Hard Questions

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The Chosen One (3)… more evidence

with 7 comments


Still studying fragment 4Q534 (The Elect or المصطفى) from the Dead Sea Scrolls, cave 4. In my first and second post on the fragment, I put forward explained that the physical description of the awaited prophet matched what we knew about prophet Muhammad (ص).

Here, we will look at more passages that also describe the awaited chosen prophet . It is astonishing how the description of attributes of the prophet and events surrounding his life, closely match the life and attributes of prophet Muhammad (ص).

While he is young, he will be like …[…like] someone who knows nothing, until he 5knows the three Books […] |` Then he will gain wisdom and learn understanding […] visions will come to him while he is on his knees. | And with his father and ancestors […] life and old age. He will have wisdom and discretion | and he will know the secrets of man. His wisdom will reach out to everyone and he will know the secrets of all living things. | All of their plans against him will fail, and his rule over all things will be great. 10[…] his plans will succeed because he is the one picked by God. His birth and the breath of his spirit […] and his plans will last forever. […].

Prophet Muhammad (ص) could not read nor write, he, therefore, closely resembles the description of the scrolls: “While he is young he will be like …[…like] someone who knows nothing, until he 5knows the three Books

The three books mentioned in the scrolls are most probably a reference to the Books of Moses and Abraham in addition to the Quran. Allah tells us in the Quran:

[Quran 87:18-19] Lo! This is in the former scrolls.[18] The Books of Abraham and Moses.[19]

The fragment then says ” visions will come to him while he is on his knees.”. This again is a perfect match to what we know about the first encounter between prophet Muhammad (ص) and the Arch angel Gabriel:

Imam Bukhari wrote in his “Authentic Sayings”:

I was told by Yahia, son of Bikir, he said: Iwas told by Laith, quoting Okail, who quoted Ibn Shihab, he quoted Orwa, son of Al Zubair, who cuoted Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers), she said:

The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Messenger was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read.

Read Also from this series: The Chosen One (1), The Chosen One (2), The Chosen One (4)

7 Responses

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  1. Assalamualikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Brother Rasheed,

    I want to thank you for your very insightful posts. Your evaluations and references on the topic of the dead sea scrolls have cleared up certain doubts in my mind.

    I have a few questions for you, because I had received sources from a reverted Muslim who read the dead sea scrolls, and told me that the scrolls prove that the Bible hasn’t changed over 2000 years, and that they were written 600 years before Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] was born. Now, I do not know if these claims are fact or not, but if indeed they were they would prove that:

    Esau/Jesus [PBUH] was God, as mentioned in the bible.

    Are we as Muslims supposed to denounce the New Testaments where the Holy Trinity is implemented and Jesus’ claim that he was God?

    And this Muslim revert brother is having a lot of confusions on Islam by the researching of Robert Spencer on the views of Islam, especially Jihad. You might have heard of him.

    Another side-tracked question here. What would you comment on this Christian’s statement:

    Muslims say that Jesus is just a prophet, and He’s not the Messiah. A prophet is someone inspired by God. Whom God gives visions of the future and different things that He wants them to let people know. If Jesus was a prophet, then what He said would be true. It would have been a message from God to us. So then why don’t they believe that He’s the messiah. He said it constantly. He also constantly spoke about dying on the cross and rising on the third day. In fact, the whole Mosaic Law with it’s sacrifices, foreshadowed Jesus, and what He was going to do for us. Jesus is foreshadowed all throughout the Old Testament.

    Now, I have learned that Muslims do not deny the fact that Esau/Jesus [PBUH] was in fact a Messiah. But I really want you to focus on the part where Esau/Jesus [PBUH] ‘constantly speaking about dying on the cross and rising on the third day.’

    If I’m not mistaken, do we as Muslims believe that Allah [SWT] -REPLACED- Esau/Jesus [PBUH] with that of a resemblance when he was nailed to the cross?

    I do not have much knowledge in it, and I completely trust you to provide me with some clear, concise answers as you have proven to provide, Insha Allah.

    —Also, aside the discrepancies that you’re in fact very busy. Please reply as soon as time will possibly allow for you.

    Jazak Allah Khair.

    Sara

    March 24, 2008 at 5:24 am

  2. As-salam Alaikum sister Sara

    I am very grateful for your kind comments. I will do my best to try an answer your questions as soon as I can.

    The questions you raised are important because missionaries mistakenly believe them to pose difficulties for Muslims.

    Rasheed

    March 25, 2008 at 3:07 pm

  3. Sister Sara

    Regarding your question about Jesus constantly speaking about dying on the cross and rising on the third day, you have to remember that the gospels were written to emphasise the Pauline theology, which centred on this alleged crucifixion. The books were NOT written by eye witnesses nor even people who were around at the time. Without the crucifixion there will be no Christianity as we know it today.

    It appears that Geza Vermes, who is prominent scholar who actually worked with the Dead Sea Scrolls for many years and has produced a comprehensive translation of the scrolls, has just published a book that questions the resurrection of Jesus and is admitting what Muslims have been saying for centuries: The account of Jesus crucifixion and resurrection is not a reliable historical fact. I am waiting for my copy of the Book and suggest you get one too.

    What your friend says about the preservation of the Bible is just wishful thinking on his part.

    here is a review of the book:
    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/non-fiction/article3592915.ece

    Rasheed

    March 28, 2008 at 1:52 am

  4. Dear sister Sara,

    Allow me to answer some of the questions in your comment.

    The person whom you referred to as a “reverted Muslim” told you that the Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the Bible hasn’t changed over 2000 years. I must say that it is important before we discuss this claim that we understand which part of the Bible he is talking about. Is he talking about the NT or the OT? I am saying this because clearly the NT is less than 2000 years old.

    Having said that, I am ready to make the claim that nothing, absolutely nothing, can prove that the Bible (either NT or OT) has not changed, simply because scholarly evidence has proven that in many places the Bible has indeed been changed. We may differ as to the “extent” and “impact” of the changes but the scholarly evidence is very obvious. You can ask this “reverted Muslim” to search the subject on the Net, and be quite confident that he will find overwhelming research work leading to this fact.

    Another point, when your friend says that the Bible was written 600 years before Prophet Mohamed, I don’t see the significance of that. Prophet Mohamed received the Quran which is the Word of God, while the Bible is a collection of books (gospels and other literature) by various authors. The Quran has the utmost authority because it contains only the Word of God, while the Bible is a mixture of God’s words and human writings.

    Another point, I don’t see where (neither in the Dead Sea Scrolls nor in the Bible we currently have) there is proof that Jesus is God!! Yet, even if someone can point out a passage in the Bible where Jesus explicitly says “I am God” or “I am the Son of God” or “Worship me and worship my mother”, etc.. this can never be taken as evidence for the simple reason that as a Muslim you cannot accept the account of the Bible above that of the Quran. It is very simple; here we have two books, the Quran which we believe to be the true Word of God, and the Bible which we believe to be a mixture of God’s revelations along with additional human writings. Now, when we have two conflicting accounts about any issue, which one should we accept; the account of the book which we believe to be the inerrant word of God, or the account of the other book?

    Again and again we will always come back to the choice between the two books; the Quran and the Bible. Because they have contradictory accounts we cannot put them at the same level; one of them should be put above the other. One of them should have more authority over the other. For me, I will take the account of the book which proves to be 100% God’s word; anything else comes bellow. How can anyone claim that the Bible is 100% God’s word when we have all this evidence about human contribution to its content?!!!!

    Having said that about the authority of the Bible as second to that of the Quran, we still have the other issue of “interpretations” of the Bible. It is not easy to accept the claims about the trinity or about the divinity of Jesus because they are all based on “interpretations” of Bible passages which can be (and have been) interpreted differently. So, in essence, we have two issues: a) which Book is more authoritative, and b) which interpretation is more true!

    If a Muslim starts to question the account of the Quran and starts to accept more the account of the Bible, this in effect means that he/she is doubting the Quran and is giving higher credibility to the Bible. But in this case, is he/she a Muslim anymore?

    As for Jesus’ being a prophet and a messiah, Islam clearly considers Jesus as a prophet and as a messiah. This is explicitly stated in the Quran. As for his prophecies (including that about dying on the cross and rising on the third day), we will come again to the difference between the Bible’s account and the Quran’s account. The Quran’s account says that Jesus has not yet died but will die after his second coming, and it categorically rejects that he was killed or even crucified. As for the Bible’s account, I know that the Bible has passages where Jesus tells his disciples that he will “depart” them, but I found nowhere where he says “I will die”! In the prophecy about Jesus’ rising on the third day, the word “rising” cannot be taken as “rising from the dead” because he did not “die” to begin with. The sign of Jonah which Jesus gave to his disciples is actually a proof that Jesus did not die, because Jonah was in the belly of the wale for three days and three nights “alive” not dead. Moreover, if the sign/prophecy is to be taken seriously, then the count of “three days” and “three nights” must be accurate. Which means if Jesus appeared to Mary on Sunday morning (as given in the Bible), then for the prophecy to be accurate he must have “hidden” in the belly of the earth (maybe in some cave or grave) starting “daytime” Thursday (that is the day before the crucifixion). This way the three days are: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and the three nights are: Thursday at night, Friday at night, and Saturday at night.

    Allah does not give details in the Quran about how He saved Jesus from the crucifixion, but after stating that they (the Jews) neither killed nor even crucified Jesus, Allah says “ولكن شُبِّه لَهم” (wa laken shobbeha lahom). These words can be interpreted in many ways but all leading to the understanding that “things were made to appear to them as such”. This can happen in various possible ways, replacement is a possibility, but in all cases nothing is difficult for God. Jesus was born to a virgin without a father. Today, and always, Jesus’ conception and birth is a scientific impossibility, but since we accept it why can’t we accept that God Almighty saved Jesus in some miraculous way and made it look to the Jews and the Romans as if they were actually crucifying and killing Jesus, when in fact Jesus was probably hiding somewhere!

    -Abdo.

    عبده

    April 13, 2008 at 11:58 am

  5. Salam Rasheed

    your post above to Sister Sara (28 Mar 08 at 1:52) says:

    ‘Regarding your question about Jesus constantly speaking about dying on the cross and rising on the third day, you have to remember that the gospels were written to emphasise the Pauline theology, which centred on this alleged crucifixion. The books were NOT written by eye witnesses nor even people who were around at the time. Without the crucifixion there will be no Christianity as we know it today.

    Without wishing to appear negative, may I make a few comments?

    you claim: ‘you have to remember that the gospels were written to emphasise the Pauline theology, which centred on this alleged crucifixion’

    Where is the evidence for this assertion? I would accept that Mark and Luke come from within a Pauline conception of Christianity, but Matthew certainly did not. Matthew appears to portray Jesus as a Law observant Jew who did NOT come to abolish the Law (contrary to statements in Mark and Luke, and of course Paul).

    Furthermore you say, ‘Geza Vermes has just published a book that questions the resurrection of Jesus and is admitting what Muslims have been saying for centuries: The account of Jesus crucifixion and resurrection is not a reliable historical fact.’

    I have read this book (and I think all of Vermes’ work) and nowhere to my knowledge does he ever doubt the crucifixion of Jesus as an actual historical event.

    Paul

    Paul Williams

    December 17, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    • Paul,

      Your two remarks are valid, but I did not mean to say that every single verse in the gospel was written to emphasise Pauline theology, but a considerable proportion did. Over the years. all books of the bible went through redactions and harmonisations by scribes to emphasise certain beliefs.

      As for Geza Vermes book, I know he did not question the resurrection, but in his book, he questioned the authenticity of most of the written details. I said he questioned the “account” of the resurrection, and this is absolutely true.

      Rasheed

      December 18, 2008 at 4:35 am

  6. The ancient copies of the gospels vary very little from the modern ones. Differences are typographical, not of doctrine. The oldest gospels pre-date the oldest koran by 300 years. What evidence do you cite for the redactions?

    Guy Macher

    November 7, 2009 at 6:46 pm


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