Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Is Muhammad the Unlettered Prophet of Isaiah 29:12?

According to Zakir Naik (and many other Muslim apologists), Isaiah 29:12 predicts the coming of an illiterate prophet. The verse reads:

Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”

Muslims claim that this prophecy was fulfilled when the angel Gabriel commanded Muhammad to recite the Qur'an:

Sahih al-Bukhari 3—The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read." The Prophet added, "Then the angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, 'I do not know how to read.'" ...

So does Isaiah 29:12 contain a prophesy about Muhammad? If so, then Muhammad stands condemned. For when we read the verse in context, we find that the entire passage is about judgment on people who are rebelling against God. I suggest reading all of Isaiah 29 to fully understand verse 12, but let's read vv. 9-14 to get the immediate context:

Be delayed and wait, blind yourselves and be blind; they become drunk, but not with wine, they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, the seers. The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”

Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”

As we can see from the larger passage, Isaiah 29 is about God's judgment on a rebellious nation. People stubbornly refuse to obey God, so he curses them by taking away their discernment. Hence, if 29:12 is about Muhammad, then Muhammad couldn't have been a prophet. Instead, he was a stubborn rebel against God who used his illiteracy as an excuse to ignore God's revelations.


For more on Zakir Naik's claim that the Bible predicts the coming of Muhammad, see our longer video. For more on so-called Biblical prophecies about Muhammad, be sure to visit Answering Islam's page.

2 comments:

Tom said...

WHY are muslims appealing to the Book of Isaiah, when Isaiah is not listed as a prophet in the koran?
Where is the debate?
Ridiculous!!!

ahmad abdullahi said...

Seriously david wood is d greatest dis believer I hv ever known.he sees d truth n̶̲̥̅̊ø̲̣̣̥ matter hw clare it is and instead of accepting he will twist it and end up making a fool of himself,notice hw his article badly refutes him.he said d. Verse was referring 2 a rebellious nation,weren't d Arab nations rebellious,dey tk alcohol,dey burry dere females Alive dey practice anarchy,Ÿ̲̣̣̣̥ø̲̣̣̥u̶̲̥̅̊ see hw his argument backfires against him? D fact dat d nation God ws speakin about were rebellious affirms d fact dat it was d pple of muhammed.and does isiah also say d prophet himself is rebellious?,seriously I dnt knw maybe his faculty of thinking is so low or maybe he always intentionally twist words.if 4 d sake of argument we assume d prophecy was nt about muhammed,I challenge d trinitarian pagan infidel 2 show me anoda prophet who fulfilled it.and if he can't,dat means d bible made a false prophecy and derefore its nt God's word or he can explain why a prophecy of d bible shouldn't be fulfilled since he claimed it ws nt muhammed.mathew 13:13 seeing they do not see and hearing dey do not hear,nor do dey understand.dis verse is directly speaking 2 david wood