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Posts Tagged ‘The Chosen One

The Chosen One (4) … so who is he?

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Fragment from Cave 4

Fragment from Cave 4

In his book: The Jesus Dynasty, Professor James D Tabor joins the increasing number of scholars who assert that Jesus was far more human than the church would lead you to believe. Prof. Tabor also reminds us of the fact, universally accepted now, that first century Jews were expecting at least two major prophets.

We continue the search for the identity of the last of these major prophets; and put to the test the proposition that he is no other than the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Having looked at the physical description of the chosen prophet, in some detail  in previous posts; we continue to analyse these fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls entitled:  “The Chosen One”  or “المصطفى“, for further information on the historical and circumstantial attributes of the expected prophet.

When you carefully read fragment 4Q536 below, you will notice that there is a distinction made between the (words of the Prophet, said to contain great wisdom) and the (words of God that the Prophet will write in a Book that will not decay.)

This is highly significant, because Islamic tradition has always maintained a clear distinction between the words of Prophet Muhammad (ص), referred to as “Hadith” and the words of God or “The Quran” which Muslims consider to be the literal and pure words of God.

Such a distinction can only be found in Islamic scriptures, and is unparalleled, neither in Christianity nor Judaism, for the Old and New testaments do not have clear dividing lines between the words of God and those of the prophets or even the writers and narrators of stories therein.

Fragment 4Q536:

8 he made […] | that you are afraid of […] 10 he will strengthen its concealment at the end of your powers. His possessions […] | and he will not die in the days of evil. And his words will contain great wisdom. I will praise you […] | is sentenced to death. Who will write the words of God in a book that will not decay? And my sayings […] |You will come to me and in the time of evil he will know you forever. A man who […] your servants, […] sons […]

I have coloured 4 passages that contain attributes of the Chosen One:

  1. He will not die in the days of evil, so this possibly excludes Jesus -as known in Christian theology- from being the subject of the document. Muhammad (peace upon him) triumphed against his enemies and did not die until his mission was completed.
  2. Who will write the words of God in a book that will not decay: Of all the Books claiming to be a revelation from God, the Quran stands out as the only book that : 1- Claims to be the literal word of God, and 2: has been truly preserved and did decay in transmission. Whilst there is plenty of evidence of the corruption of transmission of the Bible and other sacred books, similar claims made about the Quran are but speculations and suppositions.
  3. His word will contain great wisdom: Muslims have cherished the words of the Prophet and many volumes have been written analysing every word, description, action, story about Muhammad () and Hadith became a large subject of Islamic Scholarship to extract wisdom from the noble mouth of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
  4. I will praise you: The very name of the prophet, “Muhammad“, actually means  “Praised“,  this in addition to God directly praising the Prophet in many verses of the Quran, as in [Quran 68:4] And verily, you are on an exalted character.

In summary, we find the two fragments 4Q534 and 4Q536 provide compelling evidence that Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him is indeed the Chosen One of God:

We have the physical evidence of the moles on his back and the colour of his hair. We have a prophecy that he will defeat his enemies, that his message will reach the whole world and last until the end of time. We have evidence about him being unlearned and then suddenly acquires knowledge about the holy books, angels and prophets. Evidence of his great wisdom, that his message will be universal and directed to all the people; and that he writes-  separately- the words of God in a book.

I end this post with a little challenge: Can you find any individual in history who fits the description given in fragments 4Q534 and 4Q536 better than Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam?

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Written by Rasheed Gadir

October 27, 2008 at 3:50 pm

The Chosen One (3)… more evidence

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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)

The Chosen One (2) …what is the evidence?

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Can we use fragment 4QElect (ك4المصطفى) , from the Dead Sea Scrolls, to identify Muhammad (ص) as the Chosen One, The Prophet described in the Dead Sea Scrolls? The Qumran community were expecting this prophet and many of the documents and fragments discovered in the desert attested to this fact.

In my previous post: (The Chosen One in the Dead Sea Scrolls and The Quran), I reproduced two fragments and suggested that both perfectly fit the description of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him.

Definitions:

  1. A Companion is someone who believed AND met/ saw the Prophet [PBUH]
  2. A Follower is someone who never met the Prophet [PBUH], but has met with a companion
  3. A Contiguous Narration is one where all the narrators are known to have lived at the same time and/ or known to have met each other.

The Fragment 4QElect=4Q534:

Let us look at the first paragraph from fragment 4Q534:

{[…] of his hand, two […] a mark. His | hair will be red and he will have moles on […] | and small marks in his thighs. }

The paragraph gives two important physical features of the expected prophet:

  1. The prophet is described as having red hair
  2. The prophet has moles somewhere in his body

Two features which were well documented about the beloved prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings are upon him:

The Evidence:

(I) The Moles on Prophet Muhammad’s shoulder [PBUH]:

There are several authentic, contiguous accounts of the prophet peace and blessing upon him which describe moles between his shoulders.

Imam Ahmed said in his “Supported Sayings”:

I was told by Hashim son of Al-Qasim and Aswad son of Amir, both said they were told by Shareek, quoting Asim quoting Abdallah, Son of Sarjas, he said:

I saw the Prophet peace and blessings upon him, I visited him, and ate from his food and drank from his drink and I saw the seal of prophethood. Hashim said:{they are} black moles on his left shoulders.”

.

(II) The Red Hair of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]:

A) Imam Muslim wrote in his book, “The Authentic”, quoting the Companion Jabir, son of Abdallah, that the Prophet [PBUH}, after performing the ‘farewell Hajj’, shaved his head and distributed all the hear to his followers.
Several of the Followers of the companions and others from subsequent generations testified to have seen some of the Prophet’s hair.

B) Those Followers described the Prophet’s hair they saw as red, They thought the color as caused by the use of Henna and Katam (Plant leaves mixture used for dying hair)

Imam Bukhari wrote in his book: Athentic Sayings, Hadith (Saying No 5340) said:

Ibn Bakir told me, he said: I was told by Al-Laith, he heard it from Saeed Ibn Abi Hilal, he heard it from Rabi’a, son of Abi Abdel Rahman, he said: I heard Anas, son of Malik describe the Prophet [PBUH], he said:

“The Prophet was neither conspicuously tall, nor short; neither, very white, nor tawny. His hair was neither much curled, nor very straight. Allah sent him at the age of forty, he stayed for ten years in Mecca and for ten more years in Medina. Allah took him unto Him at the age of sixty and he scarcely had ten white hairs on his head and in his beard.” Rabi’a said: I then saw some of the Prophet’s hair, and it was red, I asked about it and was told it was because of perfume.”

Imam Ahmed and Imam Bukhari wrote in their books, both on the authority of Othman, son of Abdallah,

Ahmed said: “ I was told by by Hashim son of Al-Qasim, he said: I was told by Abu Moaiwa (Shaiban), quoting Othman son of Aballah, he said:

We went to Um Salamah (The Prophet’s wife) and she showed us some of the Prophet’s hair, It was red from Henna and Katam.”

C) However, a major companion, Anas, son of Malik, was quoted by Imam Muslim in an authentic, contiguous narration that the prophet did NOT dye his hair.

Anas was a young boy who lived with the prophet as his domestic assistant and was one the companions who knew the prophet (PBUH) very closely, therefore Anas’ words carry significant weight.

Imam Muslim wrote in “The Authentic Sayings”:

I was told by Mohamed son of Bakar son of Al Ryan, he said: I was told by Ismail son of Zacharia, he quoted Asim Al Ahwal, he quoted (Mohamed) son of Sirin, he said:

“I asked Anas, son of Malik if the Messenger of Allah [BUH] dyed his hair, he (Anas) replied: ‘He did not get to that, he had a few white hairs in his beard’, he (Mohamed son of Sirin) said, then I asked: Did Abu Bakr?: Anas said: ‘Yes with Henna and Katam.’ “

We can conclude that:

  1. Prophet Muhammad distributed his hair to his companions only a few months before his death.
  2. The Prophet hair was indeed red, a realisation of another description of the Chosen One in the fragment of the Dead Sea Scroll.

Read Also from this series: The Chosen One (1), The Chosen One (3), The Chosen One (4)

The Chosen One in the dead sea scrolls

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If you are interested in religion, then these fragments from the Dead Sea scrolls should stir your curiosity. They are amongst the few scrolls available to the English language reader, which speak about an important prophet, described as ‘The Chosen One’ or ‘The Elect One’.

So, Who is this Chosen One mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls? Could it be Jesus or Noah?

The fragments are designated: 4Qelect=4Q534 and 4QarNC=4Q535-6. They were translated and published in English by Xeravits and Geza G, paraphrased by Nick Flangian.

I have asked myself the questions above and I know of only one person in history that fits the description, almost perfectly: prophet Muhammad, pbuh, the messenger of Islam.

I have marked as bold important phrases that have striking similarities to what we know about the prophet, peace and blessings are upon him.

I invite my readers to read the fragments carefully, and try to come with their own answers about the identity of the prophet.

In this post, I will only reproduce the paraphrased scrolls, and leave their discussion for the next post.
4Qelect=4Q534:

col-1:
[…] of his hand, two […] a mark. His | hair will be red and he will have moles on […] | and small marks in his thighs. [And after t]wo years, he will know one thing from another. | 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. […]

col2:
1[…] which […] fell in ancient times. The sons of the pit […] | […] evil. The spot […] | […] | […] in order to go […] […] flesh […] | […] | and his breathing out […] | forever […] | 10 | […] | and the cities […] | and they will destroy […] | The waters will stop […] they will destroy […] from the heights. They will all come […] […] | […] and they will all be destroyed. His work will be like that of the Watcher. | Instead of his voice […] he will establish his foundation on him. His sin and his error | […] the Holy One and the Watchers […] to say | they will speak against him […].

The second fragment is even more interseting:

4Q536:

frag 1 Col 1
[…] you will be […] | […] he will make you think of the holy angels […] | […] the lights will be revealed to him | […] all of his teachings […] the wisdom of humanity, and every wise man | […] in the region he will be great | […] humanity will be troubled | […] he will share God’s secrets | […] he will understand God’s mysteries […]

frag 1 Col 2

8 he made […] | that you are afraid of […] 10 he will strengthen its concealment at the end of your powers. His possessions […] | and he will not die in the days of evil. And his words will contain great wisdom. I will praise you […] | is sentenced to death. Who will write the words of God in a book that will not decay? And my sayings […] |You will come to me and in the time of evil he will know you forever. A man who […] your servants, […] sons […]

original paraphrase by Nick Flangian

Read from this series: The Chosen One (2), The Chosen One (3), The Chosen One (4)

Written by Rasheed Gadir

January 9, 2008 at 4:36 pm