A Prophet Like Moses: Jesus or Muhammad?

by Thomas Davis, Ratio Christi Chapter Director at Collin College 

An Islamic claim was made popular by the late Muslim apologist and writer Ahmed Deedat: Muhammad is the prophet like Moses that was predicted in Deuteronomy. Deedat references Deut. 18:18: “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”

(Editor’s Note: Although Deedat passed away in 2005, his writings, speeches and debates, including at least one with Christian apologist Josh McDowell, are still quite prevalent and being circulated via the internet. So it makes sense to explore and challenge some of his claims in order to be prepared for conversations and encounters.)

Deedat begins with the assumption that the only two criteria Christians use to determine Jesus is like Moses is that they are both Jews and prophets.1  He then attempts to show that Jesus is not like Moses, while Muhammad is like Moses, and argues that Muhammad should be counted among the brothers of the Hebrews. Deedat adds that Allah put the words of the Qur’an in the mouth of Muhammad.

Is Muhammad among the brothers of the Hebrews? To make this argument Deedat refers back to Genesis where Abraham has a son by Hagar named Ishmael. Abraham makes a covenant with God by circumcising Ishmael. Deedat references three verses to make this argument: “And Abram called his son, which Hagar bore, Ishmael’ (Genesis 16:15). “And Abraham took Ishmael HIS SON…” (Genesis 17:23). “And Ishmael HIS SON was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin (Genesis 17:25).”2 Ishmael is the oldest son of Abraham, who was circumcised before Isaac was born. Muhammad is a descendant of Ishmael, and of Abraham. Therefore Muhammad is from among the brethren of the Hebrews.

The big obstacle standing in the way of Deedat’s argument is the text of Genesis. He skips over certain verses while neglecting other passages. For instance…

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A Prophet Like Moses: Jesus or Muhammad? | Ratio Christi