I have had to write on this issue because of Kano-born Dr. Umar Idris, a graduate of the Universities of Ibadan and Lagos (080-3507-6426) and others who claim that the coming of Prophet Mohammed was predicted in a number of places in the Scriptures. This is not true, it is some Muslim scholars who deliberately interpreted and twisted stories and statements in the Bible to give the false impression and show that the coming of Prophet Mohammed (or Muhammad) was prophesied in the Christian Holy Book.
All the statements made by Prophets Moses, Isaiah and Habakkuk in the Old Testament were addressed to the Israelites and on matters relating to their ethnic group. They were not about the descendants of Ishmael, the Arabs, and the coming of Prophet Mohammed as Muslim scholars have turned them around to be.
The Holy Spirit or Helper Jesus Christ said he would send to his disciples and Christians in the Book of John are not a reference to Prophet Mohammed or the prediction of his coming. While the question, are you the prophet, which Jewish authorities in Jerusalem asked John the Baptist in John Chapter 1 verses 19 – 21 was about Prophet Isaiah, and not about Prophet Mohammed.
In this essay I am taking one – by – one the references Muslim scholars have used deceitfully as proofs of the foretelling of the coming of Prophet Mohammed. I start with Deuteronomy 18:18 the first of them. This is where God told Moses: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among 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.” This was about Prophet Joshua whom God raised to lead the Israelites to Canaan, the Promised Land, after Moses offended Him. I will later come to the details of this and the proof that Isaiah was the Prophet mentioned in John 1: 19-21.
It is not only the Muslims who claim that it was Prophet Mohammed that Prophet Moses was referring to in Deuteronomy 18:18. Christian scholars also assert that it was Jesus Christ. The difference between them is that the Muslims are more zealous and vociferous in their own campaign because they think they have incontestable evidence that it was Prophet Mohammed that Moses was talking of in Deuteronomy 18:18.
The first is that just as God used Moses to give the laws in the Bible to the Jews, Prophet Mohammed was the one He chose to bring the code of conduct for the Muslims in the Qur’an, while Jesus did not bring any law. Their second argument is that just as Moses led the Israelites to fight wars, so did Prophet Mohammed and that both had cause to migrate when there were plans to assassinate them. And that they were also prophet-messengers of God along with being statesmen and stammerers, all of which did not apply to Jesus.
Another issue was that Moses and Prophet Mohammed were born by a human father and mother, unlike Jesus Christ whose mother was made pregnant by the Holy Spirit and was called the Son of God. Their final point is that Jesus died by crucifixion (nailed on a cross), which was not the way Moses and Mohammed left the world and that, unlike Christ, they did not resurrect.
To prove their point that Prophet Mohammed was the person Moses made reference to in Deuteronomy 18:18 Muslim scholars sought refuge in two chapters in the Book of Genesis. The first is Chapter 16:12 where the angel of God told Hagar that her son Ishmael will be a wild man who would dwell in the presence of her brethren (King James Version). The second is Genesis 25:18 where Ishmael was said to have died in the presence of all his brethren.
Given these happenings, Muslim scholars say that when God in Deut. 18:18 told Moses that He would raise a Prophet for the Israelites among their brethren, that it is obvious that he was referring to a descendant of Ishmael. They said this is further buttressed by the fact that Prophet Mohammed had similar attributes as Moses.
But in this their presentation, Muslim scholars were just being clever by half. In Deuteronomy 18:18, Moses was telling the Israelites of the person God had chosen when they were on Mount Sinai that would lead them to the Promised Land, which he would not reach with them. This came about when the Israelites, because of their sufferings in the wilderness, started complaining and wished they had never left Egypt.
Consequently, God punished them and said, instead of 40 days, they would spend 40 years to reach the Promised Land (see Numbers Chapters 12, 13 and 14). When the Israelites got to the wilderness of Zin and camped at Kadesh where there was no water, they were angry again and complained bitterly. God told Moses to speak to a rock and that water would gush out for them to use.
But because the Israelites had upset him, Moses in annoyance struck the rock twice and a great stream of water rushed out. For not following the instruction He gave him the Heavenly Father was annoyed and told Moses, he and Aaron would not make it to the Promised Land (see Numbers 20: 1 – 13).
When the Israelites arrived in the Mount Abarim area, God told Moses to climb the hill to see the Promised Land that he would not lead the Israelites into. This was where, in his place, the Lord chose Joshua, the son of Nun, whose name was formerly Hosea (see Numbers 27: 12 – 23). See Numbers 13: 1 – 16 for the change of appellation.
The incidents that happened in the wilderness and the emergence of Joshua as his successor to lead the Israelites to Canaan were what Moses was recalling in Deuteronomy 18:18, when he talked about God sending a prophet to the Israelites. He eventually handed over to Joshua in Deuteronomy Chapter 31:1 – 8 with the report of his death coming up in Chapter 34:1 – 12.
From the factual stories I have narrated, it is clear that the claims of Christian and Muslim scholars that the coming of Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed were what Moses was announcing in Deut. 18:18 are patently false.
(To be continued next Wednesday)
appy Birthday To My Loved Ones
July is very special to me as a month in which very important and remarkable things have happened to me. It was in July 1975 that I first travelled to Europe, to Rome in Italy, to watch Catholic pilgrims. But Ghana was the first country I visited in 1961 when the members of the Geographical Society at Christ’s School, Ado – Ekiti, including Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, a former Minister of External Affairs (then in Upper 6), were there on excursion.
July was the month I married in 1978 and when a number of people in my family, friends or devoted readers of this column were born. In the order of the days they came into the world in the month, I begin with my long-time pal, Mr. Rasheed Aderibigbe, an indigene of Lagos Island (Agarawa Street) and a retired Deputy Director of the Federal Ministry of Environment, who was born on Saturday, July 1, 1944, and is 76 years old today. The same day his friend, Senator Olabode Olajumoke, was born. The two of them for some years now have been celebrating their birthday together.
More to come next week