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The life of Muhammad



In my summary of the life of Muhammad, I commented on "A monk, seeing a white cloud oover his head, realized that he was the prophet who would follow Jesus". I asked "How can a prophet follow Jesus?". John Heelan replied: "Because Islam regards Jesus not as divine but as one of a line of prophets". RH: Of course, but what do you mean by prophet? In the Christian tradition, it means one who foretold the coming of Christ. Prophet is a Greek word. What are the corresponding Hebrew and Arabic words? When the Jews taunted Jesus, saying "Prophesy!", they meant foresee the future. It can also mean one who speaks with the voice of God. Muhammad issued moral precepts, but he did little foreseeing of the future.The Mormons regard Joseph Smith as a prophet. There is a similarity between Mormonism and Islam. Both claim to be the sequel of Christianity, Islam by adding the Koran, the Mormons the Book of Mormon. This gave rise to the question as to whether the Mormons are Christians. Recently they have asserted vehemently that they are. In the life of Mohammad, I recall no reference to him as "the seal of the prophets"? When did that expression arise? Any one claiming to be a prophet, like the Bahai founder, is in mortal danger from Islam. What do the Muslims think of Joseph Smith, if they have heard of him? One striking fact of the life of Muhammad is the profound respect they have for Jesus, placing him in line with Abraham and Moses.

Ronald Hilton - 4/20/03


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