Monday, January 12, 2009

Quick Apologetics: Muhammad in the Bible

Muslims often cite what they believe to be examples of Muhammad in the Bible. However, they cannot be blamed for this as it is an act of necessity. Muhammad claimed that he was foretold in the Bible so Muslims are bound to find examples and present it as proof to the Christians and Jews that Muhammad was a statement of their own beliefs and thus a legitimate prophet.

Here I will briefly outline the absurdity of some of these claims so that you can be ready to give a defence to this deceptive handling of your text. By the end of your argument you can always question your opponent - if the Qur'an claimed Muhammad could be found in the Bible when he actually isn't, is it possible to trust the Quran?

NB: I have derived the basis for the Islamic argument which I rebut from Zakir Naik. His answers are often posed and copy/pasted.

  1. Deuteronomy 18
  2. Song of Solomon 5
  3. John 14/15/16 and the Comforter

Old Testament

Muhammad is foretold in Deuteronomy 18:18

The LORD said to me: "What they say is good. 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. 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
Deuteronomy 18:17-20

  1. "From among their brothers" means from among the brother tribes of Israel and they claim here refers to the Ishmaelites. Muhammad was an Ishmaelite hence verse is talking about him.
  2. Muhammad was like Moses.


  1. Deuteronomy 18:18 states that the prophet will come "from among their brothers". In this verse God is talking to Moses and the Jews - such phraseology can only be applied to the fact that the language is inclusive of the people they are addressing.

    This is clarified within the Biblical context:
    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.
    Deuteronomy 17:15
    The above verse confirms the context of the usage of brothers. From among your brothers means from among your own people - not a foreigner (or Ishmaelite) - but an Israelite.

    Therefore, the verse directly excludes Muhammad as he was not from among the Israelites.

  2. As we have seen, the verse requires the person be from among the Israelites Muhammad does not meet the criteria in this respect nor was Muhammad similar to Moses in this respect.

    Moses brought in the age of the Law. Jesus fulfilled the law and brought in the Messianic age.

2. Muhammad is foretold in Song of Solomon 5:16

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is mentioned by name in the Song of Solomon chapter 5 verse 16:

"Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammadim Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem."

In the Hebrew language im is added for respect. Similarely im is added after the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to make it Muhammadim. In English translation they have even translated the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as "altogether lovely", but in the Old Testament in Hebrew, the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is yet present.


  1. The transliteration of the Hebrew of Song of Solomon 5:16 is actually incorrect. No such Hebrew word 'Muhammadim' appears in the text. The transliteration would read "Machmadim" (pronounced Mahk-Mawd-Im). The word 'Machmadim' is the plural of 'Machmad' meaning “a desirable thing, a precious thing” from the root word “chamad” meaning desirable. Hence the reason why this word is translated as it is in the respective English translations.

  2. If we were to use the word 'Machmadim' as it were Muhammad's name and a reference to him we would find the scriptures making no sense. Another example of Muhammad in the Bible would include"
    but about this time tomorrow I will send my servants to you, and they will search your house and the houses of your servants; and whatever is MUHAMMAD, they will take in their hand and carry away.’ ”
    1 Kings 20:6
As is evident, this claim of Muhammad being in Song of Solomon 5:16 results from a false transliteration of the Hebrew. If we were to accept the claim that the word was Muhammad we would find many occurrence of Muhammad where it just doesn't make sense. (E.g. 1 Kings 20:6)

New Testament


The claim goes that the Comforter/Helper/Advocate/Counsellor (depending on its English translation) or the Parakletos as it appears in the Original Greek is Muhammad and that Jesus foretold his coming. Within John 14-16 the word is used a number of times.


John 14:26 is probably the greatest response to use to this claim

But the Helper (Parakletos), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 14:26 (ESV)
  1. The Comforter is identified as the Holy Spirit. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit..." (John 14:26)
  2. The Comforter is sent by the Father in Jesus' name, "whom the Father will send in my name". (John 14:26) If the Comforter is Muhammad, then he was sent in Jesus' nam which would make Jesus God.
  3. The Comforter will teach all things and help the disciples remember all that Jesus taught, "he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."
    (John 14:26). Did Muhammad help the disciples remember what Jesus taught them?
To further this - examine the nature of the Comforter

  1. The Comforter cannot be seen by the world "The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him" John 14:17
  2. The Comforter will abide in the disciples, "He abides with you and will be in you." John 14:17
  3. The Comforter will convict the world for not believing in Jesus, "because they do not believe in ME" (John 16:8-9)
  4. The Comforter will be with the people forever, "that He may be with you forever" (John 14:16).
As is evident, the Comforter cannot be Muhammad as:
  • It is identified as the Holy Spirit (John 14:26)
  • Muhammad doesn't fit any of the attributes of the Comforter (John 14:16/17/14:16/etc)
[For more on Muhammad in John see Muhammad in the New Testament Revisited]


As is evident, these popular myths propagated by Muslims have no credibility. They rely on deception or removing the verse (or even phrases) from the context of the verse/chapter/book/testament/Bible in order to prove a point.

After debating the topic of Muhammad in the Bible numerous times I can say with full confidence that there is no reference of Muhammad as a true prophet of God within the Bible.

Bitesized Video Responses:

Deuteronomy 18:18 & Song of Solomon Response by Jay Smith [PhD Student at the London School of Theology]

John 14/15/16 and the Parakletos/Comforter by Jay Smith [PhD Student at the London School of Theology]

John 14-16 and the Comforter by Dr James White

Further Reading:

Answering Jamal Badawi: Muhammad in the Bible By Sam Shamoun
Who is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18 By Silas
Two Short, Sound, Simple Proofs that Muhammad Was a False Prophet By David Wood


  1. This is an excellent apologetic piece. Keep it simple so anyone can defend the Word!

  2. Brillant! John 16 was what almost tipped me over to the Islamic world

  3. Then don't forget to check out "Muhammad in the New Testament Revisited"