Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:41; Part-2)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
Biblical Prophecies on the Advent of Prophet Mohammad (SAW)
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَآمِنُوا بِمَا أَنزَلْتُ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ وَلَا تَكُونُوا أَوَّلَ كَافِرٍ بِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا وَإِيَّايَ فَاتَّقُونِ ﴿٤١﴾ وَلَا تَلْبِسُوا الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُوا الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٤٢﴾
Translation: And believe in what I have revealed, confirming the scriptures which is with you, and do not be the first to reject it. Do not trade my revelation for a small price; and be conscious of Me alone. And do not mix truth with falsehood, and do not conceal the truth while you know.
Commentary: The Quran asserts that the sacred scriptures of the Taurat (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel) had prophesied the advent of the prophet of Islam. In particular, his characteristics and legitimacy were written down in the scriptures, which were in the possession of the Children of Israel at the time of the Prophet:
الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِندَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنجِيلِ
Those who follow the Apostle-Prophet, the Ummi [the untaught prophet by mankind], whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel
Prophet Isa (Jesus) prophesied the coming of the prophet of Islam by his name, known as Ahmed, to the Children of Israel:
وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّـهِ إِلَيْكُم مُّصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ ۖ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالُوا هَـٰذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٦﴾
And when Jesus son of Mary said, “O Children of Israel! Indeed I am the apostle of Allah to you, to confirm what is before me of the Torah, and to give the good news of an apostle who will come after me, whose name is Ahmad.’ But when he (the Prophet) brought them manifest proofs, they said, ‘This is plain magic.”
Islamic scholars had endeavored to find citations in the current sacred scriptures which could affirm biblical prophecies of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theology. Of course, many articles and books have been written by Islamic scholars on this subject matter. In this essay, the two most cited references are presented.
Citation-I, The Book of Deuteronomy; Chapter 18, Verse 18: Allah (SWT) tells Prophet Musa (AS):
“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 prophecy states two distinct signs:
He would be like Prophet Musa
He would be from the brethren of Israelites
The above criteria exclusively match the characteristics of Prophet Mohammad (SAW). After Prophet Musa, he is the only prophet who brought a new Book called the “Quran” and the only prophet from the brethren of the Israelites. The following two points substantiates our claim:
Point 1: One of the characteristics of Prophet Musa was that he brought new laws and regulations for his people. None of the biblical prophets who came after Prophet Musa brought new laws, nor claimed that they were like Prophet Musa. Even Prophet Isa (Jesus), according to the Bible, came only to fulfill the law of Prophet Musa (Mathew 5:17-18). In addition, Prophet Musa, like Prophet Mohammad (SAW), was born to a father and a mother, whereas Prophet Isa was born only to a mother.
Point 2: Prophet Mohammed (SAW) is a descendent of Prophet Ismael, who is from among brethren to the Children of Israel. In contrast, none of the other Biblical prophets from the Children of Israel arose from among “their brethren”.
Prophet Abraham had two sons: Ismael (Ishmael) and Ishaq (Isaac). The Children of Israel were descendants of Prophet Ishaq (Isaac), and Prophet Mohammad (SAW) was a descendent of Prophet Ismael (Ishmael). Thus, Prophet Mohammad (SAW) was from the brethren of Israelites.
Citation-2, The name of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) in the New Testament: The Gospel of John in 14:16 (Chapter 14, verse 16), 15:26 and 16:7 prophesied comings of “the Comforter.” In John, chapter 16 verse 7, Prophet Isa (Jesus) said:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you”
The Quran quotes Prophet Isa for the coming of “Ahmed”: the praised one. There is a big difference between the terms of “the praised one” and “the comforter”. This could arguably be due to varying translations from the original Greek text.
In the Bible, the word “Comforter” is a translation of the Greek word “Paracletos”. There is also another Greek word, “Periclytos,” which is synonymous to the “Ahmed”, the praised one. There is a debate between Muslim and Biblical scholars regarding the literatures, specifically whether “Periclytos” had been replaced with “Paracletos” during early translations of the Bible from the Aramaic language, Prophet Isa’s (Jesus) native language, to the Greek language. Unfortunately, there is no ancient textual evidence to support whether the original utterance of Jesus was “Periclytos” or “Paracletos”.
Regardless of word choice, the Bible prophesized the coming of an identity called “the Comforter” which would come after Prophet Isa (AS). Christian scholars have interpreted that “the Comforter” is the Holy Ghost. However, this interpretation contradicts the Bible itself, which asserts that the Holy Ghost existed before and during the time of Prophet Isa [Luke 3:21, 22].
Finally, the Islamic opinion holds that the identity, whether we call it “the Comforter” or “the Praised one”, is considered to be the last divine messenger, who Allah (SWT) called “the mercy to the universe”.