Is Muhammad a True Prophet of God?

By: Dr. John Ankerberg; ©2000
In this excerpt from the televised debate on The John Ankerberg Show our guests Dr. Jamal Badawi, Dr. Husein Morsi, Dr. Anis Shorrosh, and Dr. Gleason Archer tackle the question of whether Muhammed is truly a prophet of God.

(A transcription of a television program produced by The John Ankerberg Show.)

Ankerberg: Welcome. We are glad that you joined us tonight. We are talking about Islam and Christianity. The topic tonight: Is Muhammad a true prophet of God? We will begin with a five-minute presentation by one of the representatives from each side. First we will hear Dr. Jamal Badawi talk about the evidence concerning: Is Muhammad a true prophet of God?
Badawi: First of all, five basic points about prophet-hood because it is related:
  1. God is one. He cares for humanity and wishes good for them;
  2. Humanity is one. It needs guidance and searches for meaning and direction in life;
  3. It follows that the essential divine guidance is one in essence to attain peace through submission to, obedience to, and love to God which is the literal meaning of the term Islam which we believe has been the faith and message of all the prophets of God throughout history—the greatest of whom are Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. May peace and blessing be upon them all.
  4. Those messengers were the best role models for mankind in faith, moral conduct and leadership. It is an article of faith in Islam to believe in all of them, to love them, and to respect them.
  5. All prophets were sent to their people except for prophet Muhammad who is believed by Muslims to be chosen by God to be sent to the entire mankind with a universal message.
His message is the culmination of the essence of all of the previous revelations.
Now, why do Muslims accept prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as the messenger of God? Eight reasons.
  1. He did claim this and there is absolutely no reason to belie his claim since he was acknowledged, even by his enemies, as a model of integrity and truthfulness. His nick­name was “the trustworthy”.
  2. There is no ground to dismiss his claim as religious visions or hallucination unless we dismiss all other revelations and prophets.
  3. There is a clear absence of any ulterior motive on his part, not like today’s prophets. He lived in a greater poverty and suffering as it is out of fulfilling his prophetic mission. The simplicity and austerity of his life continued even after his victory over the pagan who sought to destroy him and to destroy Islam. Until his death, he lived in that simple life.
  4. What he taught was consistent, we insist, with the core of the message of all prophets before him: to worship the one and only God of all and follow His guidance in our lives. It is inconceivable to say that all Jewish rabbis and prophets, one after the other, did not understand the language and did not pick the idea of triune Godhood.
  5. His life was the embodiment of his teaching and a comprehensive model for mankind under all circumstances, peace and war, all circumstances and all [things] needed for realistic human life on earth.
  6. His advent was accompanied by numerous extraordinary signs, one of which is the 100% accuracy of all prophecies that he made and the Qur’an which we will discuss in a different topic later on.
  7. The fruits of following him sincerely, not paying lip service like most Muslims do today, includes the total positive transformation of the lives of individuals and nations. One Jewish writer by the name of Hart said among the hundreds of most influential personali­ties in human history, including prophets, number one was prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
  8. Finally, according to the Qur’an, the advent of his coming was prophesied in many Scriptures, including the Bible. The Bible speaks quite clearly about a prophet, a great one to come from the descent of Ishmael. The promise of blessing is not only limited to Isaac, it is also the descendants of Ishmael. The book of Deuteronomy Chapter 18 speaks about a prophet like unto Moses, not the Son of God like unto Moses. Deuteronomy 33 speaks about Moses, Jesus and Muhammad because it speaks about Sinai, Seir, which is in Palestine and Paran which is, according to Bible, in Chapter 21 of Genesis is Mecca. Even the name Mecca or Becca, which is an alternative name, ap­peared in the 84th Psalm of David. In the book of Isaiah, Chapter 21, verses 13-17 there is an amazing description of the migration of the prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina and it is connected with the tribe of Kadad which is, according to the Bible, the descendants of Ishmael. John the Baptist, when he came, was interviewed by the Jews as reported in the gospel of John, Chapter 1, verses 19-27. And, it was quite clear that the Jews, who expected three personalities, asked him, “Are you the Christ?” He said, “No.” “Are you Elijah?” He said, “No.” And then they ask a third person, “Are you that prophet?” And, again, he said, “No.” That prophet is none but the prophet like unto Moses with a complete code of law. Thank you very much.
Ankerberg: Thank you. And responding from the Christian side will be Dr. Anis Shorrosh. Let me just say as we begin this portion that for both of our teams on the plat­form that in Islam, as a Muslim, you are to be very honorable when you talk about Jesus. So, to even disagree with a Christian, you have to be very careful. I have told these men that they can have freedom, and that we recognize when you question some of our beliefs, that is not going to be taken by us to be a disrespect on your part. But, I hope that will go the other way as well, that when we talk about our views concerning Muhammad and the Qur’an and Allah and so on that the questions that we would have, they are questions and they are to hold no disrespect. But we do want to get to the truth question. So hopefully, that will put a little oil on the water here as we start out. Anis, you may begin.
Dr. Anis Shorrosh: I greet you in the name of Jesus, the man from my hometown, my Lord and Savior. From Deuteronomy 18, verse 21 and 22, “And if you say in your heart how shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you shall not be afraid of him.” Muhammad never gave a prophecy in terms of matching the prophets of the Old Testament or even the apostles, or Jesus our Lord. The most damaging thing about this whole matter is every Muslim everyday and anytime he testifies: “I testify there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.” In fact, we read in Sura 3:144 that Muhammad is but a messenger, never is he a prophet. And a messenger like the apostles was sent with a message, but not a prophet who talked to God and God talked to him. He never states that. It was always the angel Gabriel. Something else of interest; and that is: what did he do for 15 years before he began to claim he saw these visions? And what new revelation did he give us that we did not have before already seen and depicted elsewhere. As for Moses, let me share with you what Peter declared on the day when he was preaching in the city of Jerusalem in Chapter 3 of Acts, verse 22-23, “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, whatsoever He says to you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow as many as have spoken have also foretold these days. You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our father saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” And this terminology, following these statements, indicates that the prophet is indeed Jesus Christ and not Muhammad.
Now, we come to a very significant matter that is always brought up, and that is if one is familiar with the term gospel according to the Qur’an he may wonder why in the world the word is never proven. Every knowledgeable individual knows that by the time Muhammad came the canon of the Bible was established and the 66 books comprising it were a fact of life. There­fore, we ask why did Muhammad speak of the gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Here is the astonishing discovery. Ladies and Gentlemen, we discover that from historical docu­ments that attest to the fact that Wada Kavinova, the uncle of Muhammad’s first wife, Hadiza, had indeed translated a so-called gospel of Matthew from Hebrew into Arabic. We know that this particular gospel did not include the divinity of Jesus, neither the trinity of God, because it was written by unbelieving Jews. We have pieces and particles copied in the Qur’an and other contemporary books which explain to you why Muhammad spoke only of the gospel of Jesus rather than the gospel of Jesus reflecting the same idea because it was written by unbelieving Jews that Jesus was the Son of God, there was no trinity, and so forth. Unfortunately, this gospel is extinct, but much like The Iliad or other documents we have sufficient verses here and there to know such a book was in existence and came to Muhammad’s attention while prepar­ing the Qur’an over a period of 23 years, and 15 years before that in preparation before the writing came.
Ankerberg: Thank you very much. My first question is going to be to Dr. Hussein Morsi. What you said was that Muhammad was a prophet of God because he claimed to be. Do we have anything besides Muhammad’s own word that he was a prophet? What proof for a person that might be a skeptic?
Morsi: Prophecies, hundreds of prophecies in the Qur’an, open prophecies that could have went wrong, multiple prophecies that we can go through….
Ankerberg: Give us one.
Morsi: Just one…The victory of the Romans over the Persians in a few years at the time when the Roman Empire had been seized, more than a hundred years ago and every indication was that it had been already destroyed. It is written in the Qur’an that the Per­sians won over the Romans. And in a few years the Romans would win against the Per­sians and it had been exactly six years later.
Ankerberg: What Sura is that?
Morsi: 30, number 30.
Ankerberg: Read it for us.
Morsi: Well, I do not
Badawi: The Romans had been defeated in the lower part of the land and after they are defeated, they will win again in a few years. In the Arabic language, few years means something between three to nine. And the reason for not specifying the exact date is that the military battle, as you know, can sometimes begin with one particular move or at the final end. But it did happen actually within that term and there is another prophecy in the same Sura also.
Morsi: Well, another thing that Brother Anis chose to ignore—multiple physical miracles are attributed to prophet Muhammad. However, the Muslims never make any big deal about it. They do not go around saying prophet Muhammad did such and such physi­cal miracle because physical miracles become to be part of history and some people would believe and some other people don’t believe it. But the biggest miracle that prophet Muhammad did bring to mankind and it contains a challenge to mankind to examine it— 1,400 years the Qur’an—it says if you are capable, or if any human person is capable of coming up with something of similar material, they will never be able to. Millions have tried; none succeeded. And it is a miracle, a living miracle that the Christian can examine, and I invite all of you and the audience and the viewers to examine it for yourself and judge for yourself, you will find it the biggest miracle that ever came to mankind.
Ankerberg: Let me ask you this: Does not the Qur’an say about Muhammad that he did no miracles seven different times?
Badawi: Yes, there were differences in the Qur’an to miracles. For example, in Sura 9 about divine intervention in battle, there several are mentioned and testified to in the Qur’an. Yet, some people misunderstood some statements in the Qur’an.
Ankerberg: What do you do about the statements where it actually says he did no miracles?
Morsi: No, no. I didn’t say that. I didn’t say he did not do miracles.
Ankerberg: I’m saying the Qur’an says that, so I’m saying if you have the Qur’an saying that he did no miracles, don’t you have a contradiction when the Qur’an
Badawi: The Qur’an never said that prophet Muhammad didn’t do miracles. What the Qur’an said is that they say some of the unbelievers came to him, just like the Jews came to challenge Jesus, peace be upon him. They said, “We will not believe unto you until you make the earth bring springs, until the mountains are moved.” And then it says, “Tell them, glory be to Allah, I am only a human messenger.” And there have been instances when Jesus did not respond to any demand for miracles like push button, but it did not negate that he had miracles. It simply said that those people even if you give miracles, they will not listen.
Ankerberg: Does the Qur’an, yes or no, say that Muhammad did no miracles?
Morsi: No where does it say that. No where.
Shorrosh: No where does it say that he performed any miracle. In fact, he told them that he was sent as a warner, as an apostle, as a messenger. But he never says that he was able to perform any miracles. That’s why the Jews rejected him when in the beginning they welcomed him into Medina which was controlled by the Jews and where he was a good friend with them and later turned against them because they would not accept him….
Ankerberg: In your talk, you mentioned the fact that Muhammad was predicted in the Bible to come. And, in your writings you have talked about the fact that he is the one that Jesus talked about when He said He would send the Paraclete, the Comforter. Now, you quote John 14 so that must be one of those that’s an accurate verse that has come down to us. Is that correct?
Badawi: Yes.
Ankerberg: Let’s read the verse then. Jesus says, “The counselor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things.” Now, you are saying that’s Muhammad. But Jesus goes on and says, “And he will remind you,” that’s the apostles, “of everything I have said to you.” So, the question is: How could, if that’s Muhammad, did Muhammad tell the disciples 600 years before that time?
Morsi: I think you have to go back a little bit to chapter 16 also in which he said, “how be it when he the spirit of truth is to come, he will lead you to all truth for he shall not speak of himself, but whatever God will teach him he will teach you.” Then, how can God teach the Holy Spirit if the Holy Spirit is God?
Ankerberg: What I’m asking you, Hussein, is the fact is Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would come and remind the apostles. Are you saying that Muhammad was present?
Badawi: The address that is given to the prophet is meant to address all others just like Jesus was addressing his contemporaries and he says, “You will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds” does not necessarily mean those people in front of him; it could mean also generations. And prophet Muhammad, indeed, reminded the followers of Jesus who were living in his time that this was the true teaching of Jesus and the Qur’an docu­mented the fact that many of them had tears flowing from their eyes when the prophet recited the truth about Jesus to them.
Ankerberg: Let me get the linguist on the board here. Does Paraclete mean all of those things in the gospels?
Archer: Paracletos means one who is called along side to help.
Morsi: He was a helper and comforter.
Archer: Yet, the point is very clear in verse 26—that whoever it is is going to help the then living apostles who are sitting before Jesus and who are going to have the responsibil­ity of recording the New Testament that he will bring to their recollection what Jesus has said. Now, that could not refer to something that happened in the 7th century A.D.
Morsi: Let me remind you one thing about one thing, Dr. Archer. Jesus said, “I must go in order for the comforter to come.” All of us know that the Holy Spirit was present before Jesus, during the time of Jesus, and after Jesus.
Archer: True.
Morsi: So, Jesus made it conditional that, “I must go in order for the Comforter to come,” another comforter just like Himself, another prophet to come.
Shorrosh: Not prophet.
Morsi: After Jesus, peace be upon Him, not one single prophet that came with the revelation other than Muhammad. No revelation that came by the Qur’an.
Ankerberg: Hussein, we have got one minute left. Shorrosh, you have got just one minute. That’s it.
Shorrosh: Okay. Here it is. The Paracleton’s work was not to gather armies and gain victories with earthly weapons, but to convict men of sin of righteousness, and judgment and that’s what happened on the day of Pentecost. That’s why 3,000 were saved instead of people being killed. His teaching was to glorify, not himself, but Christ and do the work Christ sent him to do according to John 16.
Badawi: If it was true that the Holy Spirit resolved all problems and gave all informa­tion on the day of the pentecost, why is it that the disciples were still differing about who Jesus is and until now we have thousands of denominations?
Ankerberg: Do we have thousands of denominations differing about Jesus?
Shorrosh: We have also 150 denominations among the Muslims.

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