Juma Khutba summary & video 24/01/20 Sh. Jaffer Ladak

In: Jum'a

Video here

In the Name of Allah, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful 
Prophet Jesus (a) in History Part 4: Where is the Prophet Muhammad (s) in the Bible?

In Part 1, we reviewed the Qur’anic verses which tell the Muslims that they have duties of care toward the Christian communities. In Part 2, we discussed how what a community knows of and remembers of past figures changes often with new information and social demands. In Part 3, we reviewed how the Gospels were compiled and how they leave a plethora of questions about their authenticity.

In this part we turn to the question of where the Prophet Muhammad (s) is mentioned or indicated to in Biblical scriptures. This is another important aspect of Muslim-Christian dialogue which allows co-religionists to explore each other’s holy books together and in good faith of the wider perspective of God’s purpose of revelation.

It is also necessary for the Muslim to know where the Prophet (s) is described in the Bible as part of the evidence of Islam, for this is something explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an, when it says, “Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel” (7:157).

Looking at the Bible today there appears no apparent mentioning of the Prophet (s) such as by name. We also know from evidence that the Bibles in circulation in the 7th Century at the time of the Prophet in Arabia are generally the same as the ones today. That means that it is unlikely that the Prophet’s (s) name was removed upon his announcement, as this would not have been possible to cover. 

Yet the Qur’an speaks at length about Tahreef or distortions of the previously revealed books: “Among the Jews are those who distort words from their [proper] usages” (4:46) and “Woe, then, to those who write out the Scriptures with their own hands and then, in order to make a trifling gain, claim: “This is from Allah.”’ (2:79)

This suggests then, two potentials: Either the distortions occurred between revelation and the announcement of the Prophet Muhammad (s) meaning removal of all clear descriptions, or distortions here means false interpretations, or a mixture of both.

In either case the Qur’an was revealed responding to the presence of these distortions, and yet still claimed the presence of the Prophet Muhammad (s) in those very same scriptures

Let us start by looking at one of the most prominent verses affirming the Prophet Muhammad (s) in Deuteronomy 18:18
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.” (Berean Study Bible translation) 

There appears four distinct parts to this verse:
1) There will be a Prophet from amongst the brothers of the Jews
2) This Prophet will be like you, meaning Moses (s)
3) God will raise him up amongst the people
4) He will speak only what divinity commands him to

  1. There will be a Prophet from amongst the brothers of the Jews

From the lineage of Abraham (s) comes two prophetic traditions, the line of Isaaq (Ishaaq) and Ishmael (Isma’il); from the latter comes the Prophet Muhammad (s).

Prophethood here is described as coming from the brothers of the Jews, or the lineage of Prophet Isma’il (a). The Jews are told not to despise those who come from the lineage of their cousin brothers in Duet 23:7, “Do not despise an Edomite, for the Edomites are related to you. Do not despise an Egyptian, because you resided as foreigners in their country”, the Edomites, as descended from Esau the twin brother of Jacob.

In fact, the Qur’an places the familial ties so close that it states the People of Book recognise the Prophet (s) as if one of their own family members: الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ “Those whom We have given the Book recognise him as they recognise their sons, and a party of them most surely conceal the truth while they know (it)” (2:145)

2) This Prophet will be like you, meaning Moses (s)
The Qur’an repeats the similitudes of the Prophet’s Muhammad (s) and Moses (a), such as their receiving Divine Law (Shar’iah), Revelation, and saving their peoples from tyranny. For example 
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ فَلَا تَكُن فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِّن لِّقَائِهِ وَجَعَلْنَاهُ هُدًى لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ  “And certainly We gave the Book to Musa, so be not in doubt concerning the receiving of it [O Muhammad], and We made it a guide for the children of Israel” (32:23)
and “Behold, [O mankind,] We have sent unto you an apostle who shall bear witness to the truth before you, even as We sent an apostle unto Pharaoh” (73:15) إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا شَاهِدًا عَلَيْكُمْ كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ رَسُولًا

What is most interesting is when the Prophet (s) returned from receiving revelation he presented himself to his wife, the “Lady and Leader of all the Women of the World’s” [Sayyidatu Nisaa’ il-‘Alameen] of her time, Khadija (a) who in turn brought him (s) to her cousin and Christian scribe, Waratah bin Nawfal who said, “Indeed what has come to you is just as what has come to Moses.”

Moreover in a Mutawatir (a narration transmitted so widely amongst the generations it yields certainty) narration the Prophet (s) told Imam Ali (a), “Are you not pleased that your position to me as that of Aaron to Moses, except that there shall be no prophet after me?”

3) God will raise him up amongst the people
The Qur’an repeats that messengers are raised to their people and amongst themselves so that they may distinctly know them. This leaves no excuse that he is unaware of their matters or untrustworthy to them, or seeking something worldly. 
For example the verse says, “It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses, purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom” (62:2).

4) He will speak only what divinity commands him to
The Qur’an explicitly states that the Prophet Muhammad (s) does not speak of his own caprice and whims: “Nor does he speak out of his desire. This is nothing but a revelation that is conveyed to him, something that a very powerful one has imparted to him” (53:3-5).
Interestingly, Isaiah 29:12 states that scripture is to be given to the one who knows no letters, or is unlettered. “Or if the scroll is handed to one unable to read, he will say, “I cannot read.” Famously, the first verse of the Qur’an revealed to the Prophet (s) was that he was told “Read! In the Name of your Lord!” to which he replied, “I do not read!”

Here is just one verse of the previous scriptures referring to the Prophet Muhammad (s). InshaAllah in the coming sermon’s we will elaborate on where else he is mentioned so that this message may be spread widely. 

By: education
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