What are the Criteria of true Prophets/Messengers of God?

inhumility

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There was a very useful discussion going on, on the thread,”What's wrong with the Jewish God?” started by Dondi on CR. During the course of discussion some members expressed the view to ascertain the principled stance on as to what are the Criteria for a true prophet, as one cannot accept a false prophet simply for his making a claim, and one cannot afford to reject a true prophet sent by God, inviting His wrath. A very valid query indeed! I expressed my view which is line with the Ahmadi view – a faith in Islam; we do accept the realities in every Revealed Book, and so I presented some quotes from Bible on the subject. Since it is a principled stance I thought it important enough to start a new thread for reflection of every body.
I copy may post # 47 dated 09-21-2006 from the above mentioned thread hereunder:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karimarie
Not all 'prophets' can be accepted as legitimate.
Sorry, my computer was out of order and I could not attend this post earlier.

Right, the prophets have to be according to the Criteria set by God in the Revealed Book. If the claimant is truthful in God’s eyes then that claimant has to be accepted by the people to whom he was sent. If people make false excuses in denying him, they would incur wrath of God, as the claimant has not come by his own, he has been sent by God. This also entails that the people should be polite to him as he is not a culprit to be judged by the people, in fact that truthful claimant is to judge them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karimarie
In principle, anyone can have a vision and claim to be a prophet. Many 'prophets' have aspired to this title, for example:
Aleister Crowley
The Oracle at
Delphi
Joseph Smith
David Berg
Sun Myung Moon
Jehovah's Witnesses
Nostradamus
And many, many others...
The fact is, a person cannot be legitimately termed a 'prophet' based on his or her own testimony.

Right, merely by seeing a vision or two does not make one a prophet. In religious terminology the prophet is a person who has been
1. chosen by God through clear Revelation from God
2. guided by God, through frequent Revelations from God
3. for guidance of the people, for which he has a mandate from God that is why he is also called Messenger of God or the Guided One as he is provided guidance whenever needed.
I therefore, mention hereunder Criteria of a true prophet of God from the OT believed by both Jews, Christians and NT believed by Christians. Quran also has the similar view in this regard.
1. Deuteronomy 18:20
20But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
2. Jeremiah 14:14-16
14Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
15Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
16And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of
Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
3. Deuteronomy 13:5
5And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
4. Ezekiel 13:9-13
9And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of
Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
10Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter:
11Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it.
12Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it?
13Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it.
5. There is mention of false prophets in Acts 5:36-37
36For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
37After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
These false prophets were not chosen by God so they got killed and their followers got scattered frustrated and disappointed. The first one was Theudas and other one was Judas of
Galilee

If I have missed something, please suggest for addition or correction.

My point is that Jewish and Muslim God is one, the difference is in the attributes. To send Prophets or Messengers or Guided Ones is a permanent attribute of God.

The Jews should have accepted Jesus as a true prophet of God and Muhammad also, as they fit in the above Criteria and also Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Messiah/Moshiach or the Guided-One to come in the latter-days. Unquote

What are the Criteria of true Prophets/Messengers of God? This is the main issue.
 
the jewish and muslim G!D Is One, of course, we agree on that, but the jewish and muslim criteria for prophethood are *different*. even the words are different, unless there is an arabic word "nabee" or suchlike which is equivalent to the hebrew NaVi. i am only aware of "rasool" which is a different word entirely and not related to our word.

the problem is, inhumility, is you keep banging on about why we should accept your criteria for prophecy, but you're not at all interested in ours. we have a whole set of laws in our oral tradition (equivalent to hadith i suppose for these purposes) which were later codified by maimonides among others as to how a prophet should be recognised. the most important of these is "a prophet does not command you to do things that weren't commanded in the Torah, or refrain from doing things that *were* commanded in the Torah." note that there is a big difference between a prophet and regular human interpretation inherent in this.

i repeat yet again. we are not obliged to accept your criteria and we are not obliged to accept your prophets or messiahs. you can define your criteria and accept your prophets as you wish. we are dealing solely with jewish prophets, that is revelation from G!D to the jews. rightly-guided or "godly" religions are of course something we acknowledge, but the minute you start telling *us* what we ought to believe it gets really quite annoying and offensive.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
bananabrain said:
the jewish and muslim G!D Is One, of course, we agree on that, but the jewish and muslim criteria for prophethood are *different*. even the words are different, unless there is an arabic word "nabee" or suchlike which is equivalent to the hebrew NaVi. i am only aware of "rasool" which is a different word entirely and not related to our word.

the problem is, inhumility, is you keep banging on about why we should accept your criteria for prophecy, but you're not at all interested in ours. we have a whole set of laws in our oral tradition (equivalent to hadith i suppose for these purposes) which were later codified by maimonides among others as to how a prophet should be recognised. the most important of these is "a prophet does not command you to do things that weren't commanded in the Torah, or refrain from doing things that *were* commanded in the Torah." note that there is a big difference between a prophet and regular human interpretation inherent in this.

i repeat yet again. we are not obliged to accept your criteria and we are not obliged to accept your prophets or messiahs. you can define your criteria and accept your prophets as you wish. we are dealing solely with jewish prophets, that is revelation from G!D to the jews. rightly-guided or "godly" religions are of course something we acknowledge, but the minute you start telling *us* what we ought to believe it gets really quite annoying and offensive.

b'shalom

bananabrain

Bananabrain

In arabic/Islam Nabee means prophet and Rasool means Messenger. Not all Nabees are Rasools, but some are. I think in Islamic tradition there were 120,000 Nabees but only 25 of them were Rasools.

Inhumility

As I understand it, there is a criteria for determining true prophets in the Torah and that is that he/she must satisfy the following two conditions;

1. He/She speaks a TRUE prophecy
2. He/She speaks it in the name of YHWH (Deut 18:20-22)

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.


And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which Yahweh hath not spoken?


When a prophet speaketh in the name of Yahweh, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which Yahweh hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.


The reason for the second condition is that false prophets are able to make TRUE prophecies (in order to test the believers), but they attribute them to FALSE gods.

It's interesting that the Torah talks about female prophets (prophetesses), but none are mentioned in Islam.

.
 
Peace/Salaam.

Prophet Muhammad's savs mission, as stated in the Holy Qur'an, was to deliver the Message and to warn. His mission was not to perform miracles in order to bring people to faith. It was the dawn of a more rationlistic approach, if I may say. The magic/magical miracles in Prophet Muhammad's time were not dominant.
Ancient Hebrews, while in Egypt, lived in a society where magicians were common and they magic tricks were common belief. In order to reach them, God Almighty chose the obvious way to convince pharaoh and his people in the Truth of God. But even then, he refused.
In the Holy Qur'an, God Almighty maintains that even if He were to send an angel with Prophet Muhammad savs to deliver the Message (I think I remember the ayah correctly, but at least it is along these lines) the unbelievers would not believe. That is why Qur'an continues to be the Warning, and it is. Many people, non-Muslims, who read it feel that it is full of condemnation. It is not, it just warns us all.
Like it or not, the Holy Qur'an maintained its popularity with the Holy Bible. Despite so many individuals claiming prophethood out there, no books like the Bible and the Qur'an stayed as popular. They say, the Bible is most read book in the world and the Qur'an is the most memorized to the letter!
 

I seek refuge in Allah (The One God) from the Satan (devil) the cursed, the rejected


Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh (May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you)

Listen to the holy Quran---the Final Testament

Recitation of Sura Fathiha by Shiekh Saad Al-Ghamdhi of Saudi Arabia
http://www.islamworld.net/fathiha.au


&&&


You may be a Christian Protestant, Catholic, Jew, an atheist or an agnostic; or you may belong to any of many different religious denominations existing in today's world.

You might even be a coummunist or believe in man's democracy as the rule on earth.
Whoever you are and whatever ideological or political beliefs, social habits you may hold, there is no doubt -

You Must Know This MAN - MUHAMMAD (peace be upon him).



visit website of ax ex-Christian missionary
http://prophetofislam.com/this_man.html] U must know this man..

[/FONT] http://prophetofislam.com/what_do_others_say.html


Before We Begin our "A to Z of Muhammad" - Let's See What 12 Famous People Have Said About Muhammad (peace be upon him) Throughout the Centuries...

His complete biography has been authenticated and circulated amongst scholars around the world starting while he was still alive and continuing up until today. One of the first examples we quote from is from the Encyclopedia Britannica, as it confirms:



(regarding Muhammad) "... a mass of detail in the early sources shows that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were likewise honest and upright men."

[Vol. 12]



Another impressive tribute to Muhammad, peace be upon him is in the very well written work of Michael H. Hart, "The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History." He states that the most influential person in all history was Muhammad, peace be upon him, with Jesus second.


Examine his actual words:


"My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level."


[Michael H. Hart, THE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY, New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, page. 33.]



According to the Quran, Prophet Muhammad was the most excellent example for all of humanity. Even non-Muslim historians recognize him to be one of the most successful personalities in history.


Read what the Reverend R. Bosworth-Smith wrote in "Mohammed & Mohammedanism" in 1946:



"Head of the state as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but, he was pope without the pope's claims, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue. If ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by a Right Divine, it was Mohammad, for he had all the power without instruments and without its support. He cared not for dressing of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his

While we are reviewing statements from famous non-Muslims about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, consider this:



"Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"


[Lamartine, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp. 276-277.]




And then we read what George Bernard Shaw, a famous writer and non-Muslim says:

"He must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness."


[The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936]



Then we found that K. S. Ramakrishna Rao, an Indian (Hindu) professor of Philosophy, in his booklet

"Muhammad the Prophet of Islam" calls him the "perfect model for human life." Professor Ramakrishna Rao explains his point by saying:




"The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes. There is Muhammad the Prophet. There is Muhammad the Warrior; Muhammad the Businessman; Muhammad the Statesman; Muhammad the Orator; Muhammad the Reformer; Muhammad the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad the Judge; Muhammad the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero."



What should we think about our prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, when someone with the worldly status such as Mahatma Gandhi, speaking on the character of Muhammad, peace be upon him, says in 'Young India':




"I wanted to know the best of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind... I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life.





It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life."


English author Thomas Carlyle in his 'Heroes and Hero Worship', was simply amazed:



"How one man single handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."


And Diwan Chand Sharma wrote in "The Prophets of the East":



"Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him"


[D.C. Sharma, The Prophets of the East, Calcutta, 1935, pp. 12]




Muhammad, peace be upon him, was nothing more or less than a human being, but he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, 'A Servant and Messenger of God' and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.

Speaking on the aspect of equality before God in Islam, the famous poetess of India, Sarojini Naidu says:


"It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: 'God Alone is Great'... I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother."


[S. Naidu, Ideals of Islam, vide Speeches & Writings, Madras, 1918, p. 169]


In the words of Professor Hurgronje:


"The league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations."


He continues, "the fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realization of the idea of the League of Nations."

Edward Gibbon and Simon Ockley, on the profession of ISLAM, writes in "History of the Saracen Empires":


"I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, AND MAHOMET, AN APOSTLE OF GOD' is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honor of the Prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtues; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion."


[History of the Saracen Empires, London, 1870, p. 54]


EWolfgang Goethe, perhaps the greatest European poet ever, wrote about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He said:

"He is a prophet and not a poet and therefore his Koran is to be seen as Divine Law and not as a book of a human being, made for education or entertainment."


[Noten und Abhandlungen zum Weststlichen Dvan, WA I, 7, 32]
 
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Salaam/peace


few lines from an article written by our revert bro ( ex-Christian missionary...Alhamdulillah )

Dr. Gary Miller (Abdul-Ahad Omar)

http://www.thetruecall.com/home/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=215]The true call[/B]

The Flight


Another example of the confidence which Muhammad (s) had in his own prophethood and consequently
in the divine protection of himself and his message is when he left Makkah and hid in a cave with Abu Bakr (ra) during their emigration to Madeenah. The two clearly saw people coming to kill them, and
Abu Bakr was afraid.



Certainly, if Muhammad (s) was a liar, a forger and one who was trying to fool
the people into believing that he was a prophet, one would have expected him to say in such a circumstance to his friend, "Hey, Abu Bakr, see if you can find a back way out of this cave." Or "Squat
down in that corner over there and keep quiet."

Yet, in fact, what he said to Abu Bakr clearly illustrated his confidence. He told him, "Relax! Allah is with us, and Allah will save us!" Now, if one
knows that he is fooling the people, where does one get this kind of attitude? In fact, such a frame of
mind is not characteristic of a liar or a forger at all.



So, as has been previously mentioned, the non-Muslims go around and around in a circle, searching for
a way out - some way to explain the findings in the Qur'an without attributing them to their proper
source. On one hand, they tell you on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, "The man was a liar," and on
the other hand, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday they tell you, "He was crazy."


What they refuse to
accept is that one cannot have it both ways; yet they need both theories, both excuses to explain the
information in the Qur'an.
 
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