THE AWAITED PROPHET IN THE TORAH AND THE PSALMS

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A Companion once asked God’s Messenger to talk about himself. The Messenger remarked: “I am the one for whose coming Abraham prayed and of whom Jesus gave glad tidings.” [1] This alludes to the following Qur’anic verses:

(Abraham prayed): “Our Lord, raise up in their midst a Messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Your signs, and teach them the Book and Wisdom, and purify them. Verily you are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (2:129)

When Jesus, son of Mary, said: “O children of Israel! I am indeed a Messenger of God to you, confirming that which was [revealed] before me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name is Ahmad [the Praised One].” (61:6)

The Messenger of God was expected. All preceding Prophets spoke of and predicted his coming. The Qur’an (3:81) specifically states that God made a covenant with the Prophets that they would believe in and help the Messenger who would come after them and confirm the Message that they brought. [2]

Although subjected to distortion and alteration, the current versions of the Torah, the Gospel, and the Psalms still contain verses alluding to Prophet Muhammad. The late Husayn Jisri found 114 such allusions and quoted them in his Risala al-Hamidiya. We cite a few examples here, beginning with: The Lord came from Sinai and dawned over them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran (Deuteronomy 33:2).

This refers to the Prophethood of Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, respectively. Sinai is where Prophet Moses spoke to God and received the Torah. Seir, a place in Palestine, is where Prophet Jesus received Divine Revelation. Paran is where God manifested Himself to humanity for the last time through His Revelation to Prophet Muhammad.

Paran is a mountain range in Makka. It is mentioned in the Torah (Genesis 21:19–21) as the desert area where Hagar was left by her husband Abraham to live with her son Ishmael. The Zamzam well also is located there. As stated in the Qur’an (14:35–37), Abraham left Hagar and Ishmael in the valley of Makka, which was then an uninhabited place between the mountain ranges of Paran.

It is because of such explicit predictions in the Torah that the Jews were expecting the Last Prophet and knew that he would appear in Makka.

The verse of Deuteronomy, according to the Arabic version published in London in 1944, continues: He came with myriads of holy ones; in his right hand was an axe of fire with two edges. This verse refers to the promised Prophet, who would have numerous Companions of the highest degree of sainthood and would be allowed—even ordered—to fight his enemies.

The following verses also promise his coming of:

The Lord said to me [Moses]: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you among their brothers; I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to My words that the Prophet speaks in My name, I will Myself call him to account.” (Deuteronomy 18:17–19)

It is clear from these verses that a Prophet like you among their brothers means a Prophet from Ishmael’s line, for Ishmael is the brother of Isaac, the forefather of the Children of Israel. The only Prophet who came after Moses and resembled him in many ways (e.g., bringing a new law and waging war against his enemies) is Prophet Muhammad. The Qur’an points to the same fact: We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness over you, even as we sent to Pharaoh a Messenger (73:15).

‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr, an ascetic warned by the Prophet not to neglect sleeping with his wife and to fast only on alternate days, is reported to have said: “It was common knowledge to the communities of previous religions that God would send a Prophet to humanity as a bearer of good tidings and a warner. I personally read in the Torah these verses about him:

We have sent you, O Prophet, to humanity as a bearer of good tidings and a warner, and as a support and refuge for the common folk. You are My servant and Messenger. I have called you Mutawakkil [the one who puts his trust in God]. He is not one rude, repelling and angry, and shouting in the streets. He does not repel evil with evil; instead, he excuses and forgives. God will not make him die before He guides through him the deviating nation to the right path by declaring there is no deity but God.” [3]

This report was confirmed by ‘Abd Allah ibn Salam and Ka’b al-Akhbar, the most learned scholars of the Jewish community at the time of the Prophet. They later converted to Islam.

We also read about Muhammad in the Psalms of David:

He will rule from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the Earth. The desert tribes will bow before him, and his enemies will lick the dust. The kings of Tarsish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the kings of Sheba and Seba will present gifts to him. All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him, for he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy, and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given to him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long. Let corn abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. May his name endure for ever; may it continue as long as the sun. All nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed. (Psalms 72:8–17)

 

[1] Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal, 11:384.
[2] Behold, Allah took the Covenant of the Prophets, saying: “I give you a Book and Wisdom. Then a Messenger comes to you, confirming what is with you. Believe in him and help him. Allah asked: “Do you agree, and take this Covenant as binding?” They replied: “We agree.” He said: “Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.”
[3] Bukhari, Buyu’, 50; Ibn Hanbal, 2:174.

 

Gulen, Muhammed Fethullah. “The Messenger of God” The Light, Inc. May 2005.