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The Prophet Like Moses

Muslims often quote Deuteronomy 18 and claim that it is a prophecy about the prophet of Islam.In fact, Hilali-Khan, in their translation of Sura 7:157 mention this passage (along with John 14:16) as an obvious reference to Mohammad:

Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e.Muhammad SAW) whom they find written with them in the Taurat (Torah) (Deut, xviii, 15) and the Injeel (Gospel) (John xiv, 16)

Therefore, let us see whether this claim can withstand serious cross-examination.Let me quote the verse in discussion and then I will proceed to evaluate the Muslim arguments:

18 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.
Muslims tell us that the description "among their brothers" matches Mohammad because he was a an Arab.Arabs are descendants of Ishmael, who is the brother of Isaac, the father of the Jews.So this reference to "brothers" is to the Arabs, and hence, this a prophecy of Mohammad.

But what is ignored here is that Isaac was not only the father of Jews (who by the way, consisted of twelves tribes), but also of the Edomites (descendants of his son, Esau) as well.

So we have the Arabs, the 12 tribes of Israel and the Edomites.Anyone can be the "brothers" referred to here.What good evidence do the Muslims have this prophecy is exclusively directed to the Arabs?.There is none.If there is, it is yet to be seen.

But do we have good evidence that this a reference to the Jews itself?.Yes!.We have just have to move one chapter back to see what does the word "brothers" imply:

15 be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.  (Chapter 17)

As it can be clearly seen, "brothers" is being referred exclusively to the Israelites themselves.However, it is also correct that the word has been used for other nations as well, like the Edomites in Deuteronomy 2:4.

But then our strongest proof comes from the text itself.Read the opening verses of chapter 18:

1 The priests, who are Levites—indeed the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the LORD by fire, for that is their inheritance. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them.
This proves beyond any doubt that when Moses was speaking about the coming prophet, he had only the tribes of Israel in mind, as he had used this word for the Israelites in the very same passage.This cancels out any other alternative interpretation.

So, the very notion of a non-Jewish prophet is destroyed here and therefore we can rest our case here.However, I would still dwell on the other arguments as well to present a strong, conclusive case against the Muslim claim.

When we further read this text, we find two indicators to check whether this passage talks about Mohammad or not:

20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods,  must be put to death.”
Let us see if the prophet of Islam passes these tests.

Now did Mohammad speak in the name of another God?.The Muslims will say no.They will tell you that Mohammad's message comes from the same God who is mentioned in the Bible.However since we are discussing the verses of the Bible, why not let the Bible speak for itself?.

The Bible says that God is the "Father".He is our Father and the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Duet 1:31, John 1:12, Mark 1:6 et cetera).

Yet the Qur'an says that God curses those who call Him Father (9:30)!

Dr Anis Shorrosh rightly stated in one of his debates* that out of the 99 names of Allah in the Qur'an, not one is Father.So how can we even claim that we are talking about the same God here?

Moreover, God of the Bible has revealed Himself as a Trinity, One God who exists as 3 divine persons, Father, Son & the Holy Spirit (Psalm 110:1, Is 9:6, Matt 28:19, 2 Cor 13:14 etc).

Yet the Qur'an even denies the Trinity (4:171).

Finally, the God of the Bible has given us a name.He told Moses:

AM WHO I AM  (Exodus 3:14)

In Hebrew, "I AM" is Yahweh.This is the personal name of God in the Bible and it used throughout the Old Testament.Jay Smith in his research papers states:

This name is repeated 6283 times in the Old Testament alone!.Look it up for yourself..... (note:in our English translations, Yahweh can be identified easily.Every time the word "LORD" is capitalized, it signifies Yahweh).
However, it is interesting to note that Mohammad never took this name!

He further states:

Yet, is it not curious that Muhammad, the"seal of the prophets, ", he who was commissioned to bring the`final revelation' did not even know the name of the God by whom he was commissioned? Is it not also curious that the God of Abraham, Isaac, Moses and David would go to the trouble of revealing His unique name in the Hebrew language, which was then passed down from generation to generation, upto the present day, yet somehow this name was forgotten or never revealed in the language which Muhammad claimed was God's special language, Arabic?*
So Mohammad failed this test as well.Finally, the passage under discussion tells us that the true prophet would never speak anything that God doesn't command him.However, Islamic literature records an incident where Mohammad delivered revelations from Satan, thinking they were from God!

The Qur'an states:

Never sent We a messenger or a prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolisheth that which Satan proposeth. Then Allah establisheth His revelations. Allah is Knower, Wise; 22:52
Al Jalalyn in the commentary to this verse state:

....The Prophet (s) had, during an assembly of the [men of] Quraysh, after reciting the [following verses from] sūrat al-Najm, Have you considered Lāt and ‘Uzzā? And Manāt, the third one? [53:19-20] added,  as a result of Satan casting them onto his tongue without his [the Prophet’s] being aware of it, [the following words]: ‘those are the high-flying cranes (al-gharānīq al-‘ulā) and indeed their intercession is to be hoped for’, and so they [the men of Quraysh] were thereby delighted. Gabriel, however, later informed him [the Prophet] of this that Satan had cast onto his tongue and he was grieved by it;.......

Ibn Kathir brings in more details:

At this point many of the scholars of Tafsir mentioned the story of the Gharaniq and how many of those who had migrated to Ethiopia came back when they thought that the idolators of the Quraysh had become Muslims, but these reports all come through Mursal chains of narration and I do not think that any of them may be regarded as Sahih. And Allah knows best.

Now Ibn Kathir mentions two important facts here.He states that though this event does not come through Sahih Hadith, yet it is mentioned by the scholars of Mohammad's biographies.This means that this story comes from the Islamic literature itself, coming from the hands of Muslim believers.

Now Karen Armstrong makes an interesting point:

The episode is recounted by only two of Mohammad's early biographers, and some scholars believe it to be apocryphal, though it is hard to see why anybody would make it up

(Mohammad-the Prophet of our time pg 69)
Indeed it is worthy of note.If this story is not true, how did it find it's way into the books of early Muslim scholars?.Moreover, it is more likely that this story is true rather than made-up, let's say, by the supposed "enemies" of Islam.Why?.Because this story presupposes that Mohammad actually did receive revelations from God through the Angel Gabriel and that these verses were only his mistake which were rectified by Allah himself.Anyone who wants to discredit the prophet hood of Mohammad would actually attack these areas, rather than approve of them.

On the other hand, historians would count this story as true because of the "element of embarrassment".This means that that if you love someone and write something critical about him or if you dislike someone and write something positive about him, it would be credible as it is unbiased.

Anyways, this is not an exhaustive discussion on the issue of Satanic verses, but I would like to end this by quoting John Gilchrist's assessment:

Unfortunately one finds that virtually all Muslim arguments of a factual nature against this story are equally weak.

(Muhammad and The Religion of Islam)*

So, since Mohammad spoke something in the Name of God which God did not command him, he is a false prophet as per the same text through which Muslims want to prove him a prophet!

Once again, I would say that I can close the case here only, but then this leaves one more argument.Muslims state that the verse says "like you", which means the prophet will be like Moses.Muslims scholars like Dr Zakir Naik, give the following list of similarities between Mohammad and Moses, which according to him prove that Deuteronomy 18:18 is a prophecy of his prophet:

i) Both had a father and a mother, while Jesus (pbuh) was born miraculously without any male intervention.

[Mathew 1:18 and Luke 1:35 and also Al-Qur'an 3:42-47]

ii) Both were married and had children. Jesus (pbuh) according to the Bible did not marry nor had children.

iii) Both died natural deaths. Jesus (pbuh) has been raised up alive. (4:157-158)
These were taken from, the official website of Dr Naik's organization.

So how is Mohammad, and not Jesus, similar to Moses?.Because he was born naturally, got married, had children and died naturally.But if we take this criteria seriously, then billions of people around this world would qualify as the "prophet like Moses" for how rare is it that people are born, have families and die?!.Sometimes I am just amused how thousands of people believe these arguments to "logical"

Infact, some Hadith recorded in the Mishkat-al-Masabih state that when Jesus appears in his 2nd coming, he will get married, have children and die, being buried along Mohammad himself.So, will he become the prophet like Moses when he comes back??

Moreover, this kind of argumentation assumes that any difference between Jesus and Moses will discredit Jesus from fulfilling the prophecy, while the smallest of similarities of Mohammad and Moses would prove that it was Mohammad whom Moses mentioned in the Torah.If that is true, then what do Muslims do with all the differences between Moses and Mohammad?:

1)Moses and Jesus performed great miracles, specifically of food and water, whereas Mohammad never performed any miracle*

2)Moses and Jesus were Jews-Mohammad was an Arab.In fact, according to the Qur'an, Jesus is a relative of Moses himself (19:28).

3)At the times of their births, the rulers ordered a massacre of Jewish infants (Exodus 1:16, Matthew 2:16).

4)To escape this they both ended up in Egypt.

5)When they went on mountains in the presence of God, their faces became radiant (Exodus 34:29, Matthew 17:2)-Mohammad never had this kind of fellowship with God.

6)Both had 70 helpers or disciples (Luke 10:1, Numbers 11:16).

The list can go on and on, but I think the point has been made.However, what Muslims miss in these kinds of arguments is the real similarity between Moses and Jesus.That was the element of redemption, or the freedom of God's people.

John Stott sums it up beautifully:

Indeed, God's dealings with Israel in choosing them, redeeming them, establishing his covenant with them, making atonement for their sins through sacrifice, and causing them to inherit the land of Canaan all set forth in limited and national terms what one day be available to all men though Christ.Christians can say today: God has chosen us in Christ and made us a people for his own possession.Christ shed his blood to atone for our sins and ratify the new covenant.He redeemed us not from Egyptian bondage but from the bondage of sin.

(Understanding the Bible, pg 16).

Anyone familiar with the Biblical narratives would know that Moses was God's chief agent in the saving Israel from slavery and likewise, God, through Jesus, saves us from the slavery of sin.This element of redemption is neither found in Mohammad, nor the religion he founded.

So we have seen, that there is no possible way that Deuteronomy 18:18 is a prophecy of Mohammad.

We have already seen how Jesus fits this prophecy without leaving room for any other person.To conclude, I would like to quote Jesus Himself, and his beloved Apostle Peter, who conclusively destroy the claims put forth by Muslims.

20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you (Acts 3)

46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me,  for he wrote about me. (John chp 5)

God Bless you.


List of references in order:

1)Is Jesus God? Ahmed Deedat vs Anis Shorrosh, 1985, Royal Albert Hall, London.Available on (

2)You can view papers by Jay Smith at

3)This book, along with other by Gilchrist is available online:


I would recommend you to go through the section where he deals with the "Satanic verses".

(Sir Pankaj, also give the reference of Mohammad’s miracles articles here)


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