The Word Muhammad in the Bible

MV: This study is really interesting, even through much of the Bible and Torah were changed its amazing to see such a possibility to still exist.

Thanks to Adeel Umer.

You can read the rest of the study here.

“This brief study seeks to answer the simple question of whether or not the Hebrew Bible refers to the word Muhammad, or more specifically to one of its Hebrew cognates, as a proper name. The usefulness of such a task is clear. If such a usage can be attested, the many descriptive passages that some scholars have appealed to in reference either to the prophet or the Mahdi of that name (upon whom be peace) gain in validity.

The larger problem set forth behind this study is whether the Bible contains material in reference to the figures of  the prophet or the Mahdi (as) in Islamic thought. Obviously the Bible has been interpreted in specific ways by Jewish, Christian and other scholars in reference to the Messiah, Elijah, or another awaited prophet, and these traditional ways of applying the Scriptures may conflict with Islamic interpretations related to the prophet or Mahdi (as). This is especially likely to be the case, since many of the possible candidates are passages already understood in Messianic terms. Jewish and Christian understanding differs, sometimes applying a passage to the awaited Messiah on one hand and to Jesus (as) on the other. To attempt to bring a further figure into this complex adds to the confusion. It is therefore essential to approach the matter systematically.

The first step in approaching this problem ought not to be to propose such new interpretations of old and controversial texts. That task should be relegated to a later stage altogether. Rather, the first step is to note whether the names of the prophet and  Mahdi are used in the Hebrew Scriptures in some cognate form, and whether these are associated with factors suggesting the Islamic figures as the terminus of such prophetic expressions. The second step is to examine the functions of the Mahdi in comparison with the body of Biblical Scripture in order to identify parallels. Obviously such parallels will be more convincing to the skeptic once a clear reference to a specific name can be produced.

Among the many names of the Prophet (as) and the Mahdi (as) is of course Muhammad. This is the name most likely to be evident in the Bible, and must therefore be examined first. On the other hand, this name is ambiguous, since it refers not only to the Mahdi (as), but to other Imams as well. It will thus be necessary in this study to find a Hebrew cognate, show that it is used as a specific name, and find factors that point directly to the prophet and the Mahdi (as). Unless this can be achieved, further examination of the Bible will be largely fruitless in regard to this subject. Without a demonstration that this name has significance among the prophecies of prophets to come and the end-time, functional descriptions, the application of texts already applied to other messianic figures, will continue to have little force outside Islam.

The Hebrew cognate of the root from which the name Muhammad is derived is hmd, which means “to desire, pamper.” The Arabic connotation of “to praise” is not found in modern Hebrew. The noun form is a feminine with the common feminine suffix added. It is used twelve times in the Hebrew Scriptures, four of which appear in the construct. There is no problem with the use of this word as a masculine proper name, as there are many examples of seemingly feminine forms being included in a masculine name, and vice versa.

The first task is to establish whether or not this word is used as a proper name in the Hebrew Scriptures. We can immediately dispense with the occurrence of the word in the construct in Daniel 11:37, where it is translated “the desire” of women. It is clearly and unequivocally used as a proper name in Psalm 106:24. Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word.

By leaving the word untranslated, we get the following rendering of the verse. Yea, they despised the land of Hamda, they believed not his word. The final half of the verse includes the possessive suffix “his,” which needs an antecedent. The nearest possible antecedent is the enigmatic Hamda. Unless this word is conceived as a masculine proper name, there is no natural antecedent for the possessive. The fact that Hamda is the only possible antecedent for the masculine possessive that follows shows that it must be seen as a masculine proper noun rather than a feminine common noun.

It remains to understand to whom this verse refers. Seen in terms of the Islamic concept of the Mahdi (as), the verse makes little sense. On the other hand, seen in terms of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad (as), it makes a good deal of sense. It can easily be understood as referring to the fact that when the prophet Muhammad (as) came, many people did not believe his word, because they despised his origins in Arabia. Of course the context of the verse is a reference to the Exodus, so the primary application of the name should normally be a person involved at that time. None can be found. Even if one could be found, the secondary application of the prophecy would clearly refer to the Prophet (as).”

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