By M.I. Liaqath Ali
Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) was commanded by God to inform that he was not the only Messenger of God to the world [Al Qur’an 46:9]. Scholars say that there had been some 124,000 Prophets sent to the world who preached in the language of the respective people [A Qur’an 14:4]. The true religion they preached and their scriptures got corrupted with passage of time (with the exception of Al Qur’an). However, the message on the last and greatest Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is retained till date in the scriptures of all major world religions.
We are presenting here some interesting information from these Books so that adherents to these religions (as also Muslims) come to know that the Messenger (Pbuh) is not alien to them, get rid of unfounded prejudices against Islam and the Messenger (Pbuh) and that they may take interest in the scripture and religion he brought. The reason is that Islam as given to him is the true religion of the world brought to ultimate perfection [Al Qur’an 5:3]
These scriptures identify the greatest Prophet to come mentioning details of his birth, events of his life, his followers, etc. Some even give his Arabic name or its equivalents! This article will help create the right belief (Iman) in other religionists. Further, it will help Muslims appreciate yet another facet of greatness of the Prophet (Pbuh) and deepen their Iman. We will see here only a sample of the overwhelming evidences!
Prophet (Pbuh) Foretold in Parsi Scriptures
Parsi religion or Magianism was established in Persia in ancient times by Prophet Zoroaster and hence also known as Zoroastrianism. The suggestion by some that he was a Prophet of Islam cannot be ascertained or denied for lack of direct evidence in Qur’an and Hadeeth. Their scripture Avezda is in Zend (old Persian) language and foretells of the advent of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). The Parsi religion at Rasoolullah’s time suffered, and still does, from two main deviations Tawheed (monotheism).
(1) It divided good and evil between two gods - god of evil was not worshipped, though
(2) Parsis worship fire as God’s manifestation.
Besides Avezda, Dasatir is also a holy book of Parsis. These two give the details of the appearance of Prophet of Arabia (Pbuh) in the following terms;
A great sage will appear in a sandy region to the west.
His name will be Astvat-ereta or Soeshyant.
Astvat-ereta means the Praised one Muhammad in Arabic. Soeshyant means mercy to the worlds, Rahmat lil Alameen in Arabic.
At his time the Parsis will abandon fire worship and will turn towards a temple which will be purified by removal of idols.
On conquering Makkah, Prophet (Pbuh) went straight to the Ka’abah, the oldest ever Mosque on earth, and eradicated the 360 idols, reciting the Qur’anic Verse; “Truth has come and falsehood vanished. Falsehood is ever bound to vanish” (Al Qur’an 17:81).
Despite clear prophecies when Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) appeared these three great communities of the world missed him for various reasons;
(1) Hindus because scriptural knowledge was not disseminated but kept confined to the priestly class;
(2) Buddhists because of information barriers due to geographical distances and
(3) Parsis because of jealousy and prejudices even though Prophet (Pbuh) and his followers were in touch with Persia. However, Persians eventually embraced Islam, the Prophet’s (Pbuh) religion except for a minuscule minority.
20 to 25% of people of Indian subcontinent converted to Prophet’s (Pbuh) faith. Conversions of Buddhists of Asia to Islam is to a much lesser degree. But due to today’s information and communication revolutions and current economic prominence of the Arab land the message of Prophet (Pbuh) is reaching the Asians, and also all other peoples of the world on a much wider scale. But this phenomenon is almost totally independent of the prophecies. They are therefore joining the faith he preached in a fresh series of waves.
Allahu A’lam. God alone knows the truth of everything, including the above mentioned prophecies in the three major faiths. Allah willing, an article on prophecies in Jewish and Christian scriptures will follow.