A somewhat strange rumour has appeared on certain internet forums where religion is the main topic. *Some* Muslims have started claiming that Mohammed, their prophet, appears in the Jewish Tanakh…!
This is nonsense, of course. The Tanakh was written long, long, long before Islam even existed. And just as Jews constantly find ourselves breaking it to Christians that No, Jesus is not mentioned in the Tanakh, it seems that now we’ll have to break similar news to our Muslim friends.
Because the fact remains, however much some people try to twist the original Hebrew, neither Jesus nor Mohammed appear anywhere in the Tanakh.
For anyone out there who wants to refute the specific claims being made by some Muslims, here is a response given by a Chabad Rabbi who has very modestly declined to be named.
His answer appeared originally in an online forum, and I haven’t changed it, as I think it does a great job of addressing this absurd rumour re Mohammed and the Jewish texts:
” Mohammed has never claimed any connection to Torah. Now you want to claim he was prophesised in there?
First of all, Deutoronomy 18:18-19 is not even a prophet speaking. G-d is talking to Moses about false prophets. G-d says that he will only put his words in a true prophet’s mouth.
You ask: ‘Then why does it say “from among their brethren”? doesn’t this refer to Ishmael or Jesus?’
NO. certainly not Ishmael (and therefore Mohammed). Jews are called ‘brothers’ and ‘brethren’ all over the Torah. Aside from being the brother to Isaac, Ishmael and Ishmaelites are NEVER called ‘brother’ or ‘brethren’ in the Torah.
So what does it mean?
According to the Mikraos Gedolos, it means that it must be from ‘among your brothers’, i.e. in Israel.
One sign of a false prophet will be if he prophesizes outside of Israel (which ironically, Mohammed did). With this in mind, we can now understand why Jonah tried to ‘run away from G-d.’
He was trying to run away from prophecy, since he knew he couldn’t prophesize outside of Israel. This is also why he was so surprised to prophesize and hear from G-d outside of Israel – he was an exception to the rule.
You ask: What about ‘like unto thee’ in the verse?
Mikraos gedolos explains that this means that the prophet must be a Jew, just like Moses was.
Again, this is not a prophecy. No other prophecies are spoken near it, and it’s G-d speaking, not Moses or any other prophet.
Oddly enough, while you claim this is a prophecy, both Christiany and Islam conveniently ignore the rest of the Torah.
Isaiah 29:12 – it’s a far reach to try and say it refers to Mohammed. Because he used the same words as are said in Isaiah? I didn’t understand the attempt. Does this mean that because I say the ‘Shema’ prayer every day, and it’s word for word from the Torah, I’m also a prophet?
As for the Song of Solomon, I’m sorry, but this is illogical as it would mean the adjective is changed into a proper noun and the word is actually changed from machmadim to ‘muhammad’. This would make no sense and render the verse incoherent.
*With many thanks to my Chabad contact for providing this information!