According to the Bible, God said to Moses, on whom be peace: I will raise up for them a prophet like you from amongtheir brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. (The Holy Bible, New International Version, Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 18). The prophet described in the above verse must have the following three characteristics:
1. He will be like Moses.
2. He will come from the brothers of the Israelites, i.e. the Ishmaelites.
3. God will put His words in the mouth of the prophet and he will declare what God commanded him. Let us see which prophet God was speaking of.
1. The prophet like Moses Some people feel that this prophecy refers to the prophet Jesus, on whom be peace. But,although Jesus (peace be upon him and all of God’s prophets and messengers) was truly a prophet of God, he is not the prophet spoken of here. He was born miraculously, and finally God raised him up miraculously. On the other hand, Muhammad is more like Moses; both were born in a natural way and both died natural deaths.
2. From among the Ishmaelites Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac (Genesis, chapter 21). Ishmael became the grandfather of the Arab nation. And Isaac became the grandfather of Jewish nation. The prophet spoken of was to come not from among the Jews themselves, but from among their brothers, the Ishmaelites. Muhammad a descendant of Ishmael, is indeed that prophet. 3. God will put his words in his mouth ‘Neither the content of the revelation, nor its form, were of Muhammad’s devising. Both were given by the angel, and Muhammad’s task was only to repeat what he heard.’ (Word Religions from Ancient history to the Present, by Geoffrey Parrinder, p. 472). God sent the angel Gabriel to teach Muhammad the exact words that he should repeat to the people. The words are therefore not his own; they did not come from his own thoughts, but were put into his mouth by the angel. These are written down in the Qur’an word for word, exactly as they came from God. Now that we know that prophet we must listen to him, for, according to the Bible, God says: ‘I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him’ (Good News Bible, Deut. 18:19). Jesus (on whom be peace) In the Glorious Qur’an The Qur’an tells us many wonderful things about Jesus. As a result, believers in the Qur’an love Jesus, honor him and believe in him. In fact, no Muslim can be a Muslim unless he or she believes in Jesus, on whom be peace. The Qur’an says that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he spoke while he was still only a baby, that he healed the blind and the leper by God’s leave and that he raised the dead by God’s leave. What then is the significance of these miracles? First, the virgin birth. God demonstrates His power to create in every way. God created everyone we know from a man and a woman. But how about Adam, on whom be peace? God created him from neither a man nor a woman. And Eve from only a man, without a woman. And finally, to complete the picture, God created Jesus from a woman, without a man. What about the other miracles? These were to show that Jesus was not acting on his own behalf, but that he was backed by God. The Qur’an specifies that these miracles were performed by God’s leave. This may be compared to the Book of Acts in the Bible, chapter 2, verse 22, where it says that the miracles were done by God to show that he approved of Jesus. Also, note that Jesus himself is recorded in the Gospel of John to have said: ‘I can do nothing of my own authority’ (5:30). The miracles, therefore, were done not by his own authority, but by God’s authority. What did Jesus teach? The Qur’an tells us that Jesus came to teach the same basic message which was taught by previous prophets from God – that we must shun every false god and worship only the One True God. Jesus taught that he is the servant and messenger of the One True God, the God of Abraham. These Qur’anic teachings can be compared with the Bible (Mark 10:18; Matthew 26:39; John 14:28, 17:3, and 20:17) where Jesus teaches that the one he worshipped is the only true God. See also Matthew 12:18; Acts 3:13, and 4:27 where we find that his disciples knew him as ‘Servant of God’. The Qur’an tells us that some of the Israelites rejected Jesus, and conspired to kill him, but God rescued Jesus and raised him to Himself. God will cause Jesus to descend again, at which time Jesus will confirm his true teachings and everyone will believe in him as he is and as the Qur’an teaches about him. Jesus is the Messiah. He is a word from God, and a spirit from Him. He is honored in this world and in the hereafter, and he is one of those brought nearest to God. Jesus was a man who spoke the truth which he heard from God. This can be compared with the Gospel According John where Jesus says to the Israelites: ‘You are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God’ (John 8:40).