For centuries Muslim scholars have objected to the Christian notion of the Lordship of Christ. They emphatically state that Christians are unaware of the prophecies in their own Scripture which point to the advent of Muhammad. Dr. Jamal Badawi's pamphlet titled, "Muhammad in the Bible" is an obvious case in point.
In his narrative, Dr. Badawi attempts to point out and interpret passages within the Bible which in his opinion uphold the Muslim claims. He earnestly attempts to relate the Biblical passages to the notion that Muhammad was the promised Prophet. However, a deeper examination of the contents of his study, immediately reveal many major errors which though maybe unintended, nevertheless serve to misrepresent the Biblical facts.
In the following study we will take the reader through a course of the specific passages which Badawi alludes to and provide a concise and systematic rebuttal to the claims he has laid out. We will further pose our own counter points and objections and in the process attempt to guide the reader into a more meaningful interpretation of God's Word.
Once the objective reader is faced with the simplicity and the beauty of the Bible, it is hoped that one will begin to gain an important insight into the profound Biblical revelations. As one gazes more intently at the totality of God's masterpiece - the Bible - a wonderful picture begins to emerge of God's plan for the salvation of mankind through the blood of his Son Jesus Christ.
At this juncture we will delve into a point-by-point examination of Dr. Badawi's pamphlet:
1. Muslims state that the promise of blessings upon Ishmael confirms, or so it is believed, the prophethood of Muhammad since he is the only prophet to descend from him. (Cf. Genesis 17:20)
Yet when read within context, it becomes quite clear that the blessings upon Ishmael were not prophetic tidings of Muhammad. They rather point to lineage and political prosperity. Ishmael became blessed with twelve sons who ruled as mighty princes to the east of Israel, thus fulfilling God's promises to him:
"Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child? And Abraham said to God, Oh that Ishmael might live before You! But God said, No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year." Genesis 17:17-21
"Now these are the records of the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's maid, bore to Abraham; and these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael, and Kedar and Adbeel and Mibsam and Mishma and Dumah and Massa, Hadad and Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages, and by their camps; TWELVE PRINCES according to their tribes. These are the years of the life of Ishmael, one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people. They settled from Havilah to Shur which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria; he settled in defiance of all his relatives." Genesis 25:12-18 (Cf. Gen. 16:7-15; 21:13,18)
Genesis consistently and clearly emphasizes that it would be Abraham's descendents from Sarah that would be blessed with kings and prophets, serve in a foreign land for four hundred years, possess Canaan and become the nation of God. (Cf. Gen. 12:1-3; 15:13-16; 17:15-16,19,21; 21:12; 22:17-18; 26:24; 28:13-15; 35:11-12)
The Quran also bears witness that it was Isaac, not Ishmael, who was the chosen vessel for prophethood and kingship:
"And we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and we established the prophethood and the Scripture among his seed." S. 29:27
The fact that seed refers to Israel is clarified in these passages:
"O children of Israel! Call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all others (for My message)." S. 2:47
"We did aforetime grant to the Children of Israel the Book, the Power of Command, AND PROPHETHOOD; We gave them, for Sustenance, things good and pure; and We favored them above the nations. And We granted them Clear Signs in affairs (of Religion): it was only after knowledge had been granted to them that they fell into schisms, through insolent envy among themselves. Verily thy Lord will judge between them on the Day of Judgment as to those matters in which they set up differences." S. 45:16-17
"O children of Israel! Call to mind the special favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all others (for My message)." S. 2:122
Badawi then attempts to use the right of the firstborn to support Ishmael's preeminence and preference over Isaac. (Cf. Deut. 21:15-17)
This attempt fails since to bind Abraham to the Law which came four hundred years later would also make the observance of Sabbath, Passover, sacrificial duties, the forbidding of marrying sisters (something that Jacob did) and other commands also binding upon him and his children. The Muslim position is extremely weak in this case.
Badawi also overlooks the clear biblical examples where God sovereignly chose the younger seed over the firstborn. One such example is God selecting Jacob over his older brother Esau:
The LORD said to her (Rebekah, Isaac's wife), "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older (Esau) will serve the younger (Jacob)." Genesis 25:23
God also chose Joseph's younger son Ephraim to be precede the firstborn in status:
"When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim's head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. Joseph said to him, No, my father, this is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head. But his father refused and said, I know my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations." Genesis 48:17-19
In light of these passages and the fact that the Mosaic injunction on the rights of the firstborn had not yet been given, Badawi's appeal to the status of the firstborn is extremely weak and proves nothing.
2. Badawi claims that Muhammad is the prophet like Moses that was predicted to come:
"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." Deuteronomy 18:18:
The verses on the prophet like Moses are often misunderstood to mean Muhammad for the following reasons:
The only problem with these points is that they are not the distinguishing characteristics given in the Holy Bible to determine the identity of prophet like Moses. The Prophet had to be like Moses in two respects, as the following citations indicate:
"The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent." Exodus 33:11
"Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt - to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel." Deuteronomy 34:10-12
Hence, this Prophet had to perform miracles similar to those performed by Moses, and had to know God face to face, i.e. have direct contact with God. Interestingly, the Quran also confirms that God spoke directly to Moses:
We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms. Of some messengers We have already told thee the story; of others We have not;- and to Moses Allah spoke direct;- S. 4:163-164
These things Muhammad did not do since Muhammad never saw God nor did he perform any miracles whatsoever, as the following citations prove:
Say those without knowledge: "Why speaketh not Allah unto us? or why cometh not unto us a Sign?" So said the people before them words of similar import. Their hearts are alike. We have indeed made clear the Signs unto any people who hold firmly to Faith (in their hearts). S. 2:118
Even IF thou wert to bring to the People of the Book all the Signs (together), they would not follow thy Qibla; nor art thou going to follow their Qibla; nor indeed will they follow each other's Qibla. If thou after the knowledge hath reached thee, Wert to follow their (vain) desires,- then wert thou Indeed (clearly) in the wrong. S. 2:145
They say: "Why is not a Sign sent down to him from his Lord!" Say: "Allah hath certainly power to send down a Sign: but most of them understand not." S. 6:37
They swear their strongest oaths by Allah, that if a (special) sign came to them, by it they would believe. Say: "Certainly (all) Signs are in the power of Allah: but what will make you (Muslims) realize that (even) if (special) signs came, they will not believe."? S. 6:109
But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, "Why are not (Signs) sent to him, LIKE THOSE WHICH WERE SENT TO MOSES?" Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: "Two kinds of sorcery, each assisting the other!" And they say: "For us, we reject all (such things)!" S. 28:48
I said to 'Aisha, "O Mother! Did Prophet Muhammad see his Lord?" Aisha said, "What you have said makes my hair stand on end! Know that if somebody tells you one of the following three things, he is a liar: Whoever tells you that Muhammad saw his Lord, is a liar." Then Aisha recited the Verse:
'No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Courteous Well-Acquainted with all things.' (6.103) 'It is not fitting for a human being that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or from behind a veil.' (42.51) 'Aisha further said, "And whoever tells you that the Prophet KNOWS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TOMORROW, is a liar." She then recited:
'No soul can know what it will earn tomorrow.' (31.34) She added: "And whoever tell you that he concealed (some of Allah's orders), is a liar." Then she recited: 'O Apostle! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord..' (5.67) 'Aisha added. "But the Prophet saw Gabriel in his true form twice." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 378)
'Aisha said, "If anyone tells you that Muhammad has seen his Lord, he is a liar, for Allah says: 'No vision can grasp Him.' (6.103) And if anyone tells you that MUHAMMAD HAS SEEN THE UNSEEN, he is a liar, for Allah says: "None has the knowledge of the Unseen but Allah." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 477)
Secondly, the term "brethren" when read in context can only refer to the twelve tribes of Israel as the opening verses of Deuteronomy 18:1-2 show:
"The Levitical priests, that is, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel ... They shall have no inheritance among their brethren."
Once more, in chapter 17:14-15 the Israelites are told to put one of their "brethren" as king over them, never a foreigner. The fact is that Israel at no time in their history have ever put an Ishmaelite "brother" as king but always an Israelite, i.e. Saul, David. This demonstrates that in these particular contexts "brethren" does not refer to any nation outside of the twelve tribes of Israel.
The only person who fits this prophetic profile is Jesus Christ the Lord. This is due to the following reasons:
Interestingly, many early Muslim scholars like biographer Ibn Ishaq, in his Sirat Rasulullah, testify that Moses wrote of Jesus:
When the Christians of Najran came to the apostle the Jewish rabbis came also and they disputed one with the other before the apostle. Rafi said, 'you have no standing,' and he denied Jesus and the Gospel; and a Christian said to the Jews, 'you have no standing' and he denied that Moses was a prophet and denied the Torah. So God sent down concerning them: 'The Jews say the Christians have no standing; and the Christians say the Jews have no standing, yet they read the Scriptures. They do not know on the day of resurrection concerning their controversy,' i.e., each one reads in his book the confirmation of what he denies, so that the Jews deny Jesus though they have the Torah in which God required them by the word of Moses to hold Jesus true; while in the Gospel is what Jesus brought in confirmation of Moses and the Torah he brought from God: So each one denies what is in the hand of the other. (Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p. 258)
Other Muslim scholars that concur include Ibn Kathir. In his comments on S. 61:6 Ibn Kathir states:
Isa said, "The Tawrah CONVEYED THE GLAD TIDINGS OF MY COMING, and my coming CONFIRMS THE TRUTH OF THE TAWRAH. I convey the glad tidings of the Prophet who will come after me. He is the unlettered, Makkan, Arab Prophet and Messenger, Ahmad." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 9, Surat Al-Jathiyah to the end of Surat Al-Munafiqun, abridged under a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; First Edition: September 2000], p. 617; bold and capital emphasis ours)
In his biography on Muhammad, Ibn Kathir even says that Jesus was similar to Moses, despite trying to apply Deuteronomy 18:18 to Muhammad! He writes:
In Book four of the existing Torah, there is a verse which says: <A prophet was set for them from their close relations, and brothers like you Musa (Moses), and I will put my word in his mouth.> It is clear to them and to everyone that Allah ... did not send a prophet from the offspring of Isma'el except Muhammad ... In fact, there was no prophet from the Children of Isra'el similar to Musa ... EXCEPT 'Issa ... but the Jews do not accept his prophethood, and he is not the offspring of their brothers; instead, he is related to them through his mother, therefore, the meaning of the above verse focuses on Prophet Muhammad ... (The Seerah of Prophet of Muhammad (S.A.W.), abridged by Muhammad Ali Al-Halabi Al-Athari [Al-Firdous Ltd, London, 2001: First Edition], part II, p. 24; bold and capital emphasis ours)
The following comments from Ar-Razi are taken from Mahmoud M Ayoub's book, The Quran and Its Interpreters, Volume II, The House of Imran, State University of New York Press, Albany 1992. p. 150:
Razi then raises the following question: It may be argued that latter statement contradicts the one before it. This is because it clearly indicates that he came to make lawful some of the things which were unlawful in the Torah. This would mean that his legislation was contrary to that of the Torah, which would contradict his saying, "I shall confirm the Torah which was before me." Razi, however, holds that there is actually no contradiction between the two statements because confirming the Torah can only signify the belief that all that is in it is true and right. If, moreover, the second purpose [of Jesus apostleship] is not mentioned in the Torah, his making lawful some of the things which are unlawful in it would not contradict his having confirmed the Torah. Furthermore, SINCE THE TORAH CONTAINS PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE COMING OF JESUS, then neither his coming nor his law would be contrary to the Torah. (bold and capital emphasis ours)
3. Badawi erroneously assumes that the reference in Deuteronomy 33:2 to Sinai, Seir and Paran is a prediction of Judaism, Christianity and Islam respectively. Badawi claims that Seir refers to Jesus' ministry in Palestine, while Paran is Mecca where Muhammad began his prophetic ministry.
The problem with this interpretation is that Paran and Seir are located near Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula, as any good Bible map shows. It is purely wishful thinking to claim that Seir refers to Jesus' ministry in Palestine or that Paran is near Mecca, when Paran was hundreds of miles away near southern Palestine in northeastern Sinai!
Proof that Paran is not Mecca can be found in the Holy Bible itself:
"And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud (of God) rested in the wilderness of Paran." Numbers 10:12
"And afterward the people (Israelites) removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran." Numbers 12:16
"And Moses by the commandment of the Lord sent them from the wilderness of Paran ... And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh ..." Numbers 13:3, 26
"These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side of Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab." Deuteronomy 1:1
All these verses prove that Paran could not possibly be Mecca but a locale near Sinai, since Moses and the Israelites never journeyed to Mecca. Hence, Badawi's assertion fails in the light of the biblical evidence.
Secondly, this advent was meant to be a blessing from God to the children of Israel as indicated in v. 1. Again, this would nullify the notion of this being a prophecy of Islam, since Islam has been a constant thorn and threat to Israel, not a blessing!
Badawi then claims that Deuteronomy 33:2 also predict Muhammad's take over of Mecca. The reference to the LORD (Yahweh) himself coming with "ten thousands of saints" is taken by Badawi as a prediction of Muhammad taking over Mecca with ten thousand soldiers.
We have already seen that Paran is not Mecca and Badawi's claim therefore has no substance behind it. Further, the Hebrew text doesn't say "ten thousand" but rather "ten thousands" (Hebrew ribboth). This refers to the angelic host of God, which number in the myriads. (Cf. Dan. 7:10; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11)
Finally, the text is not referring to a future advent but to God coming to Israel's aid with all his angels as he lead his people out of Egypt, through the desert, and into the Promised Land.
4. Badawi asserts that Isaiah 42:1-13 predicts the advent of Muhammad.
A careful reading of the context of the Servant passages of Isaiah will demonstrate that Isaiah is predicting the coming of the promised Messiah. There are four Servant passages in the book of Isaiah: 42:1-13; 49:1-9; 50:4-11; 52:13 - 53:12.
When read as a single unit it becomes obvious that the Servant spoken of can only be Jesus Christ. This point becomes forcefully clear after reading the 53rd chapter which speaks of the crucifixion, death and the resurrection of the Servant on behalf of fallen humanity - a deed fulfilled only in the life of Christ.
Further evidence establishing Jesus as the Servant is provided in Isaiah 42:1. The verse proclaims that God's Spirit would rest upon the Servant. Several other passages in Isaiah establishes this Servant's identity:
"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD - and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist." Isaiah 11:1-5
"In that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious." Isaiah 11:10
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn." Isaiah 61:1-2
Isaiah 11:1-2 identifies the Servant as the root of Jesse, i.e. a descendant of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David, and the passage points to the fact that the Servant will come from the house of David. (Cf. Ruth 4:22; 1 Sam. 16:1-3; Mt. 1:6)
It is Jesus, not Muhammad, who was a descendant of David. Jesus, not Muhammad, had the Spirit of the LORD descend upon him after emerging from the waters of baptism (Cf. Mt. 3:16-17).
In fact, Jesus states that he personally came to fulfill Isaiah 61:1-2:
"So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Luke 4:16-21
5. Badawi sees a prediction of the Battle of Badr in Isaiah 21:13-17.
Again, a careful reading of the context will show that this has nothing to do with Muhammad's battle at Badr, but rather predicts the judgment that God would enact upon Arabia through the mighty armies of Assyria and Babylon respectively. The Assyrian armies besieged the Arabs in 732 B.C., with Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon following suit by defeating the people of Kedar during his reign in 599-598 B.C. (Cf. Jeremiah 49:28-33)
Furthermore, v.16 specifies the time this prophecy was to be fulfilled:
"For thus the LORD said to me: within a year, according to the year of a hired man, all the glory of Kedar will fail"
This indicates that Isaiah is referring to the Assyrian attack upon the Arabs in the year 732 BC., coinciding with the time of Isaiah's ministry.
Hence, the attempts to make this passage a reference to an event that took place nearly a thousand years later is soundly refuted when read in context.
6. Badawi feels that Isaiah 28:11 prophesies the revelation of the Quran, which is in "another tongue".
Far from prophesying the advent of the Quran, Isaiah is simply referring to the Assyrian takeover of Ephraim. (Cf. Isaiah 28:1-29)
God brought judgment upon Israel for their wickedness. He manifested his judgment by using a foreign nation that spoke a foreign tongue (i.e. Aramaic) to subdue and punish his rebellious people. Furthermore, this passage on Israel being judged by a foreign tongue had been foretold centuries beforehand in the Mosaic Law:
"The LORD will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods - wood and stone." Deuteronomy 28:36
"You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours for they shall go into captivity." Deuteronomy 28:41
"The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young ... They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, which you trust, come down throughout all your land: and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the LORD your God has given you." Deuteronomy 28:49-50, 52
Thus to see Islam in any of these prophecies is purely wishful thinking.
7. Badawi argues that Jesus' promise to send the Paraclete is a reference to the coming of Muhammad.
Yet, anyone reading the context can see that this is a prediction of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Paraclete of John cannot be referring to Muhammad for the following reasons:
The Paraclete did arrive as predicted, not 600 years later but ten days after the ascension of Jesus to heaven. (Acts 2:1-33)
8. Badawi alludes to Matthew 21:19-21,43 to prove that the kingdom that was to be taken away from Israel and given to a productive nation refers to the Muslim nation.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus is speaking of the Gentiles being brought into covenant relations with God, not Islam or Muhammad:
"Again I ask: Did they (Israel) stumble as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring?" Romans 11:11-12
"Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called 'uncircumcised' by those who call themselves 'the circumcision' (that done in the body by the hands of men) - remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenant of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace (salaam), who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace (salaam) and in this one body reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace (salaam) to you who were far away and peace (salaam) to those who were near. For through him we both have one access to the Father by one Spirit." Ephesians 2:11-18
"And they (the inhabitants of heaven) sang a new song: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God, from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom of priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.'" Revelation 5:9-10
9. Badawi sees the reference of the rejected stone of Matthew 21:42,44 as a prophecy of Muhammad.
The rejected stone does not refer to Muhammad, but to the Jewish rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus:
"It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is, the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone." Acts 4:10-11
"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, with Christ himself as the chief cornerstone." Ephesians 2:19-20
"As you come to him (Jesus Christ), the living stone - rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame. Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, and, A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. They stumble because they disobey the message - which is also what they are destined for." 1 Peter 2:4-8
10. Badawi claims that Psalms 84:6 is referring to Muslim pilgrimage to the Kabah in Mecca, since the term "Baca" is another name for Mecca in the Quran.
Again, the fallaciousness behind this reasoning is easily seen from a careful reading of the context. Old Testament Baca is not in Arabia, but in northern Israel. This is stated within the text itself:
"They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion." Psalm 84:7
Furthermore, the term Baca in Hebrew means either "weeping" or "balsam trees." Hence, the valley of Baca can be translated as the valley of balsam trees. We find reference to such a place located within the Valley of Rephaim, an area approximately 3-4 miles south and west of Jerusalem:
"Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the LORD, and he answered, Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam (Hebrew- Baca) trees." 2 Samuel 5:22-23
Noting that the valley of Baca is actually less than 5 miles away from Jerusalem, it makes sense that the Psalmist could speak of pilgrims making their way through Baca valley to appear before God in Zion. (Cf. vv. 5-7)
The reader is invited to look up the distance between Jerusalem and Mecca and use common sense to determine how likely it is that the Psalmist recommend the Israelite pilgrims to make a detour to Mecca as they made their annual pilgrimage to Mt. Zion. (note: they are walking on their own feet!)
Equally fallacious is Badawi's claim that Habakkuk 3:3 refers to Muhammad:
"God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth."
Muslims like Badawi presume that Teman and Paran refer to the advent of Islam in Arabia. Yet it is clear from the context that it is God who is coming from Teman and Mount Paran. It says nothing about a prophet. Furthermore, as we have already noted Paran is not near Mecca but hundreds of miles away and Teman was a town close to Jericho in the territory of Edom.
Interestingly, in order to prove that Teman is an oasis north of Medina Badawi misquotes J. Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible, inferring that Teman being near Medina is something admitted by Christian scholars as well. Yet Hastings does not say that Teman is located north of Medina, since he was referring to the country of Tema! Badawi has confused the two.
On p. 897 of his book we read:
TEMAN - A tribe (and district) of Edom (emphasis ours)
Further on in the same page we also read:
TEMA - In Gn. 25:15 (1 Ch. 7:30), a son of Ishmael. The country and people meant are still represented by the same name - modern Taima, a large oasis about 200 miles S.E. of the head of the Gulf of 'Akabah, and the same distance due N. Of Medina in W. Arabia.
This exposes a deliberate attempt on Badawi's part to misinform his readers, since he knows that most readers, especially Muslims, will take him at face value without bothering to check his sources personally.
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, if Muslims still insist that all references to Teman find their fulfillment in Islam they must also take into consideration the overall biblical witness to the fate of Teman. For example, in Jeremiah 49:7 God questions Teman's lack of wisdom and in verse 20 the LORD swears to destroy their pastures and flocks. In Ezekiel 25:13, God declares that He will lay the inhabitants of Teman to waste, sending fire to consume them (Amos 1:12), insuring no survivors (Obadiah 8-10). This would mean that Islam is futile since it lacks wisdom and will eventually be destroyed by a consuming fire!
11. Badawi uses John 1:19-23 to prove that Israelites during the time of Jesus were expecting three individuals, namely the Christ, Elijah, and the Prophet. Badawi then takes this to mean that the Jews were expecting an Ishmaelite prophet, namely the Prophet like unto Moses. (Cf. Deut. 18:18) Badawi feels that since the Jews were still awaiting the Prophet even during Christ's advent, this therefore indicates that THE Prophet had not yet arrived. It is then surmised that this Prophet is Muhammad, since he is the only prophet to follow Jesus.
There are three arguments against this fallacious line of thinking:
"After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, Surely, this is THE Prophet who is to come into the world." John 6:14
"On hearing his words, some of the people said, Surely this man is THE Prophet." John 7:40
"Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?" John 7:41
"They (the Pharisees) answered and said unto him, Art thou (Nicodemus) also of Galilee? Search and look: For out of Galilee ariseth no prophet." John 7:52
Yet, nearly 800 years earlier the Prophet Isaiah prophesied exactly this:
"Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan ... For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:1,6
According to the Aramaic Targum of Jonathan, this passage is a prophecy of Messiah. Hence, to use fallible Jews who were often wrong in their interpretation of the Scriptures, is indicative of Badawi's alleged proofs for Muhammad's prophethood and his erroneous exegesis of the biblical data.
12. Another alleged prophecy of Muhammad according to Muslims, comes from John the Baptist himself:
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." Matthew 3:11 NKJV
Muslims erroneously assume that this passage could only be referring to Muhammad, not Jesus, due to the following three reasons:
These factors leave little doubt to the Muslims that John was referring to Muhammad.
We respond to all three points:
"The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me." Matthew 11:4-6 NKJV
To try and offset this final argument it is surmised that John, being filled with the Holy Spirit, should not have doubted since the Spirit would clearly have told him all things regarding the Messiah beforehand. This logic is fallacious since the Holy Bible does not state that a prophet must have complete knowledge in regards to a particular situation, but only that which God wants him to know. (Cf. 1 Peter 1:10-12; Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:6-8)
Furthermore, being filled with the Holy Spirit does not mean that a prophet would not make mistakes, but simply means that the prophet would be supernaturally guided to preach God's Word infallibly.
Thirdly, John himself bears witness that Jesus is indeed the One who was expected:
"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This is He of whom I said, "After me comes a Man who ranks higher than I for He was before me" ... I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize said to me, "Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit." And I have seen and testify that this is the Son of God." John 1:29-30, 33-34
"He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30)
Even more amazing is that the Quran itself indicates that John preceded Jesus as his forerunner! (Cf. S. 3:39)
Finally, the idea of a Prophet to succeed Christ is altogether denied in the Holy Bible. The Scriptures are clear in indicating that Jesus Christ, not Muhammad, is God's final revelation to mankind and the seal of His approval. This is apparent from Jesus' own statements:
He then began speaking to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed. He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. Haven't you read the scripture: 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?" Mark 12:1-11 NIV
In this parable Jesus Christ confirms his unique Divine Sonship, his rightful inheritance to God's estate, and his preeminence over all creation as the last messenger from the Father.
"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you; For on him has God the Father set his seal." John 6:27 RSV
In the light of the truth as presented from the Holy Scriptures, it now becomes clear that Christ is the seal of prophethood and the end of God's revelation to the world.
Yet the Scriptures do speak of Christ sending prophets to the people:
"Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town." Matthew 23:34 NIV
When we piece the data all together the conclusion is that Christ is the final prophet sent by the Father directly to seal all revelation. Yet Christ sends prophets by his own authority, in his own name, to pass on that very revelation which the Father gave him:
"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it... It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." Ephesians 4:7, 11-16 NIV
"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw - that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near." Revelation 1:1-3 NIV
Thus, there can be no prophets to succeed Christ, only prophets who come in the very name of the resurrected Lord proclaiming the Gospel of God's beloved Son.
Having examined Dr. Badawi's pamphlet, one can easily reach the conclusion that it is filled with logical fallacies, textual misinterpretation and contextual errors. His paper is attempting to strongly force the Bible into making predictions of Muhammad which clearly do not exist. It is quite easy to read and interpret the Bible out of context and commit the popular mistake of trying to make it fit ones theology. It is quite another thing however, to consider the Bible in its entirety and allow it to speak for itself on any given topic.
We challenge the reader to search the passages in their true context and ponder whether the Bible indeed mentions Muhammad. In light of sound biblical exegesis, we trust that the reader can judge for himself whether Muhammad is indeed predicted in the Bible, or is this just another overzealous attempt to force an Islamic interpretation upon the Holy Scriptures.
Rebuttals to Dr. Badawi
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page