The prophetic landscape of the Bible is the most significant phenomenon ever explored in the book. According to many scholars, the Bible contains thousands of prophecies, many fulfilled and many reach into the future. Perhaps the most conservative count is given in J. Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Biblical prophecy. It lists 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament (OT) and 578 prophecies in the New Testament (NT), for a total of 1,817. These encompass 8,352 verses, representing more than one quarter of the Bible.
It is widely accepted in the Jewish tradition that no prophet is a true prophet if he makes no true prophecy. The prophetic mission of prophets is so important that it has been used as a criterion for distinguishing a true prophet from a false one. As read in Deuteronomy 18:22, New International Version (NIV), “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.”
Some scholars unhesitatingly praise the Bible for its undeniable prophetic qualities: “Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events–in detail–many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. Approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2,000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors” writes Dr. Hugh Ross in Fulfilled Prophecy.
Given that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, according to PEW Research Center, and that scholars have called Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) the most influential man in history, it would be a surprise to find that any intellectual Bible believer had not thought at least once to look for Biblical prophecies about Islam.
When I read “The Bible, The Quran and Science”, by Dr. Maurice Bucaille, I paused at length on Page 129. The author, after a careful examination of the Quran in its original Arabic, declares: what initially strikes the reader confronted for the first time with a text of this kind is the sheer abundance of subjects discussed: the creation, astronomy, the explanation of certain matters concerning the earth, and the animal and vegetable kingdoms, human reproduction. Whereas monumental errors are to be found in the Bible, I could not find a single error in the Quran. I had to stop and ask myself: if a man was the author of the Quran, how could he have written facts in the Seventh century A.D. that today are shown to be in keeping with modern scientific knowledge?
For a book composed 1,400 years ago in the desert of Arabia by an illiterate orphan to have no scientific error at all is not something usual; this is an extraordinary phenomenon.
The great history of Islam for the past 14 centuries should remind us of the most frequently mentioned topic in the Bible, prophecy. It is undeniably logical to expect the Bible to prophesy the fastest-growing religion on Earth and the most influential man in the history of mankind, when we know that the book has repeatedly foretold events as insignificant as the drying out of the rivers of the Nile (Ezekiel 30:12) and the Euphrates (Isaiah 19:1-8); Egyptians speaking the language of Canaan (Isaiah 19:18); increase and rumors of war (Joel 3:9-10; Matthew 24:6-7); the rise of false prophets and antichrists (Matthew 24:5, 11; 2 Peter 2:1-2); the king of Jerusalem riding a donkey (Zechariah 9:9), and so on.
In recent years, some political organisations have covertly attempted—with evident success—to make the growth of the Muslim population look like a threat to their society. Some news agencies have been blowing their whistle for decades to falsify the truth of Islam.
Islamophobia, hateful and malicious thoughts, ill-mannered narcissistic propaganda—whatever it is, it has had an unforgettable impact on the relationship between East and West and can be expected to continue its negative effects on civilization if people choose to be absolutely submissive to the false trumpets. Attempts to falsify the real message of Islam are very apparent. Anti-Islam TV and radio channels that broadcast messages of hate and mistrust are proliferating in western countries. To our sorrow, some Christian and Muslim “authorities” have chosen to be silent and, in some occasions, have given their own voices to the propellants of this conflict. The tensions have grown more serious as intrusive agents from both sides have committed crimes against humanity. This pattern has been a reiterative reality throughout history.
I, a humble self-taught researcher, a man born and reared in the East and living in the West, am one of millions who feel that we are in the middle of a tug-of-war game, with beloved family members and friends at both ends of the rope. That, along with my humanistic and religious obligations, motivated me to look up the commonalities between Christianity and Islam, in hopes that I may be a part of the resolution of this dispute.
My own natural desire encouraged me to start my journey from an exploration of the depth of Christianity and Islam. Nothing could satisfy me better than studying the Holy Books of the Bible and Quran. With every verse I read from these two great books, I immersed myself in them with no notion of emerging.
While many have falsely portrayed Islam as the major opponent or competitor to Christianity, the bases of these religions are remarkably similar. Islam is the only non-Christian faith that affirms and makes it an article of faith to believe that Jesus (pbuh) is the Messiah—the Christ.
The Quran, the Holy Book of Muslims, is the only religious text that explicitly uses this title, Messiah, for Jesus (pbuh); it also contains a major chapter named Mary (pbuh) , honouring the mother of Jesus (pbuh) . The Quran talks about the birth of Mary (pbuh) (3:33-36), her childhood (3:37), her devotion (3:42-44), excellence (66:12), and the list goes on. It tells of the visit from the Spirit of God to her and how she and Jesus (pbuh) are made to be signs of God’s might to the world (21:91). The Quran also confirms that Jesus (pbuh) was born miraculously without any male intervention (19:19-21, 21:91) and was strengthened with the Holy Spirit (2:87).
While the ascension of Jesus (pbuh) was not even mentioned in the most ancient Gospel of Mark a , the earliest of all Gospels, the Quran allows no doubt that he ascended to God (4:158).
Muslims are obligated to believe in Jesus (pbuh) and the miracles he performed without any proof from sources other than the Quran (2:253). Indeed, no Muslim is a Muslim if he or she does not believe that Jesus (pbuh) is the Messiah (3:45). These are not honeyed words for the purpose of flattery in interactions with Christians; Muslims believe so because the Quran says so.
The verses of the Quran regarding Hebrew prophets including Jesus (pbuh) have attracted hearts and minds of many. Similarly, numerous Biblical verses prophesying the coming of Islam have led many wise and noble thinkers, scholars and learned men and women of Judaism and Christianity to accept the truthfulness of Islam. Many of those who have converted to Islam found their ways to the faith through the Quran and the Bible.
The cores of Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – are identical to one another. The only serious dividing point between Islam and Christianity is the question of Jesus’ identity. In Islam and Judaism there is no one worthy of worship except the One God, the Creator; where in Christianity, despite accepting the oneness of God, it has been dominantly believed that Jesus (pbuh) himself is also a perfect God. The theory goes on in accepting the Holy Spirit as a perfect God as well. It develops the doctrine of Trinity, where it states that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is not three but one God; each one is a perfect God, yet there is One God not three Gods.
My goal here is mainly to examine parts of the Bible that are prophesying the emergence of Islam, a religion risen from the desert of Arabia, from among people, as a nation, who have been in darkness for most of their history prior to Islam.
On the path of discovering the Bible, which took me more than a decade, I studied hard nights after nights and days after days and it still, God willing, continues to occupy my years to come. It was difficult for me not only because of my limited knowledge about Islamic theology, but also I knew very little about Judaism and Christianity. To make the case even worse, I knew nothing about Hebrew and Aramaic languages, not even a single letter; but my basic knowledge of Greek language sometimes gave me a break.
First, I had to struggle with learning some Hebrew, not modern but the Ancient Hebrew, of course without a teacher. Then, I had to figure out the relationship between Arabic and Hebrew, since it is very critical to know what the Quran and Old Testament, in their original languages, have to say about each other. That pushed me to review and practice my basic Quranic knowledge, the meanings and applications of Arabic words, particularly when it was related to the Hebrew texts that I was studying.
It was necessary to study the Bible in its original language because almost all biblical scholars agree on the differences in translations and interpretations of the Bible. Besides, the gradual changes and developments of the Bible reminded me of reviewing the critics and the historic facts in this regards. Therefore, an ocean of questions was in front of me with only a few sources to look for answers. With financial obligations to my family of four, as the only working member of the family and as an immigrant with typical difficulties which most of the newcomers face, financial breakdown and distress, and many unwanted events in the past 16 years of my life, I ended up in dead-end roads several times. I felt that I had to give up. It was a blessing from God that I could continue not just my struggle to overcome the difficulties but also my journey of discovering the truth.
As I furthered my study and research in the Bible, I found many grounds for the claim that Islam is the Greatest Prophecy of the Bible. With so many great Quranic verses talking about the Hebrew prophets, and numerous verses of the bible, in both Old and New Testaments, prophesying the coming of the Prophet of Islam and his family members, I am assured that the three Abrahamic faiths are indeed one in three different eras.
There are many verses in the Bible mentioning the names of the prophet of Islam, the Quran, the revelation which was sent down to him, his birth city of Mecca (Mekka), his migration, his death, his successor Imam Ali (pbuh) , the events that took place after him (such as the event of Karbala a ), and so on.
Both Old and New Testaments confirm that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the Promised one. The Twelve Imams and Lady Seddiqa (pbuh) (daughter of the Prophet) are also foretold in the Bible. Foretelling such events in the Bible has made many to accept Islam as the true message and religion of all prophets.
In hope of peace, love and unity we are obligated to listen to each other, respect different faiths, tolerate opponents and appreciate the diversity. I intend to produce this book not to divide but to unite, not to intensify anyone’s mistake but to suggest a correction. I also admit to be in the same line of probability of having mistake(s) on my part, therefore, please do your part of responding and correcting my errors. Your pen may move better than mine.
Source: Esmail Hemmati. The Spirit of Truth: Bible the Herald of Quran. 2017.
DUA: Allah please accept this from us. You are All-Hearing and All-Knowing. You are The Most Forgiving.You are The Most Relenting and repeatedly Merciful. Allah grant us The Taufiq to read all the 5 prayers with sincerity.
(Taken from: To Be Earnest In Prayers By Amina Elahi)
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