, (Abduh) whom I uphold; mine elect (Mustafa), in whom My soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgement unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgments in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out.” [Isaiah 42:1-5]
Muhammad (S), through his 65 battles brought justice to the gentiles. The land between the Nile and the Euphrates was brought under Islamic law, thus fulfilling the promise of God in the Book of Genesis 15:18. He punished the Levites and other Jews living around Madinah for their betrayal and wars of treason. When Muhammad (S) marched to Makkah, he was accompanied by 10,000 companions, each a saint and Makkah was conquered from the gentiles of Kedar without a fight. The Ka’bah, God’s oldest altar, was cleansed of all signs of polytheism and Hajj, with its universal gathering for praising the Lord and carrying out the Abrahamic rituals, was reintroduced in its pristine sanctity, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Deut. 33:2 (mentioned earlier) and Isa. 60:7: “All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nabaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance of Mine altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory.” The New Testament book of Jude, likewise, mentions: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” No prophet fits this description other than Muhammad (S). After the Conquest of Makkah, he forgave all his bitter enemies, who had tried to kill him, who had displaced him from his ancestral home and had fought him so bitterly. That is why the Qur’an says he was a Rahmatal-lil-Alameen (meaning: mercy to the universe). [21:107]
Bhavishya Purana mentions that Raja Bhoj went to meet Muhammad (S) and uttered words of praise for him: “Just then an illiterate man with the epithet teacher, Mohamad by name, came along with his companions. Raja to that Great Deva [prophet], the denizen of the desert, purifying with the Ganges water with five things of cow offered sandal wood and paid homage to him: O denizen of the desert and lord of Holies! to thee is my adoration. O, thou who hast found many ways and means to destroy all the devils of the world. O pure one from among the illiterates, O sinless one, the spirit of truth, and absolute master, to thee is my adoration. Accept me at thy feet.” [Parv 3, Khand 3, Adhya 3, Shalok 5-8]
Mention should also be made about the death-bed instruction of Prophet Jacob (Yaqub alayhis salam) unto his sons, as mentioned in the Book of Genesis: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh [Shilu Yah in Arabic means Rasulullah] come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (49:10) The verse says that the chain of prophethood will not leave Judah’s family until the coming of Shiloh, who must, therefore, be an outsider, and with his appearance such privilege will be taken away from them, and people from then onward will gather around the Shiloh, i.e., Muhammad Rasulullah (Messenger of God). [Note: no prophet has ever been so popularized with the title Rasulullah as Muhammad (S) was. Further as a proof that this messianic verse meant Muhammad (S), Jesus’s own rejection of being the Messiah is clear from the Gospel of Matthew 22:41-46 where Jesus said how could Christ (Messiah) be Son of David when David himself called him as his Adon (lord) in Psalms 110:1? If Adon were to be his descendant, a term like son would have been more appropriate; no one talks about his posterity as his lord.]
Dasatir, no. 14, the Parsi scripture, foretold that: “When the Persians should sink so low in morality, a man will be born in Arabia whose followers will upset their throne, religion and everything. The mighty stiff-necked ones of Persia will be overpowered. The House [Ka’bah] which was built and in which many idols have been placed will be purged of idols, and people will say their prayers facing it. His followers will capture the towns of the Parsis and Taus and Balkh and other big places round about. People will embroil with one another. The wise men of Persia and others will join his followers.” This prophecy materialized in full. With the coming of Muhammad (S), the Ka’bah was cleansed of idols, people faced it during their prayers; the Persians were defeated in the battle of Qadisiya under Muslim general Sa’d ibn Waqqas (RA), shortly after Muhammad’s (S) death, during Caliph Umar’s (RA) reign, and the Persians embraced Islam in large numbers.
The Parsi scripture, Zend Avesta, even mentions the name of our Prophet (S): “Noid to Ahmad dragoyeitim from roomi Spetame Zarathustra your dahman ranguim afritim. Yunad hake hahi humanaghad Hvakanghad Hushyanthand Hudaenad.” (Part 1, tr. Max Muller, p. 260) Meaning: I am declaring that, O Spetame Zarathustra, surely the holy Ahmad will appear, from whom you will learn virtuous teachings and deeds, and pure religion.
There are numerous other verses in all these scriptures which could be cited to show that Muhammad (S) was foretold by other Prophets that preceded him. Interested readers may consult the following books:
1. Muhammad in the Bible by Abdul-Ahad Dawud (formerly Rev. David Benjamin Keldani); http://www.muslimbase.com/product_info.php?products_id=223
2. Muhammad – the Last Messenger in the Bible by Kais al-Kalby; http://www.amazon.com/Prophet-Muhammad-Last-Messenger-Bible/dp/0963852027/ref=cm_pdp_review_teaser_product
3. Muhammad in World Scriptures by Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi; http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-World-Scriptures-Maulana-Vidyarthi/dp/0913321591 .
4. Kalki Avtar Aur Muhammad Sahib by Dr.Ved Prakash Upadhyay; Ved o Purane Hajrat Muhammad (Muhammad in the Vedas and Puranas) by Dr. Ved Prakash Upadhaya, tr. Into Bengali by Prof. Asit Kumar Banerjee. Distributed by: Madrasa Publication Center, 75/1/1 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kolkata 700009, India, ISBN 983-065-061-8; (see also., http://www.gupistan.com/gs/archive/index.php/t-41316.html; http://www.islamicvoice.com/november.97/OURD.HTM#KAL).
5. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the Bible by Dr. Zakir Naik: http://www.islam101.com/religions/christianity/mBible.htm; Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Hindu Scriptures by Dr. Zakir Naik: http://www.islam101.com/religions/hinduism/Mhs.htm.
6. THE LAST PROPHET AND THE QUR’AN IN PREVIOUSLY REVEALED SCRIPTURES by Dr. Z. Haq: http://www.cyberistan.org/islamic/comparekjv.html
*[This part is extracted from author’s original lecture – Prophet Muhammad (S) in World Scriptures - in Philadelphia, February 18, 1995]
(to be concluded next)
[About the author: Dr. Habib Siddiqui has authored seven books. His latest book: The Counsel – is now available in Malaysia from the Islamic Book Trust.]