Is Muhammad in the Bible?

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When Sam met his friend Ahmed for coffee one Saturday, Ahmed surprised him with a Muslim belief Sam had never before encountered.

Smiling over his steaming espresso, Ahmed asserted, “Oh, yes. The prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was prophesied in your very own Bible. This proves Islam is the fulfillment of all other religions. Judaism came, then Christianity, then it was completed by Islam.”

Thankfully, authentic friendship and witness to Muslims are not dependent upon us knowing everything. Sam was nonplussed. He leaned forward in his chair.

“Tell me more. I have never heard this before.”

Sam listened as Ahmed explained what he believed, and made a mental note to himself to research the topic, returning next week with questions of his own.

 

What the Qur’an Says About Muhammad

You might be surprised to learn that the Qur’an says little about Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. Rather, information about Muhammad’s life comes from Muslim sources such as Islamic traditions and Muslim historians. You have likely heard of the most common source, the Hadith al-Sharif, commonly referred to simply as the hadith. The hadith is “a collection of stories and sayings attributed to Muhammad” (Masri 11).

However, what the Qur’an does say about the prophet of Islam is noteworthy. The Qur’an clearly says that Muhammad was just a messenger and not the redeemer of mankind.


Muhammad and the Injeel

Sam’s friend Ahmed and many other Muslims like him have been taught that Muhammad was a prophet whose coming was prophesied in the Bible. This errant belief originated in a twentieth-century movement among Muslim scholars who sought to find verses in the Bible supporting the fulfillment theology of Islam, which is their assertion that Islam is the final successor and completion of the Abrahamic faith.

Out of that movement came the extraction of two verses from the Bible, Deuteronomy 18:18 and John 14:25-26, taken out of context and used to build an erroneous belief that Muhammad fulfilled Biblical prophecy.

“I [God] 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.” Deuteronomy 18:18

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:25-26

Both the prophet referred to in the Deuteronomy text and the Counselor in John 14 were assumed by scholars to be references to Muhammad. Fouad Masri provides an in-depth examination of the lexical and interpretive errors in this assumption in Is Muhammad in the Bible? (Masri, 2014).

The Injeel never mentions the prophet Muhammad by name, nor does it prophesy the coming of a prophet to the Arab people exclusively. In fact, it promises the opposite: God accepts all people who follow Him.

Although the Bible never refers to Muhammad, it does give very specific instructions about how we are to judge teachers who claim to teach truth.

Jesus stated that false prophets and religious leaders would come after Him. He warned that their teachings would contradict his own.


Muhammad and Jesus

“The Messenger’s duty is but to proclaim (the Message). But God knows all that you reveal and you conceal.” Surah 5:99

Muhammad came to declare the message. What was the message? There is only one God. The Qur’an states that those who believe in and follow the prophet will prosper (Surah 7:157).

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17

Jesus came to complete, or fulfill, the law. He came to call sinners to repentance. He came to speak the truth of God. Jesus came to save the lost and to do God’s will. On the cross, he declared, “It is finished.” There was no need for another prophet. Jesus completed God’s work of redemption.

Muslims view Muhammad as perfect. He is seen as the perfect man, Muslim, leader, and Prophet. The Bible proclaims Jesus to be the Word of God, the promised Messiah, sinless, the Savior who died and rose from the dead to save all creation.

Muhammad was a conquering military leader. After his death, Muslims were left without spiritual and political leadership. Jesus was a humble King who spoke not of an earthly kingdom, but of an eternal kingdom in heaven. He did not use a military campaign to spread this kingdom, but gave His own life that everyone could be reunited with God forever.

If you would like to dig deeper into this conversation and gain a better understanding of the facts surrounding the question, “Is Muhammad in the Injeel?”, obtain your copy of Fouad’s book below.