Who really is the False Prophet?

 

By Sami Zaatari

 

 

 

Missionary David Wood has written an article in which he seeks to try and show that the prophet Muhammad was actually a false prophet according to the Bible. The verses and chapter he uses happens to be Deuteronomy 18, verse 20.

 

As we all know many Muslims have often used Deuteronomy 18:18 to show that this verse actually refers to the prophet hood of Muhammad. For those who are interested, Deuteronomy 18:18 reads like this:

 

"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. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account." (Deuteronomy 18: 18-19)[4]

 

 

The aim of this article is not to discuss or try to prove these verses refer to the prophet Muhammad, rather the aim of this article is to discuss verse 20, the verse David brings up. David believes that this verse happens to prove that the prophet Muhammad is a false prophet. David's article can be found here:

 

http://answeringislam.net/Authors/Wood/deuteronomy_deductions.htm

 

With that said let us now proceed to refute David's points. He writes:

 

God says:

"But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die." (Deuteronomy 18:20)

Here we have two criteria for spotting a false prophet: (1) delivering a revelation which God has not "commanded him to speak," and (2) speaking "in the name of other gods." Since Muslims who appeal to so-called biblical prophecies of Muhammad have given this passage their stamp of approval, they cannot deny the truth of A1 and B1. To sum up, Muslims have appealed to a passage in Deuteronomy 18, and that passage entails premises A1 and B1. Thus, according to Muslim claims, the first premise of each of the Deuteronomy Deductions is true.

We have seen that, according to a passage regarded by many Muslims as divine revelation, a person who either delivers a message that does not come from God or speaks in the names of false gods must be a false prophet. But this means that Muhammad was a false prophet, since he did both when he delivered the infamous "Satanic Verses."

We learn about the Satanic Verses, not from Christian or Jewish sources, but from early Muslim writings. Accounts of the Satanic Verses are given in a number of early sources, including: (1) Ibn Ishaq, (2) Wakidi, (3) Ibn Sa'd, (4) al-Tabari, (5) Ibn Abi Hatim, (6) Ibn al-Mundhir, (7) Ibn Mardauyah, (8) Musa ibn 'Uqba, and (9) Abu Ma'shar.[6] According to the great Muslim scholar Ibn Hajar, three chains of transmission (isnad) in these accounts "satisfy the conditions requisite for an authentic report."[7] Moreover, Sahih al-Bukhari, Islam's most trusted source on the life of Muhammad, gives indirect confirmation of the event (Number 4862, quoted below). Beyond this, certain verses of the Qur'an (17:73-5 and 22:52-3) were revealed in response to Muhammad's embarrassing lapse into polytheism.

 

RESPONSE

 

Basically that is David's argument, let us summarize it up:

 

-Deuteronomy 18:20 says a prophet who speaks a revelation that is not from God is actually a false prophet

 

-The prophet Muhammad spoke of a revelation that was not from God, but from Satan, i.e. the satanic verses

 

-Therefore Muhammad is a false prophet

 

That's the argument, very simple.

 

Now, is David's conclusion correct? Or has David over-zealously arrived at his conclusions? Well if we study the matter carefully, then we shall see that David was a tad bit too over-zealous in his reading and conclusions.

 

Now I am not going to argue that the Satanic verses is a false story, although there is lots of proof that it is, from top Islamic scholars in the field of hadiths. The fact is is that I don't need to do that, because even if the story is true, it still does NOT meet the criteria of Deuteronomy verse 20.

 

For starters, let us read verse 20 again, let us read the most important and crucial part, the part that David over-zealously looked over:

 

 

 "But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die." (Deuteronomy 18:20)

Notice the verse goes on to say that the false prophet shall die! So therefore the criterion is as follows:

 

-A prophet who makes a revelation which is not from God is a false prophet

 

-This prophet shall then die

 

So therefore that is the criteria which David conveniently left out because he knows that completely takes his ENTIRE argument down.

 

Now off course David and other's will reply back by saying that by die the verse actually means that the Jews will have to pass out the execution, i.e. they will have to personally kill the prophet.

 

This explanation could be true, but there is a slight problem, the verse does NOT say you will kill him, or you should kill him, for instance it does not say:

 

"But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die by you." (Deuteronomy 18:20)

"But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die at your hands." (Deuteronomy 18:20)

"But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall be killed by you." (Deuteronomy 18:20)

"But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet should be killed." (Deuteronomy 18:20)

None of the verse say that, rather the verse says:

"But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die." (Deuteronomy 18:20)

So as you can see no where in this verse does it explicitly state that death will be done only by the hands of the people, hence David cannot rely on this sole interpretation as it does not exist in this verse. The verse simply says the false prophet shall die, and we can confidently say by this wording we see that it means that God himself will lay the judgment and execution on this false prophet.

Now some may say I am being desperate, but am I? I can go on to list dozens and dozens of verses where God EXPLICITLY commands the people to go and kill sinners and false prophets, so therefore my analysis is very correct and accurate. The fact is is that in this verse, verse 20, God does NOT say go and kill the false prophet, it just says the false prophet shall die, and by the wording we see that it infers that God himself shall kill this prophet. If the interpretation of this verse solely meant that the prophet's death would come at the hands of the people, then God would have explicitly commanded it like he does in many other verses, yet in this verse he does not say go and kill the false prophet, it simply says the false prophet shall die.

So therefore David will not be able to respond back to me by saying that the death of the prophet shall come at the hands of the people, this will only be David's INTERPRETATION of the verse, yet the exact and actual direct wording of the verse does not support this interpretation. And I repeat again, there are many verses in the Bible where God explicitly calls on his believers to kill the sinners and false prophets, yet in this verse it is absent.

Now as we all know the prophet Muhammad certainly did not die after making this mistake, in fact as we all know the prophet Muhammad went on to finish the revelation and the entire revelation of the Quran!

Now we must also be honest, David must be honest as well, when we read the story of the Satanic verses we must not pick and choose, we must simply read it all and tell the entire story. Sadly missionaries never do this, they quote the entire story but simply like to stick to the part of the satanic verses, they don't like to talk about the other part of the story where angel Gabriel came and told the prophet of the mistake, and corrected it!

Let us read the rest of the story:

Then Gabriel came to the Messenger of God and said, "Muhammad, what have you done? You have recited to the people that which I did not bring to you from God, and you have said that which was not said to you." Then the messenger of God was much grieved and feared God greatly, but God sent down a revelation to him, for He was merciful to him, consoling him and making the matter light for him, informing him that there had never been a prophet or a messenger before him who desired as he desired and wished as he wished but that Satan had cast words into his recitation, as he had cast words on Muhammad's tongue. Then God cancelled what Satan had thus cast, and established his verses by telling him that he was like other prophets and messengers, and revealed:

"Never did we send a messenger or a prophet before you but that when he recited (the Message) Satan cast words into his recitation (umniyyah). God abrogates what Satan casts. The God established his verses. God is knower, wise. (174)

This is from Tabari's book.

So as you can see the angel Gabriel came down to the prophet Muhammad and told him of this error, and God himself sent down a revelation to the prophet Muhammad which reprieved him of this mistake! So how can the prophet Muhammad possibly be a false prophet?!

If David wants to accept this story then he will have to accept this part, he can't simply accept the part which seems to help his case, and ignore this part which completely debunks his case! So David, what will it be? Either you accept the entire story as it is, which means you have to become a Muslim, or you stop using this story all-together, you can't have any other choice unless you willingly employ dishonest tactics.

In fact this story perfectly fits what what I earlier said about Deuteronomy 18 verse 20, that the false prophet shall be killed by God, yet in the Satanic verses incident we see that God actually sends a revelation down to Muhammad which reprieves him and explains that this has happened to other prophets as well, indeed if Muhammad was a false prophet then God would have not sent down the revelation reprieving Muhammad, rather God would have just killed Muhammad as Deuteronomy 18 verse 20 says!

Last but not least David is acting under the proposition that commands by God in the Bible are final, meaning he does not change his mind. David very well knows that in the Bible God has changed his mind, and often gone back on a command he made and did something else! So therefore if David is not satisfied with any of what I said then this will be enough to satisfy him, that his God does change his mind sometimes and becomes forgiving and shows mercy to the one who errs.

So in conclusion David's argument just does not hold any weight, and to make matters worst the entire satanic verses issue is not a reliable event according to Islamic scholars! Visit this link:

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/prophet_muhammad__peace_be_upon_him__and_the_satanic_verses

And Allah Certainly knows Best!

www.muslim-responses.com