Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Messiah is God Indeed!

A Response to a Muslim Dawagandist Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

Muslim dawagandist Sami Zaatari has “responded” to my article concerning the Messiah being God and how this affects the credibility of Muhammad and the Quran. I had written that according to the Holy Bible the Messiah is a fully Divine Person sent to become a human being in order to fulfill all the promises God had made to the nation of Israel and to king David. I proceeded to argue from this fact that Jesus was basically claiming to be God when he claimed to be the prophesied Messiah of the prophetic Scriptures.

I then went on to explain how this exposes Muhammad as a false prophet who placed himself in a dilemma for affirming that Jesus is the Messiah. Since the Holy Bible says that the Messiah is God Incarnate and since Muhammad taught that Jesus is the Messiah. However, Muhammad actually denied that Jesus is God thereby contradicting what the Holy Bible says concerning the Divine nature of the Messiah. In light of this mistake Muhammad could not have been a true prophet of God.

Before Zaatari comes to his main response to my argument he brings up a red herring by mentioning an alternative way to get around the dilemma that Muhammad created by arguing for the possibility that it is actually the Holy Bible which is mistaken concerning the Person and work of the Messiah. He reasons that the Quran actually came to correct “this false teaching and misunderstanding that was created by some people.”

However, there are two main problems with this contention. First, Messiah is a Biblical concept, not an Islamic one. In fact, the Quran nowhere defines the word Messiah nor does it explain its significance, especially as it relates to Jesus. This means that a person must turn to the Holy Bible in order to understand who and what the Messiah is supposed to be.

The second problem that Zaatari faces is that Muhammad claimed that his book actually came to confirm, not contradict or oppose, the teachings of the previous Scriptures. Muhammad even went out of his way all throughout the Quran to affirm the authority and reliability of the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians just as the following verses testify.


The Islamic scripture attests that both Mary, the mother of the risen Lord, and John the Baptist confirmed and believed in all of the books of God:

(It was said to his son): “O Yahya (John)! Hold fast the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah)].” And We gave him wisdom while yet a child. S. 19:12 Hilali-Khan

And Mary, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her virginity, so We breathed into her of Our Spirit, and she confirmed the Words of her Lord and His Books, and became one of the obedient. S. 66:12

It further asserts that Jesus was sent to testify that the Scriptures which he had access to were the revelations of God:

And he will teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel, to be an apostle to the Children of Israel, “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by Allah’s leave. I will also heal the blind and the leper, and bring to life the dead, by Allah’s leave. I will inform you of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. And I confirm the Torah that is BETWEEN MY HANDS (Wa musaddiqan lima bayna yadayya mina al-tawrati), and to make lawful to you certain things that before were forbidden unto you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord; so fear you God, and obey you me.” S. 3:48-50 - cf. 5:110

In regard to this passage the renowned Sunni commentator Ibn Kathir writes,

<the Tawrah and the Injil>. The Tawrah is the Book THAT ALLAH SENT DOWN TO MUSA, son of Imran, while the Injil is what Allah sent down to Isa, son of Maryam, peace be upon them, AND ISA MEMORIZED BOTH BOOKS…

<If you believe. And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Tawrah,> affirming the Tawrah AND UPHOLDING IT,” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged – Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, Verse 147, Abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; March 2000, first edition], Volume 2, Parts 3, 4 & 5, pp. 163, 165; bold and capital emphasis ours)

There is more from the Quran concerning this issue:

Yet how will they make thee their judge seeing THEY HAVE the Torah, wherein is God's judgment, then thereafter turn their backs? They are not believers. Surely We sent down the Torah, wherein is guidance and light; thereby the Prophets who had surrendered themselves gave judgment for those of Jewry, as did the masters and the rabbis, following such portion of God's Book as they were given to keep and were witnesses to. So fear not men, but fear you Me; and sell not My signs for a little price. Whoso judges not according to what God has sent down - they are the unbelievers. And therein We prescribed for them: 'A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds retaliation'; but whosoever forgoes it as a freewill offering, that shall be for him an expiation. Whoso judges not according to what God has sent down -- they are the evildoers. And in their footsteps we sent Jesus son of Mary confirming the Torah BETWEEN HIS HANDS (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi mina al-tawrati) and we gave to him the Gospel, wherein IS guidance and light, and confirming the Torah BETWEEN HIS HANDS (wa musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi mina al-tawrati), as a guidance and an admonition to the pious. S. 5:43-46

Here we are told that Jesus was sent to confirm the Torah which the prophets before him used to judge Israel. This means that the original Scriptures that God revealed had remained uncorrupt at least till the time of Christ.


And when Jesus son of Mary said, 'Children of Israel, I am indeed the Messenger of God to you, confirming the Torah that is BETWEEN MY HANDS (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayya mina al-tawrati), and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.' Then, when he brought them the clear signs, they said, 'This is a manifest sorcery.' S. 61:6

Here, once again, is Ibn Kathir’s explanation of these texts:

<'Isa, son of Maryam, confirming the Tawrah that had come before him,> meaning, he believed in it AND RULED BY IT…

<and confirmation of the Tawrah that had come before it,> meaning, HE ADHERED TO THE TAWRAH, except for the few instances that clarified the truth where the Children of Israel differed. Allah states in another Ayah that 'Isa said to the Children of Israel… <…and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you.>

So the scholars say that the Injil abrogated some of the rulings of the Tawrah… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged – Surat An-Nisa, Verse 148 to the end of Surat Al-An'am [January 2000, first edition], Volume 3, Parts 6, 7 & 8, pp. 193-194; bold and capital emphasis ours)


‘Isa said, “The Tawrah conveyed the glad tidings of my coming, and my coming CONFIRMS THE TRUTH OF THE TAWRAH…” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Volume 9, Surat Al-Jathiyah to the end of Surat Al-Munafiqun [September 2000, first edition], p. 617; bold and capital emphasis ours)

In light of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) in 1947 we are in a position to know for certain what the Torah which Jesus had in his possession looked like since these scrolls contained copies of OT Books which were composed before the birth of Christ. These copies are virtually identical with the OT Scriptures which we currently possess, which means that Jesus was basically confirming the very Hebrew Bible which both Jews and Christians read today!

Hence, if what the Quran says about Jesus is true then Muslims such as Zaatari must accept the fact that their own scripture testifies to the authority and reliability of the OT Books that we currently possess.


As we had noted earlier Muhammad stated that his Quran was “sent down” to confirm the authority and reliability of the Books which the Jews and Christians of his time possessed:

Children of Israel, remember My blessing wherewith I blessed you, and fulfil My covenant and I shall fulfil your covenant; and have awe of Me. And believe in that I have sent down, CONFIRMING THAT WHICH IS WITH YOU, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And sell not My signs for a little price; and fear you Me. And do not confound the truth with vanity, and do not conceal the truth wittingly. And perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and bow with those that bow. Will you bid others to piety, and forget yourselves while you read the Book? Do you not understand? S. 2:40-44

Say: ‘Whosoever is an enemy to Gabriel -- he it was that brought it down upon thy heart by the leave of God, confirming that which is BETWEEN HIS HANDS (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi), and for a guidance and good tidings to the believers.’ S. 2:97

He has sent down upon thee the Book with the truth, confirming that which is BETWEEN HIS HANDS (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi), and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel aforetime, as guidance to the people, and He sent down the Salvation. As for those who disbelieve in God's signs, for them awaits a terrible chastisement; God is All-mighty, Vengeful. S. 3:3-4

Some of the Jews pervert words from their meanings saying, 'We have heard and we disobey' and 'Hear, and be thou not given to hear' and 'Observe us,' twisting with their tongues and traducing religion. If they had said, 'We have heard and obey' and 'Hear' and 'Regard us,' it would have been better for them, and more upright; but God has cursed them for their unbelief so they believe not except a few. You who have been given the Book, believe in what We have sent down, CONFIRMING WHAT IS WITH YOU, before We obliterate faces, and turn them upon their backs, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-men, and God's command is done. S. 4:46-47

And We have sent down to thee the Book with the truth, confirming the Book that is between his hands and preserving/witnessing/testifying to it (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi mina al-kitabi wa-muhaiminan alayhi)… S. 5:48

Here is how one particular Muslim translated this verse:

“To you We revealed the Book with the Truth, confirming previous Scripture and witnessing to their veracity…” (The Qur’an – A New Translation, by Tarif Khalidi [Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., First American Edition 2008], p. 89; bold emphasis ours)

Muhammad even claimed that his Quran was a confirmation of Moses’ Book in Arabic which he was supposedly familiar with:

We did indeed aforetime give the Book to Moses: be not then in doubt of its reaching (thee): and We made it a guide to the Children of Israel. S. 32:23

Yet before it was the Book of Moses for a model and a mercy; and this is a Book confirming, in Arabic tongue, to warn the evildoers, and good tidings to the good-doers… They said, 'Our people, we have heard a Book that was sent down after Moses, confirming what IS BETWEEN HIS HANDS (lima bayna yadayhi), guiding to the truth and to a straight path. S. 46:12, 30

To top it off Muhammad actually defended the veracity of Moses’ Book which he had access to against the disbelievers!

But when the truth (i.e. Muhammad with his Message) has come to them from Us, they say: "Why is he not given the like of what was given to Musa (Moses)?" Did they not disbelieve in that which was given to Musa (Moses) of old? They say: "Two kinds of magic [the Taurat (Torah) and the Qur'an] each helping the other!" And they say: "Verily! In both we are disbelievers." Say (to them, O Muhammad: "Then bring a Book from Allah, which is a better guide than these two [the Taurat (Torah) and the Qur'an], that I may follow it, if you are truthful." S. 28:48-49

It makes absolutely no sense for Muhammad to defend a Book and challenge the disbelievers to come up with a scripture that contains better guidance if he actually thought that Moses’ Scripture had been corrupted or was no longer available.

In fact, the ahadith testify that Muhammad praised a copy of the Torah which the Jews gave him and bore witness that it was the truth:

… Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Umar said, “Some Jews came to the Messenger of Allah and invited him to go to the Quff area. So he went to the house of Al-Midras and they said, ‘O Abu Al-Qasim! A man from us committed adultery with a woman, so decide on their matter.’ They arranged a pillow for the Messenger of Allah and he sat on it and said…

<<Bring the Tawrah to me.>> He was brought the Tawrah and he removed the pillow from under him and placed the Tawrah on it, saying

<<I TRUST YOU and He Who revealed it to you.>> He then said …

<<Bring me your most knowledgeable person.>> So he was brought a young man… and then he mentioned the rest of the story that Malik narrated from Nafi`.” These Hadiths state that the Messenger of Allah issued a decision that conforms with the ruling in the Tawrah, not to honor the Jews in what they believe in, for the Jews were commanded to follow the Law of Muhammad only. Rather, the Prophet did this because Allah commanded him to do so. He asked them about the ruling of stoning in the Tawrah to make them admit to what the Tawrah contains and what they collaborated to hide, deny and exclude from implementing for all that time. They had to admit to what they did, although they did it while having knowledge of the correct ruling… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 5:41; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, the renowned student of so-called Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and one of the Salafi Muslims’ premiere scholars, used this very same narration along with several others to prove that the Torah (as well as the other inspired Books such as the Gospel) remains uncorrupted:

On the other side, another party of hadith and fiqh scholars said: these changes took place during its interpretation and not during the process of its revelation. This is the view of Abi Abdullah Muhammad bin Ishmael Al-Bukhari who said in his hadith collection:

“No one can corrupt the text by removing any of Allah’s words from his Books, but they corrupted it by misinterpreting it.”

Al-Razi also agrees with this opinion. In his commentary he said:

There is a difference of opinions regarding this matter among some of the respectable scholars. Some of these scholars said: the manuscript copies of the Torah were distributed everywhere and no one knows the exact number of these copies except Allah. It is impossible to have a conspiracy to change or alter the word of God in all of these copies without missing any copy. Such a conspiracy will not be logical or possible. And when Allah told his messenger (Muhammad) to ask the Jews to bring their Torah and read it concerning the stoning command they were not able to change this command from their copies, that is why they covered up the stoning verse while they were reading it to the prophet. It was then when Abdullah Ibn Salam requested that they remove their hand so that the verse became clear. If they have changed or altered the Torah then this verse would have been one of the important verses to be altered by the Jews.

Also, whenever the prophet would ask them (the Jews) concerning the prophecies about him in the Torah they were not able to remove them either, and they would respond by stating that they are not about him and they are still waiting for the prophet in their Torah.

Abu Dawud narrated in his collection that Ibn Umar said:

A group of Jewish people invited the messenger of Allah to a house. When he came, they asked him: O Abu Qasim, one of our men committed adultery with a woman, what is your judgment against him? So they placed a pillow and asked the messenger of Allah to set on it. Then the messenger of Allah proceeded to say: bring me the Torah. When they brought it, he removed the pillow from underneath him and placed the Torah on it and said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you, then said: bring me one of you who have the most knowledge. So they brought him a young man who told him the story of the stoning.

The scholars said: if the Torah was corrupted he would not have placed it on the pillow and he would not have said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you. This group of scholars also said:

Allah said:

And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” [Q. 6:115]

And the Torah is Allah’s word. (Ighathat Al Lahfan, Volume 2, p. 351; bold and italic emphasis ours)

It is interesting to find Muslim authorities using Q. 6:115 to prove that the Torah could not be corrupted since it is the word of Allah when you have Muslim dawagandists like Zaatari trying to argue otherwise!

More importantly, since all of the revealed Books are the words of God this means that Q. 6:115 equally applies to all of them, not just the Torah. As such, none of the inspired Scriptures could ever be corrupted according to the Quran!

This explains why scholars such as al-Bukhari believed that Books such as the Torah and the Gospel could not be changed since they are God’s words.

In case Zaatari has a hard time following the reasoning which led his own Muslim scholars to conclude that the inspired Scriptures cannot be corrupted according to Q. 6:115 we will break this down for him step by step.

  1. None can change the words of God.
  2. The Torah, Psalms/Zubur, Gospel/Injil etc., are the words of God.
  3. Therefore, no one is able to change or corrupt these Books.
  4. This means that these Books must still be in existence.
  5. These particular Books were entrusted to the Jews and Christians.
  6. This means that these communities must have the original uncorrupt revelations that God sent down in their possessions.
  7. However, the only Scriptures that these respective communities have are the Books of the Holy Bible.
  8. Therefore, the writings of both the Old and New Testaments must be the original, uncorrupt words which God sent down!

Nor is this the only instance where Muhammad expressly confirmed the Scriptures in the hands of the Jews:

Rafi b. Haritha and Sallam b. Mishkam and Malik b. al-Sayf and Rafi b. Huraymila came to him [Muhammad] and said: ‘Do you not allege that you follow the religion of Abraham and believe in the Torah WHICH WE HAVE and testify that it is the truth from God?’ He replied,CERTAINLY, but you have sinned and broken the covenant CONTAINED THEREIN and concealed what you were ordered to make plain to men, and I dissociate myself from your sin.’ They said, ‘We hold by WHAT WE HAVE. We live according to the guidance and the truth and we do not believe in you and we will not follow you.’ So God sent down concerning them: ‘Say, O Scripture folk, you have no standing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and what has been sent down from your Lord. What has been sent down to thee from they Lord will assuredly increase many of them in error and unbelief. But be not sad because of the unbelieving people.’ (The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth impression 1995], p. 268; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Muhammad also believed that the Christians of his time had access to the original Gospel which God had given to Jesus. He even commanded the Christians to judge by that very Gospel!

And in their footsteps we sent Jesus son of Mary confirming the Torah between his hands and we gave to him the Gospel, wherein IS guidance and light, and confirming the Torah between his hands, as a guidance and an admonition to the pious. Let the People of the Gospel judge according to what God has sent down therein. Whoever does not judge according to what God has sent down, such are the rebellious. S. 5:46-47

Elsewhere, the Quran refers to prophecies of Muhammad that could supposedly be found in both the Torah and Gospel which was with the Jews and Christians:

those who follow the Messenger, 'the Prophet of the common folk, whom they find written down WITH THEM in the Torah and the Gospel, bidding them to honour, and forbidding them dishonour, making lawful for them the good things and making unlawful for them the corrupt things, and relieving them of their loads, and the fetters that were upon them. Those who believe in him and succour him and help him, and follow the light that has been sent down with him -- they are the prosperers.' S. 7:157

The problem that such passages pose for Muslims such as Zaatari is that the only Gospel which the Christians of Muhammad’s time had access to were the writings of the NT, specifically the four canonical Gospels. In fact, one Islamic source goes so far as to identify the Gospel of John as the Gospel that God sent down for the followers of Christ:

“Among the things which have reached me about what Jesus the Son of Mary stated in the Gospel which he received from God for the followers of the Gospel, in applying a term to describe the apostle of God, is the following. It is extracted FROM WHAT JOHN THE APOSTLE SET DOWN FOR THEM WHEN HE WROTE THE GOSPEL FOR THEM FROM THE TESTAMENT OF JESUS SON OF MARY: ‘He that hateth me hateth the Lord. And if I had not done in their presence works which none other before me did, they had not sin: but from now they are puffed up with pride and think that they will overcome me and also the Lord. But the word that is in the law must be fulfilled, "They hated me without a cause" (i.e. without reason). But when the Comforter has come whom God will send to you from the Lord's presence, and the spirit of truth which will have gone forth from the Lord's presence he (shall bear) witness of me and ye also, because ye have been with me from the beginning. I have spoken unto you about this that ye should not be in doubt.’

“The Munahhemana (God bless and preserve him!) in Syriac is Muhammad; in Greek he is the paraclete. (Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, pp. 103-104; bold and capital emphasis ours)

This shows that Muhammad actually believed that the NT writings which the Christians read were the very Gospel which God had revealed to Jesus!


According to the Quran John the Baptist, Mary, and Jesus all had access to and confirmed the original uncorrupt Scriptures of God.

Both the Quran and specific Islamic sources testify that Muhammad himself had access to the true, original unchanged Scriptures such as the Torah and the Gospel, which were in the possession of the Jews and Christians, and that one of the functions of his own book was to affirm the veracity of these inspired Books.

Muslim scholars quoted Q. 6:115 which says that no one can change the words of Allah to prove that the revealed Books such as the Torah and the Gospel could not have been corrupted since they are the very revealed words of God.

The only possible conclusion one can draw from all of this data is that Muhammad truly believed in the inspiration and reliability of the Holy Scriptures which were in the possession of the Jews and Christians at his time. This means that Muhammad confirmed the Biblical books that we currently possess since these are the very Scriptures which Muhammad’s Jewish and Christian contemporaries were reading.

Therefore, since the Quran claims to confirm the Holy Bible one would expect that it would agree and accept the Biblical understanding of who and what the Messiah is. However, as we saw in my article such is not the case since the Islamic scripture denies the Deity of the Messiah thereby contradicting the very inspired Books which it claims to affirm.

Thus, my point still stands concerning Muhammad, namely, by affirming that Jesus is the Messiah while denying his Deity he created a major problem for both himself and his followers. Muhammad turns out to be a false prophet and deceiver according to the testimony of the very Bible which he confirmed to be the uncorrupt revelation of God!

For more on the issue of the Islamic view of the Holy Bible we recommend the articles found here.

Now that we got that red herring out of the way we can move on to part 2 refuting Zaatari’s gross distortion and misinterpretation of the Biblical passages that we raised in support of the Deity of the Messiah.