By Faten Sabri
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. (Al-A`raf 7:157)
“When John the Baptist came, they asked him if he was Christ and he said, ‘I am not the Christ.’ They asked him if he was Elijah, and he said, ‘I am not.’ Then, in apparent reference to Deuteronomy 18:18, they asked him, ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’” (John 1:19-21)
The Israelites were still awaiting the Prophet prophesied in Deuteronomy.
“I will raise up for them a Prophet like you (like Moses) from among their brothers, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18)
From this verse, it is clearly understood that it refers to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Moses and Muhammad both brought new covenants to the people of the time. Jesus did not bring any new covenant, but he came to affirm and testify existing laws brought by Moses as he (Jesus) himself says: “Think not that I am come to destroy the laws, or the Prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Mathews 5:17)
– Both Moses and Muhammad died natural death.
– Both Moses and Muhammad finally attained leadership and authority over their society.
The verse says “from among their brothers.” Ishmael and Isaac are sons of the same father, Prophet Abraham; so they are brothers.
Therefore, the children of one are “brothers” to the children of the other. The children of Jacob (son of Isaac) are Jews and the children of Ishmael -who are Arabs- are their “brothers”. The Bible affirms this: “And he (Ishmael) died in the presence of all his brothers.” (Genesis 25:18)
And the Bible affirms as well that the Prophecy will be to a Prophet from Arabs not from the Israelites. “There has never been another Prophet in Israel like Moses, ….” (Deuteronomy 34:10)
The verse goes on: “and I will put my words into his mouth.” Not even one Qur’anic verse is a word of Muhammad. They are words which he heard through Angel Gabriel and repeated word for word. None of them are his words. He merely repeated what “was put into his mouth.” “Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”” (Isaiah 29:12) (1)
As known by every one that Prophet Muhammad was unlettered and when he was asked by Angel Gabriel to read, he said: I cannot read.
After the denial of the last Israelite Prophet (Jesus), the time came for God’s promise to make Ishmael a great nation to be fulfilled.
“And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers and I will make him into a great nation. (Genesis 17:20)
Jesus confirms the shifting of the religious leadership to the Arabs.
“Jesus said: ‘Therefore I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you (Israelites) and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’” (Matthew 21:43)
And Jesus confirms as well the Prophecy of Prophet Muhammad.
“Jesus said: ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (Paraclete), that he may be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.’” (John 14:16)
According to Christianity, the Paraclete or Comforter mentioned by Jesus in this verse is the Holy Spirit – the third person of the Trinity. However Muslims believe this Prophecy is about Prophet Muhammad.
There has always been a controversy regarding the word “Paraclete” in the Bible. It was argued that the “Paraklytos” in the Greek Bible was originally “Periklytos” and it was changed during the translation from Syriac to Greek. In Greek the word “Paraclete” has two meanings:
– A comforter, advocate, helper: Paraklytos (παρακλητος), as believed by Christians. This is based on a pronunciation which includes the “a” vowel sound. – Muhammad or Ahmad (The praised one): Periklytos (Περικλητος), as believed by Muslims. This pronunciation is without using the “a” vowel sound. In addition to the fact that the second meaning has more evidence to support it, the meaning of both applies to Prophet Muhammad. Some evidences are mentioned below:
1- It has been proven that the Syriac language did not contain vowels until the fifth century. It consisted of consonants only and vowels were introduced after the fifth century through a system of dots above or below the letters to indicate the vowel sounds. To pronounce the sound “a” specifically a dot was placed above and below the letter. This was transliterated as a or ă (called ܦܬ݂ܵܚܵܐ, Pṯāḥā in Syriac language). (2)
We can conclude that the Syriac pronunciation did not include the “a” sound and that the addition of an ‘a’ was a translation error (to accommodate Greek language requirements or to hide the truth of the Prophecy of Prophet Muhammad). Thus this word, Paraclete, points to the second meaning, i.e. Ahmad or Muhammad (The praised one).
2- The literal translation of the word comforter in the Greek language is “Parakalon” or “Parygorytys.” These two words are both used in different positions in the Bible with different meanings. Therefore “Periklytos” must have a unique meaning.
3- In addition, the “s” at the end of the word is usually denotes the Proper name of a single masculine person, not an adjective in the Greek language.
4- By analyzing the Quran and Bible verses the reference to the Prophecy of Muhammad can be further supported.
And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic. (As-Saff 61:6)
The Paraclete is a man
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false Prophets are gone out into the world.” (John 4:1)
The word “spirit” can be applied on human beings. According to history, many earlier Christians understood that the “Paraclete” is a man and not a spirit. Many men before Prophet Muhammad claimed that they were the expected “Paraclete.” The king of Abyssinia, Negus, in the pre-Islamic era, was a Christian waiting for the arrival of the “Paraclete.”
The Paraclete speaks what he hears
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things ever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come.” (John 16:13)
In fact, this is a description of a Prophet, not of God. A Prophet speaks what he hears from God. This is proof that the verses are not referring to the third person in the Trinity (as believed by Christians), but rather to Prophet that shall be sent from God. (And he shall declare unto you the things that are to come), as did Prophet Muhammad . The victory of the Romans after they were vanquished by the Persians is an example. This was mentioned in the Quran.
“The Byzantines have been defeated, in the lowest land. But they, after their defeat, will overcome. Within three to nine years. To Allah belongs the command before and after. And that day the believers will rejoice. In the victory of. He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.” (Ar-Rum 30: 2-5)
This verse talks about the defeat of the Byzantines by the Persians at the Battle of Antioch. Muslims were promised that the defeat of the Byzantines will be reversed into victory “in a few years’ time, the Byzantines were Christians and considered as followers of a divine religion so their victory was important to Muslims. The Persians were considered duelists as their religion was Zoroastrianism. The battle took place in the area around the Dead Sea, (located in the Jordan Rift Valley), The fact most interesting which has been discovered recently, through satellites and the modern day technology, is that the area around the Dead Sea has the lowest altitude on Earth. (3) This is a true miracle of the Qur’an because no-one could have known or foreseen such a fact in the 7th century due to the fact that satellites and modern day technology were not available at the time. The only possible explanation is that Prophet Muhammad had truly received divine revelation from God, The Creator and Originator of the universe.
Around 7 years after the revelation of the Quranic verse, a decisive battle between The Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire took place and the Persians army was defeated by the Byzantines this time surprisingly. Therefore the victory of the Romans promised by God in the Qur’an miraculously came true.
The Paraclete convicts the world
“And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:8)
The Quran convicted the Jews because they didn’t believe in Jesus Christ as a Prophet sent from God and convicted the Christians because they considered Jesus as God and adopted the concept of the Trinity as a faith: which is a sin as well, as Jesus never claimed to be God or a begotten son of God. When Jesus referred to himself as son of God in the Bible he made it clear that he is not a begotten son, but that figuratively we are all children of God.
“I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.” (John 20:17)
According to the Bible in Acts (the Pentecost), when the Holy Spirit descended to the disciples, he made the disciples speak many languages, but did not convict the world or preach about Jesus.
If the intended meaning of this verse is that the Holy Spirit would convince the disbelievers, there would have been no need for missionaries to preach Christianity and defend it since the Holy Spirit already did this job.
The Paraclete comes after the departure of Jesus
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter (Paraclete), will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7)
This cannot be a reference to the Holy Spirit (Angel Gabriel according to Muslims) as he was already present. The Holy Spirit came to Mary (Luke 1:35) and Simon (Luke 2:25) as well as other incidents according to the Bible. However, Muhammad wasn’t present, thus the verse makes sense as the coming of Muhammad was after Jesus went away.
The Paraclete guides to the truth
“But the Comforter (Paraclete), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.” (John 14:26)
This applies to Prophet Muhammad as he taught his followers what to believe, what to do and what not to do through what God revealed to him. Prophet Muhammad taught his followers the Qur’an. He also reminded them of what Jesus said.
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Mark 12:29)
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ (Mathew 4:10)
Prophet Muhammad reminded the world of the pure faith (belief in one God and unifying Him in worship), as preached by Jesus Christ.
“Say, I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.” (Al-Kahf 18:110)
The Paraclete glorifies Jesus
“He will glorify me,..” (John 16:14)
Muhammad respected and glorified Jesus Christ:
1- Prophet Muhammad said: “I am most worthy of Jesus son of Mary among of mankind in the world, and in the next life. They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, how that?’ He replied: ‘Prophets are brothers in faith, having different mothers, their religion is one and there is no Prophet between us (between Jesus Christ and me).’”
2- The name of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than the name of Prophet Muhammad in the Quran (25 times vs. 4).
3- The mother of Jesus Christ, Mary, has been elevated over all women according to the Quran.
4- The Virgin Mary is the only lady mentioned by name in the Qur’an.
5- The Quran has a full chapter called after the Virgin Mary.
6- Prophet Muhammad tells that his mother could not get salvation while the mother of Jesus Christ could, he instructed us to respect and love her and follow her by worshipping God like what she did, but not worship her or worship her son, Jesus Christ, the Prophet of God.
“You cannot bear it now.” Jesus told his disciples that they cannot bear the truth now. Prophet Muhammad brought the truth about Jesus Christ and God. He was given the Quran which is preserved from any change by God till the Day of Judgment; a testament to the truth forever.
I bear witness that there is no god but one God (Allah), that He has no partner or son, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His final messenger. I bear witness that Jesus Christ and Moses are His servants and His messengers.
1- “So they knew that what Isaiah said was a vision and prophecy, but the meaning of it was hidden from them; it was only a sound of words to them. “Commentary on Isaiah 29 by Matthew Henry. He is best known for the six-volume biblical commentary Exposition of the Old and New Testaments. http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1029.htm
2- Dr. Ahmad Hijazi Saqa, Hidayat Al-Haiara.
About the Author:
Faten Sabri (1973-) is a modern Jordanian Muslim thinker. She is well known for her frequent interaction with various cultures, religions and she speaks different languages. She studied comparative religions which made her able to discuss the controversial issues about Islam with the truth seekers and free thinkers.She wrote books about the message of Islam, the original concept of God and Jesus Christ in Islam and she has monthly articles in an international magazines. These books and articles were translated and distributed in more than 9 languages.