Christians and Muslims have had plenty of discussion as to who is the prophet like Moses that Deuteronomy 18:18 speaks about. Sam Shamoun has recently made an excellent contribution to this matter by pointing out the structure of Deuteronomy 17-18 is dealing with the various leadership roles within Israel:
Judges, Deut. 17:8-13
Kings, Deut. 17:14-20
Priests, Deut. 18:1-8
Prophet, Deut. 18:14
The idea of "brother" is mentioned throughout these chapters (17:15, 18, 2, 18) where the kings, priests and prophets are all to come from the brothers. Sam also shows how Jesus fulfils the role of prophet the same way he fulfils the role of king and priest. I think this observation is a profound contribution to the debate. I want to add what I think is a new idea though not as significant.
Recently I read the following book:
This is an excellent book and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get a feel for the regions where Muhammad lived and what he did. In the introduction though it has six pages which I found most interesting. These pages had twelve reasons why Muhammad is different to Moses.
There is a sentence that is repeated after most of the reasons that reads, "What a great different there is between the two (Muhammad and Moses)."
Here are the points:
1. Moses wanted to please God (20:84) but God wants to please Muhammad (93:5).
2. Moses had to ask for forgiveness (28:16) while Muhammad was given forgiveness without asking (48:1-2).
3. Moses had to ask for confidence (20:25) but God gave Muhammad confidence without him asking (94:1).
4. Moses had to ask God to ease his task (20:26) while God eased Muhammad's task without Muhammad asking (87:8).
5. Moses spoke to God on earth (19:52, 28:30) but Muhammad spoke to God in heaven (53:5-11).
6. Moses was sent to the nation of Israel (20:47, 17:2) but Muhammad was sent for all mankind (34:28, et al.).
7. Moses had to be brought under the loving eyes of God (20:39) but Muhammad is always under the loving eyes of God (52:48).
8. Muhammad is given two of the beautiful names of God (9:128) but Moses is not.
9. People can take an oath by the life of Muhammad (15:72) but not Moses.
10. Muhammad is addressed by God in greater terms that other prophets (73:1, 74:1).
11. The miracle of the Qur'an lasts forever but the miracles of the other prophets were only temporary.
12. God praised the character of Muhammad (68:4) not Moses. (Dr. Shawqi Abu Khalil, Atlas on the Prophet’s Biography, Riyadh: Darussalam, 2003, pp. 11-17)
This has made me come to the conclusion that when Muslim leaders say Muhammad is a prophet like Moses they do not really mean it. For them no one is like Muhammad. He is included in the shahada in a way that Moses is never included in the shema; he is addressed in the salaat as a patron saint and it is his intercession that is hoped for on Judgement Day. "What a great different there is between the two."