Having gone through the concept of One God, we now proceed to explain the belief in messengers of that God whom He sent to guide mankind at various times.
The first commandment in Islam is “There is no god, except Allah; Muhammad is His (last) messenger.”
We shall now proceed to study & explain the second half of that commandment: “Muhammad is His (last) messenger.”
Muslims, and all people to whom Scriptures were revealed (Jews & Christians) believe that about 124000 prophets have come on the face of the earth at different periods of time; at different places, to all races of whom Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet. There can be no more prophets after him, for very obvious reasons. (Refer to the Tamil book ‘Religion of Peace – the First Religion of India’)
And all these prophets conveyed the same message, namely;
There is no god except that Only God, the Creator & Sustainer of the whole universe and all that are within & beyond.
Pray only to Him; and none others.
Believe and follow the messenger (of that period of time).
Do good; and avoid evil.
Who was this Muhammad?
He is one, whose coming to this world, had been foretold by God Himself, when He took a Covenant with the souls of all prophets yet to appear in this world, as told in Al-Quran:
“And (remember) when Allah took the Covenant of the prophets, saying ‘Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah (understanding of the laws of Allah), afterwards there will come to you a Messenger (Muhammad) confirming what is with you; and you must then, believe in him and help him. Allah said: ‘Do you agree (to it) and will you take up My Covenant (which I conclude with you)?’ They said, ‘We agree.’ He said ‘Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses (for this)’”
This is exactly like a principal of a college; or a headmaster of a school, introducing the vice-principal or the senior teacher (senior assistant) to other teachers; and telling them to give their fullest cooperation to that person. Although the various teachers teach in different classes, they all would have knowledge of the vice-principal/senior teacher, about whom they were told by the principal/headmaster. They in turn, would keep on telling their students about that person who would be teaching them in the final year.
As in a school, no class is left without a teacher to teach the students, in the history of mankind, God has not left any race, or community without a prophet to guide them. There had always been one or sometimes more than one prophet at any one period, guiding their respective community towards Righteousness, as is said in Al-Quran:
“And for every ummah (community or nation) there is a messenger……”
(Surah Yunus (10):47
“And verily, We have sent among every ummah (community or nation) a messenger (proclaiming):
‘Worship Allah (alone) and avoid worshipping others…..” (Surah An-Nahl (16):36
“………and there never was a nation to whom a messenger was not sent.” (Surah Fatir (35):24
Of the 124000 prophets, some (25) are mentioned in Al-Quran; most of them are not.
“And Messengers We have mentioned to you before, and Messengers We have not mentioned to you…. (Surah An-Nisa (4):164
And, all these prophets (peace be upon all of them) have directly or indirectly prophesized the coming of Prophet Muhammad as the last messenger of God – fulfilling the Covenant made between Allah and them, in the realm of souls. Thus, all scriptures of the various religions – revelation from God to particular prophets – speak about Prophet Muhammad, the last prophet. We shall now see some of them :
Christian scripture; the Holy Bible
“Hikko Manittadim Vikklu Mahamadim Zabyudi Vez eur Raai Benute Yafus Halam” –
(Old Testament : Song of Solomon : 5:16) meaning “His speech is most sweet = (His teachings are most sweet).
He is Muhammad. He is my beloved; he is my friend. Oh, daughters of Jerusalem, I love him very much.”
In this song, in Hebrew language, the word ‘Muhammad’ is very clearly mentioned. The last 2 letters – ‘im’ –with which the name ends, are used as ‘word of respect’ – usual usage in Hebrew language. (in the bible of other languages, that praise has been translated as ‘he is altogether lovely’ – the original word Muhammad having been left out!!)
Moses (Prophet Musa a.s.) in Deuteronomy 18:18 (Old Testament):
“God says to Moses ‘I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put My words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command.”
When analyzing this verse in detail, it would become obvious that this phrase refers only to Prophet Muhammad; and none else. Such analysis had been done by many eminent scholars and this was confirmed.
Jesus (Prophet Isa a.s) in the New Testament (John: 15:26)
“When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father (God) the Spirit of Truth, who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.”
We can see here that Jesus is talking of someone yet to come; and he calls him ‘Spirit of Truth’ and ‘Counsellor’. ‘Spirit of Truth’ in Arabic is ‘Al-Ameen’, by which name prophet Muhammad was also called because of his honesty.
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can bear. But when he, the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you unto all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears; and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
These words of Jesus are most befitting to Prophet Muhammad. As everyone knows, every word of Al-Quran is not Prophet Muhammad’s words; but ‘wahyu’ – words that he heard from God; and he (Prophet Muhammad) had foretold many things, which has happened; is happening now; and will happen in future.
‘Thikanikaya’ is one of the Buddhist scriptures. In it, is stated that ‘Maitriya’ will finally come.
During the later years of Gautama Buddha, his closest disciple Ananda asked: “Who shall teach us when you are gone?”
Budhha replied: “I am not the first Buddha who came upon earth; nor shall I be the last. In due time, another Buddha will arise in the world, a holy one, a supremely enlightened one; endowed with wisdom in conduct auspicious; knowing the universe; an incomparable leader of men; a master of angels and mortals. He will reveal to you some external truths which I have taught you. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at its climax, and glorious at the goal. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and pure such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousands, while mine number many hundreds.”
Ananda said: “How shall we know him?”
Buddha replied: “He will be known as ‘Maitriya.’”
It is also stated in the book ‘Arshagyanem’ (page 282) as Buddha having said: “All must believe the ‘Maitriya’ – the prophet to come.”
The word ‘Maitriya’ – or, ‘Mettaya’ in Pali language – and all corresponding words used in Burmese, Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese carry the same meaning as the Arabic word ‘Rahmath’ – meaning, ‘Blessed’; ‘Benevolent’; ‘Merciful’; ‘Compassionate’; etc.
And, Prophet Muhammad has been addressed by God Himself in Al-Quran as,
“Rahmath (=Maitriya) Lil Aalameen” – meaning (Muhammad is) blessing for the whole universe.”
And, if we analyse in detail the qualities and merits of Maitriya that Buddha had prophesied, we can see that it refers to only Prophet Muhammad; and none else.
The holy scriptures of Hinduism are Rig Veda; Sama Veda; Yajoor Veda and Adarvana Veda; and also the Puranas, such as Bhavishna Purana, etc.
All these, mention about the coming of Prophet Muhammad.
Rig Veda: “Mahamat, who is truthful, knowledgeable and powerful, will bless Me. He is a Blessing for the whole world (refer ‘Maitriya’ in Buddhism = Blessing). He is glorified with ten thousand people.”
It is to be noted that the word ‘Mahamat’ is mentioned here; and ‘ten thousand people’ refers to the 10000 companions of Prophet Muhammad who accompanied him when he marched to Makkah.
In Sama Veda:
“Ahmad acquired Shariah (religious laws) from his Lord. This Shariah is full of wisdom. I receive light from him, just as from the sun.” (11:6,8)
Here again, the name of the prophet to come has been specified as ‘Ahmad’ (same meaning as ‘Mohamed’). But, some old commentators, because of ignorance of the Arabic language, split the word ‘Ahmad’ into ‘Ahm at bi’ and gave wrong interpretations. However, other verses in the same Sama Veda affirm that ‘Ahmad’ is none other than Muhammad, thus:
“A man called ‘Mamma’ (sound similar to ‘Muhammad’, isn’t it?) will attain victory with his ten thousand people.”
Same message is told in the Bible too. Deutoronomy 33:2 relates:
“…….he shone from Mount Paran; he came with the 10000 holy ones.”
‘Mount Paran’ is nowhere else except in Arabian Peninsula; and the ‘10000 holy ones’ are the 10000 companions of Prophet Muhammad who accompanied at the victory of Makkah.
Adarvana Veda: Allobanishad 1:10:
“Allah is complete (the word ‘Allah’ does appear in the original Sanskrit text.) The whole universe belongs to Him. Mahamat (here again, the word Mahamat does appear in the original text) who glorifies God’s existence, is His messenger……..”
‘Mahabarata’ is one of the oldest Hindu scripture written many centuries before the birth of Prophet Muhammad. In it too, is the prophecy of the coming of the last prophet, in the chapter ‘Kaliyuga Kandam’. It is written thus:
“In the period of Kaliyuga (the last ‘yuga’ – celestial period) a person named Mohamat will be born. The clouds will provide shade for him. He will migrate from his place of birth. He will marry many wives. To him will descend a scripture with 30 Parts. He will conquer his birth place, with might of warriors. He will cleanse the place of worship. The world will attain peace through him.”
Please note in the above passage that even name ‘Mahamat’ has been clearly specified.
Bhavisnya Purana: this is supposed to have been written by the sage, Maha Rishi Viyasar. In its original script the translation of which is as follows:
“A ‘Milechar’ (a foreigner) will appear as a teacher of a new religion, with help of his friends. His name would be ‘Mahamat’. A king of this land will give great respect to his teaching; and praise him. Cleansing himself with Ganges water and Panjagouyam, he would say, “I wholeheartedly follow you.” He (Mahamat) would be devoid of all sins. Coming from dry (desert) land, he would be very holy. He will fight against evil forces. He will gather warriors for this purpose. He will give protection even to enemies.”
In this verse also, the name ‘Muhammad’ is mentioned directly as ‘Mahamat’.
Pharsi religion (the religion that was practiced in Iran in pre-Islamic era) is one of the oldest religions in the world. Its scriptures are known as ‘Dasatir’ & ‘Jant Avasthe’). In the ‘Dasatir’, in its 14th verse, Islamic principles with administrative laws are written. In these verses, prophecy about Prophet Muhammad is stated very clearly:
“When Persian morality declines to lowest, a man will appear from Arabia. Those following him will choke the Persian crown, religion, and everything. The authority & control of Persia will go them. The idols in their (Arabic) permanent temple (Kaaba) built by their ancestors will be removed. But, people will give immense honour to the empty temple. Das & Bulk (2 big cities of that time in Persia) will fall. The learned people and others of Persia, will join those who follow him (Prophet Muhammad).”
This olden Persian scripture is still found in present day Iran.
Thus, we have so far seen in detail, that all religions & all scriptures convey the same message; that is:
“There is only one God (who is to be worshipped); and Muhammad is His (last) messenger.”
which is the first & foremost tenet in Islam. In other words, every prophet and every scripture preached Islam only; but, subsequently the followers of the prophets had deviated from the originality and introduced deviant concepts into the original teachings of the prophets.
If only mankind can understand this, there would be no religious conflicts.