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Answering Christian Doubts: Prophethood Is Only Confirmed by Glad Tidings

Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah

Glad tidings are not a prerequisite of prophethood nor were the glad tidings given to the Messiah more than the glad tidings given to Muhammad (ﷺ), therefore refuting Christian claims.

It is most befitting to know that most of the Christians only confirmed prophethood by relying upon the glad tidings given by preceding prophets. They claim: Glad tidings of ʿĪsá were given by the prophets that preceded him, which is contrary to Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as no prophet ever gave glad tidings of his succession.

Our response is two-fold:

  1. The glad tidings of Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in past books is more frequent than the glad tidings given of the Messiah (عليه السلام). Just as the Jews falsely interpret the glad tidings of the Messiah in their book as not referring to ʿĪsá ibn Maryam, falsely alleging that it refers to another for whom they still await [likewise the Christians falsely interpret the passages in the Bible that speak about Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as not referring to him].In actuality, the one they wait for is the Massīḥ al-Dajjāl.1 For he is the one the Jews will follow. Seventy thousand of the Jews of Aṣbahān will go out with him, all of them donning al-Ṭaylasān [a black, shawl-like garment that covers the head and shoulders].2 The Muslims will fight them until the trees and stones will call out saying: “O Muslim! There is a Jewish person behind me, so come and kill him”, as this has been related in the authentic narration from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).3 It has also been authentically narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “ʿĪsá ibn Maryam will descend upon a white minaret on the east side of Damascus. He will break the crosses, kill the swines, and remove the jizyah. The Messiah of the truth ʿĪsá ibn Maryam shall kill the one-eyed messiah of misguidance al-Dajjāl, a bit more than ten paces from the door of Ludd.45 In doing so, he will make plainly evident that a human being cannot be God [as they have claimed concerning him]. Thus, the one who falsely claims to be Allāh will be killed, all the while he is only the lying Dajjāl.

    In the same way, the glad tidings of Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) have been related in the books of the past but some of the people of the book have chosen to interpret them falsely.

  2. It is not among the prerequisites of prophethood that a prophet be mentioned by those who preceded him. Just as Mūsá (عليه السلام) was a messenger sent to Pharoah, even though Pharaoh was never given glad tidings of him prior to his advent. Or al-Khalīl [Ibrāhīm (عليه السلام)] was sent to Numrūd but he was never given glad tidings of him. The same can be said of Nūḥ, Hūd, Ṣāliḥ, Shuʿayb, and Lūṭ; none of their peoples were given glad tidings of their approach before they were sent, despite them all being truthful prophets.Furthermore, the evidence used to support the prophethood of a particular prophet is not wholly encompassed by their arrival being related by preceding prophets. Rather, evidence of prophethood includes miracles and other things.

[1] Translator note: The False Messiah or Antichrist. Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn said: “He is a man from among the children of Ādam whom Allāh—in His wisdom—will allow to be a source of tribulation and dissension for the people. The tribulations associated with his exodus are magnanimous. For there exists no greater tribulation in this worldly life from the time of Ādam’s (عليه السلام) creation until the Hour than the Massīḥ al-Dajjāl.” (Source: Majmūʿ al-Fatāwá 10:713) Shaykh Bin Bāz said: “He is a human being that will first claim prophethood, then that he is the Lord of everything in existence.” (Source: Fatāwá Nūr ʿalá al-Darb 4:274)
[2] Referencing the authentic ḥadīth narrated by Muslim: 2944.
[3] Referencing the authentic ḥadīth narrated by al-Bukhārī 3:232 and Muslim 4:2238.
[4] Translator note: Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn said, “He will meet the Dajjāl at the Door of Ludd. Ludd is a place that is currently in Palestine under Jewish occupation. He will kill him there, concluding his reign in totality.” (Source: Al-Sharḥ al-Ṣawtī Lizād al-Mustaqniʿ1:1301) Shaykh Bin Bāz said: “The location of this door is well-known in Palestine close to al-Quds.” (Source: Fatāwá Nūr ʿalá al-Darb 4:290)
[5] Referencing an amalgamation of authentic aḥādīth narrated by al-Bukhārī 3:107 and Muslim: 2137.

Source: Al-Jawāb al-Ṣaḥīḥ 2: 30-32
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: June 22, 2024
Edited: June 22, 2024

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