The Claim that Muhammad was the Prophet like Moses

"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." -- Deuteronomy 18:18

In regard to the above verse, many Muslims claim that because God is speaking to the Israelites who are the seed of Isaac, then the phrase "from among their brothers" must mean the descendants of Ishmael since Ishmael was Isaac's brother. Therefore, they reason, the "prophet like Moses" who was prophesied to come, can only refer to Muhammad since he was the only great prophet to descend from Ishmael, and like Moses, instituted the Law of God and performed miracles.

First let us deal with the phrase "from among their brothers." We get a better understanding of what this means from a similar usage when God instructed the Israelites about choosing a king. Notice Deuteronomy 17:14-15.

When ... you say "Let us set a king over us like the nations around us, "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.

Surely, no Muslim familiar with ancient Middle Eastern practice would expect the Israelites to seek a descendent of Ishmael for their king. Furthermore, it is clear that the phrase "from among their brothers" simply means a brother Israelite.

Secondly, in comparing Muhammad to Moses, it is important to read Deuteronomy 34:10-12. This gives us a concise description of Moses and indicates what was to be expected of this future prophet.

Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders... For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

From the Holy Scriptures we know that (1), Moses was an Israelite; (2) he was known by God "face to face," meaning God spoke to him directly, -- not through an intermediary; and (3) he performed awesome miracles. Muslims claim Muhammed is the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18:18. Christians, however, are convinced that the "prophet like Moses" is none other than Jesus the Messiah, and base their claim according to the following comparisons:

Moses                      Jesus                     Muhammad 
=====                      =====                     ========
Prophet from               Prophet from              Prophet from 
among the                  among the                 among the 
Israelites                 Israelites                Arabs

                           the tribe of Judah,       (Sura 32:3;
                           (Matthew 1:3,             36:6; 34:43-44)
                           Luke 3:33)

Revelations                Revelations               Revelations
directly                   directly                  indirectly

from God                   from God                  through the 
(Sura 4:164                (John 12:49-50,           angel Gabriel 
Exodus 33:11)              4:10)                     (Sura 2:97) 

Miracles                   Miracles                  No Miracles 

(Sura 2:50 sea             (Sura 3:49                (Sura 6:37 
Sura 2:57 manna)           Matthew 8:27 sea          Sura 28:48)
                           John 6:11-14 manna)

In addition to the above, the New Testament confirms that the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:18 was fulfilled by Jesus the Messiah. Read Acts 3:17-26. Notice verse 22: For Moses said, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people..."

In closing, note carefully what Surat-ul Qasas (28:48) says:

But (now) when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, "Why are not (Signs) sent to him (Muhammad), like those which were sent to Moses."

It is evident from this verse that even according to Al-Qur'an, Muhammad was not looked upon as one like Moses!

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