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Don Stewart :: Is Muhammad a Genuine Prophet of God?

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Is Muhammad a Genuine Prophet of God?

Islam – Question 16

At the heart of Islam is “the prophet” Muhammad. It is claimed that the living God, the only God, Allah, spoke to him in a unique way. The final revelation to humanity was given to this “prophet.” He, therefore, is the last and greatest of the prophets. Consequently, it is of the utmost importance that we examine his claims.

The Claims of Islam

Islam makes a number of claims about the prophet Muhammad. They include the following.

1. Muhammad Claimed to Receive Direct Revelation from Allah

The claim of Islam is that Muhammad received direct revelation from Allah. He was the chosen prophet to bring the message of Allah to the world. Muslims believe this is more amazing since Muhammad could not read or write. His life is the example for all Muslims to follow.

2. Muslims Are Not Mohammedans: They Do Not Worship Muhammad

While Muhammad has a special place in the hearts of Muslims, they recognize that he is only a man. Sometime Muslims are wrongly referred to as Mohammedans. This gives the impression they worship Muhammad. But this is not true. They worship Allah. Muhammad is their prophet who points people to Allah.

3. Muhammad’s Coming Is Foretold in Scripture

Muslims believe that the coming of Muhammad was foretold in both the Old and the New Testament. The references usually cited are as follows.

4. The Prophet Who Is to Come (Deuteronomy 18)

In the Old Testament, Moses wrote about a prophet who was to come. Scripture predicts the following.

“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. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-19 NIV)

Muslims believe this refers to Muhammad. Thus, his coming is predicted.

5. He Is the Paraclete (John 14:26; 16:12).

Jesus said that God the Father would send “another Counselor” after He left this world. John records his saying the following.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you (John 14:26 RSV)

Elsewhere Jesus spoke further of this person. We read,

“Oh, there is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:12, 13 NLT)

Muslims believe Jesus was talking not about the Holy Spirit but about Muhammad. The Greek word, paraklaytos, which is translated “Counselor” is said to refer to Muhammad. Therefore, Jesus predicted the coming of this “prophet.”

6. Muhammad Is a Greater Prophet than Jesus

While Jesus is accepted in Islam as a former prophet, he is beneath Muhammad and has no supreme part to play in the future. Muhammad is the last and greatest of the prophets. Therefore, since his words are the latest revelation from God, they should be accepted as the final authority. Nothing supersedes his words.

This basically sums up how the Muslims view Muhammad.

The Christian Response

The Christian response to the claims of Islam, with respect to Muhammad, is as follows.

Why Should Anyone Believe Muhammad’s Claims?

The first point that is raised is the obvious question, “Why should anyone believe the claims of Muhammad?” The mere making of a claim does not make it true. There has to be some reason to believe the claims that are recorded by him and about him.

Yet, Muhammad offered no evidence apart from his own claims that Allah, or God, spoke to him. This is not enough to cause us to believe.

Furthermore, Muhammad claimed to be the last and greatest of the prophets. This being the case, the standard of proof we should expect to see should be very high.

It should not be lower than any of the prophets of Holy Scripture which went before him. This includes Jesus. Muhammad should demonstrate that he was greater than Jesus. Yet the proof is just not there.

However, there are many reasons why we should not believe his claims. They can be summarized as follows.

There Are No Miraculous Elements in Islam

Islam contains no miraculous elements as we find in the Bible. There is nothing in the Quran that would have us believe any supernatural hand was behind Muhammad. Indeed, there are no genuine miracles attributed to him.

This is in contrast to the Bible that contains numerous accounts of the miraculous. These accounts were written by people who were eyewitnesses to the events, such as the apostles of Jesus. They were not merely telling us stories. Peter wrote,

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. (2 Peter 1:16-18 ESV)

Peter makes it clear that those who lived with Jesus during His public ministry saw His miracles firsthand. They were actual witnesses to the events. They are not passing down to us something that someone else told them. Indeed, they saw it with their own eyes.

In addition, Peter also clearly states that they knew the difference between mythology and fact. The miracle stories about Jesus were factual, they were not myths.

John wrote about the eyewitness testimony the disciples provided.

The Word of life existed from the beginning. We have heard it. We have seen it. We observed and touched it. This life was revealed to us. We have seen it, and we testify about it. We are reporting to you about this eternal life that was in the presence of the Father and was revealed to us. This is the life we have seen and heard. We are reporting about it to you also so that you, too, can have a relationship with us. Our relationship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:1-3 God’s Word)

According to John, the disciples saw what Jesus did, heard what He had said, and have actually touched Him with their hands. In other words, Jesus was a real person who lived at a definite time in history who performed genuine miracles. No mythology here.

Thus, in the life of Christ we have objective miracles which could be authenticated by those living at the time. In Islam, we have nothing.

There Is No Fulfilled Prophecy in Islam

While the Bible, in both testaments, records prophecies that have been fulfilled, such is not the case in Islam. This is strange since Islam says that the Quran is allegedly the final revelation from God or Allah. They admit that the previous revelations, the Old and New Testament, were divinely given.

However, in each of these testaments we have specific prophecies that have been given and have been miraculously fulfilled. Why, then, do we not find this occurring in the Quran?

On the other hand, we can document numerous prophecies that Jesus Himself made and that have been literally fulfilled. If Muhammad was a greater prophet than Jesus, then we should expect to find him making at least as many predictions about the future as Jesus that have been fulfilled.

Yet we find none. This is another indication of the status of Muhammad. He is not the prophet which Islam makes him out to be.

Muhammad’s Teachings Contradict Scripture

There is something else. The teachings of Muhammad contradict the Scripture in numerous places. This is hardly consistent with the claim that he is the last and greatest of the prophets. The Bible has strong things to say about those who prophesy falsely in the name of the Lord. Jesus Himself gave the following warning.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:15-16 ESV)

The warnings in Scripture make it clear. God’s prophets always tell the truth while false prophets are liars and should not be trusted. Muhammad is a false prophet.

His Coming Is Not Foretold in Scripture

The passages used by Muslims to foretell the coming of Muhammad have nothing to do with him. Deuteronomy 18 was speaking of Jesus, not Muhammad. He was the Prophet that Moses spoke about.

Furthermore, the prophet who is to come is going to be one of their own, someone from the chosen nation of Israel. Jesus had the correct ancestry but Muhammad did not, he was not a Jew.

There is something else we must consider. The passage in Deuteronomy warns against people like Muhammad. Indeed, strong words are said against those who prophesy falsely in the name of the Lord. We are told that we are not to be afraid of them.

The Lord has said,

“‘I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf. But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.’” (Deuteronomy 18:19-20 NLT)

Muhammad fits into this category. He was a false prophet.

Furthermore, the passages in John’s gospel with reference to the “Paraclete” or “Counselor” refer to the Holy Spirit.

This was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus referred to His coming as “the promise of the Father.” Shortly before He ascended into heaven, Jesus told His disciples,

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5 ESV)

The fulfillment of this promise is recorded in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. It states that the following occurred.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4 NASB)

It is clear from the Scripture that Jesus was speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit. It has absolutely nothing to do with the coming of Muhammad.

Jesus Is Greater than All the Prophets: He Is God the Son

Finally, there is no real comparison between Jesus Christ and any other prophet. According to Scripture, Jesus is God the Son, Second Person of the Holy Trinity. As Almighty God who became a human being. Consequently, it is blasphemous to compare Him to any human being. This is especially true of Muhammad who clearly shows himself to be a false prophet.

The Influence of Jesus Has Been Greater than That of Muhammad

There is one more thing which we should mention. Jesus Christ has had a greater influence in the world than has Muhammad. Indeed, almost every major religion has felt the need to include Jesus as some sort of prophet, as does Islam. Jesus is seen as an “enlightened one” or some type of prophet. In other words, they give Him some status.

Yet apart from Islam, there is no other major religion which gives Muhammad any similar status. Indeed, apart from Islam, no major religion feels the need to give him any standing whatsoever.

While this, by itself, does not prove that Jesus is superior to Muhammad, it does make it plain that Muhammad is certainly not the “last and greatest of the prophets” with more influence than Jesus.

In fact, on a worldwide basis, Muhammad does not have near the respect as does Jesus. Indeed, the Person of Jesus Christ transcends all boundaries. It seems that everyone recognizes Him as someone special. The same cannot be said for Muhammad.

Therefore, when the evidence is examined we find no basis to believe the claims that Muhammad was “the last and greatest” of the prophets, or for that matter, a prophet of God.

No matter what his motives may have been, he is in the long line of false prophets Scripture warns us about.

Summary – Question 16
Is Muhammad a Genuine Prophet of God?

According to Islam, Muhammad is the last and the greatest of the prophets. He is the one chosen by Allah to bring the final revelation to humanity. Muslims believe his coming is foretold in both testaments.

However, the evidence is clear that Muhammad is not God’s prophet. There is no supernatural evidence for his claims His teaching contradicts the Scripture; his coming is not foretold in Scripture.

Finally, to compare Muhammad, or any other human being to Jesus, is blasphemous. Jesus is the eternal God who became a human being. He cannot be compared to any human being; particularly a false prophet like Muhammad.

What Does Islam Believe about Resurrection, Judgment, and the Afterlife? ← Prior Section
What Is Jihad or Holy War? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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