Analogy of Muhammad being the ‘Prophet like unto me’

Muslims often like to assert the genuineness of Muhammad’s role as a prophet by appealing to the Biblical text that Muhammad is the prophet like unto Moses: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18)

They deny emphatically that this text refers to Jesus Christ and list, by the method of analogy, the following reasons to imply that ‘Jesus is not like Moses, but Muhammad is like Moses.’

The method of Analogy

Most formal lists would include the following:

Moses had a father and mother but Jesus only had a mother and not a human father therefore, Jesus is not like Moses, but Muhammad is like Moses.
Moses and Muhammad were born by natural means but Jesus had a miraculous birth therefore, Jesus is not like Moses, but Muhammad is like Moses.
Moses and Muhammad married and begat children but Jesus remained a bachelor therefore, Jesus is not like Moses but Muhammad is like Moses.
Moses and Muhammad were accepted as prophets by their people in their own lifetime but the Jews rejected Jesus therefore, Jesus is not like Moses but Muhammad is like Moses.
Moses and Muhammad brought new laws and new regulations for their people Jesus came only to fulfil the old laws therefore, Jesus is not like Moses but Muhammad is like Moses.
Both Moses and Muhammad had natural deaths while Jesus was violently killed on a cross therefore, Jesus is not like Moses but Muhammad is like Moses.

This method of analogy can of course work against the desired affect of the Muslim apologist by showing how unlike Muhammad and Moses were as the following list details:

Analogy 0Muhammad became an orphan therefore, He is not like Moses.
He was not of the Jewish nation therefore, He is not like Moses.
Moses parents were godly Levites, Muhammad’s parents were polytheists therefore, He is not like Moses.
Moses was highly educated, Muhammad was the unlettered prophet therefore, He is not like Moses.
Moses was the meekest man (Numbers 12:3) not an obvious quality in Muhammad therefore, He is not like Moses
Moses wrought miracles but Muhammad was only a warner (Al-Isra 17:61) therefore, He is not like Moses.
Moses was instructed by God to institute the Levitical priesthood but Muhammad was opposed to all forms of priestly functions therefore, he is not like Moses.

The method of analogy can be used to show that Muhammad was closer aligned to the Pagan priests of Arabia rather than to the Prophets of the Old Testament

a) In pre-Islamic Arabia, as local shrines rose in importance, there was not only an oracle but a soothsayer or priest (kahin) who was custodian of the shrine. Muhammad acted as a kahin, a guardian or custodian of a sacred shrine.

b) Muhammad gave out oracles in rhymed prose similar to that of the kahin of pagan days. The earliest chapters of the Quran are said to be very similar in form and content.

c) Muhammad produced imprecations and benedictions similar to those of the kahin which were supernaturally effective. It was Muhammad’s curse on an Arabian tribe guilty of injuring his camels, that was the origin of the qanut or brief imprecatory prayer. One type of dua-e-qunut is usually recited at the Fajr prayers.

d) Muhammad taught a special prayer and ritual for rain-making (istisqa) by turning his garment inside out and lifting his hands. This was also the practise of the kahin who would offer a special prayer for rain and bring it down from heaven in dry and thirsty Arabia.

e) Muhammad’s miracles are recorded in the ahadith and as in the case of pagan kahins, his garments, hair, saliva and touch had healing power.

f) God’s prophets when they received revelation did not sweat or hear the ringing of bells or wonder whether the revelation was from God or Satan theirs was a different revelation.

This method of analogy leads us into obscure pathways but the best way of interpreting the above text is by comparing scripture with scripture. When we do this it is clear that the New Testament understood that Jesus was this long awaited prophet and not Muhammad: “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you” (Acts 3:20-22).

4 Responses to “A Prophet Like Unto Me”

  • John:

    As I understand, it is ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN this CANNOT refer to Muhammad. First, we note that this Prophet had to come from their “brethren”. The word brethren can be interpreted as brothers, and we can say that we are all brothers in one sense. However, in the Tawrat in nearly all occasions it is referring to other Jews (especially after the creation of Israel), with the a couple of exceptions of when it refers to the closely related to descendants of Esau (who were much closer to them than the Ishmaelites, because Esau was twin brother of Jacob (Israel)). In this context (Deuteronomy 18) however, brethren would seem to HAVE TO BE Jewish because Moses is standing there speaking to a great crowds of Jews. I did some further research on the net about this, and an article I found specifically talks about the “brethren” issue. It shows from reading Deuteronomy 18 in its entirety, that the context of “brethren” in the passage refers to Israel: Here’s the Hebrew word for brethren, and in this link it shows every example of where “brethren” is used in the Bible- After Israel was formed, EVERY instance of the use of the word I could find (“brethren”) specifically referred to Jews.

    Moreover, in Deuteronomy 17.15 we read that Moses on one occasion said to the Israelites “One from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother”. Only an Israelite could be appointed king of Israel – “one from among your brethren” – no foreigner, whether he was Ishmaelite, Edomite or whoever he may be, could be made King of Israel because he was not one of “their brethren”, that is, a member of one of the tribes of Israel.

    Even more important is the need that not only did this Prophet have to be one of the listening crowd’s brethren, but he would also have to come out of their “midst” per verse 15. It is extremely difficult to see how the descendants of Ishmael, who had been over 400 years separated from the Jews and were in the Arabia, with seemingly no contact with the Jews at the time, could be considered as being part of their “midst”. And for the Arabs who lived nearly 2000 years later? Impossible. Clearly, Christ, however, did come from and out of their midst.

    The final confirmation that the “Prophet Like Moses” is not Muhammad comes later in Scripture. Jesus specifically said Moses spoke about him (John 5:46). Moses miraculously prayed and the people were fed in the desert, and Jesus also miraculously fed thousands and then it states in John 6:14 “Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world” (John 6:14). Later on when Jesus was teaching “many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet ”(John 7:40). Then after Jesus had been resurrected, the early Church referred to Jesus as The Prophet, explicitly from the Deuteronomy 18 passage. In Acts 3:22 Peter tells the Jewish crowd “For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you…’To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.” Later in Acts 7:37 Stephen, who is about to be stoned for talking about Jesus says “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’ Therefore the Bible has already laid claim to its own prophecy in Jesus. For the first listeners of then followers and believers in Jesus, they considered Him the “Prophet Like Moses”.

    The Quran does not quote this prophecy (as the Bible did in two places mentioned above), but more than that, it also does not even assign the title “Prophet like Moses” to Muhammad. What do we see in the Bible? The Prophecy copied out, word for word, in TWO places (Acts 3:22 and Acts 7:37 and directly assigned to Jesus).

    Finally, for me the similarities between Moses and Jesus are absolutely overwhelming, and if you would like what is merely an introduction to the topic, please look here:
    And also here:
    Also, when considering what “like Moses” means. Later, in the same book tells us: “But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land..” (Deuteronomy 34:11). Jesus knew God face to face, and also performed amazing miracles (for example they both miraculously provided food for thousands. Muhammad did neither of these two things (according to Quran). Only Jesus fulfilled this.

    We could have a debate if the Quran had said something like this: “We recognise this is an important matter, and the Prophethood of Muhammad is established in the Tawrat from this verse from the Book of Moses, which states “—-“. This verse the Christians associated with Jesus, here “—“. They were wrong in doing that, it should be associated to Muhammad because of “—-” reason, therefore Muhammad is the “Prophet Like Moses” who was supposed to come”. If there were something like that written in the Quran, then we could begin to debate, and I would continue to show you reasons how Jesus was overwhelmingly linked to Moses (e.g. all the blood sacrifices that Moses instituted the Jews do on a daily basis before the Tabernacle (presence of God) as a covering for their sins (in addition to repenting).

    Bible says specifically Jesus is “Prophet like Moses”. Quran does not do that for Muhammad, nor does it say Bible was wrong on this.

  • Please don’t ever attribute Duet 18:18 to Muhammad for it speaks of Jesus Christ. Every tomb in the world is closed including Muhammad’s Go and see the Sepulchre in Israel its open till today. So, Muslim stop raising false accusations about Bible.

  • Mariam:

    Could you please explain if it was Jesus that was mentioned in Deutronomy 18:18? Because from the christian perspective, Jesus is the son of God. So if it was Jesus that was mentioned in the verse, then doesn’t it contradict as it is stated a “Prophet” will be raised from among their brethren?

    • admin:

      When we read the gospels we find that Jesus’ public role conformed to that of a prophet (Luke 7:16, 24:19, John 4:19, John 9:17) and a teacher. Following a miraculous sign the public found sufficient evidence to argue that Jesus was the long awaited prophet (John 6:14, c/f 7:14). He had on that occasion provided bread for the hungry in a wilderness area and this would have prompted the crowd to be reminded of Moses’s role of providing manna in the wilderness. Jesus went on to show through this miracle the more significant essence of his person and mission “I am the living bread that cometh down from heaven: if any man shall eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I give is my flesh which I give for the life of the world.”

      When his disciples first preached about Jesus, Peter, Acts 3:22, then later Stephen, in Acts 7:37, also identified Jesus with ‘that prophet’ based on Deuteronomy 18:15-18 for he fulfilled Judaism’s expectation of the time, that the Messiah would in some way be ‘like Moses’. The main focus of their preaching however, was what had been etched on their minds through their many private times with Jesus. In those times Jesus had revealed to them his inner relationship with God, his relationship as a son, the fact and meaning of his death and the coming of the Holy Spirit.

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